During a special Feb. 25 Katy City Council meeting, some familiar faces joined the current sitting council to honor late City Engineer David Leyendecker. Former mayors Don Elder, Skip Conner, Fabol …
During a special Feb. 25 Katy City Council meeting, some familiar faces joined the current sitting council to honor late City Engineer David Leyendecker. Former mayors Don Elder, Skip Conner, Fabol Hughes, Chuck Brawner and Doyle Callender joined current Mayor Bill Hastings and the rest of council at the meeting to express their appreciation for Leyendecker’s service and share memories of their time working with the beloved engineer.
“David (Leyendecker) was truly a pioneer for our city. As I think about David and going back to 1973 when I first met David (working on the) Katyland project, there in Katy, I was with the telephone company here for the city and I’ll tell you, anything you wanted to try to do, he worked bridges and he always … put the city first,” Callender said. “He always took care of the mayors and the people of the city of Katy, but he never was selfish in any way.”
Hastings read the proclamation naming the new 68-acre facility which will feature an expanded detention pond and stands as the northern point for a proposed north-to-south walking park between the landing on the north end of town and Town Park just across Avenue D from City Hall, he said.
Hastings said the initial suggestion for dedicating a city facility in Leyendecker’s honor came from former Council Member Durran Dowdle.
Hasting’s predecessor, Chuck Brawner, said he was always impressed with Leyendecker’s knowledge of the city, often extending to knowing where and what size of pipes were under the ground in given parts of the city. Brawner applauded Leyendeker’s skills as a problem solver for residents which Brawner personally witnessed several times during his time on council and as mayor – an overall period from 2013 to 2019.
“If a citizen was upset about something or they didn’t understand something, (Leyendecker) walked right in and even tried to resolve the problem in the quickest, best way for all involved – the city, the citizen,” Brawner said. “He was just a fine man and a fine gentleman and he’s going to be sorely missed.”
Leyendecker was the city’s engineer for more than 40 years and served multiple area cities including Katy and Fulshear. He often appeared at city council meetings to explain to council members and residents how certain projects needed to be addressed as well as what the state and federal engineering requirements for a city project were. He was regularly seen staying after meetings to clarify items for Katy residents, council members and even journalists who wished to ensure their coverage was accurate.
A bond package approved by Katy City Council on Feb. 12 will be one of the deciding factors for how quickly Leyendecker Landing progresses in development as part of the city’s parks plan. Proposition B of the bond package is a $4.2 million parks bond that includes the construction of a new parks administration building at Katy City Park which would allow the city to move Parks Department staff from the Public Works office to their own facility, closer to their work. However, the portion that would apply to Leyendecker Landing would be a hike and bike trail that would start in downtown Katy and follow the Cane Island Branch of the Buffalo Bayou up to the new park named in Leyendecker’s honor.
After the end of the statements by the current and former mayors, Leyendecker’s wife, Connie Leyendecker and their daughter, Kimberly Johnson, joined the virtual meeting to extend their appreciation to Katy’s council of mayors, as the former mayors call themselves as a group.
“I don’t think mom can talk,” Johnson said. “But, we just wanted you all to know that we really appreciate it. We miss him terribly and he would love this. He would be beside himself that you all did this for him. We can’t thank you enough. My kids and my nephew will absolutely love getting to watch this project be built and getting to go there when it's finished, so we appreciate it.
Former Mayor Hank Schmidt was unable to attend the meeting, Hastings said.