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TipSheet: Travis County, 11.17.15

Tuesday, November 17, 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.

7. Consider and take appropriate action regarding County response to weather events in Travis and surrounding counties, including discussion of owner-occupied repairs under the Community Development Block Grant and the definition of economically disadvantaged for fee waiver. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: Last week, during the general update from staff on ongoing flood recovery efforts, a consensus seemed to develop on the dais that the county should expand the scope of its cleanup and offer assistance to private landowners. The trick, of course, is figuring out how to pay for that assistance absent any declaration of disaster by the state or federal government, something this item will seek to address.

9. Consider and take appropriate action on contract with Securus Technologies for telecommunications services in the Travis County Correctional System. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: Securus Technologies is the private firm that has handled the county’s video visitation program within the Travis County Correctional Complex. The recent agreement to reintroduce in-person visitations for inmates substantially changed the playing field during the negotiations on a new contract with Securus, the final product from which will be taken up by the commissioners with this item.

13. Receive comments from the Community Focus Committee regarding the Civil and Family Courts Complex Project. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: For the first time since the electoral defeat of the civil courthouse bond proposal, the commissioners will officially hear from the special committee that helped county planners shape that plan. Our fingers are crossed in the hopes that this discussion will shed some crucial light on which direction Judge Sarah Eckhardt is eyeing in her quest to build to a new courthouse.

17. Consider and take appropriate action regarding the sale of 7.55 acres of County-owned property located at 4523 Tannehill Lane, Austin, Texas 78721. (Commissioner Gómez)

Monitor’s Take: As part of the county’s master plan to maximize the use of its assets, certain properties deemed unnecessary are ending up on the auction block. That’s the case with 4523 Tannehill Lane, a large piece of land eyed by the Salvation Army as the site for a new shelter for women and children.

26. Consider and take appropriate action on security for County personnel. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: A gunman’s attack on State District Judge Julie Kocurek outside of West Austin home earlier this month raised questions about security threats faced by jurists. The commissioners will take up this item behind closed doors in executive session.

27. Consider and take appropriate action regarding EMCF Partners, LLC. V. Travis County, Texas. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: Last week, attorneys for the county defended in court the revisions made to the mass gathering permitting process that were challenged by the Euphoria Music and Camping Festival. This is another item that will be taken up during executive session, so we’ll have to wait until the end of the day to find out exactly what action is under consideration.

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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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