The Latest Rumors about the City Council Elections 2011

It’s June but the City Council race for Rockville is incredibly quiet compared to a couple years ago.  Every seat on the City Council (terms are two years) are up for grabs in November 2011 election.  The latest rumors I’ve heard are:

Incumbent Candidates

  • Mayor Phyllis Marcuccio: will run for another term, and if she wins, will again attempt to fire the City Manager (which will probably prompt a half dozen other senior staff to leave), continue to use city taxes to support Red Gate Golf Course, and work to cut city property tax rate (and along with it, cut city services).  She will most likely move to revise the city charter to make the Mayor the Chief Executive of the City (or just act like she’s the Chief Executive).
  • Councilmember John Britton:  regretfully, won’t run for another term.
  • Councilmember Piotr Gajewski:  will run for Mayor as the only opponent to incumbent Mayor Marcuccio.  He frequently advocates for transparency in governance and data-driven decision-making, which run counter to the approach used by some of his colleagues on the Council.  On the other hand, he has advocated for a revised charter to move from a City Manager form of government to a Strong Mayor, which is a bad idea for Rockville.
  • Councilmember Bridget Newton:  heir to the seat held by Anne Robbins, and thankfully, won’t run for another term.
  • Councilmember Mark Pierzchala:  thankfully, will run for another term.

New Candidates

  • John Hall:  former councilmember hoping to return to council.  Supported by former councilmember Anne Robbins, former mayors Susan Hoffman and Larry Giammo, and current Mayor Marcuccio (once again, politics makes strange bedfellows).  Pleasant, funny guy but conflict averse.
  • Dion Trahan:  new Planning Commissioner.  He’s the one who wears bowties and asks lots of questions.
  • Joe Jordan:  he’s not running, but is developing a slate of candidates to give Phyllis Marcuccio a majority on the Council to ensure that Red Gate Golf Course survives and to remove his nemesis City Manager Scott Ullery.  With Councilmember Newton’s departure (she often votes with Marcuccio), this will be very difficult (and if he succeeds, it will be devastating to the City’s leadership and governance).

If you’ve been counting, that means that there will be very little choice on the ballot this year and that puts our City at risk.  A special interest group might be able to take over City Council if they can muster the candidates and money in the next few months (it’s happened here in the past!).  Again, this is just word on the street and I haven’t been able to verify much of this information.  Candidates have to submit their petitions in early September, so we’ll have to wait a bit longer to know who will really be on the ballot in November.

8 responses

  1. It’s this kind of mudslinging, gossip and unsubstantiated rumor mongering that serves no purpose other than to stroke your own sense of self-importance. It only plays to those who can’t engage in civil discourse and debate. Get a life Max….

    1. I welcome corrections. Just specify what’s inaccurate and replace it with better information.

  2. Hey Max,

    A slight correction: early in 2008, I floated the idea of perhaps examining the possibility of a strong Mayor form of government for Rockville. My float never rose anywhere close to the level of “advocating” and within weeks I stopped talking about it. I have been a firm supporter of our Council/Manager form of government ever since (and a strong supporter of our present City Manager).

    1. Thanks for clarifying!

  3. As we have discussed, we will have to work hard to attract more candidates to run for City Council in the future. If we don’t, the City will feel the effects.

  4. theresa defino

    Sorry I coming to this late. Max, you said: “Councilmember Bridget Newton: heir to the seat held by Anne Robbins, and thankfully, won’t run for another term.”

    I would consider this good news but I have never heard this before and believe she does plan to run.

    Regarding Britton, I have heard what you heard but but hope he changes his mind.

    I personally would not support Trahan. He is disrespectful to citizens and dismissive of their comments at meetings.

    Gajewski has my full support for mayor.

    1. Thanks for the update. I think I need to check with the City Clerk’s office to see who’s pulled papers so far. With so few people publicly announcing their intention to run at this stage of the election, it may encourage others to take a chance.

  5. Theresa, your comments about Dion Trahan are totally off the mark and shows that you really don’t know him. By all accounts, he is probably the most professional, respectful and courteous public official in the City. Let’s not begin this election season with unkind remarks about candidates. Can’t we please, please stick to the issues?

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