27-Year-Old Serving as Pamplin's Mayor
Pamplin, VA - They say that age is just a number and for one man in Pamplin, that's certainly the case.
Jacob Hamlett was still in college when he was elected to town council. Now, at 27 years-old, he's serving as interim Mayor.
When Hamlett walks down Pamplin's Main Street, he sees potential where others have abandoned hope.
"I'd like to see a barber shop, a cafe, a restaurant, things that people in this community can use," Hamlett said, pointing to the abandoned buildings.
But like many old railroad towns, very few employers actually stop here. There are only two businesses on the main strip of downtown and both are closed until spring.
"Pamplin isn't a dying town. Just like every other town, it's struggling," Hamlett explained.
Hamlett learned early from his father, who also served as Pamplin's mayor, the importance of giving back to the community.
At 27 years-old he's the youngest member on town council by more than a decade, and possibly one of the youngest mayors in the state. But don't mistake his youthfulness for recklessness.
"My goal is to leave Pamplin better off than I found it," he said.
Since taking office in October, he's worked with Region 2000 to replace the sewer system, and Virginia Tech to add landscaping to Main Street.
But this 27-year-old Mayor also finds time to have fun. In his spare time, he plays video games like Call of Duty and Halo, he said.