Slavin elected Dover council president; four new members sworn in

The nine members of the re-organized Dover City Council — and the mayor — gather for a formal group photograph Monday night. Four new members were sworn in to the council Monday and a fifth new member was sworn in May 4. (Delaware State News/Arshon Howard)

The nine members of the re-organized Dover City Council — and the mayor — gather for a formal group photograph Monday night. Four new members were sworn in to the council Monday and a fifth new member was sworn in May 4. (Delaware State News/Arshon Howard)

DOVER — Dover City Council re-organized Monday night, swearing in four new members and choosing a new president.

Mayor Robin Christiansen, elected to a full term last month, also took his oath of office.

At-Large Councilman Timothy A. Slavin assumed the duties of president after being elected to the post unanimously.

Timothy Slavin

Timothy Slavin

The four new members, James Hosfelt (First District), Brian Lewis (Second District), Scott Cole (Third District) and Roy Sudler Jr. (Fourth District) took their seats in the council chambers for the first time.

A fifth new member, Third District Councilman Fred A. Neil, was sworn in May 4 to the seat left vacant since November when Sean Lynn was elected state representative and resigned from the council.

Dover City Council has a total of nine seats, two each representing four districts and one at-large seat.

Former council members David Bonar, Wallace Dixon and Beverly Williams received farewell gifts. Mr. Bonar, who represented the Third District since 2010 and served as council president since 2013, advised the members not to take the job lightly.

“What you do on this council floor not only affects the citizens of Dover, but the citizens throughout the state of Delaware,” Mr. Bonar said. “You need to keep that in mind every time you vote.

“It’s been a distinct honor for me to be part of the political process of this city and it’s been a distinct honor to see many of you as friends, colleagues and former patriots in a variety of standpoints.”

Adam Perza, who represented the Second District since 2012, didn’t run for another term. He offered a few words of encouragement as well.

“It’s important to understand that it’s an honor to serve, but you don’t serve for the honor,” Mr. Perza said. “Governing is hard, as I learned that over the last several years. It’s great to have ideas. We need to have ideas, but implementing those ideas and how to implement them are important.

“Listen to your constituents and think before you speak. What you say is important in terms of how people react to it.”

Mayor Christiansen also delivered a state of the city message in which he gave a grade to the city.

“I believe that we are at a B+ today,” he said. “However, we always have room for growth and improvement, as a government and as a city.

“We have great potential and a bright future for Dover,” he added. “Our greatest days are ahead of us.”

Mr. Slavin took office as the at-large councilman on May 13, 2013. He had previously served on the city council from 2004-2010 as the Third District Representative.

Mr. Slavin earned a B.A. degree from Providence College and a master’s degree from tge University of Notre Dame. He serves as the director of the Division of Historical & Cultural Affairs for the State of Delaware, a position he has held since 2004.

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