After 22 years of working his way up through the ranks, Eric Burbank will now be at the helm at the Maplewood Department of Public Works.
Burbank is clearly well-liked by Township committee members and employees alike as he accepted a lot of ribbing from Vic DeLuca. "This is Kodak moment," DeLuca joked, "because you will never see him in a suit again."
Once the Committee had unanimously voted to appoint Burbank, Deputy Mayor Fred Profeta took a more serious tone: "Eric Burbank is just the best public servant I've ever run into." Besides doing his job, Profeta said, Burbank "knows how to be a good friend" and will "go that extra mile."
Burbank's voice tremble a bit with emotion as he accepted his new post (Burbank has served as interim director for the past six months). He thanked his managers and staff, his three sons, but, most especially and thoroughly, Burbank thanked his wife, Carolyn. Burbank noted that she has supported him throughout, and he proudly announced that she is about to earn her college degree with a 3.8 GPA from Keane University.
To his sons, Burbank acknowledged their sacrifices. For instance, they wouldn't see him for two or three days during a snowstorm while he was plowing roads. "I never got to take them on a a sleigh ride."
Burbank acknowledged that DPW has faced major challenges and changes in the last year (the department had to make due with a much smaller budget and staff due to the municipal fiscal crisis). But Burbank pledged to embrace the change and make a better department out of it.
Burbank's new position became effective immediately. His annual salary as director ($96,834) will be pro-rated for the remainder of 2009.