New Market hires new planner

Alex Berryman

NEW MARKET — The town has welcomed a new face to local government. Alex Berryman started on Thursday as the planner and zoning administrator.

Berryman replaces the interim planner and zoning administrator,  Town Manager Mike Ritchie, who filled the position after Chad Neese resigned on Feb. 6.

Berryman came to Virginia to attend Roanoke College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology. He then went to Virginia Tech where he received a master’s degree in urban and regional planning.

Berryman specializes in rural economic development, housing and land use law. That search brought him to New Market, where he plans to make an impact as a member of local government.

“I worked, while in college at Roanoke, at North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan’s Washington, D.C., office, so I was exposed to the federal level of government,” Berryman said. “I always wanted to be a public servant, and I just found that this is my place here at the local level.”

When asked why he chose to come to New Market, Berryman explained that it was the town’s people, size and heritage that initially drew him in.

“It (New Market) is home to about 2,400 people and I think all of them are very friendly,” Berryman said. “It’s compact and it has a nice history, which is something that newer towns can’t exactly manufacture overnight. There are opportunities to improve on the town and I believe that it’s a community that’s willing to do that.”

Berryman explained that analyzing the town survey that was distributed in January and getting to work on the town’s comprehensive plan will be his first projects.