Close Menu
Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Berlin makes strategic plan summary public

(March 12, 2015) Following the four townwide meetings held to discuss the future of the town, Berlin officials on Tuesday issued a community meeting report that summarizes the response from residents.
Meetings were held over several weeks in January and February and were led by facilitator Christine Becker.  
“I think there were a lot of good, positive ideas and considerable commitment to the town, really wanting to make it even stronger,” Becker said.
The report listed several topics of interest, followed by comments provided during the meetings compiled by Becker.
Asked what actions would make Berlin a better place, most residents said, “Getting rid of the ‘Berlin wall’ that divides the town between east and west.”
This included the suggestions that a walkway or bikeway be built over Route 113 to bring both sides of the community together, providing an indoor/outdoor community sports complex, creating open-space recreation for kids, and a community park for everyone.
According to the report, the top five strategic issues and opportunities were increased park and recreation facilities, preserving traditions, enhancing public safety, investing in infrastructure and promoting economic development and providing jobs.
Becker said she saw a few reoccurring themes in the data.
“The two things that stood out to me were one, just a discussion about why people love Berlin,” she said. “I think there were just some recurring themes about how special the town is to them. Coming from a big city, I enjoyed seeing the depth about how much they cared about their town.
“The second thing I found interesting is the high level of interest in how to preserve the town’s traditions and history while being progressive and growing,” Becker continued.
“I wouldn’t describe it as anything close to anti-growth, but a real strong theme across all four [meetings] was thoughtful and proactive growth. Growing and thriving doesn’t necessarily mean your population gets bigger. There are other ways to become an even stronger town. That segment of it I found particularly interesting.”
Berlin Mayor Gee Williams said the report was emailed or mailed to participants and posted on the town’s website at
Paper copies are available in town hall.
“Anyone interested can check out the report and get a sense of what the meetings were all about,” Williams said.   
Berlin also released a web-based survey for anyone unable to attend the public meetings. Town Administrator Laura Allen said Berlin was “tabulating the results of the survey for the strategic plan work sessions we’re holding with the mayor, council and key staff in town hall.”
The sessions began on Wednesday and continue on Thursday, March 12 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“At the end of this process, we’ll have a plan that will take us through the next couple of years in detail, and through the next five to 10 years conceptually,” Allen said.
Becker believes the data gathered will be helpful during the final part of the process.
“I know the mayor and the town council are very committed to really paying attention to what the town said,” she said. “You can’t consider every single individual idea, but there certainly … were trends that will help them think about how they can construct a strategic plan.”