Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Elections board says it lacks tools to resolve campaign finance complaints.
A campaign finance violation complaint against former mayoral candidate Piotr Gajewski raised questions about Rockville’s laws on contribution limits, about its campaign fund reporting process and about how much authority the city’s elections board has to enforce city election law. “It does raise the issue of what we want to do with the election laws of Chapter 8 [of the city code],” board Chairman David Celeste said. “Election laws, to this point, have been more of guidelines of compliance—we haven’t been much of an enforcement body.” Speaking during Thursday’s board meeting, Celeste said that making election laws more punitive could give the board tools to ensure compliance. But it also could have unintended consequences. “Will that have…
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Board chairman: "It's time to move on."
The city’s elections board on Thursday voted to close its investigation of a campaign finance violation by former mayoral candidate Piotr Gajewski. The board also opted not to act on another complaint against the former councilman while pledging to take a closer look at city election law. “It’s time to move on,” board Chairman David Celeste said moments after the board voted 4-0 to accept an amended campaign fund report from Gajewski. Board member Howard Eskildson was not present for the vote. At issue were two $600 contributions that Gajewski listed in a Sept. 30 campaign fund report. The contributions were listed as in-kind and went toward rent for a former auto dealership building at 718 Rockville Pike that Gajewski used as his campaign…
Friday, January 27, 2012
City's elections board to host a discussion of the 2011 vote on Saturday.
Rockville’s elections board is calling on city residents to join them in a look back at the 2011 city election on Saturday to discuss what went well, what didn’t and what needs to change before the next election in 2013. The post-election wrap-up meeting will be held at 10:30 a.m. at City Hall. Candidates from the 2011 election and their campaign staff have been invited to the meeting, which also is open to the public. “The purpose of it is basically to solicit information from folks—anybody actually—in terms of the elections process, what problems they saw, what worked out well, where we need to make improvements, et cetera, et cetera,” David Celeste, chairman of the city’s Board of Supervisors of Elections said at a Jan. 5 meeting in …
Monday, December 5, 2011
Gajewski: Documents the board is requesting don't exist.
Rockville’s elections board is asking Piotr Gajewski to account for $700 in campaign contributions related to a building that the former mayoral candidate used for his campaign headquarters. The board voted unanimously on Thursday to ask Gajewski for documentation detailing the nature of the contributions, which were used to rent the building under a licensing agreement. Gajewski will have three weeks from the date of the letter to provide the documentation. The documentation does not exist, Gajewski said in a telephone interview on Friday. “There are no documents that exist presently that I could offer,” said Gajewski, who was reached while on business in Buffalo, N.Y. late Friday. He said he would need to find out more about “…
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Schrack: Slates, negative campaigning and money played into election results.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Editor's note: Read Roald Schrack's detailed analysis of Rockville's 2011 election results by clicking the PDF at the right of this note. Schrack analyzes voter turnout and voting patterns in the 2011 polling and draws his own conclusions about what they say about candidate slates, negative campaigning, money and the literacy of the electorate. On Monday, Schrack was one of seven residents recognized by the City of Rockville with a Good Neighbor Award. He was recognized "for his intellectual, political, and financial contributions to all Rockville residents." Schrack formerly contributed analysis pieces to the now-defunct Rockville Central site. We welcome his contributions to Rockville Patch. -Sean Sedam, Editor, Rockville Patch
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Marcuccio: "We are looking at a real revolution to what goes on in City Hall."
The 63rd edition of Rockville's mayor and council took office on Monday with an inauguration ceremony at the Rockville Senior Center. Loretta E. Knight, clerk of the Montgomery County Circuit Court, administered the oath of office to Mayor Phyllis Marcuccio. Marcuccio, who captured nearly 53 percent of the vote in the Nov. 8 election, begins her second term as mayor. She previously served two terms on the council. "I stand here today humbled by the fact that you had faith in me to put me back in this job," Marcuccio said in remarks to the assembled Rockville residents. "I've said it so many times, 'What's a 78-year-old lady like me doing in this job anyway?' And I can only say I thank you for your faith in me, for your willingness to give …
Monday, November 28, 2011
The Senior Center will host the swearing ceremony and the first meeting of the new City Council on Monday.
Rockville will inaugurate its 63rd term of the city’s mayor and council with an inauguration ceremony before the new council’s first meeting tonight at the Rockville Senior Center. Mayor Phyllis Marcuccio, who served two terms on the council before being elected mayor in 2009, will be sworn in to her second term as mayor. She will then administer the oath of office to Bridget Donnell Newton, Mark Pierzchala, John F. Hall Jr. and Tom Moore. Newton and Pierzchala both were elected to their second terms on the council on Nov. 8. Hall served two terms on the City Council before not running for re-election in 2005. Moore, who served as chairman of the city’s Compensation Commission, was elected to his first term this year. A reception will be …
Thursday, November 10, 2011
City manager selection, the budget, redevelopment and election issues are priorities for the new council.
Rockville voters sent two incumbents, a former councilman and the chairman of the city’s Compensation Commission to victory in Tuesday’s election. It’s a mix of experience and what council members-elect said they hope will be a working relationship that allows officials to tackle several big issues. Candidates and voters throughout the 2011 election season said that they would like to see more civility in their City Council after a term marked by disagreements and division that sometimes devolved into bickering at council meetings. The question is “How can we be nicer to each other, discuss our differences civilly without things getting personal? That’s one thing I think I can definitely do,” said Tom Moore, the compensation board chairman…
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Gajewski: 'Now other people will have a turn.'
Mayor Phyllis Marcuccio said that she believes that voters who re-elected her on Tuesday appreciate her efforts to increase citizen input in Rockville government. “I think people probably responded to the fact that I am a ‘people mayor.’ I am a person who listens to our citizens, I care a great deal [about] what happens to the city, from their point of view,” she said. “That’s been my mantle. I reflect, I think, citizen input. I want so much for them to be a part of what kind of decision-making goes on in the city. And I think that message was pretty clear to the voters.” Marcuccio won a second term on Tuesday by a 53 percent to 46 percent margin over two-term Councilman Piotr Gajewski. Rockville voters also re-elected council members …
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
The mayor and two council members return, as does former Councilman John Hall. Newcomer Moore also elected.
Update, 11:25 p.m., Nov. 8: Mayor Phyllis Marcuccio won re-election to a second term on Tuesday as Rockville voters supported four familiar faces on the council—and one new one. Council members Bridget Donnell Newton and Mark Pierzchala also won re-election. John Hall, who served on the City Council from 2001 to 2005, before stepping away to spend time with his family, will return to the council. Tom Moore, the chairman of the city's Compensation Commission who ran unsuccessfully for the council in 2009, will be the council's only newcomer. Joseph Jordan, who withdrew from the council race in October, received 382 votes (1.74 percent). There were 109 write-in votes (0.5 percent). Voter turnout was 16.94 percent (6,240 out of 36,840 …