Last night, the Rockville Community Coalition held a forum on the proposed revisions to the Rockville City Charter, the city’s “constitution”. The Mayor and Council appointed a Charter Review Commission last year to review the charter and develop recommendations to increase voter participation. The commission suggested increasing the terms from 2 to 4 years, increasing the city council from 5 to 7 seats, and aligning the city election with the presidential election cycle. Those ideas were debated last night with lively comments, questions, and observations by the audience of about three dozen people, which included Councilmembers Hall, Moore, and Pierzchala. The City Council is currently considering whether any of these recommendations go to the ballot this fall as an advisory measure, or if they wish to take action immediately.
Good points were made for all positions and rather than share them here, I suggest you watch the forum on YouTube. It should be available in a week or so.
I have no idea why Max points out that among “about three dozen people” that attended the forum, Hall, Moore and Pierzchala were there. I guess it begs the question, where were Mayor Marcuccio and Councilmember Newton? Well, they were both doing the people’s business.
Ms Newton is the President of the Montgomery County Chapter of the Maryland Municipal League, as well as District Vice President for District 5. Both Newton and Mayor Marcuccio are on the MML Board of Directors. While the forum on possible charter referenda was going on, Ms Newton was presiding over the Chapter meeting that included County Council members, Mayor Marcuccio, and mayors and councilmembers from other County jurisdictions. They meet to discuss issues that have impact and effect on residents of Rockville and other municipalities within the County. The three gentlemen had the choice of attending the Chapter meeting or the forum.
That’s an easy answer. There were many community leaders and former elected officials at the Forum, but I just wanted to note that Councilmembers Hall, Moore, and Pierzchala were present because the City Council is responsible for administering the City Charter, which was the topic of the Forum. I recognize that elected officials have very busy schedules and frequently have to choose which events to attend (and sometimes aren’t even able to choose, but are required to attend an event).
Max, if Mayor Marcuccio and Council Member Newton were invited and let you know they had conflicts, I believe it should have been stated. Sharing that information would help from appearing that they just didn’t show or were not invited. I was surprised they weren’t in attendance. I thank Joe Jordon for explaining why Mayor Marcuccio and Council Member Newton were not in attendance at the forum and that they were representing our City at other important meetings.
This charter review recommendations will come to the full City Council and will need direction from them.