Ward B Council Position
Kayse Kendall Johnson:
TKN What position are you running for?
KJ: Councilman Ward B
TKN: What is your reason to run for this particular position?
KJ: I love the history and God-fearing people of Katy. I respect the Government of Katy and appreciate all of the hard work they accomplished. I support Mayor Hughes, The City Administrator, The City Secretary, the Municipal Court Judge, The City Treasurer and The Council. So, why do I want to run for Council? My running for office isn’t a vote against the current Administration. I would like to come alongside those who have served our city in the past, and be a part of embracing the future of our city. My family moved to Katy from Austin in the summer of 2014 and should I be elected to serve on our City’s Council, I would represent the growing population of “newbies” flooding into this area. Everyone wants to live in Katy, and that’s for good reasons.
TKN: What is your education that you feel makes you qualified for this position?
KJ: I graduated cum laude through the provisions of a scholarship with Texas Junior Miss. I’m a Texan, born in Dallas with grassroots and grandparents in Austin, but when my Dad got cancer there were no funds for college. Through Junior Miss, I had the privilege of attending the largest university system in the world, with campuses on all U.S. Military bases world-wide. I worked in the Chancellor’s office, receiving another type of education in corresponding with other countries and learning the inner workings of the University System. I graduated in 1991 with a degree in Business and a love for our Nation’s Military. That was many years ago, but I’m thankful for the education afforded to me through the Junior Miss Program. I continued my education, earning licenses in Series 7 General Securities, Series 63 Uniform Securities and Blue Sky Laws while employed by A.G. Edwards & Sons in the Stockyards of Ft. Worth, where I managed the Cowtown Stockyard Investment Club. I went on to become an Executive at both Regions and U.S. Bank where I gained a solid financial education that might benefit my job on the Council.
TKN: How long have you lived in Katy?
KJ: I’ve lived here long enough to know that the City of Katy keeps her promises. My family moved here in the summer of 2014 just in time to be immersed into the vote for a $748 million bond issue. That was our first community action, allowing signs to be posted in our yard, as we were part of the reason why the city had to secure additional funding for growth. That bond passed on November 2nd, 2014, getting us through projected growth of the next few years, with the promise of no higher resident’s tax (rates). On April 27th of this year, Mayor Hughes and the Katy City Council voted to annex three tracts of land totaling just over 400 acres, increasing the tax base of commercial development and keeping the burden off of residential taxes.
TKN: What are some of the things that you think need to be changed in the running of the City of Katy?
KJ: My platform will be: Preserving History, Embracing Growth, Focusing on Safety and Pursuing Active Access with the residents of The City of Katy. I do not have an axe to grind with the City. We need to give credit where it is due and our current and past Civil Servants have many praiseworthy accomplishments to their credit. If chosen to serve, I would continue in their work of Preserving Historic Katy while Keeping Up With Growth. I will bring fresh perspective, as one NOT graduating from Katy High School, although my son will join the ranks of KHS next year. I will represent the growing population of newcomers, however, I believe in listening and learning from those who have gone before us. Katy is full of experienced, wise residents who were here before the rest of us moved in, and probably saw most of our houses being built. They have something to say, and out of respect and a desire to succeed, I will listen to them and consult them. I recently told Mayor Hughes that should I win, I want to be able to come to him for advice. I might not always follow advice, but I’d be a fool not to listen. Steve Jurovic was good enough to reach out to me recently and he made this point: He knows many a wise resident who might not stand up in front of The City Council to voice concerns, but have much to say. He talked about how important it is to give all residents ACCESS. I know from my own experience that many of our older residents do not drive at night, so making a council meeting is out of the question. If elected to serve as Councilman, I will make sure to provide access to not only newcomers, but to our elders in the city. I will have a web page, operational within the week, at “KayseforKaty.com” as well as a Facebook page at “KayseKendallJohnsonforCityCouncil” with a built in contact form so people can send me emails and not only voice concerns, but give good advice as well. They won’t even have to sign their name. Everyone’s voice will be heard no matter the race, religion or economic standing.
I’m also passionate about safety in our city. As our population grows, the common concern of phone use while driving increases. I have a 14 year old that will take Drivers Ed soon. His first car will, of course, be older than dirt. But I’m tempted to attach bells, whistles, flags and a “baaaahoooooga” horn for his safety amidst a sea of distracted drivers. I would like to focus on safety issues regarding phone use and driving, as well as improving conditions at corners and intersections where we all know “an accident is just waiting to happen”, such as my corner of Morton Road and Avenue D. Therefore, if “Preserving History, Embracing Growth, Focusing on Safety and Pursuing Active Access with the residents of The City of Katy” sounds good to you, please vote for this “newbie” on May 6th.
TKN: What do you feel will be some of the challenges you will face in your campaign?
KJ: I like Jimmy Mendez. He is the incumbent that I will run against in Ward B. I went to the grand opening ceremony of Katy’s new City Hall in June last year and it was hot. My 9 year old daughter and I sipped on the last few drops of water in our bottles while we watched Katy’s Government melt in black suits on an unshaded platform. I watched as Servant-Leader and past Superman and Superintendent of KISD Alton Frailey saw the issue and went for water. As the water was passed down the aisle, it stopped…right before it got to the Mayor (who reported that later he was hospitalized for heat exhaustion following the ceremonies). Then I saw Jimmy. He was smiling of course. And he got up and found a bottle of water for the Mayor. I won’t comment on who didn’t pass the water. But Jimmy passed the water. I don’t want to beat Jimmy, but I want to win.
TKN: What will be your running platform?
KJ: Preserving History, Embracing Growth, Focusing on Safety and Pursuing Active Access with the residents of The City of Katy.
TKN: Who do you think will be your biggest competitor in this race?
KJ: Incumbent Jimmy Mendez and others running in Ward B
TKN: Are there any of the current City Projects that you would change and why?
KJ: I had the privilege of taking a look into the City Administrator’s office and seeing the projects pinned on his wall. There are just as many if not more in the works. Byron Hebert is a busy man with his nose to the wheel. Why would I change any of the current City Projects when I don’t have all of the facts as a resident? Of course, if I could change any, I would somehow grant myself more of a driveway than what is about to be taken under eminent domain in the widening of Morton Road. It’s those darn new people who keep moving here (tongue in cheek), causing The City to improve our roads. I would like to put in a good word for David Leyendecker, Engineer Consultant to the City, Roy Frankum Building Inspector, Elaine Lutringer, Public Works Director and Anas Garfaoui, Planning and Zoning; who all worked with me on two occasions so far, when I brought in plans drawn up for my front and side yards improvements. When I first moved to Katy and bought my house on Morton Road, I didn’t know about the plans to widen the road. I could have, but I did not look it up. Once I found out, I hired Mr. Laird of Laird Landscaping to draw designs for my yard in anticipation of the widening of Morton Road. I can’t tell you how wonderful it felt to sit down with this group and realize that they were there to help me. I’ve moved forward only a bit in my plans by removing a tree, repositioning a basketball goal and moving out my fence line, but I know that The City of Katy will be helpful in each step of the way. It’s best to make your plan and get the City’s blessing. Now that Mayor Hughes ushered in “Katy is Now Open For Business”, you can’t go wrong in seeking the City’s help. For those of you who are struggling with permits, just know, the City isn’t perfect but is in the process of being perfected. Hang on, be patient and work together. All of this growth doesn’t come without some headaches.
TKN: How do you feel about the Katy Boardwalk project?
KJ: The Katy Boardwalk Project is one of those projects that demonstrate how Katy is actively pursuing improvement and additional offerings in our town. It will attract visitors and the convention center will host conventions with crowds who want to eat, shop and stay in Katy. From what I understand, the city’s portion of cost will be paid out of occupancy taxes at the city’s hotels and portions of sales tax revenue from sales at the mall. It sounds beautiful. The delay to redraw designs isn’t a negative thing since current designs drawings have the hotel and convention center blocking part of the boardwalk. The City of Katy is committed to The Boardwalk Project and details like this can easily be redesigned. I look forward to having a convention center in town. I know our city qualifies for this and will only make us more legitimate in what we have to offer. My husband frequently brings celebrities to Katy for his work, and currently they stay at the hotels surrounding Katy Mills. I’m thankful for these convenient hotels and will continue to use them; however, it will be great to have the option of using a convention center hotel with a boardwalk. Nice.
TKN: Are you married and do you have children and grandchildren?
KJ: I have been married to Johnny Johnson for 28 years. We have a 9 year old daughter, Zoe and a 14 year old son, Jack.
TKN: Do you feel that the position you are running for will interfere with your current job?
KJ: Katy has the largest volunteer base of any city where I have lived. I was surprised to find so many people busy in school, community and civic affairs and not for pay. We are all given 24 hours in one day, and each day comes with choices. I look forward to having choices to make that include serving The City of Katy. My greatest job is to my family, and I will continue to work hard and provide a nurturing home for them, family and friends. One way that I can make their life happy in Katy is to get involved in the work of the City of Katy and do my part to keep Katy great.
TKN: Do you have ideas & plans for the future of Katy?
KJ: I anticipate the future of Katy and just like a river changes its course over obstacles and over time, the beauty of that river is what is to be protected. My idea is to preserve the Historic beauty of Katy, as well as embrace Katy’s growth. It’s going to take two camps to accomplish this mission, with ACCESS to both camp. My idea is to seek that bridge between the senior citizens, the veterans, the native Katyians and the newbies; those of The Falls, The Lakes of Katy, Remington Trails, Cane Island, etc. Have you seen the historical pictures of Katy? Check out a copy of Carol Adams book, “Historic Katy: An Illustrated History”. We all moved here from somewhere. It’s not an “us and them” mentality that keeps us sharp and it’s my plan to unify all members of the community through a platform of communication. Please start communicating with me about our future, The City of Katy, through social media beginning this Friday, February 25th at these addresses: