Dover’s interim mayor says he’s picking up the pace
DOVER (WJER) (May 17, 2022) – The city’s first council meeting in 31 years without Richard Homrighausen serving as mayor was jovial and productive.
Council members, city employees, and guests joked, laughed, and applauded newly-appointed Interim Mayor Shane Gunnoe. He’s serving in place of Homrighausen, who is suspended with pay as he awaits a Sept. 20 jury trial in a criminal indictment.
Gunnoe says there’s a lot he wants to accomplish.
“I made it a priority of mine to try to speed up legislation and try to get things to Council quickly,” Gunnoe said. “Obviously, there’s been a number of projects that have been kind of delayed, and I’m looking to try to clear the backlog as quick as we can.”
That seemed apparent Monday, as council approved several pieces of legislation on power plant and sewer work.
The power plant work is about $230,000 for unauthorized work at the plant in 2021 that Council blames on the now-retired plant superintendent. The sewer work is $137,000 for installing waterlines on a section of 12th Street between Dover Avenue and Wooster Avenue, and a section of McKinley Street north of Bond Street.
Service Director Dave Douglas also advanced plans for $218,000 in repairs to the roof at Memorial Hall and a $1.9 million traffic signal replacement project. ODOT is providing the majority of the funding for that, but Douglas says they still have to work out some details.
Gunnoe also announcing the creation of two committees – one for improving city communications and another for negotiating a new contract with AFSCME union employees.
Three mayors in 50 years
Gunnoe says he’s thought about the history behind his appointment, as the 39-year-old is only the third person to serve as Dover mayor in the last 50 years.
“It’s definitely a surreal feeling for me,” he said. “It’s an incredible honor. Although it may be just a temporary role, I want to do everything I can to make the city of Dover and the citizens proud.”
Homrighausen’s name is starting to disappear around the city. It’s no longer on the reserved parking spot at city hall, the door to city offices, or the signs at the city limits. Gunnoe says the nameplates are in storage should they be needed again.