WBOC Sits Down with Dover's New Mayor - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

WBOC Sits Down with Dover's New Mayor

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DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - Dover's new mayor has been on the job two days and is already starting to move to put his ideas for the city into motion.

Robin Christiansen was sworn into office Wednesday night. He won a special mayoral election last week against four other candidates.

The job of mayor in Dover is often seen as the city's "economic cheerleader." So, working to improve Dover's economy is a big part of Christiansen's focus.

He says there has definitely been a lot of effort put into growing Dover's economy, but he plans a "full court press."

"We have a lot of commercial space that's vacant, homes that are unsold and have sat unsold for many years. I think our focus on the Garrison Tract out there, to bring good, clean industry and high-paying jobs to Dover is the key, so we can have spill over to our small business community."

He says it's evident a push to revitalize the city's downtown hasn't gotten past New Street, and he wants to do something about that.

"It's not going to make us very popular with some of the folks that are landlords," said Christiansen. "But we're going to push strict code enforcement, as well as community policing in those neighborhoods."

Serious allegations over interactions between the mayor and Dover police may have contributed to Christiansen's predecessor, Carleton Carey, leaving office. WBOC asked Christiansen about how he sees his office's relationship with the police department.

"I'm going to make something very clear. The charter clearly states what the mayor can and can't do with regards to the police department," he said. "I'm not a police office. I'm an elected official who will rely upon the professionalism of the chief and his staff to make sure their goal and my goal of protecting the public is met."

Even before Carey left office, some in Dover had been raising questions about whether the city actually needs a full-time mayor and might not be better off going back to having it be a part-time position. Christiansen says he'd do the job whether full- or part-time, but -

"I believe if the city is going to grow - whether it be me or anybody else who might be so honored to hold this position - that it should be full-time job with meaningful responsibilities."

Before becoming mayor Christiansen spent 18 years on city council mainly in the 80s and 90s. For 11 of those, he was council president.

 

 


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