Reflections and Visions for the Future

TownTalk One year ago I never would have imagined that I’d be writing this column, have an opportunity to share with you my vision for Jefferson City’s future or offer reflection on my time as mayor. Many have asked, “Do you like being mayor? Is it everything you expected?” My answer is yes. Being mayor is better than I ever imagined. I have received tremendous support and enthusiasm from the community, and that gives me the motivation to continue working hard for Jefferson City.

The most asked question I get is “When are you going to do something with the old prison?” This project is a priority of mine. The Missouri State Prison site has great potential for development, tourism, growth, jobs and more. We are the only city with a state capitol, a river and a retired prison. I want to better realize such opportunity and look forward to working with the state and other partners on this exciting project. Just imagine the possibilities.

What’s the biggest surprise? I sometimes get reactions from people who don’t know me, which include, “You’re the mayor?” Yes, I am our proud mayor. Although I might not fit the standard mold, I love sharing such reactions to encourage others to follow their dreams and go for their goals. You might just surprise those who doubt. Yes, I am young, vibrant, energetic, positive and driven. And, yes, I am the mayor. Most of all, I am thankful and honored to represent the people of our wonderful city.

What have I done so far? To begin, I hung a sign on my office at city hall that reads “The People’s Office.” My term is not about me: it’s about the people. Additionally, I am happy to have our first Lincoln University student representative, Jonathan Jackson, who is helping us with several great projects. Since there is not enough space in this column to give a complete update, visit my blog at where you will be connected with latest projects and events, citywide issues and solutions.

What do I hope to accomplish? I plan to continue building partnerships with the state, county, schools and Lincoln University. I look forward to working with city council on goals and our city’s vision. I want to have  conversations about MSP redevelopment and set measurable goals. I want dialogue with the state, meeting planners and hoteliers about a conference/events/meeting center and find a way to bring such partners to the table. Let’s continue to be persistent about bringing Capitol Avenue back to its original grandeur. Let’s look at how close we are to riverfront access and be encouraged by the many generous donors who are helping with this endeavor.

TownTalk2My hope is to keep you informed every step of the way, so think about what you would like to see for the future of Jefferson City. Please take a moment to write out a New Year’s Resolution for your town, and share it with me. Together we can do great things for our city.

Here’s to an awesome 2016, and here’s to your health. Let’s all strive for a healthy community. Watch for the Mayor’s Seatbelt Challenge in 2016. And, here’s to those who protect and serve our city every day. We cannot express enough appreciation. Here’s to #JCMO in 2016! #CarrieOn!