Voters from the Prince George's County sector of Takoma Park will have still another choice at the polls on Nov. 2: an advisory referendum asking whether they want to vote on becoming part of Montgomery County.
Although the advisory vote will be conducted at the city's two Prince George's polling places, the referendum question will not appear on the ballot with candidates for state and federal offices. Instead, city officials will set up separate tables and use their own city voter lists, City Clerk Sybil Pusti said.
"Although it's only a straw vote, we'll still conduct it in an official way," Pusti said.
The results will go to the state legislature, which may then decide whether to authorize a special referendum for the city's residents who live in Prince George's to vote officially on becoming part of Montgomery. The advisory referendum will not be binding, said Mayor Sammie A. Abbott, but will show the delegates how residents of the affected section feel about the proposed change.
Last year, the Prince George's delegation stalled a referendum on what has become known locally as city unification. The county border cuts the city in two. Residents near the border have complained of running into bureaucratic tangles when requesting various county services. And city officials have reported complications in dealing with two separate county governments.
Bringing the city's southeastern third into Montgomery would present its own complications, including changes in schools and property taxes.
The state attorney general's office advised Takoma Park that the referendum should be restricted to those residents who would be affected by the change -- those living in Prince George's.
The referendum will be held at Carole Highlands Elementary School, 1610 Hannon St., and Our Lady of Sorrows School, 1010 Larch Ave.
In its meeting last week the City Council decided to contract for a new copying machine. It agreed to pay T. Talbot Bond Co. $268-a-month for the next 60 months.
The council gave nearly $4,000 raised from food sales at the recent Takoma Park Folk Festival to the Save Our Community School Committee, an organization fighting the Montgomery County Board of Education's decision to close Takoma Park Junior High School.