KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
May 16, 2019
By Natalie Cook Clark
Katy's Mayor Bill Hastings, the former Chief of Katy's Police, took office this week and spent his first day in meetings familiarizing himself with projects and making plans for Katy's future. Hastings beat out incumbent Chuck Brawner for the City of Katy's Mayor.
Mayor Bill Hastings and his wife Susan at Tuesday's swearing-in ceremony. Photo Credit: Bill Hastings.
Sworn in as Katy's Mayor on Tuesday
Former Katy Police Chief Bill Hastings was sworn in during the Katy City Council meeting on Tuesday night. He took the oath surrounded by family and friends.
"As police chief I stayed in my lane so now I need to spend time with city administration and the city attorney familiarizing myself with projects," says Hastings. "There is so much going on that you aren't aware of and great people making these things happen."
Work Started Right Away
"I spent today catching up to speed, slated projects, completion projects, etc. I really enjoyed my first day and the atmosphere and excitement that everyone had," says Hastings. "This is also the time of year when budgets are discussed. Right now we have a meeting coming up with the City Council, City Administrator, project heads, and more to discuss everything and set the tone for the year. At this meeting we'll discuss what needs to come first and lay out the plan." This meeting is expected to happen the first week of June.
Continuing Projects in Works By Mayor Brawner
"Mayor Brawner started projects that we will continue," says Hastings. One such project Hastings discussed is the south side of the Magnolia ditch. "That is coming along, of course many projects are affected by the weather. The First Street project is really coming along and depending on weather could be finished soon," says Hastings. "I also want to see a new study done on the Riceland Terrace area of Morton Road."
Photo credit: Tiffany Lanza
Flooding Remains a Top Issue
A major issue on the forefront of everyone's mind is flooding. "Regarding flooding, we are more prepared now than before but we have to continue to work with and address the flood retention in the north. This cannot happen overnight," explains Hastings. "What we experienced in the Tax Day flood and especially Harvey was a God event that I hope never happens again."
Focusing on Katy's Green Space
Hastings also wants to devote attention to Katy's green space. "Parks and green space makes everyone feel better," says Hastings. "Inside the City of Katy we have some wonderful parks but I think they need attention." Hastings discussed an idea of creating a walking trail to connect Thomas Park to the VFW and City Park.
Plans to Benefit All Katy Citizens
The coming weeks, months, and next three years of Hastings' term will be busy as he works to continue to lead Katy into the future its residents deserve.
"Strategic plans need to go into place and that's what we're working on doing," says Hastings. "I don't get to make all the plans. We make plans to benefit all Katy citizens."
Blessed with Support
Hastings is blessed to have a huge support in his friends and family. While he is often modest about his accomplishments and service, his wife of over 30 years is quick to brag.
"She's my biggest cheerleader and without her I would have never been able to do this (become Mayor) and I wouldn't have done it without her support," says Hastings.
Katy Resident Almost 50 Years
Bill and Susan Hastings have lived in Katy since 1971. “I have five children and all my children are married so this gives us 10!” says Hastings. They now have nine grandchildren.
One of Katy Magazine's "2017 People of the Year"
Last December, Katy Police Department announced the retirement of Hastings after 32 years on the force. During that time he served Katy to his fullest including rallying and leading the City through the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. Hastings wasn't done with his service and announced his run for Mayor with his retirement. Because of his dedication and service through the years, Katy Magazine named Hastings to the list of "People of the Year" for 2017. Read more here.
"I'm looking forward to getting my feet on the ground and serving Katy," says Hastings.
Hastings won the Katy Mayoral race with 1,246 votes to incumbent Brawner's 847. He will serve a three-year term until the next city mayoral election.
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