Category Archives: local government

Making Dover Prosper Initiative Passes Key Test

Dover City Council Committee of the Whole recommends adoption of Making Dover Prosper Initiative  10-0 The resolution authored by Councilman Anderson in collaboration with Co-sponsors Councilmen Hare and Cole, Director of Planning and Community Development Dave Hugg and many in the community was inspired by the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce's "Vision 2020".   It started 2 years ago with an effort by Anderson to bring Dover closer to "one stop shopping" in order to start, move or expand a business in the city. The resolution will cause the creation of a "road map" to guide the city's customers for ease following the process for permits, zoning, or opening a business.  It authorizes Mr. Hugg's goal of making it easy for people to track the progress of their permits via an automated system.  It also creates working groups to bring citizens including business people together with Read more

Hold on to your car keys is the International Walking Charter Coming to Dover?

City staff brought a proposal to sign the Walk21 International Walking Charter. It is an effort to use local government to pressure people out of their cars by designing a city to be inhospitable to them. It is from the same fountain as Agenda 21 and Agenda 2030. Considering the fact Dover's Comprehensive Plan is due for revision in the upcoming year, this is worth noting . Are you skeptical? Well hold on to your car keys! Here are some gems from the International Walking Charter. This proposal seeks the following: Put people on foot at the heart of urban planning . Give slow transport modes such as walking and cycling priority over fast modes, and local traffic precedence over long - distance travel 􀂇 Improve land-use and spatial planning, ensuring that new housing, shops, business parks and public transport stops are located and designed so that people can reach them Read more

Economic Inclusion is the Key to Prosperity

The City of Dover decided to take a wrecking ball to its economic development department in spite of 5 years of work that has brought hundreds of millions in new private investment, filled empty box stores, changed the Garrison Track into the Garrison Technology Park. We finally began to address workforce development, gained needed investment to implement a downtown strategy through Restoring Central Dover and the Downtown Development District and began business training reaching all segments of the community through the Ice House project. We now have a committee charting strategy. While it was a mistake that got us here, it is an opportunity to get us to a consensus that could prove very beneficial to our city. The Mayor is the chair of the Economic Development Committee (thanks to my motion) and has already made some positive moves including the addition of our best expert with Read more

Self Inflicted Wounds: City of Dover Moves to Destroy Successful Economic Development Operation

All was going great at the budget hearings until a series of motions by Tim Slavin. If we can't stop this train before the budget passes, it will abolish the economic development department which will risk jobs, business training and money invested here. Business people are using terms like crazy to describe this move. Downtown Merchants used the word trepidation. I say that it is temporary insanity. We have been the most successful that we have been in decades downtown, at the Garrison Technical Park and beating national trends. Now that things are working, let's change. Let's not change with forethought and structure, let's change and form a committee to figure out how to put together the pieces we are about to break. Call now or put our economy at risk. People are complaining but not all to the right people. The other councilmen have avoided recent business gatherings. Read more

Tiny House Village Hearing Tonight

Councilman David Anderson of Dover will be chairing a hearing on a proposed tiny house village Tuesday May 10 at 6 p.m. in Dover City Council Chambers. Anyone can afford a house if we get government regulations out of the way. If you support affordable housing or property rights please come out to our committee meeting at 6 pm in Council Chambers. The concept is to put them in their own area not in other neighborhoods so no it won’t hurt your property values, though they wouldn’t anyway. If you are curious, find out more at the Parks, Recreation, and Community Enhancement meeting.

For background information go here. Take a virtual tour of one

City of Dover 4th District Councilmen Hold Town Hall

Dover's 4th district spring townhall meeting Dover, DE April 12, 2016: Councilmen Sudler and Anderson to convene a townhall meeting April 19.2016 The time will be 6:30 p.m. The Location is Union Missionary Baptist Church 883 Lincoln Street. Councilmen Sudler and Anderson are continuing their commitment to regular communication to the district with Seasonal Townhalls. UPDATE: We have confirmed guests, Sgt Jeff Davis, Dover PD who is literally world famous from the video, City Manager Scott Koenig, and City Planner Ann Marie Townsend. Issues addressed will be public safety, new state tax credits to help homeowners and businesses, an update on Lincoln park, Youth services, and the budget. • All residents of the 4th district are welcome to attend. We will listen to your concerns and discuss information related to public safety with important information on the path to safer Read more

City of Dover Accepts Resignation of Former Officer Webster

Resignation of Cpl. Thomas Webster 2-23-16 Posted on February 23, 2016 by Dover Police Department FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE In accordance with a negotiated separation from employment, former Dover Police Cpl. Thomas Webster IV submitted his resignation from the Dover Police Department, and the resignation was accepted on February 23, 2016. Cpl. Webster was found not guilty by a 12 member jury on December 8, 2015 on a charge of felony assault resulting from an arrest that occurred in August 2013 while Cpl. Webster was on duty. Following his acquittal, the City and then Cpl. Webster entered into discussions concerning the continued employment of Cpl. Webster. Those discussions resulted in an amicable end to Cpl. Webster’s employment relationship with the City, and he submitted his voluntary resignation to the Dover Police Department. While the resignation was immediately Read more

Bomb Threats expand

Yesterday, Dover Delaware, Ocean City and Berlin Maryland Police Departments experienced bomb threats. The probing continues.

Statement from Dover PD

The Dover Police Department was forced to evacuate their police station at 5:17PM when a bomb threat was received through our 911 center. Our 911 center immediately transferred calls to the Kent County Department of Public Safety to avoid loss of services to the City of Dover residents upon receiving the call. The police station has since been cleared of any threats with assistance from the Delaware State Police and Delaware Capitol Police K9 Units. At this time, the department is beginning to resume normal operations in the department. If you have any information on this incident, or other threats in our area, please contact the Dover Police Department at 302-736-7111

Webster Situation delays Dover Union Contract

Dover City Council Recap The Police Union contract was up for a vote, but more on that later. The council is going to try out a new committee format. There is some benefit to the main committees being committee of the whole. Every council person will be aware of every major issue and have input at the committee level. The down side is the point of committees as we have them set up is to bring civilians in to bring a different perspective and have the time a small group has to work through issues in depth. I admit that I attend almost every committee meeting anyway so it does not affect me personally in time, but it does double our meeting schedules because committees will now be on a different night for 3 or 4 hours. We will meet like Levy Court with less than 1/4 of the pay. The good news is that it is a trial period from the end of January to the end of April. We can work out details Read more

New Direction or Turmoil In New Castle County

John Carney will be the certain Democratic nominee for Governor. New Castle County Executive Tom Gordon was already pulling back, now he has certainly pulled back. He split his inner circle and his county government is in disarray. It is nothing that he cannot fix, but it is nothing that can be fixed in time to mount a credible primary campaign against a popular statewide officeholder. The background on the controversy is here on Delawareonline.com. County Executive Tom Gordon dismissed Grimaldi, his top deputy since 2012, over the phone on Thursday afternoon, Grimaldi said in an interview Friday morning. "It was in the spur of the moment because I questioned him about his risk manager, who I think is his girlfriend," Grimaldi said. "It was just, '(expletive) you, David. You are fired.' " Said Grimaldi: "I put lipstick on that pig for three years, but it is a (expletive) Read more

Dover’s Captain Spicer Graduates FBI Academy

I am very pleased to see Captain Dave Spicer graduate from the FBI academy. He is someone who understands the meaning of protect and serve. In my interactions with him over the years, he has been stellar whether it was solving an identity theft of my wife, an assault on my stepson, or the theft of my debit card. Captain Spicer's career was almost cut short March 24, 2001. He was shot by a criminal 4 times. Thankfully his vest worked, but he was also shot once in arm and once in the shoulder. It took a year before he could return to full duty. Instead of backing away from the profession he loved, he rededicated himself to it. Now Cpl Spicer is now CPT Spicer. In spite of his experience, he never lost his compassion. He is a true star and now everyone has proof. Captain Dave Spicer, of the Dover Police Department, joined two hundred and twenty-five Law enforcement officers Read more

Fletcher Confesses to Having Gun

News Release from Dover PD On Friday, August 28th, the Dover Police Department was involved in a shooting incident involving 21-year-old Terrance Fletcher. Hours after the shooting a press conference was held to provide what limited details were available to the Dover Police Department during the preliminary stages of the investigation. A few hours after the press conference, the Dover Police Department released a press release with more information, including the crimes that Fletcher was charged with. Throughout the incident and its aftermath, the department has continued to pledge that we will be as transparent as allowed by law by releasing details as they become available and we will continue to do so. Shortly before 1:00PM, officers from the Street Crimes Unit received a tip from a past-proven reliable informant that Fletcher was in the area of South New Street and was in possession Read more

The Rumor Mill: Keeping it real by refuting the lies against Dover PD

Dover PD has a great record of not tolerating misbehavior even if it is not backed up by the Departments of Justice both Federal and State. We have a situation where a person was shot while trying to avoid custody. The person was an adult criminal who had outstanding warrants and was reported by a witness to be armed in a call in. I issued the following statement on Social Media also published in the Sunday Delaware State News. Here is the real story about the officer involved shooting on S. New Street today. The one shot was armed, would not put his weapon away, was 21, and shot in the leg. The street rumor says the officer shot an unarmed, 15 year old in the back twice while he was running away. That is a dangerous lie. Help keep your city safe by sharing the truth. Just like we took a strong stand against that horrible officer assault, we take a strong stand against anyone Read more

The Shooting of Terrance Fletcher By Dover Police, Justified?

Conflicting Reports By Different News Agencies and The Dover Police Dept. Causes Anger in Dover's Black Community. After reading conflicting reports about the shooting of Terrance Fletcher 21, by Dover police on the 100 block of South New Street on August 28, I decided to attend an open meeting of community residents and leaders at 6pm Saturday to get closer to the real story of what happened. According of the Dover Police media release Friday afternoon: At approximately 1:24pm (Friday) Chief Bernat notified the mayor to inform him of shots being fired at 111 South Ne, the details are still coming in however, a perpetrator confronted two Dover officers with a handgun and was told to put the gun down and he did not comply. One of the officers fired several shots. Subject has now been transported to Bayhealth condition is unknown at this time. Chief Bernat, Dep Chief Mailey and Read more

If You Want New Ideas, Bring in New Voices

The Dover Youth Advisory Council is a training ground for future leaders. We had a kickoff for the first wave of the teens. Dover is ready for action. We need all hands on deck. If we are going to reach the new generation, we need input from that generation to do it. We need relevant programs for the youth and young adults. We need opportunities for all. WBOC did a fine job explaining the committee. Yes, that intelligent, well spoken teen is my daughter. I think it is easy to tell why she was selected in a blind selection process that concealed identities, but considered their ideas and resume. I abstained from that batch and was so pleased that Rebecca sailed through without anyone knowing who was selected until I told them at the end. Now Delmarva knows what the committee saw. WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 - Read more

I Just Could Not Vote for the Tax Hike

I apologize to the citizens of Dover that we could not manage to get the votes to submit further budget cuts. We got stuck at the level that we accomplished in the budget hearings. In the end, I could not prevail in further cuts to spending and voted no on the tax hike and budget. It passed 6 to 3. I think the budget is thoughtful and defensible. There is no waste or fraud in it. I did think that it could be more austere and efficient. This is why I had several proposals to lower spending. Some were accepted, but others were not. Once we got to the point where even deferring pay increases for those making above 75k failed, it was time to quit. I voted against the budget and tax increase not because I did not favor the addition of more police and the spending to help the fire department take care of crucial needs. I had other concerns that were not being addressed. I do not believe Read more

Open Letter to the City of Wilmington, DE

GUEST OPINION By: Steve Washington, M.Ed. Why is the city government always in the news? One reason is that micromanagement in the parks and recreation division causes tension throughout youth employment. There are many concerns regarding the hiring process of youth workers and counselors. Although there is a lottery process for hiring youth, many of the youth are hired through word of mouth or by the powers that be in the department and sometimes city council representatives. This year, the department approached the hiring of program staff differently as in the past years since the beginning of the youth and family division. When do the powers that be have time to interview for temporary program positions? Perhaps, this may be a reason to such failures. Why have a manager of the youth and family service department if he or she cannot make decisions or interview the staff Read more

Dover Marching Ahead With Jobs

The Dover Post had an article that showed how many major vacancies are being filled in Dover. Not only is Downtown in the midst of major revitalization (We gave final passage to new incentives Monday, but how successful our efforts are to reclaim "empty big boxes". The article highlighted some of the challenges, but save one, everyone covered was either opening, filed a site plan, or was under contract. It sited the incentives that we passed when I came on board Council. I expect to see the same with downtown because we have a comprehensive approach of security, economic business incentives, controlling taxes and fees, residential aid, and youth outreach. We built our plan from the wishes of the people. It took more than a year to survey, hold meetings, have focus groups, and seek community leader involvement, but the results have been solid. The people know what is needed better Read more

Councilman Mike Brown Tapped to Chair Police Citizen Advisory Board

From WDEL:
Mayor Dennis Williams has tapped Councilman Mike Brown to head the Wilmington Police Department’s citizen advisory board. Brown (R-At Large) has chaired the council’s public safety committee since 2013 and, at times, been a political opponent and critic of Williams. The panel is intended to increase dialogue between police and stakeholders in the community and boost public trust. As chair of the commission, Brown will act as the liaison between the panel and Police Chief Bobby Cummings.

Anderson Launches Jobs Offensive

The Dover Prospers Initiative from the Desk of Councilman David L. Anderson, Dover, DE I am pleased to announce that I am taking part in major initiatives to make Dover even more jobs friendly. Here is a quick summary of the initiatives, one stop shopping, a citizen sunset committee, new economic incentives for the Downtown to put into law the work done by our staff. I have long advocated One Stop Shopping to make it easy for to open a business in Dover. Every form that you need is in one packet and you can turn it in one place and we route it to the right department instead of you running around all day. Microbusinesses are the largest economic boom that we have. It is where the growth is most dependable and profitable. Sure we love adding hundreds of jobs at Energizer, which we are. We love Kraft adding jobs. We love having hundreds of millions in Calpine Construction or Uzin Utz and Read more

Dover Citizens Get 10 More Officers

Monday night, something good happened. Dover City Council added authorization for 10 police officers. Dover will still have a slightly smaller PD than Salisbury which has around 6000 fewer residents or around 15 short of Annapolis which has about the same population. The need is real. More important than the numbers is that the Chief has an intelligent plan to restaff community policing, restart PAL, restore interactions with neighborhood watches and other anti-crime groups, and staff a street crimes unit like the one in the successful end of year trial. I support the plan. Judging from an outpouring of citizens from business people to pastors to retired residents to college students that reflected the ethnic mix of the city, the citizens strongly support it. What I was not enthusiastic about was the change in strategy to implement it. Dover has a crime problem,not a crime crisis. Read more

Dover Cadet Program

A program allowing the Dover Police to recruit part time "cadets" to join the community police program and add patrols to the downtown business district is likely to pass Dover City Council in the January 12, 2015 meeting. Background information is here. Bernat is proposing that the city hire at least six cadets, with an emphasis on bringing in local college students who are majoring in criminal justice. The cadets would be given up to three weeks of training from Dover police instructors, as well as additional, supervised on-the-beat experience. Bernat said each cadet would patrol downtown, including the city library, for about 20 hours per week, including weekends. The cadets would be uniformed and carry all necessary police equipment, with the exception of firearms, he said. Read more: http://www.doverpost.com/article/20141203/News/141209924#ixzz3NRfIfhEs With its emphasis Read more

It is a Tie?

Update: An example of one of the 4 disputed McKenna ballots.Click for ballot The Kent County Recorder of Deeds race came out a tie after nearly 38,500 votes were counted in the recount held today. Judge Robert Young, said that "our one job was to insure that the community is heard". Consistent with that mandate, the Kent County Department of Elections insured the ballots were competently counted and both sides had the chance to review the disputed ballots. 5 were questionable, 4 were for Democrat incumbent Betty Lou McKenna and one was for Republican Challenger La Mar Gunn. One ballot in particular had every Democratic name x'd out. That ballot was counted for McKenna after the Judge ruled with McKenna and her attorney John Paradee and could become the centerpiece of an appeal to the State Supreme Court. One Republican volunteer, who missed the registration deadline, said"Now Read more

Dover PD Gives Back

On Wednesday, December 10th, nearly 30 officers took 24 under-privileged children to the Dover Target store to go Christmas shopping for themselves and family as part of the 2nd annual Heroes and Helpers event. Each child was given $125 to spend, in addition to arts-and-craft activities, free pizza for the children and families by Little Caesar’s Pizza, and free play day gift cards from Hoppin’ Good Time in Camden. While the children were shopping, Cpl. Mark Hoffman and Sgt. Chad Bernat surprised each parent with an additional $125 gift card which caused tears to flow in the room. Throughout the store, officers and children were seen laughing, smiling, and playing together as they went shopping. As the night ended, it was clear that the officers and other volunteers were impacted as much as the children being helped. This is only one of many things Dover PD has done for the community Read more