FENWICK ISLAND – Town Manager Merritt Burke will leave Fenwick Island this week after four years in the resort.
Burke, whose last day at Fenwick Island Town Hall is Friday, has been hired to be the CEO of the Sussex County Association of Realtors. He will take the position formerly held by Ruth Briggs King, who left the organization in January.
“I’m very excited about the new opportunity but it’s hard leaving Fenwick,” Burke said. “It was a difficult decision. The community has been fantastic.”
The town manager, who before coming to Fenwick held the same position in Bridgeville, says he has worked as a land use consultant and as a Realtor in the past.
“My knowledge of real estate is comprehensive,” he said.
He’s looking forward to putting that to use while leading a 1,500-member non-profit.
“That’s very exciting,” he said.
Burke said making the decision to leave Fenwick was not easy but that the opportunities provided by the position with the Sussex County Association of Realtors were attractive. The nonprofit, located in Georgetown, will mean a shorter commute for the Lewes resident.
“I have four kids under the age of eight,” he said. “Being closer to home is always a benefit.”
Burke begins work with the Sussex County Association of Realtors Aug. 8. Looking back on his time in Fenwick, Burke says he’s proud of how well the town’s employees worked together to make improvements throughout the town.
“We were able to come together from day one,” he said. “It’s like a family here.”
Changes he’s particularly proud of include the installation of rain gardens and flower beds throughout the town, improvements to town hall, the expansion of the park and the addition of more Mobi-Mats for dune crossings. He also helped the town get a new website and organized a variety of drainage improvements.
“I accomplished a great deal here,” he said. “It’s been a fantastic experience for me.”
Fenwick Island Mayor Gene Langan says Burke will be missed.
“I’m going to hate to see him go but I wish him the best,” he said.
Langan says the process to find a replacement for Burke has begun and that the town will begin advertising for the position in the coming days.