Berlin Administrator’s Retirement Effective Friday; ‘Operational Announcement’ Set For Monday Meeting

Berlin Administrator’s Retirement Effective Friday; ‘Operational Announcement’ Set For Monday Meeting
Jeff Fleetwood, who retired from his position as Berlin's town administrator this spring, pleaded guilty to embezzlement in district court Tuesday. File photo

BERLIN – Despite a contract into 2023, Berlin Town Administrator Jeff Fleetwood will step down this week.

Fleetwood, who has served as town administrator since 2019, informed officials Monday he wanted to retire. Though he offered to stay into June, Mayor Zack Tyndall advised him Friday would be his last day.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the opportunities the mayor, council, citizens and employees have provided me,” Fleetwood said. “I’ve enjoyed every day I’ve been at work here.”

Fleetwood, who has worked for the town for the last 12 years in various capacities, was appointed administrator in 2019 after Laura Allen was fired. In 2020, the council extended his contract another three years.

Fleetwood said he started considering retirement about six months ago and informed Tyndall of the decision Monday. Fleetwood wanted to stay through June 3, as the town’s budget process should be complete by then. Tyndall, however, advised him his last day would be Friday.

Though several council members wanted Fleetwood to stay into June as well, they told him after an executive session Tuesday the mayor’s decision stood.

“They were told they could not override what’s been done,” Fleetwood said.

He added that he was looking forward to retirement nonetheless.

“I am retiring,” he said. “Am I going on the terms and date I wanted to go? No. But I’m not angry. I’m tired and I’m ready to retire.”

Council members expressed their appreciation for Fleetwood’s efforts as town administrator.

“Jeff Fleetwood’s commitment and dedication to his job is unparalleled,” Councilman Jay Knerr said. “Without question, his knowledge, experience and leadership made the Town of Berlin a better place for all the residents. I wish him all the best in his retirement.”

Councilwoman Shaneka Nichols agreed.

“Jeff was very dedicated to our town,” she said. “Walking the neighborhoods at the early morning hours and making himself available to mayor, council, town employees and residents of Berlin long after close of business was greatly appreciated and will be missed. We thank you Jeff Fleetwood for your time, service and dedication to Berlin.”

Councilman Jack Orris also expressed his gratitude.

“I wish him the best for a relaxing retirement along with a thank you for the years of service to the town,” he said.

Tyndall said he would not comment on Fleetwood’s retirement.

“It is a personnel matter,” he said. “If there are any organizational changes they’ll be shared at Monday’s meeting. I also think since things are personnel matters there’s a certain level of confidentiality expected in the roles we serve in. It would be nice to have more people take the same stance.”

The agenda for Monday’s council meeting includes an “Operational Announcement” from Tyndall as well as a deputy town administrator’s report in lieu of the usual town administrator’s report.

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.