Katy Area Chamber of Commerce hosts meet and greet with Mayor-Elect Dusty Thiele

Katy Area Chamber President and CEO Matthew Ferraro (right) and Mayor-Elect Dusty Thiele had a discussion at the chamber's monthly membership meeting about Katy's strengths and challenges. (Asia Armour/Community Impact Newspaper)
Katy Area Chamber President and CEO Matthew Ferraro (right) and Mayor-Elect Dusty Thiele had a discussion at the chamber's monthly membership meeting about Katy's strengths and challenges. (Asia Armour/Community Impact Newspaper)

Katy Area Chamber President and CEO Matthew Ferraro (right) and Mayor-Elect Dusty Thiele had a discussion at the chamber's monthly membership meeting about Katy's strengths and challenges. (Asia Armour/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Katy Area Chamber of Commerce hosted its monthly membership meeting May 5 with Katy’s Mayor-Elect Dusty Thiele as the featured guest, who will become mayor on election day May 7.

In a question-and-answer-style forum, Matthew Ferraro, president and CEO of the Katy Area Chamber, asked Thiele a series of questions regarding his experience, his opinion on Katy’s greatest strengths and challenges, and any progress on the Katy Boardwalk project.

Thiele called Katy a city with “a small-town charm with big city amenities,” crediting its strengths to its sense of community, Katy ISD, public safety and the convenience of having everything residents need in one place.

Ferraro asked Thiele how he plans to maintain that small-town feel with the inevitable growth of the community—to which Thiele responded the city’s attention to parks and recreation as well as local events will bring residents together.

He highlighted the development of the downtown Plaza, crediting Ward A Council Member Janet Corte and Mayor Pro Tem Chris Harris for their efforts in this initiative.


Thiele also pointed to multiple parks projects in the pipeline, including resurfacing the basketball courts at Katy City Park; developing Leyendecker Landing, a multiuse recreation and drainage field; and creating a hike-and-bike trails system—an initiative that rose from the 2021 parks bond.

The mayor-elect identified drainage and security as Katy’s biggest challenges, as Houston continues to expand toward the city. Thiele emphasized the $33 million drainage project already underway and a salary survey the city is conducting in an effort to retain first responders.

As for the Katy Boardwalk, Thiele encouraged residents to explore the lake and lofts already built. He said bridges and walkways will start construction later this summer. Construction of the conference center intended for the area will begin in the fall or winter and is anticipated to conclude in 2024, he said.

Before his candidacy as Katy’s mayor, Thiele was selected by former Mayor Don Elder and incumbent Mayor Bill Hastings to serve unexpired terms on City Council. He has served as chair for the City of Katy Convention and Tourism Bureau board and as a board member for the City of Katy Zoning Board for almost 10 years, according to his campaign website.

Thiele was also selected to the city’s committee to review potential developers for the Katy Boardwalk District; he serves on the Village of Katy Development District board and is a member of the Rotary Club of Katy.

With all his experience, Thiele said he has learned to value the perspectives of others.

“When you serve on a board or council, you have to work with people and look at different sides,” Thiele said. “Everybody has a different perspective, and you need to listen to them.”
By Asia Armour

Reporter, Katy

Asia joined Community Impact Newspaper in February 2022. She studied journalism at Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri. Before relocating to Houston Texas, Asia was a freelance reporter for the Seattle Medium, one of the city's eldest and longstanding African American newspapers. She covers dining, transportation, government, business, development, education and more for Katy, Texas and South Houston. When she's not writing, she's likely trying a new restaurant or tv show.