By Ally Lanasa, Staff Writer
(March 4, 2021) James (Jimmy) Charles will step into the full-time role of the Berlin Public Works Department superintendent when Dave Wheaton retires near the end of March.
Charles, 50, is originally from Lancaster, Pennsylvania and worked for a printing company for 15 years.
“I’ve had little side businesses of grass cutting and snow plowing,” he said.
Since 2010, Charles has lived on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. He worked with Somerset County Roads Division for three years then went on to serve as the Public Works Department supervisor for the City of Crisfield for five years.
At Somerset County Roads Division, Charles participated in tree-limbing services, grass cutting, stormwater removal and snow removal. In Crisfield, his department was responsible for maintaining streets, performing stormwater removal, clearing ditches and conducting trash and recycling collection.
Charles learned about the position in Berlin through the town’s website.
“It’s a great opportunity to work with the town of Berlin. Everyone has been very welcoming, and I am very much looking forward to working with the town,” he said. “Berlin is beautiful, friendly, inviting and a great place to live, visit or work.”
As the Public Works Department superintendent, Charles will oversee a department of seven employees.
He said training under Wheaton for the role has made it an “easy transition.”
“Dave has been great. He’s been open and communicative with everything we’ve been learning,” he added. “I’ll be able to draw from Dave’s experiences with the town of Berlin.”
Wheaton has worked for the town since June 2004. He was initially hired as an equipment operator then served as an assistant superintendent of Public Works. He is retiring as superintendent of the Public Works Department, where he oversaw eight employees.
“He will be sorely missed by me. He’s been a good friend and a good advisor,” said Town Administrator Jeff Fleetwood. “I wish him the very best in his retirement.”
As an example of his character, Wheaton has agreed to be a phone call away for any “institutional knowledge” needed, Fleetwood added.
Fleetwood is excited to have Charles provide a fresh pair of eyes for the town.
Charles said the Public Works Department ensures that the streets are cleared, that trash and recycling are collected routinely every week and that the parks are clean. In addition, the department organizes and assists with street closures during events.
“We’re evaluating the equipment and we’re getting ready for the summer with possible events with covid restrictions,” he said.
Charles said he looks forward to working with town residents and welcomes any public insight.
“I am open to any ideas that the town has and look forward to helping make the town even better,” he said. “The town is progressing, and I look forward to being a part of the town’s growth.”
Contact Charles at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-641-4001.