Mayor Christiansen: Still plenty of reasons to celebrate Dover

Robin Christiansen

DOVER — Mayor Robin R. Christiansen officially closed the book on Dover’s 300th birthday celebration on Monday night, paying homage to the city’s key role in the formation of the United States, while casting a glance forward.

Mayor  Christiansen delivered his annual “State of the City” message at the annual city council meeting at City Hall, touching on a variety of topics such as crime, opioid addiction, homelessness and many other things the city can do to paint a brighter future for itself.

“While we must certainly handle the day-to-day mundane tasks of the present, we must maintain and improve our infrastructure in anticipation of the next 300 years of success and prosperity,” Mayor Christiansen said. “We are big enough to be a city, but we are still small enough to be a town. Dover is on the move.”

The mayor pointed out there is another celebration that will take place in the city over the coming year.

“Next year is the 50th anniversary of the first space suits made right here in Dover by ILC,” he said. “Those very suits helped America reach for the moon and stars.”

The mayor spoke about the resurgence of businesses that are resurrecting the U.S. 13 corridor through the city, the promise of the “Unlock the Block” campaign to bring small businesses downtown and the need to attract jobs that will bring decent living wages to Dover’s citizens.

Mayor Christiansen noted the strong relationship between the city and Dover Air Force Base and said it is one that must be cherished and fostered.

“We are home to the movers of our military might, defending freedom around the world,” he said. “We have also witnessed first-hand the return of those heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice so that we may enjoy the many freedoms and liberties we hold so dearly.”

However, Mayor Christiansen also talked about crime, the opioid epidemic and the need for people to get actively involved in helping police combat some of those issues.

“Overall, we are on a downward trend with crime, but we must maintain our vigilance,” said Mayor Christiansen. “The opioid crisis is affecting more and more of our citizens every day.

“We need to take back our neighborhoods and streets. Communities need to join in the effort and become the eyes and ears of law enforcement. All of us must take pride in where we live. Summer is right around the corner and we must make Dover the safe haven our children deserve.”

Mayor Christiansen said his Blue Panel on Homelessness is making strides to help the homeless who populate the city.

He said not only is the city making progress on treatment and rehabilitation of those who seek it, it is also working on making affordable housing available to homeless individuals as well. It is still a work in progress.

Mayor Christiansen said it will take a little bit of help from everybody to make the city a better place to live.

“Each of us who live in Dover and call this great place our home has a responsibility to one another and to those who have gone before us, but especially to those who will call Dover their home in the future,” the mayor said. “We must work diligently and positively to make our city meet and exceed our expectations and those of our citizens.

“We have and will continue to reach out to the youth of our community, for they are our future.”

In other city council action:

Timothy A. Slavin was re-elected by members of city council to serve as Council President/Vice-Mayor for another year. He was nominated by City Councilman Matt Lindell and it was seconded by Councilman William Hare. There were no other nominations.

Mr. Slavin was re-elected by a vote of 8-0, with Councilman Roy Sudler Jr. electing to just vote “present only.”

Monday’s city council meeting got off to a Dover-flavored start as Dover Police Department Chaplain Elmer Davis Sr. gave the Invocation.

The presentation of colors was done by the Dover High School Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC), the Pledge of Allegiance was led by students from Towne Point Elementary School and the National Anthem was sung by the Kent Chamber Choir.

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