LaPorte County was founded in 1832 and today is home to almost 112,000 people.
La porte means “the door” in French. French explorers, coming by ship and canoe from Canada, named the area based on the open beaches and flat terrain extending south to the Kankakee River through what was then dense swamp and forest.
County Council: The county council is the legislative branch of the county government and controls spending and revenue collection in the county. Representatives are elected from county districts serving four year terms. Council members create an annual budget, including funds for local infrastructure, county employee salaries, and special projects. The council also has limited authority to impose local taxes, in the form of an income and property tax that is subject to state level approval, excise taxes, and service taxes.
Board of Commissioners: The executive body of the county is made of a board of commissioners. The commissioners are elected county-wide, in staggered terms, and each serves a four-year term. One of the commissioners, typically the most senior, serves as president. The commissioners are charged with executing the acts legislated by the council, collecting revenue, and managing the day-to-day functions of the county government.
County Justice and Records Officials: The county has several other elected offices, including sheriff, coroner, auditor, treasurer, recorder, surveyor, and circuit court clerk. Each of these elected officers serves a term of four years and oversees a different part of county government. Members elected to county government positions are required to be residents of the county.
County Courts: The county has five elected trial court judges. They include the LaPorte Circuit Court and Superior Courts One through Four. Judges are elected to six-year terms. Superior Courts 3 and 4 maintain small claims dockets.
LaPorte County is now part of Indiana’s 1st and 2d congressional districts.