WESTMINSTER - City Council members tabled a motion Monday night calling for an additional polling place in May's election while they gather more information.
"We need to consider the cost to the City of Westminster before we do anything," said Councilman Samuel V. Greenholtz. "The county is very involved in this whole process."
Because the city owns only enough election booths for one polling place, officials need to check how much it would cost to rent booths from the county, said Council President Kenneth J. Hornberger.
However, Mayor W. Benjamin Brown said statistics show another place is needed since the city election records merged with the county's last spring, raising the count from 1,339 to 4,500 eligible voters.
Brown said if one-third of the eligible voters came out, they would need to be processed at a rate of one every 19 seconds; if one-fifth arrived, the rate would be one every 39 seconds.
"I'd hate to be shooting for 10 or 20 percent turnout so we can handle it," he said. "We should shoot for 100 percent and encourage people to vote."
Noting that a charter amendment is necessary to add another polling place, Brown said City Attorney John B. Walsh Jr. needs time to draw up the amendment. In addition, a public hearing must be advertised for four weeks, and citizens must be given 45 days to comment after the hearing.
"If we delay, we will be right up to the election, perhaps even after the election," he said.
In other council news:
* Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. was granted a right of way at the wastewater treatment plant to service a pole on New Windsor Road, west of Stone Chapel Road.
* Councilman Edward S. Calwell said construction at the wastewater treatment plant is on schedule. Phase three, the beginning of the upgrade, is 43 percent complete and phase four is 7 percent complete.
"If the weather's good, we should stay on schedule," he said.