SILVER SPRING – Ryan Spiegel, who has been a member of the City of Gaithersburg Council since 2007, is the new president of the Maryland Municipal League (MML).
Spiegel was inducted, along with many district vice presidents and members at large, at the MML’s annual conference on June 26.
He had been president-elect since 2018 and succeeds Rockville City Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton.
MML represents the 157 cities and towns in Maryland and advocates for municipal priorities with state legislators.
“It’s really a good organization,” said Spiegel, who is an attorney specializing in litigation and government contracts with the firm Paley Rothman in Bethesda, where he is a partner.
“Councilman Ryan Spiegel has years of dedicated service to the residents of the City of Gaithersburg and members of the Maryland Municipal League. We’re honored that he will serve as MML President for 2019-2010,” MML Executive Director Scott Hancock wrote in a press release. “His vision to empower Maryland’s municipal leaders to ‘Reimagine Tomorrow’ will continue to push those local leaders toward success through education advocacy and relationship.”
As president, Spiegel gets to choose a theme for the coming year. He chose “Reimagine Tomorrow” to highlight his emphasis on bringing in younger people and utilizing social media more, he explained.
“It’s great that we have been so effective,” he said. “(But) we need to be more forward thinking. We are in a time of great change.”
Over the coming year, Spiegel said he plans to figure out ways to incorporate his theme to showcase the “innovative and forward-thinking ways that Maryland’s cities and towns are solving problems and improving the lives of their residents.”
He first became involved with MML when he was a member of Gaithersburg Council. The city is involved with this organization as well as with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and the National League of Cities.
“I have some involvement in all of them,” Spiegel said of those three organizations.
However, he said, the MML offers “the most bang for the buck.”
Through the statewide organization, the City of Gaithersburg has been able to advocate more effectively in Annapolis and has achieved positive results, he said.
“We were able to kill bad bills in Annapolis. To me, it just seemed like it is a very effective organization.”
Spiegel should know. He has been president of the Montgomery County chapter of MML before holding office in the statewide group.
The best part of the organization, he said, is that while he helps Maryland’s municipalities, Gaithersburg also comes out ahead.
For instance, Spiegel said, when he was legislative committee chair at the league in 2018, he advocated to restore State Highway User Revenue funds, which had been slashed greatly about 10 years ago.
By restoring these funds, millions of dollars were returned to the state’s municipalities, including Gaithersburg, for road repair.
MML is non-partisan which is something that “we take great pride in that, which is probably why we’ve been so effective,” Spiegel said.
During the past year, the league advocated to preserve the authority of local municipalities concerning small cell installation, according to a press release issued by the City of Gaithersburg.
The league also advocated for education funding through the Kirwan Commission and school construction funding and helped defeat a bill that would have limited the use of State Program Open Space funding.
Each municipality in MML gets one vote. However, it can send many of its municipal workers to conferences and training sessions to keep them up to date, he said.
Spiegel attended Stanford Law School after receiving a B.A. in journalism at the University of Maryland Honors Program. He is married and has two children.