DOVER (WJER) (February 4, 2022) – City Council’s meeting Monday showed that the divide between members of City Council and the administration is still growing almost a year since council first called for Mayor Richard Homrighausen’s resignation.
Most recently, the mayor didn’t attend that special session to defend his most recent vetoes, which council unanimously overturned. Neither did three city employees whom council had hoped to talk to about establishing regulations for small cell phone towers.
Council President Shane Gunnoe says two employees later told him they didn’t get his email and the other said he couldn’t make it.
Gunnoe says he’s noticed a change since Homrighausen abruptly fired three other employees in December.
“There’s certainly been concern among members of City Council that the level of communication has fallen very dramatically and it’s tough to get answers,” he said.
Meanwhile, Councilman Greg Bair, the chair of council’s Service Committee, said the city’s new service director hasn’t contacted him despite Bair’s attempts to connect. Aaron Feller is the new service director, hired by Homrighausen to replace Dave Douglas, one of the employees the mayor fired.
Bair says he’s never even been introduced.
“I usually like to confer with the service director or the mayor but either one of them failed to show up,” Bair said. “I know with the former service director, Mr. Douglas, we would always talk a couple days before to find out what he needs and (answer) any questions I had.”
Homrighausen has turned down several opportunities to comment on the situation. Council members are awaiting the results of a state investigation initiated by their own probe into Homrighausen’s administration.