CITY OF KATY (Covering Katy News) – Bill Hastings was sworn in as mayor of Katy Tuesday night, and it appears the honeymoon period has kicked-off after an unusually rough and tumble mayor’s race that saw the former police chief unseat his former boss Chuck Brawner. Just 24-hours earlier the city council meeting ended abruptly with two members walking out, denying the needed quorum to continue. Tuesday night was a much more civil affair with Mayor Brawner chastising a local critic who stepped to the podium in an overt attempt to sour the night for Hastings.
“We just want positive comments tonight,” Brawner told audience members who would be taking part in the public comments portion of the council meeting. Brawner’s words drew loud applause from the standing-room-only audience that flowed from the council chamber into the first-floor hallway.
In what had to be a difficult night for the departing mayor, he quietly took control and sent a clear message that he wanted a smooth transition and a gracious evening.
Hastings took the oath as his wife Susan and numerous family members watched the historic event.
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In remarks after being handed the gavel from Brawner, Hastings said he would continue the projects Brawner started, just as Brawner continued the projects that his predecessor, Fabol Hughes, had worked on.
Hastings defeated incumbent Mayor Chuck Brawner in his first bid for elective office. Hastings becomes the 16thmayor in Katy history. He will serve a three-year term thanks to voter-approved changes in 2017 that lengthens the mayor’s term of office.
Ward A Council Member Frank Carroll and Ward B Council Member Jenifer Jordan Stockdick were also sworn in after their May 4 victory. Carroll ran unopposed and was completing the term of Gary Jones, who resigned for personal reasons. Last night he began his own term as a council member. Stockdick defeated Steve Pierson, a former council member, to win her seat. Stockdick succeeds Jimmy Mendez, who was term-limited from seeking reelection.
Fire chief Russell Wilson spoke during the public comments portion of the meeting, standing at the podium and identifying himself as a resident of Katy, not as the fire chief. He complimented Brawner for transitioning the fire department from volunteer to fulltime and listed several other public safety accomplishments.
“Under your leadership, you’ve always fought for public safety,” Wilson said before he presented Brawner with a framed document commemorating Brawner’s service to Katy.
Kayce Reyna, the city’s director of marketing, also commemorated the city’s accomplishments during the Brawner Administration with a PowerPoint presentation. It was something that she was unable to complete without becoming choked up.
Mayor Hastings begins his first day on the job today. He will be meeting with his department heads at City Hall.
The newly sworn-in council holds its first regular meeting June 17, at City Hall.
See photos below.
George Slaughter contributed to this article.