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


Fleetwood steps down from a job well done

Most people would agree that the resignation of Berlin Town Administrator Jeff Fleetwood had to happen at some point, but that it would not be viewed with a sense of relief regardless of the timing.

Quite the contrary, one would suspect that the community at-large and the town employees who worked with him are sorry to see him go, following his quiet and non-controversial tenure as the town’s chief operating officer.

Over the years, town administrators and managers have come and gone from the Town of Berlin’s employ, with some of them more notable for the ruckus they kicked up than anything else.

That, however, has not been Fleetwood’s style, the dominant features of which have been quiet competence and commitment to the job. This is not to say that he hasn’t spoken up when he disagrees with the town’s elected officials. He has, especially as an advocate for the well-being of the town’s employees.

As a long-time human resources manager, dating back to his career in the U.S. Army and later with a couple of this region’s largest corporations, Fleetwood obviously believes that an employer has a duty to take care of the people who take care of it.

He said as much when he assumed the administrator’s post in 2019, after first serving the town as human resources manager and later as managing director.

To paraphrase, he told a reporter the job comes first, the employees come second, and he comes last. He said it’s part of his management style, adding that it’s crucial to gain the trust and respect of town employees.

Apparently, he has done that with the 12-hour workday schedule that’s been part of his routine since his original hire in 2010.

His presence has been good for the town, and he will be difficult to replace, although given his well-established expertise in the area of recruiting, the mayor and council might want to consult him on that.