A lifelong Annapolitan, Josh was born at the old hospital on Franklin Street. The youngest of three children, Josh grew up in Murray Hill in the same house where his parents still reside today. His father Joe taught (and still teaches) at St. John’s College, and his mother Sandy served for many years as an Assistant Attorney General. Joe and Sandy instilled in their kids a strong sense of civic responsibility and an appreciation for the careful examination of ideas.
Josh grew up in the Annapolis of the 1970s and 1980s. Annapolis was a slower town then. Route 50 was still only four lanes wide, the Mall was just being built, and The Capital was The Evening Capital and it didn’t print on Sundays. Downtown was where Josh and his friends spent most of their time: watching E.T. at the Circle Theater, chicken necking for crabs in College Creek, buying model rockets from Hack’s on Main Street, learning to sail Severn Sailing 420s on Spa Creek. Though much has changed since then, the town’s community character and feeling of connection has remained.
Josh graduated from the Key School. After briefly attending college at the New Mexico campus of St. John’s College, he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of Maryland at College Park. He has also completed credits towards a Master’s Degree in Public Administration at the University of Baltimore.
After college Josh moved to Eastport where he became active in the community. Josh is perhaps best known for serving as one of the “founding fathers” of the Maritime Republic of Eastport, a tongue-in-cheek non-profit which has had lots of fun raising serious money for local charities. In addition to the MRE, he has served on the board of the Eastport Civic Association, the Ward One Residents Association, the Eastport-A-Rockin’ Benefit Streetfest and the Recreation and Parks Advisory Board. He has also served as chairman of the OIC Job Readiness Center, GreenScape, and the Annapolis Democratic Central Committee.
Josh’s professional career is devoted to public safety. Prior to being sworn in as Mayor, Josh worked at the Maryland Crime Victims’ Resource Center where he managed a $6.5 million, four-year Department of Justice grant to enhance victim services across the country. Prior to that Josh served as a Parole and Probation Agent and as a trainer for Maryland’s HotSpots/CSAFE crime prevention initiative.
In 2001 Josh ran for and was elected to represent Ward 8 on the Annapolis City Council. At the end of his first term, The Capital described him “an honest, straightforward and responsive representative” and he was reelected by the largest margin of any candidate in the 2005 city election. During his second term he was named as chairman of the City Council’s Finance Committee where he was recognized for his even-handed and inclusive approach to managing the budget. As chairman he spearheaded a successful 2-cent reduction in the property tax rate.
In 2006 Josh ran for and won a decisive election to the County Council, carrying every ward and precinct within the city. This election made Josh the first person in decades to have served at different times as a member of both councils. As a member of the County Council Josh was known for bringing residents and developers together to forge consensus and shape positive growth. Josh also was a champion of our public school system, and fought successfully for funding to build a new Germantown Elementary School and for the Performing and Visual Arts (PVA) Magnet at Bates Middle School.
In 2007 Josh moved to West Annapolis where he lives with his wife Lesley, a clinical research nurse, their daughters Naomi and Tessa, their boxer mix Tula and their short-haired tabby Eliza.
On November 3, 2009, Josh was elected Mayor of Annapolis. He was sworn in on Monday, December 7th at 2:00 p.m. at Maryland Hall.
Last updated: Jan. 16, 2011