A fond farewell from Mayor Carrie Tergin.
I feel like my whole term has been all memorable moments. From unexpected moments, such as coming together and being #JCStrong after the EF-3 tornado and leading our community through a pandemic, to moments of fruition, like gaining the deed and hosting concerts at the historic Missouri State Penitentiary grounds. People said it couldn’t be done, and now we’re on track to seeing one of the biggest economic developments in Jefferson City.
What’s been most memorable is doing projects that residents have talked about for 50 years, such as getting the Bicentennial Bridge project done from start to finish. It was huge and quite a memorable moment because now that it’s built, people love it, and it’s a great addition to our community and the Capitol.
Coming into my first term in 2015, the first order of business was adding a plaque to the mayor’s office door that says “The People’s Office.” What an honor to hold the title as Jefferson City’s second woman to serve as mayor and represent our city’s history. But what was really eye opening was that we can get so much done. Having served as councilwoman for six years, then coming in as mayor, I ran with three goals in mind, which were redevelopment of the historic prison, Capitol Avenue revitalization, and riverfront access. I always believed it could be done, so the bigger challenges were figuring out how to overcome and finding ways to make it happen. Despite all the roadblocks, we have seen such progress over the last eight years with constant hard work, dedication, collaboration, perseverance from our entire team, not taking no for an answer, and not letting the doubters distract the path to completing the vision. And while many don’t get to see all of the work behind these projects, it’s very rewarding to say that we’ve gone uphill every step of the way.
During my time as mayor, I always found it very important to be present in our community. I never envisioned that things, like taking a selfie with the mayor, would have evolved out of that, but being able to use my platform and share so many great people and great things happening in this capital city has been so heartwarming. Whether attending an Eagle Scout ceremony or running through a freezing sprinkler for the Special Olympics, I was in a way #JCMO’s biggest cheerleader, proof that even our elected officials can enjoy life and bring awareness to Jefferson City. And getting to be present at so many special and historical events are moments that will be cherished forever. What I’ll miss the most are all the military and first responder appreciations, recognitions, commemorations over the years, and visits from the USS Jefferson City crew members. I have the highest respect for the men and women who serve our country and protect our city, and celebrating the efforts of those who put themselves out there to take care of us is pretty impressive. Let’s all continue to find ways to get involved and help honor them.
Speaking of the future, I don’t know what’s ahead, but it’s been fun thinking about what the future might look like. I could have never envisioned being the mayor of Jefferson City, but look how far we’ve come! I can’t wait to see what the next chapter brings. I’m going to miss shining a light on Jefferson City. A mayor has to care about this city — completely and deeply care about it and its people more than anything and base every decision on that. It has been an honor.