Eight candidates vie for three seats on Dover City Council

 

DOVER — Three seats on Dover’s City Council will be up for grabs when voters head to the polls for the 2017 Municipal Election, which will be held on Tuesday, April 18.

As for Dover City Council President Timothy A. Slavin (at-large) and David L. Anderson (4th District), they are running unopposed and are assured of terms of four more years.

The other races promise to be hard-fought contests among the remaining eight candidates that appear to be eager to serve the city.

The biggest issues appear to be adding to the employment in Dover, having a more cohesive city council, looking out for the city’s future and improving infrastructure.

“I’ve been surprised at the number of residents that have commented on the dysfunction of the current council,” said James J. Galvin, who is running for a 2nd District seat. “They are concerned about the time it is taking to appoint a police chief, many have spoken of unrealized promises by council and they are concerned that the council has reached a stalemate. …”

With 1st District City Councilman James L. Hutchison Sr. set to retire in May, three candidates are vying for his chair.

William T. Garfinkel, Matthew J. Lindell and Tanner Wm. Polce are all running for Mr. Hutchison’s soon to be vacated spot on council.

Each of the candidates said they believe they are ready to step in and lead the city’s direction.

“I have never been a ‘sit back and let the other guy do it’ kind of person,” Mr. Garfinkel said. “One might say I’ve been in training for this position on city council for the past 35 years. Given my past community experience and education, I am ready.”

In an interesting twist, former City Councilman James E. Hosfelt Jr. won a special election on March 21 to become a Kent County Levy Court Commissioner, which will force another special election on May 16 for the remaining 1st District seat on council.

That will allow two of the three candidates for Hutchison’s position to possibly re-file their petitions and try again in the special election, as well as other individuals who might be interested.

Mr. Galvin is taking on incumbent William F. Hare in the 2nd District and challengers Lance E. Moffa and Jane E. Rolles are going up against incumbent Fred A. Neil in the 3rd District.

Change was in the air in Dover’s last Municipal Election in April 2015, when three incumbent members of city council were voted out and two other vacant seats were filled.

Roy Sudler Jr. won the race for a 4th District seat two years ago.

“I addressed some of the concerns about the need for more accountability and more structure in the city government,” Councilman Sudler told the Delaware State News after he was elected.

“When you make decisions and don’t educate yourself on the effect it will have on the masses, it causes people to re-evaluate council. I think that was what contributed to the change.”

This time around, Mr. Neil and Mr. Hare are the lone incumbents, with six others trying to win their seats.

Election coverage

The Delaware State News will continue coverage of the Dover municipal election.

Coming Monday: Surveys of 2nd District candidates

Coming Tuesday: Surveys of 3rd District candidates

The 2017 election will be held Tuesday, April 18 between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.

• Polling places: 1st District voters will vote at The Elks Lodge No. 1903 (entrance at the rear of the building), located at 200 Saulsbury Road; 2nd District voters will vote at the Seventh Day Adventist Church, located at 647 Wyoming Avenue; 3rd District voters will vote at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, located at 425 North DuPont Highway.

• About the election: Regular city of Dover Municipal elections are held in odd-numbered years on the third Tuesday in April. The mayor and nine council members are elected to four-year staggered terms on a non-partisan basis. Two members are elected from each of the four council districts; the ninth member of council and the mayor are elected at large.

Delaware State News staff writer Mike Finney can be reached at mfinney@newszap.com.

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