Team Rockville Goes Out at Night Despite Thunderstorm

National Night Out experienced terrific thunderstorms in Rockville, but where neighborhoods could gather, Team Rockville candidates visited. To share the evening with others who weren’t able to attend, here are a couple snapshots from our visit to Living Faith Lutheran Church in Twinbrook. Thanks for welcoming us and the community during this important national event.

Did you know that Councilmember Mark Pierzchala voted to build Rockville’s police department and Mayor Bridget Newton voted against it?


Washington Post posts Op-Ed by Mark Pierzchala

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In partnership with Prince George’s County, Montgomery County recently convinced the  Transportation Planning Board at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments to consider a more complete and environmentally sensitive approach to the State’s plans for easing congestion on I-270 and I-495. The new alternative to be studied includes managed lanes, reversible lanes, active traffic management techniques, spot improvements, expansion of park & ride facilities, and dedicates some toll revenues to already planned transit projects.

But as Team Rockville member Mark Pierzchala points out, this won’t be sufficient in his recent Washington Post op-ed.  As he notes, “There is too much sprawl in the region for transit alone to solve the commuting crisis…The mess is decades in the making.”  As an alternative to the endless cycle of growth and sprawl encouraged by bigger and faster highways, he suggests a better use of land through transit-oriented development.

This year, Rockville finally embraced a transit-oriented development near the Twinbrook Metro called Twinbrook Quarter. But it was a rough fight, and the project nearly failed on the issue of school crowding, even though it will pay for more school capacity than students it will generate. I don’t blame parents for being angry about schools bursting at the seams. They’re paying high property tax rates, and their children deserve better. But their children are going to grow up, and they should be able to live and work in Rockville as young adults if they so choose.

Think this is too radical for Rockville?  Actually, transit-oriented development has been around for at least twenty years and the DC region has several examples that serve as  national models. Indeed, Rockville is actually falling behind in this kind of land use planning, even though it’s an ideal solution to the region’s housing and transportation problems.

Thankfully, as our Councilmember, Mark is thinking ahead and as a part of Team Rockville, he brings with him a group of thoughtful, experienced, and diverse residents to address community issues today to create an even better future for our children and grandchildren. Mark served two terms as Councilmember from 2009 to 2013 then returned in 2015. On the Council, he has reduced spending while growing Rockville’s tax base. His experiences on the Council, as a small-business owner, as president of the College Gardens Civic Association, and his stint as chair of the Town Center Action Team, as well as his biking and walking tours of all City streets give him a unique perspective on the needs of residents and businesses.

To read the entire op-ed, see “The Interstate 270 Mess Was Decades in the Making” by Mark Pierzchala in the July 5 edition of the Washington Post.

“Run For Something” Endorses James Hedrick for City Council

Hedrick Run for Something.jpgRun for Something, a nationwide progressive organization supporting young candidates running for state and local office, endorsed James Hedrick in his campaign for Rockville City Council.  Team Rockville is proud to endorse him as well and glad he’s part of our team for Mayor and Council in 2019.

Run for Something helps recruit and support young diverse progressives to run for down-ballot races in order to build a bench for the future: “the folks we support now could be possible members of the House, Senate, and maybe even President one day.” They lower the barriers to entry for these candidates by helping them with seed money, organization building, and access to training needed to be successful. James is one of only two candidates in Maryland endorsed by Run for Something.

James has been an active resident of Rockville since 2014, where he lives in the Twinbrook neighborhood with his wife and two young daughters.  Professionally, James’s background illustrates his deep commitment to public service. Starting as a Presidential Management Fellow (PMF) with HUD to his recent tenure on the Board of Rockville Housing Enterprises (RHE) and the Twinbrook Community Association (TCA), James will bring a wealth of practical experience and policy knowledge to the Council. While at HUD, James worked in economic development, traveling around the country helping local officials turn federal money into economic opportunity for their communities.

Team Rockville Announces Its Candidates for Rockville’s Mayor and Council

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Virginia Onley, Rockville City Councilmember and Candidate for Mayor

Today Team Rockville announced its candidates for Rockville’s Mayor and Council for the November 5, 2019 election at the Henderson-Smith-Edmonds American Legion Post 86 in Twinbrook.

Team Rockville consists of Virginia Onley for Mayor, Cynthia Cotte Griffiths, James Hedrick, David Myles, and Mark Pierzchala for 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 creating a vibrant Rockville for everyone, protecting our diverse neighborhoods, and saving Town Center.

Team Rockville to Announce its Candidates for Mayor and Council

Team Rockville will announce its candidates for Mayor and Council on Saturday, June 1 in the Twinbrook neighborhood of Rockville. Team Rockville recognizes that Rockville is a great place to live, work, learn, and play. But there is so much more we can do!

Our priorities are:

Create a Vibrant Rockville for Everyone A prosperous Rockville grows our tax base, maintains excellent services, provides more resources to pay for school construction, and continues programs for families and seniors. We will focus growth near Metro and transit centers.

Protect our Diverse Neighborhoods Allowing residential development near Metro removes incentives for ad-hoc boarding houses that plague some of our neighborhoods. We will work to revitalize deteriorating retail centers so that they add value to the community.

Make Rockville work for Everyone Team Rockville will work to include people from all communities in boards, commissions, and staff. Team Rockville will emphasize policing that works with all communities and stays focused on City issues.

Save Town Center Team Rockville will honestly address fundamental issues that prevent Town Center from succeeding. The Town Center master plan and zoning can be improved, and we should embrace the proximity to Metro and allow a density that more effectively supports businesses.

Team Rockville Makes it Work! We do our homework and work for the City’s future. Team Rockville’s elected officials have governed sensibly and have kept a careful eye on your tax dollars!

It’s all about our Children! This year’s Team Rockville members have children from less than one year in age, to preschool, to high school, to young adults, and to grandchildren. We work for all our children before school, in school, and for when they become adults.

The members of Team Rockville will work collegially and respectfully with residents, businesses, and city staff to seek fact-based solutions that work for the entire community. We will make decisions with an eye on Rockville’s future as well as its present.


Thanks for Your Support!

Thanks to your support on Election Day and the past few months, Virginia Onley, Julie Palakovich Carr, and Mark Pierzchala were elected to the Rockville City Council.  We could not have won re-election without the votes, donations, volunteers, and moral support of everyone involved with our campaign. Although they won’t be joined by Sima Osdoby and Clark Reed, Councilmembers Onley, Palakovich Carr, and Pierzchala look forward to working within Mayor Bridget Newton and Councilmember Beryl Feinberg towards finishing a Rockville Pike Plan, addressing the challenges of Town Center and neighborhood centers, making our streets safer for pedestrians and bicyclists, and continuing to represent all of the people who live and work in Rockville. If you have ideas, comments, concerns, or questions about these topics or others, please contact Virginia, Julie, and Mark by letter, email, or phone, through the City of Rockville anytime.

Please join us for the inauguration of the newly elected Rockville Mayor and Council on Sunday, November 15, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theater in the Rockville Civic Center, 603 Edmonston Drive (Silver Rock, Burgundy, and Twinbrook neighborhoods).  The event is free and open to the public.

Sima Osdoby Says It’s Time to Stop Saying “No” and to Take Charge of Our Future

KatzOsdoby-67The King Farm Candidate Forum last Tuesday was the last public opportunity that candidates for Rockville Mayor and Council could share their vision for Rockville and why they deserve your vote on Tuesday, November 3.  We’ll be sharing our closing statements as a series, concluding with Sima Osdoby, candidate for Mayor:

Bridget Newton says she serves on other organizations to represent the interests of Rockville.

Well, then that is just fine, but I don’t know what she was doing in Annapolis on February 26, 2015 at a hearing on state legislation the city considered a priority. The Mayor and Council had voted to oppose proposed changes to the state ethics law (Mayor & Council minutes, Item 16, 6/23/14; Video: Bridget Newton would have been expected to present that viewpoint in Annapolis. Three days before, she informed the Council that she would not “be available to testify on behalf of Rockville.”

Another Council member went instead, only to find Bridget Newton there after all! But the Rockville Mayor in fact testified AGAINST the City’s position on behalf of another organization (caught on video: at 00.56.15). Not only did Bridget Newton fail to represent her own city, but she never informed her colleagues she would testify AGAINST the City’s position—an erosion of trust and responsibility.

I’ve enjoyed serving my New Mark Commons neighborhood and the Rockville community for Continue reading “Sima Osdoby Says It’s Time to Stop Saying “No” and to Take Charge of Our Future”

Virginia Onley Values Civility, Honesty, and Respect

Virginia Onley

The King Farm Candidate Forum last Tuesday was the last public opportunity that candidates for Rockville Mayor and Council could share their vision for Rockville and why they deserve your vote on Tuesday, November 3.  We’ll be sharing our closing statements as a series, now with Virginia Onley:

I have been called the “swing vote” on our Council. I will continue to be your independent “swing vote” on the Council, listening to your concerns regardless what the issue may be.

On a personal note: I am a single, African American, fixed-income woman living at the Americana Centre in the center of Rockville. I am a 22-year resident of this city. My father was a welder by profession, who worked for Bethlehem Steel Corporation and my son Ted, the father of my grandchildren, is a police officer and one of the County’s hostage negotiators.

With this background, I hold certain values dear: Continue reading “Virginia Onley Values Civility, Honesty, and Respect”

Julie Palakovich Carr Wants to Work with People Who Get Things Done

Julie Palakovich Carr

The King Farm Candidate Forum last Tuesday was the last public opportunity that candidates for Rockville Mayor and Council could share their vision for Rockville and why they deserve your vote on Tuesday, November 3.  We’ll be sharing our closing statements as a series, now with Julie Palakovich Carr:

Tonight is final debate before the election.

With the demise of our local newspaper, there hasn’t been any entity to probe some of the questionable statements that have arisen during the course of this campaign. When a candidate pads his resume or lies about the source of campaign funding for his opponent, there isn’t anyone to check the facts.

I want to set the record straight on a few issues.

One of the misleading statements that has been bandied about is the supposed “independence” of certain candidates. Make no mistake about it: there are two teams of candidates running in this election. One team, Team Rockville, is being open and honest with you about our efforts to get elected together. The same cannot be said for the other candidates who have Continue reading “Julie Palakovich Carr Wants to Work with People Who Get Things Done”

Mark Pierzchala Looks to the Future Through Our Children’s Eyes

Mark Pierzchala

The King Farm Candidate Forum last Tuesday was the last public opportunity that candidates for Rockville Mayor and Council could share their vision for Rockville and why they deserve your vote on Tuesday, November 3.  We’ll be sharing our closing statements as a series, now with Mark Pierzchala:

When I served as councilmember from 2009 to 2013, I learned that I could lead from a council seat. I voted to bring Choice Hotels to our Town Center for a very modest incentive. This led to 400 high quality jobs in the heart of the City, made possible the Cambria Suites Hotel in our Town Center, and increased our property tax revenue. This passed on a 3-0-2 vote.

I voted to fund the Police Station, the Senior Center Extension, and the Gude Drive Maintenance facility that keeps our snow plows on the roads; these passed on a 3-2 vote. These were badly needed investments for Rockville.

So you can see that with 5 elected representatives on the Mayor and Council that every vote is valuable, and I’m the candidate here who Continue reading “Mark Pierzchala Looks to the Future Through Our Children’s Eyes”