Category: Government (Page 2 of 23)

Residents Sought for Service on Charter Review Commission

This article has been updated to reflect a new deadline to apply and also an additional July 13 public hearing before the Mayor and Council.

The Mayor and Council are seeking Rockville residents to serve on a Charter Review Commission that will review and recommend changes to Rockville’s founding document — the charter.

The charter, established in 1860 with Rockville’s incorporation, is a legal document similar to a constitution that empowers the city to pass ordinances, in accordance with state laws. The document establishes the city’s corporate limits and outlines how the city is organized and conducts business, such as the terms and number of elected officials, holding elections, levying taxes, adopting ordinances and providing services.

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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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Volunteers Needed for Landlord-Tenant Affairs Commission

The City of Rockville Landlord-Tenant Affairs Commission is seeking two tenant representatives to join the board.

The commission plays a vital role in the city as a quasi-judicial body created to resolve landlord-tenant complaints, and has the power to hold hearings, and issue decisions and orders, that have the force of law.

Assistance from the commission’s staff liaison, and having the case heard before the commission, is a free alternative for resolving disputes, and often preferable to a court case.

The Landlord-Tenant Affairs Commission consists of 10 members — two landlords and one alternate, two tenants and one alternate, and three members of the public and one alternate — who must live within the city or, in the case of landlords and operators, own or operate rental facilities within the city.

For more information about serving on the Landlord-Tenant Affairs Commission, contact staff liaison Crystal Gorham at 240-314-8320 or cgorham@rockvillemd.gov.

Visit www.rockvillemd.gov/boardscommissions to see vacancies on the city’s boards and commission, and learn more about the application process.

Meet a Rockville Employee: Manisha Tewari

Manisha Tewari, Principal Planner

Manisha Tewari, a principal planner in Rockville’s Department of Planning and Development Services, has been with the city for over 14 years. We asked her a few questions about her job, including her role in preparing the city for the 2020 United States Census.

What does a principal planner do?
A principal planner performs difficult professional planning work that requires a proactive and sometimes influential approach to coordinating activities between city departments and outside agencies and the community to contribute to the overall quality of life and orderly growth and development of the city.

As a principal planner, I developed several components of the city’s comprehensive plan, in collaboration with other departments, and helped manage public outreach for Rockville’s update to the master plan process. I also develop strategic documents highlighting the state of the city by analyzing development trends and growth patterns related to demographics, housing and economy, and conduct other specialized studies. I coordinate with surrounding jurisdictions such as the county, Montgomery College and Montgomery County Public Schools, and develop testimony on their master plans and capital improvements programs to promote Rockville’s interests. I provide census and other employment data to city departments to assist in their budgets, grants and recruiting processes. I use geographic information systems extensively to visually represent various analyses.

What have you been doing to help the city prepare for the 2020 census?
I led the city’s efforts to ensure the Census Bureau had good data about Rockville for both the 2010 and 2020 census. Both projects involved considerable preparation and training. We have been preparing for the 2020 census for the past two years. In spring 2018, I compared the Census Bureau’s draft list of residential addresses to the city’s database of 28,650 residential addresses, and identified over 2,100 new addresses to add, and others to correct or remove as incorrect, or that were outside city limits. In October, I participated in a Census Bureau program to identify new construction since March 1, 2018, and identified over 700 new residences not included in the 2018 residential review. If the new units are occupied by April 1, they will receive a 2020 Census questionnaire. This process enables the Census Bureau to mail questionnaires to all households using the corrected address list.

Why is a complete count of the census so important?
Census data is used to determine the city’s sociodemographic characteristics, which affect how billions of dollars in federal funding are distributed for things like health care, senior centers and housing, social services, jobs, roads, schools, and businesses. It is estimated that each person not counted by the census costs the state about $18,250 over a 10-year period. Census data is also used to define representative boundaries for congressional districts, state legislative districts and voting precincts, and for enforcing voting rights and civil rights legislation.

What other projects are you working on?
I’m involved in strategies for improving the vitality of Rockville Town Center. I’m also managing the next round of city forecasting for housing, population and employment, in coordination with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. This process will help the city plan and implement policies to keep Rockville competitive in the region, and determine infrastructure and budget needs to serve our current and future population. I’m also working on strategies so that Rockville can grow as envisioned in the master plan.

Is there anything else we should know that we haven’t asked about?
I have a bachelor’s degree in architecture and a master’s in planning. I like working as a public service professional, and my interdisciplinary training and experience has allowed me to contribute to Rockville’s built environment and effectively (I hope) serve the community. I enjoy working for the city because it has provided me with opportunities for learning, growth and success, and allowed me to achieve a balance with my professional and personal life.

Budget Watch: Fiscal Year 2021

Rockville’s Mayor and Council continue budget deliberations this month with public hearings and work sessions focused on crafting a Fiscal Year 2021 budget that outlines the city’s priorities.

City Manager Rob DiSpirito was scheduled to present the Mayor and Council with a FY 2021 budget proposal on Feb. 24, after the deadline for this edition of “Rockville Reports.” Find video of the presentation with the Feb. 24 meeting listing at www.rockvillemd.gov/AgendaCenter.

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Check the Mail for Your Census Invitation

Census Day is Wednesday, April 1. By then, every home will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. Once the invitation arrives, you should respond for your home in one of three ways: online, by phone, or by mail.

Get Help
City community centers will open their computer labs for community members who choose to complete their census questionnaire online. Trained staff will be on hand to help from Monday, March 9-Sunday, April 5 and from Tuesday, April 14-Sunday, April 26, as follows:

  • Lincoln Park, Thomas Farm and Twinbrook community centers: 7-8 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-noon Saturdays and 1-4 p.m. Sundays.
  • Rockville Senior Center: noon-1 p.m. and 4-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

A limited number of coupons for discounted taxi rides to and from the senior center will be available for city residents age 60 and older through the Rockville Call N Ride program. For more information about Call N Ride, call 240-314-8810 or visit the Rockville Senior Center, 1150 Carnation Drive.

How to Help
Meanwhile, preparations are ongoing to ensure a complete count for our community. The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting to fill temporary positions to assist with the count. Learn more and apply at 2020census.gov/jobs. Montgomery County will hold a training session for volunteer ambassadors from 7-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 3, in the first-floor meeting room of Rockville Memorial Library, 21 Maryland Ave. Once trained, ambassadors will host information tables, distribute promotional materials and engage with county residents. Learn more and sign up at montgomerycountymd.gov/census/ambassadors.html.

Learn more about efforts to ensure a complete count at www.rockvillemd.gov/RockvilleCounts.

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.

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City of Rockville
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