City Hall is already looking different under the leadership of Fort Worth’s new mayor. Betsy Price ran this week’s city council meetings in the same manner she handles herself — she was pleasant, efficient, and confident. She remained calm after a resident took his turn to speak, lectured the council on how to vote, and told them not to believe anything in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram while urging them to take Fort Worth Weekly stories to the bank.
Price smiled and joked with the guy about using her big gavel to keep the council in line. Former Mayor Mike Moncrief would have smiled in that situation too — but only after saying, “Release the dogs” and watching a pack of Dobermans maul the dissenter.
Fort Worth now has a woman mayor and an openly gay man and several ethnicities represented on the council. Pretty good diversity for Cowtown, huh? Or is it?
Ten other people sit with Price on the dais — eight council members, a city attorney, and an interim city manager. In a perfect world, their demographics would match that of the city. But consider this: A slight majority of the city’s 750,000 people are female, and yet only three of 11 on the dais are women. Latinos make up more than a third of the city’s population, but only one of 11 on the dais is Hispanic. The city’s median age is 31, and yet everyone on the dais is older than that.
The diversity of city leadership would improve even more by phasing out a few old white guys, but replacing Moncrief with Price was a start. Now if we could only find a young Asian transsexual to take over as city manager … .
Last week’s story on library expansion plans (“Booking Confusion”) incorrectly stated that Fort Worth’s draft plan calls for the Northside and Diamond Hill/Jarvis branches to be closed and combined into a new facility. In actuality, the plan recommends that both be remodeled. Also the plan calls for four new branch facilities of some sort, not six. Fort Worth Weekly regrets the errors.