Stories by Jack Craver

Wednesday, February 12, 2020 by Jack Craver

County leaders champion no-cash bail

Amidst an aggressive push from activists to reduce arrests and incarceration, Travis County leaders highlighted two important initiatives Tuesday as evidence that the county is a leader in progressive criminal justice policy.First, the Travis County Commissioners Court quickly approved a…

Friday, February 7, 2020 by Jack Craver

Babies, immigrants fueling Travis County growth

Contrary to public perception, Travis County’s population would be booming even without newcomers from California.That was one of the main takeaways from a presentation to the Travis County Commissioners Court on the most recent population data from the American Community…

Thursday, January 23, 2020 by Jack Craver

New nonprofit seeks to boost census participation

With six weeks until the 2020 census kicks off, the local effort to boost participation hopes to raise additional money for outreach efforts.Census Program Manager John Lawler, who is overseeing the Austin/Travis County Complete Count Committee, which both the city…

Friday, January 17, 2020 by Jack Craver

Travis County confronts tricky process in reforming pay for law enforcement

Travis County leaders are determined to reform the pay scale for the county’s 1,450 public safety employees, but they’re not quite sure how to do it.The county has long had separate pay scales for civilian employees and law enforcement workers,…

Wednesday, January 15, 2020 by Jack Craver

County puts more money into Manor ride-hailing program

In response to higher-than-expected ridership, Travis County is putting more money into a six-month-old ride-hailing program in Manor.The Commissioners Court voted Tuesday to authorize up to $25,000 to help purchase a third bus for the Manor Pickup service, which is…

Monday, January 13, 2020 by Jack Craver

Travis County takes action to eliminate ‘water colonias’

While it’s accurately referred to as an urban county, roughly half of Travis County does not fall within the limits of any municipality. The population in these rural, unincorporated areas is growing rapidly, driven in part by a lack of…

Wednesday, January 8, 2020 by Jack Craver

County sets up new committee to put pressure on city leaders over Expo Center

Travis County leaders want to put pressure on the city of Austin to help them rebuild the aging exposition center.On Tuesday the Commissioners Court voted unanimously to set up a nine-member committee tasked with “engaging and educating Travis County residents…

Friday, January 3, 2020 by Jack Craver

County Judge Sarah Eckhardt sees a future of tough decisions and tax referendums for Travis County

Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt has plenty of good news to report as she looks back on 2019.Her greatest achievement is the county’s new public defender’s office, for which she was the lead champion on the Commissioners Court. While her…

Thursday, January 2, 2020 by Jack Craver

After quarter-century on court, Gómez sees pros and cons in change

Margaret Gómez has served on the Travis County Commissioners Court for 24 years, representing a precinct whose boundaries roughly correspond with the southeastern quadrant of the county, including nearly all of South Austin east of South Lamar Boulevard.Her career in…

Thursday, January 2, 2020 by Jack Craver

Gerald Daugherty, Travis County’s last Republican, fears for county’s fiscal future

Gerald Daugherty has long said that this would probably be his last term in office. However, for a couple of days at the beginning of December, there were whispers that the Commissioners Court’s lone Republican might try for another four-year…

Friday, December 27, 2019 by Jack Craver

Jeff Travillion says it’s time to pay attention to eastern Travis County

Jeff Travillion believes it’s time for the east side to get some love from local leaders. While private dollars are transforming the look and feel of much of East Austin and making it increasingly hard for many longtime residents to…

Friday, December 27, 2019 by Jack Craver

As the planet warms, Brigid Shea is planning Travis County’s response

Commissioner Brigid Shea may have been elected to handle issues at the county level, but her focus is global.“My major focus in running for reelection, I believe very strongly as community leaders that we have to do more to prepare…

Wednesday, December 18, 2019 by Jack Craver

On third try, Commissioners Court approves controversial RV park near Hamilton Pool

For the third time, about two dozen residents who live on or near Stagecoach Ranch Road came to plead with the Travis County Commissioners Court to block plans to build an RV park that would accommodate up to 80 vehicles.After…

Thursday, December 5, 2019 by Jack Craver

Residents near Hamilton Pool up in arms about proposed RV park

The Travis County Commissioners Court spent all morning Tuesday discussing a proposed RV park on Stagecoach Ranch Road in Southwest Travis County, near Hamilton Pool. The court still hasn’t come to a decision on the matter and will take it…

Monday, December 2, 2019 by Jack Craver

Commissioners approve exemptions for RV development

The Travis County Commissioners Court said yes last week to a proposed RV park that was facilitated by an exemption to certain development regulations county staffers believe are not necessary for homes on wheels.“What we’re trying to recognize is that…

Friday, November 22, 2019 by Jack Craver

County hopes to block new waste facility in Northeast Austin

County leaders are unanimous in their hope that the Austin Community Landfill closes as soon as possible. They are united in their opposition to the landfill operator, Waste Management, adding a transfer station to the existing facility.It’s not clear whether…

Wednesday, November 20, 2019 by Jack Craver

Eckhardt offers the city Palm School in exchange for expo center, hotel tax

Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt says that she and her colleagues on the Commissioners Court are willing to give away the Palm School to the city of Austin. But they want a couple of big things in return.In a letter…

Monday, November 18, 2019 by Jack Craver

Exit Eckstein: Travis County’s retiring lobbyist reflects on his battles at the Legislature

After 11 years, Deece Eckstein is calling it quits as Travis County’s top lobbyist. He recently told members of the Commissioners Court that he will retire from his position as the intergovernmental relations officer at the end of the year.Eckstein,…

Friday, November 15, 2019 by Jack Craver

Eckhardt hopes city will pare down convention center plans for sake of Expo Center

Travis County voters gave county government the go-ahead last week to rebuild the aging exposition center on Decker Lane, but it could be a decade before the project breaks ground.County Proposition A, which passed with 63 percent of the vote,…

Wednesday, November 6, 2019 by Jack Craver

Travis County opts to ‘Energize the Expo,’ but it could be years away

Updated: 10:48 p.m.: Travis County voters have decided to energize the expo.More specifically, residents voted in favor of County Proposition A, which authorizes the county to levy up to a 2 percent tax on hotel guests to fund a renovation…

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