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TipSheet: Travis County Commissioners, 3.24

Tuesday, March 24, 2015 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.

Items of interest include:

14. Consider and take appropriate action on parking at the Ronnie Earle Office Building. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: An epilogue of sorts to the recent drama over the planned new home for the District Attorney’s Office. When commissioners voted to move forward with the project two weeks ago, they left the door open to reconsidering whether the three-level underground parking garage could be scrapped in the interest of saving money.

23. Approve Modification No. 2 to Contract No. 4400001655, URS Corporation, Program Management Services for Development of a New Travis County Civil and Family Court House. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: This is a tweak to the contract with the County’s consultants on the proposed $294 million civil and family courthouse project. It would award URS Corporation another $300,000 for extra months of public outreach services after commissioners voted in February to hold the bond election in November instead of May.

31. Consider and take appropriate action on Travis County joining as a signatory to a proposed joint amicus brief proposed in the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals case of Texas v. United States. (Judge Eckhardt & Commissioner Gómez)

Monitor’s Take: As a state-backed lawsuit against President Obama’s executive action on immigration heads to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, commissioners will decide whether to sign an amicus brief on behalf of the federal government. The effort is being led by the New York City Law Department. A similar document was filed when the case was still in district court and was signed by Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo and Mayor Annise Parker of Houston.

35. Consider and take appropriate action on invitation from the City of Austin to appoint two Commissioners Court representatives to the Regional Affordability Committee. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: In late January, Austin’s new City Council approved a Regional Affordability Committee that will, in the words of Council Member Delia Garza, “discuss and solicit public feedback on potential bond elections, opportunities to strengthen partnerships for improved service delivery and to eliminate duplication of services, assess factors impacting the cost of living, and other topics useful for maintaining and promoting affordability.” The resolution calls for two representatives from Travis County to sit on the committee which is scheduled to host its first meeting on April 20.

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