BERLIN – Three incumbents will run for office once again in Berlin’s municipal election in October with the intention of seeing through the changes begun in recent years.
Three of the five seats on the Berlin Town Council will be contested during this municipal election, which will be held midway between the county, state and federal primaries and the general election in November.
The seats at stake on Oct. 12, Berlin’s municipal election day, are District 1, currently held by Troy Purnell; District 4, currently held by Dean Burrell; and the At Large seat, held by Paula Lynch.
Candidates have until 5 p.m. on Sept. 13 to file to run for one of the three council seats.
Lynch filed to run for re-election as the At-Large council member the morning of Aug. 30.
Burrell and Purnell both confirmed this week that they plan to run for re-election to their council seats as well.
“I just haven’t dropped off the paperwork yet,” Purnell said.
Lynch said her decision to run again was in part to see through ongoing projects and issues.
“There are a lot of things kind of in the works I’d really like to see to fruition,” Lynch said, referring to the expanded and improved wastewater treatment plant and the additional spray irrigation capacity.
Lynch has held the At-Large council seat since 1988.
“I think it’s amazing we’ve come as far as we have and I’d like to see it come to completion,” Lynch said.
Burrell echoed similar thoughts when asked why he was seeking another term.
“I love Berlin. Berlin has a lot of stuff going on now. A lot of stuff that has been started, and I really would like the opportunity to see some of the projects completed while in office,” Burrell said.
Burrell cited work on the improved and expanded wastewater plant, flooding issues and the planned new police department building and community center as projects he would like to see finished.
Purnell will be seeking his first, four-year term, as he was elected in a special election and served an abbreviated term.
“I don’t think I’ve finished yet,” Purnell said of his decision to run for a second term. “It’s been really interesting seeing [Mayor] Gee [Williams] turn the town around and I just want to make sure it continues in that direction … I ran because I wanted to make sure it got turned around and darned if it did.”
Another reason to run, Lynch said, is to provide cohesion in town government if Williams, who is running for the state legislature as a delegate, is elected to state office.
“I think if he does move to the state legislature continuity will be important,” Lynch said.
Lynch praised the current town council, saying there is a lot of variety in skills and backgrounds among the council members.
Lynch described her skills as paying attention to detail and budgets.
“I think I make a contribution,” she said.
With two weeks to go until the filing deadline, there is no word on whether anyone will challenge the incumbents.
Lynch is not phased by the idea of competition.
“I certainly welcome that. If the voters think somebody else is better qualified, I accept that development as well,” she said. “I do realize you need change and new ideas and new thoughts.”
Voters from Districts 1 and 2 will cast their ballots at Buckingham Presbyterian Church, while voters from District 3 will vote at the Flower St. Multi-Purpose building.
Candidates for the At-Large council seat will be listed on ballots in all districts.
Absentee ballots will be available through town hall. Unregistered voters must register with the Worcester County Board of Elections by Sept. 10 to vote in the Berlin election.