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PALESTINE, July 15, 2014 – The Palestine City Council voted Monday evening, to reappoint City Manager Wendy Ellis.
Questions about the validity of the current City Manager contract were brought to light by former Palestine Mayor and KNET radio talk-show host Bob Herrington during a ‘Meddling in the Morning’ episode late last week. According to the Palestine City Charter, four affirmative votes were needed to appoint Ellis originally, and only three were received. Council acknowledged their mistake at the Monday night meeting and then heard from comments from citizens about the issue. Council then retired to closed session for approximately three hours.
When Council reconvened in open session, a vote of four-three ensured Ellis would retain her current position. Council Members Steve Presley of District 6, Mark Price of District 5, Joseph Thompson of District 4, and Mayor Therrell Thomas voted in favor of reappointing Ellis. Council Members Vernon Denmon of District 2, Adam Harding of District 1, and Vickey Chivers of District 3, voted against, with Denmon and Chivers stating they would like to see other applicants considered for the job with the possibility of making a change in the future.
Also at the meeting, District 4 Councilmember Joseph Thompson made motion to authorize the City Manager to enter into respective contracts with a search firm and a consulting firm in regard to an interim Police Chief and a community assessment about the new Chief. Meanwhile, decisions concerning the ordinance regulating sexually oriented businesses were delayed in order that public hearings on the issue may be scheduled before any action is taken.
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