photo of Sidney Katz

Who Will Be Gaithersburg’s Next Mayor?

UPDATE: As Montgomery County gains a new county council member, the City of Gaithersburg is poised to have a vacancy at its mayoral post.photo of city of gaithersburg logo

With Sidney Katz’ win in the Primary Election, the city has until his swearing-in in December or earlier if he chooses to resign to designate a new mayor to take his place.

According to the city’s charter, it is up to the City Council to select a replacement. A council member can nominate someone for the post and then by council vote appoint that person. That replacement mayor would serve until the next city election in November 2015 when there will be an election to fill the seat for the remaining two years of Katz’ term.

The mayoral term is four years. After the 2017 election the term for mayor would return to a normal four year cycle.

“I would assume they would select a replacement from among themselves,” said City Manager Tony Tomasello, adding that so far he has not had any council member tell  him they would like to serve in the position. If the council does in fact chose one of its own members, then the remaining council members would also have to appoint a new council member to take the place of the member who will be filling the mayor’s spot.

The charter also provides for a special election in the event a public petition requesting a special election is received within 30 days of the county’s appointment of someone to fill the mayor’s vacancy. The petition must contain the signatures of at least 20 percent of the registered voters of the city, which as of Jan. 2014 was 32,203, according to City Attorney Lynn Board. If the petition requirements are met, a special election would be held within 45 days from the date the petition is certified, according to Board.

Three of the Council seats currently held by Jud Ashman, Ryan Spiegel and Cathy Drzyzgula, will also be up for election in 2015.

“I don’t think we have specific plans at this point.  Mayor Katz probably won’t resign until fall, so we wouldn’t act until then,” Drzyzgula wrote in an email to Montgomery Community Media.  “Should make for an exciting election in 2015 in any case!”

Ashman confirmed Thursday that he is “considering” tossing his name into the ring to take the mayor’s place.

“I am really thinking about it,” he said. “Sidney has set an incredibly high bar and those are some big shoes to fill.”

 

 

Jud  Ashman Council Member 11/8/2011 – 11/3/2015
Cathy  C  Drzyzgula Council Member 11/8/2011 – 11/3/2015
Sidney  A  Katz Mayor 11/5/2013 – 11/7/2017
Henry  F  Marraffa, Jr. Council Member 11/5/2013 – 11/7/2017
Michael  A.  Sesma Council Member 11/5/2013 – 11/7/2017
Ryan  Spiegel Council Member 11/8/2011 – 11/3/2015

 

 
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Krista Brick

About Krista Brick

Krista Brick is a multi-media journalist with Montgomery Community Media.

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