General Q & A
Why are you running for Mayor of Rockville?
Rockville is at a crossroads, like the county in 2006. We have to decide if we want to remain suburban with a hometown feel or become more urban and possibly lose our sense of a city of neighborhoods.
I would like Rockville to preserve its hometown character by remaining a city that promotes playgrounds for children and not become a playground for developers.
As mayor, I’d like to reduce our spending, but not our services. The continual increase in our taxes is making it difficult for seniors to remain in Rockville and this needs to change.
Name a few things you’d like to accomplish during your first year as Mayor.
I would like to review the city’s fiscal liabilities with regard to Town Center. I think this is important because the City of Rockville issued bonds in order to help finance the redevelopment of town center. It is essential that Town Center is a success, but should not break the bank for taxpayers.
I also want to review the budgetary process so that revenue and expenses are presented in an easy to understand format. I want to be sure that all citizens are well informed about how their taxes are being spent.
Increasing transparency of our city’s government is another issue that I want to undertake during my first year. We need to ensure that Rockville’s residents can more easily access information via the city’s web site as well as increase communications about development issues such as proposed projects as well as projects that have been approved.
Since zoning affects every property, I also want to review the suggested zoning changes of the Rockville Zoning Ordinance Review (RORZOR) committee. Its impact will define the shape our city takes for decades to come.
With regard to the issue of urbanization, how do you think the City of Rockville can face the challenges of ever-increasing development?
First, we must elect leaders, who are not beholden to developers. Rockville City government needs to level the playing field for citizens by becoming more transparent and accountable, especially where development is concerned. We need to provide a place at the table for citizens, not just deep-pocket special interests. City government must be wary of an “anything goes” scheme, such as “floating zones” and work within master plans that take residents into account.
What is your definition of intelligent growth?
Growth that enhances quality of life, not diminishes it. Growth that takes infrastructure needs into account, roads, schools, emergency services, etc. Growth that is where citizens want it, not special interests.
In terms of the City’s expenditures, what would your priorities be as Mayor?
To hold the line on spending by eliminating taxpayer subsidized development. Refocus on citizen needs and services. Balancing major capital improvement projects with everyday citizen needs and services.
If elected, it is important for the Mayor and Council to have good working relationships with the county and state officials. Please describe your relationship with the county officials and state officials?
Rockville plays a significant role as the county seat for Montgomery County and the third largest city in Maryland. In advocating for state and county resources, it is essential to have excellent working relationships with county and state officials. I have an intimate working relationship Governor, Martin O’Malley, County Executive, Ike Leggett, and a majority of the County Council.