The Mayor & Town Council

Meet the Mayor
Jeffrey Slavin - Term expires in 2024
Slavin 2
Jeffrey Slavin was initially elected as Mayor of Somerset in 2008 where he was previously a member of the Town Council from 2002 to 2008. Active in Montgomery County’s philanthropic community and nonprofit sector, he has served on a variety of boards and commissions.  He is a member of the Maryland Mayor's Association, has been elected to several terms on the Board of Directors of the Maryland Municipal League and has served as a trustee of the Community Foundation for Montgomery County. In 2011, he was named as the county's Philanthropist of the Year. Jeffrey has been a licensed real estate broker since 1983 and for over 25 years had his own property management company. A graduate of Tufts University, Georgetown University Law Center, and the State and Local Government Program at Harvard's Kennedy School, he also has participated in numerous leadership programs, including Leadership Montgomery and Leadership Maryland.

Jeffrey can be contacted by email at, his direct line at (202) 549-2299, or his cell (301) 657-2229
Meet the Council

Stephen Surko (Council President) - Term expires in 2024
Steve Surko has lived in Somerset since 2005 where he and his wife, Elizabeth Thompson, have raised three children. Steve retired from the Navy as Commander in 2004 and currently serves as the Chief, Office of Technology Development at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP). An Eagle Scout, he has served as a Cubmaster and Assistant Cubmaster. Over the years, he served as a soccer and lacrosse coach. He was first elected to the Somerset Town Council in 2018. An avid cyclist, Steve commutes to BEP on the Capital Crescent Trail. Elizabeth and Steve enjoy a small zoo of rescue cats and dogs. Steve also enjoys reading and gardening.

Stephen can be contacted by email at or by phone at (301) 656-5004

Robin Barr - Term expires in 2024
Robin Barr was first elected to the Town Council in 2020 after serving as a member of the Town’s Budget Committee and as Chair of the Town’s Environment Committee. Among other activities he led the effort to introduce a municipal curbside food scraps pick-up service in the Town. Our residents’ food scraps now create compost that enriches the soils around us. After joining the Council, Robin also serves as a Board member of the Montgomery County Chapter of the Maryland Municipal League and as vice-chair, and MML representative, to the County’s Solid Waste Advisory Committee. He and his wife, Leslie Caplan, raised their son, Matthew, in Somerset and enjoy being grandparents to Ellen and Flora. Robin retired in 2020 after a long career at NIH and is now a Visiting Scholar at the Gerontological Society of America.

Robin can be contacted by email at or by phone at (301) 655-3479

Debbie Heller - Term expires in 2025
Debbie Heller and her husband Jamie have lived in Somerset since 1985. Prior to serving on the Town Council, Debbie was a long-standing member and past Chair of the Pool Committee. She also served as a parent rep in charge of the Somerset Dolphins Swim Team for two summers. Debbie is a graduate of Lehman College (CUNY) and holds graduate degrees from both Michigan State University (Higher Education Administration) and Johns Hopkins University (School Counseling). In her professional career, she was the Assistant Middle School Director and Chair of the Middle School Guidance Department at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School (JDS). She also served as the Director of Student Activities at both Georgetown University and the University of Detroit, as well as a dorm director at Michigan State University. Debbie volunteers with Project Knitwell, a group that teaches knitting to children and adults in stressful situations. She also currently leads a project at the Regional Institute for Children and Adolescents (RICA), a school for emotionally disturbed children. She is most proud of her job as a mom to her three boys. She has also served on several boards of directors, most recently with the Lavinia Engle Scholarship Fund, which gives grants to women attending Maryland colleges who are in financial need. She has also served the Keshet Board, an organization that works for the full inclusion of the LGBTQ community in Jewish life, the Kol Shalom Synagogue, and the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School boards.

Debbie can be contacted by email at or by phone at (301) 654-5497

Kabir Kumar - Term expires in 2025
Kabir Kumar lives on Trent Street with his wife, Kelly, and their kids, Peter and Indu. Somerset has been their home for nine years. Peter attended Somerset Elementary and Indu was born while the family lived in Somerset, before a stint in India. Kabir is originally from India where his parents still live. The kids swim for the Dolphins and Kabir and Kelly both volunteer for the swim team, led admirably by wonderful volunteers. Kabir works for an investment firm that backs technology companies and non-profits. He serves on the boards of several organizations.

Kabir can be contacted by email at or by phone at (202) 830-4905

Shannon Rovak - Term expires in 2025
Shannon Rovak was first appointed to fill the vacancy left by former Council member Jack Frink's resignation in July 2021 and was reelected to the position in 2023. Shannon has been a Somerset resident since June of 2019, with the hopes of staying for a long time. She and her husband Kenny are raising their child, Claire, in Somerset; she is a participant on the Somerset Dolphins swim team. As a working mother living in Somerset, Shannon has a range of interests on the Council, including stormwater management, safety, the Town Pool, tennis courts, the environment, and the enjoyment of the neighborhood.

Shannon can be contacted by email at or by phone at (608) 334-2306