Navarro elected council president; Rice is vice president -- Gazette.Net







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Nancy Navarro will serve as Montgomery County Council president in 2013, the first Latina to ever hold the post.

Navarro (D-Dist. 4) of Silver Spring served as council vice president in 2012 and was nominated and elected uncontested to the body’s helm for the coming year on Tuesday.

“I know that I am turning our council over to the most capable hands in the year ahead,” outgoing Council President Roger Berliner (D-Dist. 1) of Bethesda said. “I look forward to Vice President Navarro becoming President Navarro.”

Councilman Craig Rice, who was elected to serve as vice president, nominated her noting the occasion as a first for Montgomery.

“In my two-year tenure on the County Council, I have seen some fantastic firsts,” Rice (D-Dist. 2) of Germantown said. “Colleagues, it is now time for us to embark on yet another historical moment as we elect the first Latina to ever serve as our county council president.”

Changing demographics show that the majority of county residents are minorities, Rice noted.

“So it is fitting that the face of our council leadership reflects that change,” he said.

After assuming the presidency, Navarro thanked her colleagues for entrusting her with their leadership. Navarro serves as the chairwoman of the Government Operations and Fiscal Policy committee.

Before voters elected her to the County Council in a 2009 special election, she served on the Montgomery County Board of Education.

In nominating Rice as vice president, Councilwoman Nancy Floreen (D-At large) of Garrett Park said he is fluent in sign language, is a skilled auctioneer, trained to be naval aviator and is a member of the Civil Air Patrol.

“I think these experiences — especially the jet part, and should there be a fiscal meltdown, the auctioneering skills — may come in handy,” Floreen joked, before continuing in seriousness. “But those experiences coupled with his years in business have created, I think, a realistic, pragmatic and community-based leader.”

Navarro and Rice took over their duties as council leaders immediately on Tuesday.