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
Friday, March 22, 2013
Closure needed to accommodate construction crane
The westbound lane of Monroe Place—from Monroe Street to Rockville Pike—will be shut down Sunday, from 4 p.m. to midnight. City officials said the closure was needed in order to accommodate a construction crane that would be placing an antennae on a roof at 51 Monroe Place. Parking is prohibited from 1 p.m. Sunday through 6 a.m. Monday.
Friday, March 8, 2013
The Gazette: Rockville didn’t have a legal mechanism for candidates to withdraw; final campaign finance filing dates would be earlier.
Rockville's mayor and City Council reached a consensus but did not vote on policy changes on Monday regarding local elections, including one that would permit candidates to officially withdraw from city elections, The Gazette reported. Still another change would change the filing date for campaign finances. One policy change is the result of a quandary that arose in 2011 when City Council candidate Joseph Jordan dropped out of the election, but his name was on the ballots because the city had no legal mechanism for candidates to withdraw. Jordan received 382 votes. Under the new policy, candidates could withdraw their candidacy up until the filing deadline, The Gazette reported. The full story is posted at Gazette.net. The council also …
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
An editorial in The Gazette says residents 'deserve answers.'
An editorial in The Gazette on Wednesday renewed the call for the City of Rockville to release details into an independent probe of former city employees’ claims of harassment and discrimination by supervisors. “Releasing the report, even with large sections redacted, would go a long way toward reassuring city residents about the management of its government,” the editorial said. Click here to read the full editorial from The Gazette. The city paid $190,000 to the law firm Saul Ewing, LLP to conduct the investigation after The Sentinel published a series of articles detailing complaints by former employees. The investigation found “no unlawful conduct,” on the part of the city and, as outlined in a city news release on Nov. 28, “…
Thursday, January 10, 2013
The utility will outline its Sewer Repair, Replacement and Rehabilitation program.
Streams in Rockville will be undergoing a bit of surgery in coming months courtesy of the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission. Want to learn about what WSSC crews will be doing as they work on sewer pipes and manholes in Rockville’s stream beds and river sheds? WSSC representatives will outline the utility’s Sewer Repair, Replacement and Rehabilitation (also known as SR3) program at a meeting from 7:30 to 9 tonight at Ritchie Park Elementary School, at 1514 Dunster Road in Rockville. The Cabin John stream bed will be the first area of Rockville to see work, according to a message on the City of Rockville’s website. The Cabin John sewer basin stretches south of Montrose Road along Interstate 270 and the Capital Beltway to the Potomac …
Monday, January 7, 2013
A citywide coat drive continues through Thursday.
A citywide coat drive is in its final days. The City of Rockville is partnering with national nonprofit One Warm Coat to collect old and new jackets and coats to help people in need stay warm this winter. The drive continues through Thursday. Cleaning out your closets? Updating your wardrobe? Have your children outgrown their coat or jacket? Want to buy a new coat or jacket to donate? Donate coats and jackets at the following locations: • Croydon Creek Nature Center, 852 Avery Road. • Lincoln Park Community Center, 357 Frederick Ave. • Rockville City Hall, 111 Maryland Ave. • Rockville City Police Department, 2 West Montgomery Ave. • Rockville Swim and Fitness Center, 355 Martins Lane. • Thomas Farm Community Center, 700 Fallsgrove …