Local Meetings Primer: City, County Commissions Meeting Tonight

The St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners and the Three Rivers City Commission will both hold regular meetings as planned this evening, Tuesday, December 15, 2020.

In lieu of face-to-face meetings, both will be conducted via the Zoom online meeting platform, which is also accessible by telephone. During public comment periods, folks can request an opportunity to speak using the chat function of the online platform, the “raise hand” feature, or by pressing *9 if attending by telephone.

St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners (5 p.m.)

The County Commission meets through a Zoom meeting link for anyone who wishes to attend remotely. Attendance requires entry of the access passcode of 533326. For the County meetings, the link and passcode changes for each meeting. It is also possible to phone into the Zoom sessions by dialing 312-626-6799 and entering the meeting’s conference ID code, 835 0702 7138, along with the passcode.

During its executive committee meeting last week, the St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners discussed making exceptions to the county’s hiring freeze to fill vacant courthouse positions, as well as the renewal of County Administrator Teresa Doehring’s employment agreement for 2021, among other topics.

Tonight commissioners will hold a Public Hearing for a Brownfield Plan Amendment and vote to approve the amendment by resolution. The board will also receive an update from Health Officer Rebecca Burns about COVID-19 in St. Joseph County, will consider multiple requests for exceptions to the county’s hiring freeze including Deputy District Court Clerk (two positions), Juvenile Court Director/Referee, and Deputy Treasurer. Also on the docket is a 2020 Emergency Action Guidelines Update, the employment agreement renewal of Doehring, and setting a date for the first board meeting of 2021 on January 5.

Three Rivers City Commission (6 p.m.)

The Three Rivers City Commission will hold a public hearing this evening to consider an Ordinance Amendment Prohibiting Storage in B-3 District.

The Three Rivers DDA/Main Street recommended the commission consider an amendment to Section 30-29 of the City Code pertaining to the storage of goods and materials on the ground floor. The proposed ordinance language change(s) are intended to clarify existing prohibitions involving storage of goods & materials in the Central Business District in downtown Three Rivers.

Commissioners will also consider a special exception use request for a domestic assault shelter, a change order for the Armstrong Park Trail project, a policy on the absence of any member of a public body and electronic requirements, and an independent contractor services agreement for a grant writer.

The meeting will be held virtually by calling 312-626-6799 or using the following link, https://us02web.zoom.us/join.  When prompted enter the meeting ID number 267-406-2635 or submit written comments to the City Clerk at mbliss@threeriversmi.org.

Alek Haak-Frost is executive editor of Watershed Voice.