Mayor Betsy Price, Fort Worth’s longest-serving mayor, announced Tuesday that she will not seek re-election.
Price said deciding not to seek re-election was a difficult decision, but she said she intends to spend more time with her grandchildren. She said she will remain active in community affairs – she is sometimes called the Energizer Bunny for her seemingly endless energy – but did not mention any particular roles she hopes to fill.
View Price’s news conference announcing her decision.
Price, a Fort Worth native, was elected in 2011 as the 44th mayor. In 2019, she was re-elected to a historic fifth term; when she steps down this summer, she will be the longest-serving mayor of Fort Worth, the 13th largest U.S. city.
Since taking office, Price has initiated a broad agenda that emphasizes economic development, stronger education, public safety, improved mobility and efficiency at City Hall.
Price and the City Council have lowered the city’s tax rate by 12 cents since 2012. Even with lower taxes, she worked to close a $45 million city budget gap in 2011 and delivered a balanced budget that continued to provide essential services to residents.
In addition, she secured the city’s pension fund without state intervention, and worked to improve productivity at City Hall to realize savings in processes, time and money— all while boosting customer service levels.
Price made significant strides along the path toward her vision of a healthy and engaged city. Fort Wort is the largest U.S. city to be certified by the Blue Zones Project, an international wellness initiative. FitWorth is another citywide wellness program she fostered.
During her tenure, Price worked closely with local school districts to ensure companies can draw on well-trained personnel in the future. She believes Fort Worth’s economy is linked to well-prepared young people who are ready to enter the workplace. Read Fort Worth is an initiative that pushes for every third-grade student to read on grade level by 2025.
Price said she is particularly proud of the way younger residents have stepped up through Steer Fort Worth and other programs to become the city’s future leaders.
Fort Worth’s 45th mayor will be elected on May 1. Campaign filing for municipal elections begins Jan. 13.
Residents can meet the finalists for Fort Worth police chief at a community meeting at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 14 at the Fort Worth Convention Center Ballroom, 1201 Houston St.
The six finalists were selected from a pool of more than 50 applicants. Strategic Government Resources conducted a national search for the new police chief.
Learn more about the candidates.
At the community meeting, there will be plenty of room for social distancing, and COVID-19 protocols will be in place. The meeting will also be carried live on FWTV, the city’s website and social media.
Residents may submit comments for city management and questions for candidates via FWConnection until Jan. 13.
COVID-19 vaccination distribution is on the uptick in Fort Worth, with many area residents eager to get the shot. Vaccine distribution began several weeks ago to hospitals, freestanding ERs, EMS providers, pharmacies, local health departments, medical practices, long-term care facilities and other types of providers.
To meet the rising demand for the vaccine here locally, Tarrant County Public Health (TCPH) has a newly-created online portal that eligible residents can use to easily register for a no-cost vaccine.
TCPH will determine if you qualify for a vaccination at this time and then send you an email regarding your eligibility status. Keep in mind that sign-up confirmations are emailed out once a day, so it could take up to 48 hours to receive a response, especially with demand being as high as it is, TCPH says.
The coronavirus vaccine currently is in limited supply, but quantities are expected to increase over the coming months as manufacturing and distribution ramp up. Residents are encouraged to pre-register on the website now so that the county can better plan for and distribute the vaccine as we move forward.
“We understand that there has been some confusion about the vaccine availability and we are doing our best to get the most accurate and current information out to residents,” said Brandon Bennett, City of Fort Worth Health officer and code compliance director. “Distribution of this size is not something that is done on a regular basis and the city is supporting Tarrant County as they try to get the vaccine to as many residents as possible.”
A tiered system is in place to prioritize distribution. Health care and first responders are at the top so that they can care for the sick and help with mass vaccinations without facing health risk to themselves or others. The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has information on the criteria used for vaccination priority on their main vaccination page. You can also find a list of other vaccination locations throughout the state on their website.
As for safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine, data culled in large-scale clinical trials and reviewed by FDA scientists show that the vaccines are safe and effective in preventing the spread of the virus. Get more information on the vaccine process in Tarrant County.
The Fort Worth Convention Center and the Will Rogers Memorial Center have received the STAR Facility accreditation status from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council, the cleaning industry’s only outbreak prevention, response and recovery accreditation for facilities.
“GBAC accreditation is the gold standard of prepared facilities,” said Mike Crum, director of public events for the City of Fort Worth. “Meeting planners will find that we have gone the extra mile to assure their event attendees have as safe an experience as possible while in our buildings.”
GBAC accreditation means that a facility has:
Established and maintained a cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention program to minimize risks associated with infectious agents like the novel coronavirus.
The proper cleaning protocols, disinfection techniques and work practices in place to combat biohazards and infectious disease.
Highly informed cleaning professionals who are trained for outbreak and infectious disease preparation and response.
“As the operations team has gone through the rigorous GBAC application process, we’ve been able to create and enhance our cleaning protocols,” said Cynthia Serrano, acting general manager of the Fort Worth Convention Center. “We’ve also developed new methodologies for our team to expand how we evaluate what is clean and safe.”
For example, technicians are deploying the use of an adenosine triphosphate meter, used widely by janitorial experts, to obtain readings on the cleanliness of the building. By doing this in-house, they are able to target high-traffic areas and increase frequency of disinfecting where and when needed.
Touch points are the most significant places for bacteria transfer and virus spread. Will Rogers and the convention center have reduced as many touch points as possible in restrooms by installing auto-flush toilets and urinals, automatic sink faucets and auto-dispensing equipment for soap, sanitizer and paper towels.
Bipolar ionization systems were also installed. This process involves releasing ionized particles (molecules with a positive/negative charge) that will attach to and deactivate harmful substances like bacteria, mold, allergens and viruses at the molecular level. The result is cleaner and healthier air.
“We always had a high standard, but now we are sanitizing for safety as well as cleaning for aesthetics,” said Kevin Kemp, general manager of Will Rogers Memorial Center.
As part of the requirement for accreditation, 18 Public Events Department employees also received a GBAC Trained-Technician certification. Individuals earning the certification are trained in planning, knowledge and processes needed to respond to a biohazard crisis in the workplace. They also mastered preventive, response and contamination control measures for infectious disease outbreak situations such as COVID-19.
“Team members earning the GBAC designation bring increased value to our clients because they have shown a commitment to safety, excellence and continuous learning,” Kemp said.
Interested parties may provide feedback on redistricting criteria and procedures during an upcoming series of virtual public meetings.
In 2016, Fort Worth voters approved an amendment to the City Charter to increase the number of City Council members from nine to 11 following the completion of the 2020 Census. The Task Force on Race and Culture in December 2018 recommended the goal of ensuring that the City Council reflects the diverse communities that it represents. The City Council appointed an 11-member Redistricting Task Force.
At 6 p.m. Jan. 4, Assistant City Manager Fernando Costa and Task Force Chair Lorraine Miller will present Redistricting 101, an opportunity for residents to learn more about redistricting. The session will be available on FWTV, the city’s website and Facebook. Submit questions before the broadcast.
Public meetings on redistricting will be conducted via Webex at 6 p.m. each of these evenings:
Jan. 19. *
The meetings will provide an opportunity to find out more about the redistricting task force and redistricting guidelines. The meeting on Jan. 19 will be conducted in Spanish.
Any member of the public who wishes to address the task force during these public hearings may sign up to speak no later than 5 p.m. on the day of the meeting. To sign up, email Fort Worth Connection or call 817-392-6248.
About the Redistricting Task Force
In August 2020, the City Council charged the task force with: “Evaluating the criteria and procedures by which the City Council has redrawn Council district boundaries in the past and, accordingly, advising the City Council about redistricting criteria and procedures that the City Council should use in the future.”
In December, the task force presented an interim report on findings to the City Council. Ten key criteria were listed. The task force also suggested that software training be provided to residents who are interested in the redistricting process, and that proposed redistricting plans submitted by residents be analyzed and presented to the City Council.
The group is urging transparency in the redistricting process by potentially requiring all map drawing to occur at public meetings, with computer screens visible to all parties.
Upcoming activities for the Redistricting Task Force:
Feb. 4, 2021, 3 p.m. The task force will discuss comments from the public meetings and reach agreement on final recommendations.
March 2, 2021, 3 p.m. The task force will present its final report to the City Council.
March 16, 2021, 7 p.m. The City Council will adopt a resolution accepting the final report.
All meetings of the Redistricting Task Force are open to the public.
Trinity Metro is redesigning its bus network to create A Better Connection and we need your help.
To make real improvements, we are reconsidering the entire network – adding services, examining single routes, and the intersection of service times, locations, and destinations in our growing city.
Take the survey today: https://ridetrinitymetro.org/abc-maps/
Fort Worth residents and institutions have the unique opportunity to participate in the creation of Refik Anadol’s exciting audio/video artwork titled, Pioneer Tower Dreams, which will be projected onto the facades of the historic 204-foot Pioneer Tower at the Will Rogers Memorial Center during a free public event in 2021.
Anadol has a Call for Memories website to accept images and/or stories associated with any location in the city. These memories will contribute to a vast pool of data which will be processed by machine-learning algorithms and transformed into a dreamlike visualization of Fort Worth’s collective memory.
We invite and encourage you to participate individually and through your institutions by the end of December. Please visit https://www.pioneertowerdreams.org to submit an individual memory. Or, if you wish to submit multiple memories, you may send them on a thumbdrive to:
Refik Anadol Studio
ATTN: Pioneer Tower/Brian Chung
2425 Glover Place
Los Angeles, CA 90031
We appreciate your ongoing involvement in the Pioneer Tower Iconic Public Art Project.
Public Art Call for Muralist(s)
Artspace111 is thrilled to announce a call for Texas muralists to design and execute a mural on the exterior of Artspace111’s iconic 109 year old building. The North facing wall is passed by 24,000 drivers on Weatherford Street every day leaving Downtown Fort Worth. Eligible artists will be Texas based. Artists must be willing to meet contractual obligations and adhere to the budget and timeline. One artist or artist team will be selected.
Total project budget $8000. This amount includes the cost of supplies and equipment rental. Artist(s) will have to provide safety certification for any operational equipment that requires safety training. Artspace111 will not provide additional funds outside this budget for supplies and equipment rental. We realize each artist works differently with different materials, and for that reason, we are giving flexibility to the chosen artist to work within the available budget. Artspace111 will disperse ½ the funds at the beginning of the project, and the remaining ½ when the project is completed. Artspace111 will own the copyright of the mural artwork.
Deadline For Submission:
Presentations should be submitted to Art@Artspace111.com by January 15, 2021. Artist(s) will be notified by February 1, 2021.
Timeline For Completion:
Mural complete by March 15, 2021.
The Texas Christian University Horned Frogs and the Texas A&M University Aggies men’s basketball teams are set to face off at Dickies Arena Dec. 12 during the annual Lone Star Showdown presented by Simmons Bank.
This matchup will mark the first contest between TCU and Texas A&M in men’s basketball since the Horned Frogs claimed a 91-89 win against the Aggies in 1996.
Dickies Arena will also host the Southwest Showcase presented by Simmons Bank for the first time Nov. 29. The double header event will be played between Texas Tech University vs. University of Houston and Sam Houston State University vs. Boise State University.
Texas Tech and Houston rivaled each other for many years beginning in 1972 when Houston joined Texas Tech in the Southwest Conference. The teams’ most recent matchup in 2014 resulted in an 82-69 victory for the Houston Cougars, breaking a nine-game matchup win streak for the Red Raiders.
Sam Houston State and Boise State will take to the court for the second time in program history. The first match took place in 1987 with a 73-66 victory for Boise State.
“We are excited to revive some historic basketball matchups at Dickies Arena,” said Trail Drive Management Corp.’s Matt Homan, president and general manager of Dickies Arena. “In collaboration with the NCAA, health professionals and government leaders we have implemented extensive procedures and protocols to protect the health and safety of the student athletes, coaches and fans. We look forward to providing a safe and enjoyable experience for our guests and bringing great games to Fort Worth.”
Tipoff, on-sale dates and television broadcast information for all three games will be announced later.
On Nov. 12, KERA’s Art&Seek and the Kimbell Art Museum present “Taking It to the Streets: The Mural Movement in Fort Worth,” a live online State of the Arts discussion that explores the unifying influence of public art and how artists have adapted to the COVID-19 era.
Across Fort Worth and around the world, artists are responding to a year of massive upheaval with mural making. In a time of social distancing, murals have become medium and megaphone for critical conversations, community activism and public art. From downtown Fort Worth and the Near Southside to the Stockyards and beyond, murals with a message can be found on street corners and alleyways — and sometimes in unexpected places. Local artists and experts will discuss how murals intersect with power, protest and representation.
“Fort Worth’s vibrant arts scene has responded in remarkable ways to this turbulent year of pandemics, politics and protests,” said William Gibbons, associate dean of TCU’s College of Fine Arts. “Public art helps each of us process the fundamental challenges of our times, and it also has the power to bring us together as a community in a uniquely isolating moment.”
Letitia Huckaby, local photographer, artist and co-founder of Huckaby Studios; local artist Juan Velazquez of Velazquez Art; and Jan Ballard, instructor of graphic design at TCU’s College of Fine Arts, will join moderator Jerome Weeks, senior arts reporter and producer for Art&Seek, in this discussion.
This free one-hour event begins at noon Nov. 12. Register online.
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