PALESTINE, TX–Not wasting anytime to secure her job as Palestine city manager, Wendy Ellis is seizing a golden opportunity to court one councilman rumored to have struggled with his decision to fire the embattled city leader. Her idea was inspired by the recent turmoil about the removal of the Confederate flag from government buildings and the decision by major retailers to stop selling the controversial flag.
District 5 Councilman Doug Smith, a longtime volunteer and supporter of the Palestine chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, appears to be the target of Ellis’ new efforts to keep his vote for her secured.
During a press conference at Palestine City Hall on Tuesday, Ellis announced that beginning Monday, the Confederate flag will be raised above city hall as a token of her appreciation. She also plans other events to begin on that day and throughout the week.
“I’m here at the pleasure of council and, from what I hear, I’m here now at the mercy of Councilman Smith,” Ellis told both reporters at the press conference. “Doug Smith has shown me, in his inability to make a decision and actually stick to it, that if I can just keep him happy, and maybe a little distracted, I can hang on to this job for just a bit longer.”
Ellis says the celebration is not only for Councilman Smith, but the public as well.
“We’re going to take things back a few years when things were just a bit simpler, you know, when people kind of minded their own business and didn’t worry about tax dollars and how much money city managers spend and stuff like that,” Ellis explained. “We’ll start by offering refreshments for water customers who come in to pay their bill during the entire week and in a bit of a flashback to the past, white customers will have their own line to make paying their water bills easier. Black customers will be required to use the back entrance and use a separate line.”
Ellis understands that some customers may find using the back entrance as inconvenient, but reminds citizens that the celebration is only for one week. She stressed the urgency to have the celebration before the next full moon in July.
“Things will be back to normal on July 6th,” she said.
Ellis thanked Walmart manager Adam Harding, who also serves as the District 1 councilman for donating the Confederate flag, t-shirts, and other party favors that were suddenly not needed by the big chain retailer.
The Dogwood Tale reached Councilman Smith by telephone who said that he was “flattered by the gesture,” but expressed his belief that Ellis had already been fired. “We replaced her with someone, I remember because I voted for it. I do kind of regret it now that she’s wanting to do all this for me now.”
Mayor Bob Herrington was unable to be reached for comment due to an appointment with a hair stylist; however, the stylist did say that she would tell Mayor Herrington about the issue the moment the anesthesia had worn off and he was able to have visitors. As of press time, Mayor Herrington had not returned calls or emails.
Ellis said that the week’s events will conclude with a picnic at the Confederate Veterans Memorial Plaza on Friday.