Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2007

Four more candidates could jump into race for City Council

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This column was corrected on Aug. 29 from its print version.

Rockville’s crowd of candidates could get larger as potential office-seekers mull their chances in the days before the Sept. 7 sign-up deadline.

The list of last-minute candidates considering bids for city office includes:

*Robert Campbell, a stay-at-home dad from Hungerford, pursuing his master’s degree in information systems.

‘‘I’m still on the fence,” he said Tuesday about a run for council. ‘‘But I guess I better get off pretty soon. We’re running out of time.”

Campbell is a newcomer to local politics, having never run for office or served on a city board or commission.

His thoughts on the incumbents?

‘‘These guys are getting ridiculous,” he said. ‘‘They’re just playing games with the trash.”

*Judy Miller, vice president of the Twinbrook Citizens Association, who is considering a run for council.

‘‘In the waning days of filing, you look and see who might be in the running and what their positions are,” Miller said.

Miller has been an outspoken critic of the proposed Twinbrook Neighborhood Plan, voting against it on the advisory group that ultimately passed the draft document on to the city Planning Commission.

Miller works closely with Twinbrook Citizens Association President Christina Ginsberg, who picked up the election packet for her.

*Tracy Pakulniewicz-Chidiac, a public relations consultant aligned with Councilwoman Susan R. Hoffmann.

A volunteer with Hoffmann’s mayoral campaign, Pakulniewicz-Chidiac has been collecting signatures for her own candidacy for City Council.

If elected, she promises to help make the council more functional, as it was one term ago, when Councilman John F. Hall Jr. was serving, she said.

‘‘That council was able to keep things moving, have the big picture in mind for Rockville,” she said.

The seat vacated by Hall was filled by Councilwoman Phyllis R. Marcuccio.

*Eric Kuohwa Wang, a mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service, has submitted the requisite signatures needed to become a council candidate.

Other forms must still be completed for him to become a candidate, city staff said Tuesday.

Wang ran unsuccessfully for a council seat in 1999. He serves on the Human Services Advisory Commission.

So far, eight residents have announced their candidacies for the City Council: Theodric Anderson, John Britton, Councilman Robert E. Dorsey, Piotr Gajewski, Carl Henn, Councilwoman Phyllis R. Marcuccio, Brigitta Mullican and Councilwoman Anne M. Robbins.

Three candidates — Hoffmann, Mark M. Pierzchala and Drew Powell — are running to replace Mayor Larry Giammo, who chose not to seek re-election.

The election is Nov. 6.

Sitting it out

Richard Gottfried, a certified public accountant who regularly offers budgetary analysis during the Citizen’s Forum portion of City Council meetings, said last week he would not run for office.

The outreach chairman of the Twinbrook Citizens Association had been considering a run.

‘‘I think I can still have an impact and give good counsel and advice to whoever’s elected and the staff,” he said.

John Brosnan, a Twinbrook man who once got a police escort from City Hall, said he has decided against running for mayor.

The escort came after Brosnan brought a bag with what he described as dead rats to Citizen’s Forum to protest rodents coming from a nearby house in his neighborhood.

‘‘As far as I’m concerned, I’m done,” he said about his fight to improve the condition of the unoccupied house he considers an eyesore. ‘‘It’s not worth fighting City Hall. The rest of my neighbors can take up the battle if they want.”

Brosnan has since said the rodents were fake, made as a stage prop for the council’s benefit.

He was arrested in April on charges that he impersonated a police officer near the county Board of Elections building on Twinbrook Parkway. He has refuted the charges, saying he will be exonerated of all wrongdoing in court.