Rock,-Gottfried

Age: 58

Political party or slate, if any: Nonpartisan

Current occupation and employer (if retired, list your last job): CPA, Richard Gottfried, CPA, LLC; Montgomery College, part-time adjunct faculty

Previous work experience (up to two previous jobs before current or last one): University of Phoenix, National 4-H Council

Political experience (public offices held and when, as well as other unsuccessful campaigns for office): Montgomery County Council, At-Large, 2018; Rockville City Council, 2015, 2011, 2007

Campaign contact information (website, email, Facebook, Twitter, other):

1. Why are you the most qualified to hold this position?

I have over 12 years of advocacy on major policy issues in the city of Rockville.
• Past president, treasurer and outreach chair on my neighborhood association
• Built relationships with the Montgomery County executive and Council, Gaithersburg and Takoma Park city councils, numerous state senators and delegates, MoCo Board of Education members and over 10 civic associations
• Revised zoning ordinance for home-based businesses
• Organized neighborhood input for Rockville 2040 Master Plan
• Advocated against moving bus depot to Rockville
• Advocated for Edmonston Drive Bridge rehabilitation through completion
• Strengthened neighborhood civic partnerships

2. What are the top two issues in this campaign? What specific ideas do you have to address them?

My top two issues in this campaign are advocating for:
• A sustainable plan for the increase in traffic
• A decrease in our deficit in infrastructure costs

There are several other issues facing the city:
• Pedestrian, bike and scooter safety
• The future of RedGate Park: I will be advocating for RedGate Park to continue to be a recreational space to enhance the quality of life for all Rockville residents
• If thesState decides to widen I-270, I will be advocating against eminent domain for Rockville property owners.

My specific ideas are:
• To create a sustainable plan for the increase in traffic over the next 5-, 10- and 15-year period
• To create a traffic master plan starting with each neighborhood creating their own plan.
• I would advocate for timed traffic lights and pedestrian signals.

Regarding the increase in infrastructure cost:
• I would analyze why we have an $11.6 million deficit in our business-like funds (water, sewer, and parking) when every year we increase the fees.
• I would be determining why our stormwater management fund fees keep increasing when this fund has over $4.5 million surplus.

3. What has been your biggest accomplishment in office? If you have not held office, what is your biggest accomplishment that has prepared you to hold office?

My biggest accomplishment that has prepared me to hold office is having been elected 5 times to the Maryland Society of Accounting and Tax Professionals Board of Directors (2 years as 2nd vice president and 3 years as delegate) by over 2,500 members across Maryland and additionally having been appointed by thebBoard to be the strategic planning chair and young professionals chair. As a result, I experience implementing policy and building strategic partnerships.

As past president of my neighborhood association, I have over 12 years of advocacy on major policy issues in the city of Rockville.

4. Have the current mayor and/or council taken any actions with which you disagreed? If so, what is the most significant one and what would you have done instead?

I disagree with the decision by the current Mayor and Council to approve the first grant to a business without a competitive bidding process. This amount was funded by Rockville’s taxpayer dollars.

This grant does not require the business to meet any sales targets nor net income requirements.
The business has not provided the details of their contract agreement as requested.

Source: Bethesda Beat, 2019-01-08, Glynis Kazanjian

I will advocate for an annual financial report that reconciles the grant funding to the actual business expenditures.

5. What went wrong with RedGate Golf Course? How should the property be used next?

What went wrong with RedGate:
• A major maintenance project costing millions of dollars was funded by depleting their cash reserves instead of securing long-term financing through bonds, like the city does with other CIP projects.
• Cost allocation accounting by reallocating Stormwater Management Fund expenditures to the RedGate Fund and reallocating governmental fund expenditures to the RedGate Fund, including depreciation.
• Changing the RedGate conversation from a park and recreational service to the Rockville taxpayers to a profitable entity.

I would advocate to maintain Redgate Park as a recreational space that enhances the quality of life for Rockville residents.

6. How would you describe the city’s progress in revitalizing Rockville Town Center? Would you do anything else or instead?

The city continues to struggle with creating an economically thriving Town Center. The city hired Urban Land Institute, an external consultant, to assist the staff with the revitalization of Town Center.

To revitalize RTC, it will take all interested parties working together to make this happen. We need to seriously address the financial challenges:
• $60 million bond debt for parking garages (with under $1 million/year in interest payments)
• The library, intended to function as an anchor store, is not functioning as an anchor
• Convert a portion of vacant residential units into revenue-producing small-business units.