Last week, on Monday January 10, the City Commission met in its first regular meeting of 2011 and discussed and acted upon several issues that are important to the citizens of our community. As was reported and shown with photos on the back page of last week’s paper, after lengthy discussion the Commission voted to appoint Tammy Gardner to fill the unexpired term of Commissioner to represent District 1. I sincerely appreciate all of the individuals who were willing to be considered for this position, and all of the citizens who took time to express their interest in this issue, and I look forward to working with a "full" Commission as we discuss the problems and issues facing the City in the future. Also be aware that in the next month we will be setting the schedule and calling the spring municipal elections that will affect the Commission seats for Districts 2 and 4. If you would like more information about those elections, please feel free to contact me or the City Secretary for details.
At last week’s meeting, we also discussed and chose not to make any change in the garbage fees for locations with a minimum usage. The Commission did act to set an additional city holiday for Columbus Day next fall, rather than the "floating" holiday left up to the employee’s discretion, and we authorized the city staff to solicit bids for the Bank Depository contract that needs to be acted upon this spring. There was also considerable discussion about the possibility of enacting a nighttime curfew for school age children in the City of Mason. The idea of a curfew was recently brought forward by Commissioner Beaty and will require consideration from many different angles to ensure that it is a good idea and also meets the real needs of parents and the community and is at the same time enforceable and practical. This is one idea that I believe needs to be thoroughly discussed and the concerns of the community need to be heard clearly, so if you have ideas, suggestions or just feel that this a good (or bad) idea, I would ask that you please contact your Commissioner or let me know. You can leave a message for me at the City office at 347-6449 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime and I will share your thoughts with the Commissioners.
Also last week I went with several others from Mason to Austin to participate in the PUC hearings regarding the final decision about the routing of the large Transmission line through the Hill Country. As I have shared in another article in this paper, it appears that the route segment that would impact Mason County will NOT be considered when the final route is chosen in the next few days. This certainly seems to be a victory for our community after the many, many hours of meetings and the vast volume of written comments that have been made regarding the negative impacts of this on our County, and this is the final step in a process that has been occupying the efforts of Judge Bearden and myself along with a number of local citizens for the past sixteen months. Although this transmission line must be built somewhere in the Hill Country and thus will have some negative impacts on some of our neighbors, we are pleased that we can continue to work together to preserve the rural heritage that makes Mason unique. This is one more example of our community working to make Mason the best hometown in Texas, and with your input and support we will continue to work to improve our town and pass it on to future generations as a better place than we found it.
Your friend and neighbor, Brent Hinckley