New Council Includes 4 New, 3 Returning Members
FREDERICK, Md. – Jessica Fitzwater took the oath of office as Frederick County Executive on Monday, becoming only the second person to hold the position. She succeeds Jan Gardner, who attended the ceremony at the Weinberg Center for the Arts in a show of support. In Executive Fitzwater’s inaugural speech, she committed to prioritizing the values of inclusion, sustainability and accountability.
“Today is a new beginning for Frederick County, and new beginnings are always full of promise,” Executive Fitzwater said. “Together, we will realize our promise – because we stand on a strong foundation, and we will be intentional every single day about living our values and making progress for our residents.”
During the ceremony, members of the 3rd Frederick County Council also were sworn in. New County Council Members Mason Carter (District 5), Kavonté Duckett (District 4), Renee T. Knapp (At Large), and Brad W. Young (At Large) joined returning Council Members Jerry D. Donald (District 1 – third term), M.C. Keegan-Ayer (District 3 – third term), and Steven J. McKay (District 2 – second term).
A member of the first-ever Frederick County Council, Executive Fitzwater represented Council District 4 for two terms before being elected County Executive. As a Council Member, she championed numerous pieces of legislation that were enacted on a bipartisan basis, including: repealing the County’s English-only Ordinance, improving affordable workforce housing by strengthening the Housing Initiative Fund, creating a Human Trafficking Task Force, addressing anti-discrimination, and establishing a Climate Emergency Mobilization Work Group.
Fitzwater’s transition team will focus on seven key priorities through collaborative, community-driven workgroups. Priorities include government innovation; housing and quality of life; education and workforce development; economic development and jobs; public safety; sustainability, infrastructure and transportation; and public health and human services.
The swearing-in ceremony can be viewed on FCG TV, cable channels 19 and 1085, and online at www.FrederickCountyMD.gov/FCGTV.