Takoma Park's new mayor, Sammi Abbott, and new City Council members took office this week and immediately began considering ways to get their constituents more involved in municipal affairs.

Retiring Mayor John Roth and outgoing council members Clayton Forshee, Joseph Faulkner and Joseph Webb were honored with warm speeches of support from city officials and residents.

"The glamor has worn off and my patience has worn thin," said Roth, who was mayor eight years and a council member for 13. "I leave, at the end of this meeting, feeling I did all I could do, within my abilities."

The new council took charge for the last part of the meeting.

"Let's go!" Abbott called out as he walked to the podium.

The council members are Jenifer Saloma, David Weisman, Vernon Ricks Jr., James Holland, Donald Ramsey, Frank Garcia and Norman Patrick III.

"I want to prove to myself that we citizens at this level have the interest and desire to participate in our own destiny," Abbott told the audience in his opening speech. "If we can't do it here, there's no hope for the nation.

"I'm not here as a novelty," Abbott told the 150 persons who attended the meeting. "People have to keep showing up like this at all the meetings."