BERLIN – The town officially has its first contested race in this fall’s election as resident Jack Orris Jr. has filed for the District 2 council seat.
Though the election is still months away, both Orris and resident Zackery Tyndall have filed for the council seat currently held by Lisa Hall, who has filed to run for mayor in the October election.
Orris says Hall’s decision to give up her council position and seek the role of mayor is what prompted him to pursue the District 2 seat.
“I wanted to see what the current seat holder was going to do,” he said. “If she was going to run again, she’s done such a great job I wasn’t going to try to run against her.”
Orris, 34, has lived in Berlin since 2006. While he’s volunteered on various campaigns in the past, this is his first experience running for public office himself.
“Most of my adult life I’ve been involved in politics,” he said, “usually volunteering for campaigns. This time I decided to actually be the candidate.”
Orris calls himself “a determined leader who listens” and says he’s eager to start campaigning and collecting input from residents.
“I want to take what I hear and apply it to the council and do what’s best for residents,” he said.
Orris, who has a degree in political science and works as an office manager for a construction company, is thrilled by the town’s recent purchase of Berlin Falls Park. He’d love to be involved in turning the former industrial property into public park space.
Other projects he expects town leaders to have to tackle in the near future include parking and development. He says he’s aware of the differing opinions that have been voiced regarding the importance of infill development versus expansion via annexation.
“I think we should focus on what we have,” he said.
Orris says he loves the small town feel of Berlin and wants to make sure it maintains that as more people make it their home. He’s eager to do what he can.
“I want to be able to give back to the community,” he said.
Orris said he was looking forward to campaigning and is willing to listen to his fellow residents’ thoughts and concerns.
“I’m determined to put blood, sweat and hopefully happy tears into this campaign,” he said.