Funding Details for Mayoral Race

Dollars donated by Zip Code during September and October 2013 for Rockville's mayoral campaign.

Dollars donated by Zip Code during September and October 2013 for Rockville’s mayoral campaign.

This weekend I’ve had a chance to analyze the campaign fund reports for September and October for the mayoral race, which is probably the race that’s of greatest interest because it has attracted the largest amount of money and the largest number of donors.  As I mentioned in a previous post, Bridget Newton is the leader with $17,300 raised by October 27 and Mark Pierzchala at about 60% of that amount at $10,040 (this does not include personal contributions or loans; I’m examining funding support from the community).  The difference, however, is that Pierzchala raised 91 percent of his funds within Rockville compared to 72 percent for Newton.   If elections run on money, here’s a look inside the engine:   Continue reading →

Zip Code 20850 Major Source of Campaign Funding–Again

Donations 2013 OctoberThe second campaign finance reports for the Rockville Mayor and Council elections for the period October 1-27, 2013 were recently submitted and they reveal that Zip Code 20850 (includes Fallsgrove, West End, New Mark Commons, East Rockville, Lincoln Park, College Gardens, King Farm) still dominates the contributions and even increased their giving by 5 percent compared to September.  The other Rockville Zip Codes fell far in the distance at 10 percent for 20854 (Horizon Hill, Fallsmead, Potomac Woods); 6 percent for 20851 (Twinbrook); and 5 percent for 20852 (Hungerford, Montrose, North Farm).   For the entire election season, 20850 is tops at 63 percent, contributions outside the city come in at 21 percent, and the other three Zips stand at about 5 percent.  Again, that roughly mimics the voting records for those regions and perhaps how much they Continue reading →

Enjoy Fall While It’s Here

Lake Frank, just east of Rockville, Maryland in October.

Lake Frank, just east of Rockville, Maryland in October.

It’s fall in Rockville and if you haven’t enjoyed it enough, head out to Lake Frank east of town. Created by Montgomery County to control flooding along Rock Creek in the 1970s, it’s an off-the-beaten path destination for those who love nature, walking, birdwatching, and dog walking. Today was especially nice because the trees are at their peak and their colors are reflected in the water–and we only ran into a half dozen people in the hour we were there.

Enter from Avery Road (near Southlawn) and you’ll find a small parking lot leading to a paved path that goes around about a third of the lake. If you’re walking or on a bike, you can also enter from the Rock Creek Trail just north of Norbeck Road.

Election Shenanigans Encourage Unethical and Illegal Behavior

Illegal flyer distributed in King Farm in October 2013.

Illegal flyer distributed in King Farm in October 2013.

In an effort to discourage the shenanigans that are occurring in the current Mayor and Council election, I’ve filed an official complaint with the City’s Board of Supervisors of Elections (BOSE) this week.  Last weekend, a couple people were distributing a flyer door-to-door in the King Farm neighborhood that called for the election of Bridget Newton, Don Hadley, and Claire Marcuccio Whitaker to the Rockville Mayor and Council for various reasons.  That’s not a problem except it was anonymous, a tactic I find cowardly because the source is secret and isn’t accountable for their statements, but in Rockville, it’s also illegal.  The City Code states that, “Every person who publishes or distributes or causes to be published or distributed any pamphlet, circular, card … relating to or concerning any candidate … shall include the name and address of the person, treasurer, or campaign committee responsible for the literature.”   That’s why you always see Continue reading →

Zip Code 20850 Dominates Rockville Campaign

Donors by Zip Code 9-2013The first campaign finance reports for the Rockville Mayor and Council elections for the period ending September30, 2013 were recently submitted and they reveal that Zip Code 20850 (includes Fallsgrove, West End, New Mark Commons, East Rockville, Lincoln Park, College Gardens, King Farm) provides more than 60 percent of the funds, with other Rockville Zip Codes 20851 (Twinbrook), 20852 (Hungerford, Montrose, North Farm), and 20854 (Horizon Hill, Fallsmead, Potomac Woods) falling far in the distance with an average of 5 percent.   That roughly mimics the voting records for those regions and perhaps how much they feel engaged with the larger Rockville community.  For individual campaigns, the breakdown varies considerably and can signal how much a candidate has engaged with or is subject to influence by a particular neighborhood.

Donors by Zip Code by Candidate 9-2013

New candidates often have to rely on support from themselves, family, or friends and that’s the pattern seen with Hadley, Palakovich Carr, and Whittaker.  Feinberg, on the other hand, has been able to obtain more than 95 percent of her supporters within Rockville, an impressive achievement for an experienced candidate and extraordinary for a newcomer.  The mayoral candidates of Newton and Pierzchala, both current councilmembers, are relying heavily on residents within 20850 and from outsiders–donors outside of Rockville exceed 25 percent for both candidates.  Feinberg and Palakovich Carr have gathered the broadest representation of supporters across Rockville’s four zip codes.

Number of Donors 9-2013

The number of donors seems to fall in three groups.  Newtown and Pierzchala lead with about 80 supporters each, Feinberg and Palakovich Carr in the second batch with about Continue reading →

President Obama Visits Rockville (sort of)

President Barack Obama visited Rockville today, the latest in a series of US Presidents who have visited our fair city.  Obama gave a speech regarding the federal government shutdown at M. Luis Construction at 14811 Southlawn Lane (next to Rockville Fuel and Feed, so technically it’s just outside).  This site was selected because it’s a woman and minority owned business affected by the shutdown.  Attendance was by invitation only, which included plenty of local elected officials, such as State Senator Jennie Forehand, County Executive Ike Leggett, County Councilmember Hans Riemer, and City Councilmembers Mark Pierzchala, Bridget Newton, and Tom Moore (who provided the photos–thanks!).

Video coverage available at NBC News and Obama’s speech (and Rockville) were picked up by the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic Wire, USA Today, and the Washington Post.

First Rockville Mayor and Council Forum Tonight at 7:30 pm

ForumTonight at 7:30 pm in the Social Hall of the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theater (that’s behind the theater in Civic Center Park), the Rockville Community Coalition will hold its Forum to help voters choose the next Mayor and City Council.   This is the first of seven Forums planned this election season, each held in different locations and hosted by different organizations.  If you arrive a few minutes early, you’ll have an opportunity to suggest questions to the moderator.  You can also watch it at home on Rockville Channel 11 or streamed live at RockvilleMD.gov. It’ll also be available on Rockville’s YouTube Channel for later viewing.

The election season has just started and so have the shenanigans.  This Forum may not have occurred had Continue reading →

Candidate Forum Schedule

Rockville Candidate Forum, 2011.

Rockville Candidate Forum, 2011.

The election season is upon us and with it come a series of Forums hosted by various community groups around the city.  Voters are welcome to attend any of the Forums, as well as meet the candidates and pick up their literature.  Each Forum is different so attending one doesn’t mean you’ve seen them all. The hosting community groups are independent and nonpartisan, do not endorse candidates, choose the moderator and format, and determine the questions.

Rockville Channel 11, the City’s cable television station, will air three of the Forums live in October on cable on Rockville Channel 11 or online at www.rockvillemd.gov/rockville11. They will also make them available on the City’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/cityofrockville.

  1. Wednesday, Oct. 2 at 7:30 p.m. – Rockville Community Coalition at the Social Hall at Civic Center Park, 603 Edmonston Dr. (televised by Rockville Channel 11)
  2. Tuesday, Oct. 8 at 7:30 p.m. – King Farm at the Saddle Ridge Community Center
  3. Thursday, Oct. 10 at 7:30 p.m. – Twinbrook Citizens Association at Twinbrook Community Recreation Center, 12920 Twinbrook Pkwy. (televised by Rockville Channel 11)
  4. Tuesday, Oct. 15  - West End Citizens Association, time and location tbd.
  5. Thursday, Oct. 17 at 5:30 p.m. - Chamber of Commerce at Montgomery County Media, 7548 Standish Place.  Mayoral debate at 6 p.m.; Council debate at 7 p.m.
  6. Tuesday, Oct. 22 at 7:00 p.m. – League of Women Voters of Montgomery County, Maryland at Thomas Farm Community Recreation Center, 700 Fallsgrove Dr. (televised by Rockville Channel 11)
  7. Tuesday, Oct. 29 at 1:00 p.m. – Senior Forum at the Senior Center in the Woodley Gardens neighborhood.

This is the best information I have available and is subject to change.  Please confirm with the hosting organization for last minute changes (the televised Forums are confirmed because of the equipment required; the others are less certain).   If you are aware of changes or corrections, you’re welcome to post them in the comments below.

City of Rockville elections are held every two years, at which time the mayor and four council seats are up for election. There are two candidates running for Mayor and six candidates running for four Council seats.  The November 5 ballot will also include three advisory questions on changes to the election cycle, council seats, and council terms.

Candidates for Mayor:

  • Bridget Newton
  • Mark Pierzchala

Candidates for Council:

  • Beryl L. Feinberg
  • Don Hadley
  • Tom Moore
  • Virginia Onley
  • Julie Palakovich Carr
  • Claire Marcuccio Whitaker

Capital Bikeshare Launched in downtown Rockville

A crowd gathers in downtown Rockville for the launch of Capitol Bikeshare.

A crowd gathers in downtown Rockville for the launch of Capital Bikeshare.

Capital Bikeshare, the popular bike rental program in DC, has jumped the Beltway and into downtown Rockville. This morning a crowd gathered near the Red Brick Courthouse to witness the launch of this fun and healthy program in our hometown.  Although the program doesn’t provide the transportation connections I had hoped for (there’s nothing in the south end of Rockville for the Twinbrook Metro station), I’m still delighted that it’s here and we’re part of a larger regional network.

Capital Bikeshare puts over 1800+ bicycles at 200+ stations across Washington, D.C., Arlington and Alexandria, VA and Montgomery County, MD.   Check out a bike for your trip to work, Metro, run errands, go shopping, or visit friends and family and return it to any station near your destination.  Join Capital Bikeshare for a day, 3 days, a month, a year or try their new daily key option, and have access to their fleet of bikes 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The first 30 minutes of each trip are free. Each additional 30 minutes incurs an additional fee of $1.50 to 2.00, depending on your membership level.

Rapid Transit on the Rockville Pike?

Rockville Pike at Bou Avenue, Rockville, Maryland

Rockville Pike at Bou Avenue, Rockville, Maryland

Rockville is a key link in the effort to improve transportation from  Friendship Heights to Clarksburg.   Everyone complains about the traffic, but what can be done about it without building more highways through our neighborhoods?   Join residents, local businesses, organizations, and community leaders to learn about the County’s Rapid Transit proposal, get your questions answered by County officials, and engage in a discussion about Rapid Transit and other solutions for turning 355 into a safe, efficient, and attractive boulevard of the future.  This is related to the Rockville Pike Plan, so if you’re following that project, you’ll probably be interested in this as well.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 6:00 pm in the Cafeteria of the Executive Office Building, 101 Monroe Street in downtown Rockville.  Metered parking on the street; free parking in the jury parking lot at Jefferson and Monroe.

Speakers: 

  • Casey Anderson, Montgomery County Planning Board
  • Larry Cole, Montgomery County Planning Department
  • Chuck Lattuca, Rapid Transit System Development Manager for MCDOT.

Refreshments will be served.

If you are interested in attending, please register in advance.

This event is co-sponsored and facilitated by Coalition for Smarter Growth and Communities for Transit.  Our co-hosts include Montgomery County Sierra Club, TAME Coalition, the White Flint Partnership, and Friends of White Flint.

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