|Incumbent Rockville Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton|
is seeking a third term
The wild card in predicting the impact of the slate this year will be the introduction of voting by mail. In theory, voter participation should rise, including the number of citizens voting who do not regularly follow city politics and personalities. How those less-engaged voters will perceive the differences between the two slates, and the value of incumbency, will be two interesting outcomes to watch. Any three victorious members of one slate can give that faction a three-vote majority on the Council.
Rockville Forward consists of Newton, Feinberg, and three "newcomers" who actually have been extensively-involved in civic activities for quite a while.
As Mayor, Newton has helped protect the suburban character of Rockville with smart appointments to the city's Planning Commission, who successfully scaled-back the original high-density urban vision for the Rockville Pike Plan. Among the issues she has high on her agenda for a third term are the future of the RedGate golf course property, ironing out parking and business challenges in the Town Center area, affordable housing and the potential for a new pedestrian crossing of the CSX railroad tracks between Twinbrook and B.F. Saul's Wegmans-anchored Twinbrook Quarter development.
Monique Ashton was a finalist for the ultimately-unfilled Council vacancy earlier this year. A 15-year Rockville resident, Ashton has served as a school cluster coordinator, neighborhood captain, and as a member of the recent Adequate Public Facilities Work Group. She also has executive business experience, and has been an advocate for small businesses in the city.
Feinberg has lived in Rockville for 25 years, and describes herself as a "neighborhood-centric" candidate. She is frequently allied with Newton on issues such as preserving the quality of life and small-town feel of the city, and on school overcrowding. With a long career in Montgomery County Government, Feinberg has also taken the lead on fiscal accountability and the procurement process.
Social Security Administration Attorney Kuan Lee is Chair of the King Farm External Affairs Committee and an appointed member of the Rockville Financial Advisory Board. He was also a past appointee to the Rockville Board of Appeals. Lee is a volunteer with the Rockville Sister Cities Corporation and the King Farm Neighbors Village. In addition to his resume, Lee also offers a surprisingly-rare chance for voters to help elect a Council that "looks like Rockville." Even as Rockville has gained one of the largest and most-prominent Asian communities in the D.C. region, like the Montgomery County Council, its elected offices have not included any Asian-Americans.
Suzan Pitman is President of the East Rockville Civic Association, and played a major role in the master plan update process for that community. She has been a prominent voice in debates on major community issues of recent years, such as testifying before the County Planning Board to stop a school bus depot from being dropped into the residential Westmore neighborhood. The Board ended up voting against the depot.
|Independent Rockville City Council |
candidate Brigitta Mullican
Rockville Forward will take on Team Rockville, and independent City Council candidate Brigitta Mullican.
Team Rockville is led by mayoral candiate Virginia Onley, who has served two terms on the City Council and on nine city boards and commissions. She brings business experience to the table with 35 years as an employee of IBM, once a major employer with offices in the County. Onley cites her fiscal responsibility and consistent votes against tax increases as strengths.
|Cynthia Cotte Griffiths|
Joining Onley on the Team Rockville slate are incumbent Mark Pierzchala, and Cynthia Cotte Griffiths, James Hedrick, and David Myles.
Mullican, Griffiths, and Hedrick had previously announced their candidacies prior to the formation of the two slates.
Pierzchala has served several terms on the City Council, and has previously run for mayor. One of the most-vocal supporters of bicycle safety and facilities in Rockville, he is also one of the few politicians who actually uses a bike as a major mode of transportation, rather than just talking about it. Pierzchala also touts his efforts in stopping the school bus depot, as well as in fighting the widening of I-270 through Rockville. He served as President of the College Gardens Civic Association from 2004-2008.
Myles is a U.S. Navy veteran and pediatrician who lives in Tower Oaks. He is a member of the city's Rockville Goes Purple opioid-awareness planning committee, the physician representative on the Montgomery County Mental Health Advisory Committee, and provides pro-bono medical care at Holy Cross Hospital.
The election winners will each serve a four year term. Ballots will be mailed to all registered voters in the city this October, and must be received by mail or in person at City Hall by 8:00 PM on November 5, 2019.
If you aren't registered to vote, click here. If you are a registered voter in Maryland and live within the city limits of Rockville, you are already registered to vote in the City election.