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TipSheet: Travis County, 11.2.15

Tuesday, November 3, 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.

2. Consider and take appropriate action on an order concerning outdoor burning in the unincorporated areas of Travis County. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: Safe bet that after last week’s floods, the commissioners likely won’t reinstate the ban on outdoor burning.

3. Consider and take appropriate action regarding County response to weather events in Travis and surrounding counties. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: Speaking of last week’s floods, the commissioners will also hear a briefing from several departments on their respective responses to the deadly weather. The county spent the summer cleaning up after the Memorial Day weekend floods and the commissioners will be interested to know whether the recent rains have stretched thin its resources. Especially with more wet weather in the forecast.

5. Consider and take appropriate action on amendments to Ch. 41 County Code establishing a policy for the sale or lease of county-owned properties. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: On the day that voters will decide the fate of the $287 million civil courthouse bond, the commissioners will likely adopt a new policy framework aimed at keeping the courthouse construction costs down. The framework will give the county guidance as it seeks to deploy ground-leases on county property, most notably on a proposed second tower at the courthouse site that could be built simultaneously by a private developer. The commissioners postponed a decision on this item last week at the request of Assistant County Attorney Tom Nuckols who said the policy framework was fully ready.

9. Consider and take appropriate action to adopt the use of the federal E-Verify system to verify that new County employees are eligible to work for Travis County. (Commissioner Daugherty & Commissioner Gómez)

Monitor’s Take: This was another decision that was before the court last week but ended up being postponed. According to county staff, an executive order signed by former Governor Rick Perry appears to legally require the county to adopt the E-Verify system to check the immigration status of potential employees. However, last Tuesday, Commissioner Brigid Shea raised her concerns about private data collected by the system being used for by the federal government to root out and deport undocumented immigrants. Judge Sarah Eckhardt pledged to reach out to immigration rights advocates for their input before bringing the issue back before the court.

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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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