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TipSheet: Travis County, 8.30.16

Tuesday, August 30, 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.

8. Consider and take appropriate action on request from the Travis County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) to accept a donation of 300 teddy bears, with an estimated value of five dollars each for a total cost value of $1,500, from the Austin Junior Forum for the TCSO Victim Services Unit. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: Admittedly, this is not exactly a major newsworthy item but, hey, it’s kinda sweet and maybe you could use a little heartwarming information.

9. Consider and take appropriate action on the joint appointment to the Central Health Board of Managers. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: Just as Central Health earns some scrutiny over its budget, the board seat appointed through a joint pick between City Council and the Commissioners Court is coming up for grabs. Incumbent Kirk Kuykendall’s term expires this December and staff have recommended that both Council and the Court float a call for applications. Kuykendall, who was first appointed in 2013, is free to reapply.

13. Consider and take appropriate action on proposed FY17 Budget Rules. (Commissioner Gómez)

Monitor’s Take: Adoption of the budget rules is another milestone event on the march to put together the county’s financial framework for the next fiscal year. This year’s draft of the rules comes out to 44 pages and spells out the policies that will guide how the Court’s vision of spending will be executed. One of the more noteworthy changes to this year’s rules is a revision to employee reimbursements for travel-related food expenses. The baseline tip amount that the county will now cover is increasing from 15 to 20 percent.

28. Consider and take appropriate action regarding an order of general election for November 8, 2016. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: Even though the White House race and the City of Austin’s huge mobility bond referendum promise to dominate political coverage this fall, there are plenty of important Travis County races that voters will have to consider, including two Commissioners Court seats and five constabularies.

30. Consider and take appropriate action to increase the change fund at the Tax Assessor-Collector’s Office. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: Another sign here of a growing county. Tax Assessor-Collector Bruce Elfant says business at his office on Airport Boulevard is vibrant enough to increase the amount of cash kept on hand for change making from $20,000 to $30,000. A word of warning to any opportunistic rogues out there: This building is right next to the Sheriff’s Office headquarters so scheme and plot at your own risk.

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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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