Longtime Berlin Employee Named Town Administrator

Longtime Berlin Employee Named Town Administrator
Town Administrator Mary Bohlen is sworn in by Mayor Zack Tyndall during Monday’s council meeting. Photo by Charlene Sharpe

BERLIN– Longtime municipal employee Mary Bohlen will lead the Town of Berlin following appointment as town administrator Monday.

Mayor Zack Tyndall swore Bohlen in Monday following the announcement that she had signed a contract to serve as town administrator. The council agreed in closed session on Aug. 8 to hire Bohlen on Tyndall’s recommendation.

“Of all the motions I have made to approve recommendations from the mayor, I found this motion one of the most satisfying I have ever made,” Councilman Dean Burrell said.

During this week’s regular meeting, Tyndall announced that Bohlen had been promoted to serve as town administrator. She has served as acting town administrator since the departure of Jeff Fleetwood in April. She’s held the interim role four times during her more than 30 years of employment with the Town of Berlin.

Department heads were quick to congratulate Bohlen on the new position.

“You couldn’t have picked a better person,” said Jamey Latchum, director of water resources. “Mary’s awesome to work with.”

Bohlen was hired by the town 31 years ago to work at the front counter, answering phones and waiting on customers. From there she moved on to the position of grants administrator.

“When Runaway Bride came to town and I was working with the film crew the question was asked of why was the grants administrator out helping the film crew,” Bohlen recalled during an interview Tuesday. “So at that point the title was changed to special projects administrator.”

Eventually Bohlen was promoted to deputy town administrator and administrative services director. When Fleetwood retired in April, Bohlen was tasked with serving as acting town administrator. While she wasn’t interested in the role the last time it was vacant, after trying it out for a few months she felt she was ready to take it on on a more permanent basis.

“I’m in a different place this time,” she said. “I found I was better able to take it on.”

The contract she agreed to this week puts her in the role until March of 2025—six months after the 2024 election. When asked if the deputy town administrator role would be filled, she said that was to be determined.

During her decades with the town, Bohlen—who was at town hall when the first fax machine was installed—has seen countless changes. Primarily, the addition of technology but also growth.

“People not familiar with small towns have this ‘oh it’s Mayberry’ attitude but we experience all of the same challenges and benefits larger communities do,” Bohlen said.

She’s enjoyed watching the town’s progression and likes solving the issues that come her way at town hall.

“It’s always a new challenge,” she said.

Bohlen praised her fellow municipal employees and their dedication to Berlin.

“I can’t say enough about the town staff,” she said. “We have really excellent people who work extremely hard for the visitors and citizens of the town.”

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.