BERLIN — The town of Berlin is in the market for a new town administrator following the resignation of Tony Carson this week.
Carson is the second high-profile administrator to vacate his post this spring following Worcester County Chief Administrative Officer Gerald Mason’s retirement announcement last month.
Carson will be leaving Berlin to head to Painesville, Ohio to serve as its city manager. The move will return Carson to his roots as he was born and raised in Northeast Ohio near Painesville. Beginning in 2009, Carson’s tenure as town administrator has been one of extreme efficiency and cooperation, according to Mayor Gee Williams.
“We’re always looking for just the right fit and Tony has been here at just the right time to make a lot of things happen that otherwise may not have or may have taken longer in our evolution as a community,” said Williams.
Over the last four years, Carson was credited with facilitating a number of big-ticket projects in Berlin such as purchase power agreements, the renovation and enhancement of the waste water treatment plant and the establishment of the town’s new stormwater utility.
“Tony has played a key role in the significant progress that has been made in transforming our town’s policies, plans and operations to meet the changing needs of our community, not just for today, but for the next generation and beyond,” Williams said.
Establishing a strong working connection between the council and town department heads was another area where Williams applauded Carson’s approach. The last four years have seen a dramatic cutting of red tape and an increase in responsible delegation of duties, said the mayor, which has made each department more streamlined and independent.
Williams said that the town has been able to step back from trying to micromanage and now works with departments without ever interfering.
“As good as our finance department has become it’s his leadership that helped accelerate that whole process because of his strong background in both the private sector and the public sector,” Williams said.
Carson, who will remain on the job until June 30, was equally satisfied with his run as town administrator.
“I really enjoyed my time in Berlin and I appreciate working with the Mayor and Council and the town staff. The Mayor and Council have done a great job,” said Carson. “The decisions they make are for the right reasons and from a professional standpoint it’s very important that they’re doing it for the betterment of the citizens and that makes my job that much easier when you have an elected body that has those goals in mind.”
Williams confirmed this week that no plans have been made yet for finding Carson’s successor.
“We haven’t had any formal discussions or informal discussions at this point. We’ll have our first council meeting since Tony’s resignation on Monday night and since that’s a personnel matter I suspect that will be part of our discussion during the executive session just to begin the conversation,” he said.
Berlin could follow the route of the county and promote from within. Mason’s replacement was chosen from county ranks less than a week after he announced his plans to retire. However, Berlin might also consider a search process to find a qualified town administrator from elsewhere.
Whatever option, Williams is confident that the town will continue to grow under Carson’s replacement, especially since so much groundwork has already been laid and the next town administrator won’t be forced to “go back and re-invent the wheel.”.