Betsy Price, the longest-serving mayor in Fort Worth history, spent just minutes at Tuesday’s city council meeting to say an emotional goodbye.
"Wow. Ten years,” she said, her voice cracking. “I can't believe it's finally come."
First elected in 2011, she thanked citizens, city staffers, and other council members for their support.
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"This has been an amazing ride,” Price said. “It's a bittersweet feeling but I feel very good about this city. This is a city of heart and a city with passion and compassion."
Price, the former county tax assessor, led Fort Worth through huge growth and big challenges.
An avid bicyclist, she brought bike lanes to city streets and championed exercise and education.
Some of her biggest challenges involved policing and hot-button racial issues -- and in the past year, the pandemic.
Tuesday night’s meeting also was also the final farewell for four outgoing council members: Kelly Allen Gray, Ann Zadeh, Jungus Jordon and Dennis Shingleton.
Shingleton took a swipe at Dallas when he encouraged the new group of city leaders to stay civil and support each other – even if they disagree on some issues.
"Otherwise you're going to end up like that city 30 miles to our east that can't find their butt in the dark with either hand,” he said to laughs.
But Price’s speech took center stage, and those in the council chambers gave the outgoing mayor a standing ovation.
"Serving as mayor has been one of the greatest honors of my life,” Price said. “This is my hometown. Tonight I simply want to say thank you to the people of Fort Worth for that opportunity."
The new mayor, Mattie Parker, will be sworn in next week, along with several new council members, a new generation of city leaders that is much younger and generally more liberal.
As for Price’s future, she said she is eyeing a run for the top political post in Tarrant County after Judge Glen Whitley announced Tuesday he will not seek re-election.