The Town Council will hold a special election next Monday to fill the council seat that has been vacant since the Feb.1 retirement of Councilman Walter Sienkiewich.

Any council seat that is vacated in the middle of a term usually would be filled by appointment. But this seat will be decided by voters because the current three-member council could not decide on a candidate, said Becky Capps, administrative assistant to the council.

She said the council accepted residents' petitions until Sept. 29 and then had 15 days to decide on a candidate. They could not.

The three residents on the ballot Monday are: Audrey Cook, Daniel Garcia and James Ealey. The election will be held from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Town Hall, 6901 Ames St.


The City Council approved 4 to 1 last Wednesday a charter change raising the city's maximum permissible real estate tax rate from 75 cents to $1 per $100 of assessed value. The council is expected to raise the rate from the current 65 cents to 86 cents after the charter change takes effect in January, to help pay for a seven-year road improvement program.

An 86-cent property tax will generate $1.7 million for the project over the next seven years, officials estimate, paying most of the road project's estimated $1.8 million cost. The program will provide new streets and sidewalks throughout the city.

City Administrator John L. Brunner said the charter change can be contested by residents up to 40 days after the council vote by presenting a referendum petition to the council with the names of 20 percent of the city's registered voters. If no petition is filed by Dec. 28, the change then takes effect Jan. 7.


Tomorrow is the last day to register for Takoma Park's Holiday Greenery Workshop.

The workshop, sponsored by the city's recreation department, will be held 7 to 10 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 7 and Monday, Dec. 14 at the Takoma Park Municipal Building, 7500 Maple Ave.

Participants will make their own wreaths and centerpiece arrangements. There is a $10 fee for the course. Materials cost extra. For more information, call 270-4048 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. -- Portia Williams