Accomplishments that were made during Ellis' run as mayor included computerizing assessments, taxes, payroll, and parking tickets, completing the 22-block urban renewal project, upgrading housing code enforcement, and developing downtown Schenectady. He also had a pretty good publicity department. It wasn't all positives for Ellis, but as Art Isabel and Larry Hart wrote in their April 9th, 1971 column The Art and Hart of Politics "Ellis is a good campaigner; he photographs well both for newspapers and the tube; he shows up at as many social events as possible and has probably cut more ribbons, issued more proclamations and named more patroons than any mayor in Schenectady's history." Our photo collection of Ellis prove this statement to be true.
Ellis was mayor during the time when there was both a city manager and a mayor, which he felt gave the mayor responsibility for fixing things, but little authority. Unfortunately, this wouldn't change until the late 1970s when Schenectady city government changed from a City Manager and Mayor to a Strong Mayor.
Despite his problems with the city manager/mayor system in Schenectady, Ellis seemed to have a good sense of humor with his job. As shown in the photos below, Mayor Ellis was rarely seen without a smile. This collection takes us around Schenectady to see ribbon cuttings, Patroonships, declarations, proclamations, and even inside City Hall to visit Ellis and his staff. Unfortunately, many of the photos are unlabeled. So besides Mayor Ellis, we don't know who is in the photos, or in some cases, where they were taken. Still they're a fun tour through early 1970s Schenectady and show the lighter side of what must have been a stressful job.
|Mayor Ellis (in full suit) trying out his skills at a local dojo.|
|The back of this photo reads "It's that time again." Our detective skills indicate that "that time" refers to Christmas time. Ellis is second from the right.|
|Ellis at the ribbon cutting of the Golden Dragon Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge.|
|Shucking corn at the Glenville Sesquicentennital with Scotia Mayor John Ryan (second from right)|
|Mayor Ellis hanging out with Schenectady's youth and attempting to hold a reluctant looking baby.|
|Probably the best photo in the whole collection. Did Mayor Ellis eat this sandwich himself, or did he bring it back to staff? We'll never know!|
|A nice shot of Ellis and his staff.|