A New Town Trustee and a Surprise Resignation

Plus a Lead Up to Trunk or Treat

Bison Blinds

The Luther Town Board appointed a new trustee and accepted the resignation of a full-time police officer. The actions were taken at the October 24 Special Town Board meeting.

After posting the opening and calling for applications, Terry Arps was one of only two candidates who submitted applications to fill the vacant position on the five-member volunteer board that governs the town. A keen observer of Town government, Mr. Arps and his wife have retired to Luther from Texas. He has been a contributor to The Luther Register, and last August sent a missive about his board observations.

Views on the Luther Board of Trustees
My name is Terry and I am a fairly new resident of Luther.  Being new to a town this small, I thought it might be interesting to see how a town Board of Trustee meeting went.  Now, I try never to miss a meeting.
First of all:  They’re more entertaining than anything I can find on the tube.  The issues discussed are about things that affect you and I as citizens of Luther.  While you won’t find any “Game of Thrones” mayhem at the meeting, you will hear/see some earnest disagreements discussed in a civil manner.  I hardly thought that happened anymore.
Second:  It can be amusing.  “Folks is folks” and the Board is made up of five folks just like you and me.  That being said, watching any five folks try to agree and proceed with business is going to produce moments of humor, even though it’s serious business concerning the welfare of the everybody in the town.
Last:  If you see what I see, it’ll make you proud.  I worked in the Federal sector for, well, a long time.  Our Board is not near as “stuffy”, but I swear they are more effective.  There is a real sense of urgency about doing things according to the law (Open Meeting Law), about considering priorities for keeping Luther an attractive and pleasant place to live, and conducting Town business with thrift, according to the many conflicting Town needs.
What I found when I went to see how this Board worked exceeded my expectations.  Somewhere in the Bible I remember a verse about All things being done decently and in order.  As far as I can see, the Board and town employees are trying their best to do just that.  Come to a couple of meetings and see what you think,” Terry Arps wrote in August.
Trustees Jenni White, Trandy Langston and Jeff Schwarzmeier voted unanimously to appoint Arps to fill the seat vacated by Paxton Cavin who was elected in 2017. She resigned in June and Chelsea House was appointed and served briefly but resigned because her family had an opportunity to move to a home closer to her work.
Arps will be sworn in to the office at the November 12, 2019, meeting.

Halloween Trunk or Treat

In other business, the trustees voted to close Main Street beginning at 4 pm on Thursday, October 31, to set up for the town-wide Trunk or Treat Event that begins at 5 pm. Organized by the Luther Parks Commission, many businesses, organizations and individuals will set up a “trunk” or candy station to give treats to what is expected to be a big crowd of costume clad children. Anyone who wants to host a “trunk” can still do so, but first needs to sign a waiver at Town Hall. Several Luther businesses will remain open for the evening.

The Board also agreed to close Main Street between Second and Ash on Friday and Saturday, November 15 -16, for the Luther Pecan Festival.
Luther’s Trunk or Treat, 2018
Luther’s Trunk or Treat, 2018
Luther’s Trunk or Treat, 2018

Surprise Resignation

Already short-staffed at the Luther Police Department, the Board heard a surprise resignation from Officer Chris Fetters who read his letter to the board during the New Business portion of the meeting.

UPDATE: (2/1/21) Chris Fetters returned to the Luther Police Department a short time later and serves as police Captain. 

To Chief J Leafty & Luther Town Board Members,

Officer Chris Fetters

This decision has not been made easily. I’ve elected to resign from my position as a Patrol Officer with the Luther Police Department. I’ve had a career opportunity that has presented itself with benefits that are hard to pass. Even though in such a short time I’ve made several good friendships that I hope are long lasting, two weeks from this date will be my last day.

Chief Leafty, I admire you. You stand up for what’s right even if it’s not popular. You’re fair and consistent, something this department has seriously lacked for a long time from a Chief. You are directing this department in a place it needs to be. In a short time, you’ve changed the image of this department.

To my fellow officers, stay the course. Times will be tough. People will bash you and critique you on how to do your job. You have a leader, he will stand up for you. There is a method to his madness. Always be safe and I’m always a call away.

To members of the town board, thank you. You gave me an opportunity to work in this town. I’ve been around city councils for a long time. You are the most transparent and community driven group of individuals I’ve seen. Don’t worry about those Facebook comments. Those are from people who got their hand caught in the cookie jar or hide behind fake pages.

To the citizens of Luther, thank you for accepting me and being kind. Not once have I run into anyone who didn’t treat me with respect. I hope if things don’t pan out that I may be able to come back here and work if the opportunity arises.

In closing, Luther is a good community full of great citizens and individuals who are doing what’s in the best interest of the town. Years of mismanagement will not be cleared overnight. It takes time and in the end, it will be worth it.

Respectfully Submitted,

Chris Fetters

Acting Chief Johnny Leafty said he is accepting applications for several open positions at the department and will be checking applications, and references thoroughly. Although the board and the chief expressed disappointment in losing Fetters, they congratulated him on his new opportunity and thanked him for his service to Luther.

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