Katy citizens react to postponement of local May election

primary elections Katy
Katy City Council voted to postpone May local elections to November at the March 23 regular council meeting. (Nola Z. Valente/Community Impact Newspaper)

Katy City Council voted to postpone May local elections to November at the March 23 regular council meeting. (Nola Z. Valente/Community Impact Newspaper)

Several council members, council candidates and residents took to social media to express their opinions regarding the Katy City Council's March 23 vote to postpone the local May 2 elections to Nov. 3.

Gov. Greg Abbott issued a proclamation March 18 allowing political subdivisions the choice to postpone their May 2020 local elections. The May 2 city of Katy ballot would have had three council member positions—for wards A and B and the at-large seat—and eight candidates, according to the city secretary.

"The safety of our residents is our first priority, and no one felt comfortable that we would be able to protect our citizens, city employees and poll workers for a May 3 election," Council Member Janet Corte said in a Facebook post. "Everyone has a right to vote in this country and should be provided that opportunity. However, without being able to fully protect all our citizens, we felt it was prudent to comply with the governor's proclamation to postpone the election."

Eric San Miguel, who has been a Katy resident for 17 years, said before the March 23 Council meeting, he disagreed with the decision to postpone the May elections. But he now agrees with Corte—who is running for re-election for Ward A—and the rest of the council members who unanimously voted in favor of holding local elections in November.

"Thank you for hearing those who did not want the election to be postponed," San Miguel said in a Facebook exchange. "I could tell by their comments that they put a ton of thought into it."

Mayor Pro Tem Chris Harris, who is running uncontested for re-election as the at-large council member, said he does not like the situation but feels a duty to help the greater good.

"I wish we could have the local election on normal schedule," Harris wrote in a Facebook post. "I have spent many hours visiting with business leaders, teachers, staff and citizens. ... The majority I have spoken to requested the election date moved. The tragedy in our community is still unfolding."

Rory Robertson, who is running for the Ward B position in Katy—a seat currently held by Council Member Durran Dowdle—said he disagreed with the decision to postpone elections in a Facebook post published before the March 23 meeting.

"An election is one of the most sacred rights a free people possess," Robertson said. "To arbitrarily choose to delay the people their right to choose who represents them is un-American. Allowing unelected individuals to remain in office after their term expires may also veer into an unconstitutional act."

Katy ISD, which is also scheduled to host a local election for the board of trustees, has not announced a decision on whether to postpone the May 2 election.
By Nola Valente
A native Texan, Nola serves as reporter for the Katy edition of Community Impact Newspaper. She studied print journalism at the University of Houston and French at the University of Paris-Sorbonne in France. Nola was previously a foreign correspondent in Jerusalem, Israel covering Middle East news through an internship with an American news outlet.


Katy ISD to return to standard operations in June

As of June 1, Katy ISD students and staff will no longer be requiring face masks or offering virtual school, Superintendent Ken Gregorski said in an email on April 16.

Costco Business Centers, of which there are only about 15 in the country, carry different products and provide a different shopping experience to members than do traditional Costco Wholesale stores. (Courtesy Costco Wholesale)
Costco Business Center being built in Stafford; see live music in The Woodlands and more top Houston-area news

Read the top business and community news from the Houston area from the past week.

The program, which began this week in San Marcos, gives Amazon and Whole Foods employees and contractors direct access to COVID-19 vaccinations. (Courtesy Amazon)
Amazon begins rollout of statewide vaccination clinics for employees

The program, which began this week in San Marcos, gives Amazon and Whole Foods employees and contractors direct access to COVID-19 vaccinations.

(Courtesy Great American Cookies and Marble Slab Creamery)
Hybrid Marble Slab Creamery, Great American Cookies location coming to Katy

A new Marble Slab Creamery and Great American Cookies hybrid location will be opening July 1 at Grand Morton Town Center.

Memorial Hermann is hosting a drive-thru vaccine clinic at the Smart Financial Center in Sugar Land April 15-16. (Community Impact Newspaper)
Walk-ins welcome at COVID-19 vaccine clinic April 15-16 at Smart Financial Center

Haven't recieved the COVID-19 vaccine yet? Memorial Hermann is hosting a drive-thru clinic from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. in Sugar Land. No appointment necessary.

Population and Survey Analysts, which predicted KISD would grow by approximately 2,400 new students per year for the next decade, made the recommendation to build additional elementary, junior high and high schools, especially in the north and far west areas of the district. (Jen Para/Community Impact Newspaper)
Katy ISD officials talk budget deficit, bond

"Where is the new money coming from?”

Federal funding is set aside for public schools to address effects of the pandemic. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Why Texas has not yet distributed $18 billion in federal funds intended for public schools

As budget decisions loom for school districts across Texas, state leaders are holding on to federal funds intended for public schools to use in addressing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Homes priced above $750,000, such as this one in the Heights, saw a surge in sales in March, with almost twice as many properties sold. (Courtesy Houston Association of Realtors)
Average Houston single-family home price jumps 20% in March

The average sale price for a home in March was $370,847.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas said power outages are not expected April 13, while requesting energy conservation. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
UPDATE: ERCOT call for energy conservation ends April 13 without need for power outages

An ERCOT official said "tight" supply and demand conditions arose on the state's electric grid April 13 due to forecasting issues amid planned, seasonal maintenance outages by some power generators.

Spearheaded by state Rep. Gene Wu, D-Houston, the new court, if established, would expand the capacity of the county's criminal court system in hopes of reducing its backlog, which stood at 70,951 total cases pending before criminal district courts in Harris County as of April 8. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Harris County supports creation of new criminal district court to tackle case backlog

If the efforts are successful, this would be Harris County's first new criminal district court since 1984 when the 351st District Court was created.

Newk's Eatery has closed its location in the Katy area. (Courtesy Newk's Eatery)
Newk's Eatery closes Katy-area location

While the Katy location may have closed, Newk's continues to serve diners at its Bunker Hill restaurant.