Monroe County press release on COVID-19: All public meetings cancelled through March 25 except for county council and board of commissioners

In a press release issued on Wednesday (March 11) Monroe County has announced the cancellation of meetings for the next two weeks as a way to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic virus

Calendar Screen Shot 2020-03-12 at 11.56.24 AM
Image links to calendar of events webpage for Monroe County.

The only public meetings that will take place are those scheduled for the Monroe County council and the board of commissioners.

The release states: “With the exception of the Board of Commissioners and County Council meetings, Monroe County Government has cancelled all other Board and Commission meetings through March 25. Please check the County website for updates. us

According to the news release, meeting cancellations were made, based on a general recommendation from Monroe County health administrator Penny Caudill: “Organizations should cancel or postpone non-essential large gatherings. Consider the use of virtual meetings.”

How does the decision on the meeting cancellations comply with Indiana’s Open Door Act? The decision didn’t require a decision by the commissioners, just by the  president of the board of commissioners.  According to county attorney Jeff Cockerill, Governor Eric Holcomb’s declaration of a health emergency under Indiana Code 10-14-3-12, triggers Indiana Code 10-14-3-17, which is the basis for Monroe County Code section 450. And the Monroe County code allows for the president of the board of commissioners to act alone.