Organizations Provide Candidate Questions and Answers Online

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The candidates for Rockville’s Mayor and Council election not only share their views in many forums around the community but also questionnaires developed by various organizations. Most of these aren’t easily available, so we’re sharing what’s available online so you can check them out yourself to help you make a decision about the candidates.

Forums (none of these organizations endorse candidates)

Montgomery County Gazette Questionnaire (endorsed all Team Rockville candidates)

Six Mayors and Councilmembers Can’t be Wrong

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Team Rockville endorsed by six former Mayors and Councilmembers

Team Rockville endorsed by six former Mayors and Councilmembers

Six former Mayors and Councilmembers of the City of Rockville are voting for every member of Team Rockville, making it one of largest gatherings to stand behind candidates in an election. Standing with us are Jim Marrinan, Susan Hoffmann, Jim Coyle, Rose Krasnow, Glennon Harrison, and Bob Dorsey. We hope you are, too! Remember to vote next Tuesday, November 5.

Team Rockville Endorsed by the Gazette

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Gazette endorses Team Rockville

Gazette endorses Team Rockville

The Gazette, the local newspaper that’s part of the Washington Post, endorsed Team Rockville–Mark Pierzchala, Beryl Feinberg, Tom Moore, Virginia Onley, and Julie Palakovich Carr–for the next Mayor and Council of Rockville on October 23, 2013.  The choice was based on a half-hour one-on-one interview with each candidate to explore his or her depth of knowledge and qualifications for elected office.  The decision doesn’t come lightly, because as the Gazette stated, “ordinarily, we would shy away from endorsing an entire slate; we think it’s justified this time” and stated in a nutshell that, “Pierzchala, slate best for city.”  In case you didn’t catch it, here’s an excerpt from their lengthy analysis:

As a city of 60,000 or more, Rockville still has a small-town feel with tree-lined streets and local businesses.

While many people find the city a desirable place to live, the evolution from small town to large suburb can be a recipe for tension. On top of that, the rules put in place to limit development have had unexpected consequences. City leaders are having a substantial debate over the next steps.

Next month, Rockville voters will cast ballots at a time when the city is at the cusp of changing its culture. Growth, and the city’s management of growth, have guided The Gazette’s endorsements. For that reason — and several others — we endorse the Team Rockville slate.

The city’s Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance and its Adequate Public Facilities Standards deserves study. And we believe the Team Rockville slate will make well-reasoned changes to the rules — not to allow widespread development, but to make sensible changes for the city.

To read the entire endorsement, visit the Gazette online.

Getting Out the Vote in Rockville

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Team Rockville is getting out the vote.

Team Rockville is getting out the vote.

Team Rockville is working hard to get out the vote these last few weeks before the election on November 5.  Lately, we’ve been distributing information on voting in neighborhoods that are typically overlooked because turnout has been historically low.  We suspect it’s because they believe that local elections are unimportant and it isn’t worth the effort to get out to the polls.  So we’re going door-to-door to explain that local elections have been won and lost by just a few dozen votes, that the decisions of the Mayor and Council have affected their neighborhoods and families, and that they can vote without going to the polls on November 5.  Most people are aware of absentee voting, but they don’t realize you don’t have to provide a reason–Maryland recently changed the law to allow a “no-excuse, vote by mail” process available to every registered voter.  Even if you forgot to register, you can register and vote on Election Day at City Hall.

Team Rockville is getting out the vote.

Team Rockville is getting out the vote.

So far we’ve distributed hundreds of packets to different neighborhoods in Rockville and will have reached several thousand before election day.  We’re not sure if it will increase votes for Team Rockville, but we all agree that getting people to exercise this special right to choose their leaders is important for democracy.  We hope you’ll agree, and if you’d like to join us in this cause, contact one of the Team Rockville candidates for more information.

Why We Formed Team Rockville

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March 3 2013 122

By Julie Palakovich Carr

Team Rockville was formed to ensure that voters would have diverse choices for their next Mayor and Council.

The members of Team Rockville hold distinct policy views.  We are five individuals with our own ideas and priorities for the City.  Although we share core beliefs about how the City should be run, we do not completely agree on policy matters.  For instance, we have different views on how to best regulate new development (e.g. the Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance) and whether or not changes should be made to the number of Councilmembers or their term length.  Despite these differences, the team pledges to work with one another effectively and courteously to do the City’s business.

Rockville should have elected officials with experience and knowledge about the issues facing the City.  Each member of Team Rockville brings expertise from their career and volunteer commitments on City Boards and Commissions and/or neighborhood bodies.  We are experienced problem solvers who will do our due diligence to lead the City in a transparent, respectful, and inclusive manner.

Rockville is a diverse community and should have elected officials who reflect that diversity.  The members of Team Rockville are diverse in terms of gender, age, race, profession, and education.  We also live in five very different neighborhoods across the city.

Another reason Team Rockville was formed was to be open and transparent, unlike the shadow slate that formed in 2011.  Voters deserve to know when candidates are assisting each other’s campaigns.

Finally, running as a team does not impact a voter’s ability to make choices.  As in past elections, voters can select one candidate for Mayor and up to four candidates for Council.  You don’t have to vote for all five of us, but we hope that you will.

Team Rockville will work together to make Rockville better for everyone.

Candidate Filing Deadline Passes With Two Late Petitions

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On Friday, September 6 at 5 p.m., the deadline officially passed for candidates to turn in petitions to appear on the November City Council ballot.

All members of Team Rockville have been certified as candidates, turning in their petitions well before the deadline.

Joining Councilman Mark Pierzchala on the ballot for mayor will be Councilwoman Bridget Newton.

Councilman Tom Moore will be running for re-election, joining other Team Rockville members Virginia Onley, Beryl Feinberg, and Julie Palakovich Carr.

While their petitions have yet to be certified by the Board of Elections, two additional candidates filed just before the deadline Friday. Don Hadley, chair of the Rockville Planning Commission, and Claire Marcuccio Whitaker turned in paperwork to run for a seat on Council. Whitaker is Mayor Phyllis Marcuccio’s sister.

Two Mayoral Candidates Offer Voters Opportunity for Vigorous Debate

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Mark Pierzchala

The race for Mayor is heating up!

On August 1, Councilwoman Bridget Newton announced she will challenge Mark Pierzchala in his bid for Mayor. Mark responded quickly, issuing the following press release.

Two Mayoral Candidates Offer Voters Opportunity for Vigorous Debate

For Immediate Release, August 1, 2013

Contact Mark Pierzchala (301-461-4563 | Mark@VotePierzchala.org)

Rockville, MD—“I welcome Bridget Newton’s candidacy for Mayor of the City of Rockville and a vigorous debate about our visions for its future,” Mark Pierzchala, a two-term Councilmember who announced his candidacy for mayor in March 2013, said today. “Team Rockville and I believe the voters will benefit from having a contested mayoral election.”

Pierzchala heads Team Rockville featuring a full slate of candidates for City Council including current Councilmember Tom Moore, Beryl L. Feinberg, Virginia Onley, and Julie Palakovich Carr. “Team Rockville will treat everyone with respect and professionalism, even when there is disagreement,” Pierzchala said. “Our leadership will focus on the issues and raise the quality of political discussion in Rockville.”

The biggest challenges for Rockville’s next Mayor, Pierzchala stated, will be preserving and enhancing Rockville’s neighborhoods and quality of life, ensuring responsible growth, and thriving despite a shrinking federal sector. “Team Rockville and I will bring inclusion, balance, and shared problem solving based on facts and realistic views of our City’s situation,” he added. “Everyone will be part of the solution.”

Pierzchala affirms that he and Newton have differing views of what is needed from the Mayor. However, Pierzchala states, “I trust the voters of Rockville to make the best choices for the future of their families, their neighborhoods, and their City. I will work hard to make sure the voters know the essential differences between our visions, accomplishments, and approaches.”

Pierzchala invites residents to offer their ideas and comments to Mark@VotePierzchala.org. Questions will be posted anonymously and answered fully at www.VotePierzchala.org. The Team Rockville website is www.TeamRockville.com.

Team Rockville at Hometown Holidays

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team hth2

Team Rockville in front of their Hometown Holidays booth. From left to right, Beryl Feinberg, Virginia Onley, Mark Pierzchala, Julie Palakovich Carr, and Tom Moore.

Julie Palakovich Carr shakes hands as she participates in the Rockville Memorial Day Parade.

Julie Palakovich Carr shakes hands as she participates in the Rockville Memorial Day Parade.

On Monday, May 27, Team Rockville capped off a busy weekend of meeting voters at Rockville’s 25th annual Hometown Holidays by marching in the City’s 69th annual Memorial Day Parade. The weekend featured more than 30 free concerts on five stages, a Taste of Rockville, and  activities and entertainment for the whole family.

Speaking with Rockville voters, the team received a strong showing of support during the two day event. They listened carefully to residents’ concerns, and promised that, while the individual team members may not agree on every issue, as an elected body they would work together in a productive, professional and civil manner to serve the best interest of the community.

Councilman Mark Pierzchala rides his bike in the 69th annual Rockville Memorial Day Parade.

Councilman Mark Pierzchala rides his bike in the 69th annual Rockville Memorial Day Parade.

Qualified!

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Team Rockville is delighted to share the terrific news that all our petitions have been accepted by the City of Rockville and we will all be on the ballot in November.

We’re the first ones to get on the ballot, so now the hard work of getting elected starts. Thanks for your continued support. Please let us know if you’re willing to put a sign in your yard, host a coffee in your home, or volunteer with the campaign.

Meet Team Rockville!

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from left: Tom Moore, Beryl L. Feinberg, Mark Pierzchala, Virginia Onley, Julie Palakovich Carr

from left: Tom Moore, Beryl L. Feinberg, Mark Pierzchala, Virginia Onley, Julie Palakovich Carr

Team Rockville – a group of five candidates for Rockville’s Mayor and Council – was announced today at Giuseppi’s Pizza Plus in downtown Rockville. Team Rockville consists of Mark Pierzchala for Mayor and Tom Moore, Virginia Onley, Julie Palakovich Carr, and Beryl L. Feinberg for City Council.

Rockville’s election will be held November 5, 2013; the candidates are announcing their intentions early and as a team to signal that they intend to bring expertise, productivity, energy, transparency, and diversity to the Mayor and Council as a group.

Leading Team Rockville is Mark Pierzchala for mayor. The owner of an international consulting business based in downtown Rockville, Mark is completing his second term as a city councilmember. He has previously served as president of the Town Center Action Team (TCAT) and as president of the College Gardens Civic Association. Mark is also the only current office holder that voted to finance Rockville’s new Police Station, Senior Center Expansion, and new Gude Drive Maintenance Facility, and to attract the relocation of the headquarters of Choice Hotels International to Rockville.

Tom Moore is running for re-election to the City Council. Tom was elected to his first term in 2011. He is an attorney practicing in downtown Rockville. Before winning elective office, he served as chairman of Rockville’s Compensation Commission. Tom served two terms on the City’s Traffic and Transportation Commission and was a leader of citizen efforts to get the Rockville Memorial Library fully funded and built on time. He and his wife Amy head up a household of six unruly children, all of whom attend Montgomery County Public Schools.

Virginia Onley is seeking election to the City Council. She is a resident of the Americana Centre in downtown Rockville and has served on various city commissions and boards for nearly twenty years, most recently as a member of both the Charter Review Commission and the Rockville Housing Enterprises board. She has also served on the boards of Rockville Seniors, Americana Centre Homeowners, and Peerless Rockville and is currently working at the Navy Exchange at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Julie Palakovich Carr is seeking election to the City Council. A resident of East Rockville, she chaired the Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO) Committee and served as vice-chair of the City Services and Budget Working Group of the Rockville Summit. Julie currently serves on the City’s Environment Commission, which recently helped Rockville to earn certification as a sustainable city. She is a senior public policy associate at the American Institute of Biological Sciences, a non-profit scientific association.

Beryl L. Feinberg is seeking election to the City Council. A resident of Orchard Ridge, she holds an MBA from the University of Maryland, is a Leadership Montgomery graduate, and currently is the Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer in the Department of General Services for Montgomery County Government. Prior to that, she worked for almost 15 years in the County’s Office of Management and Budget. She recently served on the City’s Budget and Finance Task Force and the Board of Supervisors and Elections, and is the Chairman of the Board of Montgomery Hospice.

Although they represent a variety of perspectives, neighborhoods, and skills, Team Rockville candidates have pledged:

  1. To respect all people who interact with the Mayor and Council, including residents, businesses, and City staff.
  2. To work collegially and respectfully with one another.
  3. To come to Mayor and Council meetings well-prepared. To profoundly understand the key issues facing Rockville and how proposed solutions would impact the City.
  4. To engage in fact-based policy debate.
  5. To strive for solutions that work for the entire community.
  6. To make decisions with an eye on Rockville’s future as well as its present.
  7. To honor Rockville’s history and natural environment and to work to preserve them.
  8. To provide exceptional leadership for Rockville and to at all times communicate with residents and other stakeholders to arrive at sound decisions.
  9. To honor Rockville’s form of government with the elected body working in a policy making role and with the City Staff executing its decisions.

Groups such as Team Rockville allow candidates to coordinate their efforts publicly and transparently, and are specifically provided for in the City Code of Rockville. They serve to inform voters which candidates have publicly pledged to work with each other respectfully and effectively towards specific goals, even if they may disagree with one another on a given issue. Such organizations of candidates were a mainstay of City elections from the 1950s to the 1990s.

For more information about Team Rockville and the individual candidates, visit TeamRockville.org or the individual candidates’ websites: VotePierzchala.org, Moore4Rockville.com, VoteVirginiaOnley.org, Julie4Rockville.com, and BerylFeinberg.com.