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Dan Spalding
Reporter Dan Spalding enjoys politics and cats and the mayhem both sometimes provide.

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Reporter Dan Spalding writes about Elkhart, politics and current events for the Elkhart Truth.

Council president admits he knows Dems seeking to replace him

Third-term city council member says he can't worry about elections, will remain a Democrat.

Posted on Feb. 5, 2014 at 4:54 p.m.

ELKHART − Some Democrats are not happy with Ron Troyer.

The Democrat councilman from the 4th District got an earful at the end of Monday’s city council meeting from a Demo Party leader who made a passing reference to Troyer’s willingness to work with Republicans.

Troyer, earlier Monday night, was elected with full support of Republicans to serve for a second consecutive year as president. He then joined Republicans in electing Republican Brian Thomas the vice president.

Dwight Fish, the vice-chair of the Elkhart County Democratic Party who lives in Troyer's district, spoke at the end of Monday’s meeting and blasted Troyer for “poor management of council” over the past 13 months.

“I vote no confidence in you as a leader,” Fish said before walking away.

He also made a reference to “your man, Henke,” − Republican councilman David Henke.

Fish’s comments coincide with other party rumblings of dissatisfaction with Troyer.

County Democratic Party Chairperson Shari Mellin, said she had not heard about Fish’s comments.

Mellin declined to talk about a letter the party recently sent Troyer expressing concerns, but confirmed party leadership is questioning whether Troyer considers himself to still be a member of the party.

Asked if Troyer may face a challenge in the 2015 primary, she added, “I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a primary challenger."

Troyer confirmed he received a letter, but declined to get into details.

Troyer said he believes his constituents are pleased with his work while some party leaders are not.

“I know they’re aggressively looking for somebody to take me out,” Troyer said. “I can’t worry about it.”

Troyer said he will remain a Democrat and described himself as a "Bipartisan guy."

Democrat councilman Dave Osborne said his colleagues don’t like the fact Troyer no longer meets with them or Mayor Dick Moore. Troyer, on the other hand, said he doesn’t get invited to Democrat caucus meetings.

Troyer was fired several years ago from his job with the city during the Moore administration. Moore and Troyer don’t have much of a working relationship, but Troyer has said in the past he’s moved beyond his firing with the city.

Troyer, currently in his third term, has increasingly sided with Republicans over the last 18 months when he stood with Republicans in a news conference prior to budget talks and offered Moore a long list of ways to cut costs. He also often sided with Republicans over the year-long sewer dispute.

Late last year, it appeared as if council leadership would remain the same, but that quickly fell apart and concerns about the election of officers had been simmering since December.

Osborne, who served as council’s vice president in 2013, said he suspects his expressed interest in serving as president might have led Republicans to rethink their plans. He said council has normally elevated the vice president to serve as president the following year.

Council’s first attempt to elect officers ended in a deadlock because one Republican did not attend. Osborne said he had been willing to vote for the same leaders as last year, but balked in January because he didn’t want to be the deciding vote if Republicans didn’t have all four colleagues in attendance.

After Troyer was elected president Monday, Republicans and Troyer voted to make Thomas vice president, thus pushing Osborne out of his position.

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