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Travis County Commissioners Court

Tuesday, August 10, 2010,
Citizens Communication

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Citizens communication is first, this item gives residents an opportunity to address the court on any matter not on the agenda for up to three minutes. Nancy mcdonald is number one. She will be followed by morris priest.

>> good morning,.

>> good morning, judge biscoe, good morning commissioners. I am the director of real estate outreach for the real estate council of austin. I am the reca representative on the clean air force central texas board of directors, i'm here today in that capacity. My reason to be here today is twofold. One, two remind your constituents that august is the worst ozone month of the dog days of summer. And also to congratulate this court and travis county for their role in air quality in central texas. So to start with, remind everyone that the clean air force has been around since 1993, we are the only organization that brings together elected officials, the environmental activists, the business community, major employers, everyone together in the same room for the purpose of -- of public outreach around air quality and coordinating the planning for it. So congratulations, judge biscoe. I know that you have spent your entire tenure wrapped around this issue and have been a leader in it. We are going to be using the public comment period at various city councils in the five county area to remind constituencies about the importance of august, in particular, august and september, as bad ozone times. But being here at this court, i can't actually offer the clean air force of central texas expertise because you guys are already the experts. I mean, travis county as an employer, you are doing arguably more than any other employer. Thank you very much for participating in the ride by shuttle program. That -- that just started this summer. I know that your fleets are also programmatically you guys just have such a strong program. But for those of you watching channel 17, please in august, fuel up your car after 6:00 p.m. Or in the morning, watch the gas mowing, if you have a gas lawn mower, please reduce the usage of that. If you have a leaf blower, don't turn it on, those little motors are the worst. Of course we want to reduce our vehicle miles traveled. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to address you.

>> thank you.

>> thank you, mess mcdonald. We will make sure that you stay on the travis county christmas card list.

>> [laughter] mr. Priest is next, he will be followed by ronnie reeferseed.

>> i thank you, judge, commissioners, morris priest, speaking on my own behalf. Down at the capitol we had a hands off texas rally, the acronym for obama is one bad mistake america. You know, i was looking at that crowd down there at the capitol, they had the same ideas that were expressed at the campo meeting last night. It's time to send the incumbents home and vote these bonds down. The city of austin bond package, what we are looking at is just a sample of the same things that the city has been, the county, the residents of central texas has been asking for for years, it doesn't go far enough. It does too little. We could have had the y built by now. We could have had sh 45 built by now. But instead we build these boondoggles like 290 east. So, you know, we're working to get things down to the capitol. I do know those in favor of a local option haven't learned their lesson from the driver responsibility program that put 1.1 million drivers off the road. Of course we know they are driving. But these enormous fines and penalties could be addressed by development impact fees and indexing the gas tax. Those two things alone would replace the money brought in by tolls. Which -- which both the counties of williamson and travis county for the ctrma have said it would take them clearing their dockets, it would take them 15 years to address all of the toll violators. So tolls were a bad idea. We told our elected officials they were a bad idea, but everywhere we look, there's tollers, we also told them other ways to correct and improve or transportation system. One of the ways is synchronizing our lights and designing better intersections among many other things that we told them to do. But we're just now seeing that come on our agenda 15 years after the fact. I do think that we have -- we have a chance to -- to make a difference in november. I'm going to encourage everybody to join us in that effort. I think that a lot of times when we look at our elected officials, they don't -- not only they don't respond to us, but they implement policies and procedures ranging everything from our freedom of speech, we saw things down at the capitol, we saw things at u.t. We happen to have a permit to get petitions signed. We have to have a permit to have a blow horn when we go to the capitol. We have to have a permit to stand in protest. But many of us we go by the constitution. But most of us that are active in this community go by the 10 commandments. That's what we're going to use as our -- our rules of order and rules of conduct. And i think that most people think that those days are in the past, but -- but they are still alive in the well, even in austin, texas. We're going to keep the fight up. We're going to continue to press forward to the high calling and make sure that people understand that -- that we are going to take action in a legal process. Thanks.

>> thank you, mr. Priest.

>> mr. Reeferseed is next. He will be the third speaker and the fourth one is steven turner.

>> thank you, sir. Yes, i'm ronnie

>> [inhale] reeferseed

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>> thank you, steven turner? Good morning.

>> i would like to speak about -- about austin, texas safety improvements. I've lived in austin for some -- some time ago, for about a year. And returned for several visits with friends and relatives. I've personally commend highly the past, current and current mayor, mayors, city councils, commissioners, and all of the city, state, county employees doing an outstanding job in improving austin, thusly furthering the futuristic austin into one of the most beautiful, and historic cities in the -- of the world. It's become such a busy place and necessary to observe some safety improvements. Obviously some of the following safety concerns are city street departments job. With the county help -- would the county help improve these public safety issues. Please consider, point one, it would be a good -- would -- to have street signs facing both directions on one-way streets for pedestrians, bicyclists and traffic and tourists. Some street signs are missing that can slow ambulance, fire and police responses. Bushes blocking the view of drivers right-of-way into the view of a clear lane or street crossing, for example an intersection of a few blocks away, lavaca and 12th. There's bushes blocking the view of looking for traffic as you are on that intersection. The yellow street lane stripes require painting more often. To help differentiate two-way streets from the one-way street, turn -- straight -- only lane arrows should be painted a further distance from the intersections for safer lane changes. Bicycles, stolen all through the year, while locked, may be a special force of the -- that the police could help with that. Point three, vehicles being towed after 5:30 p.m., having been parked properly, consider expanding vehicle street parking. And should there be a special investigation, concerning the tow truck companies, and the -- and the towing of vehicles that are properly parked. There's hundreds of dollars spent by out of town people, visitors, et cetera, time and trouble, needlessly. Point four --

>> [buzzer sounding]

>> homeless people helping themselves project, the plans were previously submitted to commissioner eckhardt. I have a copy of these plans for the rest of you to consider. Point five, safety bridge walkway improvement for the barton springs road and robert e. Lee road immediate area. Now i've got this plan here for your -- to submit to you and i'm sure the engineers of the city and county and -- and whoever can -- can go over it and it looks like a good inexpensive improvement for the many people that walk on that bridge on special occasions, it's very crowd, and people walking both directions, it would be nice to have an extra walkway on each side of that bridge.

>> mr. Turner?

>> one last comment.

>> i'm afraid we're out of time, you are a minute over already.

>> around the outside of the capitol --

>> we would be happy to get the rest of it if you would like, will you give these comments to the austin city council, also? You plan to go?


>> [indiscernible]

>> i think they would like to hear these. Thank you very much for visiting with us. That does it for citizens communications.

The Closed Caption log for this Commissioners Court agenda item is provided by Travis County Internet Services. Since this file is derived from the Closed Captions created during live cablecasts, there are occasional spelling and grammatical errors. This Closed Caption log is not an official record the Commissioners Court Meeting and cannot be relied on for official purposes. For official records please contact the County Clerk at (512) 854-4722.

Last Modified: Tuesday, August 10, 2010, 2010 1:30 PM


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