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TipSheet: Travis County, 10.10.17

Tuesday, October 10, 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.

6. Consider and take appropriate action regarding a proposed increase in towing fees and accompanying order amending Travis County Code Chapter 78, Towing. (Commissioner Daugherty)

Monitor’s Take: For the first time since 2012, the cost to bail your vehicle out of car jail could go up. The backup material doesn’t include the current fee, but the proposed initial towing fee is $275 along with other charges for cleanup and labor and, of course, winching. For context, the base fee would get you six regular 31-day passes and two seven-day passes with the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Just sayin’.

11. Consider and take appropriate action on pursuit of Travis County/City of Austin partnership on eastern Travis County project utilizing the hotel occupancy tax. (Commissioner Travillion)

Monitor’s Take: It appears the court has tapped Commissioner Jeff Travillion to be the point man in its quest to convince City Council to share the last 2 percent of Hotel Occupancy Tax capacity allowed by state law in Austin. An affirmative vote on this item will apparently send a letter to Mayor Steve Adler under Travillion’s name outlining a proposal to allow the city to use that revenue source to pay off its remaining debt from the 1999 Austin Convention Center expansion. After that, Travillion proposes the city and county create a venue district – pending voter approval – that could fund improvements to, among other things, the Travis County Exposition Center.

24. Consider and take appropriate action on appointment to the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: As we reported last week, Travis County’s appointee to the Capital Metro board, Beverly Silas, tendered her resignation to the Commissioners Court in the wake of racially explosive comments she made in the context of the agency’s search for a new president. With that search still active and scheduled to be finished by the end of the year, the agency is understandably asking for a replacement for Silas as soon as possible. The court could issue an open call for applications, initiating a process that could take several weeks to bear fruit, or it could immediately vote one of its own to serve out the rest of Silas’ term, which ends on June 1, 2018.

26. Consider and take appropriate action on the Order of the Travis County Commissioners Court Amending the Travis County Healthcare District Financial Policies for FY18. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: Oh, look, it’s that never-ending discussion about Central Health’s financial policy and the fight over the hospital district’s transparency and alleged lack thereof. Will the groundhog finally see its shadow? Or are we destined to yet another postponement, just for old time’s sake? You draw the bath, we’ll get the toaster.

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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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