By Cara Dahl
BERLIN – After 22 years of service, this will be Paula Lynch’s last term on the Berlin Council.
Lynch, who has served on the town council since 1988, said, “This is definitely it.”
The town council election will turn up no surprises this year, with all three incumbents running unopposed at the filing deadline, which was the close of business on Sept. 13.
Council members Troy Purnell (District 1), Dean Burrell (District 4) and Paula Lynch (At-Large) will keep their council seats, unless there is a concerted write-in campaign for a late candidate.
“It looks like Berlin is bucking the trend of anti-incumbency,” said Lynch.
Purnell will be starting his first full term this year, after taking over for his predecessor, Gee Williams, who was elected Berlin mayor after the death of Mayor Tom Cardinale.
District 1 saw the only contested race in the 2006 election, with Marge Coyman challenging Williams. When Williams was elected mayor, a special election was then held. Purnell won District 1 council seat in fall 2008.
Burrell, first elected in 1994, giving him 16 years on the council, ran unopposed in 2006.
“I’m very appreciative of the opportunity to continue to serve the citizens,” said Burrell. “Certainly, I feel that I am performing appropriately and will continue to do so.”
Lynch has run unopposed in her last four campaigns. She has 22 years on the council to her credit.
“This has happened to me before. I don’t think there’s ever been an election [in Berlin] where nobody’s been opposed. I kind of think that’s a shame,” said Lynch. “I think that’s a great tribute to Gee.”
Williams has accomplished a lot since he took office as mayor a few years ago, including the expansion of the wastewater treatment plant and spray capacity.
Five or six years ago, achieving more spray irrigation capacity was almost unthinkable. “It’s remarkable we’ve come as far as we have,” said Lynch.
Lynch wants to see how the wastewater plant, new spray irrigation site and stormwater regulations are completed from the inside.
“There’s a lot going on and we kind of want to stay around to see it completed,” Lynch said.
Although none of the three candidates face opposition, Lynch hopes that townsfolk will go to the polls on Oct. 12 and show their support for the town’s direction by voting for the incumbents.
“I don’t detect a great deal of dissatisfaction in town,” Lynch said.