Cathleen M. Vitale, former Anne Arundel County Council Member, Maryland Delegate and currently Anne Arundel Circuit Court Judge, was selected by the Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) to receive this year’s Marilyn J. Praisner Public Service Award for demonstrating extraordinary leadership and commitment to her county, constituents and MACo.
Judge Vitale served as the County Council Member for the 5th District from February 2000 – December 2010. She continued to serve the citizens of Anne Arundel County being elected twice as a member of the Maryland House of Delegates from January 2011 until she was sworn in as a Circuit Court Judge in 2015.
Judge Vitale’s motto during her time in elected office was ‘a representative 24/7’. She worked long hours performing her responsibilities as a council member and later as a delegate. It was not unusual of her to go from her full time job as an attorney and then straight to the Council offices, community meetings, or constituent homes to address concerns in her district. She has served as Chairman of the Council three different times and served twice as its Vice Chairman.
Judge Vitale was responsible for seeing the completion of many of the areas Small Area Development Plans. She negotiated acceptable legislation for the successful transfer of the David Taylor Research Facility which protected the citizens of her district from intrusive development at a Navy facility which was being “BRACed” by the federal government. She secured funding for long-overdue community projects including the Severna Park Community Center. She worked with the Department of Planning on the state and local level to rewrite the zoning codes for Anne Arundel County and established various work groups to study and make recommendations to the Council to address issues such as storm water development, affordable housing, etc. She never missed a meeting the entire eleven years on the County Council and served on the Critical Area Commission from 2004 – 2010.
The Marilyn J. Praisner Public Service Award was established in memory of MACo Past President and former Montgomery County Council Member, Marilyn J. Praisner. Current Maryland county elected officials may nominate any living current or former Maryland county elected official to receive this award. Recipients of the award are recognized for outstanding service to the county, their constituents, and MACo.
Judge Vitale will be presented with this award at MACo’s Winter Conference Inaugural Banquet & Awards Ceremony on Thursday, December 8, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, Maryland.
Other nominees include:
- Council Member James V. McMahan, Jr., Harford County
- County Executive Tari Moore, Cecil County
Learn more about MACo’s Winter Conference: