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Marilyn Garner honored at council meeting

Marilyn J. Garner, center, in plaid dress, stands with Lake County Council President Ted Bilski and family members as she receives a plaque honoring her 43-year career in county government during a council meeting on Tuesday.

CROWN POINT — The Lake County Council bid an official farewell to its longtime secretary on Tuesday, adopting a resolution honoring her more than four decades of service to the county.

Flanked by dozens of family members and county officials, Marilyn J. Garner accepted a plaque from Council President Ted Bilski, D-Hobart, recognizing her 43-year career in various county offices.

“God has truly blessed me,” Garner said of her career and family. “I believe it’s time to move on to another phase in my life.”

Garner, who is retiring at the end of March, has served as the council’s secretary for the past 21 years. She began her career with the Sheriff's Department and later held multiple positions in the county auditor’s office.

Along the way, Garner earned the respect and admiration of colleagues throughout the government, many of whom stayed to the end of the council’s meeting to praise her on the record.

“One thing I learned from Marilyn … is that every new county employee should have to follow her around to see how she treats people,” Councilman Dave Hamm, D-Hammond, said.

Garner anchored the council's operations with her attention to detail and willingness to work with others, council staff said. She took on several informal roles during her time as secretary, from educating new council members on issues to combing through voluminous budget notes for errors.

“You’ve always been a steady hand, and I’ll miss you” Councilman Dan Dernulc, R-Highland, said, recalling how Garner helped him get up to speed when he was a new council member.

Outside observers also praised Garner for her commitment to serving Lake County taxpayers.

“She is the epitome of what an employee of the county should be,” Wayne Wietbrock, who has been covering county government for the Indiana Farm Bureau since 1974, told the council.

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