Carrie Tergin’s home stretch as mayor

How did seven years go so fast? One year left, and a lot can (and will) happen! We’ve accomplished so much, it’s hard to believe this is my last year as mayor. When asked if I’ll be running again, and I say no due to the 8-year term limit, there’s this sort of shock and disbelief in a way. It’s very flattering to hear people excited about the city’s current direction and that they’re tuned into what’s going on and want to continue moving forward. When I think about this final year as mayor, I like to think about where we are and where we’re going. 

Currently, the city is focusing on completing the Missouri State Penitentiary (MSP) redevelopment. It’s likely the most substantial thing we’ll be working on over the next year, and while the progress may not be as visible as you think, it has taken many steps to get where it is today. From getting the land acquisition from the state in 2018 to the redevelopment pieces of the project and having tornado damage that completely changed the dynamic, it’s been a lot of work — but it’s also a lot of change for the better. With the current development group consisting of Chesterfield Hotels and Paric Construction, we finally get to look forward to locating the new hotel in place of MSP’s Housing Unit 5, which is in an amazing spot with a great viewpoint for guests. Then, to top it off, a rooftop experience like no other will be added with Missouri River and Capitol vantage points. Much needed conference space is a cornerstone of this development. 

And speaking of the prison redevelopment, the city is also talking about the future of connecting Adrian’s Island at the other end. When thinking about the potential of this area, it’s been a big dream to have the Capitol and MSP connected in some way. Who would have imagined back in 2015, when I was first elected as mayor, that we’d be stepping foot on Adrian’s Island. It’s always sort of been a mythical place that everybody has talked about, but it didn’t really seem to exist. Yet, here we are today, and we can take our dogs, families, and kids on walks by the river and picnics at the park — and there’s even more work to do when it’s done. 

During this 8-year journey, we’ve experienced many milestones along the way. We are currently working on the renovation of the current garage, which is really important. I still think there is potential for parking solutions within the city. We know that there is still a high demand especially in our role as the capital city. It’s also exciting to see projects like the redevelopment of buildings destroyed by the 2019 tornado. Even though they are not city-controlled properties, we are seeing a lot of revitalization from the tornado affected areas. We are already beginning to see changes with the Jefferson City High School expansion, more Habitat for Humanity homes being built, and some transformational housing on Jackson and Cherry streets. 

There is so much potential for Jefferson City! We’ve celebrated the new amphitheater, and we’re balancing all these new opportunities with retaining what we already have. It’s almost going to be a frenzy to just enjoy, share, promote, enhance, and keep it all going stronger. Even though we’re coming off a tornado and pandemic, we still have a lot to be proud of as a city. 

The other day, someone had told me I’m in the home stretch of my term as mayor. I describe my time in office to date as being like a marathon, and yet I feel energized because there is so much that is yet to be done. And like any good competitor, I want to finish strong and sprint toward the finish line!