Sunday, May 26, 2024

Rep. Shelby Slawson cuts ribbon on new district office

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State Rep. Shelby Slawson now has a new office — and it’s right here in Hood County.

Slawson — who has represented the 59th District in the Texas House of Representative since 2021 — hosted a grand opening and ribbon cutting celebration April 10 for her new district office located on the third floor of the Hood County Courthouse.

The Hood County Commissioners Court unanimously voted Feb. 27 to allow Slawson to use the office without charge.

During the February meeting, Slawson explained to the court that she has had the distinct pleasure of serving about 195,000 central Texans, as House District 59 covers the counties of Hood, Erath, Hamilton and Coryell — covering a little over 4,000 square miles in total.

"That's a lot of territory to cover to serve our people, so unlike some of my counterparts in the city, we have a lot of asphalt that we burn up getting to our people,” Slawson said during the Feb. 27 meeting. “We have — for the last several years — taken an approach to public meetings and mobile office hours in lieu of planning routes in any particular location.

“But after this last year, when we had about 1,900 constituent cases that we handled, we think it's time to try and have a fixed location and see how our constituents might utilize that, in addition to mobile office hours. We're very grateful for the opportunity to partner with you and have a physical space at your gorgeous historical courthouse here in Granbury,” she added.

The grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony was hosted by the Granbury Chamber of Commerce, as several community leaders and elected officials showed their support for Slawson — including State Sen. Brian Birdwell.

“This is Shelby's moment,” Birdwell said. “It's just appropriate for me to simply say, ‘Welcome to the Hood.’”

As Slawson welcomed everyone to her office’s official grand opening, she revealed that over the course of the last year, she has received about 5,000 emails and calls requesting her assistance.

"Sometimes it's the DMV, maybe another state agency they need help with, but people need some help,” she said. “So, we're so delighted to have a fixed location here in Granbury, where we can meet with folks and serve people. We are especially grateful to our county judge and the commissioners for donating space up on the third floor for us to use to help serve Hood County, Erath County and anybody who wants to come up this way and meet with us.”

Slawson then joked about the time that a colleague revealed how he can be in one part of his district, call home and say, “Put a pizza in the oven,” and he would get home by the time the pizza was ready.

"I listen to him like, ‘Well that must be nice, but if you do that in the place where I serve, like you're gonna be calling the VFD and things are gonna be on fire,’” she said, chuckling. "You can't do that here. But we are so glad and honored to get to open an office, welcome you into it, and I thank you for coming out today.”

According to Slawson’s Facebook page, office days and hours are by appointment only until a regular schedule is set up. Other parts of the district will also continue to use mobile office hours and technology as well.