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Gaithersburg approves Johnson property plans

  • Published in Local

GAITHERSBURG — Nearly 13 months after voting to annex the Johnson Property – an area near the intersection of Darnestown Road and Quince Orchard Boulevard – into the city, the Gaithersburg City Council on Tuesday voted to approve a development plan for it after a year of litigation surrounding the circumstances of the annexation vote.

On Dec. 19, 2016, the Council passed resolutions to annex the Johnson Property, an area near the intersection of Darnestown Road and Quince Orchard Boulevard and authorizing City Manager Tony Tomasello to execute an agreement to develop the property for mixed zone commercial and residential use. 

At the time the Council debated the annexation resolutions, it was operating at reduced capacity following the death of Council member Henry F. Marraffa. Council member Ryan Spiegel was also absent due to an illness, and had indicated that he would recuse himself after learning that his employer, the Bethesda-based law firm Paley Rothman, had a business relationship with one of the developers.

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Kagan briefs Gaithersburg on legislature

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GAITHERSBURG Senator Cheryl C. Kagan (D-17) came to Gaithersburg City Hall Tuesday night to brief Mayor Jud Ashman and the City Council on the issues she would prioritize in the upcoming session of the Maryland General Assembly.

“I have had two constituents die when 911 failed,” Kagan said. She said she would pursue legislation to improve and modernize 911 service. “In a lot of the country, you can text 911. In Gaithersburg, you can’t. If there’s a bad guy in your house, you should be able to text 911. Currently, Frederick County is the only jurisdiction in Maryland where you can text 911. Montgomery County is moving in that direction, but I don’t think they’re moving fast enough.”

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Gaithersburg Mayor and Council sworn in

  • Published in Local

GAITHERSBURG – The winners of last Tuesday’s municipal election were sworn into office Monday night as Gaithersburg’s Mayor Jud Ashman and City Council members Michael Sesma and Laurie-Anne Sayles took their oaths of office during a special session held in the council chambers.

After a representative of the Montgomery County Board of Election Supervisors presented the officially-certified results from last week’s election, Ashman, the winner of last week’s mayoral election, took the oath administered by Montgomery County Circuit Court Clerk Barbara Mieklejohn.

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Extremely light turnout in Gaithersburg as Monroe is unseated

  • Published in Local

Gaithersburg Govt logoGAITHERSBURG — Shortly after 9:30 on Tuesday night, Gaithersburg’s Board of Supervisors of Elections announced the winners of the City’s election for Mayor and two members of the five-person City Council.

3,282 voters, or 9.29 percent of the city’s registered voters, cast ballots in the election, a slight decrease from the 2015 election, when voter turnout was 11.09 percent.

Mayor Jud Ashman and Council members Laurie-Anne Sayles and Michael A. Sesma will be sworn in at City Hall next Monday.

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Gaithersburg candidates make final push as voting begins

  • Published in Local

GAITHERSBURG — Next Tuesday, Gaithersburg residents will cast ballots for mayor and two members of the City Council.  Early voting was held last Saturday and Sunday at City Hall.

Incumbent Mayor Jud Ashman was originally appointed to his position by his colleagues on the City Council in 2014, following the election of longtime Mayor Sidney Katz to the Third District of the County Council.  In 2015, he won a special election to serve the remaining two years of Katz's final term, defeating longtime Council Member Henry F. Marraffa, who passed away in October of 2016, and community activist Darline Bell-Zuccarelli.  As he seeks his first full four-year term as mayor, Ashman is unopposed on the ballot.  Bell-Zuccarelli had originally planned to seek the office again, but scrapped her plans due to health issues.  Despite this, Ashman said he is still actively campaigning.

"We have a great group of candidates and I'm hoping that we get a big turnout of voters," Ashman said.  "It's easy to take for granted, but so much of our daily lives is impacted by decisions at the local level, that it's really worth our time and attention on Election Day."

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Gaithersburg mulls variety of projects

  • Published in Local

Gaithersburg Govt logoGAITHERSBURG – City advisory committee staff told Mayor Jud Ashman and the Council Monday night of concerns about public perception of Olde Towne, updates on art projects in the City and plans for the 2018 Book Festival.

At a work session that evening, Mayor Jud Ashman and the City Council heard reports and plans from the staff of several of the City’s advisory committees.

For many years, the economic revitalization of Olde Towne has been one of the most contentious issues in the City. Lenny Levy, chairperson of the Olde Towne Advisory Subcommittee, said that the City had made progress on that front recently.

“Archstone, Hidden Creek and other Olde Towne apartment communities are over 90 percent leased,” Levy said. “16 South Summit is in design to be our new police headquarters and several new restaurants are open, including Rincon Peruano and Greene Growlers, which used to be Growlers.”

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Gaithersburg committees present reports

  • Published in Local

Olde Towne Gburg rep. has concerns, art projects to be built in the city

GAITHERSBURG – City advisory committee staff told Mayor Jud Ashman and the Council Monday night of concerns about public perception of Olde Towne, updates on art projects in the City and plans for the 2018 Book Festival.

At a work session that evening, Mayor Jud Ashman and the City Council heard reports and plans from the staff of several of the City’s advisory committees.

For many years, the economic revitalization of Olde Towne has been one of the most contentious issues in the City. Lenny Levy, chairperson of the Olde Towne Advisory Subcommittee, said that the City had made progress on that front recently.

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Gaithersburg Sets Legislative Agenda

  • Published in Local

Gaithersburg Govt logoGAITHERSBURG — At Monday night’s meeting, Gaithersburg’s Legislative Affairs Manager Monica Marquina briefed Mayor Jud Ashman and the City Council on the city’s priorities when the Maryland State Legislature convenes in January.

The first priority Marquina identified was advocating for increased school construction funding. Several of the schools which serve the city are enrolled over capacity. Marquina noted that Montgomery County Public Schools had seen record enrollment for the 2017-18 school year.

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Gaithersburg Candidate Slate Finalized

  • Published in Local

GAITHERSBURG – Sept. 22 marked the deadline for candidates to file in this fall’s election in Gaithersburg. On Sept. 26, the Board of Supervisors of Elections certified the candidacies of those who filed to run for Mayor and City Council. The election will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 7.

Incumbent Mayor Jud Ashman is unopposed on the ballot. Ashman was originally appointed mayor following the election of longtime mayor Sidney Katz to District 3 of the Montgomery County Council; he won a special election to serve the remaining two years of Katz’ term in 2015. This fall, he is seeking his first full four-year term.

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