Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price says it’s time to close the annual $35 million to $50 million budget gap between revenues and expenses. Price delivered her second “State of the City” address Tuesday.
Mayor Price smiled and looked at ease in front of more than 1,000 lunching Chamber of Commerce members in Fort Worth’s Convention Center. Standing on stage, no lectern, and with a computer tablet in hand, she said Fort Worth is “strong, very strong.” But she also said expenses exceed revenues, and that must change, so the budget is sustainable year after year.
“We will flatten expenses to get down to the revenue level. And then after that, as revenue begins to go up, we’ll be able to give our employees raises - to do additional things for you as citizens. We simply have to get those two lines in hand."
Price said she’ll ask a lot from employees, but the goal can be reached. She also asked for patience from drivers upset by ongoing road construction.
“And I know you’ve all got ‘orange cone syndrome.’ You just are sick and tired of the orange barrels every where, and you’re cursing us as you drive. It seems like every road you drive is torn up.”
Price said North Texas is undergoing $16 billion in road projects, and two thirds of that is in Fort Worth. So she said eventually, drivers will benefit. Most of her comments were upbeat. She said unemployment dropped below 6 percent. Sales tax revenues are up. Housing starts doubled, and multi-family construction rose by a factor or four.