School has been back in session for a couple of months, football is half over, and we all tend to forget some of the things that were on our minds at the first of school. For one thing, the signs are out prohibiting the use of cell phones in a school zone, so now the Sheriff’s deputies are stopping drivers violating that rule and can give a ticket for it. I have also had complaints from concerned citizens about drivers not paying close attention and speeding on outlying city streets during the times children are picked up or dropped off from school buses. Particularly in the early mornings, when it is still dark out, there are children gathering on streets, such as Pontotoc on the north side of town, and it is critical that every driver pay careful attention to our children. The life and health of every child is vital to our community, and if it takes just a little longer to slow down and be extra careful around them we should all be willing to take the effort to protect our future. As we drive around town keep alert every day and at all times of day to avoid the children who often do not realize the danger they might cause.
The other primary way that our future is being impacted is the consideration of our county for a possible route for the large transmission lines that LCRA is expected to build in the next few years. This is another issue where we all need to take a few extra minutes to be aware of the problems and carefully consider what we need to do to respond appropriately. Each citizen who has a concern about this is encouraged to write a letter to the Public Utilities Commission, to the LCRA planning group, or to your elected officials about your specific viewpoints. If you need additional information or the correct addresses, please stop by City Hall and we will help. A group of concerned land owners and business people has now formed a non-profit organization to try to influence this decision and provide a focus for the local citizens to have input. Also, Judge Bearden and I met today with some other concerned persons to consider and move forward with a way our City and County can work together to provide additional ways that any planning that will impact our community must be coordinated with a local board. I am sure that we are moving forward in the right directions to preserve our heritage and scenic beauty for generations to come, but it is still important to keep the work moving forward. The letters I have seen have been great, and the local support group is a giant step in the right direction as shared in the article in this paper. And now the directions the City and County are moving to work together should assure our community is heard and the impacts we might feel locally are taken into consideration in the decisions made in Austin that effect our Hill Country.
I have a great respect for the settlers that came to this region and began life anew in the shadow of Fort Mason. It is up to us to continue to build the community that will preserve their heritage for many years to come. We no longer have to live with the discomfort of wood heat and no cooling, the darkness of no electricity, the challenges of just dirt roads, or the lack of conveniences with no water mains, no sewer lines or no garbage pickup; but none the less we must be alert to the ways our hometown and our lifestyle can be distorted by the decisions that are made around us. It is important that each of us is alert to the things going on around us and it is critical that you voice your concerns, problems and ideas to your elected officials. Let’s keep Mason the best hometown in Texas for next year and for the many years to come.
Your friend and neighbor, Brent Hinckley