Thursday, December 18, 2014

Residents cite conflict of interest in storage facility battle

ROCKVILLE – The ongoing storage facility saga in East Rockville continued this week, now with an accusation of conflict of interest.
The mayor and City Council discussed a proposed zoning text amendment (ZTA) that would prevent self-storage within 250 feet of a school, including an approved ezStorage site near Maryvale Elementary School for which Siena Corporation already bought the land. Community activist Drew Powell also asked Councilmember Tom Moore to recuse himself because of a past campaign contribution from the lawyer representing Siena.
According to campaign finance statements, Robert Dalrymple contributed $100 to Moore’s bid for County Council. Powell called for Moore’s recusal based on a proposed recusal policy the mayor and council placed on the agenda – but did not adopt – at the Nov. 10 meeting.
Although the Rockville City Code dictates when an official cannot participate because of a “gift” that might cause conflict of interest, the definition of “gift” exempts political contributions.
Moore said the current law is intentionally worded so someone cannot strategically contribute to force them to recuse themselves...

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