Earlier this month, the Marshall County Council held their meeting and following a presentation by County Plan Director Ty Adley asked a question on appointing alternates to the board.

Council President Jesse Bohannon asked Adley how many members are on the Marshall County Board of Zoning Appeals and Adley responded with 5. Bohannan commented that a quorum for the meeting would be 3.  He asked what the current practice is when someone is absent from the meeting and Adley said they would call one of the alternates to fill in.   

Bohannon asked who decides who the alternates are and Adley said they are established when the board reorganizes each year. Adley said, “It’s usually every available alternate that doesn’t hold an elected or appointed position.” 

The County Council’s attorney, Marcel Lebbin said, “The alternates are supposed to be appointed by the appointing bodies.  For instance, the County Council has a member.  They also appoint their own alternate.  I.C. 36-7-4-907” 

Mr. Adley suggested he speak with their attorney after the meeting for further clarification. 

Council President Jesse Bohannon said, “We didn’t necessarily need to resolve that night. It seemed weird to me so we looked into it a little bit and if we can follow up about that. We want to make sure we are doing everything we should be doing.” 

The County Plan Director said, “If something came up I’d love to know rather than be put on the spot. 

Bohannon apologized for “ambushing” him during the meeting and said, “It just came up today.”        

Marshall County BZA members are Jeff Gustafson who serves as President of the BZA, Matt Miller is Vice President.  They are appointed by the County Commissioners.  David Hostetler is secretary and appointed by the Marshall County Plan Commission.  Member Trent Bennett is appointed by the Commissioners and Jim Kephart is appointed by the County Council.  Derek Jones is the attorney for the Plan Commission and would handle BZA issues.

County Attorney Jim Clevenger was contacted by Mr. Adley following the County Council meeting to discuss the issue presented.  He told the attorney that if there is an absentee from the board, he contacts a member of the County Plan Commission to fill in.

Attorney Clevenger said he would like the commissioner to address the issue by adopting a resolution.  He suggested the commissioners also select permanent alternates for the three appointments they have or allow Adley to fill the vacancies in the process he’s been using.  The attorney recommended doing one or the other, making a permanent alternate, or approving the current procedure. 

The commissioners took the recommendation under advisement.