Members of the Marshall County Council conducted their first meeting of the new year on Thursday evening beginning at 6 p.m. in the second-floor meeting room of the County Building.

The first order of business was the reorganization with the election of officers.  Jesse Bohannon was elected President and Tim Harman was elected Vice-President.  Other members of the County Council include Jim Masterson and new members Nicole Cox, Adam Faulstich, Deb Johnson, and Will Patterson. 

The council made several appointments including Jackie Nifong to the Plymouth Public Library Board, Laura Vervynckt as their representative on the Marshall County Economic Development Corporation, realtor Shannon Lunetta to Culver Economic Development and Mandy Campbell was appointed to the 4H Board.  Other board appointments were Alyssa Overmyer to the Argos Public Library, Maria Keller to the Alcoholic Beverage Board, and Kevin Hines to the Lake of the Woods Sewer Board. 

County Council President Jesse Bohannon was appointed to the MACOG board and Councilwoman Nicole Cox to the Emergency Management Agency. Councilwoman Deb Johnson will sit on the Marshall County Plan Commission, and Jesse Bohannon and Tim Harman will serve on the Central Dispatch Committee.  Other Council member appointments included Jim Masterson to the Solid Waste Board and the Unsafe Building Committee.  Deborah Johnson to the Local Emergency Planning Committee, Adam Faulstich to the Courthouse Security Committee, and Will Patterson to the Solar Taskforce.  Rounding out the council appointments were Tim Harman, Will Patterson, and Nicole Cox to the Job Classification/Compensation Subcommittee, Adam Faulstich to the Technology Committee, Jesse Bohannon, Tim Harman, and Deborah Johnson to the Highway Subcommittee, Tim Harman, Jesse Bohannon, and Adam Faulstich to the newly created Budget/Finance Subcommittee and Will Patterson to the Community Corrections Advisory Board.

For many years the County Council has had a liaison listing between county department heads and the council.  That listing was changed in title to “First Contacts” with clarification by Council President Bohannon stating that, “this will establish a person on the Council available to department heads and department employees to that they might reach out with any concerns or share information.”  He continued, “I think sometimes like we’ve felt like we’ve had to advocate for departments in the past.  That’s not really what this role is.  It’s just a point of first contact for informational purposes.” 

Department First Contacts include Jim Masterson for the Assessor, Coroner, Recorder, and Soil & Water.  Councilman Tim Harman will be the first point of contact for the Auditor, Building and Grounds, and the Sheriff/Jail. Councilwoman Deb Johnson will serve as the first contact for the Building Inspector, Plan Commission and BZA, Surveyor, and the Veterans Service Officer. Councilwoman Nicole Cox will be the contact for the Judiciary including all four courts, EMA, Extension, Museum, and Prosecutor.  Councilman Adam Faulstich will be the first point of contact for the Clerk, Information Technology, Weights and Measures, and Treasurer. Council President Jesse Bohannon will be the first contact for the Commissioners and the Highway. Councilman Will Patterson will be the contact for Community Corrections, the County Health Department, WIC, and Probation.

Tim Harman and Nicole Cox will serve on the American Rescue Plan (ARP) committee.  It was noted that there is over $3 million still sitting in the fund to be appropriated. 

The County Council also discussed the possibility of their own legal counsel. President Bohannon said, “I think it would be in this council’s interest to exercise our prerogative under the Indiana Code to seek outside counsel, legal counsel that would be for any discussion regarding matters like this going forward.  I was informed during one of my first council sessions that the attorney that represents the commissioners does not work for this board.” 

Council Harman said, “I think we do have statutory authority to hire counsel to represent the County Council and I would definitely like to explore it further.” 

The council plans to continue exploring the idea of seeking their own legal counsel and may bring a name forward in a future meeting.