Jennifer Allen says she will be voice for Berlin citizens and bring fresh perspective
By Ally Lanasa, Staff Writer
(July 23, 2020) Berlin resident Jennifer Allen, 68, became the fourth candidate for mayor in the Oct. 6 municipal election ballot after filing on Monday.
Allen will run against incumbent Mayor Gee Williams, District 2 Councilmember Zackery Tyndall and The Globe General Manager William “Bill” Todd.
“I think that Berlin needs a fresh set of eyes,” Allen said. “I think that everybody that’s running has been here in Berlin practically their whole lives, and my coming in and looking at all of this, I think I see things that maybe they don’t see.”
Allen said she began thinking about running for mayor after the 18 percent tax increase in 2019.
“When all of that was publicized in the paper that they were going to have that huge tax increase, I thought I should get more involved in town,” Allen said.
Since then, Allen has attended every Berlin Mayor and Council meeting either in-person or online.
“We need somebody in here to look at the big picture and see what exactly goes on in this town,” Allen said. “What kind of processes are they following? And is there any way that we can look at them and redesign them or improve them to find a better way to do things so that we could save money in the budget and not impact the taxpayers with increasing taxes?”
Allen said her campaign will focus on the budget and stabilizing taxes, the Heron Park project, the annexation and expansion of the town and storm water.
“In the near future, we need to look at what’s going on with the wastewater plant,” she added.
Allen is also concerned about public safety issues, such as crosswalks and safe bicycling.
“Lots of adults are bicycling right now because of the pandemic,” she said.
Allen originally considered running for the District 2 council seat. However, she ultimately chose to file for mayor because “the council is hindered” with access to financial information.
From Montgomery County, Allen purchased her home in District 2 in 2015. She moved to town in April 2016 after retiring from her role as deputy assistant chief of staff at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
She has an associate degree in applied science and nursing, a bachelor’s degree in health care management and a master’s in quality systems management.
“The definition of quality is listening to the voice of the customer, and in our case, the voice of the customer would be the citizens of Berlin,” Allen said. “And it bothered me that mayor and the council seem to not be hearing the voice of the customer and trying to listen and work with the customer with compromise.”
Allen added that she could be the voice for those customers that may feel like they are ignored.
Although she has no political experience, Allen, who is a registered nurse, has 46 years of experience in healthcare with 33 years of experience in federal service.
In advance of the fall election, Allen encourages the town’s citizens to check their voter registration information.
Last year, Allen helped with the annexation petition and discovered many citizens had moved and did not realize their addresses were not updated automatically for their voter registration.
“People’s addresses didn’t match their names in the voter registration, and those names were excluded from the petition,” Allen said. “If people want to vote and they want to impact what happens in Berlin and Worcester County later in November and nationally, they need to just check, if they recently moved, and make sure that their voter registration got updated.”
Berlin citizens can check this information on the Maryland State Board of Elections website and update their addresses if necessary.
For more information about her campaign, contact Allen at firstname.lastname@example.org.