MONONGAH — On a Sunday afternoon in Monongah, people driving down the street beep their horns and wave hello toJohnboy Palmer.
A familiar face in the community, the 33-year-old will take office next month as the town’s next mayor.
Palmer won the mayor’s race in the recent election with 140 votes over incumbent Greg Vandetta’s 115 votes, according to unofficial election results.
“I ran for mayor because I love Monongah and the people who live here,” he said. “I’ve grown up in the town and am a third-generation mayor, as both my grandfather and mother served. I truly believe in our town and feel that I have new ideas to make it an even better place to live.”
Palmer’s grandfather, the late Junior Nick Jacobin, served as mayor, and later his mother, Teresa Jacobin Palmer, was mayor in the early 2000s.
“I think he’ll do a good job,” Palmer’s mother said. “I”m proud of him.”
Palmer said he is “very humbled and excited to be elected.”
“It’s always a tough race to run against someone who has been in office for many years, but I think we both ran great campaigns,” he said. “I believe the last mayor did a lot of great things for our town and I’m happy to have the opportunity to serve.”
He plans on making himself accessible to residents.
“I’d like to be transparent and available to communicate with the people of Monongah,” he said. “I hope to be someone they can trust and believe in to represent their needs and concerns.”
Palmer said citizens can expect “my commitment to serve them in a respectful and fair way.”
“Everyone’s concerns and ideas are important to me and my office is always open to anyone,” he said.
He already has some goals in mind.
“Initially, I plan to work with code enforcers to ensure properties are being cared for and maintained,” he said. “We also have a need for road repairs that are imperative to safe driving conditions for our residents. It takes a lot of people, including the city council, to work together to make changes. I’d love to help more people get involved in our community.”
Palmer is not a stranger to town government.
“I have been on the city council for the last two terms, which I really enjoyed,” he said. “It was a great learning experience.”
A service tech for Dominion Energy, Palmer has also coached T-ball for Monongah Little League. He graduated from North Marion High School in 2004.
He is looking forward to serving as mayor and working with others.
“ I’m excited to take office and have the opportunity to work with a great group of people,” he said. “The newly-elected city council is a hard-working group that has the best interest of Monongah at heart. I’m looking forward to working with our exceptional town employees and volunteers who work every day to improve our community together.”
Eric Hrin can be reached at (304) 367-2549.