The Coolest Part of the Gude Drive Facility…

…with the possible exception of the big tank of beet juice, is the name of its conference room.

City Hall’s conference rooms have fancy Maryland-themed names like “Black-Eyed Susan,” or “Diamondback Terrapin,” or “Blue Crab,” but the guys out on Gude Drive are more direct about what they like about Maryland:



Our Terrific New Gude Drive Facility

I was delighted to get the opportunity today to tour the City’s newly expanded Gude Drive maintenance facility and show it off for the City’s cable station, Channel 11.

Gude Drive is where several hundred Public Works and Recreation and Parks folks report to work every day — about half the City’s workforce.  It’s where all City vehicles get their maintenance, their repairs, and their gas, and it’s where we park them when we’re not using them.  It’s where we store the salt, rocks, dirt, sand and, oddly, beet juice that keep this City running.  It’s where all our street signs are made.

Pat Stroud, Public Works Fleet Manager, was kind enough to take me around and demonstrate what $10 million in taxpayer money buys.  The highlight is a great new vehicle maintenance facility that will allow for much more efficient maintenance and repair of the City’s surprisingly large fleet of vehicles.

Some of the City’s larger vehicles — think cherry-pickers — couldn’t even fit in the old building, let alone go up on the lifts.  The new building can handle any vehicle the City owns or is likely to own in the foreseeable future.

By moving the vehicle maintenance shop out of the old buildings they had been in, the other divisions that have a home on Gude Drive will also be able to rearrange themselves and work more efficiently.

Rockville will be a more efficient, safer, and better city with this project completed.

The segment on Channel 11 starts airing October 1.

Tanned, Rested, and Ready.

My colleagues and I return from our summer break tomorrow night to a new chamber.

I liked the old one a lot — I was used to it:

…but the new one is beautifully put together and looks great.  This is my photo of it from a few weeks ago:

A tremendous amount of thought, care, and planning went into this transition.  Kudos to Rockville public information chief Marylou Berg and her staff for getting this done so well and so quickly!

UPDATE:  Here’s the new chamber on Opening Night:

And the view from my seat: