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Travis County

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…

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…

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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…

Gómez: Longest-serving commissioner finding new ways of doing business

With new members on the court this past year, Travis County Commissioner Margaret Gómez has been rethinking the court’s longtime processes. (Ann Howard, who represents Precinct 3, assumed office at the start of 2021, while County Judge Andy Brown assumed…

Where some see problems, Travillion sees opportunities

Travis County Precinct 1 Commissioner Jeff Travillion acknowledges that 2021 was a “challenging year.” But where others saw problems, Travillion saw opportunities. In areas lacking basic amenities like hospitals, clinics and pharmacies, Travillion made use of public schools and community…

Diversion programs can reduce mass incarceration in Travis County

At Thursday’s work session, the Travis County Commissioners Court fielded discussion about the benefits of, and recent updates to, several jail diversion programs underway in Travis County. Such programs included pretrial and pre-charge diversion programs, as well as a DWI…

County irons out details in disaster preparedness plan

The Commissioners Court convened for a work session Thursday to hear a presentation on county preparations for disasters, particularly those in the vein of last February’s Winter Storm Uri. The briefing was a response to a resolution commissioners approved on…

County looks to expand its HUB program

Over the past four years, Stephen Blake, a partner at North Park Consulting, has served as a Travis County contractor, helping county agencies to function more efficiently. His work with the county began through the Travis County Historically Underutilized Business,…

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