Lorin Palmer ready to lead as Herriman’s next mayorJan 04, 2022 01:26PM ● By Justin Adams
Lorin Palmer (center) was sworn in as Herriman's newest mayor on Monday night. (Justin Adams/The City Journals)
By Justin Adams | [email protected]
As of Monday evening, Herriman City has a new face occupying the mayor’s chair on the city council. Lorin Palmer won the mayoral election in November, defeating then-city council member Clint Smith, with 63% of the vote.
Palmer previously served as a member of the city’s planning commission, and also led the grassroots organization Herriman for Responsible Growth, which materialized in opposition to the Olympia development.
That emphasis on responsible growth is an issue that Palmer said was the primary concern of residents he talked to while on the campaign trail.
“I talked to people who were living in a condo or townhouse and wanted to step up to a small home, but there was nothing like that available in our community. They wanted to come out here and put down roots as their forever home, and that’s a challenge right now,” he said.
Another challenge for Palmer and the city council over the next four years will be managing the early stages of the Olympia development. The 900+ acre project was approved by the Salt Lake County Council in 2020, despite opposition from local leaders. With the project moving forward no matter what, the conversation has shifted towards mitigating potential negative impacts.
“The focus has to be on infrastructure, working with the county and state to get some money for those things. I’d like to see UDOT take over some of our roadways so we can focus on building new infrastructure,” Palmer said.
With the city being at such a critical juncture, Palmer said that the decisions the council makes in the coming years will likely define their legacy.
If that sounds like a lot of pressure, it is.
As the election results were released at 7 p.m. on Nov. 2, Palmer said he could feel the weight of the campaign lift momentarily, only to be replaced by the pressure of how important the next four (or more) years will be.
But there’s also excitement, of course. Palmer said he’s most looking forward to having more opportunities to interact with the community. Coincidentally, that was also his favorite part of the campaign process.
All summer and up through the election, Palmer was out knocking on doors, learning about what issues Herriman residents are facing.
“There are needs over by the RSL Academy building or over at the Cove that I wasn’t aware of,” he said.
One of Palmer’s priorities while in office is leveraging his position as mayor to go out and recruit businesses to come to Herriman.
“I’ve been told that it just means more when someone with the title of mayor comes into a business owner’s office to negotiate,” he said.
Herriman operates under a weak-mayor form of government, which means that the mayor is another member of the city council, rather than the head of an executive branch. While they may not hold any more power than other council members, they do act as the outward face of the city in many situations.
Above all, Palmer said he wants Herriman residents to know that he wants to hear from them.
“I’m looking forward to serving. This isn't about politics or a stepping stone. It’s about being out there. I’d love for residents to reach out to me if they have ideas or anything. I want everyone to feel like they can reach out to me and I’ll listen.”