Dover Mayor Resigning - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Reported by Jeremy Tucker and Kye Parsons

Dover Mayor Resigning

Dover Mayor Stephen R. Speed (Photo: WBOC) Dover Mayor Stephen R. Speed (Photo: WBOC)

07/05/2007 11:39 AM ET; Updated 4:49 PM ET

DOVER, Del.- Dover Mayor Stephen R. Speed announced Thursday morning that he will be resigning from office. His last day will be July 22.

At a morning press conference held at City Hall, the 43-year-old Speed said that on July 23 he will take over as the director of the airways science program at Delaware State University. A former Naval aviator, Speed said his new salary of $77,000 will be much higher than his present mayoral salary of $45,000. Speed also noted that his new job will offer more perks, including retirement benefits, something that his job as mayor does not.

"I have no regrets," Speed said. "My primary motivation is that I would have more time to spend with my wife and  children. They have been very patient and more than understanding."

Speed and his wife, Lori, have two teenage daughters.

As required by law, the city will hold a special election within 30 to 60 days after July 23, when Speed's resignation takes effect. City Council President Beverly C. Williams will serve as acting mayor until the special election. The council could decide Monday on a date for the special election.

Mayor Speed has a long history in aviation. Speed first got his wings back in 1986, just one year after graduating from the Naval Academy. He remained on active duty until 1994 flying P-3's for the Navy.

Speed said he is excited to start another career in aviation. According to Speed, "Once you're an aviator and once you're a pilot it's very difficult to give that up."

Mayor Speed, a Dover native, was first elected to the Dover City Council in 2001. After serving a two-year term, he ran for a second term and was sworn in again as 1st District Councilman in 2003. After serving one year, he gave up his seat to run for mayor. He completed his first term in 2006. He won re-election to his second term in a three-way mayoral race in April 2006. His current two-year term was slated to end in May 2008.

Speed's resignation comes on the heels of last month's budget passed by the Dover City Council that would have increased his pay to $55,800. That pay increase though, was tied to Speed and his tenure, and that means the salary of a new mayor will revert to $45,000 unless the council decides otherwise.

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