Michael Day, Economic and Community Development Director in Berlin and former Main Street Director, will speak to the Greater Chestertown Initiative and other interested participants at 1:00 on Friday, September 5 at Town Hall about his experience in developing downtown Berlin. This meeting will replace our usual first Monday GCI meeting for September.
Berlin Mayor Gee Williams called Day “the spark that Berlin needed” to get to the next level of economic vitality. “If you tried to point to one individual who has made the most significant difference in helping Berlin move forward economically in the last few years, that person would clearly be Michael Day,” he said. “It was just the right combination of his life experience, his experience with government, his experience with business and his ability to explain and persuade people to work together.”
Berlin’s downtown has filled up since Day joined the town hall staff. Since 2012, there has hardly been a vacancy on Main Street. He credits the commercial interest in the town – which is Budget Travel’s 2014 Coolest Small Town in America – to its vibrancy and the preservation efforts that have been made in the historic town.
Berlin has also been designated a Maryland Arts and Entertainment Center and has a Maryland Main Street Program. The Main Street concept –a state-sponsored program of strengthening the economic potential of traditional Main Streets and neighborhoods in order to improve the economy, appearance and image of those districts – has long been a passion for Day.
Though Day has announced his retirement, he expects Berlin’s success to continue in the future, particularly now that economic development is a permanent part of the town’s budget. “I don’t think we would have gotten to this point if the town hadn’t hired someone full time,” he said. “We’re lucky we’ve got a mayor and council with vision.”
Join us on September 5 to hear Michael Day and learn about Berlin’s experience and economic success that would be useful to us.