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TipSheet: Travis County, 10.6.15

Tuesday, October 6, 2015 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.

11. Consider and take appropriate action on an order setting the Travis County Tax Rates for the year beginning January 1, 2015: A. Total Maintenance and Operations Tax Rate (34.86 cents per $100 valuation); B. Total Debt Service Tax Rate (6.83 cents per $100 valuation); and C. Total County Ad Valorem Tax Rate (41.69 cents per $100 valuation). (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: After adopting the FY 2016 budget last week, the commissioners return to business with a relatively soft agenda. Of perhaps most interest to the widest swath of residents is this item that sets the tax rate that will pay for next year’s budget. At a total of 41.69 cents per $100 valuation, the proposed rate is about four cents lower than the current one. Accordingly, there has been virtually no public outcry and the rate is expected to sail to approval without much drama from the dais.

17. Consider and take appropriate action regarding a License Agreement with Tracy Limon for purposes of having exclusive use of Webberville Park to host the annual Limon family reunion for the weekend of October 9–11, 2015, in Precinct One. (Commissioner Davis)

Monitor’s Take: We note this item here primarily for its curiosity factor rather than any relevance of sweeping civic import. While the City of Austin takes heat for ceding a good chunk of Zilker Park to ACL Fest (and half of Republic Square Park for the shuttle staging area), Travis County will likely skip the sturm und drang of democratic rage as the commissioners consider closing Webberville Park for a private family reunion over the weekend. The celebration is the Limon family’s 30th annual get-together. In honor of it, the family has drawn up an agreement that would allow public consumption of booze at the party (technically illegal otherwise) and grant the county full indemnity from any unfortunate outcomes. And, yes, the Limons will cover all necessary expenses.

22. Consider and take action on Contract Award for Privileged Parking Training and Application Services, RFS No. 1506-008-JL to the sole respondent, Access Empowerment. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: Handicapped-parking scofflaws will find their miscreant ways a little harder when the commissioners approve this contract. It awards Access Empowerment $76,500 to train volunteers in the community to issue citations via their privately developed app. The proposed program has met the glowing approval from members of Travis County’s disabled community during recent discussions and looks to be a political feather in the caps of Commissioner Gerald Daugherty and Constable (and potential candidate for Sheriff) Sally Hernandez, who both reviewed and recommended the contract.

34. Consider and take appropriate action on appointment of Joe Robert Cervantes to the Travis County Historical Commission, with a term to expire on January 15, 2017. (Commissioner Gómez)

Monitor’s Take: Among Cervantes’ list of qualifications is his work to preserve the ruins of the Sneed Mansion in southeast Austin. The mansion was built in the mid-1800s by Sebron Sneed, Sr.,  a wealthy lawyer, slave-owner, and founder of the Travis County Democratic Party. In case the name may strike the reader as familiar for possibly another reason, the Monitor can dispel any confusion by revealing that our research finds no direct connection between this Sneed clan and another high-profile strain of Sneed from which Austin-born Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina delineates.

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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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