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Independence mayor running for third term

By Mike Genet mike.genet@examiner.net

Independence Mayor Eileen Weir says she will run for a third four-year term in the April 2022 elections. 

While that election is more than 13 months out, candidates can first take out petitions to get on the ballot in September, and the primary election, if needed, is next February. Weir is the second woman mayor of Missouri’s fifth-largest city. She first won election to the City Council in 2012, then ran for mayor and won two years later and ran uncontested in 2018. 

Eileen Weir

“In my mind, it’s not very far out,” Weir said Tuesday morning after announcing on social media that she would seek another term. “Once the latest election is over, people start thinking about the next one, and various people are inquiring, if I was going to run for mayor or something else.”

“I’ve been thinking about it and giving it a lot of consideration, talking with my family and my supporters and determining if this was still the role I want to be in.”

Weir said that with the next fiscal year budget and five-year strategic plan both in development, “now would be a good time, since I’ve made a decision (to run). I’m eager to work with the council and the community.”

“There was no reason to wait or be coy about once I’ve decided. We’ve accomplished a lot, and we still have a lot of challenges we need to face.”

Weir said she’s proud of, after realizing the negative impact of not having a dedicated city health department, getting that department reinstated this year. In addition to points of economic development, the Uptown Market and communications center buildings being constructed and continuing to manage the budget while taking care of employees, Weir said she’s also proud the city has elevated its reputation and participation around the metro area and the state.

“People care what we think,” she said, “and we have been able to take some leadership positions on really important issues, thanks to our staff and other council members.”

“I still just love coming to work every day and working for the people, and I still think we have a big impact in Jefferson City.”

What remains to be accomplished, Weir said, is what motivates her more to run again.

Chief among those tasks, she said, is “really understanding our housing needs for our community, and we need some big employers and utility users.”

“We’ve been talking about that for a long time.”

“We made some progress on median income and population,” Weir said, “but we haven’t made enough progress in saying more of our residents have the opportunity to work in our city.”