UPDATE (2:36 p.m. Tuesday)—A 32-day stalemate on the Anne Arundel County Council was broken Monday night when Councilman Dick Ladd (R-5th District) changed his vote to support Severn resident as the new councilman for District 1.
The first round of voting continued as usual, split 3-3 between Smith and Wagner. But during the second round, Ladd announced he was changing his vote to Smith.
"It is with some trepidation that I will change my vote to Mr. Smith. I do this with a great deal of concern, deep thought, and I suspect ... trepidation about my future as a member of this council, but nonetheless I will vote for Mr. Smith," Ladd said to a round of applause from the audience.
The 108th vote for the District 1 succession ended 4-2. Smith's supporters were Councilmen Jamie Benoit (D-4th District), Chris Trumbauer (D-6th District), Jerry Walker (R-7th District), and Ladd. Wagner's supporters were Councilmen Derek Fink (R-3rd District), and John Grasso (R-2nd District).
Directly after the vote, Ladd exited the room. Minutes later, he spoke with Smith in a room near the entrance to the council’s chambers. Their meeting ended with a smile from both of them before Ladd returned to the meeting.
Patch then caught up with Smith about his appointment to represent District 1. His first response was: "Wow."
"I'm just grateful that the county was able to come to a resolution,” Smith said. “If I could say something to all six (council) members, specifically to those who maybe weren't sure of me—they have no need to fear me, at all.”
Smith said he or Wagner would have been a good councilman, and that given Wagner’s experience, he may call on him in the future.
As he exited the council meeting, Wagner also gave his support to Smith, adding that he was relieved that the selection process had ended.
“I’m glad it’s over,” Wagner said. “I think he [Smith] probably has some catching up to do, but I think he’ll do good.”
Smith is set to be sworn in as the new District 1 councilman at a special session Monday. He was originally scheduled to be sworn in on April 2.