Gaithersburg has four candidates running for three City Council seats in the Nov. 3 city election. In alphabetical order:
- Neil H. Harris VoteForNeil.com — 60, Longtime Kentlands civic leader, appointed to fill an open City Council seat last year. Techie, number cruncher. MBA, Wharton. “If elected, I will organize a system to bring us together to create a vision, a strategy, and a plan for our city’s future.”
- Laurie-Anne Sayles LaurieAnneSayles.org — 34, Works at NIH, PTA member, member of Gaithersburg Education Enrichment Committee. MS, University of Baltimore School of Public Affairs. An advocate of education and inclusive government. “I am committed to seeing our children grow up in a community where their prospects are not limited by their race, gender or zip code.”
- Ryan Spiegel RyanSpiegel.com — 37, Incumbent City Council member, attorney in private practice. “Ryan’s ‘Bank on Gaithersburg’ initiative helps families achieve financial stability. He champions affordable housing and safety-net services, while delivering a responsible debt-free budget and the lowest tax rate of any major city in Maryland.”
- Robert Wu VoteRobWu.com — U.S. Army veteran with 16 years active duty and reserves. Federal government attorney, president, Parklands HOA. Member, city Transportation Committee and Police Advisory Committee. “One of my greatest concerns is the overcrowding of our schools. . . . I am also concerned with the impact of drastic development on our communities, local small businesses, and quality of life. Growth for the sake of growth is not the answer.”
Two candidate forums have been held, one in Kentlands at the western edge of the city, and the other at Asbury Methodist Village at the eastern edge. The election will probably be decided by voters living in Kentlands-Lakelands and Asbury, with very light turnout elsewhere in the city.
I attended the Kentlands forum and was impressed by all the candidates. However, they are different personalities with different strengths and possibly weaknesses, different priorities, and different points of view. Your vote is powerful. You can vote for three of the four candidates to fill the three City Council seats available.
A televised debate was requested and planned, but for whatever reasons, the city couldn’t make it happen. It is unlikely that voters in other parts of the city will have an opportunity to see all the candidates together in one forum between now and Election Day. Some of the candidates may be knocking on voters’ doors.
Laurie-Anne Sayles has a number of small campaign coffees scheduled to talk with voters. You can find the times and places on her website. To my knowledge, none of the other candidates has specific events scheduled, but there might be some I don’t know about. If anyone knows of campaign events by individual candidates, or forums including more than one candidate, please leave a note in the comments box below. Or email me at BJohnHayden@icloud.com.
For more information, please view brief YouTube videos by individual candidates.
The city website includes a page devoted to the election, with links to short written statements by the candidates. Also on the city’s election page, click on the words, “Download the City of Gaithersburg 2015 Voters Guide” to download even more candidate information to view on your computer.
You can view the city’s campaign financing page and click on the names of individual candidates to see how much money they are raising and spending.
Coming up next, the candidates for mayor.
Candidates and voters alike are welcome to comment below, or ask questions.
— John Hayden