ON ELECTION DAY in Maryland, all voters will find five proposed amendments to the state constitution on their ballots. In addition, voters in Montgomery County will be asked about five proposed amendments to the county charter and voters in Prince George's County will find 11 questions on local isssues. Our recommendations:
Maryland Question No. 1: Clarifies the term "alimony" to make it gender neutral in references to the prohibition on imprisonment for debt -- a sensible updating that deserves a vote "For."
Maryland Question No. 2: Allows the state to borrow money on a short-term basis for temporary financial emergencies; a cash flow procedure, not a long-term matter. "For."
Maryland Question No. 3: Would permit Montgomery County Council elections by districts if the county so decided. This would not affect current members, nor would it set a formula for districts or at-large memberships. It would merely allow the local option to consider a change that the county ought to have. "For."
Maryland Question No. 4: Would permit Baltimore City to create debt or issue bonds with the permission of either the General Assembly or the city's legislative delegation in Annapolis. "For."
Maryland Question No. 5: A technical amendment concerning certain petition filings. "For."
Montgomery Question A: Changes some times and dates in a section of the charter. "For."
Montgomery Question B: Shortens residency requirements for a county executive and eliminates gender references. "For."
Montgomery Question C: Permits the council to appoint someone other than a council member to fill a vacancy in the office of county executive. "For."
Montgomery Question DA series of technical amendments to bring the charter in conformity with state law. "For."
Montgomery Question E: A mischievous proposal that would prohibit the county government from doing business with the C & P Telephone Co. unless the company improves rates for customers in Gaithersburg and Montgomery Village. Though these areas may have legitimate complaints, a charter amendment is the wrong way to seek results. Vote "Against."
Prince George's Question A:Provides that the county would not be liable in tort when its agents or employes are not liable. "For."
Prince George's Question B: Would authorize a bond issue of up to $20 million for construction of a detention center facility. This would replace the current county jail, which was built to hold 143 inmates and now houses 450. Even those who support other policies to reduce jail populations can see the need here--and a bond issue is the sensible paproach. Vote "For."
Prince George's Questions C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J: Various bond issues. These are sought for capital improvements throughou the county, for police and fire facilities, roads, parking, mass transit, a pedestrian mall in Upper Marlboro and a landfill buffer zone. The projects are best financed in this manner. Votes "For."
Prince George's Question K: A modification of the TRIM amendment, to allow an increase in the property tax revenue ceiling to include new construction. Approval of this modest revenue increase authority is critical to the county's entire budget picture in the years ahead, and approval would allow the council to consider the necessary change. "Vote "For."