Dover City Council races take shape
By Antonio Prado
Jan. 23, 2013 9:32 pm
Dover, Del. —
Four of the five Dover City Council incumbents up for election this spring have filed papers to retain their seats in order to continue tackling the significant financial challenges the city faces an economy that has been slow to recover.
Dover City Councilmen David Anderson (4th District), William Hare (2nd District), James Hutchison (1st District) and Sean Lynn (3rd District) have all filed petitions for re-election, according to the Office of the City Clerk.
Council President Thomas Leary has opted not to run after deciding that nearly 14 years combined on council was a fair amount of time in public service.
Former Councilman Timothy Slavin has filed for Leary’s at large seat.
So far, none of these gentlemen have opposition, according to the Office of the City Clerk. Dover’s municipal election is scheduled to be held on April 16, 2013. Candidates are running for four-year terms for the first time after coming off two-year terms. City officials successfully petitioned the Delaware General Assembly in 2012 to change its city charter to extend time in office in order to save on the $10,000 cost of an annual election and to give council members more time to learn the budget process.
The councilmen agreed that fiduciary oversight would be at the top of their lists. That included how to wrap their minds around an unfunded, financial liability for employee pensions and health care costs worth more than $100 million in the near future.
“The economy is taking its time bouncing back,” Anderson said. “We do have a very tight budget situation because revenues have been stagnant, particularly with things like the [real estate] transfer tax and other areas. But, as you can see with the plans and permits in the commercial sector, it won’t be long before a lot of major projects come on board. If we keep the fiscal restraint, in a few years we’re grow out of the tight budget.
“The other issue is we need to keep our commitment of keeping the city as safe as possible,” he said. “We’ve already seen some results. The foiled robbery this week is a fine example, where combined police patrols and cameras worked together.”