Ron Fitzwater talks about his plans for Jefferson City.
For Ron Fitzwater, the perfect day starts out just like the rest of our days — with a good cup of coffee. His favorite? Yanis Coffee Zone on East High Street. An Ohio native who is Missourian at heart, Ron succeeds former Jefferson City mayor, Carrie Tergin.
Prior to being elected, Ron was the CEO of the Missouri Pharmacy Association and councilman for Ward 4, where he strove for honesty, accountability, and did not shy away from asking hard questions. He cherishes his time as chairman for the Council for Drug Free Youth, and is active in local Republican politics.
“I want to pass as many talents forward, spending a lot of time volunteering, and working on community-related events in order to help the community move forward,” Ron says.
Outside of office hours, Ron is a proud husband to his wife, Karen, a father of three (two sons and a daughter), and a grandfather of 10 (five boys and five girls). As the new mayor, Ron says he has four main priorities: public safety, maintaining infrastructure, finding solutions for the community housing issue, and golfing as much as possible. In regard to public safety and maintaining infrastructure, Ron intends to provide greater support for police officers and the fire fighting force, which will give the community a stronger sense of protection.
“People don’t only want to feel safe, but they want to know they are safe,” he says. “They don’t want to just hear it; they want to see it.”
As Jefferson City’s population continues to approach 50,000, it is imperative to continue the upkeep of a growing city. This will include investing in our roads, proper code enforcement, and keeping community areas clean.
“We want to see this city grow, and we want to do it right. But, we also want to take care of what we have. We want to make this a beautiful city.”
As far as addressing the housing crisis, Ron acknowledges that it has been a source of tension during his time as councilman, and he understands there is no one solution that can solve every issue. He attributes the root of this issue to the shortage of all housing in Jefferson City — for homeowners of high, middle, and low income. After looking at what is contributing to this housing crisis, Ron intends to get as much of the community involved to work toward a solution that serves everyone. This includes a current homeless and housing task forces, the implementation of other reinforcement parties, major employers, private investors, local organizations (like the Chamber ofCommerce), religious institutions, and Lincoln University.
“We want to see this city grow, and we want to do it right. But, we also want to take care of what we have.”RON FITZWATER
“What we need are decision-makers. We need decision-makers that can develop a strategy to implement what we need. We have had really good people working on this issue, but I want to get the people who can make this happen.”
Ron also wants to utilize the already existing community to grow a city of committed citizens.
“The city will sell itself if we do the right job. We have a lot to offer, we just need to showcase ourselves to attract people and businesses committed to the community.”
Ron encourages Jeffersonians to get involved —whether it’s picking up litter, volunteering for boards, or joining commissions. During his time in office, he welcomes citizens to make their voices heard.
“It is nice to hear what you are doing right, but it is important to know what we are not doing well.”