BERLIN- The longtime city manager of the town of Bowie will take on the role of project coordinator for Berlin Falls Park.
The town of Berlin has hired David Deutsch, who retired from his position as city manager of Bowie last summer, as project coordinator for the new park. Berlin Mayor Gee Williams introduced Deutsch during Monday’s meeting of the town council. He said officials took their time filling the position to ensure the right person was hired.
“This is a very unique challenge,” he said, “so we kept looking and looking until we found someone we had confidence in.”
Deutsch, who now lives in Ocean Pines, spent 23 years as city manager in Bowie before he retired in June. He served as Westminster’s interim city manager before taking the project coordinator position in Berlin. Deutsch said he was intrigued by the concept of spearheading the redevelopment of the 60-acre Berlin Falls Park. He liked the idea of being part of creating something for the town.
“It’s an interesting challenge,” he said.
While coordinating the redevelopment of a former chicken plant isn’t exactly something he’s done before, Deutsch has been involved in a number of large municipal projects.
“I’ve got a fair amount of project experience,” he said. “What’s unique here is we’ve got an empty canvas.”
Deutsch, who will have a desk in the town’s planning department, says the first thing he plans to do is meet individually with each of the town’s council members.
“I want to understand their interests and what they’re hearing from constituents,” he said. “Hopefully, we can accomplish that pretty quickly.”
From there, Deutsch plans to meet with town staff as well as the Berlin Parks Commission. He says developing consensus will be a key part of the process.
“I look forward to being a part of the team,” he said. “Clearly it’s going to be a team effort. Once the project goes through a couple phases I think the community will be really amazed at what can be produced there.”
Williams says Deutsch has the drive and energy that will be needed to lead the immense project. The job, he said, involved a wide range of duties as well as meeting community needs and dealing with the unique nature of the former Tyson property. Once it’s redeveloped, Berlin Falls Park is expected to be a one-of-a-kind public facility.
“It will give us some unique attributes that can be a source of community pride and also make us an even stronger destination community,” Williams said.