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Allen begins job as Berlin's new town administrator

BERLIN—It
was all about getting organized and up to speed as Berlin’s new Town Administrator
Laura Allen settled into her new office in Town Hall Sept. 3.

She said she
was reviewing several key issues, including the new stormwater management
utility and the town’s contentious relations with the Berlin Fire Company to
prepare for the Sept. 9 town meeting. A discussion of the financial
relationship between the town and the fire company should spark public interest
during Allen’s debut meeting.

Her first
day continued as she shut down her office and headed straight into a 5:30 p.m.
Parks Commission meeting.

Allen
replaces Anthony Carson, who resigned on June 30 to accept the position of city
manager of Painesville, Ohio. Deputy Administrator Mary
Bohlen served as interim town administrator.

Allen was city manager of Colma, Calif.
(population 1,441) for the past four and a half years and is a credentialed
city manager and a certified public finance officer, she said in a June
interview. Colma is smaller than Berlin and was originally designated for
cemetery usage in the early 1900s after San Francisco outsourced its
cemeteries. It has 1,441 "above ground residents" and 1.5 million
souls, Allen said. 

She and her husband of 24 years Mark Joseph have
east coast origins. They made the cross-country trip in 10 days, sightseeing
along the way, she said. The trek took them through Salt Lake City; Cheyenne, Wyo.;
Omaha, Neb.; St. Louis; Louisville, Ky.; Charleston, W.Va.; and Charlottesville,
Va.

They will be living in an apartment in Ocean City
as they preparing to move into their new home in Berlin, Allen said. She said
she is making a list as she receives tips on the best places to shop and dine,
and the Berlin Coffeehouse is an early favorite. But, she was quick to add,
“All of the businesses have been very welcoming.”

Asked how she felt about leaving California,
Allen admitted it was hard to say goodbye to her friends and colleagues. “But
the timing was right for me to make this move,” she said.