Five Tooele County officials raised their hands and swore an oath to support, obey and defend the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of the state of Utah, and the ordinances of Tooele County in a brief ceremony attended by over 100 onlookers.
County Clerk Marilyn Gillette, County Commissioners Tom Tripp and Kendall Thomas, County Sheriff Paul Wimmer, and County Auditor Alison McCoy were sworn in to their elected offices at 12 p.m. Monday in a brief ceremony in the County Commission meeting room at the Tooele County Building.
All five were elected, or re-elected, to office in the November 2018 election.
Tripp, Thomas and Wimmer took their oaths of office from Gillette.
Tripp and Thomas replace Wade Bitner and Myron Bateman. Neither Bitner nor Bateman ran for re-election. Tripp and Thomas will serve with County Commissioner Shawn Milne, who was re-elected to a four-year term in 2016.
Thomas ran unsuccessfully twice as a Democrat for County Commission. In 2018 he switched parties. Running as a Republican this time, Thomas garnered 61 percent of the vote in the general election.
Thomas, from Stockton, is a retired maintenance project manager for URS, the operator of the chemical disposal facility. After his retirement, Thomas worked for the Tooele Education Foundation as its program director. He has served on the Tooele County School Board and the Stockton Town Council.
Thomas has completed a four-year millwright apprenticeship and in 2005 he earned a business management degree from the University of Phoenix.
“I’m honored and humbled,” Thomas said. “I kept running because I felt like I had something to offer to make a difference for the county.”
Tripp retired on Friday after a 37-year career with U.S. Magnesium. He has served on the Grantsville City Council for 11 years.
Tripp has a degree in metallurgical engineering from the University of Utah and a dredging engineering certificate from Texas A&M.
“I plan to do the right thing for Tooele County,” Tripp said.
This will be Wimmer’s second term as Tooele County Sheriff. Prior to being elected sheriff, Wimmer worked for the Tooele City Police Department for 15 years.
Gillette was the first to be sworn in. Her oath of office was administered by Tooele County Justice Court Judge John Dow.
This will be Gillette’s fourth term as County Clerk. Gillette worked for 11 years as chief deputy clerk before she became the County Clerk. Prior to working for the county, Gillette worked for Walmart, the Tooele County Board of Realtors, and as the Tooele City Recorder.
McCoy was sworn in as the Tooele County Auditor by her father, Tooele County Recorder/Surveyor Jerry Houghton.
McCoy will reestablish the County Auditor’s office as a separate office. For the last four years, Gillette served as the County Clerk and Auditor. The County Commission decided to separate the offices again starting in 2019.