(Oct. 9, 2020) With a strong campaign and favorable feedback from many townspeople, District 2 Councilmember Zackery Tyndall was elected as the mayor of Berlin on Tuesday in a landslide victory against four candidates.
“I think that it’s going to be a good thing for the town,” Tyndall said. “The people, from the numbers that I heard, are ready to take a different step forward, and I’m happy to lead that step forward along with the three new councilmembers.”
The polling places closed at 7 p.m., but the results did not come in until much later. The town released the official vote tallies after 9:45 p.m.
The 2020 municipal election turnout was roughly 36 percent of the 3,477 registered voters in Berlin.
Currently, Berlin has a population of 4,784, according to the Maryland Department of Planning.
Prior to Election Day, 111 absentee ballots were request. The town reported that 107 absentee ballots were returned.
Between Buckingham Presbyterian Church and the Berlin Police Department, 1,129 people voted in person on Election Day.
Tyndall received 846 votes, compared to 184 for his predecessor Gee Williams.
“The trust placed in me by the people of Berlin is humbling and the expectation high,” Tyndall wrote in a press release Tuesday evening. “Now that you have elected me as your mayor, I will work hard to protect your trust and the assets of Berlin. We will implement new management approaches while working with the previous administration and town employees to achieve a seamless transition.”
Williams plans to enjoy the extra free time with his family in Berlin.
“I have no interest in being in public life anymore,” he said. I just want to pursue some interests that I have.”
Williams added that he wishes Tyndall all the best in his mayoral career.
“None of this competition was personal among any of the candidates, and that’s the way it should be,” he said. “I feel he has his views, and he needs to pursue them and work with the council and the public.”
Tyndall, 30, will be sworn into office on Oct. 13 by Susan Braniecki, clerk of the Circuit Court for Worcester County. Then, he will swear in the councilmembers filling the District 2, District 3 and At-Large council seats.
Jack Orris, Jr. ran unopposed for District 2, while Shaneka Nichols won the District 3 seat with 199 votes.
“I can’t even begin to tell you just how excited I am about this win for not only me but District 3,” Nichols said. “There have been so many suggestions and ideas that community members have already brought to the table. So now it’s [time] to get to work.”
In addition, Jay Knerr beat Tony Weeg for the At-Large council seat in a 606-495 vote.
“I am extremely excited to have won the At-Large seat on the Berlin Town Council,” Knerr said. “Election Day was certainly a roller coaster ride of emotions as the day progressed. It is not just a win for me but this election was a giant win for all the citizens of Berlin.”
As he departs office, Williams encourages the new councilmembers “to do a lot of homework.”
“There’s a lot more to it than appears on the surface,” he added. “I think familiarization with the budget, policies — especially the policies of the last decade [and] why they were implemented — and basically to build on what is there. My sincere impression from going around and talking to people was the town is in very good shape. I hope that they can continue to build on it.”
In the press release, Tyndall congratulated all the candidates for running “good and honorable campaigns.” He also thanked residents and business owners for sharing their perspectives on the town throughout the election process.
“With five candidates in the race for Mayor, the campaign has been challenging and inspiring,” he wrote. “I have had the pleasure of meeting residents and business owners, some for the first time. I have heard their concerns and frustrations about the town’s management. I appreciate the sharing of knowledge about some of our most critical issues, and most importantly, learned about their hopes and visions for Berlin’s future.”
With one of the highest voter turnouts for a Berlin election, the town received 1,236 regular and absentee ballots.
“We encouraged the absentee voting, but we also had the mechanisms in place for social distancing and the proper precautions, so people could vote in person, and do that safely,” Tyndall said.
He added that he was happy to see residents bike up to the polling places to cast their vote.
Tyndall celebrated his victory at his home on Buckingham Road with his wife, Chelsea, his campaign staff and a bottle of champagne.
During his term, Tyndall will remain full-time as the acting assistant director at Salisbury University’s Richard A. Henson Medical Simulation Center.
Final Tally Results
Mayor: Zackery Tyndall
Zackery Tyndall - 846 votes
Gee Williams - 184 votes
William “Bill’ Todd - 111 votes
Jennifer Allen - 49 votes
Ronald Bireley - 36 votes
At-Large Councilmember: Jay Knerr
Jay Knerr - 606 votes
Tony Weeg - 495 votes
District 2: Jack Orris
District 3: Shaneka Nichols
Shaneka Nichols - 199 votes
Dan Packey - 41 votes