Bunting Appointed New HDC Chair

BERLIN – Membership changes for the Berlin Historic District Commission highlighted the start of this month’s meeting.

The Historic District Commission (HDC) voted to elect member Nornie Bunting as chair last week. Bunting will take over the position long held by Carol Rose.

“I appreciate the nomination,” Bunting said. “I’ll do my best.”

The commission kicked off last week’s meeting with the election of a chair and vice chair. Rose, who has headed the commission for 13 years, wanted to step down from the leadership role in an effort to spend more time with her family.

“I just felt like it was time for somebody else to take over,” she said.

Following Bunting’s election as chair, the board selected member Laura Stearns to serve as vice chair. Those won’t be the only changes, however, as at the close of the meeting member Robert Poli, who previously served as vice chair, said he was leaving the commission. He said he’d been invited to join the commission in 2016 and spent much of his time as a member formulating a manual of guidelines for the commission.

“It was surely a unique project and was desperately needed as the town is continuing to evolve, especially to educate our newcomers and also to reeducate those who are forgetting its history,” he said.

Now that the guidelines are done and available to HDC members he said he felt he should step down.

“I do not feel there is any purpose for me to remain on this commission,” he said.

HDC members thanked him for his years of service and praised the manual. HDC member Mary Moore said she felt the variety of people on the commission made it successful.

“I love that each of us come from a different place,” she said. “We’re not exactly alike.”

In an interview this week, Rose said she was optimistic about the commission’s future. She’s eager to remain involved albeit not in the leadership role.

“We’ve got a strong board,” she said.

She added that they were committed to preserving the town’s historic architecture. They’re eager to review improvements to the town’s older buildings, like the renovations underway on Main Street, to ensure Berlin’s character is maintained.

“We’re really excited about the improvements coming to the Burbage property on Main Street,” she said.

HDC Alternate John Holloway is expected to fill Poli’s role on the commission while the town selects another resident to serve as alternate.

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.