Mayor Christian Price will always work to advance the causes of the city he loves.
After serving as Maricopa’s mayor for the last decade, Price will resign to take the role of president and CEO of the Maricopa Economic Development Alliance, a private, nonprofit entity with a city contract to help attract industry and jobs.
With his new position, Price’s job will, in many ways, mirror the job he currently holds: help bring new economic opportunities to Maricopa.
“I’m still here,” Price said. “I’m taking the knowledge that I’ve garnered on the job for Maricopa and I want to take it to the next level. I think we have an amazing Council and there will be a great mayor, whoever that person ends up being. The future is bright and the sky’s the limit.”
There is still two years left on Price’s four-year term as mayor. The timing of his resignation means there is no chance for potential candidates to garner the necessary signatures to get on the ballot for this year’s election. As a result, Maricopa’s next mayor will be chosen by the City Council.
As Price explained, the process isn’t much different than what’s employed by many other municipalities.
“We’re an at-large city, meaning the public votes in the mayor,” Price said. “But there are many cities and towns where the mayor is selected by the City Council.”
Vice Mayor Vincent Manfredi will serve as interim mayor until a new mayor is selected.
As mayor, Price has one of seven votes on the City Council. The first order of business for the Council will be to select a seventh member to replace Price’s vote. Soon after, the Council will select a mayor from the seven serving councilmembers, who will serve out the remaining two years of Price’s term.
Manfredi said the process to select a new mayor will begin immediately.
“We will get legal advice and define the process prior to his departure,” Manfredi said. “We will meet as a council and set a timeline. I suspect by year-end, we will have a mayor in place who will serve until an election can be held in 2024.”
A tough decision
Price has spent the last 10 years as mayor. In many ways, he has become the job and it’s become a part of his identity. A little over a month ago, MEDA approached Price. The answer wasn’t immediate.
“I said, look, I need some time to think about it,” Price said. “I need some time to work through this because, you know, there’s a whole lot of emotions that run through your head when you’ve enjoyed something so much. And you know, the last thing I want to do is feel like I’m abandoning my post. I certainly don’t want to do that.”
But with time, Price started to come to the realization that the move was really the continuation of the job he’s already doing.
“I have really looked at this deeply,” Price said. “I’m helping even more because I get to hyperfocus on this job of bringing industry here, and that was very exciting to me.”
Price will answer directly to MEDA’s board of directors, comprised of business leaders throughout Maricopa. He feels with the structural changes the board has made, it’s ready for success and he’s excited to be at the helm. He’ll have a staff of 3-5 people who will work to attract companies to partner with the city to bring jobs and economic prosperity.
“We are working in a formation,” Price said. “It’s like forming the tip of the spear that has never really been there before and that’s exciting.”
For Price, there are a lot of stories to tell from his tenure as mayor and city denizen. He bought his home in Maricopa in 2005, and then watched it lose 80 percent of its value in just a few years as the city was devastated by the Great Recession, where a boom became a bust in a matter of a few years.
Nowadays, there’s no doubt the city has fully recovered. But even as late as 2011, when Price was considering running for mayor, there were doubters.
“I remember when I was thinking about it, and I contacted a friend to run my campaign, she told me, ‘The only reservation I have is that everyone is wanting to leave Maricopa,’” Price recalled. “Everybody wanted to leave this city that I knew. Everybody. They wanted to get out. They thought it was the middle of the recession. They were angry. They had been promised something and I tried to come in with a little bit of optimism and a little bit of belief that, hey, it’s going to be OK.”
The struggle during those early years makes it even more special for Price.
“I knew we were going to grow through this and were going to find a way to make it happen,” Price said.
When Price took the mayoral reins in 2012, Maricopa was a good deal smaller than it is now. But as he sees it, leading a city looking to grow is just as big a challenge as leading a city now nearly twice the size as when he took over.
“It’s all relative,” Price said. “Back then, I was working just as hard because I was learning on the job. I didn’t know the right people. I was trying to get to know the Council at the time and how to work effectively with them. There were so many hurdles to overcome.”
Read more about Christian Price by clicking here.
Editor’s note: Vincent Manfredi is co-owner of InMaricopa.
this smells like the good old boy network
I have met Mr. Price many times. I would like to thank him for his service. Mr. Mayor, you will be missed. May God bless you and your family.
Illuminati: Thank you sir for your kind words and I appreciate your kind support. Yes my family will be happy to have me home a bit more often. Lol.
He could not get industry and jobs here in the 10 years he was mayor and then sat on his hands while Casa Grande and Chandler ate Maricopa for lunch…everyone who lives here who was commuting to work outside Maricopa tells you all you need to know. He’s just polishing a chair waiting for a bigger opportunity in politics. No loss.
NYTOAZ, thank you for once again proving you know absolutely NOTHING about municipal governance and economic development. You see for the past 10 yrs I was in office (in what is a 19 yr old city this year) we as a city have been prepping the the city to be ready for large scale industry and in the meantime actually improving the quality of life for those that live here. Since taking office we have doubled our size and quadrupled our retail and successful businesses here. So there’s that.
Just having people people and dirt isn’t enough. You have to have large scale shovel ready corporate sites with utilities pulled to it, flood plains resolved, etc. etc. and many other things corporate headquarters and CEO’s want. Maricopa simply wasn’t ready. As for Chandler and CG, as 100 yr old city’s that had similar problems as we did/do, they fixed their problems in year 50 or in year 75 of their 100yrs. So are you saying that we should wait 50 or 60 MORE years to locate companies here to Maricopa, because it took them so long to get to where they could get large scale companies after their incorporations because of their challenges? You can’t compare a 100yr old city to 19 yr old city and expect them to be in the same place for development. Apples and oranges. But if you do compare us then please give me/us the credit of being light-years ahead of them in where we are in just 19 years also with an 8 yr recession built in there. So make that super light years ahead! They were still horse and buggy much less the site of large corporate businesses after 50 or 60 yrs as a city. So Maricopa’s rockin it!
Yeah if we’re done being silly, that’s the best part, hyper focusing on our next stage of growth. The large company/industry. You are right everybody travelling to the Phx metro area does “tell you everything you need to know”…they want to live here, they want to have home ownership here and they don’t mind making the trip so that they could have what they want at an affordable rate in a wonderful place in the 5th safest city in the state. Yup it sure does tell you everything you need to know and why they keep coming here in droves! Our growing population continues to prove you wrong. They want the same thing an incredible piece of the American Dream.
BTW if you think I’m sitting down then you don’t know me very well. ha ha ha. Have a good time with your cynicism and negativity. The rest of us will continue to work hard to better our favorite city! And I look forward to sitting down and chatting with you about our overall city’s progress in another 10 yrs, that is if you’re still around….! Can’t wait! LOL
mayor price my over riding ? is for the last 3 to 5 years u and city council knew that rt 347 north was poor condition and u and vice did nothing to fix. now every am from light at frys to lakeview light at rancho is a traffic jam. what have u and u r vice mayor done to relieve issue? another choke point smith enke same time 6 am to 8 am traffic backed u to entrance light at villages and what is u r or vince plan to fix. another choke point is honeycutt road and over pass when drivers want to go south on rt 347 traffic backed up to light past at honeycutt coffe strip mall. why is it that planning and zoning commission and city manager got to approve building more house with no road infastructure improvements