Outgoing Katy officials thanked for service
May 14 marked the end of service on the Katy City Council for Mayor Chuck Brawner and Ward B Councilman James “Jimmy” Mendez.
Both received praise for their service at City Council meetings on May 13 and May 14.
At the May 14 meeting where the newly elected officials took the oath of office, Katy Mayor William “Bill” Hastings said, “Mayor Brawner, I applaud you. You stepped in at a horrible time. You had two floods to deal with. Your started a lot of projects. You continued projects that Mayor (Fabol) Hughes started and I will promise you that we will continue to work on the projects that you have started.”
Fire Chief Russell Wilson spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting and presented to Brawner a copy of a speech delivered by former president Theodore Roosevelt called “The Man in the Arena,” which praises the man who takes action to solve problems vs those who stand on the sidelines to criticize what the man is doing.
Wilson talked of how Brawner when he was a councilman put on his radar to transform the fire department from a part-time to a full-time organization under the direction of Hughes. Brawner and other city officials worked with a consultant on the conversion. Efforts toward that cause resulted this year in the fire department earning the top rating of a 1 from the Insurance Services Office. Ratings range from 1-10 and are based on various criteria including a department’s equipment and training. Homeowners could see a decrease in their insurance premiums as a result of the highest rating.
Kayce Reina, the city’s marketing director, narrated a visual presentation at the May 14 meeting that highlighted Brawner’s achievements. She talked of his response to the flooding that the city endured, how Brawner led the response to rebuilding the city and better prepared the city should another flooding event occur. “A dozen drainage projects have been completed or are under way,” she said.
She also talked of his efforts to rebuild and reorganize the fire department which resulted in the ISO rating of 1 and his working with Congressman Mike McCaul to help the city obtain a $2.2 million Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response grant to pay for firefighter salaries.
During Brawner’s administration, the city also has directed efforts to rebuild its downtown with a new Katy Civic Center and a Katy Visitors Center on the site where people gathered in the early 1900s, she said. Reina talked of his advocacy for various groups from veterans to teachers and called him dedicated to public service.
Brawner said, “I’m so pleased and honored that I’ve be able to serve the citizens of Katy. No matter which way we needed to go, I always kept everyone in mind as we moved forward.”
Four residents spoke of Brawner’s accomplishments at the May 13 meeting and thanked him for his service. At the May 13 meeting, Carol Adams, a former councilmember, thanked Mendez. She said he had grown on the job as councilman to become “such a responsible person. And now you’re here and doing your job and we should all be grateful.” Mendez was elected to serve three consecutive, two-year terms. That’s the maximum allowed by the city charter and he could not seek re-election.
Before presenting Mendez a going-away gift, his fellow Ward B councilman Durran Dowdle said they had been through a lot, including two floods, and had talked about everything under the sun. “We shared beers and laughs. Thank you for all you’ve done and for your service.”
Mendez said, “It’s been the honor of my life to represent you for three consecutive terms.” He talked of how he had “ruled from the heart.”
Dowdle also presented Brawner with a gift in appreciation of what he had done on council and thanked him for his service.