Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Some MoCo early voters report receiving ballots with circles for Democratic candidates already filled in

The record turnout for early voting in Montgomery County has been been the headline in local media, but a more troubling story hasn't been covered. Montgomery County Republican Central Committee Chairman Michael Higgs has received "multiple eyewitness reports" that some early voters were provided with paper ballots that had already been filled out, with only Democratic candidates selected.

"These pre-filled ballots did not merely have a stray mark or two, they were completely filled-out for the entire Democrat slate of candidates, with the bubbles neatly and completely filled-in," Higgs wrote to County Election Director Margaret Jurgensen. He is calling for an immediate investigation.

"Are we seeing a small slice of a larger campaign to stuff the ballot boxes? Is there a rogue individual in your midst attempting to unduly influence the election? Only a thorough and public investigation will help to ensure the voters that they are not being disenfranchised by nefarious actors attempting to steal the election," Higgs wrote.

Local blogger Adam Pagnucco had already reported on a different problem prior to this one - being given the ballot for a different Congressional district from the one he lives in when he voted early in Wheaton. The report of pre-filled ballots came just two days after Senator Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh held a news conference about "fraud" in Maryland elections.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Rockville construction update: 1900 Chapman Avenue (Photos)

The site of 1900 Chapman Avenue that was formerly home to Syms is now cleared and graded, after demolition of the store and parking areas. A mixed-use multi-family project will be constructed on the northern half of the lot, and a townhome project will occupy the southern half near Twinbrook Parkway.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Meet the finalists to be next Rockville City Manager on November 12

Who is the best choice to be the next Rockville City Manager? Gather some firsthand intelligence before you share your opinion with the Mayor and Council by attending a special meet-and-greet with the finalists on Saturday, November 12, from 1:00-2:00 PM in the conservatory of Glenview Mansion at Rockville Civic Park, located at 603 Edmonston Drive.

The Mayor and Council are scheduled to attend. Novak Consulting Group is leading the nationwide search for the next City Manager. Craig Simoneau is currently the acting City Manager.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

New civic group aims to Empower Montgomery voters

If you are a registered voter, and have voted in a past Montgomery County election, you likely received a mailing from Empower Montgomery yesterday. The non-profit, tax-exempt organization has been formed by several heavy hitters from the Montgomery County business community with the stated goal of increasing voter engagement.

Montgomery County's voter turnout in the 2014 election was the lowest in the state of Maryland. Contrary to claims by term limits opponents that such laws result in lower turnout, we in fact had less turnout than the counties that currently have term limits.

Empower Montgomery aims to change this race to the bottom, they say, by pushing for open primaries that allow independents to vote for state and local office nominating contests, easing voter restrictions, expanding early and absentee voting, and engaging communities with low rates of voter participation. They say they will primarily promote public education and advocacy activities, but will also act on major issues at election time.

Who's behind Empower Montgomery? Charles Nulsen III, the president of Washington Property Company; Chris Bruch, president and COO of The Donohoe Companies; David Blair; and former County Council member and lobbyist Steve Silverman.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Rockville Rewards card helps non-profits earn almost $29,000 in 1st quarter

Non-profits selling the Rockville Rewards card earned almost $29,000 in the 1st quarter, the Rockville Chamber of Commerce announced yesterday. The card is a program of the Chamber, aided by a grant from the City of Rockville, that allows non-profits to sell the card, and consumers who buy one to save money. In the process, the card also encourages cardholders to spend their money at Rockville businesses, as that is where the savings are found.

The Richard Montgomery Athletic Club led all nonprofits in fundraising, taking in $18,000 dollars since card sales began August 1. The cash boost will help the school's athletic programs close a $150,000 funding gap between what they need, and what Montgomery County Public Schools has allocated to them.

Other nonprofits selling the card have used the 100% proceeds to fund scholarships, house the homeless, and provide free medical care.

Cards cost $25, and will be valid until August 31, 2017 at more than 135 businesses. For more information, visit the official Rockville Rewards card website.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

City of Rockville to experience communication outages Nov. 4-6

It's not your computer,
it's the City of Rockville
Upgrades to the City of Rockville's government communications systems will have the ironic effect of shutting those systems down during the installation work from November 4-6, 2016. Telephone, internet and WiFi will all shut down beginning at 5:00 PM this Friday. Portions of the City's websites may go down as well this weekend. Service will be restored by opening of business Monday morning, November 7.

Not affected by the outage will be 911 and the Rockville City Police Department (RCPD) non-emergency number, 240-314-8900. Rockville Channel 11 will be available on cable TV, but not to stream online, during the outage. Electronic credit card payments will not be possible at City facilities during the outage.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Flats at Shady Grove apartments now leasing in Rockville (Photos)

The new Flats at Shady Grove apartments at 1380 Piccard Drive have begun leasing. Converted from a former hotel, the apartments are located right off of I-270 near the Shady Grove exit. More than 200 units are being offered at rents developer Kettler says undercut market prices in the surrounding area.

Amenities include two courtyards, a large outdoor pool, a clubhouse with free WiFi, 24-hour emergency maintenance, pet salon, billiard and movie rooms, and complimentary coffee or tea.

Signs are inviting drivers to visit the building's leasing office, as the finishing touches are put on the renovated building.