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Stories by Beth Cortez-Neavel

Thursday, January 8, 2015 by Beth Cortez-Neavel

District 10’s Gallo to focus on transparency in 2015

District 10 City Council Member Sheri Gallo was sworn in Tuesday evening, along with the rest of Austin’s new 10-1 Council. Gallo, a longtime resident of the area, boasts a 35-year background in residential real estate and a legacy of…

Tuesday, November 25, 2014 by Beth Cortez-Neavel

Council approves 2016 social services contracts

The Austin City Council approved the next round of the city’s social services contracts Thursday, apportioning far less money than most agencies said they needed to serve their clients. For Fiscal Year 2016, the city received requests for more than…

Friday, November 21, 2014 by Beth Cortez-Neavel

Coyote management plan passes despite concerns

The Austin City Council approved the contentious city coyote management plan Thursday evening, to a loud round of applause and a few woofs of approval from community members sitting in the audience.“This may not be the last word on coyotes,…

Monday, November 3, 2014 by Beth Cortez-Neavel

Groups call city social service contracts inadequate

Organizations that provide crucial community needs will walk away from Austin’s newly altered competitive process for assigning next year’s social services contracts without the funding they want, members of the City Council Public Health and Human Services Committee said Friday.Members…

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 by Beth Cortez-Neavel

Council to finally get controversial coyote plan

A new coyote management policy will be brought to the Austin City Council in November, following a nine-month-long and somewhat controversial process. The policy was most recently before City Council’s Public Health and Human Services Committee on Tuesday.In 2013, some…

Monday, October 20, 2014 by Beth Cortez-Neavel

Central Health OKs teaching hospital agreements

Despite public requests to postpone the vote, Central Health’s Board of Managers approved two crucial lease agreements for the new teaching hospital Wednesday night. Under the agreements, Seton Family Healthcare will pay $877,621 a year to the University of Texas for…

Thursday, October 9, 2014 by Beth Cortez-Neavel

Travis County battles shortage of foster homes

There is a severe lack of homes for children and youth in Travis County’s foster care system, according to the judges and officials who administer the system. They say the situation has become critical, to the point that children are…

Monday, September 15, 2014 by Beth Cortez-Neavel

Search our advisory boards appointee database

The City of Austin has a plethora of advisory groups that each inform some aspect of how city government operates and regulates the services it provides for the community.There are more than 60 advisory boards, committees and commissions, including some…

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 by Beth Cortez-Neavel

Central Health’s 2015 budget up 8.8 percent

If you think your health care bill is big and confusing, check out the one at Central Health.The Travis County’s health care district brought its Fiscal Year 2015 budget to the Commissioner’s Court Tuesday with an 8.8 percent increase over…

Monday, August 25, 2014 by Beth Cortez-Neavel

Increasing child abuse/neglect cases strain courts

Representatives of Travis County children and parents involved in legal abuse and neglect cases have only 10-minute judicial hearings to present evidence of their safety and living situations, according to county civil court judges. County attorneys for indigent children and parents…

Friday, August 22, 2014 by Beth Cortez-Neavel

County postpones parking decision again

Travis County Commissioners once again postponed a decision on the new county employee parking plan, to the chagrin of the employee parking committee Tuesday.In March, commissioners approved the expansion of free zoned county employee parking in all county-approved parking facilities and…

Monday, August 18, 2014 by Beth Cortez-Neavel

Health Services tells county it needs more staff

The Travis County’s Health and Human Services Department asked for an additional $313,000 for six full-time employees to its Fiscal Year 2015 budget Friday, the last day of budget hearings. Travis County Commissioners spent last week discussing requests for additional…

Wednesday, August 13, 2014 by Beth Cortez-Neavel

Pay raise for Travis County employees in limbo

Travis County elected officials will not get a pay raise next year, following a recommendation by the Planning and Budget Office that the Commissioners Court unanimously approved Tuesday.Other county employees, with few exceptions, will have to wait to find out whether they…

Monday, August 11, 2014 by Beth Cortez-Neavel

Travis County employees wonder whether they will get a raise

Travis County Commissioners will spend their week discussing funding requests that the Planning and Budget Office did not include in its estimated $901 million Fiscal Year 2015 preliminary budget. Out of 16 total budget hearings, the majority will focus on…

Friday, August 8, 2014 by Beth Cortez-Neavel

Travis County fiscal picture for Aug. 5, 2014

Here’s a look at Travis County’s spending habits, approved by the County Commissioners Court on Aug. 5.Expenditures out of the Fiscal Year 2014 budget, totaling $1,943,041.39: $243,080 to Atchley & Associates for financial audit services for Fiscal Year 2014. Atchley…

Thursday, August 7, 2014 by Beth Cortez-Neavel

Structural review calls Travis County dysfunctional, recommends changes

The Travis County governmental structure is dysfunctional and needs to reorganize under one main administrator, according to a report by an independent consultant group hired to assess the county’s internal administrative system. However, some county officials, while not surprised by…

Wednesday, August 6, 2014 by Beth Cortez-Neavel

Travis Commissioners OK incentive deal for Charles Schwab

Travis County approved the $8.5 million economic incentive agreement with Charles Schwab Tuesday morning, ensuring an Austin expansion of their offices and an estimated 823 new jobs for Austin within the next ten years. Charles Schwab will also get $4.5…

Monday, August 4, 2014 by Beth Cortez-Neavel

Travis County spending for July 29

Here’s the Monitor’s weekly detailed rundown of Travis County’s spending and unbudgeted revenue, for the week of July 29, 2014Tuesday, the County Commissioners approved $1,018,612.24 in expenditures: $710,444.24 for reimbursement to United Health Care for claims paid for participants in the Travis…

Thursday, July 31, 2014 by Beth Cortez-Neavel

Travis County investigating appraisal inequities

Travis County is assembling work groups to investigate alleged inequities in the state property tax appraisal system.Intergovernmental Relations Coordinator Deece Eckstein has plans to fulfill the mandate from the court to create the working groups. They include getting an impartial…

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 by Beth Cortez-Neavel

Charles Schwab wants $3.6 million tax rebate for Austin expansion

The Austin Chamber of Commerce urged Travis County Commissioners to enter an $8.5 million economic incentive agreement with Charles Schwab Corp., the San Francisco-based banking and brokerage corporation, at Tuesday’s regular session. The company is seeking $3.6 million in tax…

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