STAFF WRITER JARED FIELDS
A familiar face is switching roles in Marble Falls to lead future development of the downtown area.
The city of Marble Falls hired Erin Burks to its newly created downtown coordinator position. Burks has been the director of Marketing and Tourism for the Marble Falls/Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau since January 2016.
Burks will begin the new job in early January.
“This is a fun opportunity for me to make a direct impact on my community,” Burks said Dec. 18.
According to the city, Burks will “be responsible for developing and implementing a Downtown/Main Street Program, which utilizes the City Comprehensive Plan and Downtown Master Plan as the foundation with the goals of stimulating economic development, commercial revitalization, and fostering communication and collaboration among everyone in the district and community.”
A group of downtown business owners have joined together as the Downtown Business Alliance. Burks said she hopes to use her experience at the chamber to build a bridge between the alliance and the city.
“They’re in the trenches. They’re there and see things that need to be improved,” Burks said. “I hope that I can take their ideas back to the leadership at the city. That way, everyone has a voice.”
Burks will report to Assistant City Manager Caleb Kraenzel. According to the city budget, the downtown coordinator position was budgeted within a salary range of $59,223.46 to $85,258.09 and is similar in pay grade to that of a street superintendent, a water plant superintendent, or a wastewater plant superintendent.
City Manager Mike Hodge said the city is ready for someone to take the reins of downtown.
“Our downtown business district is poised and ready for economic growth and development,” Hodge said in a statement from the city. “With the new (Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone) projects and infrastructure improvements slated for the area, it makes sense that the city and the (Marble Falls Economic Development Corp.) would further support that effort with a downtown coordinator.”
Christian Fletcher, executive director of the Marble Falls EDC, also said the city is ready for the new position.
“We are excited to have Erin join us in this capacity and encourage the development of a more active and vibrant downtown,” Fletcher said.
Burks said her experience in Marble Falls will be invaluable in this new job.
“I learned a ton from the leadership of the chamber and CVB. It’s a pillar in the community,” Burks said. “I’m excited to be part of the team and thankful for the opportunity.”
Taylor Smith, president of the Marble Falls/Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce, is looking forward to Burks’s future.
“I am excited for her as she takes this next step in her career and look forward to finding a replacement that will continue the excellent work of the CVB,” Smith said.
Burks departure from the chamber is the third in recent weeks. Executive Director Patti Zinsmeyer recently announced her resignation effective at the end of the month. Events Coordinator Brandi Payne also is leaving at the end of the month for a job in Hondo.