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Board revisits elimination of town-marshal position
TROY - A resignation from one position and the possibility of eliminating another topped talks at Troy's town council meeting Wednesday evening.
Clerk-Treasurer Vicki Tuggle turned in her resignation letter May 9 in light of possible prosecution against her for allegedly not doing her duties. The News reported May 8 the town's council and utility board received a letter from the county prosecutor's office citing a town audit that allegedly showed certain duties have not been done.
The board accepted her resignation and town attorney Jack Robinson informed members that a special meeting needed to be set up to appoint a new clerk-treasurer. Until that time, Betty Linne, deputy clerk-treasurer, will perform the duties. The board will convene its special meeting at 6 p.m. May 27.
Calls to Tuggle for comment were not returned.
Council members revisited the idea of terminating the town's marshal. As The News reported last year, the board discussed doing away with the position after calls from residents wanting to report violations or town ordinances or other complaints went unanswered by town marshal Junior Fuchs.
Fuchs, who is a full-time deputy for the Perry County Sheriff's Department, is paid $95 a week by Troy. In that story, he rejected the allegations and said he makes sure businesses are locked up, responds to the messages he receives and doesn't use the town's police car much to save money.
At the town's January meeting, members decided not to get rid of the position saying if there were no marshal, no ordinances would be enforced.
As of Wednesday, board President Ed Sweeney said he hasn't been able to contact Fuchs. "Just like everyone else in town, nobody hears back from him," said member Susie Fortwendel. "So why are we paying him?"
Linne said the complaint she hears the most is when Fuchs comes to Troy dressed in his sheriff's-department uniform and says he can't enforce ordinances as a deputy.
"He's supposed to come down as a Troy cop," Sweeney said. "We're supposed to leave a message (at dispatch) and he's supposed to come in a Troy uniform and address the problem."
That's not happening, Fortwendel countered.
We have to do something, Sweeney said. "We have to have a town marshal to enforce ordinances and without one, they won't do any good." The board president suggested running an ad to generate interest in the position.
"I think we should terminate him," she said.
Linne questioned if they could do that. Sweeney said since there was no contract signed, they would be able to.
"We don't really have a choice, do we?" Robert Tuggle said of running an advertisement for the position, adding he'd like to see Fuchs in the town a few times a week.
Sweeney questioned if they wanted to terminate Fuchs.
"Why not? He's not doing anything," Fortwendel said. "I walk down the streets and everyone says there's no law in Troy because you can't get a hold of him. He doesn't answer if you leave him a message for him (at dispatch). I've had five different people tell me that in the last month."
How do other small towns get by without a marshal, Tuggle asked.
Linne said in Spencer County they contract with the county's sheriff's department and have a marshal in name-only who serves papers and such but if there is a call, the sheriff's department handles it.
Sweeney said he'd try to contact Fuchs again and mentioned he doesn't come to meetings.
"The only time he came was when he thought he was going to get terminated the last time," Fortwendel remarked.
Sweeney said Friday he talked to Fuchs Thursday. He said he would be willing to write a resignation and stay on until someone new is found or if he and the board could come to a different arrangement, he'd stay on, he said.
They're in a hard position in Troy, Fuchs said Friday. In order to help them with costs, he said he's taken care of oil changes and other things for the car. "If they can find someone to take over the position, I'd be more than willing to step aside for them to get more coverage," he continued. "I'll help them out any way I can."