By Terry Rogers
On Monday, May 4, four Milford City Council members were sworn in at City Hall. Christopher Mergner, Ward 1, Doug Morrow, Ward 3, and James Starling Sr., Ward 4 retained their seats in uncontested elections. Councilman Dirk Gleysteen, who served two terms on city council representing Ward 2, chose not to file for his seat and was replaced by Jamie Burk, who was the Planning Commission Chairman before being elected.
Mayor Bryan Shupe read the election results which had been confirmed by the election board in the city before Mr. Burk was sworn in by the Honorable William J. Walls, Jr. After Mr. Burk was sworn in, the three returning councilmen were sworn in by Judge Walls as well.
“I want to welcome Councilman Burk,” Mayor Shupe said. “He has a great outlook on the city of Milford. I also want to thank Doug, James and Chris for agreeing to serve again. I know that they and the rest of the council have the best interest of the city at heart and I look forward to working with them.”
Councilman Owen Brooks also thanked former Councilman Gleysteen, who was in attendance at the swearing in, for his service. Mayor Shupe said that he was grateful for the assistance Mr. Gleysteen had provided to him in his first year as mayor, noting that he always counted on him to be the “finance guy,’ crediting him with “moving Milford forward.”
“It has been a pleasure to serve with all of you,” Mr. Gleysteen said. “I have known Jamie for many years and he will be an absolute asset to council.”
At the meeting, Councilman Morrow was elected to act as Vice-Mayor while David Rutt was chosen to act as City Solicitor.
Councilman Burk says that he is looking forward to the challenges that will face him. He said that he chose to run for council because he is a firm believer in giving back to the community. He said that Milford is going in a great direction and he wanted to be a part of it.
“If you are part of the community, you need to be involved,” Mr. Burk said. “My main goal is to listen to the citizens of the second ward. That ward has a unique issue in that it is where the old middle school and soon-to-be old hospital building are located. I am looking forward to discussing with people in my ward to see what they would like to see happen with those two historic buildings.”
Councilman Burk grew up in Lewes and attended the University of Delaware. He and his wife, Patti Persia, have lived in Milford since 2005. He said he loves the fact that Milford is a great walking town and is a town where people are so open to giving to others.
“I think council is moving in the right direction,” Councilman Burk said. “I think the younger perspective is going to help bring a fresher approach to issues that face the city.”