Mason, Texas has some of the most beautiful people I have ever known (No I am not running for Mayor). Around the Mason Square are many people I know and have yet to know, A lot of these are small businesses who have made the "jump of faith" to try and sell their wares. Most have set up shops and pay their landlord for the privilege of doing so. This, to me is the base of the American dream.
As you walk through these shops you will find a fantastic array of goods meant to entice the traveler or the occasional passerby who sees something in the window that has to be purchased. All of our beautiful Vendors on the square not only show their wares but even refer to another vendor to try and satisfy that customer. What a place!!!
Now enter the "vampires" of the marketeering trade. Those who park the car on the square and proceed to walk from store to store telling the owner they can benefit from "Magic Orange Cleaning Spray" to "Blessed baked cookies" to a free replacement for your credit card slider to everything in between. So far it seems none of these "people" are aware of the fact that Mason has an ordinance that requires them to get a permit to solicit their wares. It is up to each storekeeper they approach to turn them around and direct them to City Hall for that purpose. The only downside to this is that everyone who walks through your shop door with something to sell, even if it to hang a poster for an upcoming event, must obtain a permit.
The upside is that everyone you direct will have the opportunity of meeting with one of the City's most knowledgeable, understanding, considerate, and kindest employees, Patti Grote. Patti will be able to explain in fine detail about that permit and even will issue it if you meet the criteria.
J C Copeland
Dear Mr. Gamel,
Recently the San Angelo newspaper wrote an article entitled:, "Cement plant moving ahead in Brady". We responded in a letter to the editor that a few important issues needed public clarification. This is not an issue of "37 families" whose lives will be directly impacted north of Brady on Hwy 377. It is about the overwhelming opposition from citizens removed from the general area and yes, this project is critical to Mason and all citizens of Mason County.
Well, for starters cement plants are notorious toxic air generators and there is no reason to assume that even though the air generally blows SE 300 days a year there are the other 65 days that it will stream directly toward Mason County having potentially negative health on your community. Asthma and respiratory problems know no county lines. But wait, there's more to this story directly concerning Mason. 35,000 additional 18 wheelers will be driving on our regional roads, roads that run through and around the Mason court house. If all tax abatement requests are honored by our local city, county and state participants the sum will be well over 1 million dollars. That's not just McCulloch county money but yours too, Mason. If health and safety are not issues enough how about another corporate entitlement (welfare) program for an inexperienced but toxic air producer in Texas?
How do you say: "trust us", and just cut the taxpayer abatement checks?
Alas, the Brady City Council thinks spending city taxpayer's money for a project outside of city limits makes perfect sense. But wait. Let's look at this thought process. 200 jobs have been promised from Middle East owners whose only physical address is an apartment in Houston. Their only experience running a US facility and meeting EPA standards are plants they own in China and Egypt. When the company was asked about their environmental track record abroad they had no data. When the council was asked about the financial backing of these owners (who have chosen never to attend any local meetings) we were told not to worry, "we are comfortable". No information has been forthcoming to vouchsafe for such blanket assurances.
It is time to say NO to taxpayer giveaways for questionable industries that can only offer an unhealthy outcome for all Central and Hill Country citizens. We ask every citizen in Mason and Mason County to consider speaking to your local and county representatives and tell them "free-lunch" government handouts for unproven enterprises doesn't work for Mason any better than it does for Brady.
Steve & Nancy Turco
PO Box 128
103 CR 306
Brady, TX 76825