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Council: Annapolis Mayoral Race Results Not Related To City Manager Suggestion

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Annapolis Mayor Michael Pantelides
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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — An upset in the Annapolis mayor’s race appears to be having a ripple effect on the Annapolis City Council.

Political reporter Pat Warren reports some Democrats are considering a shift of power in city management.

A three-day long nailbiter resulted in an upset in the Annapolis mayor’s race.

Republican Mike Pantelides defeated incumbent Democrat Josh Cohen by 59 votes in a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-1. In a ceremonial transfer of power, Cohen pinned the Annapolis coat of arms on his successor’s lapel.

“I’m honored to be the first one to put it on you,” Cohen said.

But a move by Council Democrat Ross Arnett to change the charter has voters like Ross Glover and Ed Frietag suspicious of a power grab.

“I think it’s an attempt to nullify the election,” Frietag said.

“It is astounding to me that he would bring it up and create all this unless there’s a political agenda,” Glover said.

Arnett proposes to give a city manager executive power over operations.

“I think it would be terribly incorrect [to say this strips the mayor of power],” Arnett said.

During the course of the mayor’s race, Democrats discontented with water rates, plans for City Dock and other development issues voted for the Republican. Arnett believes a city manager would have operational skills elected officials do not. But bringing it up right after the election raised red flags.

“And for Ross to say there’s no political agenda is rubbish,” Glover said.

“Clearly this has tapped into a nerve but that is not the intent, never was the intent and we don’t want that kind of divisiveness in the city,” Arnett said.

Voter Ruby Singleton-Blakeney thinks the change is worth considering.

“If it is to better the city, I’m all for it,” she said.

Arnett says this is something he has proposed for years and does not expect any changes any time soon.

The next definite step in Annapolis politics is the inauguration.

Mayor-elect Pantiledes was not available for comment for this story.

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