Berlin has been good for our city

Citizens of Salem received some good news the very first week of the new year. Mayor John Berlin said he will seek a third term.

Berlin is serving the final year of his second term. The feeling had been that maybe he wouldn’t seek another term. But he will with the support of his family. That is good for the city.

The 70-year-old Berlin has been an asset. It is all about continuity. Berlin is a face of our city. He has served his office well. He gets along with personnel of our city’s departments. He has always stood up for our city’s best interests. He is experienced in negotiating with the four unions representing city employees. He has successfully done that twice and would do so again if re-elected.

It’s been often said that citizens want first and foremost good roads to drive on and solid infrastructure. You’ve seen and driven on all the city streets and alleys fixed around here. Voters approved an additional tax in 2015 at the behest of city leadership including Berlin. It was to be used for streets, alleys, sidewalks, curbs and storm sewers. It has been. Voter trust was rewarded.

Berlin was a point person in rallying support for the passage of the levy. He touted procuring grant money for a sidewalk project to begin this summer. There are many residents who will appreciate getting some walkways — like many streets had been — replaced and repaired.

Berlin backed getting a Salem cop on the Columbiana County Drug Task Force, adding K-9 units to the police department and placing a full-time resource officer in the Salem Schools via the police department. He is an ambassador for the Salem Super Cruise which has become the summertime highlight in our city. He is truly appreciative and respectful of our veterans.

He is accessible and works well with this newspaper which is appreciated. He doesn’t stall and stammer. He is approachable. He is not dismissive. He is not arrogant and a know-it-all. Most important, he is accessible to residents. Simply put, he answers calls and tries to work at solutions when there are concerns. Berlin is a local boy — a West Branch graduate and longtime city resident. He knows his way around.

Berlin won a three-candidate race in 2011 for his first term. He was unopposed in keeping his seat in November 2015.

Obviously January isn’t the time to make political endorsements. It just isn’t good form or fair to anyone who actually might — unlike the last election — want to run against Berlin come fall. But for the here and now, we are certainly delighted to know that John Berlin wants to continue on as mayor. He has been good for the city and that needs to be acknowledged for sure. And for those who don’t agree, hey, run against him and let’s see what happens.