Texas Big City Mayors Meet in Fort Worth
By Office of Communication
Posted on August 01, 2012, August 01, 2012

Mayors discuss unity on mobility, water, homelessness, education

The city of Fort Worth was honored to play host for the mayors of many of the state's largest cities to discuss important shared challenges and opportunities. The mayors met Monday at Texas Motor Speedway and were treated to a ride around the racetrack after their five hour meeting.

On the agenda were the major local issues of mobility, water, homelessness and education. The mayors also received a legislative outlook presentation from Fort Worth State Senator Wendy Davis.

"It was great to all have the chance to sit down and share many of the common challenges and opportunities that connect all of us," said Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. "I think we have a good dialogue and we committed to supporting each other as we head into another state legislative session in the coming year. We've got a lot our collective plate, but together we are much stronger."

The mayors agreed to draft a joint resolution asking the state legislature to fully fund the Texas Homeless Housing and Services Program, which provides crisis intervention, case management and employment services to families in the state's major urban centers.

On the issue of mobility, Texas Transportation Commissioner Bill Meadows provided an update on the state's major transportation challenges and possible solutions. The mayor's agreed that the state should look at transportation funding alternative outside of the gas tax. However, if the state can't deliver needed funding, the mayors said cities should be given the tools necessary to provide local options to generate the revenue needed to support growing transportation needs.

The availability and delivery of water is a challenge that each of the mayors continue to face, albeit at different levels. Some cities, like Austin, have significant water conservation programs, while other cities are just getting started. The mayors committed to working together to share information and help build consensus around programs that could work across the state to assure the affordable delivery of clean, safe water.

The mayors had a lively discussion about the role of public education in the future growth of their cities. Cliff Johnson, executive director for the Youth, Education and Families program at the National League of Cities, presented the national landscape with respect to cities engaging in the success of students. The mayors agreed that cities can and should get involved in early childhood development to better prepare young children for success at school.

Other topics of discussion included public pensions, public safety communication and working together through the Texas Municipal League on implementing local legislative agendas. Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving agreed to host the next meeting of the Big Texas City Mayors in the fall.

The cities present at today's meeting in Fort Worth represented roughly 9 million Texans in most of the urban centers across the state. Those present, included:

  • Mayor Paul Harpole, Amarillo
  • Mayor Robert Cluck, Arlington
  • Mayor Lee Leffingwell, Austin
  • Mayor Joe Adame, Corpus Christi
  • Mayor Mike Rawlings, Dallas
  • Mayor Mark Burroughs, Denton
  • Mayor John Cook, El Paso
  • Mayor Betsy Price, Fort Worth
  • Mayor Ronald Jones, Garland
  • Mayor Charles England, Grand Prairie
  • Mayor Annise Parker, Houston
  • Mayor Beth Van Duyne, Irving
  • Mayor Glen Robertson, Lubbock
  • Mayor Phil Dyer, Plano
  • Councilmember Ray Lopez, San Antonio (representing Mayor Julian Castro)

Fort Worth

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