FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Had former Tarrant County tax assessor Betsy Price not won the mayor’s race against former Councilman Jim Lane, departing Mayor Mike Moncrief’s role in the transition of power would have been the same. And it’s a role Price was eager to embrace right away, she said.
“Tomorrow starts the first step of this,” Price told her campaign workers at her victory party Saturday night. “We’re not going to usurp Mike’s deal but we will be talking with him immediately.”
Moncrief endorsed Price before the runoff election Saturday.
There is an unwritten tradition of succession in Fort Worth that’s been forged by more than 40 mayors. They don’t pass major new policies just before a new mayor takes power, and they realize they’re a part of a small band of people who’ve held the position.
“She will be the 44th mayor of this city and that’s pretty tall cotton,” Moncrief said.
Moncrief may have seemed a natural at the position, having returned to the city after serving in the Texas State Senate in Austin, but he received behind the scenes training from two previous mayors.
“I wouldn’t say it’s top secret,” Moncrief said. “You’ve got to learn how to run the train. Our city is not like other cities where the new replace the old and then they’re just forgotten about.”
It’s the same tradition that drew at least three current councilmembers to Price’s victory party, too.
“I think it’s a signal of cooperation,” Price said. “I think its a sign they’re on board with the message we need to get back to the bottom line and taking care of our citizens.”
And, in the tradition of mayors old and new, Moncrief said he is ready to help.
“That’s expected of me,” Moncrief said. “And I’m ready to do it the same way Ken Barr or Bob Bolen did it when I asked them to stand in for me.”