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TipSheet: Travis County, 8.20.19

Tuesday, August 20, 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 at the Travis County website.

18. Consider and take appropriate action on soliciting public input on the draft restrictive covenant legal descriptions related to the Palm School property. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: The Commissioners Court has already voted in favor of putting in place a restrictive covenant on the Palm School property to prevent the demolition of the historic building if the county sells it to a private party. The court must now hear public testimony on the covenant. Some activists want more than just the building preserved; they want a commitment for the entire property to remain public.

26. Consider and take appropriate action on a resolution regarding pesticides and their effects on insect pollinators and other organisms. (Commissioner Shea)

Monitor’s Take: The resolution asks the county to update its Integrated Pest Management plan, which mandates that the least toxic method must be tried first. The IPM plan was adopted in 2002 and sets standards on the use of pesticides on county-owned land.

36. Approve resolution declaring a climate emergency and calling for immediate and coordinated mobilization by Travis County to address the causes and consequences of climate change and directing staff to take appropriate action. (Commissioner Shea)

Monitor’s Take: This is a pretty open-ended resolution that does not commit the county to any specific action, but could prompt discussion among commissioners and staff about what county government can do to combat climate change.

10. Consider and take appropriate action on matters related to redistricting, including: A. Overview of redistricting process from last decade; B. Presentation on updated demographic data for current commissioner precincts; C. Briefing on legal issues involved in preparing for 2021 redistricting; D. Discussion of possible improvements to the 2021 redistricting process (Sub-item C will be taken into Executive Session under the Consultation with Attorney exception.) (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: Every 10 years, the Commissioners Court is tasked with redrawing the boundaries of districts for commissioners and constables so that each district is approximately the same size. Although it does not generate the same partisan interest as the state and federal level, local redistricting can have a big impact on who is serving in local government.

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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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