Travis County approves $1.8 million in pay raises and two more takeaways from Tuesday’s commissioners court meeting

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• Commissioners approved $1.8 million in employee raises Tuesday morning. The county adjusted the employee pay scale for 649 county employees based on what was recommended in the benchmark study. In October, commissioners received results from a recent benchmark study of county salaries where it was recommended the county raise the pay grade on a number of county jobs including finance, social services and maintenance department jobs. At a meeting Nov. 7, commissioners decided to add chief of staff positions to the study and postponed the vote until information could be gathered. All positions were evaluated and approved for adjustments.

• The Travis County Sheriff’s Office will submit an application to become a mental health learning site program, following approval from Commissioners Court Tuesday morning. The program is not a grant but provides an opportunity to promote and expand collaborations between Travis County law enforcement, emergency medical services and the local mental health authority. According to county officials, the integral care staff from the mobile crisis team are providing approximately 24 hours of the 40-hour crisis intervention team certification course.

“A few years ago the sheriff’s office participated in mental health learning site with integral care on our corrections side and it was very fruitful,” Danny Smith, director of mental health services said. “We developed a really strong relationship with them, our communication improved and we now have the opportunity to do another learning site on the law enforcement side.”

• The K9 Mastery Group was approved Tuesday morning to be able to conduct private obedience classes at the Northeast Metro Park in Pflugerville and allow dogs off leash periodically during the training. The group will host a clinic once a week in the evening time in the park. The training consists of several levels of training including basic, intermediate and advanced. Travis County Park rules require dogs to be on a leash at all times while in the park. The group requested permission to allow dogs off leash during the intermediate and advanced classes. Commissioners were concerned about the safety of families using the park. Christine Miller, trainer and company owner, assured commissioners the group would monitor the dogs to keep everyone in the park safe.

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Luz Moreno-Lozano

Luz Moreno-Lozano is the Southwest Austin and Travis County reporter. Luz began working with Community Impact Newspaper in April 2017 after serving as the news editor for Cornerstone Publications in Castroville for three years. She graduated from Texas A&M University in 2013.

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