Less than 24 hours after being voted in as the new Vernal City Mayor, Mayor-elect, Doug Hammond, spent Wednesday attending a trio of meetings, jumping right into his new position.
Hammond's slate included a Utah Department of Transportation information meeting, a Vernal Regional Airport meeting, and was a part of Utah Governor Gary Herbert's 25K Jobs Launch Tour in Uintah County.
In the mayor's race, Hammond received 863 votes accounting for 64.49 percent of the votes. Sonja Norton received 471 votes in the race, accounting for 35.31 percent.
“I'm personally very excited,” Hammond said on Wednesday afternoon in an interview with UB Media/Basin Nickel Ads. “I want to thank all the voters in Vernal for doing what they did for me. It was wonderful. I want to thank all the people who allowed my to use their yard for signs. It was a fun thing to win.”
The vote difference surprised Hammond.
“I really thought it would be a close race,” Hammond said. “I don't think the votes indicated a close race. We have had so much support of people calling after the election. People have been very kind congratulating us. When the newspaper put me on the front page with the ad, that was marvelous.”
Hammond said Vernal City Mayor Sonja Norton called him at 8 a.m. on Wednesday and was gracious in the phone conservation.
“She could not have been nicer,” Hammond added. “She said in the next two months that anything she could do to help me transition, she would be more than happy to help with.”
Hammond will officially get sworn in on Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, at noon in the Vernal City office.
“I just want to be able to do it right,” he said. “I don't have much information in my mind with what is involved. They did give me two books to teach me what I'm getting involved with. I'm going to be going through those books.”
Hammond spent Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, waiting for the results at the Uintah County Clerks office with his family.
“We had a party right there in the hallway,” he said.
The meeting with UDOT was held with the Uintah County Commissioners.
“They are mainly highways that they will work with,” Hammond said. “They are just now starting to help with roads.”
The second meeting about the Vernal Regional Airport was primarily focused around hangers.
“The meeting was about how to price and building more hangers,” Hammond said. “It was a very interesting meeting.”
The final meeting of the day was about new jobs coming to rural Utah.
“That was really fun because I had a lot of people come up and congratulate me,” Hammond said.
On Thursday, Hammond visited with Vernal City Manager Quinn Bennion.
“He said we are going to have lots of meetings in the next two months,” Hammond said. “I'm going to be spending a lot of time with those people in the next two months.”
In the Vernal City council race, Bert Clark received 896 votes or 49.34 percent and Ted Munford received 920 votes or 50.66 percent.
In a three-way race for two Naples City council seats, Robert Hall came in first with 233 votes accounting for 40.17 percent of the votes.
Dennis Long (211 votes/36.38 percent) came in second, while Jessy McKee finished in third (136 votes/23.45 percent). Long and Hall are currently on the Naples City Council.
Naples City Mayor Dean Baker ran unopposed and finished with 294 votes.
In the race for Ballard City Mayor, Robert Abercrombi won with 63 votes (49.19 percent) and Tom Nordstrom had 61 votes (49.19 percent).
The Uintah County canvassing will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017.