Councilman Wallace Dixon felt a bit surreal when he took his seat as the newest member of Dover City Council Monday night after 10 years as the city chaplain.
And he took office on a night in which council took an historic vote to rename the Court Street corridor after Dr. Martin Luther King after a lengthy public hearing.
"It feels a little weird," Dixon said. "Being in the mix is a different feeling. But it was a great night. It was great to be a part of it. I'm glad that we came together as the whole city."
After Monday night's meeting, Mayor Carleton Carey Sr. and City Council President Thomas Leary were among the several that offered their congratulations to Dixon. Leary urged Dixon to not be shy about calling any of his colleagues for guidance.
MORE ABOUT DIXON
FAMILY Wife Lillie, three children and three grandchildren
EDUCATION Hillside (N.C.) High School, some study at Delaware State College
OCCUPATION U.S. Air Force retired (38 years)
PAST POLITICAL OR CIVIC EXPERIENCE State Sunday School superintendent for the Church of God in Christ, Delaware Jurisdiction, member of Delaware Human Relations Commission for Kent County
Dixon took 78.7 percent of the vote to defeat Bernhard A. Greenfield in the special election held by the city of Dover Nov. 27 to fill the City Council Fourth District seat left vacant by the late Councilwoman Sophia Russell.
Dixon beat Greenfield 85 to 23, a paltry turnout in a district with 4,028 voters, according to the Office of the City Clerk. The special election was held just three weeks after the presidential election.
Dixon, 72, retired as administrative assistant at Bible Way Temple Church of God in Christ, where he has still served as an elder and as Delaware Jurisdiction Sunday School superintendent. He also served for 38 years in the U.S. Air Force, which initially brought him to Dover in 1962, and attended Delaware State College for a few semesters.
Greenfield, 83, also a served in the U.S. Air Force and went on to work as a juvenile probation officer with Delaware Family Court after graduating from Delaware State College.
Dixon said he would practice the simple principal laid forth by America's Founding Fathers — that of practicing a government "of the people, by the people, for the people."
"I'm still in the learning mode," he said. "When you've never been into something, you need an education. You're sitting back and watching."