After a heated discussion during which Takoma Park residents sharply criticized some city officials, the City Council and Mayor Sammie A. Abbott agreed to hire the same city architect that they chose last month.
The issue was reopened, along with old wounds of the previous debate, at a session the evening of July 12 that lasted until 2 o'clock the next morning. Abbott questioned the council's choice, Warring Associates/LDR Inc., citing problems in other municipalities where Warring had been hired to supervise construction projects.
A number of residents complained that by reconsidering a choice it had made last month, the council was delaying revitalization of the city's downtown business district, the chief task assigned to the chosen firm.
Abbott received some rough appraisals from residents who viewed with suspicion his support for a friend and neighbor, Travis Price, whose firm, Price and Partners, had been edged out of the job.
Abbott explained that Price had done previous work for the city at low rates, had set up the criteria for the revitalization job and deserved consideration as a local firm.
But after Thomas Warring explained that his company had made certain that any mistakes made by his subcontractors were corrected and that he had been baptized in Takoma Park's Masonic Temple, the council again decided to hire him.
Warring's estimate for the revitalization project ranged up to $75,000. Price had asked $76,000.