Last Thursday evening was the Chamber of Commerce banquet, as you can tell from the photos and articles elsewhere in this paper, and it was particularly enjoyable to share with the community as some of the generous and committed citizens and business people were honored. As is true each year, the awards are just one way we have to show our appreciation to the men and women who work so hard to make our town the best hometown in Texas and we owe each of this year’s recipients, as well as those from previous years who continue to work within our community, a round of applause and a warm "thank you". Every community requires the work of many different people to grow and thrive, and Mason has an abundance of great citizens that are willing to give and participate in the many activities that make us the unique and exciting town we are. A special congratulations and thank you go out to this year’s winners, and I feel a sincere appreciation for all those who have labored and been honored in the past, both those named citizens and those unrecognized workers who have built our town and left us a community that has such a rich heritage.
In City business there are many different things going on, as is always the case, and I am confident that the problems we have this week are only stepping stones to the better services and activities we can provide in the future. We had an inspection at the landfill last week and had a couple of problems, but the city crews are already working to correct the issues and resolve the problems to meet the permit requirements. The waste water treatment facility is also being worked on to increase the efficiency and provide a satisfactory process for treating the sewer water from the entire town. The electric crews are working to complete the final stages of the upgrade of our city electric distribution system to the high voltage and higher efficiency that will result when all of the system is complete. Work is also ongoing at the animal control facility, and the recycling department is waiting on the new trailers that were recently ordered and funded by a grant that we recently received. As you can see there is a lot happening around the town, and I think that John Palacio, our new City Administrator, has had a whirlwind introduction in the past three weeks to what it means to stay on top of all the activities that happen around Mason.
There are a couple of things that you, the citizens, can do to help in the ongoing activities around town. For one, in the next few days you should begin receiving the 2010 Census forms and one of the important tasks we all have is to quickly fill them out and return them so that there is less one-on-one difficulty in counting all of our inhabitants. There are only ten questions on this year’s form, and it should not take more than ten minutes to fill it out, and your participation could help us as we work to get all of the grant funds and other governmental monies that could benefit all of us. When you get your form, look it over and fill it out and you will be helping to build Mason; and I can’t see anything in any of the questions that would be difficult or intrusive and I see no reason to delay the process this time around. The other issue that you might want to continue to keep in mind and make an effort to contribute your time to is the citizen input regarding the transmission lines being considered to route through Mason County. The forms that LCRA handed out at the open house a couple of weeks ago are still available at the City Office, and they will continue to accept forms by mail or fax up until March 10, so take a few minutes to share your opinions. There will be other opportunities to share concerns and opinions with other people, but we need to all contribute to this issue so that the final decision represents our community and not just some few bureaucrat’s idea of a good solution.
Mason is a great hometown, and with all of the activity around town recently it is likely that improvements are on the way and happening all around us. But it will be your hometown and will best represent your ideas and interests if you are involved, and you may not get an award every year but it is our hometown and we each can contribute a little bit to make it better. Think about how you can share your suggestions and talents, and let me know if there is a way I can help to work together to make Mason better.
Your friend and neighbor, Brent Hinckley