Tuesday, March 11, 2014 8:36 AM
Published on: Thursday, November 07, 2013
By Donna Broadway
ROCKVILLE - It’s a 4-1 victory for the candidates dubbed “Team Rockville.” The four council candidates - incumbent Tom Moore, Julie Palakovich Carr, Beryl Feinberg and Virginia Onley - won their seats. Only mayoral candidate Mark Pierzchela faced bad news, losing to Bridget Newton. Councilmember Don Hadley and candidate Claire Marcuccio Whitaker were defeated in their bids for election.
“It is bittersweet. Mark worked for more than a year to build this team and build this strategy that would bring Rockville government back to Rockville, and he has succeeded, four out of the five of us were elected,” said Councilman Tom Moore. “It’s a little bit heartbreaking that he will not be joining us on the council next time.”
Former councilmember Don Hadley said he will continue to work on the Rockville planning commission.
“I am disappointed for the city. I think it gives a mandate for some people but I think it is not the right decision for the city,” Hadley said. “I hope the mayor and the new council have sort of a new day approach to the issues and not take it as a carry over from the previous discussions.”
Virginia Onley won a seat on the council after three attempts. In 2011, Onley lost election to city council by just 51 votes; that night she announced she was running in 2013.
“I kept my name out there and kept meeting people and explaining to them I wanted to serve the city and that I had served on boards and commissions, and the next step was city council,” Onley said. “I did a lot of reaching out to Rockville voters and I think I got my message across. When I realized I had won, I was almost too excited to speak. I was grateful to the citizens for believing in me and voting me into office and believing I will serve them and serve them well. There are so many people who were with me through all three campaigns and I am grateful for their support.”
Onley said she doesn’t foresee any problems with the council working with the new Mayor Bridget Newton.
“Personally, I can say I look forward to working with mayor-elect Newton and I have known her for almost 20 years, and we have worked on other projects together, the compensation commission,” Onley said.
“We’re both passionate in governing the city and I don’t think that’s going to be a problem.”
Moore said Team Rockville will bring thoughtful leadership, balance and diversity to the city council.
“Team Rockville campaigned on a promise to bring some more thoughtful leadership to the city and bring some balance back to our development in the city to better balance the city goals in moving forward in areas like the health center, and there is so much policy diversity on the team that I don’t think there is any one policy direction we’re going to go into, and I think it’s going to be more of a difference of tone,” Moore said.
The newly elected council members will be inaugurated on Nov. 17 at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre at 603 Edmonston Drive in Rockville.
In Gaithersburg, the three uncontested candidates, Mayor Sydney Katz, Councilman Henry Marraffa and Council Vice President Michael Sesma, were elected, each receiving at least 80 percent of the votes. Councilmembers Jud Ashman, Cathy C. Drzyzgula and Ryan Spiegel will run for reelection in 2015.
In Takoma Park, all incumbent candidates were reelected. Mayor Bruce Williams and Councilmembers Tim Male, Seth Grimes, Kay Daniels-Cohen, Terry J. Seamens, Jarrett K. Smith and Fred Schultz will be sworn in on Nov. 18.
Write-in mayoral candidate Elizabeth Forbes Wallace received 62 votes and Ward 4 candidate Eric Mendoza received 10 votes.