BERLIN -- Two long-time residents of Berlin, one a farmer and the other a retired former councilman, are campaigning to become the next mayor of Berlin. Voting for the mayor will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Robert Cato works as both a farmer and with Variety Vending in Moultrie, and he has lived in Berlin for most of his life. He said he believes he can be fair to Berlin and help it get out of the recent problems that the city has faced.

Cato said the city receives funding from grants every year, but somehow the city is often virtually out of money. He would like to see how the grant money is being used by the city and where it is going.

Unlike with the Berlin Volunteer Fire Department, Cato said the city does not visually show that grant money being used for the city. He wants to be sure any grant money is used for the city of Berlin instead of being "toted out" for others to use.

Another thing the city of Berlin needs is a place for children to spend time, Cato said. The city does have a youth center, but it is only open for a couple of hours each week, which does not provide much benefit for children, he said.

Cato said he is the best candidate because he gets along well with people and is easy to get in touch with should any Berlin resident need him. He also has plenty of energy to work toward making Berlin a better place for everyone to live.

Dale Williams has lived in Berlin for more than 50 years when he moved to the city at 4 years old. He is a member and Sunday School teacher at Berlin Baptist Church.

Williams said he was elected to the Berlin City Council in January 2004 but had to resign in order to run for mayor. He would like to clean up the city and help out residents with their problems.

The old buildings and some grass in Berlin are in need of being cleaned up, and Williams said he will work toward that goal. He would also like to see residents get more involved with the city and attend city council meetings.

"I wonder why people are not more involved in what's going on in their city," Williams said.

Like Cato, Williams said he will be available for any residents who have a concern about the city. He said he will be happy to meet with residents and help them to solve any of their issues and make Berlin a "nice, happy place to live."

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