It has been an honor and true pleasure to serve the Town of Kensington – and to be one of your longest serving Mayors. But after much contemplation and discussion with family, it’s time to step aside. Five terms is a long time.

My gratitude to others is nearly endless, but I start by thanking my best friend and partner of 19 years, Duane Rollins. Duane is my backbone and clearly the key confidant in my personal, political and professional roles.

Thanks go to our current Council Members and those I’ve served alongside since 2006:  Sean McMullen, Tracey Furman, Darin Bartram, Tom Rodriguez, Paul Sexton, Al Carr, John Thompson, Dave Furman, Dave Beaudet, Sharon Scott, Mary Donatelli and Ken Goldsmith. I owe you deep gratitude for working well as a team to make our community so great; and for your professionalism.

Thanks to every past Mayor of this Town; especially Jayne Plank and Jack Jones. One doesn’t understand what being Mayor is about until you walk in the very shoes. I am grateful for your contributions and allowing me to follow you.

All of the volunteers on the various Town committees – your care for the Town and dedication are so appreciated.

To my kitchen cabinet:  Darin Bartram, Chris Bruch, Sabina Emerson, Tracey Furman, Jon Gerson, Jodi Longo and Duane Rollins. You seven friends kept me sane (or at least somewhat sane) over the past 10 years. Your vital backing and guidance allowed me to lead this Town.

To those who supported me in ways that made a difference: Maureen and Cate Cappadonna with text messages of encouragement; Barrie Carr as a cheerleader for every Town activity; Toni Ward with her diehard defense of me; Rudy and Suly Uberman for just plain friendship; Harley Higgins for always being positive; Duane Thompson and Chris Bruch for keeping me focused on what mattered; and for those who I encountered at the gym, grocery store, gas station, bank, or post office – thank you for the words of encouragement over the years.

Dennis McCurdy and Eli Sola-Sole are friends and fellow business advocates. They have done so much to enhance our economic vitality and much of it goes unnoticed. Cheers.

My former boss, and my longtime friend, Governor Martin O’Malley (and his administration) for his continued support and humor over the years.

Our General Assembly Members – especially our Montgomery County delegation and even more so, our District 18 team.

Our County Executive Ike Leggett and his department heads for their steadfast support.

The County Council members for their assistance – especially Nancy Floreen, George Leventhal, Hans Reimer, Valerie Ervin, Duchy Trachtenberg, Nancy Navarro and Roger Berliner.

Kensington’s Volunteer Fire Department – most notably Chief Jayme Heflin.

Montgomery County Police for all of their fine work in making Kensington a safer place.

To the Town staff and crew:  Joe, Rick, Jaime, Jason, Shirley, Susan, & Mat. You have no idea how your efforts have made such a positive impact on my administration; any successes are credited to you. Your friendships and loyalty are invaluable. Much I owe to our Town Manager and my friend of 25 years, Sanford Daily. I owe sincere gratitude to our Town Attorney, Suellen Ferguson for her incredible legal guidance as we have worked together on some hard-hitting issues.

To the folks at Maier Warner, our first public relations firm – thank you for all of your hard work in promoting Kensington and helping make things vibrant again.

My gratitude to the staff and members of the Maryland Municipal League, as well as the members of the Maryland Mayors’ Association where I am finishing my term as president.

And a few words of unsolicited advice for our next Mayor Tracey Furman:  Communicate regularly with your staff, the public, and others. Enforce the Town regulations – it’s essential to maintain our special charm, integrity, and safety. You will have some tough decisions to make – just do your best.

Great strides have been made in moving Kensington forward. Most notably our revised Sector Plan, zoning regulations and the reversal of our liquor laws. These major modifications have laid the groundwork for the Town to revitalize properly and responsibly. Initiating some of the smaller changes are significant, too, such as the “From the Public” section on all of our Council agendas affording residents an open mic to address the Council on any issue. Our more detailed budget allowed the public to better understand the process. And being more inclusive with regular communication to the public, expanding opportunities on Town committees, and listening to opposing views helped me better govern the Town.

I have made some mistakes. I regret some of the remarks I made in my earlier years. None were justified; and for that I am sorry to those I may have offended. My skin has thickened and I learned my lesson in public diplomacy.

I have many fond memories as Mayor such as the enjoyable community events, some of our comical Town Council meetings, the incredible team efforts among residents, businesses and the Town Council; meeting so many different wonderful people around the state as well as internationally, being dubbed “Mayor Pete” by kids, and watching Kensington move forward slowly, but surely.

I recall a moment during our turbulent 2012 town elections where there was an enormous voter turnout. On election eve, a couple were walking past me to vote, but never paused to say hello. I thought to myself, this is not going to be good. But before they passed, the woman said under her breath, “Don’t worry baby, we got ya!” I will never forget that moment because it was then that I knew I would repeat as Mayor for the fourth time. A few weeks later the County Council overwhelmingly passed our Sector Plan and it was time to mend fences with those whose opinions differed.

I’m not going away; I’m simply taking a break. I do hope Kensington has become a better place for all of us. Once again, thank you.

Mayor Peter Fosselman