Berlin Hires Planning Head, Bambary’s No. 2

BERLIN – Two crucial new hire will join the town of Berlin this month, with the addition of Chuck Ward as the new Superintendent of Planning and Zoning and Rachel Bomar to take the newly created Deputy Administrative Director slot.

Both positions were advertised twice in the last several months to generate a pool of suitable candidates.

“It’s been a long, hard road looking for people,” said Mayor Tom Cardinale.

Berlin has gone eight months without a planning department leader, since former Planning Superintendent Stacey Weisner resigned in August 2007. Consultant Tim Bourcier has filled some of the superintendent’s duties in the interim.

“We’re very pleased to have them,” said Berlin Administrative Director Linda Bambary. “I’m ecstatic.”

Ward is currently a planner with the Wicomico County Planning Department.

“I’m very impressed with Chuck Ward’s credentials. He’s got a background not only in the environmental science I’m concerned about, he’s got planning experience and he’s got a municipal background. I think he’ll do very, very well,” Cardinale said. “He struck me as a take-charge guy. I want somebody that’s going to be his own man in that department.”

Ward was not available for comment.

Bourcier, currently handling some of the planning superintendent’s duties one day per week, will work during Ward’s first few weeks on the job to ease the transition.

Bomar has a human resources background, working currently in the Worcester County Human Resources Department, after a stint with Wicomico County.

“I had over 100 applications. The first round was strictly pulling those out who had hands on municipal or city experience,” said Bambary. “It’s always a difficult choice, but we found that Rachel met everything we were looking for.”

Bambary said she was seeking a candidate with municipal experience, and Bomar had experience working for Wicomico County’s Human Resources Department, which the county shares with the city of Salisbury, giving her some municipal experience.

“I’m really looking forward to working with the town. I’m really excited,” said Bomar. “They all seem to be great people. They’re very interested in the common goals of the town, and that’s my goal, making sure the goals of the town are taken care of.”

Of Bomar’s hiring, Cardinale said, “It’s going to make things move faster. Linda’s taken on more responsibility that I think any one person can handle.”

Bambary said that Bomar would spend the first several weeks with Berlin rotating through the different town departments to get to know the daily work and staff.

Then she will begin work on the update of the town’s personnel policies, payroll outsourcing and 2009 budget projects like street repairs and stormwater solutions.

“She should be quite busy the first six months getting familiar with our daily routine,” Bambary said.

“It’s going to make the wheels of government turn faster. It’s what the town’s been wanting for a long, long time,” Cardinale said. “She’s very professional and I think she’s just what the town needs.”

Having a deputy will free Bambary for other duties, such as attending Worcester County meetings.

“Right now I’m so tied to my desk it’s difficult for me to do anything else but push paper,” Bambary said.

Both new employees will begin working for Berlin on May 27.

“We hit a home run on both of them,” Cardinale said. “I’m ecstatic that we got this behind us now and we can start moving and get the work of the town done.”