- Maryland State Senator Cheryl Kagan
- Former Maryland State Senator Mary Boergers
- Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Board member Natali Fani-Gonzalez
- Montgomery County Commission on Women Natalia Mizina Farrar
- Former Rockville Mayor Rose Krasnow
- Somerset Mayor Jeffrey Slavin
- Rockville City Councilmember Tom Moore
- Hyattsville Councilmember Shani Warner
- Former Maryland Democratic Party Chair Susie Turnbull
Team Rockville announced a group five candidates running for Rockville’s Mayor and Council for the November 3, 2015 election at the Clubhouse of New Mark Commons. Team Rockville consists of Sima Osdoby for Mayor and Virginia Onley, Julie Palakovich Carr, Mark Pierzchala and Clark Reed for City Council. The members of Team Rockville share a common vision for the future of the city and plan to address several pressing issues during the next term, including fixing problems in Town Center and finalizing a new plan for Rockville Pike.
Leading Team Rockville is Sima Osdoby for Mayor. A resident of Rockville for 35 years, she has served the city in many capacities on the Election Reform Task Force, the Housing Policy Task Force, and the New Mark Commons-Hungerford Neighborhood Advisory Planning Committee. She also served as Board President and twice as Interim Executive Director of Peerless Rockville. Throughout her career, Sima has a long history of getting agreement, action and results in public-private partnerships, multi-faceted coalitions, and complex undertakings. She is a former President of the Rockville Branch of American Association of University Women, was Emerge Maryland’s first Chair, and serves on Maryland Association of Nonprofits’ membership committee.
Virginia Onley is seeking re-election to the City Council. During her first term she ensured that our Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance will allow us to maintain and renew our City so that young families, teachers, fire fighters, police offices, and senior citizens like her can afford to live here. A 22-year resident of Americana Centre, she serves as President of the Americana Homeowners Board and on the Parish Council of the St. Mary’s Catholic Church. She has previously served on 9 boards and commissions including the Charter Review Commission and Rockville Housing Enterprises and retired from IBM after 35 years.
Julie Palakovich Carr is seeking re-election to the City Council. During her first term, she championed efforts to make Rockville a more sustainable community, sponsored a major overhaul of the city’s animal control ordinance, invested in needed public infrastructure, and improved pedestrian and bicyclist safety. Before her election in 2013, Julie served on the Environment Commission and Rockville Summit. Julie has a Master’s degree in biology and works for the non-profit American Institute of Biological Sciences. She and her husband Eric live in East Rockville with their son Bradford.
Mark Pierzchala is seeking to return to the City Council. An owner of an international consulting business based in downtown Rockville, Mark served two terms as a city councilmember from 2009 to 2013. Mark’s support financed Rockville’s new Police Station, Senior Center Expansion, and new Gude Drive Maintenance Facility, paying for these by greatly reducing the city’s subsidies for parking garages and the golf course. He attracted the headquarters of Choice Hotels International to Rockville to boost our Town Center. He was president of the Town Center Action Team (TCAT) and president of the College Gardens Civic Association. His daughters attended MCPS schools through high school and his wife Lesley is a Media Assistant at College Gardens Elementary School.
Clark Reed seeks election to the City Council. Clark chairs the City’s Environment Commission. Under his leadership, the commission founded the Rockville Solar Co-op, providing homeowner discounts on rooftop solar systems and increased home values. He co-authored the city’s High Performance Building Tax Credit and rallied statewide support to provide low- to moderate-income earners access to clean power. He holds a Masters in urban and environmental policy from Tufts University and is a program manager at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Clark and his wife Colleen have a son who attends Twinbrook Elementary School and are active in the PTA.
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 towards specific goals, even if they may disagree with one another on a given issue. Such organizations of candidates were once a mainstay of City elections from the 1950s to the 1990s.
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)
- Rockville Community Coalition (October 2, 2013)
- Twinbrook Citizens Association (October 10, 2013)
- Rockville Chamber of Commerce (October 17, 2013): Mayoral candidates & Council candidates
- Montgomery County League of Women Voters (October 22, 2013)
Montgomery County Gazette Questionnaire (endorsed all Team Rockville candidates)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.