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'I Love This City': Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price Gives Her Final State Of The City Address

In a screenshot, Betsy Price sits with an arm over a chair, wearing a light blue suit, giving her final state of the city address.
Miranda Suarez
/
KERA News
Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, the city's longest-serving mayor, is starting to say goodbye to her post. She looked back at 2020, and her entire tenure, at her final State of the City address.

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price gave her last State of the City address on Thursday afternoon, looking back on her work over a decade.

Price, who won her first mayoral race in 2011, is Fort Worth’s longest-serving mayor. She announced at the beginning of January that she would not run for reelection.

The race to replace her is a crowded one. It includes current City Council members Brian Byrd and Ann Zadeh, Tarrant County Democratic Party Chair Deborah Peoples and Price’s former chief of staff, Mattie Parker. Voters will choose their new mayor and council on May 1.

During her address, Price pointed out how much the city has changed during her tenure — especially in terms of business, which she has championed.

"Just think, ten years ago, Sundance Square was a parking lot,” she said. “Clearfork was a ranch. There was no Bergdorf, no Neiman's, no shopping in sight."

She also emphasized other achievements like the Blue Zones Project, a wide-ranging initiative to improve the health of Fort Worth residents.

Price's last year in office has been consumed by the COVID-19 pandemic. One of her biggest concerns going forward is its impact on education.

“I’m gonna support that we add days to classrooms for students. If that means they have to go into the summer, we simply have to get these kids back on track,” she said.

Price said she has already discussed the idea with Fort Worth ISD superintendent Kent Scribner, and asked businesses and the public for their support.

On top of the pandemic, in recent weeks, Price has had to respond to the 133-car pileup that killed six people on a Fort Worth highway, followed by devastating snow and cold that wiped out power and water for huge swaths of the city and state.

“There is a time to ask questions, and the state is doing that at the power level. We certainly will be doing that at Fort Worth, at our level, on the water failures," Price said.

Price said she may feel called to serve in some other capacity in the future. For now, once her term ends, the avid cyclist plans to ride her bike even more, and spend time with her family.

Got a tip? Email Miranda Suarez at msuarez@kera.org. You can follow Miranda on Twitter @MirandaRSuarez.

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