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TipSheet: Travis County, 1.28.20

Tuesday, January 28, 2020 by Jack Craver

The Travis County Commissioners Court meets every Tuesday at 9 a.m. To help our readers stay informed, each week we offer a selection of interesting items from the voting session agenda. The entire agenda is available at the Travis County website.

Today will be an unusual one for the Commissioners Court. The commissioners expect to spend most of the morning conducting closed-door interviews with candidates for running the newly established public defender’s office. In the afternoon, however, they may take up some items that will generate discussion and debate, such as the following.

11. Receive update on the county’s performance management program within SAP’s Budgeting and Planning (SBP) module. (Commissioner Gómez)

Monitor’s Take: With state-imposed revenue caps kicking in this year, the county is under more pressure than ever to track the progress of its programs and find ways to better spend money. This new system the county is implementing will hopefully provide county staff and the commissioners with a clearer view of how the county’s limited resources are being deployed.

12. Consider and take appropriate action on the scope of services for real estate and financial advisory services for the sale or ground lease of Palm School. (Commissioner Gómez)

Monitor’s Take: In December, the commissioners authorized county staff to hire a consultant to advise the county as it seeks to sell or lease the Palm School property. Because county leaders have said they are committed to a development that preserves most of the historic building and which includes civic uses, finding a buyer or tenant is not as simple as taking the highest bidder. The discussion of this item may lead into the murky conversation about the future of the Palm School. It’s not entirely clear to what extent the five commissioners agree on what should happen to the property, which preservation activists and some city leaders have said they want to remain publicly owned.

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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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