Jefferson City is a beautiful community inside and out. We often think about the capitol, the stunning architecture and historic buildings, the vast nature, the greenway trails, and the Missouri River. But look closely and listen and you’ll see and hear what really makes us so unique and amazing: our people. 

Like a work of art, a stunning tapestry, each of us is woven into the thread of our community. The more varied the colors, stories, and backgrounds, the stronger and more beautiful the tapestry becomes. 

I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I never expected the challenges that have occurred during my term as mayor. Five days after I was first elected mayor, a fire in the downtown business next to mine brought significant smoke damage, prompting people to tell me, “We’re so sorry — and congratulations?” But we made it through. 

Having grown up to be a third-generation business owner, I think about my grandfather, who came to this country as a young boy with nothing but a desire to work hard in what he described as the “best country on earth.” When he saw the capitol, he knew this would be his home. He lived the American dream, but I am certain he never dreamed his granddaughter would one day lead Jefferson City. I never thought I would lead the city through the first tornado recorded in our history, which came to a city already heavily flooded. Overnight I was fearful that our tapestry, our character as a city, had been torn apart and destroyed. But instead, I saw us become forever changed and stronger than we ever thought we could be. We are strong enough to take whatever comes our way, like the giant hail storm that hit during a pandemic. We will Carrie on!      

Carrie on — recently, I realized I grew into my name. It all made sense. A play on words that is so true and real. Keep going, JCMO; we can do this! We carry one another, we lift one another up, and we encourage one another. We’ve all had quite a load in the five years I’ve been mayor, but there is no doubt that we carry each other through. We’ve had the courage as a community to take on visionary projects that we’ve talked about for generations, and now they are finally coming to fruition!  

In this city, I hold the honor of being the second woman to lead the city as mayor in its nearly 200-year history. As a young woman, I became mayor, a second-generation Hallmark store owner, the third generation of my family in this country, and someone who has a genuine love for this city and its people. 

We carry each other, we lift one another up, we encourage one another.

Mayor Carrie Tergin

As an artist, my love of painting is evident in many things I do. I love that feeling of looking at a blank canvas and having a vision of what the finished artwork can become. Putting your creativity onto canvas can be a challenge. Much like leading the city, it takes pulling together support and input and listening to the voices of others. But, with each unique strand, together, we make our tapestry a masterpiece.    

We each have such a story, and JCMO would not be the same without yours. What’s your story? What is your legacy? What inspires you and made you the person you are today? How do you make our tapestry stronger and more beautiful? Without these challenges, what would our stories be? 

Take time to see and appreciate our beauty and the beauty that others bring to our community. Without the variations, it could be boring. Instead, we add interest, love, fun, and exciting stories created every day. We are so lucky to be the humans of JCMO!