Last Friday I had the opportunity to spend some time with the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Ms. Susan Combs, in a small group in Junction. The emphasis of the gathering was to discuss the state of the economy in Texas and the specific impacts we can expect here in the Hill Country and in rural small towns. As a summary, Ms. Combs reported, and there was a general agreement, that Texas will weather the current economic “crisis” in much better shape than much of the nation. In addition rural Texas will be in less distress than the urban areas in part because we have always had to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and the current situation is business-as-usual for us. I have not seen any reason to be concerned about the financial health of Mason because our banks are strong, there are few big businesses to lay off workers and affect the local economy, and the sales in the stores around town continue to be healthy and strong.
The City of Mason is looking into the possibilities of extra funding through the Economic Stimulus package, and I hope that we will be able to accomplish more in the coming months because of that. Currently we are applying for a block grant to continue expanding the water looping project, and our contact person informed me last week that Mason ranking third in the region for this grant cycle so I am looking to the future very positively. There are other possibilities where we anticipate applying for funding assistance that would help meet needs in other areas to build our community. At the same time we are moving forward to completely meet requirements and regulations so that we can assure you that we are doing everything to protect the health and safety of our citizens and protect the environment as well. As you might guess, there are always many different problems to solve in a business as large and complex as the City of Mason, but we are consistently moving forward and will do all we can to serve our citizens and improve our community. In the next couple of weeks I will be reporting some of the specific programs and steps the city is taking to meet the problems, but right now I still need your ideas and suggestions on what directions we need to take. Last week I included my phone numbers and my city e-mail address which is email@example.com with the request that you share with me your comments and concerns. Honestly, I only received one e-mail in response to my request, and it is hard to lead a community of over 2000 citizens forward without knowing what you are thinking, so if you have an idea and five minutes of time please let me hear from you. My goal is to build our community into the hometown you want to live in and invite your friends and family to visit, and the best guide I can use is your ideas and comments. I hope this week to hear from more of you.
Your friend and neighbor, Brent Hinckley