Over the dissent of Mayor Bridget Newton, four Rockville councilmembers approved a motion by Councilmember Tom Moore to back Ocean City's effort to have city offices appear on the presidential year ballot.
All four councilmembers who voted affirmatively were part of the Team Rockville slate in last November's city election. However, only Moore has fully endorsed the idea of moving Rockville's city elections to presidential election years. Virginia Onley, Julie Palakovich Carr, and Beryl Feinberg said they support Ocean City's effort only as an endorsement of home rule - essentially the resort city's right to set the date of its own elections.
Moore noted that Hagerstown already holds its elections in presidential years on Election Day.
Prior to the vote, Moore asked city staff to support the legislation in Annapolis that would allow Ocean City to move its election date. "You can't direct city staff," Newton responded.
The mayor challenged the majority's assertion of home rule. She said city voters had made clear they don't want elections moved, through their rejection of a ballot question last November. For the city to now use funds and resources to support the contrary elsewhere in the state would be inappropriate, Newton argued.