Leggett, Montgomery inauguration focus on the less fortunate

By Michael Laris
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, December 6, 2010; 1:28 PM

Isiah Leggett was sworn in again as Montgomery County executive at 12:16 p.m. Monday at Rockville High School, minutes after nine members of the county council were ushered into power and the county's top leaders grasped hands and bowed their heads in prayer.

Leggett (D) began his second term by outlining the difficulties facing the nation and one of its wealthiest counties, which faces substantial budget gaps.

"Some of those living close to the edge slipped over, while others moved nearer to that line," Leggett said. "There were dreams deferred - and dreams lost. If our county has been spared the worst of these challenges, you know we have not been spared altogether."

The county's incoming leaders started their day listening to a musical, interfaith appeal to preserve the county's tradition of taking care of those in need. Figuring out how to pay for that would be for another venue.

At Rockville United Church - alive with a kindergarten choir, a Nigerian immigrant's operatic interpretation of "The Lord's Prayer" and a saxophone rendition of John Lennon's "Imagine" - officials bowed their heads as a Buddhist monk, several pastors, an imam and a rabbi gave them blessings and a reminder of what they believe matters most.

"Lord, on this day of inauguration, we intercede in faith for the leaders of Montgomery County. We thank you for their willingness to serve," said the Rev. Tim Simpson of Greenridge Baptist Church. "But during these stressful days of overwhelming human need and insufficient resources, help all of us to look at you."

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