By George Slaughter
Mayor Chuck Brawner Monday received the endorsement of the Katy Professional Fire Fighters Association as he seeks re-election against former police chief Bill Hastings.
“Mayor Brawner has made the safety of Katy citizens his number one priority,” association president Harry Haynes said. “Thanks to the grant he initiated, Katy was awarded additional fire fighters, saving taxpayers more than $2 million over a three-year period. Thanks to Mayor Brawner’s fortitude, we are christening the second fire station in Katy’s history. Because of Chuck Brawner, Katy is safer than it was when he was elected.”
Association leaders last month met with Brawner and his opponent, retired police Chief Bill Hastings, to solicit their views about the race and how best to move Katy forward.
“Our interviews revealed without a shadow of a doubt that Mayor Brawner is clearly the most experienced and the most committed candidate to serve as Katy mayor,” Haynes said. “It is abundantly evident that Mayor Brawner has the best interest of the citizens of Katy at heart. The Katy professional Fire Fighters Association is proud to endorse Mayor Chuck Brawner for re-election and we look forward to working with him to keep Katy safe.”
Brawner said it was “very nice” to have the endorsement.
“They did an interview a couple of weeks ago with me and the other candidate,” Brawner said. “I’ve been sitting around waiting, and was told I’d been selected. I’m very honored to have their endorsement. Our fire department has done a great job in being reorganized and bringing in a lot of talented fire fighters.”
The city’s “push back” ceremony is set for March 2 at the new fire station, 25420 Bell Patna Dr.
“That has been long overdue and we’re finally at the end,” Brawner said. “Wednesday, it will be turned over. The firemen have been putting in their furniture. I plan to stop by tomorrow and see what it looks like. It’s a state-of-the-art facility and will serve the Katy Mills Mall and the future Katy Boardwalk. It will serve our citizens on the south side of the freeway.”
Hastings said city policy was that employees were to stay out of politics, and that the association’s endorsement was “all new” to him.
“I’ve not talked to anybody about it,” Hastings said. “I told the Katy Police Officers Association that I didn’t want to see any signs in their yards openly endorsing me. They needed to stay out of it.”
The Katy association formed last year and has 75 members. It is part of both the Texas State Association of Fire Fighters and the International Association of Fire Fighters. Association president Harry Haynes said the endorsement, its first, shows the importance of the mayor’s race to both the fire fighters and citizens of Katy.
Brawner, elected mayor in 2017, is seeking his second term in office. Hastings retired last month after serving 10 years as police chief. The election is May 4.