Mayoral Q&A: Cathy Hirt

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    Q: Mayor Moncrief has had such a close relationship with TCU, including implementing “Purple Fridays” and approving a “Go Frogs” sign painted in the grass along the Trinity River. Do you plan on continuing that relationship with TCU and if so, how?

    A: Well absolutely, I’d actually like to see even more relationships. I would like to see opportunities for TCU students to intern in various city departments, for example, and be able to learn firsthand about government distribution of services. I would like to see TCU, academically, work on projects the city needs to do; analyze issues, economic development issues, education related issues, create research projects for TCU — so not just the fun stuff. Yes, we obviously need to support the sports and the spirit of TCU, which is fantastic, but we really need to put TCU to work with us solving the city’s problems and that’s where I’d like to see it go ever further than where it is so far. I’ll wear purple. I’ll definitely wear purple.

    Q: Why should TCU students vote for you as the next mayor?

    A: Well you know, I think it’s important where you go to school that the city is vibrant and that there are opportunities for the students to do things that really interest them and I think that I am very keenly aware that not only downtown, which is important for TCU students, but also on Berry Street and in close proximity to the university. I was actually responsible for starting the Berry Street Initiative so that is a near and dear project to my heart. I think it would be important for TCU students to realize that could be a key resource that is getting much, much better. I think that I am very keenly aware of the need for TCU students to be able to utilize the city as a whole. I’d like the Trinity River to be accessible to the students and for the students to be able to use that for recreation purposes. I’d like the students to be able to continue to use downtown and have access by virtue of transportation. One of the things we did was we worked on creating a trolley relationship between TCU and downtown, which doesn’t exist as it should anymore — I don’t think it exists at all to be honest. So I think TCU students would have a real benefit in voting for me because of my interest with TCU.

    Q: The city has attempted to improve Berry Street to include more businesses. What are your thoughts on the Berry Street Initiative?

    A: I think it’s moving along. I’d like to see it move faster. I’d like to see more student-friendly businesses, and I’d like for it to go further down Berry Street. I’d love for all of that to happen but it’s all part of the vision and the plan and it will just take some time. I think the most exciting thing about the Berry Street Initiative is that in 2013, the commuter rail is going to stop on Berry Street, and that is huge. That means that students can go from Berry Street to downtown, students can go from Berry Street to the North Side, students can go from Berry Street to the airport, and students can go from Berry Street to Dallas. So that will create a dynamic for Berry Street as well because when you have that commuter rail stop, businesses will also come because they know that more people will be getting off to come to TCU. So I think there is some huge momentum right now and some really exciting ideas that are coming to fruition for Fort Worth and for Berry Street.

    The interviews were part of a joint effort of the Schieffer School of Journalism and KERA-TV/KERA-FM and recorded at the school’s facilities. For more information, visit http://www.kera.org/radio/news/voters.php.