My first ten days in office were marked by the insurrection at the US Capitol, a record number of positive cases and hospitalizations, demand exceeding access to COVID-19 vaccinations and a beautiful blanket of snow here in Central Texas. The pictures I saw streaming from the Capitol made me nauseous and I was saddened to learn of the death and destruction that occurred. Freedom of speech deserves protecting but violent insurrection is un-American and demands punishment. I’m eager for, and praying for, a peaceful installation of leadership this week.

Commissioners Court meets every Tuesday so my team and I must hustle from week to week to prepare. You can find the agenda for each meeting here. My first two meetings included support for affordable housing, collaboration with local school districts and further progress on bond funded road projects. Travis County will apply for additional federal funding to assist renters and small businesses during the pandemic and be laser focused on improving access to COVID-19 vaccinations. I also attended my first meetings of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Board and Capital Area Council of Governments. More on these planning groups soon!

I initiated a field trip to the new Rough Hollow subdivision in Lakeway to explore the County extraterritorial-jurisdiction land that is the yet to be annexed by Lakeway. Some of this ETJ buffers between the new subdivision and Bee Creek, which flows into Lake Travis. I’m impressed how County staff know what’s required and work to collaborate with partners to protect our environment.

Last but not least, I launched my work on wildfire prevention and support of the local Emergency Service Districts that support our fire departments across the County. I’ll be learning about the work led by Commissioner Shea on emergency response and determining which next steps to take to enhance our capacity to prevent and manage wildfire. If you are interested in serving as a volunteer Board member of your local Emergency Service District please contact me as I’m delving into new appointments this month.

I’ll always serve with honor and respect!