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TipSheet: Travis County, 11.7.17

Tuesday, November 7, 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.

4. Receive report and presentation related to Emergency Services asset/resource mapping using a geographic information system (GIS). (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: Tired of being trapped in emergency situations and not knowing what your county-provided options are? Staff has your back! This inventory of services and assets is part of a larger effort to sharpen the county’s resources while at the same time bringing broader awareness of them to the public. Another concurrent project will augment the ATXfloods initiative with key wildfire data.

9. Consider and take appropriate action on the Civil & Family Courts Capacity Project. (This item may be taken into Executive Session under the Consultation with Attorney and Real Property exceptions.) (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: It’s been a minute since the court has treated us to any public moves regarding the winding effort to build a new civil courthouse. We generally don’t mention this item, which is placed on every agenda just in case the court needs to suddenly take it up, but we felt like noting that County Judge Sarah Eckhardt has recently been teasing some big developments that could be revealed in the coming weeks. Could Christmas come early? We’ll see!

27. Approve contract award for Countywide Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, RFS No. S1707-010-KR to the sole proposer, TIP Strategies, Inc. (Commissioner Travillion)

Monitor’s Take: When the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, there’s only one thing to do: Call in the consultants. If the court approves this $122,255 contract, TIP Strategies will start crunching data compiled by the Capital Area Council of Governments to develop a strategic action plan for a comprehensive countywide economic development strategy, “with particular emphasis placed upon stimulating or eliminating the County’s widening economic gap,” according to the staff-prepared backup material. Austin-based TIP was the only firm to answer the call for candidates the county issued this summer.

29. Consider and take appropriate action on an update from the Organizational Review Implementation Project Management Team. (Judge Eckhardt & Commissioner Daugherty)

Monitor’s Take: Staff continues apace to implement the scores of recommendations produced by a consultant hired to check under the hood of the county’s operations. Of the 162 suggestions, 61 are considered completed while another 45 are in progress. The court will be asked to take action on three specific recommendations today: two that staff is requesting to ignore, and a third that would move a minor responsibility from one office to another.

30. Approve resolution for Travis County to join the “We Are Still In” coalition. (Judge Eckhardt & Commissioner Shea)

Monitor’s Take: As you probably recall, President Donald Trump dramatically decided earlier this year to renege on the nation’s commitment to uphold the Paris climate accord. With the fate of the planet in the balance, jurisdictions from the state level on down have nonetheless pledged to do their part to prevent global destruction (from too much carbon dioxide, at least). To that end, the We Are Still In coalition represents 15 states, 435 counties and cities, along with hundreds of businesses. Today could bring one more county into the group, pending what should be a fairly easy vote at Commissioners Court though, quite frankly, we expect moderate contrarianism from the lone Republican, Commissioner Gerald Daugherty.

31. Receive update from the Travis County Historical Commission on World War I Centennial plans. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: General details are scarce, so as history buffs, we’re pretty pumped for this update. Hard to believe it’s been 100 years since nationalism was tearing Europe asunder, the Middle East was facing chaos and destabilization, and American foreign policy was split between full-throated war hawks on one side and, on the other, isolationists who sided with a belligerent autocracy actively working to subvert the nation.

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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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