Rondella Hawkins has more than 25 years of experience in local government. Her office has direct responsibility over utility rights-of-way franchise agreements and license agreements with telecommunications and wireless providers, and she serves as the city’s single point of contact for the Google Fiber and AT&T Fiber projects. She is responsible for implementing the city’s Digital Inclusion Strategic Plan, ensuring that all Austin residents have the information technology capacity needed for civic and cultural participation, employment and access to essential services.
She oversees the administration of the public access television management contract and coordinates with other Austin educational and government tv channels. Her office provides staff support to the Community Technology and Telecommunications Commission. Her office administers the City’s Credit Access Business (CAB) program which includes the registration and oversight of CABs that provide payday loans and/or auto title loans to consumers.
She is actively engaged on legislative and policy issues related to broadband communications, maintaining local rights-of-way authority, and digital inclusion. She serves as Vice President of the Texas Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (TATOA). Rondella is a former Board member of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) and was selected as NATOA’s 2010 Member of the Year and she received the NATOA Life Member award in 2014.
Provide right-of-way management services for the public and utility providers to ensure the best and most remunerative use of the public rights-of-way and provide a stable business and regulatory environment; Provide financial and right-of-way management services, exposure to City proceedings, and economic development opportunities to client City departments and utility consumers to maximize collected and available funds and to inform and enhance Austin's residential and business community; and Provide administrative and managerial support to the department to produce more effective services and maintain effective workflow outputs.
Receive, process, and deposit revenue for TARA. Prepare accounting documents to record transactions and credit customer accounts. Maintain customer account ledgers for charges, credits, and adjustments. Process claims for payment of returned checks written to the City of Austin. Prepare and mail invoices and correspondence to collect account balances due the City. Answer customer inquiries regarding their accounts, account balances, and methods of payment. Resolve account discrepancies by investigating documentation. Serve as liaison for client departments for payments received at the Claims Division. Maintains financial security by following internal accounting controls.
Prepares bank deposits and posting payments to subsidiary spreadsheets/databases/billing systems. Sets up, prepares claims with insurance companies. Provide collections and skip tracing. Provide customer service to debtors to address debtor and citizen inquiries.
Provide administrative support as needed for City of Austin, Telecommunications & Regulatory Affairs. Process franchise complaints. Provide Notification of Franchise Holders, CTPs and PUC of COA full purpose annexations. Provide clerical support for Austin Community Technology and Telecommunications Commission. Make purchases and process invoices for payments according to City of Austin policy.
Provides information technology services to Austin Free.Net including supporting the procurement, maintenance and development of the operation of the organization's network or systems. To include: designing, installing, configuring, monitoring, administering and troubleshooting computer network/systems and associated assemblies.
John Speirs is responsible for managing and administering City's implementation of the Digital Inclusion Strategic Plan in Austin by coordinating with local organizations, commissions and other public and private entities involved with digital and communications technology in Austin. John provides contract management for a portfolio of $400,000 in services delivered by Austin non-profits for community technology services including public access & digital literacy skills training and the City’s Grant for Technology Opportunities Program. John provides administration of the Google Fiber Community Connections program including annual reporting goals of recipients and program monitoring. He facilitates strategic efforts with the Austin Community Technology & Telecommunications Commission, whose members are appointed by the Austin City Council, to identify opportunities to maximize program effectiveness where practical. John, a native of California, has a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in Environmental Planning from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona with a Masters in Public Administration from Texas State University- San Marcos.
Jesse Rodriguez serves as a Business Process Specialist in TARA's Digital Inclusion Program. He manages Digital Inclusion's performance data, which are derived from City of Austin's Grant for Technology Opportunities Program (GTOPs) contracts. He also administers Digital Inclusion's engagement and outreach strategy, planning and executing the Digital Empowerment Community of Austin's (DECA) meetings and activities. Finally, he serves as TARA's open data liaison and maintains and develops TARA's website. Jesse has a Master of Public Administration from the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M, and a bachelors degree in Political Science from the University of New Orleans.
Provides financial management services to Austin Free-Net including financial reporting, grants management and payroll and benefits administration Supports Austin Free-Net by providing financial management services including financial reporting, grants management, payroll and benefits administration.
Investigate claims of damage to City of Austin property to determine third party liability. Process claims to collect damage repair costs incurred by the City. Negotiate settlement with claimants, insurance companies and/or attorneys. Recommend settlement amounts pending the approval of client departments to settle property damage claims. Respond to inquiries on the procedures to file a claim against the City.
Supervise the activities of the Claims Division staff in the collection of money due the City. Review claims to determine legal sufficiency. Serve as liaison between client departments and customers, liable third parties, insurance companies, and attorneys to facilitate the claims and collection processes. Interpret and explain applicable ordinances, statues and laws relative to the City’s collection processes. Monitor financial documents to insure collections are properly credited to client City departments’ budgets lines. Prepare monthly and annual claims referral and collection reports. Develop, prepare and monitor TARA’s operating budget. Review and approve accounts payable, purchasing, and accounts receivable documents. Develop, monitor and report performance measures. Prepare TARA’s 5-year financial forecast and annual Information Technology Forecast. Conduct Cash Handling Policy and Petty Cash Handling Policy city-wide training for City departments and City employees. Answer department and employee inquiries regarding said policies and procedures.
VACANT, DEPARTMENT QUALITY ANALYST
Monitor the revenue received in the TARA Department; Assist in calculating and prepare revenue projections for the Budget process. Prepare quarterly revenue financial reports for TARA Manager. Prepare, plan and conduct contract compliance assessments; Grant for Technology Opportunities, Franchise Holders, License Agreements, Certified Telecommunications Providers, Public Access Community Television, Presents audit information to TARA Manager and contractor staff. Conducts Regulatory audits of Cable, Gas & Electric Providers. Provide fiscal agent services for grant programs and contracts to ensure compliance with the contract agreement between the City of Austin; Review and verify Texas Gas Service Annual Relocation Cost Recovery projects. Review franchise fee filings and annexation verification.
Orsi Sargent serves as the City’s Regulatory Monitor having joined the City of Austin on March 21, 2016. She oversees the regulation of the City of Austin’s Credit Access Business Ordinance as part of a team through auditing and enforcement activities. Orsi also assists with community outreach, consumer complaints, and financial education resources for consumers. Previously, Orsi served as Director of Financial Stability, managing the financial capability portfolio of programs and grants for United Way for Greater Austin and as Budget Analyst for the State of Texas Legislative Budget Board. She holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University and dual bachelor’s degrees in Government and Architecture from The University of Texas at Austin. She is passionate about seeing her community thrive.
Assists with research and gathering of current information on telecom providers, whether retrieving current contact information on debtors; finding out whether or not they are in bankruptcy court, or making the telecom providers accountable for their telecom payments to TARA. I also ensured that companies are current on bonding and insurance documentation. Assists in administration of CAFs (Citizen Assistance Forms), City Manager’s Office Notes and Automated Customer Assistance Program (ACAPs) by ensuring that all questions are answered and all deadlines and compliance are met concerning R-O-W management services. Contact person for Recommended Council Actions (RCAs) for the Office of Telecommunications and Regulatory Affairs. I help draft, revise, and have made sure that all RCAs were completed before they were submitted to City Council for review.