By George Slaughter
John Morrison, who served on the Katy City Council during the 1970s Texas oil boom years and as mayor from 1979-1983, died Wednesday, the city said in a news release.
Morrison served on the city council from 1978-1979, when he was elected mayor.
During Morrison’s mayoralty, the city obtained its home rule charter in 1981. The city continues to use the charter today. The charter serves as the city’s constitution, and under it, the city can pass any laws or regulations its sees fit unless prohibited to by state law.
Mayor Pro Tem Chris Harris said he was very saddened to learn of Morrison’s death, though he did not know Morrison personally.
“His legacy as the ‘Charter Mayor’ is a lasting legacy in our community,” Harris said.
It was also during Morrison’s tenure on the council when the Katy Rice Festival was launched. It began in 1978 as a “Sellabration” to salute local rice farmers and their contributions to the Katy community and economy. The Katy Area Chamber of Commerce became involved in promoting the festival, and in 1981, while Morrison was mayor.
Johnny Nelson succeeded Morrison as mayor in 1983. The city took over the festival, renaming it the Katy Rice Festival, in 2018.
“John Morrison was a pillar of the community not only public servant but as a gifted artist and a retired United Methodist preacher,” the news release said. “The commitment and passion he had for helping this community will never be forgotten.”
Funeral arrangements are pending.