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TipSheet: Travis County, 3.27.18

Tuesday, March 27, 2018 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.

8. Receive report on the status of the Travis County Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Task Force. (Commissioner Daugherty)

Monitor’s Take: In this age of advanced technological gadgetry, drones are almost senior citizens. While imaginations run wild about robot cars or 3-D printing or blockchain, drones are firmly established as everyday practical gizmos. Of course, they present a Pandora’s box of problems and issues and thus the county has established this UAS Task Force to find out exactly how each department approaches drones as a tool in its toolbox.

18. Consider and take appropriate action on selection of firms for Underwriter Pool for use in Public Improvement District (PID) bond issuances. (Commissioner Gómez)

Monitor’s Take: It’s no secret that a lot of folks dream of being a PID underwriter when they grow up. This item, therefore, marks happy news for several firms that “were scored on their financial soundness, special assessment and PID bond experiences, and personal references from previous issuers,” according to the agenda backup material. Unfortunately, the list is not attached, so we’ll have to wait until the vote before we know who to properly congratulate.

23. Consider and take appropriate action on an interlocal agreement with the Capital Area Council of Governments to provide regional air quality planning activities to address ozone pollution in near non-attainment areas. (Commissioners Travillion & Shea)

Monitor’s Take: Last year, Gov. Greg Abbott vetoed more than $6 million marked for air quality planning, prompting the county and other peer jurisdictions to chip in their own funds to help the work conducted by the Capital Area Council of Governments. The total cost of this item for the county is just over $68,000, a cost that will be shouldered by the Transportation and Natural Resources Department as well as by Constable Stacy Suits’ Precinct 3 office. According to the backup, “Constable Stacy Suits received Local Initiative Project (LIP) funds to suppress criminal activity involving fraudulent, improper and counterfeit motor vehicle inspections and paper tags in the amount of $68.365. On July 11, 2017, at Commissioner’s Court, Constable Suits agreed to return a portion of those funds for the Agreement with CAPCOG because he is an advocate for improving air quality.”

43. Consider and take appropriate action on the reappointment of Commissioner Jeffrey Travillion to the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors, for a term effective June 2, 2018, and ending June 1, 2021. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: After taking over for former Capital Metro Vice Chair Beverly Silas, who stepped down last fall, Commissioner Jeff Travillion is in line for a full two-year term on the transit agency’s board. Unless Commissioner Gerald Daugherty decides he wants the job for himself – a long shot, to be sure – we imagine this vote should sail through with minimal conflict.

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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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