Q&A: Meet the candidates running for Katy City Council Ward B

Get to know the candidates in the race for Katy City Council Ward B. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Get to know the candidates in the race for Katy City Council Ward B. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

Get to know the candidates in the race for Katy City Council Ward B. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)



HOUSTON



Katy City Council Ward B


*Incumbent








Gina Hicks



Occupation: Cybersecurity strategic account manager


Experience: I came to Houston for a children’s ministry position at Second Baptist Church 16 years ago. As a children’s director, I recruited hundreds of volunteers and planned events for thousands of families over eight years. I gained customer service experience in the graphics department and finished three years at the school as a technology teacher in 2018. All the while, I've owned an IT business with my husband in Katy since 2010. That led us into cybersecurity and business IT services where we serve small companies to large corporations.






What is the biggest issue facing the city of Katy, and how would you address it?



GH: Water. Keeping it moving, draining and from causing harm to residents and businesses. I will continue to support meetings and issues pertaining to flooding in order to improve drainage. I appreciate the creative ways we are using retention ponds to double as nice green spaces for our community including the new ponds that are being completed upstream in the north part of the city.



What could the city of Katy have done better during February’s extreme winter storm and the subsequent power outages? If elected, what would you do to help prepare Katy for similar events in the future?



GH: The city staff and residents handled the last extreme winter storm well. Additional efforts can be made to be sure every resident is enrolled in KT Alert notifications as well as form a task force that checks in and assists elderly with extreme events. Most of the communication I personally saw was via social media. Some of our older residents do not utilize social media and cannot see the updates or request neighborhood help. Working with our emergency responders, this volunteer group could provide needed supplies, help drain pipes, turn off water or assist with preventative measures.



How do you plan on balancing Katy’s growth while preserving its history?



GH: The history of Katy is well preserved through the Heritage Park and Historical Homes, Johnny Nelson Katy Heritage Museum, Veterans Memorial Museum, and the MKT Railroad Depot. Residents and groups have the opportunity to tour, be involved and learn of our history, or renew their memories.

As Katy grows, it is important to keep the small-town charm while strategically growing to generate more sales tax and property tax. Keeping the community focused atmosphere so that any growth enhances the quality of life for residents. An economic development director coordinating with all of the area councils and committees would greatly serve the city.



What will you do to keep the public informed about the progress of city projects, such as when changes are made to a timeline or when unexpected obstacles arise?



GH: The city of Katy has a great presence on social media, and it seems to be the fastest means of communication, but not the only way. I will work with the mayor, city administrator and staff to make sure resources are available to appropriately push out updates, press releases, and alert notifications. I am building a team of communicators from social media groups, HOA presidents, various clubs and committees to email or communicate when there is a press release or update that needs sharing. They then can use various forms of media to spread the information to their audience.









Jenifer Jordan Stockdick*



Occupation: Co-owner and CFO of Obsta Plumbing


Experience: Katy City Councilwoman Ward B; City of Katy Parks and Recreation Board; City of Katy Convention & Tourism Board; City of Katy Board of Adjustments; served on two bond committees for Katy ISD; served on Leadership Katy; served on the American Heart Association Katy Board; chairman of the board for the two Katy YMCA’s; president of Heritage Meadows HOA; 29 years of finance and banking






What is the biggest issue facing the city of Katy, and how would you address it?



JS: I believe the biggest issue we have right now is with infrastructure as our growth continues. We need to be investing in new infrastructure and continuing to do proper maintenance on old infrastructure to ensure our residents the same level of service they are accustomed to today.



What could the city of Katy have done better during February's extreme winter storm and the subsequent power outages? If elected, what would you do to help prepare Katy for similar events in the future?



JS: Moving forward I believe that information and education is something that would serve the community well. As Texans we are strong, capable individuals when provided with the proper tools. I would like to see a CERT TEAM (Community Emergency Response Team) put together to teach volunteers in our community the proper steps of how we can help out neighbors in disaster situations.


Lessons learned: Increased backup generation capacity at city facilities and having more bottled water supplies on hand.

I feel that the Katy Police Department and Public Works did a great job with keeping roads safe under the extreme cold and icy conditions. The partnership with Katy ISD, which provided a local warming station for residents, was a saving grace for many in our community.



How do you plan on balancing Katy's growth while preserving its history?



JS: I want to continue to work with local organizations such as the Katy Historical Society to keep the history of Katy alive. I also strongly believe that working with new development is the answer to good development. We can keep the commercial growth along the I-10 Corridor and in our Industrial Park and other already established commercial areas. Katy will continue to be a growing community. We can control our economic growth and protect our residents at the same time.



What will you do to keep the public informed about the progress of city projects, such as when changes are made to a timeline or when unexpected obstacles arise?



JS: First and foremost, I will continue to push information to residents through social media and person-to-person conversations. I strongly believe the role of elected officials is to make themselves available to the community, provide information and answer questions honestly. I will always speak the truth and let people know where I stand on issues.


By Morgan Theophil
Morgan joined Community Impact Newspaper in January 2021 as the reporter for the Katy edition. She graduated from the University of Oregon's School of Journalism in 2018.


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