CITY OF KATY (Covering Katy News)—Retiring Katy Police Chief Bill Hastings said Thursday he intends to run for mayor next year against incumbent Chuck Brawner, who on the same day announced his intention to seek a second term.
“I just want to have everybody on the same page,” Hastings said. “All the city employees, subdivisions—I’m not sure how inclusive they feel. I want the city and citizens to all be as one. I want this to be a vibrant community that’s inclusive to everybody here. I want to have a tighter sense of community than what we’ve seen over the last few years with all the growth we’ve taken.”
This will be Hastings’s first campaign for public office.
“I’ve dealt with politicians for a long time, but I am not a politician,” Hastings said. “I just have a genuine love and care for this city. I’ve spent 43 years of my life in community service—public safety, fire, police and EMS. I think I’ve got more good years, and that’s why I decided to run.”
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Hastings said he had been thinking of stepping down as chief for about a year. He is the third chief in Katy Police Department history, having been appointed to that role in 2009. His retirement as chief is effective Jan. 15.
“I’ve had a great career here,” Hastings said. “I’ve had people who helped me, taught me and mentored me. I’ve had nothing but an outstanding career with the Katy Police Department and the City of Katy. This is just a way to continue my services and love for this community.”
Hastings suggested that assistant chief Tim Tyler would be a strong candidate to succeed him as chief.
“He’s been with the department a little over 26 years,” Hastings said. “He’s been assistant chief for 10 years. He knows my job.”
The department has a long history of hiring its chief from within.
Hastings said he was taught early in his career to have someone prepared to take over when necessary. Failing to do this, he said, means one hasn’t done his job. He expressed confidence in Tyler.
“He’s more than capable of stepping in and taking over,” Hastings said. “Some things he will want to change and make his own. We have a culture that he will continue to nurture.”
As for his political aspirations, Hastings said he has thought about running for mayor for the past two months, and told Brawner of his intentions at a late Wednesday afternoon meeting at City Hall.
In addition to the mayor’s race, a Ward A and Ward B council seat are also up for election. The Ward A incumbent, Frank Carroll, was appointed to the seat earlier this year and is expected to run. The Ward B incumbent, Jimmy Mendez, will step down due to term limits.
The city secretary’s office said candidates may begin filing for a place on the ballot on Jan. 16. The filing deadline is Feb. 15. The election is in May.