BERLIN– There are no immediate plans to fill the vacancy created by the abrupt departure of Berlin’s town administrator last week.
Following the retirement of Jeff Fleetwood, the town’s administrator for the last three years, Mayor Zack Tyndall said this week there were no immediate plans to bring anyone new into town hall. Instead, Deputy Town Administrator Mary Bohlen will oversee operations.
“No search is taking place at this time,” he said. “The deputy town administrator is serving in her capacity as we work through the transition.”
Last Monday, Fleetwood advised Tyndall he wanted to retire in June, once this year’s budget process was complete. Tyndall, however, told him his last day would be Friday but that he would be paid through the June date.
At Monday’s town council meeting, Tyndall addressed the issue with an operational announcement.
“I want to brief everyone that the town administrator retired effective Friday,” he said. “Our Deputy Town Administrator Mary Bohlen will be stepping in to fill the capacity at this time through her role as deputy town administrator.”
He said Bohlen joined the town in 1991 and throughout the years held multiple positions such as customer service, grants administrator and special projects administrator.
“She’s also served as acting town administrator more than three times,” Tyndall said.
Council members expressed their appreciation for Fleetwood’s commitment during the 12 years he spent in Berlin.
“We are sorry to see him go,” Councilwoman Shaneka Nichols said at the close of Monday’s meeting.
Councilman Jay Knerr said Fleetwood should be congratulated.
“Jeff was probably the best town administrator this town has ever seen,” Knerr said. “He was dedicated to his job beyond reproach. He was my friend and I’ll truly miss him.”
Following Monday’s meeting, Tyndall said no search for a new town administrator was planned at this time. He said as more information became available he’d make the public aware.
Councilman Jack Orris said Berlin was fortunate to have a deputy town administrator with such a depth of municipal knowledge.
“Of course Jeff will be missed but I have complete confidence and faith that Mary’s town knowledge and experience will create a fairly seamless transition,” he said.
When asked about filling the vacancy created by Fleetwood’s departure, Orris said officials would take some time to review things like the job description, which is normal with any personnel change, and then determine an appropriate timeline and path forward.