Council Reconfirms Harris as Mayor Pro Tem

By George Slaughter

Chris Harris (City of Katy photo)

The Katy City Council Monday reconfirmed Council Member-at-Large Chris Harris to serve as mayor pro tem.

Harris, a U.S. Justice Department analyst, was first elected to the council in 2018 and reelected last year. Mayor Bill Hastings nominated Harris upon his election in 2019.

The mayor appoints the mayor pro tem, who serves in the mayor’s absence, but the appointment must be approved by the council.

Ward A Council Member Dan Smith said in the short time he’s been on council—he was sworn in last month for his first term—Harris has made him feel welcome.

“I’m proud to support him,” Smith said.

Harris said he appreciated the council’s support.

“I’m here to serve,” Harris said.

City Formalizes Procurement Policy

The council voted to approve a formal, written procurement policy for the city.

City Finance Director Andrew Vasquez said the General Accounting Standards Board, known as GASB, requires written standards for city procurement practices.

“We’ve always followed Texas purchasing codes,” Vasquez said, adding that the need was to simply document the processes followed by the city.

Vasquez described the policy adopted by the council as very basic, and would likely see changes and improvements going forward.

“What we want to develop is the Katy way of doing things,” Vasquez said. “We don’t want it to completely come from my past experience. We want everybody on board with it, to approve it, to understand it.”

For federal money and grants, the city follows appropriate regulations and guidelines.

“They want to see that we have controls in place,” Vasquez said.

The council tabled a similar plan describing the city’s financial management policies. Vasquez said he was incorporating edits to that document.

Other Actions Taken

In other action Monday, the council:

  • Approved the February 25, March 1, March 8, and March 22 meeting minutes.
  • Approved the 2021 St. John’s Walk, set from 4 to 7 p.m. on June 25.
  • Approved seven final plats for the Cane Island subdivision. The council also approved a three-month extension for a final plat for a detention pond in that subdivision.
  • Accepted drainage facility, sanitary sewer, and water improvements for the Falls at Green Meadows subdivision.
  • Authorized a $737.50 change order for reconstruction improvements for the Riceland Terrace subdivisions.
  • Authorized a $90,985 change order with Weisinger Inc. for temporary sound walls and larger well casing on a water well.
  • Authorized $9 million of series 2021 unlimited tax bonds by Fort Bend-Waller County’s municipal utility District No. 2.
  • Authorized an agreement with Thompson Reuters for an investigative resource software subscription to help the Katy Police Department determine the history of current detainees.
  • Authorized an agreement with Axon Enterprises Inc. to replace tasers for the Katy Police Department.
  • Amended the job descriptions for the fire department positions of battalion chief, fire captain, fire lieutenant, equipment operator (driver), and fire EMS training captain. The council also added a job description for financial manager.
  • Accepting the charter review election results. Katy voters approved a series of line-item changes to the city charter in May.