BERLIN – Town leaders are encouraging residents to share their input at two strategic plan listening sessions in January.
The town will host two public input sessions, one on Wed., Jan. 10, and one on Wed., Jan 17, as the municipality’s strategic plan is being developed.
“I think it’s important for folks to be able to come out and voice what’s on their mind,” Mayor Zack Tyndall said.
The Town of Berlin hired Salisbury University’s Business Economic and Community Outreach Network (BEACON) in August to help develop a new strategic plan, as the town’s last one was done in 2016. The first phase of the process consisted of a community survey that was included with residents’ utility bills. While town officials weren’t pleased that only 110 survey responses were received, they agreed last month to have BEACON proceed with phase two of the process. That phase kicks off with the January listening sessions. The Jan. 10 session is scheduled to take place from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Berlin library. The Jan. 17 session is scheduled for 6 p.m. at St. Paul United Methodist Church.
Tyndall is hoping that a significant number of residents attend the sessions to share their thoughts, as the strategic plan will chart the town’s spending. He said it would impact how the town’s budget was handled and services offered.
“The strategic plan is designed to help guide overall spending for the next several years,” he said. “Having community input in that process is instrumental. It’s a document we’re going to look at annually that will carry us three to five years.”
Because the last strategic plan was done in 2016, Tyndall said this was the chance for citizens to provide input on current issues and items they felt needed attention. He said the sessions were designed to gather information.
“It’s really an open forum for anyone to bring ideas, or recommendations for what they’d like to see,” he said.
The town is currently in the process of working on not only its strategic plan but also its comprehensive plan. While the strategic plan focuses more on funding and services, the comprehensive plan is meant to address growth and development.
“They’re both important documents that span several years,” Tyndall said.
The Berlin Planning Commission launched discussions regarding the comprehensive plan in December and is expected to resume those talks in early 2024.
For more information on the strategic plan sessions, residents are invited to contact BEACON at 410-546-6001 or [email protected].