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TipSheet: Travis County, 5.23.17

Tuesday, May 23, 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.

8. Consider and take appropriate action on a request from the Travis County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) to accept a donation of $10,000 from Poop Troops USA for the purchase of a patrol service dog for the TCSO K-9 Unit. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: A local company donating a few thousand bucks to buy a new K-9 dog for the Travis County Sheriff’s Office probably doesn’t fit the Austin Monitor’s wonkish brand. But we are suckers for the sophomoric, and find it impossible to resist the urge to write “Poop Troops” in this TipSheet.

12. Consider and take appropriate action regarding donation given to support the Travis County Veterans Court Program. (Commissioner Gómez)

Monitor’s Take: Speaking of donations, Commissioner Gerald Daugherty is offering to cough up $500 to help the Veterans Court Program, whose funding was axed by Gov. Greg Abbott earlier this year. The county recently found a way to restore funding to the program, at least temporarily, so Daugherty’s contribution isn’t entirely just for the optics (though, let’s admit it, those aren’t bad either).

30. Receive presentation from the City of Austin Mayor’s Institutional Racism Task Force. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: In March, Mayor Steve Adler’s special Institutional Racism Task Force dropped nearly 70 pages worth of its findings over a four-month dive into the barriers people of color face in the region. The April delivery of the report to City Council met with little discussion, but the dynamic could be different at Commissioners Court, which has two members – Jeff Travillion and Margaret Gómez – who are not shy about pointing out the inequalities shared among their eastern Travis County constituents.

15. Approve interview questions for finalists for the position of County Executive of Operations Management. (Judge Eckhardt)

34. Conduct interviews of finalists for the position of County Executive of Operations Management. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: In a move guaranteed to engender empathy from slacker journalists countywide, the court appears to be waiting until the last minute to clear the questions it will ask of candidates who will go before it during executive session. The role of the County Executive of Operations Management, for those keeping score, is a new position that would oversee the Facilities Management Department, Communications and Records Services, and the Human Resources Management Department. The buildup to Tuesday’s interviews has been long in the making and the posting itself was published last year. Which makes the court’s scramble to finalize its questions on the day of especially heartwarming to the reporter still writing his TipSheet 45 minutes after his deadline. [Editor’s note: sigh.]

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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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