CITY OF KATY (Covering Katy News)—The Katy City Council, along with other city employees and well-wishers, honored City Secretary Missy Bunch Monday. Bunch retired as city secretary after 13 years on the job.
Those who attend council meetings typically see Bunch sitting at the mayor’s right, announcing that a quorum of council members is present, reading titles for proposed city ordinances, and keeping meeting minutes. Her office has responsibility for all city records and responding to public information requests. Her office also has responsibility for overseeing city elections.
Bunch was honored for her service at a reception before Monday’s council meeting and was honored at the end of the meeting itself. City Administrator Byron Hebert said Bunch began working for the city 38 years ago.
“It was much different then,” Hebert said. “She has told me stories of past councils and past administrations that helped all of us understand where our core values and traditions come from. As a finance director I could always count on Missy to help wherever needed to balance a budget. As a city administrator, Missy is part of our executive management team, and as a member of that team she has proven time and time again to be creative in helping city projects come to fruition.”
Mayor and Former Mayors Pay Tribute
Bunch was appointed city secretary in 2006. She previously served as assistant city secretary and worked in the city engineer’s office before that. As city secretary, she has sat beside five mayors: Doyle Callender, Don Elder Jr., Fabol Hughes, Chuck Brawner, and currently, Bill Hastings.
“I’ve worked with Missy all 38 years that Missy has been here,” Hastings said. “We’ve watched our careers grow and our children grow up together. We’ve had a little unusual relationship, family-wise. I’ve always enjoyed working with Missy. She’s just been a great go-to person with the city whenever I’ve needed anything. I will thoroughly miss her, and wish her nothing but the best. She’s got a grandbaby to play with, and it will be all good for her.”
Don Elder Jr., who served from 2007-2013, reflected on how Bunch served along so many mayors.
“She had been aligned for a lot of mayors in the past and had done work for a lot of us,” Elder said. “Missy was always energetic, and liked to get things done. She did a good job for us while I was there. Sometimes she’d bring some things to the office, and share them. I remember her always being helpful, cordial, and taking care of business. She was very efficient in doing that. I really appreciate everything she did for us. To be there for as many mayors as she has, you have to do some things right and she did.”
Brawner, who served as mayor from 2017 to May of this year, cited Bunch’s integrity in handling the city’s voting processes and procedures.
“You don’t really realize what they have to go through to handle the elections we have in the City of Katy,” Brawner said. “She’s very meticulous in making sure that rules were followed, and that things were done right. If you had a question, she could answer it instantaneously. As mayor I relied on her quite a bit for opinion and guidance on what the law allowed for cities.”
Elder also praised Bunch’s work overseeing city elections. The process has changed over the years but Bunch and her staff kept up with the changes.
“Sometimes the county was low on voting machines, so we had to make sure and she had to make sure our machines were available,” Elder said. “Missy did a lot of work there that people didn’t see. She was there a lot of afternoons very, very late. But she was always very conscientious about what she did.”
Hughes, who served as mayor from 2013-2017, also praised Bunch’s experience and expertise.
“I’ve known her a long time,” Hughes said. “She really knew her stuff.”
Hebert said has worked with Bunch for almost 20 years.
“I’ve watched her grow from assistant city secretary to city secretary, and how she has been an intricate part in building the City of Katy,” Hebert said. “She has been a great asset that not only myself but all others have been able to depend on.”
“We’re proud she can retire and be with her family, and do some things she wants to do now," Elder said. "We appreciate all she gave to the city.”
New City Secretary Appointed
Part of the city secretary’s job is to read proposed ordinances. Bunch, and some of her family members at the meeting, were understandably emotional as she read the proposed ordinance in which Assistant City Secretary Becky McGrew would take her place. The council appointed McGrew and Municipal Judge Jeffrey Brashear swore McGrew into office.
“Missy taught her very well,” Hastings said. “I’ve been able to work with Becky five months. She’s absolutely fantastic. She’s taken very good care of things for me. She does a remarkable job for the city. We couldn’t have found a better person.”
“Becky has been a fine employee as assistant city secretary and I look forward to working with her as city secretary and on our executive team," Hebert said.
As council members took turns praising Bunch and McGrew, Bunch, sitting on the front row in the council chambers, called out, “She’s been trained by the best.”
The council appointed Kathy Jo Stewart, who has worked as an executive secretary at City Hall, as interim assistant city secretary.
In other action Monday, the council:
• Observed the presentation of the 2019 Katy Rice Festival Art Competition entry winners.
• Reviewed the city’s bank statement and check register through September 30.
• Approved the October 14 regular meeting minutes.
• Approved an $83,692 hotel occupancy tax grant for roof replacement for the Johnny Nelson Katy Heritage Museum.
• Awarded a $1,107,469 bid to Cooley Construction of Magnolia for Pitts Road Detention Pond – Phase II. Total project cost is $1,325,325.90.
• Authorized issuance of $2,965,000 in unlimited tax road bonds by the Fort Bend-Waller County Municipal Utility District #2.
• Authorized issuance of 1,680,000 in unlimited tax road bonds by the Harris-Waller County’s Municipal Utility District #3.
• Authorized Mayor Hastings to sign an agreement with Life Scan Wellness Center for annual wellness initiative for Katy Fire Department employees.
• Authorized Mayor Hastings to sign a monitoring agreement with American Fire Protection Group, Inc., for the Katy Civic Center and Katy Visitor Center.
• Authorized a $23,506 change order for the Pine Forest drainage project.
• Awarded a bid to Amegy Bank Depository to execute the agreements necessary for primary depository bank services.
• Passed a resolution in support of MetroNext, METRO’s plan for acquiring, constructing, repairing, and equipping, improving and extending of its transit system. Harris County voters will vote on the bond issue in the November election.