Sam's Town Point
"...There will be both change and continuity on the Travis County Commissioners Court. In Precinct 1, retiring Commissioner Ron Davis will be succeeded, as expected, by longtime state and city administrator and civil rights activist Jeff Travillion, also a Democrat, who won 70% of the early vote and 68% by the end of the day..."
"...Despite a "compromise" proposal by Saxet Gun Show ownership to encourage background checks by private sellers at future shows, Travis County Commissioners Court took no action today to extend the lease of the Travis County Exposition Center for future Saxet shows. Barring further action or negotiation, next weekend's show will be the last...."
"...Advocates for the return of in-person visitation scored a major victory last September, when the Travis County Commissioners Court voted in favor of a $707,000 measure to bring the more intimate arrangement back to the county jail. At the time, the commissioners were deliberating whether or not the county actually had to do anything..."
"...Just after noon today, Travis County Commissioners Court could not agree on what to do about background checks at future Saxet Gun Shows – so for the moment, they've done nothing. Competing motions either to add background checks or to maintain the current contract each failed for lack of a second – the contract, and issue, was left pending...."
"...Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg offered testimony at Commissioners Court this morning, accompanied by TCDA staff members discussing the 2013-14 budget of the Public Integrity Unit, and whether the Court can find funding to replace the roughly $3.5 million vetoed by Gov. Rick Perry...."
"...“Anybody need a courthouse?” was not exactly the question posed by the U.S. General Services Administration, but the U.S..."
"...In short, the TCME upon which not only Travis Co., but also 45 other Texas counties rely to investigate unnatural, unattended, or otherwise questionable deaths is an office in trouble. The dirty little secret is that it has been in trouble for a long time; nonetheless, the office has only recently made it onto the Commissioners Court radar..."
"...You might think that running for re-election to the Travis County Commissioners Court is harder than it really is. During the last four years, on the PR front, the courthouse has been an ugly place -- at least by the conventional aesthetic and moral standards we apply to politics..."
"..."I never really interacted with him all that much," says Biscoe. "When he's come to us, by and large it was for more pathologists." But Biscoe says he began to realize that Bayardo hadn't kept the court up to date after last year's audit revealed that the TCME would need five pathologists in order to handle even the current workload..."
"...Just in case anyone doubts that Gerald Daugherty wants to link his campaign to retake the Travis County Precinct 3 Commissioners Court seat to the construction (and current lack) of State Highway 45, the once and would-be-future commissioner last week unveiled a new bumper sticker. "Want SH 45 SW Built?" it asks, and answers: "Vote for Gerald Daugherty."..."
"...The Travis Co. Commissioners Court was talking trash again Tuesday, discussing, but declining to vote on, the amendment of its solid waste facility siting ordinance to include landfills..."
"...Last Tuesday at the Travis County Commissioners Court, Stanley spoke in support of Precinct 1 Commissioner Ron Davis. He laid out one last minor suggestion in what has been a protracted redistricting squabble among Travis' four geographically elected representatives, setting off a minor tempest that briefly opened a window into the role of consultants in the redistricting process...."
"...The three Democratic candidates competing for Sarah Eckhardt's vacated seat as the Precinct 2 representative on the Travis County Commissioners Court have nuanced takes on many of the important issues facing Travis County – law enforcement and judicial issues, water and environmental policy, wildfire risk abatement, and administrative efficiency. But in one policy area sure to prove important to voters – county finances and property taxes – Brigid Shea, Richard Jung, and Garry Brown have distinct policy ideas that shed some light on their philosophical approaches to government...."
"...Travis County Commissioners Court convened long past quitting time Tuesday afternoon to deliberate the Sheriff's Office's recent decision to provide U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement with office space in the jail, with county officials claiming they never dreamed the arrangement would cause such a fuss and immigrant activists countering that it's an out-of-character betrayal of the minority community...."
"...What a difference an election cycle makes. Four years ago, a wave of anti-toll-road sentiment helped fuel Sarah Eckhardt's drive to unseat three-term incumbent Karen Sonleitner in a bruising primary battle, after which Eckhardt went on to claim the Precinct 2 seat on the Travis County Commissioners Court...."
"...On Wednesday evening, in a dramatic rebuff to the city of Austin, the Travis County Commissioners Court voted against allowing the city to build Water Treatment Plant No. 4, on the Cortaña tract in the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve..."
"...Travis County Commissioners will reportedly discuss in executive session tomorrow (Tuesday) whether to purchase a plot of Downtown Austin land for the development of a new civil courthouse...."
"...He announced earlier this month that he intended to run to replace outgoing party chair Vincent Harding. Harding had held the seat for a little over two years after being appointed to replace Jan Soifer, who had in turn stepped down to run for the 345th Civil District Court...."
"...Transportation and Natural Resources Executive Manager Joe Gieselman told the Travis Co. Commissioners Court Tuesday that the release of the U.S..."
"...This year's county bond election could turn out to be a milder, sleepier throwback to those pre-conciliatory days -- and then again, it might not. The loudest oppositional fervor died down considerably last week after the Commissioners Court removed the most volatile proposition from the ballot: to expand a suburban road over environmentally and politically sensitive terrain..."
"..."Anybody need a courthouse?" was not exactly the question posed by the U.S. General Services Administration, but the U.S..."
"...On Tuesday, during a voting session at Commissioners Court, County Judge Sarah Eckhardt announced that #StrongerTogether, the crowdsourcing campaign started by state Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin, has raised nearly $136,000 since launching in February..."
"...As a veteran public servant, Oden is more accustomed to being associated with the "good guys" rather than the folks he once angrily denounced as "money-grubbing whores." (He says he doesn't recall uttering those words, but that if he did, he did so in jest.) He defends his role in the firm's current privatization endeavor, and says he wouldn't be seeking the county's business if he didn't believe in the merits of what his firm is offering. To this end, in what could be unprecedented in the realm of local public-private courtships, Oden's firm has fashioned a sort of quid pro quo offer that carries a unique economic development incentive: In exchange for the county's delinquent tax collection business, Linebarger Goggan would anchor its first national call center in Austin, which would serve as the lifeline of the firm's collection business...."
"...After all, Davis, 53, has lost two high-profile elections in the past four years. But many watching the Commissioners Court races agree that the Pct..."
"...Travis County voters Tuesday returned three Democratic incumbents to the Commissioners Court, with County Judge Sam Biscoe and commissioners Sarah Eckhardt and Margaret Gómez all winning by sizeable margins. Nonetheless, Biscoe and Eckhardt saw those margins dented by Republican opposition, with many boxes outside the central city going to the candidate with the "R" next to his name...."
"...The most strongly contested Travis County campaign is likely to be the race for Precinct 3 Commissioner, where Republican incumbent Gerald Daugherty is being challenged by Democrat David Holmes, a mediator and crisis communications consultant who has also worked in the Legislature. Precinct 3 has shifted back and forth between Democrats and Republicans in recent elections – Daugherty, first elected in 2002, lost in 2008 to Democrat Karen Huber, but was reelected to his Commissioners Court seat in 2012..."
"...County Judge Sarah Eckhardt tried to shed some light on the undertaking during a Jan. 9 commissioners court hearing..."
"...Kuhl says it could be a series of incentives to encourage conservation. The panel's final recommendation, when (and if) it is reached, will be taken back to the full Commissioners Court for consideration...."
"...As enacted today by the Commissioners Court, there is currently a burn ban in Travis County. So don't...."
"...The Travis County Commissioners Court Precinct 1 race is, on the surface, a contest between Democrat Jeff Travillion and Republican Pat McCord. When the Chronicle endorsed Travillion in the Democratic primary in May, we noted his long career as a civil servant, extensive advocacy work for Texas' chapter of the NAACP, and commitment to education..."
"...Indeed, although no one from the public came to speak against the proposal – or to again speculate on whether Lehmberg would, should or could resign her post – Daugherty said he felt that the "majority" of taxpayers in the county would agree that another avenue for fixing the budget problem – that is, via Lehmberg's resignation – should have occurred. "It's not this court's fault to what has happened," he said..."
"..."No such basis exists under current Texas law," writes EMCF. "Therefore, the Travis County Commissioners Court cannot regulate Euphoria's hours of operation."..."
"...The County Commissioners Court voted in support of new statutes to the Mass Gathering Act on Tuesday afternoon. In effect, the changes simplify the permitting process, while imposing stiffer regulations on volume and hours of amplified sound for outdoor music events taking place in greater Travis County...."
"...It arose from the slimy, green algae tainting the once-clear waters of Lick Creek, striking fear in the hearts of developers as it oozed toward the Travis Co. Commissioners' Court..."
"..."Although Buildings 2 and 12 are arguably eligible for the 'Significant Cost' exemption due to the investment in a video system that is no longer in use, a partial exemption would be inequitable to inmates and their families and be problematic from a practical and fiscal standpoint given the layout of our jail facilities," she wrote to Wood in a letter "memorializing" the conversation. "For these reasons the Commissioners Court and the Sheriff's Office wish to restore in-person visitation across the board and as soon as possible in the Travis County jails."..."
"...to vertically expand its Sunset Farms Landfill has sporadically soured the air at Travis Co. Commissioners Court for well over five years..."
"...“Presiding Judges and Alternate Judges from both the Democratic and Republican parties are appointed by the Commissioners Court from lists provided by those parties, with the Presiding Judge determined by the winner of the last gubernatorial election in that precinct,” wrote DeBeauvoir...."
"...Redistricting battles aren't just for the Legislature; the Travis County Commissioners Court took up the topic at its Tuesday meeting. After taking input at previous public hearings, consultants presented a commissioners map that would have its biggest effects in precincts 1, 2, and 3 (represented by Ron Davis, Sarah Eckhardt, and Karen Huber, respectively)..."
"...Buck Wood, an Austin attorney who specializes in state and local taxation laws, offered the most vigorous argument for challenging the appraised values of commercial and industrial properties. He said residential taxpayers are subsidizing larger commercial properties – a long-standing practice he called “unconscionable.” He pressed commissioners to file a challenge petition “and not kick the can down the road.” He said he fully expected the appraisal district to reject the county’s petition, but when that happens the county can take the fight to the next level – the courthouse...."
"...Along with resolutions and soon-forgotten gym memberships, the start of 2014 brings with it new campaign finance reports for the raft of candidates running for seats on the Travis County Commissioners Court. The new reports, covering the last six months of 2013, provide an opportunity to take stock of the races, which see Sarah Eckhardt and Andy Brown vying for the Democratic nomination for Travis County Judge; Brigid Shea, Richard Jung, and Garry Brown competing for their party's nod to represent Precinct 2 on the Commissioners Court, and Pct..."
"...A new “snapshot” study shines the spotlight on Travis County demographic trends, both good and bad. At Tuesday’s Commissioners Court meeting, the county’s Research and Planning Division explained that the user-friendly “Travis County Snapshot from the American Community Survey 2006” distills information pertinent to the county from the unwieldy parent study..."
"...Brown fundraised more and spent more than Eckhardt, and structurally appeared to have the better machine. But Eckhardt campaigned on experience, and challenged Brown’s ties to influential donors, many who had given to Eckhardt’s campaign during her six years on the Commissioners Court...."
"...South Austin resident Michael Fossum, who for several years has spoken at local meetings in favor of TWS, tried to demonstrate the agency's sense of humanity by sticking his hand in a rubber-lined foothold trap and showing photos of people who he said had been attacked by coyotes in Colorado, leading Nancy Nemer of the AAC to note that TWS uses more powerful traps and that Central Texas has a much less aggressive coyote subspecies than that found in Colorado. The court plans to spend the 90-day period hearing from independent scientists, and comparing specifics of the TWS program with the one the city will propose...."
"...Travis Co. Civil Court Judges Darlene Byrne and Jeanne Meurer have proposed forming two new public defenders' offices in Travis Co..."
"...Bucking criticism that law-enforcement officers make too much money, the Travis Co. Commissioners Court moved last week to give sheriff's deputies a pay boost of 5% to 16%...."
"...Constable Gary Griffin a "liability," and should the county limit his powers? That's what County Attorney Jana Duty called him, in an e-mail entered into evidence in Griffin's current lawsuit against the Williamson Co. Commissioners Court..."
"...In return, Chief Appraiser Patrick Brown vowed to correct a deep-rooted system that has steadily driven the cost of residential properties skyward while commercial property values have inexplicably trended downward. "I am committed to directing our efforts to do a better job," Brown told commissioners at the July 21 Commissioners Court meeting...."
"...On Tuesday, Jan. 15, be-suited commissioners, seated in their newly restored courthouse, received a gentlewoman caller..."