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TipSheet: Travis County, 5.10.16

Tuesday, May 10, 2016 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.

6. Consider and take appropriate action regarding the issuance of a Mass Gathering Permit for Untapped Beer and Music Festival to be held on May 14, 2016, at 9507 Sherman Road, Austin, Texas 78742. (Commissioner Gómez)

Monitor’s Take: The Court last week approved Untapped’s mass gathering permit, but Judge Sarah Eckhardt promised to put it back on this week’s agenda should any last-minute concerns need to be discussed. Certainly one thing that is different this week compared to last: Uber and Lyft’s total retreat from Austin after voters overwhelmingly rejected Proposition 1 on Saturday. That means that Untapped will be the first test case of a major festival wherein tippling attendees won’t have the convenience of the ride-hailing giants to get home safely. Drink responsibly, everyone!

9. Consider and take appropriate action on the following grant programs, applications, contracts & related special budgets and permissions to continue: New grant application to the Office of the Governor, Criminal Justice Division for a Body Worn Camera Grant in the Travis County Sheriff’s Office. (Commissioner Gómez)

Monitor’s Take: It appears that immigration enforcement policy is putting the kibosh on its quest for state grant money to fund a pilot program to equip deputies with body cameras. The county first applied for the grant last year, but the state has since added strings that require recipients of the money to honor requests from federal immigration agents to detain potentially undocumented immigrants at county jails. Given that the Democratic nominee for sheriff, Sally Hernandez, is all but guaranteed to reject those requests (if she beats Republican Joe Martinez in November), county staff are recommending that the Court quit the hunt for the grant and search for other means by which to fund the pilot program.

11. Receive update from the Travis Central Appraisal District and discuss legislative outlook related to property appraisal reform. (Commissioner Shea & Commissioner Gómez)

Monitor’s Take: Everyone’s favorite tax appraisal district is scheduled to rap about the state of appraising in Travis County today, and what sort of fun thrills we can expect from next year’s legislative session. Among other pieces of trivia found in the backup is TCAD’s finding that taxable values in the county rose by 20 percent from 2015 to 2016. Say, that’s quite a bit!

20. Consider and take appropriate action on an appointment to the Travis Central Appraisal District Board of Directors. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: It seems that one of the county’s two appointees to the TCAD board is moving out of this district and thus has tendered her resignation. To fill the vacancy, county staff have recommended an open-call for applications with a deadline of June 10.

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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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