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TipSheet: Travis County, 10.2.18

Tuesday, October 2, 2018 by Ryan Thornton

The Travis County Commissioners Court will hold its weekly voting session at 9 a.m. Tuesday. In the interest of time, we have provided a selection of the items to be voted on below. The entire agenda can be found here.

3. Approve proclamation recognizing “National Night Out” in Travis County. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: National Night Out is a nationwide, annual event sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch. Tuesday, Oct. 2, will mark the event’s 35th year of promoting community and police cooperation in reducing crime. National Night Out invites Travis County citizens to develop relationships with their neighbors and leave porch lights on at night to prevent criminal activity. In a city like Austin, where many areas are exclusively zoned for single-family housing, there is great need for nighttime social activity on the streets to reduce crime. Countywide events like this are a helpful way to remind us of the power citizens and police share in creating a safe environment for ourselves and our neighbors.

5. Consider and take appropriate action on a proposal by the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO) for 250 units of permanent supportive housing. (Commissioners Daugherty & Gómez)

Monitor’s Take: In 2015, ECHO received a Pay for Success technical assistance grant from the federal department of Housing and Urban Development to pay for 250 permanent supportive housing units for repeat users of the criminal justice and health care systems. ECHO asked Travis County to commit $3 million over five years, which the county asked the city of Austin to cover as part of an interlocal agreement. The city denied this proposal, leaving the county with two options: work with Social Finance – the organization providing the Pay for Success service – to secure funding from investors or make an agreement with ECHO to provide reimbursements on support services that will be needed by clients in the housing units.

41. Consider and take appropriate action regarding agreements with the following for polling locations for the November 6, 2018, Joint General and Special Elections: a. BRE RC Southpark II TX LP, for use of Unit No. 21 in the Southpark Meadows Shopping Center as an early voting and Election Day polling location b. St. Edward’s University, for use of the Ragsdale Center lobby as an early voting temporary location on October 22, 2018 c. St. Thomas More Catholic Church, for use of the Lifehouse Building as an Election Day polling location (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: Shopping centers and university buildings are great early voting locations since they naturally attract daily foot traffic. Churches, with less use during the week, make for good Election Day voting locations. While it is always a civic duty to vote, the highly anticipated Nov. 6 United States Senate election in Texas is determined by popular vote and not by representatives, making every vote count equally across the state. This item will likely pass.

42. Consider and take appropriate action on an interlocal agreement between Travis County Healthcare District DBA Central Health and Travis County for cash management and investment services, risk management services, legal services, and television broadcasting services. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: With Central Health breathing new life into Sendero Health Plans with new financial strategies discussed at the Commissioners Court last Tuesday, their interlocal agreement with the county is likely to be approved. Under the agreement, the county will provide cash management and investment services as well as legal and media services. The agreement has existed in similar form since Central Health was formed in 2004.

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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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