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Local Government

Introducing the Del Valle Resource Guide

As part of the Austin Monitor‘s ongoing mission to serve our community, we have helped create a new guide to the resources available for Del Valle residents. From setting up utilities to voting jurisdictions, we’re hoping the new guide makes figuring out…

Lawyer argues staggered Council elections, new district maps deny thousands the right to vote

An Austin lawyer has sued City Council members over what he says is the denial of voting rights to tens of thousands of residents. Bill Aleshire filed the lawsuit in a Travis County district court Tuesday on behalf of a…

Travis County bush

New perk just dropped for all county employees: Paid family leave

The Travis County Commissioners Court unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday that marks the first steps toward bringing paid family leave to every county employee. While the policy won’t immediately go into effect, a subcommittee will return to the court in…

Austin spends nearly $1 million to settle lawsuits alleging it mishandled sexual assault cases

The city of Austin is settling two lawsuits alleging it violated the rights of sexual assault victims by mishandling the investigations. The city’s settlement amounts to $825,000, which will be split among 15 plaintiffs, and $50,000 for the plaintiffs’ lawyers.…

As Bastrop wildfire forces evacuations, Travis County issues burn ban

On Tuesday, the Travis County Commissioners Court unanimously approved a burn ban, beginning Thursday, Jan. 20, at the behest of the fire marshal. The ban comes after a few fires broke out in Travis County over the weekend, and a…

Eckhardt cleared of judicial conduct sanction

Austin state Sen. Sarah Eckhardt, a lifelong Democrat, has won her battle with the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct. In December 2020, the commission issued an admonition against Eckhardt for comments she made as Travis County Judge in 2017…

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As ERAP well dries, county turns to other sources to meet renters’ needs

Travis County Health and Human Services broke the bad news to commissioners Tuesday that the U.S. Treasury will not be granting the county’s request for an additional $7.8 million in Emergency Rental Assistance funds. This means hundreds of people counting…

End of an era: DeBeauvoir ready for new challenges

Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir, who has served as the county’s chief elections officer as well as the overseer of numerous county records, including deeds and marriage licenses, announced in November that she would not seek reelection. After nearly 36…

County Attorney Garza's first priority is public safety

Delia Garza’s life as Travis County Attorney is a lot different than when she sat on Austin’s City Council. But the one thing that has stayed consistent, she said, is that no two days look alike. Since Garza took on…

Brown: The stakes are high for the county judge

Unlike the city of Austin, Travis County doesn’t have a behind-the-scenes manager directing operations, overseeing staff and preparing budgets. But it does have Andy Brown, the county judge, head of the Commissioners Court and a former senior adviser to Beto…

Ann Howard reflects on a turbulent first year in office

From the winter storm last February to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Travis County Commissioner Ann Howard has seen a lot this past year. The Austin Monitor sat down with Howard to reflect on 2021 and the highs and lows that came…

Shea: A career spent combating the climate crisis

In the summer of 1988, Brigid Shea unfolded a copy of The New York Times and read a front-page story that changed the trajectory of her life, about a NASA scientist who had testified to Congress about the life-threatening consequences…

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