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TipSheet: Travis County Commissioners, March 10

Monday, March 9, 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 fiscal year 2016 budget issues, including the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Guidelines. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: A vote to approve the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Guidelines officially kicks off the 2016 budget process (Buckle up!). Commissioners have already heard presentations about the proposed guidelines during a recent work session and a voting session. Staff has recommended approval.


16. Consider and take appropriate action on the Ronnie Earle Office Building and give staff direction on next steps. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: This issue provided a healthy dose of drama at last week’s voting session when commissioners came precariously close scrapping the proposed new home for the District Attorney’s Office. Judge Eckhardt pulled it from the brink when she insisted that all commissioners be present for the vote (Commissioner Davis was absent). As it stands, they could still opt to either kill it; to further delay it by soliciting more bids for the construction; or to move it forward as is.


26. Receive presentation for Information Technology Services (ITS) Department on Travis County’s open government online message board. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: Open-government fans, rejoice. Staff will brief the commissioners about the ins-and-outs of setting up a public bulletin board similar to the one utilized by Austin City Council. Commissioner Brigid Shea endorsed the idea when it came up during a briefing from County Attorney David Escamilla about the Texas Open Meetings Act during the Feb. 24 voting session.


29. Receive update presentation on the Travis County Expo Center and Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park Market and Feasibility Study. (Commissioner Davis)

Monitor’s Take: Commissioners will learn about the progress of an ongoing reevaluation of the 32-year-old Expo Center and the adjacent Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park. The County is working with the City of Austin to take a closer look at the two sites’ “facility condition and assessment, site location, regional context and long-range plans for this area.”

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