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TipSheet: Travis County, 2.23.16

Tuesday, February 23, 2016 by Caleb Pritchard

The Travis County Commissioners Court meets at 9 a.m. Tuesday. In the interest of space, we’ve decided not to post the entire agenda here. The County Clerk’s office hosts a copy at its website.

4. Consider and take appropriate action on recommendations regarding the Travis County Fire Marshal: a. Appoint the Travis County Fire Marshal for a Term Certain; b. Set an appropriate salary; and c. Approve an appropriate bond. (Commissioner Shea & Commissioner Daugherty)

Monitor’s Take: With the pending retirement of Fire Marshall Hershel Lee, the Commissioners Court will have to designate his successor. Conveniently enough, it looks like Assistant Fire Marshal Anthony Callaway will get the gig, along with a two-year contract and an annual salary of $103,714.

5. Receive state-required Racial Profiling Report for Calendar Year 2015 from the Travis County Sheriff’s Office. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: Just in time to become an issue during the ongoing race for the Democratic nomination to replace outgoing Sheriff Greg Hamilton! Though, it seems the report will likely favor any a status quo message since it notes that the Travis County Sheriff’s Office Internal Affairs division received a sum total of zero complaints about racial profiling in 2015.

6. Consider and take appropriate action on County Auditor’s Office report on travel and training concerns for the Housing Authority of Travis County/Strategic Housing Finance Corporation. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: More bad news for HATC and SHFC, and once again courtesy of the Auditor’s Office. According to the backup material, Judge Sarah Eckhardt directed the Risk Evaluation & Consulting Division “to investigate the validity of anonymous allegations remitted to the County Judge regarding issues with board member travel, particularly related to travel advances. According to a report written by County Auditor Nicki Reilly, “We have confirmed that a large number of travel advances issued to SHFC Board of Directors President Willie Anderson and HATC Board of Commissioners Chairman Melvin Wrenn have not been settled and reconciled.”

9. Consider and take appropriate action regarding the appointment of members to a Citizen Advisory Committee concerning the provision of additional capacity for Civil and Family Courts System. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: The Court will deputize an all-new, all-different citizens committee to help guide the decision-making behind the renewed effort to build a brand new civil courthouse. The terms “all-new” and “all-different” should perhaps be taken with a grain or twelve of salt since many of the members from a previous iteration of the committee could be appointed to this board as well. If county staff gets their way, the new committee will have no more than 25 members and will be scheduled to have its first meeting on March 3.

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Key Players & Topics In This Article

Travis County Commissioners Court: The legislative body for Travis County. It includes representatives from the four Travis County Precincts, as well as the County Judge. The County Judge serves as the chair of the Court.

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