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Showdown at the gazebo

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SHERRY LONG
The Ellis County Press

FERRIS - Two men, who had once been close allies, became involved in an incident at the gazebo in front of Ferris City Hall early Monday morning.

Councilman Victor Burnett called Ellis County Sheriff Deputies requesting their assistance at the gazebo, after he found out local businessman Danny Satterwhite was blocking the removal of the benches inside the gazebo by sitting on them.

'Those (benches are supposed to) set in front and on the side of city hall,' Burnett said.

The council member said Satterwhite, owner of Danny's Auto, had been pulling the benches onto the gazebo from their regular spots in front and on the side of city hall.

Satterwhite maintained he was just enjoying the morning air by sitting in the gazebo.

'All small towns have always had a small bench on the town square, because people enjoy sitting down and relaxing,' Satterwhite said.

He said he had spoken with Ferris Mayor Jimmie Birdwell late last week.

During their conversation, he said the mayor told him benches were supposed to be on the gazebo, because that is what it was built for.

City Secretary Alice Holloway said Satterwhite had used chains to secure a benche to the gazebo.

She said Burnett cut the chains off so city workers could move the benches back where they belonged.

With a work order number, city workers removed the benches from the gazebo and placed them in front and on the side of city hall.

After arriving on scene sheriff deputies concluded the issue was just a civil dispute and left without issuing warnings, tickets or arresting anyone.

'It's just a civil matter as far was we're concerned,' Ellis County Sheriff Deputy M. Tobey said.

Ferris Acting Police Chief Mike Zaidle later pulled up to the scene telling the sheriff deputies he did not know what was going on.

'We never got a call,' Zaidle said. 'Dispatch said we never got a call.'

Working under the orders of Birdwell, city employees placed the smaller bench back on the gazebo Tuesday morning, Ferris Public Works Director Charlie Joe James said.

The city has four benches - two small ones and two large ones.

James said the large ones go on each end of city hall and the smaller ones will now be placed in the gazebo.

One of the smaller benches is awaiting parts, before it can be repaired and be used once again by the general public. No date was given for reinstalling it.


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