Stories by Jack Craver

Thursday, July 18, 2019 by Jack Craver

Travis County approves long-range transportation plan

At long last, Travis County has a long-range transportation plan. The Commissioners Court voted unanimously Tuesday to adopt the Travis County Transportation Blueprint, which lays out a vision for infrastructure in unincorporated parts of Travis County over the next quarter-century.Today…

Wednesday, July 17, 2019 by Jack Craver

Despite property tax limits, Travis County remains committed to public defender’s office

The Travis County Commissioners Court took another step Tuesday toward creating the county’s first public defender’s office. The court voted 4-1 to provide additional information to a state agency that is considering providing a multimillion-dollar grant to the county to…

Friday, July 12, 2019 by Jack Craver

County approves new Steiner Ranch evacuation route over neighborhood opposition

The Travis County Commissioners Court voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a new emergency route to help residents of Steiner Ranch escape the community in the event of wildfires.The 600-foot road, known as Route B, will connect Flat Top Ranch Road…

Wednesday, July 10, 2019 by Jack Craver

Eckhardt proposes land swap with city for Palm School

Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt is willing to give the city of Austin the historic Palm School building. But she wants a lot in return.In a July 3 letter addressed to Mayor Steve Adler and City Council, Eckhardt proposed a…

Monday, June 24, 2019 by Jack Craver

Despite revenue caps, Travis County moves ahead with pay hikes

Travis County government spending has not increased much in recent years. Expenditures over the past two years, when the Commissioners Court voted to increase property tax revenue by 6 percent and 5 percent, have been unusually high. The court has…

Wednesday, June 19, 2019 by Jack Craver

Travis County changes course on electronic monitoring

The electronic monitoring business just got a little bit more competitive in Travis County. The Commissioners Court voted unanimously Tuesday to abandon its practice of allowing only a single company to provide tracking devices to those accused or convicted of…

Monday, June 10, 2019 by Jack Craver

Why does one company get all of Travis County’s electronic monitoring business?

In recent years, Travis County has seen an increase in the number of people released from jail on bail on condition that they wear some type of monitoring device, whether it tracks their location or detects the presence of alcohol.This…

Thursday, June 6, 2019 by Jack Craver

County looks at increasing minimum wage

Generally, the city of Austin and Travis County view each other as partners, not competitors. However, when it comes to attracting and retaining talented employees, the two can’t help but compete.That’s why the Travis County Human Resources Department periodically analyzes…

Wednesday, June 5, 2019 by Jack Craver

Travis County commissioners endorse preserving Palm School

Supporters of preserving the Palm School won a partial victory Tuesday when the Travis County Commissioners Court voted unanimously in favor of restrictions that will prevent the historic building from being demolished by a future landowner.However, the issue of who…

Tuesday, June 4, 2019 by Jack Craver

Travis County sees big increase in electronic monitoring

Travis County has seen its incarcerated population drop dramatically in recent years, due in large part to policy changes aimed at keeping low-level drug offenders out of jail.As of April 2019, the average daily jail population stood at 2,143, a…

Monday, June 3, 2019 by Jack Craver

Cap Metro to debut new ride-hailing service in Manor

On Tuesday, the Travis County Commissioners Court unanimously approved funding a new ride-hailing project in Manor run by Capital Metro. The service, called Pickup, aims to provide residents of Austin’s fastest-growing suburb an alternative to driving that is more reliable…

Wednesday, May 29, 2019 by Jack Craver

Travis County contemplates small wins, big losses at Legislature

Every week while the state Legislature is in session, Travis County’s chief lobbyist, Deece Eckstein, briefs members of the Commissioners Court on the bills that might affect the county. In recent months, the weekly briefing has usually been bleak, but…

Tuesday, May 28, 2019 by Jack Craver

Travis County offers free bus rides to jurors

In a city as car-dependent as Austin, you might think a free parking spot would be the least Travis County could offer people traveling downtown to perform jury service.And yet, the Travis County website makes clear that those performing that…

Thursday, May 23, 2019 by Jack Craver

Travis County to establish first ‘strategic plan’

The Travis County Commissioners Court voted Tuesday to begin formulating a long-range strategic plan to guide county policies and budgeting practices for years to come.The executives in charge of the county’s eight major departments have put in place strategic plans…

Friday, May 17, 2019 by Jack Craver

Many parents at risk of losing their children look to Travis County’s Office of Parental Representation

Low-income criminal defendants aren’t the only people Travis County is required to provide with legal representation. Parents at risk of losing custody of their children are also afforded assistance at no cost from the county Office of Parental Representation.OPR, which…

Wednesday, May 15, 2019 by Jack Craver

More than just a toll roads agency: CTRMA touts transit, bike and walking infrastructure

The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority’s ability to build new toll roads may be temporarily stymied by opposition from state leaders, but the agency is keeping busy with major ongoing projects.While the great majority of its spending is on expanding…

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 by Jack Craver

Travis County leaders urge vigilance on flooding

Heavy rains over the past two weeks have not resulted in major residential flooding, but at least one death appears to be linked to flooding and government officials are urging residents to avoid certain waterways and to be on high…

Monday, May 13, 2019 by Jack Craver

Austin Monitor Radio: John Riedie

Austin Monitor reporter Jack Craver chats with John Riedie, CEO of the Austin Creative Alliance, to discuss the challenges the arts economy faces in Austin and why Riedie opposes plans to fund an expansion of the convention center. Austin Monitor Radio…

Wednesday, May 8, 2019 by Jack Craver

Commissioners Court makes move on public defender’s office

Travis County took a crucial step toward creating a public defender’s office when the Commissioners Court voted 4-1 Tuesday to submit an application for state funding to set one up.The commissioners made the move after months of debate among defense…

Monday, May 6, 2019 by Jack Craver

County leaders denounce anti-lobbying proposal

In addition to imposing strict constraints on local governments’ ability to raise property tax revenue, Republicans at the state Legislature want to limit how those governments can spend their tax dollars.A number of bills have been filed this session that…

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