MEETING PREVIEW: Special Katy council meeting initiates Mayor Thiele, bids farewell to outgoing Mayor Hastings

MEETING PREVIEW: Special Katy council meeting initiates Mayor Thiele, bids farewell to outgoing Mayor Hastings

New Mayor Dusty Thiele (left) will be sworn in at a special Katy City Council meeting May 13, and former Mayor Bill Hastings (right) will be recognized by council members and city staff. (Courtesy city of Katy/Dusty Thiele)

Dusty Thiele, the mayor-elect, will be sworn in as the the city of Katy’s new mayor at a special City Council meeting May 13 at 6 p.m. His entrance marks the end of Mayor Bill Hastings’ term and 43-year career of service in Katy as he plans to retire.

Both the incoming and outgoing mayor share a history of civic engagement. Thiele has served terms as interim council member in two instances, once selected by former Mayor Don Elder and again by Hastings, according to Thiele’s campaign website.

Thiele has served as a board member for the city of Katy Zoning Board and as a board chair for the city of Katy Convention and Tourism Bureau for almost 10 years.

The new mayor is also a member of Katy’s Rotary Club. Thiele has helped choose developers for the Katy Boardwalk District and was a board member for the Village at Katy planned development.

Hastings served the Katy Police Department for 32 years, with 10 years as the chief of police, according to his biography on the city of Katy’s website. He is a former Katy volunteer firefighter and paramedic and is a Coast Guard veteran.

Hastings also formed a Mayor’s Advisory Group for the Leyendecker Landing project, which is an ode to the City Engineer David Leyendecker who died in December 2020, he told Community Impact Newspaper.

The Leyendecker Landing site is located along the east side of Pitts Road and already serves as a water detention area; the city plans to build upon that to create a recreation space with a nature-focused theme.

Hastings and Thiele agree that drainage is one of Katy’s biggest hurdles in upcoming years.

Thiele identified drainage and security as Katy’s key challenges as the city continues to grow to the north and west at a meet-and-greet event with the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce.

At the event, Thiele emphasized the $33 million drainage project funded and managed by the Katy Development Authority to combat the ongoing issue.

In an interview with Community Impact Newspaper, Hastings called drainage a “never-ending project with the growth [Katy] is taking from the north and northwest.” The other hurdle, Hastings anticipated, is mobility.

Hastings advised Thiele to depend on Katy council members, departments and staff to make his job easier, saying it takes a group effort to make the city run smoothly.

“Take care of your employees, and they will take care of you,” Hastings said. “[Mayor] Dusty Thiele is a great guy. I am very excited for him, and I know that he will do a good job.”

At the May 13 special meeting, council will issue a certificate of election and administer the oath of office to Thiele and recognize Hastings with remarks. The meeting will conclude with comments from the new mayor.

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