Travis County

Purchasing Office Items

Approve contract award for Voting System and Services, RFP No. P1711-001-LC, to the most highly qualified proposer, Election Systems & Software, LLC (ES&S). (Commissioner Daugherty)


Department:PurchasingSponsors:Commissioner Gerald Daugherty

Meeting History

Aug 7, 2018 9:00 AM Video Commissioners Court Voting Session

Judge Eckhardt announced that Item 19 would be considered in Executive Session pursuant to Gov’t. Code Ann. 551.071, Consultation with Attorney and Gov’t. Code Ann. 551.076, Security.

Members of the Court heard from:

Dana DeBeauvoir, Travis County Clerk

Tom Burt, President and CEO, Election Systems & Software, LLC (ES&S)

MOTION: Approve Item 21.

MOVER:Gerald Daugherty, Commissioner
SECONDER:Margaret J. Gómez, Commissioner
AYES:Sarah Eckhardt, Jeffrey W. Travillion Sr, Brigid Shea, Gerald Daugherty, Margaret J. Gómez


Aug 7, 2018 9:00 AMCommissioners CourtVoting Session


10:33 AMExecutive session and return. Thanks. &j
We have returned from discussing item number 21. And now we will have a presentation in open court on the approving the contract award for voting system and services rfp number p1711-001-lc to the most highly qualified proposer, election systems and software, llc. It's good to have you here today.
Thank you, young judge, commissioners. Dana, travis county clerk. And I have with me at the table to my right, ron morgan, chief deputy for the county clerk, and to my left, michael wynn, director of the county clerk elections division. Okay. What we have brought before you today is a proposal for -- or a contract for your signature to purchase a new voting system for travis county voters. We have been through a very rigorous rfp procurement process and contract negotiations to bring the contract to you thus far. We have been through in-depth interviews and demonstrations and we have arrived at a selection of a bank of voting equipment that we think will best-serve travis county voters and that finally offers voters what we have been trying to get for them for years, and that is a voting system with a paper trail. You're finall going to be able to get this to them. This will be an electronic voting system, so voters are going to get the best of both words. Electronic voting system gives you accuracy, speed of results, and compliance with the requirements that our voters with disabilities get to vote a private and independent ballot. We must comply with federal law in that regard. But it also provides what everybody wants, and that is this paper trail so that we will have an artifact to use for auditing and recount purposes. And we are very excited about the new aspects to add to our already postelection auditing regime that will make it even stronger than what we have today. The contract before the court allows us to purchase this new voting system. It's 8. 1 million in contrast to the roughly 6 million that we used to purchase the e-slate voting system that we have today. We bought it in 2001. So that will give you some contrast to what they cost. We will have to buy a couple of extra things to go along with it, like for example the connection with the voter registration, the poll book part of it. That will bring the total cost to 9. 7 million. Assuming that we vote on this -- that y'all agree and sign the contract today, we plan to implement this system for our voters for the November 2019 election. We're not going to have time to do it for, you know, this election coming up in a couple of months, but one year from now we will have gone through an extensive public training program very like when we did with e-slate. And then we will have, you know, our voters train to be able to use their paper trail. It's going to be asking voters to help us take responsibility for making sure their vote is correct. And then, you know, we'll teach them to do this. They'll have the opportunity to practice it before we get to the presidential election in 2020. So that is our plan. We have -- just to give you a couple of pieces of information about this particular company, they have been our vendor before. They are a very large company. They are in 143 -- is it 145? 145 counties in texas. And they are in 43 other states. Their paper trail has been very popular among elections administrators because the public is asking for a paper trail. And it's certainly what we've been asking for a long time. This system was only just certified for texas in April 2017. It has taken a long time for paper trails to hit the marketplace so that counties like ours can purchase it. I do want to tell you that we think star vote had a lot to do with moving this market to a place where a paper trail was certified and passed through the federal and state level and made available for us to purchase. We think we helped influence the market there. And it was many, many years of hard work. The other thing that I want to make a point about, about the fact that we have a best of both worlds system. Electronic voting with a paper trail is that that system allows us to continue our early voting program, which lets voters vote anywhere they choose on election day, as well as vote centers. On election day, voters are also allowed to vote at any one of our vote centers that's the best choice for them, the most convenient for them on election day. You May have heard that some jurisdictions are trying to go back to an optical scan, paper-only kind of voting system. That option is not available to us because we are too large and too complicated with joint elections and with the kind of districts that have been drawn here. We don't have the option of going back to paper. And if we did, our voters would not be able to use vote centers. So if we had paper only, we would have to give up vote centers. That's not an option that I think our voters want. And what we really want is the very best system that we can get for them. So i'm very confident that this is like the last time we purchased a system, we bought the very best on the market. Today we are buying the very best equipment on the market. The company also shares our goal about improving security. And one of the things that we're going to be able to develop with this system, as soon as we can learn about it and as soon as we can develop procedures, is that we're going to be having an additional audit procedure developed called risk-limiting audits. We will be among the first in the united states to use risk-limiting audits. Orange county and colorado have implemented it. We think we might be the next. There might be one in between, but we're very, very early in implementing risk-limiting audits. That's going to be a very good thing. We'll be able to do that once we get those procedures worked out. Once we're the first in texas to do risk-limiting audits, I hope we can share our streamlining and our procedures with dallas county, with other counties so that they can then start developing it too, and with the secretary of state's office. We hope that rla will be able to promulgate throughout texas to all these other counties as well. We want a lot of transparency. We do not mind if people look over our shoulders and watch every single step we're making in the entire voting and elections process. We want that. And we do want to make everything as convenient and open for voters as possible we May need to look at some of our vote centers to see if they've got sufficient room for the new footprint, because we'll have this extra ballot box now. We didn't have paper before. Now we have an extra ballot box so we've got to make sure that all our vote centers will accept the new footprint of the new equipment. So we'll be evaluating to make sure we have sufficient electricity and room in all of our vote centers. And we will start in the late summer before the November 2,019th election with this public education program teaching, you know, using the democratic and republican and libertarian and green parties like we did before, the league of women voters, universities, austin community college, everybody we can find to help go into every corner of travis county to reach voters to teach them how to use this new system, because we want them to understand how to use their paper trail. Okay. One thing I would like to add to this, and i'm happy to answer any questions, we are thrilled that we have gotten this far with this. It has taken almost 15 years of constant work to get us to this point and i'm grateful for the voters for having the patience it has taken us to get them to the point where they're going to have a paper trail. I'd like to thank my elections division, who has just constantly worked on th this this entire time. Purchasing has made sure we have a rock solid procurement process. We picked the best proposer, the best system, and also the lowest bidder. I know of no other way to bring a project to you than one that fits all of their criteria, and we come out with the best product. And then i'd also like to thank steve j. Brandt for sticking with us. There you are. Stuck with us through the contract. You know, it was a lot of back and forth, but we have a good, solid contract and I think y'all will appreciate his work as well. So thank you, steve j. I think that's the end, other than thanking the voters for their patience one more time. That's what I would bring for you today. And I ask for your positive vote for signing this contract. I was going to say, at the end of the table we have some representatives from es&s in case you have questions of the company. And then, of course, paul is here with me today. And he's been incredibly helpful and supportive in making sure that the security features of the new equipment are also built into the security features that we are also doing a lot of hard work here in travis county, and they all go together.
10:44 AMGentlemen?
Thank you.
Good morning, Judge And commissioners. My name is tom, chief election -- executive officer for elections. With me today is my colleague, chris, regional sales manager for the state of texas. I'd be happy to answer questions. We're very honored to be in this position. The clerk has established herself and her team nationally with a very strong reputation for election security and administration. We've watched them from afar over the years. And through the procurement process, based on the way the rfp was laid out and the questions we had to answer through the process, it revealed to us just how intelligent and how well they operate, the conduct of elections in travis county. So we're honored to partner with such a skilled team. Be happy to answer any questions.
10:45 AMThank you so much. members of the commissioners court?
I have to agree with you. I couldn't be prouder of our county clerk and her staff. Gosh. Hanging in there 15 years. And I remember those early public hearins. So I totally agree with you, and welcome.
Thank you.
You're not marking anything in russia, are you?
I was wondering if we would get through a meeting without a russian comment. No, we are not. And we have no plans to.
Everyone in the back row drinking their water or coffee. [ laughing ]
Commissioner Shea.
Not to disappoint on that subject, I suspect this is something upper-most in a lot of people's minds, because we continue to hear from the entire united intelligence universe in the united states that the russians have hacked and are currently attempting to hack our voting system. So I do think it's something that should be addressed publicly. Can you just speak to that?
10:46 AMI absolutely will.
Thank you.
Well, you know, the old saying, the russians are coming, the russians are coming, it's true. But I do want to clarify where our vulnerability is. It's not the voting system. Unless you're talking about some extreme possibility. Where we are vulnerable is anything that's connected to the internet. And our voting system is not connecting to the internet at all. Our voter registration system is, and we use it in our vote centers on election day and of course our early voting during early voting. So we want to be very cautious about how we connect voter registration. And then we want to be very cautious about how we make sure the rest of the network operates in travis county, which is sort of outside my wheelhouse, and why we're all depending on paul to make sure he has what he needs and that he understands what our business processes are so that he can protect us as best as possible against that kind of interference with the russians. Now, with that said, where the russians have really attacked us is not with voting. And it's not even really with voter registration, although we are very cognizant that that's where we're vulnerable. Where they are attacking us is in social media with social engineering. They are trying to plant stories to create division among us, among americans. And that is where they have had their most success at interfering with elections. It's not the mechanics of conduct, it's messing with us as americans. And that is what I fear the most. I fear the misinformation and disinformation campaigns more than anything else, because that spreads like wildfire and there's no way to stop it. At least we don't know a way yet. So just to rank our real concerns and where we can do something and where we can't do something, I want us to all be clear, because we all have limited resources and we want to protect ourselves as best we can. But until our voters and our stakeholders understand that the real vulnerability is in this social media misinformation, you know, I want everybody to understand that's where the attack is.
10:48 AMMove approval.
We have a motion by Commissioner Daugherty, seconded by Commissioner Gomez.
Actually, I was the only one that didn't. Yeah, thank you. I want to say two things. First of all, it is really important to pick a team of experts to work in this type of field. And that you have been working on this for a number of years. And this has been your life's work is really important. That you have assembled an internal team that understands their areas as well, whether they're policy or operations, that you have a training system within so that you have protocols that you manage projects. That is really important. But what is even more important to me is that a team of experts can invite and embrace another expert. And paul has been a breath of fresh air from the standpoint of, you know, we stole him from the city. The work that he has done, not only with the city, but with the state and homeland security, and the state department, can give folks a great deal of confidence that not only does he have the bandwidth, but that he has the confidence of the experts in the office as well. A lot of times when folks are experts, they don't want people looking over their shoulders. They don't want people involved in their business. This has not been the case. This has been a team that has embraced a technology that is necessary in uncertain times. Because while the internet has provided many wonderful opportunities for us, what seems to have gone out of the window is verification. What seems to have gone out of the window is, you know, we're dealing more on emotions than we're dealing on facts. And this team has built a fact-based, system-based, verifiable documented approach. And I think that our citizens and taxpayers can have confidence in our system because of that. So i'm very proud to see another lbj grad. [ laughing ]
10:51 AMReally, do some of the best work that i've seen in protecting our citizens in a time where we need to be protected and have confidence. So, bravo, bravo, bravo.
I think lyndon would be proud.
I think he would.
Thank you so much for complimenting both the incredible expertise, but also the partnership among these experts. It's really lovely to see. Other questions or comments?
Just bravo.
We have a motion and a second. I will say we are going our part, as you said, Commissioner Travillion. This has been dana's centerpiece for 15 years, struggling to move the market to a system that we can have confidence in, but we also don't lose the point that Commissioner Shea makes that we are in the grips of a conference game, where the swindler gets the victim to trust the swindler and the negative it is also true, from to mistrust those who are doing their part to help, assist, and serve. So thank you very much to the county attorney's office, to the information technologies office, to the purchasing agent and her team, to the county clerk as well as the tax office who is not here today, and also to the private sector for developing the most secure voting system I think the world has ever known. So, all those in favor? That passes unanimously. Thank you very much. [ applause ] [ laughing ]
10:52 AMNext, we will go to agenda item number 18. 18 is to receive presentation from the city of valente on park land.
10:53 AMIs there somebody that can do it?
She's going to get somebody from media. We did send a powerpoint presentation in, we just don't know where it is.
Let's see if we can get that going. Peter --
I have hard copies.
That would be wonderful. you can just pass it up to the dais. And peter is getting some assistance on the powerpoint.
10:54 AMThank you.
Thanks so much.
I appreciate it. do you want to give me two more? I can pass them down if you'd like.
Good morning. how are you? It's good to see you.
Good morning.
So in the essence of time, we can just start. It's a short presentation. And then we're going to have some comments. We have four members of our council that were here in addition to myself. Two had to leave because of prior commitments. And so we we've got the mayor and we did have representation.
Is there anyone else in the audience on this agenda item? Thank you so much. How many people intend to give testimony?
I'm going to give testimony. and I think just comments from here. Then I think that the other members would like --
10:55 AMWe would like to see the presentation.
Okay. well, then we'll do the presentation and then i'll come back and pull y'all. I'm just trying to manage time, that's all.
Thank you.
So, thank you, judge, and commissioners. I'm ken beck, the mayor of the village of valente, have been here before and talked about this particular issue. But just as a reminder, the village of valente was incorporated in 2003 as a general law type b city in the state of texas. It was restricted to two square miles of land mass. And it's laid out along the shores of lake travis in western travis county. We've approximately 600 residents and are growing right now. The issue that we're talking about today was triggered, really, by when travis county's transportation and natural resources, we found out were in the process of acquiring 297 acres of developable land in valente to be part of the balcones canyonland preserve. So the next page really lays out the issue. And that is over time, the village of valente has seen this kind of a result in working with travis county. Number one, mullberg park, which we have a pending lawsuit against travis county regarding its conversion from being a public park to being part of the bcp and not accessible to anyone within the village. And I have a map that you can even page forward to look at. It shows all the different parts. But we are still in contention that the travis county should not have changed the use of mullberg park from public park access for our community to non-access and part of the bcp. There are also about 34 acres that were part of the development, the 10a permit that that was granted to the developer of those 297 acres that are inside the village of valente. But either at the point that he got his permit or shortly thereafter, he gave some selected pieces of his 300 plus acres to the county to be a part of the bcp. And that totaled 34 acres. And then with the recent acquisition of the valente land, 297 acres, that renders 342 acres within the village of valente that have now become part of the bcp. That represents 26. 7% of the land mass of the village of valente. And it is a big enough issue that I think one of my goals in this presentation is to talk about our desire to have a partnership relationship with the county as opposed to an adversarial. And right now we do feel an adversarial relationship between the village of valente and the county in that on the issue of mullberg park, we were never in advance made aware that that land was going to be converted and taken away from a public park to the bcp. It was triggered, really, by the village incorporated in 2003 because it had been platted as a public park going back to 1946. The issue of the 297 acres, again, there was no communication with the village of valente as to intent or anything else. And I understand confidentiality, but we could have been under an nda or anything like that to allow us to plan together with the county on that acquisition. We found out about it because the owner of the property just happened to think, as he was in negotiations and getting close to the end, that he would call me and just let me know that that was happening and he would not be developing that land. So as you look at the impact on valente on the next page, it was with the loss of this land, almost 27%, we have the loss of future ad valorem property taxes represented by that roughly 300 acres, 297 homes, even though that current land is covered by an agricultural exception. We're not losing property taxes, we're losing taxes in the future. The loss of of a economic impact of the doubling of the populapopulation of valente that was represented by the development of the tract of land. The loss of sales tax revenue growth represented by more people in valente that would have justified our current commercial businesses that we have in valente, made them more sustainable and assure us that we have access to those. And even probably more than anything else, the loss of a source of treated water for the village of valente, because we had an agreement with the pdd that as they developed their mud for those 300 acres, they were going to provide taps at two places within the village of treated water that we then could take and distribute. We wouldn't be responsible for that cost. So those four things represent significant impact. And so as you look at the next page, the map, you see there everything that's in color is the village of valente. Everything to the left is lake travis. Everything -- as you see, we've kind of drawn arrows. Mullberg park is in green up at the top of the map, towards the north end of valente. The 10a permit picked up that little triangle up towards the top. It also picked up the area in green at the lower right-hand side that is adjacent to the pink area that represented the pdd. Then you see the pdd. We've called that the dinosaur because of how it looks. That represents the 297 acres. So you can see the potential impact that that acquisition has and what those 27% land being taken off of tax records means to us. So what is valente looking for? We are really looking for, again, that partnership with travis county as opposed to the adversarial relationship. We're looking for consideration because of the long-term impact of that land acquisition within the village. We did talk with your parks division about a potential solution and access to land, a possibility of leasing some land for a park. That, as it looked at how we might access that land, we didn't come to any kind of agreement because of the potential cost of how the county was suggesting we solve that versus what we were proposing. And that just kind of fell to the side as I think you made the decision to move ahead without making any consideration to the village. We also have three acres of land that we were proposing that we swap with the county. Three acres that are surrounded on three sides by the bcp so it's consistent with the design and acquisition plans of the bcp for the possibility of another three acres, hopefully three acres that would represent access onto the property of a park. So that's what the village was looking for. That's what we were asking for. We're even, on the last page, talking about the possibility of going back through our intellecelectedofficials and we've me those that represent us, paul and kirk, about a provision that would allow, if a type b municipality existed within the state of texas, and this situation occurred, that we might then have an ability to do some annexation to get back to a two-square-mile basis for the advantage, which is, again, defined by state law. As a result of the negotiations that we had had before, we did hold a public hearing in the village of valente in early june. And at that public hearing, we had 25 plus people attend. And at the end of that, we did just kind of a rough ask for hands as to the direction that we should proceed on this situation. And it was certainly the majority of the people asking us to go back to travis county and attempt to negotiate. And again, we're hoping to get back to the negotiation table. I'm not proposing any specific solution because I don't know what the variables are right now based on your decisions. But I would hope that we could come back together. And the council, village council, was unanimous in supporting that decision. Today we had four of the five councilmembers here. The one who wasn't here is out in california. Again, as I said, two have left. And i'm just going to give an opportunity to robert and to missy to just say your thoughts on this. Missy.
11:04 AMI'm a councilmember for valente. I can concur with what mayor beck has presented to the commissioners and the judge. and I believe as he said the council was unanimous and that we feel like we'd like to be included in negotiations on this land. I think it means a lot to the people of valente.
11:05 AMRobert.
I'm robert, councilmember three. And i'm not going to belabor this. They pretty much covered it pretty well. We'd appreciate your consideration of this matter and at least letting us get back to the table and having an discussion.
Your ultimate goal is to find a way to have a park in the village of valente. That's the end of our presentation.
Thanks so much. we have some other folks here from valente. Would any of you all like to give testimony?
I believe -- mayor -- has something to present.
That sounds great. come on up.
Good morning.
11:06 AMHi. jan. First, judge, commissioners, i'd like to thank y'all for the services that y'all provide for the village. You provide our law enforcement. You provide a lot of our inspection services. And those are all our obligation. And we do appreciate. So we do have a good relationship. I have a letter here signed by the three previous mayors. All of us, the undersigned, have been fortunate to have been previously served the village of valente in the office of mayor over the years since its incorporation in 2003. We wish to extend our great thanks to travis county for your purchase of the acreage within the village, previously identified as the pdd, for its inclusion into the county's balcones canyonland conservation plan, bccp. We are delighted to see this land be utilized as a beautiful, natural, protected preserve. We look forward to being under your fine stewardship. The pdd was envisioned before we incorporated. The land could not be developed under travis county's watershed rules because of the slopes and the high cliffs. When we incorporated, we were able to fine-tune a development with the developer to gain roughly almost 300 homes in that area. It had water and it had wastewater. Our area, our wells, as you probably know, are over-maxed already. So more wells will cripple those people that already live there. When the pdd died, the 298 homes died with it. The contract for the water through the cedar park bcrua died with the pdd and the m. U. D. And there's no way to reclaim that because that deal was cut by the original developer. And so there is no way that anybody can come in under the present laws and put in 298 homes. So the land is there. I think that we figured out initially that we could put in roughly 20 homes if we followed today's rules with the watershed ordinance. So there will never be any great tax. And we figured out that the three mayors here that signed this were the people that were involved with the lawsuit that was filed against the village of valente by the developer. And we negotiated the pdd over a five-year period. And our tax is coming in. We're going to be a wash. With the modus and the taxes we would get from the 298 homes up there, the services provided would pretty much wash out any income that we had coming in. So the people that negotiated it understood going in the door it was not going to be a cash cow, ever. And so quite frankly, most of the people wh -- when we originall incorporated, it's always been ranch land restricted. And most of the people are quite happy with it remaining that way. Have you any questions?
11:10 AMCommissioners?
Mayor, I mean, I want to say mayor, probably five heads looked up in this group. But, jen, do you -- you do understand why there is -- there are some that think that the value of this 297 acres, you know, would merit, even though I think you just articulated, you know, when you really provide the services that you're going to have to do as a city, do you really think that all of the mayors felt like that that was not worth the development of that acreage? I mean, you know, it's pretty compelling to see what's, you know, on the powerpoint, you know, given y'all's size in valente and everybody is reaching out for, you know, I mean, from sales tax to, you know, to ad valorem to perhaps, you know, water to some of the other areas. I've always been a little confused. Was it really more that there were people that want -- hey, who doesn't want a reserve, or a preserve next to them, unless it catches on fire. And you all are really troubled with that. I mean, in the event that there is ever a fire in y'all's area, oh, my god. I mean, you know, even with all the mutual aid and everything that you have from austin, from cedar park or whatever, I mean, valente is in real trouble. So, you know, i'd always felt like, you know, that there is reason, you know, to try to work something out to where you all could take and sign off on a developer being able to develop their property. I mean, all of us in this world know that there are always two sides of the story. You've got some people that know I want it to be green space and I don't want that development. And especially if you can convince them that there's really not much of a net gain even if you were to have that development. But it sounds like to me that you're saying, because you have in tow at least three other mayors that have said, you know, we quite frankly, you know, we're not bothered by the fact that that was not going to be a planned development. Is that what you're saying?
11:13 AMBasically, if we could develop a pdd, which now would be problematic because the original developer owned the land under cedar park's water intake and had leverage to cut a deal for water, now the preserve -- y' land completely. You haven't been very willing to let pipelines go across preserve land. So it would be difficult to get water into the property. What i'm saying is that you would have to find a developer which the private property owner did not find that was willing to pick up the pdd or form a new pdd, because the only thing that you can build up there has to be a pdd. There's not enough private homes to build a road in, you know. It costs so much to build a road into that land because of the slopes and the terrain. You can't get enough houses in there to build a road in.
11:14 AMWell, here's the deal. as far as i'm concerned it's all moot now. And we didn't -- and ken, we didn't go to the developer trying to get that dev developer to sell us that land. We were approached, you know, because quite frankly, I think that the developer finally just kind of gave up on I don't know that i'm ever going to get this because it is obviously a controversial, you know, piece of real estate, you know, in valente. And so when they came to us, and given, you know, that it has habitat and that it is surrounded by the bcp, it was only natural that we were going to go, if we're getting it offered then yeah, we're interested in buying it. And I mean, I can guarantee you, ken, you know this. I wasn't trying to do harm to valente. I mean, but when you've got a willing seller that ko comes to you and says i've got this 297 acres, I quite frankly don't know that I would ever be able to develop it. Given the controversy that it kind of seemed to continue to have, not to say that you didn't have two different sides about, you know, what the benefit would be to the city. So I mean, at this stage I don't think -- now, I guess I can ask melinda. I mean, once it becomes bcp, then I guess there are some mechanisms that you can do. They're not very easy. And you're right, jan. Putting water lines, putting roads, putting, you know, anything across bcp property is very, very difficult. So I can see where i've almost got to take this 297 acres and just go that's happened and we can't do anything about it. I have been very supportive of trying to work something with valente because I do understand that the park needs -- to me, is something that's very merittable, you know, to have. And i'm on the record of not necessarily being on the county's side on the mullberg tract because if I were the king, which, you know, i'm a little short of that -- [ laughing ]
11:17 AMI would have tried to find a way to take part of that mullberg tract, at least on the one side of the road, because it is dissected, you know, with the road. But, you know, that wasn't something that was going to happen, because our legal people told us no, you own that. And you can have it as habitat. And I even told the mayor, mayor beck, I said, I don't think that you have any choice but yet to move forward on a lawsuit, because, you know, we feel this way about it. I mean, the county. And y'all feel the way that y'all feel about it. And so I think that that -- I mean, hey, these kind of things do need to end up in court. When you've got two sides that you can't get some sort of resolution, that's the only way that you have. And who knows where that's going to turn out. But I do think that the problem that we have today, ken, is that is that 297 acres is in the bcp. We're probably not going to be able to do anything about it. I think that there were some opportunities, you know, late in the game about -- and because I encouraged melinda, who manages all of our bcp real estate, to go to you and say let's try to find something that's fair so that there are some opportunities to have some parkland out of this thing. That didn't work out. I'm still interested in, if there's a way that we can -- I don't know that there necessarily is at this stage. And whenever the two of y'all came down, jan,, is you and ms. Thresh, that's when I told ken, because ken said we didn't have an opportunity. I said good, i'll agendize it and you can have a pitch, because you only have one side, you know, over here. And so that's the reason that we're here today, y'all. I do understand, you know, what valente would like to have. Most of it is -- I don't think that it's even worth, you know, discussing anymore. I'm always happy to work with our people to see if there is any way that we can, but i'm of the opinion that we have settled on a number of these things and we're not going to be able to move from that, so.
11:20 AMI certainly would appreciate you exercising your staff to find out if there is any variable, any option that we might sit down and discuss.
Well, I think that -- I mean, ken, you and I have had several discussions about this. I thought that we were there a couple of times. I thought that melinda said, okay, there was even some offering, you know, at one time. And that's when we got, maybe that offering was not -- I mean, there are some people that don't want --
The real issue came down to the cost of $150,000 road that we couldn't afford to access the land. That wasn't a viable alternative.
Yeah. I understand. And that's where I think that the thing fell apart and we moved forward. And I told melinda my opinion is you've got to try to find someplace to get. I think she got there. I know that she really tried. I don't know that there's anything else, you know, that we can do. But I wanted you to have your opportunity to come down and speak to us.
11:21 AMWell, I appreciate very much the opportunity and I appreciate what you do do for the village. Again, i'm not happy, me personally, with how this all transpired.
I understand.
I'm not and I would like to see if you, maybe with your office, you could set up one more meeting that I could come down and meet with you and melinda and her team and just see is there something, is there anything.
Well, I won't say no to that. I will just say that I don't know that there is much that we can do. But I will have one more conversation with melinda. And if there is then i'll let you know and i'll be the one to let you know. I just don't know that there's anyplace else that we can go, because I think that we have really, really tried with this thing. But I will give you that, ken.
11:22 AMOkay.
Anyone else?
Thank you for the opportunity.
Thank you for coming thank you all for coming as well. All right. Our next agenda item . . . Let's take up . . . I'm just trying to figure out the lay of the land here. Let's take up agenda item number 9. I believe Commissioner Shea had some questions about 9, which is to consider and take appropriate action on request from tcso for bulk printing of the navigating a mental health crisis guide on behalf of the national alliance on mental health illness, nami, in accordance with budget room rule 13.
11:23 AMImsuppi am supportive of this . what was not clear in the backup or document is according to the budget rule -- and i'm reading from the budget rule -- the sponsoring department must transfer funding for the in-kind print request to the print shop. And I don't know that that was clear. I had a few conversations with the sheriff. So I do want to make clear publicly that I do support this. But we have to follow this budget rule or we will bankrupt our print shop if people are not covering the funds that are required for these in-kind printing services.
We'll bring a separate item with regard to the budget transfer. And so this vote today will just be about the court's desire to see this occur. We'll do a budget amendment transfer item separately from this. And I do understand that there was an email yesterday, possibly in response to your questions from the sheriff's department.
11:24 AMBut it didn't address the cost o or the mechanism for the in-kind payment.
They had not had time to run it by the print shop.
We can follow up on that to make sure the budget adjustment happens a and get the cost to the commissioner.
If you all would like to wait on this agenda item until both items can come together, that's fine, too.
I don't have a preference. i'm happy to move approval with a provision that the budget amendment will follow in future to cover the in-kind cost.
I'll second that. we can also post it on our web page. We can also post the -- no --
The document.
The document.
So that other folks can have access to it as well.
All right.
We'll follow up on that, too.
Great. so we have a motion from Commissioner Shea seconded by Commissioner Gomez. Any other questions? All those in favor? That passes unanimously. Thank you.
11:25 AMThank you.
Agenda item number 6. and I believe Commissioner Daugherty had some questions about this. Consider and take appropriate action on an interlocal agreement with the city of austin to provide emergency hazardous materials response services to all areas of travis county outside of the city of austin. [ coughing ]
Good morning.
Hi, how are you?
I've invited Mr. Dokey, now with the city of austin, to join us. He's helped with the negotiation of this ila. Currently, our current ila with the city of austin for hazmat services will expire at the end of the fiscal year, and this is a renegotiation to continue services for hazardous materials response services into the county.
Commissioner Daugherty.
Let me ask, is this an insurance payment, meaning do you pay this money whether you use hazmat services or not? Whens the last time that the county had a hazmat issue that the city --
11:26 AMActive response? I would have to go research that. Maybe preston might have --
Do you have any idea?
We run about 30 -- what they call hazmat task force incidents a year. And that's a hazmat incident that dictates a rescue can, spec ops engine, battalion chief, and then whatever esd is also participating. What those exact calls were i'd have to further research.
Well, let me go back to my first question. So this payment -- I mean, obviously you have my attention that we're going from 80,000 to 120,000 and then to the 140 with the ratchet up from that. Is that a payment that we send to the city of austin every year, or is that -- oh, if we don't have a hazmat issue in the county where we would need the services from --
11:27 AMFor the service.
So tell me how that works. if we don't have an issue, do we not have to pay the 120, or do we have to pay the 120?
It's a flat rate to sustain the capability to be able to respond. Right now none of our esds have hazardous materials response capability across the county.
I understand that. it's understandable. I'd just like to know. I mean, if, you know, we're waiting for our first hazmat issue in the county then that's going to say something to me watching it go from 80 to 120 to 140 and whatever. I mean, you know, obviously we're not in that business. We're not capable of it. We have to have that. I would like to know what the history is of -- and maybe cynthia, you know, knows this about how many incidences we have had in the county where we've had to use the services. Do you know that?
11:28 AMI'm with tnr. I don't have details. I know that tnr does make use of this contract when we've had spills on the roadways. So we are one of the customers on this. We've used them over the years. I can get you details on how many times a year and what kinds of spills, but I just don't have that on hand.
I do remember that when pete ballwin was here we set up a haz-mat in the county. When did it get transferred to the city?
Under josh davies, they made the decision and I think he was working to reclassify that into another capacity.
Did we do that because we didn't have any incidents?
I don't know enough of the history. I mean, I can see -- I mean obviously cynthia said we'll use it. We need the service. Always kinds of gets my attention when I see 50% increase with a ratchet up. So I want to know what we're spending it on, how often. Now we've got somebody else coming down.
11:29 AMThe contract was $80,000 and when we put that contract into place the way they came up with that number was austin had -- their capabilities for haz-mat response and we were taking over or helping the county with running into the esds. And when they added that capability, wanted to make sure they could run two simultaneous haz-mat calls. So that $80,000 was originally to put on an additional spec ops and the staffing and training for those personnel. So over the past five years we haven't had any cost increases and then when my position moved to the county that they -- we were at the five-year mark with the county, we had to relook at the whole contract. So we looked at that $80,000 and the fact my position was moving over to the city. And what -- what duties I had with the county and we tried to incorporate some of those into the contract to try and make that a seamless transition. So one, it's covering five years without any cost increases, service cost increases, and then two any additional duties that i'm still performing for the county under this city contract.
11:30 AMQuite frankly, it May be my opinion that we also -- I would go to the esds and say I want a little help, you know, from the esds. This obviously is a very, you know, worthwhile contract to have. I mean, you know, we don't have the buildings that do -- the ability to do the cleanup so we need that done. Alan, was there something you were going to say.
11:31 AMSure, and i'm sorry, I was getting ready for budget amendments and transfers. I just wanted to give you a history on two of the questions because I didn't hear it being mentioned. Over on the emergency services side for the county, there was a personnel amendment that essentially created another deputy emergency management coordinator that was assuming the contract management functions that were previously done by the county position that was -- that moved over to the city. It didn't so much move over to the city as the individual moved over to the city. So when josh was over here and during the transition period, that went to commissioners court to approve essentially rather than having one person focus on ems related -- i'm sorry, hazardous material support, they focused instead on hazardous materials and other duties because at this point it was monitoring the contract with the city of austin. Also when the contract was established five years ago, significant amount of equipment transferred from the county to the city that we had received through the years related to grants, and that equipment has never been replaced. And so while the initial agreement stayed firm at 80,000 a year too, there's no provision in the current interlocal related to the cost of replacing the equipment over time. So through negotiations with the city the costs went from 80 to the current or proposed amount.
11:32 AMSo you're saying it kind of sounds like -- it kind of passes muster with you to say given, you know, no increase in five years and, you know, probably some recapture of some capital cost and whatever, that didn't raise a flag, you know, with pbo to go oh, you guys, you are just asking, hey, we'll give you 100 but we're not giving you 120 or whatever.
11:33 AMCommissioner, we're very much like you in the mind set initially when we heard about the cost increase, we did indeed contact the department and reach out and discuss. We understand the reasons behind it and the fact it hasn't been increased in five years I think was one of the primary guiding forces in our recommendation to include the cost increase in the preliminary budget for your consideration as well as the need to replace equipment that had been transferred over the the city.
I'm happy to move forward on this, but obviously our subcommittee, you know, I want -- I want to get a little more info and the understanding about, you know, the transfer and all of this kind of stuff. But we obviously need this service, and it goes a long way for me for pbo to go we asked the hard questions and were fine with it. I know you have comments.
Commissioner Shea.
I do think we did not have sufficient discussion in the subcommittee about this because if i'm understanding it right, part of the cost increase is because we gave up this position and the person who was at the county doing this is now at the city so the city is paying your salary. So we've incurred some additional costs related to that and we've created a new position that has some of your duties and some of something else which i'm not completely clear about.
11:34 AMCharacterize those as emergency services losing a position. They converted the position over into a deputy emergency management coordinator type of position that continues to deal with haz-mat-related work, along with other job responsibility. But there is no net transfer over the the city of a fte and there is -- the fte count is not decreasing in emergency services.
I wasn't suggesting that, but I think part of the additional cost the person who had been doing it full time at the county has gone to the city --
You didn't move the job to the city, is that what you are saying?
11:35 AMYes.
Maybe I wasn't clear. I wasn't saying we moved the job, but if we were paying the person to do the job here and they left that job, we now are paying some extra to have that job done, you know --
The job had mainly transitioned over into contract management related to those haz-mat contracts. So while the city is the primary provider of the cleanup services now too. -the contr piece stays with the county because, of course, we want to make sure that we have -- I mean the responsibility still is a county% responsibility so we want to make sure the staff person is able to meet those responsibilities. The job position allows for more than just the haz-mat support now too.
It will be useful to have more of these details in our subcommittee. Thank you.
And that's important for me too. When we -- when this type of project or this type of fte migrates to another place, there ought to be some rational basis explanation for that. And then if there's going to be a cost associated with it, there's got to be some formula for the cost of service, some idea about the frequency of use, some idea about, you know, what is necessary for contract management, the level of staff that's necessary to get that done and what's expected of it. And I think it just -- you know, that should be the standard rather -- I don't understand how something so significant is transferred without that type of assessment. How can we make a policy decision if we don't have that type of formula and analysis.
11:36 AMAlan, if you could provide to the members of the commissioners court the backup from our previous vote. I think that would be helpful to further understanding. Is there a motion on this?
11:37 AMI'll move approval of it, but I do want cynthia to get some history about, you know, how often they go out. I mean, I understand it now and I understand, you know, the ratchet up. I do think the subcommittee probably needs to, you know, reengage, but I move approval.
I'll second.
We have a motion and second. Any additional deliberation?
I'm going to abstain because I remember going through -- through the whole thing with tnr when they presented the request for the haz-mat and that it was very important for us to have that position and especially with 130 going in and at that time we didn't know if all these bid trucks were going to be using it or not. And was the community in that area -- would the community be vulnerable to spills that need to be handled. So we went through a big discussion and through the budget to create it. So I think I would like to see it back.
11:38 AMThis used to be grant funded and when the grant ended it became a regular general fund.
I remember we had a big discussion about the importance of it.
Judge, I would like to modify my second. Gerald, would you be willing to attach to this a direction that we pursue discussions at the esds about cost sharing on the haz-mat work?
Certainly happy to talk to them about that.
Any further deliberation?
You know, for me it's premature because I don't have the information that I need to be confident that -- it's not that I oppose it. I want to be clear about that. I just want to have a clear explanation of what it is i'm buying.
Are you asking for a courtesy delay?
I think that would be appropriate. Yes.
Commissioner Travillion asks for a courtesy delay. Is there any impact on delaying the agenda item, the approval of the haz-mat ila? Is there any financial impact, administrative impact?
11:39 AMI think the only impact i'm aware of administratively would be the city of austin and their stedding of their side of the agreement. But we would follow up, we can check on that and they can adjust.
Would a one-wek delay suffice for you, Commissioner Travillion?
You think we can get the information in a week?
I'm asking if you could get that information.
Yes, if I can -- like I said, it's not that I oppose it, I think it's important. I just want to be able to explain it when asked by my constituents.
Sounds like alan and eric will work to deal with probably several of us.
Thank you very much. we appreciate it. Agenda item number 12, consider and take appropriate action on budget amendments, transfers and discussion items. And I believe Commissioner Shea, did you have a question about one of the --
11:40 AMNo, i'm good.
Let's see.
I do have a motion. it's related to the -- there is additional money that came in from our sale of ambulances to the city of austin. It's $31,299. 90 over and above what we had budgeted for this personnel item. And i'd like to make a motion to just have that be placed in the general fund allocated reserves instead of money left in the department.
So that's with regard to t2?
Yeah, that's t2.
May I have a motion for the remainder?
A motion for n1 and t1. all those in favor? That passes unanimously. And then as to t2, there we apparently got more for the sale of the ambulances than we had originally anticipated. Is there any issue with taking the slight increase and placing it into general fund?
11:41 AMIn either case we project it will fall to ending fund balance. The commissioner's question just ensures there's no opportunity for it to not fall to ending fund balance. We have no objection to the change in the budget amendments and transfers.
So my motion is to reduce the transfer of the 356,645. 02 to the salaries, regular employee commitment items $325,345. 12, a reduction of $31,299. 90. The $31,299. 90 of excess funds beyond the original estimate of ambulance proceeds are recommended to be placed in the general fund allocated reserve.
11:42 AMSecond.
I'll give you a second just for saying all of that.
I did hear Commissioner Gomez make the second. Is there any issue with that? Commissioner Shea made the motion, Commissioner Gomez made the second. All those in favor? That passes unanimously.