Showing posts with label Anne Robbins. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Anne Robbins. Show all posts

Friday, August 2, 2013


Two-term Rockville Councilmember Bridget Newton officially launched her bid to be the city's next mayor last night. Her opponent will be another multiterm councilmember, Mark Pierzchala.

Newton has pledged to take no money from developers, and has been a skeptic of urban-style development outside of the city's Town Center.

Pierzchala, and the rest of his Team Rockville slate, favor denser, transit-oriented development.

Both mayoral candidates have long records of public service.

Current mayor Phyllis Marcuccio declined to run for another term, and has endorsed Newton.

Marcuccio's decision, and the current lack of opponents for Team Rockville, could lead to success on Election Day for the slate.

There are now three wide-open council seats. Incumbent Tom Moore will lead slatemates Julie Palakovich Carr, Beryl Feinberg and Virginia Onley into the contest.

While Newton has as much of a chance to win as Pierzchala, the Team Rockville council candidates could sweep the election, if it were held today.

Rumored candidate Anne Robbins, a veteran councilmember, has not filed yet. The filing deadline is little over a month away.

The vacuum that would have existed for a slow-growth candidate has now become a black hole.

While Newton vs. Pierzchala will be a marquee race, offering voters a clear choice for the city's future direction, the mayor holds little power in Rockville.

Should no city activists nor Robbins step forward to file, this election would be a blowout for Team Rockville in terms of council seats, and political power.

Monday, May 20, 2013


Minutes ago, Rockville City Councilmember John Hall announced he will not seek reelection this fall.

In an emotional speech, Hall thanked his family, supporters, residents and city staff for the opportunity to serve the public. Hall said every one of his colleagues on the council has the city's "best interests" at heart, even if they disagree on certain issues.

Hall encouraged fellow citizens to rise to the occasion, and run for the city council. There is still time to file for office.

He mentioned the Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO) specifically, when discussing the issues he looks forward to addressing in the remainder of his term.

One suspects this announcement will increase public interest in the plans of former councilmember Anne Robbins for the election. Robbins has been expected to run this year.

With Hall out, the balance of the council could shift on one seat. A Phyllis Marcuccio-Bridget Newton-Anne Robbins trifecta would continue a 3-2 bloc against accelerated development across the city.

The Team Rockville slate favors a more aggressive approach to development, and has 5 members.

That equation could encourage one or more city activists to enter the race, now that Hall has bowed out.

Monday, March 11, 2013


Slates are back in Rockville city politics. Whether voters still obey them, will be just one intriguing outcome of the November 5 Mayor and Council elections.

The first slate - "Team Rockville" - has already gone public: Councilmember Mark Pierzchala is running for mayor, and Councilmember Tom Moore, Virginia Onley, Julie Palakovich Carr and Beryl L. Feinberg are in the race for the four council seats.

Two questions have been answered: Will there be slates? And will Pierzchala run for mayor?

But others remain, before one can get a true sense of the dynamics of this race.

Will John Hall run for mayor? Will Mayor Phyllis Marcuccio run for reelection? And will the council vote on the Rockville Pike plan before, or after the election?

Former councilmember Anne Robbins is also expected to run, and would be a formidable challenge to the lesser-known candidates on the "Team Rockville" slate. Robbins is skeptical of smart growth, having noted that advocates have been talking about "getting people out of their cars" since the 60s, with little results.  She brought an independent streak to the council, referring to herself as "the Lone Ranger" during a contentious council meeting over a decade ago.

Pierzchala won election primarily on his strong work on behalf of the College Gardens neighborhood as a citizen, and diligent attendance and engagement at city meetings. Once on the council, he has pivoted to take an aggressive pro-development stance, and has helped organize two summits on Rockville's future.

Tom Moore is a first-term councilmember who often sides with Pierzchala on issues. He recently made news beyond the city limits when he questioned the use and storage of data collected by license plate readers onboard Rockville police cruisers.

Virginia Onley is the only other member of the slate who has name recognition at this early stage, having run for council previously. If I recall correctly, Onley is one of the relatively few candidates smart enough to use the Citizens Forum during the election season, as a free platform to reach voters. It's surprising more candidates don't utilize that forum. Larry Giammo made hugely-effective use of it during his successful campaign for mayor.

Now, of course, the other question is, who else will throw their hat into the ring?

Drew Powell and Dion Trahan are two former candidates still actively engaged in city politics and government, but there are certainly others who could make a run, as well. Stay tuned.

If there's a Rockville citizen you think would be a great mayor or councilmember, feel free to put his or her name in the comments section below (there is an option to post anonymously, if you wish).