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Palestine voters move forward with recall election petition

PALESTINE, July 16, 2014—A group of concerned Palestine voters organized to begin a recall of Mayor Therrell Thomas and Councilman Steve Presley of District 6, according to spokesperson Nina Tatum.

The group demanded the resignation of Mayor Thomas and Councilman Presley and made plans to initiate recall efforts if the elected officials refused to step down by July 14. In a letter to both members of council on July 8, the citizens told Mayor Tomas and Councilman Presley the specific reasons for the demands, which are:

  • By their inaction, they caused the police department crisis to escalate resulting in racial tension, which jeopardized the safety of the community and its reputation.
  • A failure to promote a city organization that resolves problems using a systematic approach for the efficient delivery of services.
  •  By their inaction, has allowed City Manager Wendy Ellis to act with a total disregard for fiscal responsibility and failed to supervise the city manager in her actions.

The City of Palestine responded to the group’s demands in an official statement which was issued on July 9, and stated:

"The City of Palestine has been advised that a citizen action group will be conducting an effort to attempt a recall of elected officials. The group has communicated with the city via email.

All citizen input is reviewed seriously by staff and City Council, and the city strives to work with all segments of the population. There is no action or comment the city can make on this announcement [sic] by a small number of individuals within the community at this time.”

As promised, the group began gathering signatures on a recall petition immediately following Monday night’s City Council meeting. According a statement issued by the group, two City Council members added their names to the recall petition as well. Pictured is District 2 City Councilman Vernon Denman signing the recall petition. District 3 Council Member Vickey Chivers also signed.

The group says the process is moving quickly and they will continue to gather signatures until they receive the required number of signatures to force a recall election for both elected officials. 

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