The past week of warm weather and the bluebonnets popping their heads up and starting to bathe the roadsides with color are both a definite sign that spring has come to Central Texas. Some of the changes of Spring are welcome and like the weather we all enjoy them and everyone seems to have a smile on their faces. Other changes, like the "spring forward" of daylight savings time are perhaps less welcome, and most people seem to place the start of this year’s Census in that category. However, if you give a few minutes to consider the Census and learn more about how it will be run this year, it may seem more of a good thing than the burden most people seem to expect. Every ten years the government tries to count everyone who lives in America and find out just where they are on April 1, and sometimes in the past they tried to gather as much information as possible and often people felt the government had stepped on our individual privacy in the process.
This year’s Census is intended to be more in line with the simple need to get a national "head count" and will avoid many privacy concerns that I have heard expressed about previous counts. There are only 10 questions and they only ask about the address and ownership of a residence and the names, genders, ages and races of the people living in the household. One citizen who I talked with said that it took much less than the advertised 10 minutes to complete and there were no questions that raised any concerns to them; it was not the most fun they had ever had, but it certainly was not a burden. Because the federal rules do not allow the forms to be mailed to Post Office Boxes, there are a number of local people who are going door to door around town to deliver the forms, and I hope you will look favorably on receiving your Census forms and will promptly fill it out and drop it in the mail to return it. It only takes a few minutes, and we will all benefit from getting an accurate count of the people that make up our community.
There will be more information in the next weeks about the Census, a Census Day Celebration is being planned locally for April 1, and it is my hope that we will all look on the 2010 Census as no burden like the past, but an easy way we can cooperate in a government function that only adds benefit to us. If you would like more information there is a good website at 2010census.gov or call us at the city office and we will try to find an answer. In fact, if you have any problems or concerns around town let us know. There are several changes happening around Mason this spring and we want to hear from you if there are any concerns or suggestions about any of the city actions and programs. We are committed to making Mason the best hometown in Texas, and with your help and input we are well on track to being the very best.
Your friend and neighbor, Brent Hinckley