Travis County Commissioners Court, 314 11th St., Austin, 854-9425,

The court meets every Tuesday at 9 a.m.

Terms and compensation

The Travis County judge and commissioners serve four-year terms. The judge earns $111,038 annually, and the commissioners each make $92,362.

TV Coverage

Meetings are televised live on Time Warner Cable on TCTV Channel 17 beginning at 9 a.m. Tuesdays. They also air at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays, 9 a.m. on Wednesdays and at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Big decisions made in 2011

  • Drought and wildfire responses — The court directed staff to work with wildfire victims to clear debris and assist with permits and giving out information for federal relief. It declared a local disaster to ban fireworks usage around the Fourth of July. It also enacted burn bans for several months and banned floating habitable structures on Lake Travis.
  • Redistricting — The law required the court to redraw its precinct boundaries to reflect new census data. The court considered political affiliation, race, projected future growth and population statistics.
  • Historic property tax exemptions — The court decided to extend property tax exemptions for historic property owners for another year. County staff plan to coordinate with the City of Austin when revising exemption policies.
  • Bond referendum — The court formed the Citizens Bond Advisory Committee and received regular updates. It separated capital projects and later removed a project from the bond package.

Top issues for 2012

  • Facilities master plan — The court will move county departments to 700 Lavaca St. and investigate partnering with a private company to build a new civil and family courthouse.
  • Aquifer regulation — Commissioner Karen Huber said water issues will be important in 2012. County staff are drafting new subdivision rules intended to protect the Trinity Aquifer in the absence of a groundwater conservation district. The court is expected to take action in the coming weeks.
  • Executive-level succession — Judge Samuel T. Biscoe said several long-serving officials have either retired recently or plan to retire soon. The court and county government must hire outside replacements or continue to hone training for in-house talent.
  • Budgeting and population growth — The court must determine how to deliver county services as the state shifts costs to the local level. Commissioner Margaret Gomez said justice system expenses, such as courts and jails, were on her radar.