Former MACo President & Montgomery County Council Member Esther Gelman Passes Away at 84

Esther Gelman, former MACo president (1984) and active Montgomery Council Council Member passed away on June 6, 2016 at the age of 84 after a long illness.

esther gelmanMACo Executive Director Michael Sanderson shares,

“Ms. Gelman really stayed connected with us, and was a welcome face at so many MACo events over the years. She was always very appreciative of the Association, and always shared thoughts on our successes and opportunities.”

According to,

Gelman served as president of the Council in 1984. She was the fourth woman to serve as Council president. A member of various Council committees, she sponsored legislation in such areas as comparable pay, religious leave accommodations, smoking prohibitions and the establishment of the Community Crisis Center for abused women.

Throughout her long political career Gelman was an active advocate for the rights of victims of sexual assault and spousal abuse and helped improve human services available to residents of Montgomery County.

Gelman began her political career in 1960 through involvement with the local Democratic party and various civic and neighborhood organizations. As correspondent for the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) from 1968 to 1970, she reported on the activities of the Commission and of the Montgomery County Planning Board. She served as a commissioner of the M-NCPPC from 1970 to 1974.

She was active in the Maryland Association of Counties (MACo), the Metropolitan- Washington Council of Governments (COG) and the National Association of Counties (NACo). She was president of MACo in 1984.

In its edition of Jan. 3, 1984, The Washington Post listed “Winners and Losers in the State of Maryland” in 1983. Gelman had just been elected president of the County Council and was listed as one of the 10 “winners.” Others on the list of winners included Abe Pollin, owner of the Washington Capitals and Bullets, and the Baltimore Orioles, who won the World Series in 1983.

To read the full article on Esther Gelman, visit