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TipSheet: Travis County, 5.22.18

Tuesday, May 22, 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.

10. Consider and take appropriate action on the use of Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grant funding to conduct financial analysis and modeling of financing alternatives for the Green Line transit corridor between downtown Austin and Manor. (Commissioner Travillion)

Monitor’s Take: The county continues to take the lead on the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s proposed Green Line commuter service from downtown Austin to Manor and possibly even Elgin. The federal money in question with this item would come from funds made available via the partnership the county entered into last year with the agency. The total cost of this analysis is expected to be $39,000, with the option of pursuing a second phase pending the initial findings.

16. Consider and take appropriate action on a variance request to Title 30-3-191 (all new subdivisions must install sidewalks) to not install sidewalks on Fitzhugh Road or Wagon Road West as part of the Live Oak Subdivision in Precinct Three. (Commissioner Daugherty)

Monitor’s Take: Staff is backing up a developer’s request to forgo construction of sidewalks along four new houses in the southwestern corner of the county. According to an attached memo, new sidewalks at the site wouldn’t do much for pedestrian connectivity since the nearest existing sidewalk is 6.8 miles away. Of course, every great journey begins with a single step, but who are we to say?

19. Consider and take appropriate action on request by the Contract Compliance Program to adopt recommendations for implementation of the Travis County Better Builder Program – Phase 1: Public Works. (Commissioner Daugherty)

Monitor’s Take: Some extra drama was injected to this item last week after we reported that one of the stakeholders on the contractors’ side of this discussion over labor practices dropped a highly offensive slur at a county-sponsored meeting. Members of the court were quick to condemn the comment last Tuesday, and the fellow who made the offending remark offered to apologize in person before the court. It’s hard to imagine, however, that if he does, his contrition will forestall the adoption of these proposed recommendations aimed at girding guarantees for workers involved with county projects.

A-1. Receive report and take appropriate action on Tax Office needs, including: a. Tax Assessor-Collector responsibilities b. Personnel of the Motor Vehicle division of the Tax Office c. Contracts with private title services as agents of the Motor Vehicle division of the Tax Office d. Funding impacts (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: A late addition to the agenda, this item addresses the fallout of a state investigation at the Tax Office that saw seven people arrested last week, four of them county employees. Tax Assessor-Collector Bruce Elfant is set to brief the court on the case, which has forced him to temporarily shut down operations at the four satellite tax offices across the county.

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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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