Dover City Council honors Sen. Bushweller, Councilman Lewis

DOVER — Brian Bushweller and Brian Lewis are both setting off in different directions in their lives.

But before they leave, members of Dover City Council took some time to recognize and honor them for their work both in and for the city of Dover at City Hall on Monday night.

Mr. Bushweller has served as state senator for the 17th District for the past decade before he decided to not seek re-election this year.

Councilman Lewis, who was appointed to the Dover Human Relations Commission on Oct. 13, 2008, has served as a Dover city councilman for the Second District since May 11, 2015.

He won the election to become Kent County sheriff in November. He will begin his new job on Dec. 27.

Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen honored both men on Monday as a resolution was unanimously passed for Mr. Lewis and a presentation and “Thank you” were given to Sen. Bushweller.

The resolution for Councilman Lewis stated, “Brian E. Lewis demonstrated dedication to protecting the citizens of Dover. He served with sincere concern for his community and his hands-on involvement was evident by his participation in neighborhood and community improvement events.

“He was a bold advocate for both the youth of Dover and the homeless community and has always placed the concerns and views of his constituents in the forefront. Brian E. Lewis will always be remembered as a voice for the people.”

There will not be a special election to fill Councilman Lewis’ vacant seat since he stepped down less than six months prior to the next Dover City Council election.

His Second District seat will be on the ballot next April.

Councilman Lewis said he will always value his time working for the city of Dover.

During his tenure he has served as chair of the Safety Advisory and Transportation Committee and as a member of the Construction Code Appeals Committee; Construction and Property Maintenance Code Board of Appeals; General Employee Pension Plan Board; Parks, Recreation, and Community Enhancement Committee; Police Chief Selection Committee and the Police Pension Plan Retirement Committee.

“I’d like to extend my gratitude to the citizens of the Second District who entrusted me to represent them,” Councilman Lewis said. “It has been an honor and a privilege to be a Dover city councilman and I will miss many people that I had the pleasure and opportunity of interacting with during my term.

“Perhaps the most important lesson that I have learned as a councilman is have the courage to do what you believe is morally right.”

He added, “A friend once told me that if there is something out there preventing you from being who you really are – fight. I’ve always believed in having an impact today than leaving a legacy tomorrow.

“As I move forward, I thank my colleagues on this council for their public service. I believe public service is still a noble profession, no matter what anybody says.”

Sen. Bushweller

Sen. Bushweller, with his wife Rocky by his side, was also feted by the mayor for his years of dedication at Legislative Hall in Dover.

He was presented with a tribute that stated, “It is with heartfelt gratitude and appreciation that we recognize the ten years of dedicated service to the citizens of the City of Dover and State of Delaware.

“His dedication and commitment to the betterment of all his constituents shall be long remembered. We appreciate his generous annual allotment of Community Transportation Fund contributions for improvements to the sidewalk and street network throughout the City of Dover, as well as, securing other funds for the Dover Police and Fire Departments and other projects, too numerous to mention.”

Sen. Bushweller managed to do the unthinkable and brought the mayor to a loss for words.

“I’m at a loss for words to say to you Senator (Bushweller) because you have done an exemplary job in representing the 17th Senatorial District, in particularly the city of Dover,” Mayor Christiansen said.

Both Councilman Lewis and former Sen. Bushweller were presented with Jefferson cups by the mayor. Mr. Lewis also received a wooden key with the city seal in recognition of his city council service.

Sen. Bushweller said he came to Dover to work 37 years ago with the intention of leaving in a couple of years. That never happened as he and his wife simply “fell in love with Dover.”

“We quickly became aware, especially with five kids, Dover was a great place to live and we gave up on the whole idea of leaving town very quickly after we got here,” he said.

Mr. Bushweller said he will always cherish his decade of service as a state senator. Trey Paradee won the election for the senate seat in November and will now represent the 17th District.

“When people ask me what I like best about being a state senator for the 17th District I always answer the same way,” Sen. Bushweller said. “I love the opportunity that being a state senator gives me to work with other people in the community who are themselves committed people trying to do good things.

“There’s a bunch of people who work hard in trying to do good things for our community and I, for the past 10 years, have had the opportunity to work with I think every single one of you (on Dover’s city council) on something good for the people of Dover and the people of the 17th District.”

Sen.-elect Paradee made sure to show up at the council meeting to thank his predecessor. “This city never had a better champion in the state legislature than Senator Brian Bushweller,” Sen.-elect Paradee said.

“I have some very big shoes to fill, but I’m looking forward to working with each of you and I’ve already put Senator Bushweller on notice that he’s not completely off the hook.

“I do intend to reach out to him from time to time as a need may arise, and I’m sure it will. He is certainly someone who I have looked up to and admired for a long time, somebody who has a tremendous amount of wisdom, a tremendous amount of knowledge, about this area we all love.”

 

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

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