At the Feb. 25 City Council meeting, cheers erupted when Council Member Chris Harris seconded a motion by Council Member Jimmy Mendez to table the vote on an ordinance on appointing a new police chief until after the May 4 election.
“I have received numerous angry calls regarding the time frame and how it appears,” Mendez said. “Plus, I won’t be here to work with the new police chief, so I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to vote on that.”
However, the motion failed with only Harris and Mendez voting in favor. As such, the item was tagged for the next council meeting at 6:30 p.m. March 11 at Katy City Hall, City Council Chambers, 910 Ave. C, Katy.
Assistant Police Chief Timothy Tyler has been serving as interim police chief since Jan. 14. The former chief, Bill Hastings, stepped down to run for mayor in the May 4 election.
Three members of the public spoke during the public hearing to support postponing the appointment of the new police chief.
“I’m hoping that the council and staff find a new police chief after the election,” Katy resident Adrienne Davitz said. “…What I do think is important is that the city makes a choice that is transparent, doesn’t cause us to question why you’re making this choice.”
The other two speakers—Andy Wohlgemuth and Robert Wolfe—asked why the council was rushing for a new police chief when a past decision to select a new fire chief took three years.
Other items that the council approved included:
- BP MS 150 Bike Ride event on April 27-28;
- street closures for Katy Market Days;
- the issuance of up to $10.2 million in bonds by the Katy Development Authority;
- about $155,000 in funds to purchase emergency vehicles;
- appointing Andrew Vasquez as city treasurer and Favoila Rodriquez as municipal court clerk; and
- changes to mitigation rates for the deployment of the Katy Fire Department to people located in areas that do not have an interlocal or mutual aid agreement with the city.