Press Statement 1-28-2022

La Porte County Commission President Sheila Matias authorizes all boards and commissions to
meet using the “hybrid” meeting model starting February 1, 2022
Commission President Sheila Matias stated, “The hybrid meeting model allows that while the meetings
can be legally conducted on-line via Zoom with no members physically present during this public health
emergency as is being done around the state, members have the option to be present or participate via
Zoom as needed. We have seen a huge uptick in virtual public attendance at county meetings since we
have been using the Zoom platform and I want to be sure we encourage public involvement going
forward. While the public health emergency continues, I encourage our citizens to continue to attend
virtually when possible. The Zoom link is included in each meeting agenda.”
Matias commented, “It is important to note that while the La Porte County Commission followed the
lead of Michigan City Common Council and La Porte City Council, the “all virtual” County Commission
meeting model used on January 19th was reviewed and reinforced by the Indiana Public Access
Counselor as legal and appropriate.” Matias added that once the public health emergency ends, the
county has previously adopted a resolution which will govern the use of virtual meetings going forward.
The resolution will require at least 50% of the members of a given board or commission to be physically
present and limits the number of consecutive virtual meetings any member can have each year.
Concluded Matias, “We are all trying to do our part to limit Covid exposure and health risks, and I urge
continued attention to Covid risk reduction measures. It makes sense that if folks are following
recommended protocol such as social distancing and masks as recommended, it is appropriate to have
hybrid meetings where both Zoom, and in-person options are permissible. We continue to have a mask
advisory in all county buildings. I encourage our citizens to continue to observe public meetings and to
stay involved.”