Dover Councilman Lewis ‘paints the town’

DOVER — Dover City Councilman Brian Lewis slipped on his fluorescent green work jacket and went out to paint the town on Monday.

Well, at least the curbing in front of fire hydrants on Evergreen Drive in the Morris Estates development.

It was a project that had been mistakenly put off and forgotten about according to Councilman Lewis, who represents the 2nd District, and he was more than happy to roll up his sleeves and take care of it.

“I’m a firm believer of going out and addressing the needs of my constituents,” he said. “This is what it’s all about to me. Sometimes you have to take off your suit and tie and get your hands dirty.”

Richard Senato, a resident of Evergreen Drive, came down to chat with Mr. Lewis as he weed-whacked above curbs and rolled fresh yellow paint down on Monday morning.

Brian Lewis, a Dover City Councilman for the 2nd District, took it upon himself to paint the curbs in front of fire hydrants on Evergreen Drive in the Morris Estates Development on Monday. (Delaware State News/Mike Finney)

Mr. Senato said he wished more city leaders would show the kind of resolve that Mr. Lewis did.

“Councilman Lewis sees something that should be done and should have been done a long time ago,” said Mr. Senato. “He’s taking the initiative and he’s doing it and I think that’s a good thing.

“This is something that’s been put on the backburner and hasn’t been done for a long time. I think it should be done because, God forbid, if we get a fire in this area we don’t want anybody parking in front of a hydrant. This at least alerts people not to.”

Councilman Lewis painted the area in front of three fire hydrants yellow on Monday morning. He expects to paint 10 of those areas by the time he is finished with the project.

He admitted the issue took a lot longer to be addressed than he had anticipated.

City Councilman Brian Lewis talks to Richard Senato, a resident of Evergreen Drive, while painting in front of the fire hydrant zone in the Morris Estates Development on Monday. (Delaware State News/Mike Finney)

“Around two years ago, when I first got on city council, Mr. Senato and a couple of other residents from this community had approached me and asked if I can get the curbs in front of their fire hydrants painted yellow because the paint was fading,” Councilman Lewis said. “At that point I contacted the city manager (then Scott Koenig) and I informed him of my constituents’ needs and what they wanted.

“I assumed that the job was done. Then Mr. Senato approached me recently and said to me, ‘When are you going to get the curbs in front of the fire hydrants painted in my community in Morris Estates?’ Well, I thought they were done.”

So the councilman went back and talked to Assistant City Manager Kirby Hudson and informed him what was going on.

“(Mr. Hudson) indicated to me that he would check to see if it could be put on a list, but something like this is really not a priority because right now the city’s doing a lot of other major projects that are on a priority list,” Councilman Lewis said. “So I took it upon myself to come out here and paint the curbs yellow since they were fading and in some areas the paint was chipping away.”

The city supplied Mr. Lewis with a five-gallon container of bright yellow paint, rollers and a brush, while he provided the cones, weed-whacker, safety vest and some of his personal time.

“I think it’s a good thing,” Mr. Senato said. “Not only is it good public relations, but it shows that he’s got an interest in his constituents in the 2nd District and I think it’s a good idea. It shows he has an interest in us.”

Councilman Lewis said painting the curbs is just one of a couple of community-service projects he has planned for his constituents over the coming months.

He is also trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and will soon be offering a free CPR clinic, as well as basic first aid, to members of the community.

“This is what it’s all about, getting out there and addressing the needs of your constituents and helping the community,” he said. “A friend of mine once said that not all of us can contribute the same things in life, but each and every one of us has something to contribute.”

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