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Apartments a problem in Gaithersburg elections

  • Published in Local

Gaithersburg logoGAITHERSBURG — The members of Gaithersburg’s Board of Supervisors of Elections discussed the past and future of the city’s electoral processes at the City Council meeting Monday night. 

Mayor Jud Ashman and the City Council convened for a work session, during which City Attorney Lynn Board and Elections Clerk Lauren Klingler presented a “debrief” of last fall’s municipal election, outlining changes made to the city’s electoral process and proposals for future modifications.

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Gburg’s Spiegel calls for highway funds restoration

  • Published in Local

gaithersburg buildingGAITHERSBURG — At Monday night’s meeting of Gaithersburg’s Mayor and City Council, Council Vice President Ryan Spiegel identified what he called the top priority for Gaithersburg and all other Maryland municipalities in the current legislative session. Spiegel, who also serves as statewide chair of the legislative committee of the Maryland Municipal League, noted that under a formula set by state law, cities and towns throughout Maryland are entitled to receive funding for roadway restoration and maintenance,

“Unfortunately, that formula was eviscerated by the State of Maryland back in 2009 during the Great Recession,” Spiegel said. “Ever since them, cities and towns have been working to get the state to restore that formula to its rightful equation, because without it, cities and towns are being deprived of the money they need to maintain our roads and other transportation infrastructure.”

Spiegel said that the MML sought public involvement in helping to convince state legislators to restore this funding, known as highway user revenues, or HURs, which is largely funded by state gasoline taxes.

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Gaithersburg residents express concerns about development

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gaithersburg buildingGAITHERSBURG — Several Gaithersburg residents came to a work session at City Hall Monday night to voice concerns about the effects of a proposed property development.  At work sessions held on March 27 and July 10 last year, Mayor Jud Ashman and the City Council were briefed on a proposal from Maser Consulting to construct two six-story apartment buildings and a parking garage on the site of the Kentlands Apartments. 

At those sessions, officials and area residents expressed concern that the developments could have adverse effects on traffic, particularly in regards to a proposed ingress/egress entrance on Great Seneca Highway, school capacity, snow and trash removal and public green spaces. Residents of the Colonnade, a condominium association which would be abutted by the proposed development, have expressed concerns about the impact of the development on their quality of life. 

Jodi Kline, an attorney with Miller, Miller and Canby, who represents the applicants, said that Maser Consulting had negotiated with Colonnade residents and incorporated their concerns into the revised proposal that was presented Monday night.

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Gaithersburg committees present reports

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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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Ashman will run for re-election in Gaithersburg

  • Published in Local

GAITHERSBURG –City mayor Jud Ashman is running for his first four-year term.

In 2015, he won by a wide margin the election to serve the remaining two years of longtime Mayor Sidney Katz’s final term. He was appointed from his city council position to serve as mayor the previous year following Katz’s election to the Montgomery County Council. This fall, Ashman is running for a full four-year term.

He attributes his accomplishments while in office to group efforts and not solely to himself. “Most of the accomplishments from my time in office have been collective accomplishments,” Ashman said. “I feel like I’ve played an essential role, but it has been a group effort. Gaithersburg has a beacon, a terrific example for local governments about how a well-intentioned, well-prepared, thoughtful, mature group of representatives, can work together to get things done. We have the lowest tax-rate of any of Maryland's large cities. We remain debt free, and there are not a lot of municipalities out there that can make that claim.”

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Saybrooke residents support parking ban on Victory Farm Drive; others opposed

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GAITHERSBURG – Saybrooke residents said a 60-day overnight parking ban on Victory Farm Drive improved their quality of life while residents from nearby areas countered that the ban prevented them from parking close to their homes.

Opponents of the trial ban, which ran from May 6 to July 6, also argued residents of a certain neighborhood should not be allowed to dictate parking policy for others.

“Those who were for the restrictions say there has been less litter and noise, that cars were no longer taking up space,” said City Manager Tony Tomasello to the City Council July 18. “Against the restrictions were city residents who felt that they hadn’t done anything wrong and were being discriminated against, that they had to move their cars to less convenient areas.” 

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