Five members of the Marshall County Council attended the reconvened meeting Thursday at 1 p.m. in the second-floor meeting room of the County Building. 

There was one item remaining on the agenda from Thursday evening’s meeting, the reappropriation of ARP Funds for the County Highway Department.  The total amount of the additional is $584,536.24. 

Before the vote to approve the additional, Councilman Tim Harman said President Bohannon had sought out and received some advice from an attorney who stated in a letter that it was a valid appropriation and wanted it entered into the record. With that, the additional appropriation was approved.

Before adjourning the meeting, Councilman Harman brought up the discussion that began last Thursday evening on the Council hiring their own legal counsel to represent them on certain matters.  Harman said, “IC 36-2-3-10 allows the fiscal body to employ and fix the compensation of an attorney to represent and advise the fiscal body.”  He then stated that he had spoken to Mr. Marcellus Lebbin from South Bend.  Harman then made a motion to hire Mr. Lebbin as the County Council’s attorney and seconded by Mrs. Johnson. 

Council President Bohannon said Attorney Lebbin is willing to work on an as-needed basis working by the hour instead of on a retainer.  It was noted that he did not charge for the opinion letter he sent to the council on the additional appropriation. 

Bohannon said Mr. Lebbin is well qualified and represents St. Joseph County and a couple of other local units in Saint Joseph County.  He said they did look for some options within Marshall County, “but almost everybody who practices in this area has a conflict because of the relationships so that’s why I choose to look at someone from outside of Marshall County.” 

The vote on the motion was five to zero. 

Before adjourning, Councilman Harman also commented that Mr. Klotz was in attendance and his desire to have a work session, “to see if we can get on the same page and try to agree to some things that we can get done for the county.  I know in the past that we have not always been in agreement, and I would like to just get together with the County Commissioners and forge a new agreement, a new relationship if we could.  It’s a new year, why not?”

He suggested Bohannon and Klotz meet and plan a work session following a commissioner’s meeting.  Councilwoman Johnson and Councilman Patterson agreed with the work session.

Auditor Angie Birchmeier presented two affirmations of two appointments that were made on the 12th.  The appointment to the Marshall County Economic Development Corporation of Laura Vervynckt is a 3-year term and the Plymouth Public Library Board appointment of Jackie Nifong was a 4-year term.  The Council motioned to approve the terms.

All this happened in less than 9 minutes.