Takoma Park's City Council, jubilant at the Montgomery County school board's decision to keep Takoma Park Junior High School open, last week thanked members of a committee that has fought the school's closing for the last two years.
Council member Carl Iddings announced the decision to residents at last week's council meeting and went on to praise the committee, called Save Our Community Schools.
"I pointed out the 'Three Musketeers,' the ones that did the bulk of the research and writing, as people the entire city owed a great deal of gratitude to," Iddings said after the council meeting. The "Three Musketeers" are Dr. Faith Stern, Dorothy Malusky and Carolyn Bassing.
"They've done this on their own time for two years without any pay. They've attended every meeting, and it works," City Clerk Sibyl Pusti said.
"The school means a great deal to us. I'm ecstatic. I think justice has been done. That's the general feeling around here," said Bassing, a member of the research committee for SOCS.
"The people who are on the school board now are sensitive to questions of racial balance and community needs," she said.
Bassing laughed at the idea that the community pressured the school board.
"Our 'pressure' was in facts and figures and determination," she said. "We do not have a declining child population in Takoma Park, unlike other areas of the county."
Malusky said the main function of SOCS was to amass statistical data for the board to consider.
Malusky said the City Council was very supportive of the committee's fight, especially by voting $5,000 to help with the struggle. The community raised about $17,000 in donations to save the school, she said.
In other business, the council voted to ask the Maryland Highway Administration to reduce the speed limit on Takoma Avenue from 30 miles an hour to 25 in an effort to reduce accidents along the road.
Takoma Park police reported four accidents there last year, and none so far this year. Council members expressed concern that commuters heading for the nearby Takoma Metrorail Station were speeding along the road.
The council also wants the highway administration to shift control and maintenance of Takoma Avenue to the city from the state, council aide Anna Bennington said.
The council also decided to put a 30-day freeze on applications from citizens who want to make curb cuts to build driveways. The freeze took effect March 28 and will give the city a chance to draw new guidelines for the curb cutting process and rewrite outdated codes, Bennington said.