Travis County commissioners to begin process of implementing market-rate raises for elected officials

Members of the Travis County Commissioners Court, shown here in 2017, are among the elected officials who will receive market-rate salary increases in FY 2019-20.

Members of the Travis County Commissioners Court, shown here in 2017, are among the elected officials who will receive market-rate salary increases in FY 2019-20.

Updated Thursday, July 11, at 5:10 p.m. to clarify that commissioners voted to begin the process of formally recommending market-rate raises for elected officials

Travis County commissioners voted 4-1 to begin the process of implementing market-rate raises for elected officials in fiscal year 2019-20 at a meeting July 9.

The raises—which range from up to $6,544 for some constables to $36,400 for court-at-law judges who have been in their position for more than 12 years and include $32,209 for county commissioners—were recommended by the county’s human resources department and based on a market salary study.

In addition to the study, state lawmakers passed legislation during the 86th legislative session that dictates pay for certain elected officials, including district judges, county court-at-law judges and probate judges.

Last year, commissioners voted to bring certain salaries up to market rate in adherence to this study over three years. The county's FY 2018-19 budget included one-third of the market-rate raises for those affected positions, with a plan to incorporate the second and third portions of the raises in FY 2019-20 and FY 2020-21, respectively.

In light of the recently passed property tax revenue cap and in anticipation for the upcoming FY 2019-20 budget cycle, commissioners have discussed bringing those salaries up to market rate in the coming budget cycle, rather than waiting a third year.

Commissioner Gerald Daugherty, who represents Precinct 3, opposed the motion to begin the process for completing these market-rate raises for elected officials.

“The formula [should be] whatever the Commissioners Court gives the rank-and-file, that’s what elected officials get,” Daugherty said July 2. “And if they don’t like that, then they needn’t run for office.”

Following a statutorily mandated process that includes running an advertisement in a local paper and holding a public hearing, commissioners are scheduled to set the salaries July 30 and adopt the budget for FY 2019-20 on  Sept. 24.

Other compensation news

The Travis County Compensation Committee submitted its recommendations for FY 2019-20 in a July 24 memo to members of the Commissioners Court.

The committee is composed of county employees appointed by commissioners.

Its members voted 9-1, with one abstention, to recommend commissioners “give highest priority to fully funding” the results of the market salary study.

For any remaining funds, members recommended providing across-the-board raises for county employees, prioritizing those positions not affected by the market salary study.

If both of these priorities are achieved, the committee voted 11-0, with two abstentions, to raise the Travis County minimum wage from $13 per hour to $15 per hour.

“We recognize that approving a budget is a complex endeavor, and that there are a number of competing priorities which must be balanced,” committee members wrote in the aforementioned memo. “Your co-workers in Travis County are grateful to the Court for prioritizing compensation in this budget process, and this Committee looks forward to continuing to partner with you and with Travis County HR in future initiatives.”


The Atlas 14 rainfall study found Austin to be at a much higher flood risk than previously understood.
Acknowledging expanded risk, Austin moves to prohibit additional density in city’s flood-prone areas

A recent federal flood risk study found Austin's flood risk to be significantly higher than previously understood.

The Dove Springs Recreation Center could be named after current Travis County Constable George Morales III. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Dove Springs Recreation Center could be renamed after Constable George Morales

The Dove Springs Recreation Center could be renamed after Constable George Morales, although some residents oppose changing the park's name at all.

The city of Austin authorized the purchase of a Rodeway Inn at 2711 S. I-35 on Nov. 14. The city plans to convert the property into a homeless shelter. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)
City Council green lights $8 million Rodeway Inn plan for homeless shelter transition, vows to address crime in the area

South Austin neighbors raised concerns that criminal activity in the area will put homeless individuals who enter the shelter at risk.

New Brightway insurance office opens in South Austin

Brightway, The Trusted Agency opened a new office in late October.

Marucci Clubhouse baseball facility opens in Southwest Austin

Marucci Clubhouse opened its new Southwest Austin location in October.

Lady Bird Lake at Congress Avenue in Austin. Since late July, parts of the lake have been off limits due to high concentrations of toxic "blue-green" algae. (Courtesy Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune)
Toxic algae blooms are becoming more common, scientists say

Months have passed, but the capital city still has signs up warning of ongoing dangerous conditions in Lady Bird Lake.

Community members examine updated zoning maps at land development code town hall in October.
Land development code rewrite heads to City Council for final approval, marking home stretch of nearly 7-year process

Austin's long-awaited land development code rewrite is heading to City Council for final approval.

Crews work on updating a section of I-35 in Central Texas (Courtesy TxDOT)
Central Texas transportation agencies investing millions in I-35 for new lanes, intersection improvements aimed at aiding mobility

About 20 miles of I-35 through Central Texas will see an infusion of $400 million in state and federal funding to add one to two additional lanes in an effort to improve mobility.

Sage Blossom Massage's new Oak Hill location features a salt room. Courtesy Sage Blossom Massage
Sage Blossom Massage now open in Oak Hill

Sage Blossom Massage's new Oak Hill location at 6705 W. Hwy. 290, Austin, opened in early October. Sage …

A photo of the Dripping Springs City Council.
Dripping Springs City Council opts for partial refund to Mark Black in wedding venue fee dispute

Dripping Springs City Council voted Nov. 12 to refund $2,121 of Mark Black's $12,800 request.

Delia Garza speaks to her constituents at a town hall meeting in 2017.
Austin Mayor Pro Tem Delia Garza says she will not seek re-election as Travis County attorney rumors heat up

Austin's mayor pro tem will not seek reelection to her Southeast Austin district seat in 2020.

Deece Eckstein at the Nov. 12 Travis County Commissioners Court meeting
Travis County intergovernmental relations officer announces retirement, triggers "aggressive" hiring schedule

Deece Eckstein, Travis County's inaugural intergovernmental relations officer, will retire at the end of the year.

Back to top