In the past two columns I have mentioned that the City Commission is considering the feasibility of establishing a curfew, but there have been some misunderstandings about this issue that need to be corrected. For one, this is just under discussion and has not been voted on and therefore is not in effect at this time. We are gathering information about curfews in other localities and the assorted issues involved, and have discussed it in one open meeting, but before it is even placed in Ordinance format there is still several issues to be considered and worked out. Secondly, the curfew under consideration is not for adults, but is just being considered for our younger citizens under 17 years of age who might be out after about 11:00 at night. If you are over 17 years old, this would not affect you, unless you have school age children, and then there are several considerations being considered regarding travel from school functions, work or other specific activities to the young adult’s home without getting in any trouble.
It is not my intent, or the desire of our City Commission, to adopt any new rules that might be difficult or burdensome on our citizens. Indeed our goal is to listen to our community and provide the framework that will improve the entire town while protecting the health and safety of our citizens, and the idea of a curfew has been brought up as possibility that needs to be considered. We will be discussing this for the next couple of months, and if you have any concerns we would very much like to hear from you, so please contact your Commissioner or the City Staff or stop me around town and let us know your thoughts. Also, if you would like to come to a City Commission meeting to observe or voice your ideas, the next regular meeting has been changed to Thursday, February 10, 2011 at 5:30 p.m. at the Richard Eckert Civic Center and we would be glad to have you there.
There is another problem that we are having in the City and we need several people to help us. Every month, between about the 10th of the month and the 15th, the city crews go all around town to read the electric and water meters so that the office staff can prepare the utility bills accurately. Recently we have found that more people have protective dogs in yards or chained close to meters, or have locked gates that prevent our crews from getting close enough to get an accurate read on some of the meters. It is in your best interest as well as more efficient for the city if they can quickly come into your yard and read the meter at the proper time and not have to schedule an extra visit or "estimate" the usage and create an inaccurate billing. If you have a dog or any other obstruction keeping our crew from your meters, we would very much appreciate your help in keeping the path clear for these couple of days each month so that we can complete a complex job in a timely manner.
If you have any questions or have any additional concerns, please call the city office at 347-6449 and talk with the staff or John Palacio about your situation. Thank you for your help, and together we will continue working to make Mason the very best hometown in Texas.
Your friend and neighbor, Brent Hinckley