Dover to hold council and committee meetings on separate nights

DOVER — Dover City Council voted against moving the Council Committee of the Whole meetings to Monday nights, the same night as the council meetings.

The council voted 5-2 on Monday night, with Councilman Roy Sudler Jr. abstaining, to continue conducting city council meetings on Monday nights and the Council Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday’s during the second and fourth weeks of each month.

The Council Committee of the Whole had recommended holding those meetings from 5:30 until 7 p.m. prior to the council meetings, which begin with an Open Forum at 7 p.m. before regular business begins at 7:30.

Several members who voted against the measure thought having the meetings on the same day would get to be too much.

Council President Timothy A. Slavin said he went back and looked at some past times of Council Committee of the Whole meetings before making his decision.

“I was in favor of moving everything to one night but I can’t support that at this time,” Mr. Slavin said. “The reason is that I believe it was 68 percent of the Council of the Whole meetings went beyond 90 minutes, which I think is a good healthy time and we’re really discussing things.”

An hour-and-a-half Council of the Whole meeting would almost assuredly back-up the following City Council meeting if that format would have been adopted.

City Councilman William F. Hare said he changed his might regarding the combined meetings after speaking with his constituents.

“The last couple of weeks I’ve been talking to different constituents and as I said at the last meeting, I was flexible either way,” he said. “I just don’t think going to a 5:30 to 7 on Monday (Council of the Whole meeting) is really in the best interest of the constituents.

“We’ve been having some very good interaction in these meetings and we’re going to come in here at 5:30 and I think we’ll be rushed.”

Councilmen David L. Anderson and Brian E. Lewis voted to have both meetings take place on the same night.

Councilman Lewis said he thinks the city of Dover is the only municipality in the state that holds two council meetings on separate days.

In other news, council elected to table moving future meetings to the Kent County Levy Court administrative complex should council chambers at City Hall undergo renovations.

“I think (the issue is) causing some undue distraction,” President Slavin said. “Clearly, we need to improve this chamber.

“I would entertain a motion to table this issue and indicate our thanks back to Kent County Levy Court for the understanding that if we’re ever under construction of some kind and we’re unable to hold a meeting here, we know we’d have a safety valve.”

Council also voted unanimously 8-0 to grant rezoning requests for a property at 301 North Bradford Street (The Grocery Basket) from general residence to neighborhood commercial and another at 11-15 North Queen Street (Delaware Auto Sales and Service) from general residence to service commercial.

Council pays tribute to Lt. Steven Floyd

Dover City Council paid tribute to Delaware Correctional Officer Lt. Steven Floyd at its Monday night meeting.

Lt. Floyd, a longtime resident of Dover, was killed during an inmate uprising at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna on Feb. 1.

Councilman Lewis introduced a moment of silence in honor of Lt. Floyd at the council meeting. That was followed by a tribute presentation to Lt. Floyd’s family.

Mr. Lewis also read a heartfelt letter to a man who he said he considered “a true friend” and “not only a hero, but a leader.”

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

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