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TipSheet: Travis County, 9.27.16

Tuesday, September 27, 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.

2. Receive comments regarding the FY17 Proposed Budget. (Judge Eckhardt)

9. Consider and take appropriate action on an order approving the Travis County Budget for FY17. (Public Hearing 2) (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: Your tax rate is going down, but rising property values mean property owners will likely pay a bit more to support the county’s $1,004,038,708 Fiscal Year 2017 budget. If that rubs you or anyone you know the wrong way, Tuesday morning’s public hearing is the last time the Commissioners Court will consider any dissenting voices before conducting its own final deliberations.

17. Consider and take appropriate action on the following items regarding Operations Management: a. Approve revised job description for County Executive of Operations Management b. Discuss recruitment plan for the position of County Executive of Operations Management c. Approve recruitment plan for the position of Director of the Human Resources Management Department (Commissioner Daugherty & Commissioner Gómez)

Monitor’s Take: The Court considered a similar item last week but Judge Sarah Eckhardt explained that she had not meant to take any action. It seems though that this week, the crucial step of establishing the contours of the new County Executive of Operations Management position could get a vote. In the meantime, the Court will also address the thornier issue of figuring out how to hire a new head of the Human Resources Management Department  — should the Court do it, or should the future Operations Management director do it?

18. Consider and take appropriate action on an Advance Funding Agreement (AFA) to extend a westbound left-turn lane on State Highway 71 from Navarro Creek Road to east of Navarro Creek Road, including: a. Indemnification agreement for Austin Park, LLC to assume the County’s obligations and liability under the AFA b. Resolution to be included as Attachment A to the AFA (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: Despite the county’s ongoing lawsuit against the group building an artificial surf park just to the east of Austin Bergstrom International Airport, it seems the two parties are otherwise on good terms. The suit itself highlights the county’s concerns over how to regulate the massive wave pool. This proposed agreement that would provide access to the park from westbound drivers on State Highway 71 at least indicates the county’s good faith and should put to bed any notions that its intentions are to shut down the delayed project.

46. Consider and take appropriate action on the Techshare.Prosecutor 2017 Resource Sharing Addendum. (Judge Eckhardt & Commissioner Daugherty)

Monitor’s Take: The last time the County worked with Techshare — a partnership set up by the Texas Conference of Urban Counties — the results weren’t so spectacular. After sinking $3.3 million into a courtroom software system along with Dallas and Tarrant counties, Travis County pulled out when the developer behind the project went bankrupt and left an incomplete gumbo of error-riddled code. The Techshare.Prosecutor project has so far avoided that particular fate, but it has come at a cost so far of $2.2 million and will require $400,000 each year to continue to run.

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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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