Citizens of Mason County,
In the last Commissioner’s court meeting the budget for several county offices was discussed. It was reported in the Mason county news that the salary budget of the Sheriff’s Office was 65 percent gone because of overtime. This is due to the rising number of calls and investigations in our county. Crime does not stop and the Sheriff’s Office will protect the citizens of Mason County. Other reasons for the overtime pay are due to the overcrowding in our jail. Because of the number of arrests that are being made, we have to transport prisoners to Comanche County Jail to keep within the State Jail Standards of Texas so that we remain in compliance. Crime does not care if you are out of overtime pay or not and the Sheriff’s Office will work hard to keep the crime down in Mason.
There is another issue that I have heard around Mason that I want to address. It is being said that the Sheriff’s Office has bought all of these new vehicles. Here are the facts: the two new Dodge pickups were bought in 2008, before I took office. The 2005 Crown Victoria car with 130,000 miles was bought by the previous administration as was the 2008 Dodge Charger. When I became Sheriff in 2009, I sold the Dodge Charger (black Car) because it was not feasible for this area. I sold it to San Saba County for $18,000.00 and bought the 2008 Grey Dodge Durango with 17,000 miles, for about $17,500.00. The 2003 Chevrolet Tahoe, which has over 123,000 miles, was donated to us by the District Attorney’s Office in Kerrville and did not cost the County any money. Also the Sheriff’s Office has not bought radar units in over 2 years and we are going to have to buy some, or rent them, in the near future.
Trustees from the Mason County Jail have been used to help the County with the courthouse yard, and repairs around the courthouse. The jail trustees have helped paint and do work inside and out of the old Post Office that Mason County bought in 2009, saving the county labor costs. Our trustee’s have helped Mason County with a lot of repairs on county buildings which has saved the county and taxpayers a lot of money.
The Sheriff’s Office has saved on some of the video cameras we purchased. We bought two cameras, both for under $500.00, from a website called GovDeals.com. The cameras we bought would have cost $2,500.00 to $3,000.00 each if they had been purchased new. These cameras are required in patrol vehicles for law enforcement and all 5 patrol vehicles have cameras. We recently purchased 4 light bars for the patrol vehicles from Garland Police Department. The cost for all four light bars was $1.00, (yes, that’s $1.00). These light bars would have cost $1,500.00 to $2,000.00 each, new. The Sheriff’s Office does, and will continue, to save the Tax payer’s money and we are always looking for ways to save tax dollars in the future.
The City of Mason and the County of Mason have an Interlocal Agreement regarding Law Enforcement because there is no police department in Mason. So the cost of a new deputy position as well as any other expenditures, should be divided between the county and the city. The Sheriff’s Office is going to have to keep the pay scale up for our employees to compete with surrounding County Sheriff’s Offices for Deputies, Jailers and Dispatchers. Right now in the Sheriff’s Office, we have over 150 years of combined Law Enforcement experience. We also have a good staff of Jailers and Dispatches. This is a good thing for Mason County and its citizens, and we need to keep it that way. If the Citizens of Mason County have any questions or comments, please come by the Sheriff’s Office and talk with me. The Sheriff’s Office is here for the citizens of Mason County. You can contact me by phone at 325-347-5252, or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mason County Sheriff Buster Nixon