Fort Worth (CBSDFW.COM) — It’s the end of an era in Fort Worth, as Mayor Betsy Price, the longest-serving mayor in the city’s history, retires.
But, before he hangs up his hat, he is being honored as Fort Worth magazine’s ‘Person of the Year’.
“It’s a huge honor! You know, this is the first year he’s done ‘Person of the Year,'” Price explains. “They’ve made the top 200 and 400 people lists before (in the city), but it’s too overwhelming to think that I would be chosen as the top influencer in the city.”
When asked why she believed she was chosen for the honor, Price joked, “I don’t know, maybe they like crazy people!”
But the real reason he was chosen was because of his influence on Fort Worth, which is now the second fastest growing city in the country.
“You know, I have to hope (I was chosen) because I’ve really helped shape this city over ten years,” Price says. “We’ve seen such growth and so many changes.”
According to new data from the Census Bureau, the city grew by more than 19,000 people between 2019 and 2020.
Reflecting on the changes Fort Worth has seen over the past decade, she says, “Dickies Arena wasn’t here, Chisholm Trail wasn’t here, Sundance Square was a parking lot, and you can smoke in any building in the city.” could do.”
During his time as mayor, Price’s time is not spent inside City Hall.
“I never assumed that you govern well behind a desk and my motto is that you always stand out from the community,” Price explains.
From rodeos to ribbon cutting and her iconic rolling town hall, she is known for her time in the community, meeting the people she serves.
“First and foremost, you want people to know that you are here and that you really care,” she says. “I don’t do this for politics. I have never done this for politics. I just do it for the service.”
An attitude of service that began when she served as Tarrant County Tax Assessor for ten years before being elected as mayor in 2011. Since being mayor, she has pulled the city out of recession, navigated high-profile police incidents and, now, the coronavirus pandemic, is on top of the city’s day-to-day progress and leading the way.
“We have moments of genuine excitement and then there are moments where it’s just too boring,” she says. “But the biggest challenge is managing the growth and still keeping Fort Worth true to its roots.”
Every step of the way, encouraging people to move forward through her initiatives like “Fit Worth” and “Blue Zone,” which she says remains a matter of pride for her time in office.
“We are the only major city in the country that is certified ‘Blue Zone,’” she says. “We’ve changed the health of this community and we’ve moved the needle a lot. There’s still a lot of work to be done, but it matters because it’s about people’s engagement.”
She says that when people are walking or biking in their neighborhood, they talk to their friends, get to know their neighbors and get involved in their community which makes a better and stronger city.
Price admits there’s no perfect time to say goodbye to serving the city she loves, but she has a good reason to move away.
“I looked at my kids and looked at my grandchildren and thought it was a good time,” she says. “There will never be a right time to hand over the reins to someone else, but it’s as good as anyone else.”
Now, she says she is excited for what is in the next chapter.
“I’m not one to sit around and do nothing, so I don’t know if it’ll be on the public side or the volunteer side or where it will be, but I’ll come back and do something for sure,” he says.
A reception will be held at the Fort Worth Club Thursday night to honor Mayor Price as Fort Worth magazine’s Person of the Year. Ticket $42.50 . can be purchased starting from.
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