Berlin Mayor Makes Re-Election Bid Official; Three-Way Race So Far For Town’s Top Elected Post

Berlin Mayor Makes Re-Election Bid Official; Three-Way Race So Far For Town’s Top Elected Post
Incumbent Gee Williams has been a town elected official since 2004, including the last 12 years as mayor. Submitted Photo

BERLIN – Mayor Gee Williams filed for reelection this week in an effort to win a fourth consecutive term in office.

The town now has a three-way race for mayor, as Williams, Councilman Zack Tyndall and resident Bill Todd are all seeking the position.

“From my past 16 years of town leadership I believe that by actively encouraging partnerships with all levels of government, the business community, advocates for environmental stewardship, and with citizens in every neighborhood, Berlin has made significant strides forward,” Williams said.  “I am running for re-election because I believe we can keep making Berlin better.”

Williams, who served the town as a councilman for several years prior to taking over as mayor upon the death of Tom Cardinale in 2008, is eager to continue leading the town. He said Berlin’s “to do” list was being addressed.

“First, with continued citizen involvement, I will continue to work for incremental and sustainable growth that can be maintained and adapted with changing expectations, needs and economic conditions,” Williams said. “A stable and growing local economy is very important but must always be balanced with preserving our small town charm and a real sense of interpersonal connections. It requires putting different areas and assets in our community to their best use while continuing our ongoing commitment of balancing economic opportunity with our quality of life.”

Williams believes it’s important for the town to support its primary economic drivers—medical care, hospitality and downtown boutique shopping and dining.

“I will continue to work to create and maintain our town as a great place to live and visit for both residents and guests. It is certainly necessary for the Town of Berlin to remain a special

destination community,” Williams said.  “In the past Berlin learned the hard way what it’s like to live without a thriving local economy.  It is the foundation for the means to provide all of us with a good and decent life.”

He said the town’s commitment to planned growth needed to be “inclusive, thoughtful and take the long view” so it could serve citizens for the rest of the 21st century.

“If we do not remain committed to this process, no matter how challenging, we will just end up being the sum total of random development and not benefit from any overall vision for Berlin,” Williams said. “Unlike many small towns, we are not intimidated by change, we thrive on it.”

Williams said his previous work, first as a journalist, then a state employee, then working for the local nonprofit community, has given him a diverse view that serves him well as mayor. This election, he says, will give voters the chance to continue the direction the town has taken for several years or reverse course and back down from the challenges facing the community.

“The bottom line is that I have the experience necessary to do the job well,” he said. “We should continue to base our community’s growth on the idea to strive for quality over quantity in all things. In Berlin we have so much to be grateful for, but we must never take our community for granted. Everything Berlin has achieved has resulted from first believing in our town’s potential, then rolling up our sleeves and going to work. I am seeking re-election to ensure that this work to make Berlin better and better stays on course.”

Williams encourages anyone who wants more information to visit The town’s election is set for Oct. 6.  As of this week registered candidates included Jack Orris in District 2, Jay Knerr and Tony Weeg in the at-large category and Todd, Tyndall and Williams for mayor. Candidates have until Sept. 4. to file.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.