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TipSheet: Travis County, 2.4.20

Tuesday, February 4, 2020 by Jack Craver

The Travis County Commissioners Court meets every Tuesday at 9 a.m. To help our readers stay informed, each week we offer a selection of interesting items from the voting session agenda. The entire agenda is available at the Travis County website.

9. Receive an update on the FY 2019 Community Impact Report. (Commissioners Shea & Gómez)

Monitor’s Take: This is an opportunity for the Commissioners Court to delve into and evaluate the impact of its $22 million in health and human service expenditures last year. As the county faces revenue caps imposed by the state Legislature, it will be more important than ever for the commissioners to prioritize spending, including by making painful decisions about which programs to cut.

14. Consider and take appropriate action on the appointment of the Travis County Chief Public Defender, and other related matters. (This item may be taken into Executive Session under the Consultation with Attorney and Personnel Matters exceptions.) (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: The commissioners recently interviewed two finalists for the position. They could be close to a decision on appointing the county’s first-ever dedicated public defender.

17. Consider and take appropriate action on the scope of services for real estate and financial advisory services for the sale or ground lease of Palm School. (Commissioner Gomez)

Monitor’s Take: It’s up to the court to hire a consultant to help county staff put together a solicitation for the Palm School property. A big part of this consulting contract will be providing an appraisal for the site. While the county has already received one appraisal that pegged the site’s value at $53 million, the commissioners have said they would like a second opinion. It’s still not yet clear, however, if there is consensus on the court about what the range of acceptable outcomes for the property are. Some are much more open to the possibility of private redevelopment of parts of the site.

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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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