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Helms Steps In It With Confederate Resolution 

As of this writing, no one knows why County Commissioner Parks Helms, a moderate Democrat, wanted to declare May Confederate History Month and May 10 a Confederate Memorial Day to honor dead soldiers who fought for the South.

And no one is quite sure why he yanked two items that would have done just that from the commission agenda on Friday either, although the ire the original proposal raised among black leaders, particularly Democrat Commissioners Darrel Williams and Norman Mitchell, may have had something to do with it. Helms, who was elected at-large to the County Commission, is heavily dependent on the votes of the county's African-American voters, who did not appreciate the historical gesture.

But the bizarre flip-flop on Helms' part had his conservative enemies laughing out loud and jockeying to take advantage of the situation - all on behalf of their constituents, of course.

"Friday at noon he was on WBT defending it (the Confederate resolutions)," said Republican County Commissioner Bill James Monday. "By three o'clock Friday, he had surrendered. Somewhere along the line he folded like a cheap stepladder."

But the resolutions won't go away as easily as that. Now, County Commissioner Jim Puckett, a conservative Republican, wants the two items honoring those who died for the Confederate cause put back on the agenda. One problem. Helms, who chairs the commission, controls who can put what on the agenda. Puckett will have to get Helms' permission to put Helms' requests back on the agenda under Puckett's name.

Puckett says he probably wouldn't have proposed that the commission pass resolutions honoring Confederate soldiers and remembering their place in local history, but he had received several calls from constituents requesting that he put the Confederate resolutions back on the agenda after Helms removed them.

"It was a part of history we (Southerners) had to deal with but that doesn't mean we should forget it," said Puckett. "We shouldn't forget World War II just because of the Holocaust, either."

Creative Loafing called Helms, who was on a city-county tour of Indianapolis on Monday, but he did not return our calls. *

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