Current Rockville Mayor Bridget Newton will now be facing a full slate of candidates in her reelection effort. Team Rockville in 2013 saw all four of its council candidates elected in 2013, although Newton narrowly defeated the slate’s mayoral candidate, former Councilmember Mark Pierzchala.
Sima Osdoby will be announcing her run for mayor this evening, heading a council slate that includes Pierzchala, incumbents Virginia Onley and Julie Palakovich Carr, and first-time candidate Clark Reed. Incumbent Tom Moore recently announced that he will not be running for reelection - there have been whispers that he intends to run for an at-large seat on the County Council in 2018.
Unceremoniously bounced from No longer on the slate is incumbent Beryl Feinberg, who has already announced her intention to run for reelection.
Team Rockville has a press release out today intended to coincide with Osdoby’s mayoral announcement. It contains biographies of all five slate candidates. I’ve set them out below.
Team of Candidates Announced for 2015 Rockville Election
Contact: Max A. van Balgooy, Campaign Manager
Rockville, MD –– A group of five candidates running for Rockville’s Mayor and Council—“Team Rockville”—was announced today at the Clubhouse of New Mark Commons. Team Rockville consists of Sima Osdoby for Mayor and Virginia Onley, Julie Palakovich Carr, Mark Pierzchala and Clark Reed for City 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 fixing problems in Town Center and finalizing a new plan for Rockville Pike.
Leading Team Rockville is Sima Osdoby for Mayor. A resident of Rockville for 35 years, she has served the city in many capacities on the Election Reform Task Force, the Housing Policy Task Force, and the New Mark Commons-Hungerford Neighborhood Advisory Planning Committee. She also served as Board President and twice as Interim Executive Director of Peerless Rockville. Throughout her career, Sima has a long history of getting agreement, action and results in public-private partnerships, multi-faceted coalitions, and complex undertakings. She is a former President of the Rockville Branch of American Association of University Women, was Emerge Maryland’s first Chair, and serves on Maryland Association of Nonprofits’ membership committee.
Virginia Onley is seeking re-election to the City Council. During her first term she ensured that our Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance will allow us to maintain and renew our City so that young families, teachers, fire fighters, police offices, and senior citizens like her can afford to live here. A 22-year resident of Americana Centre, she serves as President of the Americana Homeowners Board and on the Parish Council of the St. Mary’s Catholic Church. She has previously served on 9 boards and commissions including the Charter Review Commission and Rockville Housing Enterprises and retired from IBM after 35 years.
Julie Palakovich Carr is seeking re-election to the City Council. During her first term, she championed efforts to make Rockville a more sustainable community, sponsored a major overhaul of the city’s animal control ordinance, invested in needed public infrastructure, and improved pedestrian and bicyclist safety. Before her election in 2013, Julie served on the Environment Commission and Rockville Summit. Julie has a Master’s degree in biology and works for the non-profit American Institute of Biological Sciences. She and her husband Eric live in East Rockville with their son Bradford.
Mark Pierzchala is seeking to return to the City Council. An owner of an international consulting business based in downtown Rockville, Mark served two terms as a city councilmember from 2009 to 2013. Mark’s support financed Rockville’s new Police Station, Senior Center Expansion, and new Gude Drive Maintenance Facility, paying for these by greatly reducing the city’s subsidies for parking garages and the golf course. He attracted the headquarters of Choice Hotels International to Rockville to boost our Town Center. He was president of the Town Center Action Team (TCAT) and president of the College Gardens Civic Association. His daughters attended MCPS schools through high school and his wife Lesley is a Media Assistant at College Gardens Elementary School.
Clark Reed seeks election to the City Council. Clark chairs the City’s Environment Commission. Under his leadership, the commission founded the Rockville Solar Co-op, providing homeowner discounts on rooftop solar systems and increased home values. He co-authored the city’s High Performance Building Tax Credit and rallied statewide support to provide low- to moderate-income earners access to clean power. He holds a Masters in urban and environmental policy from Tufts University and is a program manager at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Clark and his wife Colleen have a son who attends Twinbrook Elementary School and are active in the PTA.
Groups such as Team Rockville allow candidates to coordinate their efforts publicly and transparently, and are specifically provided for in the City Code of Rockville. They serve to inform voters which candidates have publicly pledged to work with each other towards specific goals, even if they may disagree with one another on a given issue. Such organizations of candidates were once a mainstay of City elections from the 1950s to the 1990s.
For more information, visit TeamRockville.org or the individual candidates’ websites: SimaWorksForRockville.org, VoteVirginiaOnley.org, Julie4Rockville.com, VotePierzchala.org, and Clark4Rockville.com.
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