A special Piatt County board meeting was canceled Wednesday in order to comply with state executive orders mandating no more than 10 people be in attendance at public gatherings, but it could be replaced by a virtual meeting as early as Friday.
The session is likely being held to help settle a complaint filed against the board by Piatt County State's Attorney Dana Rhoades, who is seeking additional resources for the county Emergency Management Agency during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We feel we have an agreement,” said Rhoades regarding the complaint that went to court last week.
If the virtual meeting follows the agenda of the canceled one, it will include a measure to adjust the EMA budget for the current fiscal year.
Rhoades' complaint also asks for a so-called “gag order” on EMA Director Mike Holmes to be lifted so he can communicate information to the public.
The State's Attorney also confirmed her office is the one that showed reticence to holding Wednesday's public meeting since it would include six county board members, county officials and media in a gathering that would likely take it over the 10-person threshold.
“We started to have concerns about the executive orders from the Governor, and thinking that we might have more than 10 people there. It was going to take place in the courthouse, so we were concerned about that,” said Rhoades.
“This whole thing is about the public safety, so it would look kind of silly that we're having a meeting violating the public safety at the same time we're trying to promote the public safety,” she added.
She said the rescheduled, virtual meeting is tentatively scheduled for Friday morning. The county should be up to speed on holding remote meetings, as it is using Zoom to hold three virtual committee meetings on Thursday.