The final meeting of the current Annapolis City Council ended on a string of harmonious notes Monday night.
Outgoing Alderman George O. Kelley Sr. (R-Ward 4) drew chuckles when he stood up and hugged Mayor Ellen O. Moyer (D), who clashed with him over much of the past four years and then beat him in the mayoral election.
Moyer, in turn, gave each of the council members a gift: a promotional poster for a soon-to-be-released book on the history of the city-owned Market House.
Earlier that evening the council had unanimously approved a Market House lease with Site Realty, effectively ending months of acrimony and controversy over failed lease negotiations with previous bidder Dean & DeLuca. City officials hope the historic market on City Dock will resume operations by spring.
"I know how much fun we've had working on this," Moyer quipped as she handed out the posters.
Moyer had intended to give out copies of the book, but a production problem slowed down printing.
"Like everything else with the Market House, the book was delayed," city spokeswoman Jan Hardesty said.
The mayor and council members will be sworn into office Monday.
This week's council meeting was the last for Kelley and Aldermen Louise Hammond (D-Ward 1) and Sheila M. Tolliver (D-Ward 2), who have been the mayor's most ardent opponents on the council. Kelley lost his mayoral bid; Tolliver and Hammond did not seek reelection.
The mayor also lost allies Michael W. Fox (R-Ward 7), who was defeated in the primary, and Cynthia Carter (D-Ward 6), who lost in the general election.
"I do want to thank everyone on the council," Moyer said as the meeting came to a close. "While we have not always agreed, I think we've been effective in improving the quality of life for our citizens."
In a loaded final session, the council also placed a moratorium on new development until there are policies to ensure that adequate public facilities exist to support the growth. And the council approved annexations of a 179-acre horse farm known as the Katherine Property along Forest Drive and the six-acre Rodgers Property off Edgewood Road.