Judy C. Holmes, the Anne Arundel County Council's longtime administrative officer and a 42-year county employee, presided over her last council meeting Monday night.

Holmes, who officially retires from county government at the end of this month, holds the record as the longest-serving, current full-time county employee. The council members presented her with a dozen red roses at the start of the meeting as they bid her farewell.

"We have always found Ms. Holmes to perform her duties with the highest level of professionalism," said Alan R. Friedman, the director of legislative affairs for County Executive John R. Leopold. "You will be very much missed on the behalf of the administration," he told her.

Council Chairman Richard Ladd praised Holmes — whose job as the council's administrator for the past 29 years gave her a leading role at council meetings, during which she read pending legislation, tallied the votes and declared the outcome — as the glue that holds the council together.

"It's been a real blessing to have the services of Judy Holmes," said Ladd, a Republican from Severna Park. "Thank you for all you have done.

Holmes was touched by the outpouring of good wishes, declaring, "I didn't wear my waterproof mascara."

She said her time working for the county has been "really a great career."

"Most of all, I've had the best staff ever," Holmes said. "And the constituents. I've met so many great people."

The council has appointed Elizabeth E. "Beth" Jones as Holmes' successor.

nicole.fuller@baltsun.com

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