More than a decade after leading the city, Mayor Christian Price hosted his last meeting as mayor of Maricopa Tuesday night.
The meeting was inconsistent – a couple of zoning changes, some land use issues and general procedural items. But everyone in the crowd knew what the significance of the night was.
Price has guided Maricopa as mayor since taking office in January 2012. He leaves as head of the Maricopa Economic Development Agency, charged with bringing business and industry to Maricopa – a familiar ground for price.
He took office when the city had a population of about 20,000, and a decade later the burgeoning city had grown to 65,000. Her colleagues at the council expressed gratitude for their efforts in a video that was gathered from the city and played at the end of the meeting.
Council members were asked to sum up the price and their tenure in one word. Most found it impossible.
Council member Rich Vitiello said, “Wonderful man, great husband, great father, great mayor. The best mayor I’ve ever met. They are best friends and they will be dearly missed there, but they will not be forgotten.
Amber Learman, who is serving her first term as a council member, said Price was a mentor.
“Mayor Price has an infectious passion for Maricopa and its growth and success,” Liarman said. “I thank you so much for giving me opportunities to grow as a Maricopa leader. I appreciate your support and your vision and your ability to communicate your passion for this community and share it with other people so that we can all make this a better place to live in America.”
Councilmember Bob Marsh was one of the few who was able to distill his views on the price of one word – he chose a charismatic one – but then had more to say about the outgoing mayor.
“11 years ago, these tall, smiling, HOA board members and professional financial planners predicted that we could lead our city of 20,000 to 70,000 people and lead our city council as a political force in this state. Thank you, Mayor Price, for everything you’ve done for Maricopa and for the next decade. For everything. “
Nancy Smith, who served as deputy mayor last year, said she had seen a brave person when she first met Price.
“He’s nonstop, and you have to keep doing what he’s doing,” he said. “But behind the scenes, he takes phone calls while he’s at home, he takes phone calls while he’s in the city, you don’t know he meets people. This is a good reflection of their love for the city of Maricopa. One of the things I like and watch about him is his commitment to the city of Maricopa and you see it in every field he does.
Vice Mayor Vincent Manfredi, who served as mayor until Council elected a replacement for Price, narrowed the price point to two words – optimistic or resilient.
“But I’m going to recover,” Manfredi said. “He’s always going to be great when it comes to transportation or issues in the city, and he’s always going to make a big effort. The guy has given 100 percent to Maricopa City for the last 10 years. I’m proud to have known him as a friend before he was elected. I’m proud to know him as a friend when he was elected. I am proud to know them as ordinary citizens who work to help. Maricopa. “
Council member Henry Wade chose the word “loyal” to describe Price and his tenure.
“He’s loyal to the people around him, loyal to us council members, loyal to the community, loyal to his family,” Wade said. “Yes, I say I am faithful. We’re going to miss you, Mr. Mayor. I look forward to hearing and seeing about the things you do for the city. I think we are fortunate to continue their services in this other capacity. I think it will be a great partnership for everyone around. And if you tell him that I miss him and I love him, he needs to re-run the tape.
Price himself summed up his tenure at the helm of the city, saying, “It was a lifelong honor.”