Resident Eyes District 1 Council Seat

BERLIN – Another new face has joined the ranks of hopeful politicians in Berlin, with Phil Cropper’s decision to run for the District 1 town council seat left vacant by the election of Gee Williams to the mayor’s slot.

“I’m not happy with the way things have been going in the past few years in Berlin,” Cropper said in a phone interview. “It’s a great opportunity to get in and do what I can for Berlin.”

As of Thursday afternoon, Cropper is the only candidate to file for the empty District 1 seat. The filing deadline is Nov. 10 and the special election will be held on Dec. 16.

“It should be an exciting race to see who gets the seat,” Cropper said.

Eligible to run for office now after a year of residency in Berlin, Cropper wants to bring a new, younger perspective to Berlin’s government. While he thinks the council members have done a great job, Cropper said he feels that after several years, the council needs some fresh perspective.

Cropper, who works in a dental office and does interior design, was previously head chef at Ocean City’s The Hobbit restaurant before it was rebuilt. He has also taught cooking at Wor-Wic Community College. His varied work background gives him perspective on many different areas, he said.

“I plan on going door-to-door and talking to everyone in my district and seeing what they want,” Cropper said. “I’m going to listen to everyone in my district.”

One issue Cropper plans to tackle if elected is the need for positive growth within the town, although he emphasized he is not saying that Berlin should expand beyond current town limits.

“Berlin’s a great town, but it seems projects always get started and kind of fall short,” Cropper said.

With a new mayor in place and political newcomer Lisa Hall taking over in District 2 for Ellen Lang, Cropper said he would like to be part of a town government that will kick start a new era in Berlin.

Although Cropper is a relatively new resident of Berlin, he has worked in Berlin, at the former Globe, and spent much time in town. As a child, he visited his grandmother in town, got his haircut on Main Street and visited the old Ames store every week with his mother.

“I’ve always been an Ocean City guy, but there’s something about Berlin that just draws you in,” said Cropper. “The past year has been one of the best years of my life.”