Dear Supporter of RedGate Golf Course,
This year is a crucial election for the City of Rockville.
Okay, so what’s so crucial?
The future of RedGate Golf Course hangs in the balance. As Mayor of the City of Rockville, I have been a strong and consistent advocate for keeping RedGate open as a well-run natural resource for today and for the future.
Hmm, that’s sounds good. Who can be against a well-run natural resource? . . . although I’m not sure a golf course is a natural resource. Whatever.
However, my challenger in this election is actively campaigning against me and against RedGate by misleading the public about the financing of the golf course. If he succeeds in his efforts, this beautiful 140-acre green space will be lost forever, paved over for an entertainment venue, a Sportplex or a new housing development.
Oh my. The election is still two months away and I’ve already stepped into a bit of political mudslinging. But is this really true? Is Piotr Gajewski misleading the public? Is he planning to pave over 140-acres of green space?
Last year, you signed a petition to the Mayor and Council to save the RedGate Golf Course, and I thank you for your support of the golf course and for your civic participation.
I’m beginning to feel a bit uncomfortable. Where did you get my name and address? From a petition I sent to the Mayor and Council?
I am now asking for another kind of help, so that we may keep RedGate open for future generations to enjoy. Please support my re-election campaign with a financial contribution (see enclosed card) and in any other way that you possibly can.
Wait a minute–now you’ve stepped over the line. You’ve taken the names and addresses of people who signed a petition to the City Council and used it for political fundraising purposes? Is that legal? It certainly isn’t ethical. When I send a letter or sign a petition, I know it’s part of the public record but I’m conducting serious business with the City. I don’t expect to see my name land on a mailing list for political fundraising or campaigning. Am I automatically going to get listed as one of your supporters? Are you going to send threatening letters to those who oppose the golf course? What happened to my privacy? Who’s responsible for this?
Phyllis Marcuccio, Mayor
By Authority, Michael Sweet, Treasurer
Technically, the election season doesn’t begin until the September 9 when the City Clerk announces who will be on the ballot in November, but we’ve already crossed an ethical boundary. If it does happen (and it’s rare in Rockville), it’s usually not until the final weeks before the election when candidates are tired and anxious. But this early is ridiculous, so I’m throwing a flag down on the field and asking that candidates not build their fundraising mailing lists by taking names and addresses from petitions or letters sent to the City Council on city business. Residents are sending their letters and petitions to government to address an issue and solve a problem, not to become targets for fundraising and campaigning. If you insist on doing it, at least get their permission first.