Friday, May 24, 2013
The Rockville Pike Plan would drastically transform part of Rockville Pike
Rockville’s Planning Commission has extended the deadline to for written testimony on the final draft of the Rockville Pike Plan— a proposal that would drastically transform a 2-mile portion of Rockville Pike—and on changing land use laws in order to implement the plan. A city spokeswoman said the commission decided at its meeting Wednesday to push the deadline to close-of-business Friday, June 7. The old deadline was close-of-business Friday, May 31. Written testimony may be submitted: Rockville's Planning Commission wrapped up its series of public hearings on the draft plan and proposed zoning code changes last week. The Rockville Pike Plan is available at www.rockvillemd.gov/rockvillespike.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Announcement was made at meeting Monday night
Though Rockville's campaign season is already off to an early start, there will be at least one name voters will not see among the field of candidates in November. Councilman John F. Hall Jr. told his colleagues Monday that he did not plan to seek re-election: “I wish you all well and I invite the members of our community who have a similar desire, commitment and acumen to serve in this way to please enter the contest and work to serve Rockville in the way that she deserves to be served—with time, care, balance, selflessness, openness, respect, discernment and devotion to our laws, principles, and the goodness that have always made Rockville the outstanding community [that] it is.” Hall was elected to the Council in 2011, having served two…
Monday, May 20, 2013
A word cloud of fourth-grade essay contest winner Young-A Kim's vision for Rockville's future.
If Fallsmead Elementary School fourth-grader Young-A Kim was the mayor of Rockville, communal tree plantings, a cook out and plenty of brand new playgrounds would be in the city’s future. Kim outlined her vision in the one-page essay she submitted to this year’s “If I were Mayor” contest, sponsored by the Maryland Municipal League and the Maryland Mayors’ Association. We’ve created a word cloud of her essay (above). As this year’s winner, Kim will go behind the scenes at City Hall on Thursday and will get to ride along with city police and have lunch with Mayor Phyllis Marcuccio. The mayor and Council will formally recognizer Kim during its June 17 Council meeting. But you can see Kim in Rockville's 69th Annual Memorial Day Parade, 10:30 a…
Grace period in place at city’s ninth red light camera location.
The city of Rockville installed its ninth red light camera but it won’t start issuing citations until June, city officials announced last week. The new camera went up at Seven Locks and Fortune Terrace. The grace period ends June 14. The city’s red light cameras record drivers who run red lights or improperly turn right on red. Violators face a $75 fine but are not assigned points on their driving records. Here are the locations of the current red light cameras in Rockville:
The proposed budget is about $2 million bigger than what was formally introduced in March.
The Rockville City Council meets 7 p.m. Mondays at City Hall. Here’s a look at tonight’s agenda: Action | The Council is expected to adopt the city’s 2014 fiscal year budget. The proposed $114 million budget is nearly $7 million bigger than the current budget and about $2 million more than what City Manager Barbara B. Matthews presented on March 18, when the proposed budget was formally introduced. The version that will come before the Council on Monday includes more funding for several nonprofits and incorporates much of what Councilman John F. Hall Jr. suggested during a budget work session on April 29—including a 2 percent pay raise for city workers and adding two officers to the city’s police force. The budget will take affect on July …
Monday, May 13, 2013
Blue Alert Act would create a national network to help catch violent criminals who injure or kill police officers, similar to the Amber Alert system.
U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin marked National Police Week with a visit to Rockville’s new police station Monday, where he touted a national law enforcement initiative called the Blue Alert Act of 2013. The Blue Alert Act would create a national network similar to the Amber Alert system to help catch violent criminals who injure or kill police officers. Maryland is already among 18 states to implement such a system. Gov. Martin O’Malley signed an executive order creating Maryland’s Blue Alert system shortly after the death of Maryland State trooper Wesley Brown. Brown was murdered outside a Forestville, MD restaurant in June 2010. “We have no national coordination,” Cardin said. “We don't have a way to share best practices. What you're doing in …
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Revisions to city’s campaign policy would put more scrutiny on campaign signs and banners. Is this fair?
The Rockville City Council held off on making changes to the city’s campaign policy Monday because it was unclear whether parts of it breached the First Amendment. The debate was sparked by language that says candidates could not display their own signs and banners if they’re participating in the parade. But the sign and banner limitation doesn’t apply to other marchers, who can display whatever sign or banner they’d like—a distinction that Councilmembers Tom Moore and Mark Pierzchala said was unfair. “If you're a Girl Scout Troop, a marching lawn mower band or the Ku Klux Klan—you can carry a banner and carry a sign,” Moore said. “But if you're a candidate for office in Rockville, Maryland, you can't. I'm uncomfortable with the different …
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
A recent story in The Sentinel renews the debate over access to a report on the investigation into workers' claims of harassment and discrimination.
Rockville residents' complaints have revived the discussion over access to a report investigating former city employees’ claims of harassment and discrimination by supervisors. In a recent story published in The Sentinel, former Rockville mayor Steve VanGrack and Andrea Bernardo, campaign manager for former city Councilwoman Anne Robbins, said the Rockville City Council should have access to the report. If the mayor and council do not review the report, an individual or committee should do it on their behalf, some have suggested. “When there is a call into question by several city employees into what is going on the mayor and council absolutely have to come in and find out what is going on,” VanGrack told The Sentinel. The Sentinel’s …
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
City manager: Federal grant cut by $11,000 due to sequestration
Add the City of Rockville to the list of places feeling the negative effects of sequestration cuts. Because of across-the-board cuts at the federal level, Rockville’s Community Development Block Grant Program funding would be cut by roughly $11,000 for fiscal year 2014. That's about 5 percent less than the $211,312 the city had anticipated, City Manager Barbara Matthews told the mayor and council Monday. Matthews said the city plans to apply the 5 percent cut evenly. “We do think that most of the original projects will be able to be completed,” Matthews said. Community Development Block Grants are meant to address housing and development projects—such as public housing in Rockville—for low- and moderate-income households. According to …
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
The annual leaf pick-up begins Monday.
Curbside leaf pick-ups start next week in Rockville, hopefully well removed from the snowy mix that set spring off to a mushy start. The Department of Public Works will start collecting leaf debris Monday. Each year the city provides residents with one leaf pick-up during a two-week period in April and announced the following schedule for this year: The schedule and map can be found online at www.rockvillemd.gov/residents/leaf.htm Residents are asked to rake leaves to the curb or next to the pavement, if no curb exists., by 6 a.m. on the collection day. The leaves should not be placed in plastic bags. Biodegradeable paper bags or 32-gallon containers are OK. --- More: Call the Department of Public Works at 240-314-8566