Board of Commissioners

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Sheila Matias (D), President, Commissioner -2019

555 Michigan Avenue, Suite 202 La Porte, IN 46350 Phone (LP): 219-326-6808 smatias@laportecounty.org

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Vidya Kora (D), Vice President, Commissioner - 2013 District 3

555 Michigan Avenue, Suite 202 La Porte, IN 46350 Phone (LP): 219-326-6808 Ext. 2229 Phone (MC): 219-874-5611 Ext. 2229 vkora@laportecounty.org

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Richard Mrozinksi (R), Member, Commissioner - 2017 District 2

555 Michigan Avenue, Suite 202 La Porte, IN 46350 Phone (LP): 219-326-6808 Ext. 2229 Phone (MC): 219-874-5611 Ext. 2229 rmrozinski@laportecounty.org

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Diane Gonzales, Secretary, Board of Commissioners

555 Michigan Avenue, Suite 202 La Porte, IN 46350 Phone (LP): 219-326-6808 Ext. 2229 Phone (MC): 219-874-5611 Ext. 2229

PUBLIC INFORMATION

2020 MEETING SCHEDULE
MINUTES/ORDINANCES/RESOLUTIONS

DUTIES OF THE BOARD

The County Commissioners may adopt ordinances regulating behavior. Specifically, they have authority to pass ordinances in the following broad areas:

  • To administer elections in conjunction with the county election board
  • To incorporate new towns and alter township boundary lines, on petition
  • To grant vacation pay, sick leave, paid holidays and other similar benefits to county employees
  • Maintain all County property and buildings
  • To provide for traffic control
  • To establish minimum housing standards
  • Maintain all County Roads

In most cases the county may exercise its regulatory powers only in the unincorporated areas of the county. As a general rule, the county does not have jurisdiction to regulate behavior in the incorporated cities and towns of the county.

The commissioners are the custodians of the home rule powers of the county. Within the scope of home rule, commissioners may adopt and vest themselves with additional regulatory powers. (Generally see IC 36-2-2 for duties of the board of county commissioners.)

MEETINGS

The Board of Commissions meet on the first Wednesday of the month at 10 A.M. and the third Wednesday at 6 P.M. Special meetings may be called by any commissioner on a 48 hour notice.

Two commissioners comprise a quorum, as well as the necessary majority to pass an ordinance or resolution.

Unanimous consent is required to pass an ordinance on the same day or at the same meeting at which it is introduced, except for amendments to zoning ordinances and ordinances of the county council for additional appropriations.

Otherwise an ordinance requires two readings at two separate meetings. County commissioners may adopt their own rules of procedure that are in addition to those required by statute, such as requiring additional ordinance readings.

Ordinances, orders and resolutions are considered adopted when signed by the president of the county commissioners. Generally, an ordinance need not be published as a legal notice, unless it prescribes a penalty or forfeiture or there is a specific statute requiring publication. In the case of a penalty or forfeiture, prior to the effective date the ordinance must be published once each week for two consecutive weeks.

The county auditor acts as the clerk of the board of county commissioners and is required to attend all meetings of the commission. The Commission secretary keeps the minutes for the Board.

Sheila Brillson Matias serves as President of the La Porte County Commission. In addition, she is Executive Director of the Leadership institute at Purdue Northwest and the Society of Innovators at Purdue Northwest. As a former public-school teacher, non-profit manager, neighborhood activist, two term councilwoman and two-term mayor of Michigan City, Sheila has expertise in government operations, community development, and quality improvement. Ms. Matias has led successful ventures in community health initiatives, education and capital project planning/ implementation.  She has worked collaboratively at the regional, state and federal level on diverse matters including education, leadership, public safety, healthcare and the environment.

Sheila has a B.A. from John Carroll University and an M.A. from Valparaiso University. Sheila is married to Dr. Reinaldo Matias; she has a blended family of 8 adult children and is a proud grandmother!

Dr. Kora is active in his community.  He has been an elected official in La Porte County for nearly 20 years.  He served two terms as county coroner, one term on the board of Michigan City Area Schools and he is in his second term as a La Porte County commissioner. Dr. Kora’s key priorities include improving education and health care, economic development and infrastructure development which includes digital infrastructure and work force development.

He has been active in the Indiana State Medical Association since he joined the ISMA in 1987.  He served in various capacities including vice speaker and speaker for several terms before he became the president of the Indiana State Medical Association in 2006-2007.  He has been serving on Indiana’s delegation to the AMA since 2008, initially as an alternate delegate from 2008 to 2015 and as a delegate since 2015. Dr. Kora believes that advocacy for our patients and our profession is one of the key priorities of organized medicine and he also believes that having a well-funded political action committee is key to effective advocacy.  He served on the AMPAC board for four terms and chaired it in 2017 and 2018.  He continues to serve on Indiana medicine’s political action committee.

Rich Mrozinski, a La Porte County native, graduated from Rolling Prairie High School, and went to work for NIPSCO one month later.  One year later enlisted in the U.S. Air Force for four years, including two tours of duty in the Vietnam War.  Upon discharge he returned to employment at NIPSCO, eventually retiring after 37 & 1/2 years of service as a Substation Electrician.  During his employment he attended classes at Indiana University South Bend eventually earning a degree from the National Safety Council as a Certified Utility Safety Administrator.  In 2007, he was elected to the La Porte County Council, serving two consecutive terms.  In 2017, he was elected LaPorte County Commissioner.   In 2019 & 2020 he was elected to the Association of Indiana County Commissioners Board of Directors as  Vice Chairman of the Northwest District and also appointed to the Commissioners Legislative Committee.  Rich was instrumental in the forming of the La Porte County Sewer and Water Board as well as the La Porte County Veterans Court.  He has served on the county Small Animal Advisory Board since 2007 and has been Chairman the past 3 years. Rich has served as Chairman of the La Porte County Veterans advisory Committee for 20 years, the LaPorte Mayors Veterans Committee for 21 years, and has been a Legacy Life Member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars for over 30 years. Rich was elected VFW post Commander for 13 years, National Aide-De-Camp 3 times, National Deputy Chief of Staff twice, State Chief of Staff 2019-2020, elected District Commander 3 times and for 9 years served as Chairman of the National Legislative Committee for Department of Indiana.  Rich has also been chosen as a member of the VFW Honor Degree.  He has been a member of the American Legion 19 years and their honor degree, the 40 & 8, and a Life Member of AMVETS at-large, and the Air Force Association.  Rich served on Congressman Joe Donnelly’s Veterans Advisory Committee for 6 years and was instrumental in the building of the new Veterans Clinic in Mishawaka.  In 2019, Rich was nominated for the Indiana Military Veterans Hall of Fame.
He has been married to his wife Beverly since 1993, and has a daughter, 4 grandchildren and a great-grandson.

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