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City of Mason, Texas Mason, Texas - Gem of the Hill Country Lone Star Cut Topaz - Official Gemstone of Texas!

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P.O. Box 68
Mason, TX  76856

124 Moody Street
Phone: 325-347-6449
Fax: 325-347-5955

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Mason, TX 76856


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November 17th at 5:30 pm

Richard P. Eckert Civic Center

 City Corner

A Note from our Mayor concerning the trash pickup:

     At last night’s City Commission meeting there was significant discussion about the values and concerns in the two options for a new trash truck for the City.  After much consideration at this meeting and the previous, and after listening to the many opinions voiced by local citizens, the Commission decided to move ahead with purchasing the newer type side load sanitation truck.  We realize that this will require some changes in the habits and routes of our trash collection, and the need for a change in the type of trash container that most of us use.  However, after considering the advantages to the work environment and safety of our crews and finding reasonable answers to most all of the concerns that we heard voiced it seemed best to work out the various issues and move forward with the newer approach to trash collection. 

     The actual procedures that will be needed to adopt these changes will be discussed and settled over the next couple of months, and there will be several attempts to educate our residents on the adjustments so please look for these in the paper and through other news sources.  We did have a truck at the meeting to demonstrate to the Commission and visiting citizens just what is involved, there are samples of the various size trash containers in the City office for citizens to examine, we have determined to standardize with dark green containers rather than any bright colors, and our crews have ridden with Fredericksburg trash crews and they are very pleased and in favor of the change.  I will be writing in the next couple of weeks in my newspaper column about these issues, but since you had particularly voiced your concerns and opinions I wanted you to know as soon as reasonable that a decision has been made.  Although often it seems that governments do not listen to the citizens and make choices that are opposed to their wishes (I certainly have had that opinion at times) I want to assure you that we at the City did listen to every comment made and worked very hard to try and resolved the issues and come up with the best options for the present and the future or our community.  I continue to solicit your thoughts and hope that you understand that your City tries very hard to provide the best service we can with the limitations we face. 

Thanks for your previous comments and please continue to let me know your suggestions,

Brent Hinckley

CITY CORNER by Mayor Brent Hinckley


     For the past few weeks I have been writing about the decision concerning the need to purchase a new trash truck and the various aspects and concerns of that decision.  At the City Commission meeting last week we discussed it at length and had a number of citizens attend to share their thoughts and concerns, but in the end we tabled the decision for another month to be sure that we give consideration to all aspects of the issue.  One of the primary considerations in this decision is to listen to the residents and their opinions since a decision to make a change would impact each of us in various ways.  At this point I have received quite a number of responses to my request for citizens to share their experiences and concerns, and I am pleased that we are hearing your suggestions and ideas.  I would have to say that the largest group of residents that has taken the time to share with me have had complaints about the side arm trash truck and the need for some standardization in the type of very large garbage cans and how the trash is left for pickup.  These are certainly legitimate concerns and issues, however the City Commission is still undecided which direction to take.  

     I would like to take a few minutes to explain some of the issues that arise from collecting the trash and why we are still considering the new side arm truck.  For one thing, we have been accused of just wanting to "modernize" and take on "big city attitudes" in making a change and the argument goes that Mason is a small town and should keep doing this the old-fashioned way.  I totally agree that the small town rural atmosphere is a great part of the joy of living in Mason, but there are other factors that are important.  The old style truck, which we will still utilize for some of our trash collection regardless of the decision on the new truck, requires at least one and usually two people to ride on the back in absolutely all kinds of weather to load the trash.  Whether it is a drenching rainy day, sunny and blazingly hot, cloudy and bitterly cold, overwhelmingly windy or just a perfect spring day, those workers are out in the weather for several hours a day picking up trash.  Also, some of our residents have little consideration of the weight or containment of their trash and those workers have to pick up and haul the trash to the truck and throw it in the back.  There is no other job in the City staff that results in as many injuries and strains that sometimes require several weeks for recuperation, and there have been cases in other small towns in our area where the trash handlers ended up in the hospital from toxic waste they had to handle.

      One of the City Commissioners has in the past worked for the City and rode on the trash truck and did this job, and his response is that anything we can do to remove some of the hazards and make this a better job is a very good thing.  Also, one of our current employees who is "hands on" involved in the daily collection of trash has voiced his concerns including "the large amounts of trash that are left without proper containment.  Many homes do not place their trash into garbage cans or garbage bags.  This leaves workers with exposure to unbagged used toilet paper, uncapped used syringes, and other unidentifiable liquids that are sprayed from the back of the truck when the trash is compacted.  This happens regularly.  The use of standardized garbage cans and a self-loading truck would eliminate these health hazards."  These are the words of one of our trash collection employees and as you can see the solid waste department is in favor of the change to a side loading truck, and actually they are 100% behind the change!  

      One of the concerns that several residents have raised is the standardized "very large" garbage cans that are bulky, heavy and far beyond the needs of some of smaller and older households.  That is a problem we had foreseen, but one of the solutions escaped my previous articles and that is the fact that these new trash cans are available is several smaller sizes that might better fit the individual needs of many of our residents.  We have contacted the firm that makes these cans and they should this week be shipping us samples of the smaller cans that we can have available in a common location so that anyone who would like to see and handle them can do so.  In addition to the large 96 gallon can that seems standard in the big cities (because it should certainly hold the household garbage from most every home) we should be getting a 48 gallon can and a 24 gallon can which is even smaller than the regular garbage can and is wheeled as well so should be easily handled by most everyone and meet the needs of more of our smaller households.  These sample garbage cans should be in town soon and we will let you know where you can go to see them.  One advantage of these cans is that they are designed to withstand the lifting arm so that they are not crushed, and in addition they have a hinged lid so that it never gets lost or out-of-round and does not fit well anymore.   

    Another issue that has been brought up is the extra noise and issues of placing the trash cans properly.  We are unsure just how to judge this, but we are planning to send one of our employees to another town to ride with their side arm trucks for a day so that he can actually see and come back with real information that might help us in deciding.  We are trying to look at all aspects of this decision and hope that we can make the best decision for our town, and I sincerely appreciate all of the residents who have given us their own opinions and thoughts.

     There are several sides to this issue, much as there is with many of the concerns that affect our town, and we are trying to give some measure of consideration to all aspects.  Undoubtedly we will come to a decision that will not be pleasing to everyone, but be assured we are trying to do the best for our hometown.  If you have more thoughts, I would be glad to still hear from you at and we will consider what  you have to share.   In November we will hopefully reach a decision, and we hope that we can continue to provide the best leadership for our community and continue to improve our town so that we can continue to brag that Mason is the best hometown in Texas.

Your friend and neighbor,  Brent 



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