By Ally Lanasa, Staff Writer
Three-term incumbent will face two challengers in Oct.
(July 9, 2020) Incumbent Berlin Mayor Gee Williams, 71, has filed for re-election for a fourth consecutive term this week and is emphasizing his experience.
“The bottom line is that I have the experience necessary to do this job well,” Williams said in a press release on Tuesday.
His decision to run for office again comes with a desire to build a ‘Better Berlin,’ he said.
“If we do not remain committed to this process, no matter how challenging, we will just end up being the sum total of random development and not benefit from any overall vision for Berlin,” Williams said. “Unlike many small towns, we are not intimidated by change, we thrive on it.”
The mayor perceives the election as an opportunity for Berlin citizens to vote to continue moving the town forward in the direction it has taken for several years, or to reverse the progress that has been made and miss the opportunities that are before the community.
Williams is running against District 2 Councilmember Zackery Tyndall and The Globe General Manager William “Bill” Todd.
According to the release, the mayor’s objectives for another term are to preserve Berlin’s charm and interpersonal connections while enhancing the local economy.
Williams hopes people will continue to embrace Berlin as a safe residence, but he wants to maintain a growth boundary to preserve the small town.
“First, with continued citizen involvement, I will continue to work for incremental and sustainable growth that can be maintained and adapted with changing expectations, needs and economic conditions,” Williams said.
He is focused on establishing a vital business base in town.
“It is necessary for the Town of Berlin to continue to support our primary economic drivers, which are medical care, our steadily growing hospitality industry and our unique downtown boutique shopping and dining,” the mayor said.
Williams added that it is important for the Town of Berlin “to remain a special destination community,” attracting residents and guests.
Berlin has been successful as a small town because it has a feel from another time with a 19th Century charm yet has updated to contemporary living, Williams said.
The mayor’s other priorities are to encourage community support for investment in the Heron Park project, to plan and develop a community center at the former Flower Street School location and to move to the next tier in storm water utility improvements.
Williams said the town is working to upgrade the streets and sidewalks this summer and to continue aggressive and effective marketing for events and special occasions.
“Everything Berlin has achieved has resulted from first believing in our town’s potential, then rolling up our sleeves and going to work,” Williams said in the release. “I am seeking re-election to ensure that this work to make Berlin better and better stays on course.”
Before his three terms as mayor, Williams was a local journalist for 30 years.
Then, he became the community relations director for nine Eastern Shore counties for the Maryland State Highway Administration. Later, he went on to serve as the director of marketing and development with the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore.
Williams was elected to the Berlin Town Council in 2003.
After then-Mayor Tom Cardinale died in 2008, Williams, who was the council vice-president, completed the term and has occupied the seat since.
The Berlin municipal election is Oct. 6.
For more information about Williams’ campaign, visit www.mayorgeewilliams.com.