Kickoff Speech

Good afternoon. My name is Brigitta Mullican.  I want to thank you for joining me today. I am a Rockville City Council candidate and an independent voice for you, the citizens of Rockville. I am NOT running as part of a slate and am not beholden or answerable to anyone but YOU! 

Good afternoon. My name is Brigitta Mullican.  I want to thank you for joining me today. I am a Rockville City Council candidate and an independent voice for you, the citizens of Rockville. I am NOT running as part of a slate and am not beholden or answerable to anyone but YOU!  Thank you for coming today to my campaign kickoff.

This campaign is all about Rockville and what we citizens need from our government and from the City Council that will lead it.

Let me ask you two questions:1) Are we getting the right kind of representation and services, and, 2) are our tax dollars being spent efficiently and effectively? When I am elected, I will make sure that the answer to both those questions is a resounding YES!

Here is a little bit about me. I’ve served on the Rockville Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors of Elections. I’ve also served as treasurer and a member of the board of the Montgomery County League of Women Voters. If you have followed public hearings on Rockville issues, chances are you have seen me there, testifying, questioning, volunteering for public boards and commissions.

I spent the better part of my federal career as a budget officer where I had responsibility to formulate budgets and manage the spending, and raise the alarm when there were shortfalls. There is good reason to believe Rockville could use some of that oversight!

Before our last City election in 2015, the Team for Rockville promised to solve Town Center business problems, its parking problem, and help the Red Gate Golf Course. Guess what happened?

On the other hand, the City of Gaithersburg built a TC public garage without going into debt. Why not in Rockville?

After spending more than $90 million dollars on Town Center, we ask how is that working out?  The money was spent.

Dawson’s Market received $400,000 of town funds to help it survive in the Town Center.  But what about the other small businesses that struggle to survive there? Why is the council seemingly playing favorites?  Why are so many businesses struggling in downtown Rockville when they are thriving in other areas like the Rio, Silver Spring and Pike and Rose?

We Rockville citizens need more financial oversight and new ideas to turn around the struggling town center. Here are a couple suggestions: make parking free after 5:00 p.m. and on weekends and allow development so the rest of the Town Center is fully developed.  It doesn’t take years of study and months of debate.      It takes some fresh thinking and decisiveness. I’ll bring that to the council as an independent voice.

There is a reason why the City Council election is non-partisan. Each candidate is supposed to run on his or her own merits, and act on City matters on their merits, not as slates that put a premium on conformity rather than originality.  One slate running against another is really just another form of political partisanship.     Aren’t you tired of such partisan behavior?

Isn’t it interesting that a vacancy on the council this year wasn’t filled after 21 candidates were interviewed and time was wasted? Normally the council has five members to avoid the potential gridlock that could come from an even-numbered split. But apparently the governing slate is confident no one will break ranks and start to think for themselves or act for their constituents. When everyone on the council speaks with one voice, it isn’t a sign of good government but of group think and closed-mindedness.

It might also be asked why are there so many vacancies in Rockville Boards and Commissions?  We need to accept volunteers when they apply and not ignore them.      At the very least, they deserve the courtesy of a follow-up letter.

We citizens of Rockville should be represented faithfully and fully on our City Council, not drowned out by a few special interests.  That’s why I think it’s time to expand the city council from 5 to 7 members so, ALL residents can be fully represented.

In 1950, when the size of the present council was determined, Rockville had a population of about 6,900. Today we have ten times that many due to annexations and large developments such as King Farm, Falls Grove and the JBG Twinbrook Commons.  City staff has increased greatly but not the city council. This means a decline in the ability of the elected government to keep an eye on the non-elected government. 

It is time to right-size our City Government, to scrutinize the budget to avoid waste, and to make sure we don’t duplicate services provided by other organizations.

Why are other cities the size of Rockville able to function with smaller budgets? How do other cities run their governments without debt? How does Frederick manage with a lower budget, fewer full-time positions, and still maintain an airport and a municipal golf course?

I believe my experience and my love of Rockville make me the best-qualified candidate to represent your interests on our City Council.  But I can’t get there alone.  We have to do this together.  If you tell me what you think Rockville needs, I will do my best to represent that need on the council.  In turn, you have to tell me what you are willing to do to help me get elected.

Do you know there has been no Twinbrook representation on the Rockville City Council since 2007 when Rockville Polling District 4 was represented by Councilmember Robert Dorsey?  My Rockville Polling District 5 has not been represented since 1985 when Councilmember John Tyner was on the City Council.

This year I am the only candidate running from Rockville Polling District 5. It is time for Twinbrook to be represented on the City Council. Of the 10 Rockville Polling Districts 6 and 8 do not have a candidate running.  I will represent them.

Please ask your friends and neighbors to support my campaign.  In return, when I’m elected, I promise to work hard every day to bring an independent voice,    fresh ideas, and    efficient solutions to the challenges that face us as Rockville citizens.  Learn more about me by visiting my campaign website, or Google Brigitta Mullican.  I am the best and most independent representative for the Rockville City Council.  I ask for your vote and I will work to earn it!