Betsy Price has left an indelible mark on Fort Worth.
The Fort Worth native who graduated from Arlington Heights High School and the University of Texas at Arlington put her bachelor’s degree in business administration to good use running Price Cornelius Title out of her father’s used car dealership.
She was involved in the Fort Worth community, serving on various boards and commissions, and active in helping elect Republican candidates to office.
But the idea of running for elected office didn’t cross her mind until a business client convinced her that she had the experience and skill to transform the beleaguered county tax office into an efficient operation.
Price ran successfully for Tarrant County Tax Assessor-Collector in 2000 and immediately set her sights on reducing the average wait time at the department’s offices from about 50 minutes to 10 minutes.
Price earned a reputation as an innovator and a creative leader. When former Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief announced his retirement, Price’s supporters looked to her as the successor who could fix the city’s broken pension system that was burdening the city’s finances and taxpayers.
Price was elected the 44th mayor of Fort Worth in 2011 and earned the distinction of being the city’s longest-serving mayor by the time she announced her decision to retire at the end of her fifth consecutive two-year term in 2021.
Her accomplishments as mayor include balancing the city’s budget and cutting taxes as well as presiding over a period of tremendous growth, which elevated Fort Worth to the rank of the nation’s 12th largest city.
Her commitment to community service produced programs and initiatives that improved the lives of residents, including reducing crime, adding dedicated bicycle lanes and a bike-sharing program. She also introduced the Blue Zones Project to promote healthy living in Fort Worth.
Her tenure was marked by a period of new development and revitalization as well as the introduction of a long-awaited arrival of a commuter rail line from Fort Worth to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
“For me, it’s never been about politics,” she said. “It’s always been about community service.”
And leadership. “You have to bring people together to collaborate,” she said. “You can’t get things done without compromising.”
Price was ready to hang up her spurs after serving 10 years as mayor but her desire to continue to serve the community led her to enter the Republican primary to replace retiring Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley. She suffered a surprising defeat in the March 3 primary after being targeted in a relentless barrage of negative campaign ads and mailings.
Price, 72, now has begun the next phase of her life that she imagined for herself a year ago: spending time with her husband, Tom, her adult children and grandkids and indulging her passion for cycling. She plans to become more involved with philanthropy, community service and business endeavors.