Mason County News
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City Discusses Streets, Water and Budget
Wednesday, August 19, 2009 • Posted August 19, 2009

During the City of Mason's August 13 meeting (rescheduled due to the death of Commissioner Jared Carter's mother), the group discussed performance questions about the street department, and worked on the final budget numbers.

During the July meeting, the group had scheduled a discussion of the performance reviews for the municipal judge and the street department; but, had reached the conclusion that they did not have adequate performance measures. At this August meeting, that was again an issue that caused the group to move into discussions about how to evaluate some of the City's positions.

Municipal Judge Jill Williams appeared before the commission to explain how she runs her office, and how she handles her workflow. She noted that if she does not get cases referred to her, she is unable to place them on the docket, and noted that she had almost nothing sent her way in June and July.

The Commission then began a very long discussion about the street department. Commissioners William Beaty and Jared Carter questioned the amount of work, and the quality, of the department, while Commissioner Anna Velez commented that she felt they were specifically targeting one department of the city (Commissioner Bob Vacek was absent from the meeting).

Commissioner Beaty noted that he felt there were issues relating to maintenance of vehicles and attention to preventitive repairs of streets. Commissioner Carter commented that, "They don't have pride in their work."

Mayor Brent Hinckley made note that a better schedule of maintenance was needed for all City vehicles, and had been approached in the past. He also suggested that a comprehensive plan for approaching street repairs might help the department remain current on its repair schedule.

In other business, the commission heard a presentation from John Copeland concerning reading of meters (electric and water). Mr. Copeland explained the reading schedules in the past, and also detailed the attempts being made currently to provide for a timely and accurate reading.

The City Commission also voted to move ahead with grant applications to investigate installing a reverse osmosis water station for city residents. The water station would be located at the east end of the Richard P. Eckert Civic Center. Residents of the City would be able to fill up their personal water jugs, at no cost. Mayor Hinckley explained that this was a move to alleviate the ongoing problems of radium traces in the water supply.

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