Category: Government (Page 1 of 8)

Rockville Continues City Services While Extending Closures at City Facilities

City of Rockville facilities will remain closed to the public through Friday, April 24, and city events, classes, programs, rentals and activities are canceled through Thursday, April 30, in response to Gov. Larry Hogan’s executive orders related to COVID-19 in Maryland.

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The Parks are Open, but Lights to Stay Off at Rockville Parks

The parks are open, but lights at City of Rockville outdoor courts and sports fields will remain off during evening and nighttime hours, beginning Saturday, March 21.

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Rockville Responds to Governor’s Order

Gov. Larry Hogan has issued an executive order prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people. Following state and federal directives intended to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, Rockville events, classes, programs, rentals and activities are canceled through April 30.

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City of Rockville Operations Continue: Here Are Ways You Can Access Services

The doors of Rockville City Hall may be shut for now, but that doesn’t mean we’re closed for business. You can still utilize many city services, such as reporting concerns, scheduling inspections and making payments, through the city’s website (www.rockvillemd.gov).

Employees will conduct as much of the city’s operations as possible while maintaining recommended social distancing guidelines to ensure the health and safety of city staff and the community. Employees who are able are teleworking.

Essential city services are continuing, including regular trash and recycling collection, water treatment, street repair, water and sewer system repair, building code and fire inspections, animal control, traffic signal repair, and police patrols and emergency response. Additionally, all city parks remain open to the public.

See below for a few useful phone numbers and emails, which you can also find on the website. News and information related to COVID-19 is regularly updated and found at the top of the home page.

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Meet a Rockville Employee: Carl Young

Carl Young, Rockville Fire Marshal

Carl Young, Rockville’s new fire marshal, has been on the job since August. We asked him to answer a few questions to introduce him to the community.

What does the fire marshal do?
I direct the work of the fire plans examiner, fire protection engineer and fire inspectors to maintain a safe environment for residents, workers and visitors within the City of Rockville. I provide technical assistance, guidance and training to staff regarding interpretation of the fire and life safety code, local ordinances, and policies and procedures. I coordinate with other divisions and departments to encourage teamwork and excellent customer service.

As fire marshal, I review complex construction and fire protection plans with staff, ensuring systems meet the fire code. I also ensure fire department access and water supply requirements are met.
I confer with residents, building owners, property managers, developers and other design professionals to address any concerns or complaints that may arise.

What did I do before becoming the city’s fire marshal?
I was the senior fire inspector for the City of Rockville before becoming the fire marshal. Prior to joining the city in 2015, I was employed with Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service for 25 ½ years. While employed with MCFRS, I devoted 17 years in a fire station as a fire fighter/EMT. I was promoted to the rank of master firefighter in 2008 and spent the last 8 ½ years of my career in the fire marshal’s office as a battalion fire inspector.

Other things to know about me:
My goal is to lead the City of Rockville Fire Marshal’s Office to be recognized as the best in the region in the areas of fire plan review and fire inspections for new and existing structures, while delivering exemplary customer service.

New Ethics Rules Add Whisteblower Protection, Expand Disclosure Requirements

Rockville’s city code now includes a whistleblower protection provision, new requirements for certain city employees to file financial disclosure statements and clarifies the city Ethics Commission’s role in reviewing the statements, after the Mayor and Council unanimously adopted changes to the city’s public ethics ordinance on Jan. 6.

The addition of the whistleblower provision ensures that employees and officials can report ethical violations and participate in investigations without fear of retaliation.

Additional changes require the city manager, city clerk, city attorney and department heads to file financial disclosure statements. That includes the directors of planning, finance, human resources, information technology, public works, recreation and parks, communications, and procurement, as well as the chief of police. The deputy city manager, deputy city clerk, deputy city attorney, deputy finance director, and management and budget director are also now required to file statements.

The Ethics Commission is required to review financial disclosure statements to ensure they are complete and to request an amended report if any deficiencies or omissions are found. The commission will also be required to conduct similar reviews for lobbyists, including reviewing lobbying registrations and financial disclosure reports.

The changes also reduce the value of gifts – from $25 to $20 – that certain employees and officials must report in disclosure statements.

For video of the Mayor and Council discussion and more information about the revised ordinance, find the Jan. 6 meeting listing at www.rockvillemd.gov/AgendaCenter.

City Manager to Present Proposed Budget to Mayor and Council

Budget Available Online by Feb. 14; Offer Ideas Online and at Hearings

City Manager Rob DiSpirito will present his proposed Fiscal Year 2021 city budget this month.

The proposed budget, for the fiscal year that begins July 1, will be posted at www.rockvillemd.gov/budget by Friday, Feb. 14. DiSpirito is scheduled to present the proposed budget during the Mayor and Council meeting on Monday, Feb. 24. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 111 Maryland Ave.

The Mayor and Council will hold budget hearings and work sessions on Monday, March 2 and Monday, March 23. A work session is also scheduled for Monday, April 20, with budget adoption scheduled for Monday, May 4.

Find agenda materials and video of the budget hearings, presentation and the Mayor and Council’s Jan. 27 discussion about their budget priorities at www.rockvillemd.gov/AgendaCenter.

Visit www.rockvillemd.gov/budget to use the city’s online survey to choose your budget priorities and offer suggestions. Staff will compile the online submissions and periodically submit them for the Mayor and Council’s review and consideration.

Rockville’s adopted operating budget for the current fiscal year totals $138.9 million.

For more information, call the Finance Department at 240-314-8400.


OFFER IDEAS
• At www.rockvillemd.gov/budget.
• At public hearings on March 2 and March 23.


WATCH IT
The Feb. 24 proposed budget presentation and the public hearings will be:
• Carried live on channel 11 on county cable systems.
• Live streaming at www.rockvillemd.gov/rockville11.
• Available a day after each meeting at www.rockvillemd.gov/videoondemand.


Upcoming Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Calendar
Feb. 24 – Presentation of FY 2021 proposed budget.
March 2 – Public hearing and work session.
March 23 – Public hearing and work session.
April 17 – Close of public record.
April 20 – Work session.
May 4 – Adoption of the FY 2021 Budget.
July 1 – Start of FY 2021.

Census 2020: Confidential, Safe and Secure

The federal government will conduct the 2020 Census this year and the City of Rockville wants community members to help meet the goal of counting everyone once – and only once – in the right place.

Participating in the census impacts Rockville. Compiled every 10 years, census data is used by the government to define representative boundaries for congressional districts, state legislative districts and voting precincts, and for enforcing voting rights and civil rights legislation. It also determines how billions of dollars in federal funding are distributed for things like health care, senior centers, jobs, roads, schools and businesses.

Census responses are safe and secure. The Census Bureau is required by law to protect any personal information it collects and keep it strictly confidential. Information cannot be shared and cannot be used by law enforcement, or to determine an individual’s eligibility for government benefits. It cannot be used against you in any way – not by the FBI, CIA, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or any court. Census workers take a lifetime oath to protect personal information, with a penalty of up to $250,000 and/or up to five years in prison for any violation of this oath.

All Rockville community members are encouraged to complete the census questionnaire by responding online, by phone or by mail. All data submitted online is encrypted to prevent hacking and protect privacy, using the highest and most recent standards for protecting personal information from cyberthreats. It is safe to provide answers and know that they will only be used to paint a statistical portrait of our nation and community.

For more about the census’s data protection and privacy program, visit www.census.gov/privacy.

For more information about the census in Montgomery County, visit montgomerycountymd.gov/census.

Mayor and Council Approve Charter Review Commission

The Mayor and Council voted unanimously Jan. 13 to establish a commission to review the city’s charter.

The charter is a legal document similar to a constitution. It establishes the city’s corporate limits and outlines how the city is organized and conducts business, such as holding elections, levying taxes, adopting ordinances and providing services.

The commission will be comprised of up to 11 city residents. Each member of the Mayor and Council may choose one member. In addition, the mayor will nominate a commission chair, to be approved by the council. The Mayor and Council together will select and approve five additional members. The chair of the city’s Board of Supervisors of Elections will serve as a nonvoting ex officio representative to the commission.

The Mayor and Council will hold at least one public hearing on the scope of the commission’s work, at a date to be determined.

The Mayor and Council last appointed a Charter Review Commission in 2012. That commission made recommendations about the length of elected terms of the Mayor and Council, the number of members on the council, and the schedule by which Mayor and Council elections are held. The commission also identified several ways to enhance voting, including early voting and voting by mail.

Find video of the Mayor and Council’s discussion, and more information about the charter review process, with the Jan. 13 Mayor and Council agenda at www.rockvillemd.gov/AgendaCenter.

Students Have a Chance to be Mayor for a Day in May

Mayor Newton to Visit Rockville Fourth Graders

Rockville fourth graders once again have a chance to serve as the city’s Mayor for a Day this spring by taking part in the statewide “If I Were Mayor” essay contest.

The theme of this year’s contest, organized by the Maryland Municipal League and the Maryland Mayors Association, is “Re-imagine Tomorrow.” Students are asked to write an essay, no longer than 275 words, that would describe how, if they were mayor, they would reimagine their community and describe how they’d make tomorrow better.

One winning essay will be selected from each of MML’s 11 regional districts throughout the state. Winners will receive $100 cash and a governor’s citation and will be recognized during an awards ceremony in Annapolis. Essays must be received by mail by Friday, March 27.

The Mayor and Council consider the contest to be a wonderful exercise in government studies and encourage fourth graders attending schools in Rockville to participate.

Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton welcomes the opportunity to speak with students about the essay contest, municipal government and what it is like to be mayor of Rockville. Teachers or school administrators may email jmobley@rockvillemd.gov to arrange for the mayor to visit their school, though a mayoral visit is not required for students to participate.

In addition to the winners chosen by MML and MMA, the mayor will select a student attending school in Rockville to serve as the city’s Mayor for a Day in May.

Learn more by visiting www.mdmunicipal.org and selecting “Mayor’s Essay Contest” under “Engagement,” or call the City Clerk/Director of Council Operations office at 240-314-8280.

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