Gaithersburg City Council member Henry F. Marraffa Jr. says he did not answer Voters Guide questions in the Nov. 3 Montgomery Extra because he believed he had already given the information to a reporter. To view his answers, see the link to the Maryland Voters Guide at (Published 11/5/2005)

Jud B. Ashman

Age: 34

Residence: Orchard Place Community, Gaithersburg.

Education: BA, broadcast journalism and political science, University of Miami.

Occupation: President, The Elegant Envelope Ltd.

Elected offices/civic activities: Chairman, Citizens for Smarter Growth; coordinator, Quince Orchard Cluster of PTAs; executive board member, Montgomery County Council of PTAs; MCCPTA delegate, Quince Orchard High School PTSA; MCCPTA delegate, Kingsview Middle School PTSA; past president, Brown Station Elementary School PTA.

What do you think is the most urgent problem facing your jurisdiction?

"The most urgent issue facing Gaithersburg is the rapid and unchecked growth going on in areas all over our city. We all see the results on our congested roads, in our overcrowded schools, and in the growing public safety concerns -- all of which affect our quality of life. Our current City Council has lost control of growth. And I'm running -- along with my longtime fellow community leader, Mike Sesma -- to offer a more responsible alternative. We will support growth when there's infrastructure to support it, and when the citizens agree that it will be an enhancement to our community."

Why should voters elect you?

"With long track records of community leadership and advocacy on education and civic issues, Mike and I are offering a more responsible alternative."

Web site:

E-mail address:

Blanche H. Keller *

Age: 64

Residence: Gaithersburg.

Education: BA, business administration, George Washington University; completed classes in contemporary executive development, George Washington University.

Occupation: Retired federal government manager.

Elected offices/civic activities: Member, Gaithersburg City Council, 2004-05 (I was appointed to fill the unexpired term of a council member who resigned); past chair, Gaithersburg Planning Commission; member, Gaithersburg Police Chief's Advisory Council; member and past president, Montgomery County (Police) Citizen Academy Alumni Association; member and past president, Gaithersburg-Forest Oak Lions Club; past member of five other Gaithersburg committees; past member, Maryland State Highway Administration Committee to plan I-270/Watkins Mill Road exit.

What do you think is the most urgent problem facing your jurisdiction?

"While I remain extremely concerned about overcrowded schools and regional traffic congestion, I believe local government's number one responsibility is public safety. The city of Gaithersburg and Montgomery County have outstanding police departments. However, crime rates remain unacceptably high and youth gang violence is increasing at an alarming rate.

We must implement new strategies including prevention, intervention and suppression to address youth gang activity. Last year, the city formed a street crimes unit to focus on proactive enforcement in high-crime areas. This unit has made excellent progress, but I believe additional resources must be provided."

Why should voters elect you?

"I will make public safety a priority, support the ICC, the CCT and the Watkins Mill Road interchange, and support the revitalization of Olde Towne."

Web site:

None given.

E-mail address:

Henry F. Marraffa, Jr. *

Did not respond.

Michael A. Sesma

Age: 52

Residence: West Riding Community, Gaithersburg.

Education: BA, biology and psychology, University of California, San Diego; PhD, psychology (specializing in neuroscience), University of California at Riverside.

Occupation: Chief, Research Scientist Development Program, Office for Special Populations, National Institute of Mental Health.

Elected offices/civic activities: Former alderman, Ward 1, city of Pasadena Hills, St.Louis County, Missouri (1986-88, 1990-92); former trustee and treasurer, Trustees of Pasadena Hills (1992-94); founding member, Citizens for Smarter Growth, Gaithersburg; past president, Kingsview Middle School PTSA (2001-03); former representative, KMS Quince Orchard and Northwest Cluster (2000-01); representative, Diamond Elementary School Quince Orchard Cluster; member,

St. Rose of Lima Parish Christmas Tree Ministry.

What do you think is the most urgent problem facing your jurisdiction?

"There is tremendous pressure in Gaithersburg to develop high-density residential and commercial projects without adequate infrastructure to support them. Unchecked development in the city and county overburdens schools, roads and transit systems and is felt the most by families and changes the character of neighborhoods. Our council has allowed developers, rather than those who live and work here, to determine the city's future. I offer with, my fellow community leader Jud Ashman, a responsible alternative perspective on development compatible with the city's master plan and that enhances the qualify of life for current and future residents."

Why should voters elect you?

"With records of community leadership and advocacy on education for families and neighborhoods, Jud Ashman and I offer responsible and responsive leadership for the council."

Web site:

E-mail address: