BE MELANIE DZWONCHYK
Keith Sydnor took the oath of office as Laurel’s mayor, and five councilmembers were sworn in, on Monday, Nov. 27 in the council chambers at the Joseph R. Robison Laurel Municipal Center.
Two back-to-back council meetings were held that evening, witnessed by a standing room only crowd of supporters and family members that filled the chambers. The first was the final meeting of Mayor Craig Moe and Ward 1 councilmembers Carl DeWalt and James Kole, ; Ward 2 councilmembers Sydnor and Brencis Smith; and Martin Mitchell (At-Large). Smith and Mitchell ran unsuccessfully for mayor, and win or lose, they gave up their council seats. Each councilmember was recognized for their work during the last two-year term, and the outgoing mayor received recognition from county and state officials as well as from the council.
Following adjournment sine die (Latin for without a day), the second meeting began with Sydnor being sworn in as mayor by Mahasin El Amin, clerk of the court for Prince George’s County.
Sydnor said in his remarks after the swearing-in, “Please hold me accountable because I work for you.” He recognized supporting the city’s youth as his top priority, saying he wants to get programs in place that will support youngsters and teens.
Then Sydnor offered the oath of office to each of the newly elected councilmembers, one at a time: DeWalt and Kole, re-elected to represent Ward 1; Kyla Clark and Jeffrey Mills, newly elected representing Ward 2; and new at-large councilmember Christine Johnson. DeWalt has served on the city council since 2017, and Kole has served since 2021.
Councilmembers then took their seats on the dais ,and a motion to elect Kole as council president moved with Mills and DeWalt voting no, Clark and Johnson voting yes, and Sydnor, as mayor, breaking the 2-2 tie. As the new council president, Kole then appointed Clark as council president pro tem. Clark will act as council president in Kole’s absence.
Among those presenting well wishes and proclamations was Hyattsville Mayor Robert Croslin, who presented a proclamation saying the two municipalities “are partners” in their work.