New mayor and council sworn into office in Berlin
By Ally Lanasa, Staff Writer
(Oct. 15, 2020) New Berlin Mayor Zackery Tyndall honored his predecessor, Gee Williams, on Tuesday with a proclamation and a shadow box presenting a gavel and sound block.
Gary Moore of Anchor Wood Creations said the shadow box was built with locally reclaimed wood.
“The walnut that I used for the frame on it is from a walnut tree that had fallen on Burley Street and based on the size of the tree, it was like 180 years old,” Moore said. “So, the tree was older than Berlin has actually been incorporated.”
The town department heads also expressed their gratitude for Williams’ service to Berlin as mayor for over a decade.
“I’m so grateful for the opportunity to serve this town as mayor for the last 12 years. It’s only been 12?” Williams joked. “It’s been a very interesting journey every step of the way. Very interesting, but very rewarding. And I want everyone to know that I wish the new mayor and council and everyone who lives, works and visits Berlin all the best.”
Tyndall was sworn into office on Tuesday by Susan Braniecki, clerk of the Circuit Court for Worcester County. Tyndall, in turn, then swore in Jay Knerr as the At-Large Councilmember, Jack Orris as the District 2 Councilmember and Shaneka Nichols as the District 3 Councilmember.
During the meeting, District 1 Councilmember Troy Purnell nominated District 4 Councilmember Dean Burrell as the council vice president. The new mayor and council agreed and determined the council vice president would serve a two-year term.
“According to the town charter, the council has the ability to make its own rules in order of business and, of course, this would come under that,” said David Gaskill, the town attorney. “So, the council can suggest a two-year term, a four-year term or no term.”
Burrell was absent for the meeting.
The mayor and council was scheduled to approve the meeting minutes from Sept. 28.
“But it takes three members to be able to approve the minutes for that previous session, and since Councilmember Burrell is absent, that will be postponed until our next meeting,” Tyndall said.
During the allocated time for departmental reports, Ivy Wells, the town’s economic and community development director, announced that in lieu of the annual Christmas parade, Berlin will be holding a holiday house decorating contest.
“Some of the awards that we’ve come up with are, they’re actually named after Christmas characters. So, we’ll have the Clark Griswold Award, which will be the brightest house. The Kevin McCallister Award will be the most creative house, and the George Bailey Award will be the most traditional. And then the best house will get the Charles Dickens Award.”
Berlin residents must sign up to participate.
“The only thing I have to say is ‘thank you,’ and I look forward to working with the new members and the more senior members of this council, our staff and the people of Berlin,” Tyndall said.