Newly elected Katy officials stress unity
Candidates elected by Katy voters on May 4 took their office at a special May 13 Katy City Council meeting following a canvassing of the vote and the word of the day was unity.
Referring to the pledges to the United States and Texas, Ward A Councilman Frank O. Carroll III said he didn’t see why officials couldn’t pledge to be one city, one indivisible. “I know there are people who thrive on conflict and there are people that like conflict. But I will tell you you’re going to be sorely disappointed.
“This was a divisive election but this is a good and pleasant community and I’m looking forward to coming together with everyone in this community and getting us back to the way we were after Hurricane Harvey — united because we are much stronger together than we are apart.”
Quoting from the Bible, Carroll referred to Psalm 133:1 “which tells us how good and pleasant it is for God’s people to live together in unity.”
Mayor Pro Tem Durran Dowdle started the 5:30 p.m. meeting about 15 minutes late in the absence of Katy Mayor Chuck Brawner who when he arrived apologized to the packed council chambers. Brawner explained that he had the wrong time written down for the start of the meeting. City Council meetings usually start at 6:30 p.m.
The Tuesday special meeting also followed an abbreviated City Council session on May 13 that ended when council lost its quorum after At-large Councilman Chris Harris and Ward B Councilman James “Jimmy” Mendez left. They wanted to postpone discussion of ordinance amendments relative to re-employment of previously suspended employees and providing a penalty for the public release of executive session information. A majority of council voted 3-2 to proceed with an executive session which prompted the two officials to leave.
At the May 13 meeting, City Secretary Melissa A. “Missy” Bunch read the results of the May 4 election which were canvassed by City Council. The official totals are: Mayor — Chuck Brawner 847 and William (Bill) Hastings 1,246; Ward A Council: Carroll 637; Ward B Council: Steve Pierson 595 and Jenifer Jordan Stockdick 671. Jocelyn Urech, city associate judge, administered the oath of office to Carroll, Hastings and Stockdick.
“Well, this is a very honoring and humbling night,” said Hastings. “I want to thank everyone that supported me. This was a tough race for everyone. There was a lot of controversy in it which the city of Katy normally has never seen. I spoke with everybody on council. We all have one common goal. We’re all up here for the same reason,” said Hastings. “That is to continue to make Katy, Texas, the city and the community that everybody wants to move here for. So, all differences aside. You know differences are what makes a good council.”
He said it wasn’t necessary for council and city administrators to have the same thought process. “It’s kind of like it takes a group to make a wise decision,” said Hastings. He referred to his service as police chief and remembered thinking that he had come up with a wise decision. After meeting with officers, Hastings said he would leave the meeting wondering where he had gotten his hair-brained idea and talked of the importance of different views.
“I think we’re fortunate enough to have up here different views, different characteristics, different personalities,” he said of City Council, “and with that I don’t see how we can do anything but succeed. We’re all here for one purpose: To serve the citizens of this community.”
Stockdick also thanked everyone for their support and prayers. “I’m super excited to be doing this. I feel thrilled and honored to really be part of the city and continue to serve.” She has served on the city’s Convention and Tourism Bureau and is an alternate to the city’s Zoning Board of Adjustment.
“We really want to be a united city. We want to come together,” she said. “We are here to serve you all. We want to hear what your input is. We’re doing our best to make it happen. I just look for us all to come together as one.”
Outgoing officials Mendez and Brawner received praise for their service from the public and other officials at the May 13 and 14 meetings. Dr. Oto Cantu, who has criticized Hastings actions and comments, spoke at the May 14 meeting. Later, Hastings said, “Dr. Cantu, you have pestered me for 10 years. I appreciate your comments. You’re quite entertaining and I look forward to see you again. Thank you for being here.”