BERLIN – A Flower Street resident hopes to become a voice for the community with a run for the District 3 council seat.
Shaneka Nichols filed on Wednesday for the District 3 council seat. She faces Daniel Packey, a Mill Road resident, in the contest for the seat currently held by Councilman Elroy Brittingham, who has not made clear his intentions but is expected to not seek re-election after 32 years in office.
“Mr. Brittingham has done a fabulous job of supporting, representing, our community,” Nichols said. “I could never be Mr. Brittingham but to follow him would be phenomenal.”
Nichols, who works at Berlin Intermediate School, comes from a family with deep roots in Berlin, as they’ve been on Flower Street for 10 generations. She’d like to have a chance to work for the community as a town representative.
“There are a lot of great things the town has done for our community,” she said. “I’d like to assist, facilitate, help us continue to move in that direction.”
As far as issues facing the town, Nichols said taxes were always a major concern. As the mother of six children, she’s also focused on supporting the youth of Berlin. A community center, something that’s long been discussed in the Flower Street community, is something she’d like to see brought to fruition.
“Being able to provide that, that would open the door for so many of our kids,” she said.
Nichols said she was looking forward to walking the streets of District 3 to introduce herself to voters in the weeks leading up to the town’s Oct. 6 election. Whether she wins or not, she’s thrilled to be a candidate.
“It’s an exciting thing to possibly have the honor of representing the people you’ve grown up with,” she said. “I don’t look at it as if I win, I look at it like even to be considered or thought of is a great honor.”
Candidates have until 5 p.m. on Sept. 4 to file for the municipal election on Oct. 6. Positions up for grabs in this fall’s election include mayor as well as the District 2, District 3 and at-large council seats. Mayoral candidates currently include Jennifer Allen, Ron Bireley, Bill Todd, Zack Tyndall and incumbent Gee Williams. The District 2 council seat is being sought by Jack Orris while candidates Nichols and Packey are vying for the District 3 seat. The at-large position is being sought by candidates Jay Knerr and Tony Weeg.
Voters will have the chance to hear details about the candidates’ backgrounds and their views on past, current and future issues in virtual town halls hosted by The Dispatch later this month.
On Sept. 15, the newspaper will host a Zoom town hall meeting with mayoral candidates, while a Zoom session on Sept. 22 will feature council candidates.
The sessions will be recorded and a link will be provided the day after each meeting through The Dispatch’s social media outlets and website for the public to watch as their schedule allows.
Members of the public are invited to submit questions for the virtual sessions any time prior to the Friday before each town hall. The questions from the public will be asked of the candidates after the newspaper’s staff poses questions to the candidates. Questions can be emailed to [email protected].