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TipSheet: Travis County, 6.18.19

Tuesday, June 18, 2019 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 on the Travis County website.

9. Consider and take appropriate action on the following FY 2020 compensation issues: A. 2019 market salary survey project B. Livable wage rate increase (Commissioners Travillion & Gómez)

10. Receive update on elected officials compensation for FY 2020. (Commissioners Travillion & Gómez)

11. Consider and take appropriate action on the alignment of pay and pay grade for Deputy Constables. (Commissioner Travillion)

Monitor’s Take: An analysis of employee pay by the county’s HR department recommended increasing pay for 37 percent of positions, based on what equivalent workers in other public sector agencies are making. The HR department also recommended increasing the minimum pay for county employees to $15/hour, up from the current $13. While members of the court have expressed an interest in raising worker pay, the tight constraints on revenue imposed by the state Legislature may lead some commissioners to be less generous than they’d like to be.

14. Consider and take appropriate action regarding update on the development of the FY 2020 Budget and remaining key calendar dates. (Commissioner Gómez)

Monitor’s Take: State law requires local governments to get their annual budgets and associated tax rates done by the end of September. The Commissioners Court would ideally like to get the budget done with a little bit of breathing room, but first they have to wait on the Travis Central Appraisal District to finalize property taxes so they know exactly how much money they have to work with. The appraisal district, however, has indicated it may take longer than usual to get the taxes finalized because of a new process it put in place to deal with tax protests.

16. Consider and take appropriate action regarding electronic monitoring services, including one or more of the following items: A. Either: 1) Consider the recommendation presented by the Purchasing Agent and approve contract award for electronic monitoring services, RFP #P1806-002-LC, to the highest-ranked proposer, Recovery Monitoring Solutions Corporation DBA Recovery Healthcare Corporation or 2) Reject all proposals received in response to RFP #P1806-002-LC B. Approve an order exempting electronic monitoring services from the competitive procurement requirements in Local Government Code § 262.023, pursuant to the public health or safety exemption in § 262.024(a)(2), and award contracts to the incumbent vendors, Recovery Healthcare Corporation and Victim Safety First, for initial terms of six months, on terms that are substantially the same as the terms contained in their most recent contracts with the CountyC. Instruct the Purchasing Agent to develop a request for proposals or other appropriate solicitation instrument to resolicit electronic monitoring services for Travis County prior to the expiration of the contracts with Recovery Healthcare Corporation and Victim Safety First D. Take any other necessary or appropriate action regarding the procurement or solicitation of electronic monitoring services (This item may be taken into Executive Session under the Consultation with Attorney exception.) (Commissioner Daugherty)

Monitor’s Take: The court faces pressure from at least two jilted contractors, one of whom has suddenly been shut out of the business she has provided the county for years. Both rejected contractors argue there is no reason for the county to contract exclusively with just one provider of electronic monitoring devices and urge the county to allow inmates to choose from a number of providers, as is the case in most other jurisdictions.

37. Consider and take appropriate action on the scope of work for a strategic plan for Travis County. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: The county is embarking on its first-ever comprehensive strategic plan, aimed at aligning county policies and budgeting across all departments. Today the department executives will present a vision of what that planning effort will look like and what it will accomplish. It’s up to the court to recommend changes.

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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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