Q&A: Katy Mayor William 'Bill' Hastings shares update on first days in office, vision for city

Mayor Bill Hastings was sworn into office at the May 14 Katy City Council meeting. Before that, he spent 43 years in public safety as a firefighter, police officer, police chief and part-time paramedic. Hastings’ life has revolved around helping people through enforcing the law, a passion that has directly transferred to his mayoral duties leading the city.

Hastings is working alongside council members to address issues including parks and green space, aging infrastructure, commercial development and drainage. This Q&A has been edited for length and clarity.

What have you accomplished so far?
My first 30 days have been spent trying to catch up on all the projects that were already slated and going on in the city as well as getting to know the employees outside of [emergency medical services], fire and police better. I had minimal contact with a lot of the people here. I knew who they were, we passed in the halls, we were cordial, but I didn’t know their specific job function or what they were about. I’ve spent the first 30 days just learning. I’m like a lab puppy. I get up eager to go to work—see who is holding my leash, what trick they are going to teach me for the day. It’s been good.

What are your priorities moving forward?
We had a strategic planning meeting [June 18]—the council, city administrator and I. It went well. I view myself as not the one who sets our agenda, but the one who is responsible for helping the council obtain what they need based on the needs of the people. It was surprising when we all sat down and started listing our priorities. Most of them were the same. There was a lot of talk about parks and green space. Of course, flooding and drainage still are No. 1. Aging infrastructure, we all felt we needed to take a harder look at. Worthwhile commercial development was a big issue. We don’t want just anything that wants to come in, rather things that can benefit the city and citizens.

What is your plan for commercial development?
Our idea is to focus on commercial development along I-10 and the Hwy. 90 corridor, west of town, and not to turn Avenue D or any of our residential streets into commercial areas. We would like to focus on filling that space with companies—people who are worthwhile and who are going to be there a long time. We don’t want it to look like an industrial district 10 years from now, with a bunch of stuff that doesn’t fit in. We have to be selective with what we put out there. There are some really nice buildings already that don’t just look like warehouses. That’s our main focus as far as commercial development.

What are your concerns with aging infrastructure?
We have streets that need to be milled down and then relayed again. We’ve got areas where we still have to clean out the ditches.  Those are all smaller projects when it comes to flood mitigation. These are the things that at this point the council thinks are one of the top priorities.

What ideas do you have for a drainage maintenance program?
As far as cleaning out the storm drains and the lines, we don’t need to wait until there is an issue with it to address it. That needs to be on a regularly scheduled maintenance, at least twice per year. The older infrastructure also needs to be checked, and we need to start replacing and reburnishing those as needed.

Do you have plans to add more sidewalks and green space?
Parks and green space were the No. 2 issue that all the council felt needed to be addressed. It was pretty much a consensus that we need a park director who is more familiar with grants. There’s a lot available for parks. Many of the studies done over the last two, three years show that parks not only positively affect children and young families, but the elderly, too. Kids need to get out and play in the dirt instead of being inside, but to get them out, we have to give them something to do. You can’t just send them outside to play anymore. It has to be more organized.
SHARE THIS STORY


MOST RECENT

There are more than a dozen federal and state races in the Katy area this March. (Courtesy Moab Republic/Adobe Stock)
2020 Primary: Candidates file to run for federal, state offices representing Katy area

There are more than a dozen federal and state races in the Katy area this March.

Houston 2026 World Cup Bid Committee
Houston vying to become host city for 2026 FIFA World Cup

Houston is among 17 U.S. cities in the race to host the World Cup and is competing against other major cities, such as New York City, Los Angeles and Dallas, for the nod.

Oh La La Nails Boutique is located on FM 1463. (Courtesy Malcolm Garret/Pexels)
Oh La La Nails Boutique opens in Katy area

The nail salon is located on FM 1463.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner addresses the Texas General Land Office at a Dec. 11 public hearing. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)
Houston area leaders call for more federal flood dollars at public meeting

Officials expressed concerns about proposed limitations for how federal funds will be allocated throughout the state.

Tom+Chee
Tom + Chee closes Katy-area restaurant

But the brand is looking for other Houston locations

Water rates are rising in the city of Katy. (Nola Z. Valente/Community Impact Newspaper)
City of Katy raises water rate $0.08 for 2020

The increase is the result of a water supplier increasing its rates.

Black Rock Coffee Bar will open a location in Katy. (Courtesy Black Rock Coffee Bar)
Black Rock Coffee Bar eyes location in Katy area

“We’re excited to become a gathering place, as we establish meaningful connections in our local neighborhoods.”

Iron Supply Powersports is located at at 6117 Highway Blvd., Katy. (Courtesy Iron Supply Powersports)
Katy's Polaris West is now Iron Supply Powersports with new owners

The family-owned store sells motorcycles, utility vehicles, all-terrain vehicles and other power sport vehicles.

JPSPS Development Silver Oak Estates and 25K Morton Park.
Katy City Council denies proposed planned development district for 46-acre mixed-use project

Council members were concerned with the commercial plans for Silver Oak Estates and 25K Morton Park.Council members were concerned with the commercial plans for Silver Oak Estates and 25K Morton Park.

Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls announces campaign for Texas Congressional District 22 seat

Incumbent Pete Olson said he will not seek re-election for this position earlier this year.

Back to top