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Commissioner-elect scores first victory at Commissioners Court

Wednesday, December 7, 2016 by Caleb Pritchard

Travis County Commissioner-elect Jeff Travillion is already getting things done at 700 Lavaca St. The future Precinct 1 representative showed up to the Commissioners Court on Tuesday to persuade his soon-to-be colleagues to make a competition out of an important county appointment. The court was considering whether to once again deputize Lakeway Mayor Joe Bain to represent the county on the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Transportation Policy Board. Before the members of the court discussed the item, County Judge Sarah Eckhardt allowed Travillion to, in his words, “make a simple request.” Said Travillion: “I wanted to think about the concept of diversity, but not only the concept of diversity from the standpoint of race, but from the standpoint of experience in the communities that we serve.” He suggested that instead of a mayor or council member from a city in Travis County, the court should consider officials from school districts, “because historically, those have been the places where you’ve had more minority participation and more community participation.” Rather than postpone the item until Travillion has been formally seated on the court, Eckhardt suggested opening the appointment process up for applications, a move that was otherwise unnecessary under the county’s uniform appointment procedures. County staff said that they would be able to sort through the applications and bring in qualified candidates for the court’s review in mid-January, by which time Travillion will have been sworn in. The court voted 4-0-1 to approve the idea, with Commissioner Ron Davis – the man Travillion is replacing – abstaining. Davis explained that he has always abstained on CAMPO board votes.

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