Douglas County Commission to return to in-person meetings; Zoom option to remain for public comment

photo by: Douglas County

Douglas County Administrator Sarah Plinsky, top left, Commissioner Patrick Kelly, top right, Commission Chair Shannon Portillo, center, and Commission Vice Chair Shannon Reid, bottom left, discuss their return to in-person meetings during the commission's meeting June 9, 2021.

After operating largely online throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the Douglas County Commission is planning to return to in-person meetings but will retain a remote option for the public.

During the commission’s meeting Wednesday, County Administrator Sarah Plinsky told the commission that commissioners and staff would meet in person beginning next week, but the ability for the public and, at times, staff to participate in the meetings via Zoom would be maintained. Plinsky said staff has been putting some technology improvements in place at the courthouse so that the county could offer the hybrid in-person and Zoom meetings.

“Our intent is that the commissioners will be here as well as staff, but we will continue to use Zoom as a platform live in real time to have remote access for our meetings,” Plinsky said. “I envision that that will include public comment, so we would be able to continue to take public comment over Zoom.”

Commission Chair Shannon Portillo said she was looking forward to holding meetings in person, but was glad that a remote option would remain available for the public.

“That makes a huge difference, especially for folks who may not have access to child care or may not be able to travel the distance to get to the courthouse,” Portillo said. “I’m excited to be there in person, but also very excited that folks will be able to stay remote if they’d like.”

Throughout the pandemic, commissioners and county staff have participated in meetings remotely while Plinksky has been in person at the Douglas County Courthouse. County residents have been able to comment both in person at the courthouse, online via Zoom or by dialing into the meeting by phone.


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