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YOUR OPINION: Era in city government ending

March 19, 2023 at 3:15 a.m.

Tony Smith, Jefferson City

Dear Editor,

The News Tribune's City Council forum last week made us think about the future and past. In this regard, some candidates mentioned Mayor Tergin and the future mayor.

Upon reflection, I realize an era is ending. Carrie Tergin has been our mayor for eight years. In that time frame, two tumultuous events occurred. The first was a horrendous tornado. The second was a worldwide pandemic. Each event had negative impacts on our city.

As Madame Mayor, Tergin was everywhere encouraging and boosting responders, businesses and citizens in their responses. She has always worked toward good working relationships with all levels of Missouri government including city and county departments.

In my 40 years of living in Jefferson City, no mayor has been a bigger city booster. She is everywhere. At civic and organization events, she appears to support your group. She is not partisan in her support. She is generous in her praise.

Mayors in this town only vote to break a tie among council members. Mayor Tergin can take the tough vote. In a 50/50 world, someone is not going to be happy. I thought her decisions were based on what she thought was best for our city. Maybe my decision would have been different if I had the facts. I never doubted her intent. A mayor sets the tone.

One candidate astutely observed we live in inflationary times. This inflation is worldwide. Like our tornado and COVID itself, these events force a city to deal with powerful factors while trying to maintain and improve a city's functioning. Citizens want good infrastructure. Businesses seek opportunity but also rely on good infrastructure.

There are four contested council seats. The resumes of most candidates demonstrate strong personal achievement. Can the winners translate their personal success to a collaborative council working in our city's best interest? That requires a councilman to consider their ward plus the overall city's well-being. It requires good working relationships. What does our mayor-elect want?

A new era in our city government is about to begin. Citizens and businesses, all hope for the best. Help make a positive decision by voting on April 4.

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