The Takoma Park City Council last week appointed council members Carl Iddings and Herman Williams and residents David Prosten and Jill Wettrich to a newly created editorial policy committee for the city's monthly newsletter.
The council voted to set up the committee following charges during last month's primary election campaign that Mayor Sammie A. Abbott was using the city-financed newsletter as a political instrument.
The temporary panel will establish guidelines for how the editor handles opinion pieces. Members also will set standards for how those articles are to be submitted for publication.
The council set Oct. 18 as the committee's deadline for delivering the comprehensive editorial policy, which must meet the council's approval.
An ordinance making the council responsible for the newsletter also won passage, City Clerk Sybil Pusti said. Abbott will remain in charge of editing and producing the publication, a task he has done for nearly two years at no charge to the city.
In other business, the council approved proposals for spending nearly $1 million in federal Community Development Block Grant funds for next year. About half the money would go into Takoma Park's downtown restoration project, and the rest would go toward recreation, housing rehabilitation and neighborhood projects, Pusti said.
The council also passed an ordinance that bans junked cars on private property, except those kept inside a building. Inoperable or dismantled vehicles with invalid tags may be impounded by police after a 15-day warning.
Ninety days later, if the towing and storage bills go unpaid, the cars may be scrapped and the funds kept by the city, Iddings said.
Council members also instructed city administrators to find a firm to raze a condemned, apparently abandoned, house at 6761 Eastern Ave.