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TipSheet: Travis County, 1.24.2017

Tuesday, January 24, 2017 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.

3. Approve proclamation supporting reproductive choice in healthcare. (Judge Eckhardt & Commissioner Shea)

Monitor’s Take: In this age of President Donald Trump, a local administrative body’s opinion about abortion rights might not add up to a hill of beans, but that isn’t stopping the Commissioners Court from weighing in on the matter anyway. A similar proclamation last year stirred mild controversy on the dais when Republican Commissioner Gerald Daugherty – then facing a primary challenger from his right – politely but firmly declined to give his support. Whether emotions will run higher this time in light of recent developments on the national political scene remains to be determined, but we’ll be sitting in the back of the room brewing up some tea.

10. Receive presentations from Health and Human Services regarding short-term and long-term planning. (Commissioners Shea & Gómez)

16. Receive presentation from Facilities Management regarding short-term and long-term planning. (Commissioner Gómez)

33. Receive presentation from Information Technology Services regarding short-term and long-term planning. (Judge Eckhardt & Commissioner Daugherty)

Monitor’s Take: Per annual county tradition, the various departments are winding their respective ways through the Commissioners Court and delivering updates on their administrative directions. If you dig Powerpoint presentations, this is a heckuva time to be alive.

13. Consider and take appropriate action on allocating usage of Travis County’s Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds to the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority for the implementation of a park and ride system. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: Third time’s a charm, maybe, hopefully. County Judge Sarah Eckhardt has been trying to push this item through since late last year. Twice now her colleagues have balked and the matter has been postponed. Two weeks ago, however, Eckhardt emphatically declared that she will brook no further foot-dragging. Both Austin City Council and the Williamson County Commissioners Court will be watching this vote closely. If Travis’ court approves the measure, those two bodies will also have to consider it if the CTRMA’s grand plan of using federal Qualified Energy Conservation bond allocations to fund the construction of a handful of park-and-rides along its various toll roads is to succeed.

14. Consider and take appropriate action on the North Airport Boulevard Revitalization Plan. (Commissioner Travillion)

Monitor’s Take: This item here is part and parcel with the county’s plan to redevelop its North Campus property at E. 53 ½ Street and Airport Boulevard. The revitalization plan is the county’s strategy document that traces a vision of goosing a section of town that “is unsightly, is not conducive to pedestrian traffic, and as such has deteriorated over the years to an area that has been riddled with problems related to petty theft, drug related activity, and transiency,” according to the agenda backup material.

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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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