FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – To one of the thousand or so people attending Mayor Mike Moncrief’s final State of the City Address, it might have seemed an unusual sight; the Mayor and his wife Rosie petting dogs in cages stacked up outside of the convention center ballroom where the mayor was about to speak. But Fort Worth Animal Control is a model of the public/private teamwork Moncrief believes Fort Worth needs to grow.
Animal control teamed with PetSmart to open an adoption center in a south Fort Worth store. “Since we opened the door to the new adoption center,” Moncrief told listeners during his speech, “The city hasn’t euthanized one healthy, adoptable animal. Not one!”
Moncrief used his speech to list other public-private ventures such as the Omni Hotel built to support convention center business. And Moncrief says he’ll use his last months to bring back an abandoned public project — modern streetcars.
“Let’s hit the reset button,” Moncrief said. “Let’s consider another model with greater participation from the private sector.”
The city had eyed federal money to start the program but passed on the grant since municipal funds a weren’t available to make the project viable. The street cars are part of a larger effort to make the inner city more accessible.
Moncrief told the audience the future of Fort Worth depends on making downtown liveable for a new generation. And that generation, he says, prefers street cars, bicycles and walking to traffic. “And friends, if they don’t find that lifestyle here in Fort Worth, they’re going to leave,” Moncrief said. “And, if they do we all lose. If growth is to continue in Fort Worth, and it will, our focus must be on building up instead of out.”
And, Moncrief says, the only way for the city to keep growing is with the city working with the private sector. “The future of our city and the 741,000 people who are so blessed to call it home, depend on it,” Moncrief said in an emotional close to his speech. “May God bless you, and may God continue to bless the great City of Fort Worth.”