David Myles, M.D.
Name: David Myles
Neighborhood of Residence: Tower Oaks
Office Seeking: City Council
What do you identify as the number one challenge facing Rockville today and how do you propose to address it?
Meeting the needs of a growing population is the central challenge facing Rockville today and moving forward. If, how and where to build new housing, roads and businesses will have a significant impact on all residents. Given the environmental challenges we all face because of human-induced climate change, proposals to address a growing city must be drafted in ways that are cognizant of this reality. The challenges include transportation, education and infrastructure. Transit-oriented development (e.g. the Twinbrook Quarter) is a way to meet the some of the needs of that growing population in a way that minimizes the impact on the environment, to the extent possible. I would be sure to work with our state and county partners (County Council and County School Board) to ensure that our schools and non-city roads (e.g. Rockville Pike, Veirs Mill, etc.) can adequately absorb any proposed growth.
What is the role of City government in addressing housing affordability issues in Rockville and what would you do to encourage the production of more affordable homes for working families?
As a Navy veteran I also found it difficult to find suitable housing that I could use the VA home loan to purchase. Working families, young families, veterans, college graduates, teachers and seniors are all finding it challenging to afford to live here. One way to mitigate this would be to hold developers accountable for building the actual number of affordable housing units they are required to build (12.5-15%). I would also propose simplifying the process of applying for residency in such moderately priced units.
How do you feel about the transportation options currently available in our city? Do we have enough options? How would you mitigate those concerns or change the situation?
With three metro stations, multiple bus routes and major roadways (Veirs Mill, Rockville Pike, 270) that are becoming increasingly congested, there is a great deal of potential. A primary focus should be placed on improving the safety and accessibility to non-motorized forms of transit. Protected ADA-compliant pedestrian crossings near/over major thoroughfares and dedicated bicycle lanes in/near such areas are two initiatives that will improve everybody’s ability to move through and within the city.
Do you believe Rockville’s APFO (Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance) is working as intended? Why or why not? What changes would you propose?
That children in some of our local schools attend classes in portables (trailers) suggests that facilities are not adequate and, thus, the APFO may not be working as intended. I would propose working more closely with the County Council and County School Board to collaboratively determine what projected growth they are planning relative to any proposed development project. Our county partners could be invited in such discussions with the Mayor and City Council having the final say. In so doing, we will right-size development.
How do you plan on maintaining a balance between environmental sustainability and economic development?
I do not think that being good stewards of the environment has to come at the cost of economic development. With the climate crisis we are all now facing, the jobs of tomorrow (and today) will increasingly be in areas dealing with mitigating the impact of climate change while helping us shift from a fossil fuel-based economy. As a City Councilmember, I will help ensure that newly constructed office buildings meet the highest environmental efficiency standards while providing incentives for existing buildings to adopt such standards.
How will you implement the City’s commitment to Vision Zero?
This is related to my answer to a previous question regarding transportation. Having a pedestrian-centric view of transportion thoroughfares is beneficial to motorists and non-motorists alike. I would advocate for ensuring our visions for the future (e.g. masterplans) at the City and County levels are working toward that end. In so doing, I would learn from best practices in other jurisdictions and incorporate that knowledge in Rockville. For example I would advocate that all major intersections should have a “leading interval” delay whereby the walk signal comes on while all traffic lights are red thus giving pedestrians more time to cross and making them more visible to drivers. Rockville is geographically unique given the confluence of modes of transportation that transect multiple jurisdictions and states which may reveal novel ways to protect pedestrians that can be communicated to our County and State partners for implementation. Finally, I would ensure that the city is working with the County and State in the collection of data that can help inform us about those streets and intersections that are most problematic.
As Rockville’s population continues to grow and diversify, do you support increasing the size of the City Council to offer more opportunities for representation? How do you plan to involve residents from all corners of Rockville in the decision making process if you are elected?
I support increasing the number of City Councilmembers and implementing district representation (as opposed to at-large). This will help ensure that the voices of people throughout the city are better represented. I would also push to fill the vacancies on the Boards and Commissions in a timely manner. I have encountered several individuals who appear to be qualified, but have not been considered to fill the existing vacancies.
Are you satisfied with Rockville’s city-manager form of government? If not, how would you propose changing it?
As it is currently implemented here in Rockville, I have no concerns about the workings of the Mayor/Council and City manger. My initial misgivings were about the lack of accountability of the City manger to the people given that the manager was appointed by the Mayor/Council and not elected by the people.
Do you support protecting equal rights for all individuals in Rockville, regardless of gender, race, age, religion, ethnic origin, disability, immigration status, sexual orientation or gender identity?
If you received a $1 million grant to use for the city any way you wanted, what would you do with it and why?
I would invest that money into building and/or purchasing more housing units to be occupied by people of modest financial means.