Friday, July 3, 2020

Rockville task force on boards and commissions makes recommendations

Former Rockville Mayor Steven Van Grack,
chair of the task force on boards and commissions
A task force appointed to study the City of Rockville's Board and Commissions, and appointments to those bodies, has filed its report. The task force found that one-third of city residents are not aware of Rockville's boards and commissions, the work they do, or that they are eligible to participate as a member of them. In its report, which will be discussed by the Mayor & Council at their July 6 meeting, the task force made several recommendations:

  1. Improve diversity across all boards and commissions
  2. Create a full-time volunteer-coordinator position
  3. Increase transparency
  4. Better coordination among different boards and commissions when missions or issues overlap
  5. Improve clarity of missions and objectives with annual reports and workplans
  6. Enhance the volunteer experience with increased visibility and public acknowledgement of their work, enforcing the limits of terms, a more open expression-of-interest process, timely vacancy filings, and better training
  7. More openness to creating new boards and commissions, and reviewing the relevance of existing ones
  8. Update the City Code and guidelines to reflect any of the above changes if they are adopted
The report made other findings, including that the Animal Matters Board has not met in five years. A similar finding was made about the Personnel Appeals Board, The Recreation and Parks Advisory Board is currently being undermined by "subgroups" within the board, the task force said. 

REDI, the city's economic development corporation, needs more transparency, and attention to conflicts of interest, the report argued. And the task force suggested the Sign Review Board be abolished, its functions replaced by existing city staff and the Board of Appeals as needed.

Task force members include Anita Neal Powell, Anne Goodman, Anne Herbster, James Hedrick, Jack Kelly. John Becker, Lorraine Tarnove, Michael "Ben" Parry. The task force has a high-profile chair, former Rockville Mayor Steven Van Grack. Van Grack is also a prominent attorney, who has remained actively involved in the city long after his 1985-1987 mayoral term.

Photo via Twitter


  1. Next up is pushing through Obama's AFFH regulations to help destroy the suburbs by stopping single family zoning and turning the whats left of suburbs into a city. Wonderful!

  2. They sound like good recommendations.

    1. For a Communist takeover maybe.