There are a number of ways you can participate in the City of Mason and help to make this a better community. There are certainly opportunities at the School with our youth and at the Senior Center, at the Food Bank or at the Library, at one of the Museums or at the Thrift Store; however the City itself has a few ways you can be involved. We are in the middle of developing our budget for the next year, and we would be pleased to hear your ideas and suggestions on how we can improve our town and provide the funding to make that happen. Your concerns and thoughts are important and will be heard anytime, or you can come to any City Commission meeting and voice them (please note that I have cancelled the regularly scheduled meeting for next Monday, August 8 and rescheduled for a Special meeting on Monday, August 22 to deal with all of this month’s issues). You are also involved in City business and helping our town as you conserve water during this drought time, since the City is responsible for providing water to all of our residents. At the end of July we totaled the gallons of water the City pumped, and the total was just 26,728,800 gallons. That sounds like a lot, and it is, but realize that in June we pumped more than 30 Million gallons, and now in the hottest and driest month we have experienced in recent years you have “saved” over 3 Million gallons by conserving our water. Other communities are having severe drought restrictions, but with the help of our residents we can look forward to having enough water to meet the actual needs of everyone.Another place many of our residents are contributing to our community, and all of you can, is through the Recycling program that the City operates on Ave F. We have made some improvements during the past several months, and starting the first of August we have hired Donna Stockbridge as the new Recycling Supervisor. The City received a Grant from the Concho Valley COG and with those funds we have added some much needed self-dumping bins for materials, and we have purchased an electric “fork lift” to move materials and bales of recyclables within the building without the noise and smell of the old forklift. We will be making some more changes in the flow of materials and much clearer signage to direct our citizens as they drop off plastics, cans and paper products. A year ago the Recycling Center processed about 180 TONS of material, and this year we will certainly improve on that total, and every item recycled is something that will not be filling up our landfill. I know that in our household, now that Monica has trained me to recycle well, I carry out over twice as much recycling “trash” as I carry out landfill trash! There will be more articles and information about the Recycling efforts of our town in future columns, but if you do not recycle much at this time, now would be a great time to add this as another way you can participate in making Mason the best hometown in Texas. One other change that we have made in the City staff is the addition of Audrey Morquecho to take over Animal Control. If you have problems with domestic animals or with small wildlife at your home, let us know in the City office and we will see about bringing traps out to try and help with these irritations. Our job at the City is to provide the best service we can to all of our residents, and we have made some good strides lately, but we can only do the best job if you will help and add your participation to make Mason a great hometown. In whatever way you feel best, whether it is recycling, or sharing your suggestions and ideas, or just being careful and conserving water in your daily life, you can help as we work together to improve our community.
Your friend and neighbor, Brent Hinckley