Rivera appointed by mayor to replace Freiburg as alderman in 3rd Ward

Brianna Rivera

Brianna Rivera | Photo courtesy of Quincy University

QUINCY — Brianna Rivera will make her first foray into politics when the Quincy City Council votes Monday night to approve her appointment as an alderman in the city’s 3rd Ward.

However, she’ll be getting a little help from her brother.

Jared Holbrook was elected as an alderman in the 3rd Ward in 2013. He lasted one term, choosing not to run for another term in 2017. Then-Quincy Mayor Kyle Moore chose Holbrook in July 2020 to fill the vacancy created by the death of Tom Ernst, who died in a one-vehicle car crash near Carthage.

“I definitely wanted to chat with him a little bit about the position, what it entailed and what I’d be getting myself into,” Rivera said. “He loved doing what he did. Of course, he’s focusing on other ventures right now, so he’s been able to kind of guide me as to what the time commitment is looking like. It’s been great to have him in my court, letting me know his experience and why I should go for it.”

Rivera is replacing Republican Parker Freiburg, who announced at the end of the Nov. 21 meeting that the Nov. 28 meeting would be his last. He recently become an owner of Diamond Construction Company, which Freiburg’s parents, Mark and Kim, and his brother, Tanner, bought in April. Diamond is the only asphalt company in the city.

Freiburg won the election to the 3rd Ward seat in April 2021, filling the seat vacated by Holbrook.

Rivera, a 2016 graduate of Quincy Notre Dame, will turn 25 later this month. She will be the youngest member of the City Council. Born and raised in Quincy, she went to college at Arizona State University.

“I realized I was terribly homesick,” she said with a laugh. “But I found my husband down there, and he fell in love with the city, too. Now we’re expecting our first child, and when I found out I was going to be able to hold a seat that would help with the progress and the growth of Quincy, a city that I’ve loved since I was young, I just wanted to jump at the chance of it all.

“Being involved in the city is what I’ve wanted to do since my early days in high school.”

She doesn’t believe her youth will deter her from being an effective alderman.

“You definitely don’t see a lot of aldermen around this age,” she said. “I will just love to learn from the other aldermen but also give my perspective as somebody who’s young and living in the community.”

Rivera says she doesn’t have a particular agenda. Instead, she’ll join the 14-person City Council with her eyes open.

“I’m just open to gather all of the information on the issues that are presented to me,” she said. “I love the riverfront master plan. I love seeing it grow in downtown Quincy. I really just plan to take it in as it comes at me. I’ll definitely be learning from the mayor (Mike Troup), learning from the other aldermen, learning from the people around me. I want to make sure that the decisions I make are going to help the growth of Quincy.”

Rivera has been an assistant director of admissions at Quincy University since August 2020. She and her husband, Ray, moved into the 3rd Ward in April 2021. They are expecting their first child in April.

Three seats on the City Council have prematurely changed in the past 18 months.

Kelly Mays, a Republican, replaced Jason Finney in the other 3rd Ward seat in July 2021. Patty Maples, a Democrat, replaced Katie Awerkamp in the 6th Ward in May 2022. Finney and Awerkamp both said they were moving out of their wards. Maples and Mays are both running to retain their seat in this year’s election.

John Mast, R-5, also announced in November he would not run for re-election in the April 2023 consolidated general election. Republican Glenn Ebbing was the lone candidate to file for the seat in the upcoming election.

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