New Hampton mayor gives first State of the City speech

HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) – The new mayor of Hampton laid out his plans for the city Tuesday in his first State of the City address.

“Full Speed Ahead” was the theme of Mayor Donnie Tuck’s message in front of a crowd of 450. That’s the largest number of people to attend a State of the City presentation in the event’s history.

The afternoon luncheon began and ended unlike many others. Mayor Donnie Tuck ran in to take his seat. After his short message, he ran out to distribute gift bags.

Of the speech, President and CEO of the Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce Mike Kuhns said, “I thought it was great. A lot of energy. It’s always good to have somebody that really stands up there and it was apparent that he really believes in what he says. It was exciting.”

Full of optimism, yet aware of the challenges ahead, Mayor Tuck told WAVY reporter Brandi Cummings he wants residents to know the city is doing positive things.

“We’re making great progress in our schools. Now, we’re going to try to put the other things in place so that people who grow up here and maybe go to college somewhere else, and even folks who go to school in this area will see opportunities here,” Tuck said.

Opportunities will come soon for some. Tuesday morning, Governor Terry McAuliffe announced government contractor MAXIMUS will create 189 new jobs with a customer support center in Hampton.

Although newly elected as mayor, Tuck spent six years on city council and says some of the change ahead was already in the plan.

“I may be getting some credit, that may be due to people who kind of got the ball rolling, but at the same time, it’s gratuitous that I’m here now,” he said.

Cummings asked Mayor Tuck what he thought of the historic attendance.

“That’s just because I’m the new guy on the block, nothing more, but I am pleased that it happened that way,” he said.

The State of the City speech was sponsored by the Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce.

Attendees were asked to write encouraging notes to students. Mayor Tuck, School Board and City Council members delivered the notes to each school after the luncheon.