Councilman Skip Pikus passes away: As city mourns, special election will need to be held

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U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, right, visited S. Allen “Skip” Pikus at his downtown Milford business, Lou’s Bootery in 2012.

MILFORD — According to city hall officials, long-time Milford businessman and Ward 2 Councilman S. Allen “Skip” Pikus passed away early Mon., July 6.

Mr. Pikus had been battling illness the past few months but no official cause of death was announced, as of press time.

He will be remembered for his dedication to the city of Milford and his family’s business, Lou’s Bootery.

“I am saddened by today’s news that Councilman S. Allen “Skip” Pikus had passed away. Although he had some recent health complications, it was Skip’s personality and optimism that made us believe that he could overcome anything,” Milford Mayor Bryan W. Shupe said Monday.

Mayor Shupe said he was deeply saddened to lose a valued colleague and friend. Among his many duties as an elected official, Mr. Pikus was also the chairman of the city’s finance committee.

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S. Allen “Skip” Pikus

“The City of Milford, its residents and my family send our deepest and sincerest condolences to the Pikus family and friends. Personally, I am grateful for the opportunities I had to spend time with Skip as a colleague and as a friend. We enjoyed talking about business, city government and family and spent many hours deliberating strategies on how to celebrate and improve on each. His legacy will continue through the many families he supported through his business, the constituents he served throughout the city of Milford and his family members as they continue to share his desire to make Milford a great community,” Mayor Shupe said.

With Mr. Pikus’ passing, it leaves one of the Ward 2 Milford City Council seats vacant. The other seat is held by Councilman James F. Burk.

Mayor Shupe said he has tasked the city’s solicitor in researching the details, since this is such a rare occasion.

The Charter of the city of Milford, when it comes to filling vacancies says, “if at the time a vacancy occurs the remainder of the unexpired term is six (6) months or greater than six (6) months, the election authorities shall call a special election to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the unexpired term. The special election shall be held not sooner than twenty (20) days nor later than thirty (30) days following the occurrence of the vacancy and shall be otherwise governed by the provisions of Article VII.”

Councilman S. “Skip” Allen Pikus  was born in Dover, attended Dover Public Schools and later graduated from University of Delaware.  He began to work for his father at Lou’s Bootery in Downtown Milford in the early 1950’s.  He later partnered with his brother Terry, who passed away in 2012.

He served on Milford City Council from 1973-1981 and 1990-1996, in addition to serving the citizens of Kent County as a Kent County Levy Court Commissioner for two years.  Returning to city government in 2010 as Second Ward Council Representative, he was appointed a member of the Police Committee, Annexation Committee and Chairman of the City Finance Committee.  During the past five years, he worked with City Finance Director/Interim City Manager Jeff Portmann to consistently present a balanced budget, even during an economic downturn.  He would conclude his update of the finance report at every monthly council meeting by stating “we are healthy, but not wealthy,” a reminder of the need for cautious spending and sound reserves.

Councilman Pikus’ death comes exactly two weeks after what we now know will be council’s adoption of his final budget.

When asked in 2010 why he decided to run again for city council, he stated his love for the city and the need for economic development and a more business-friendly community. He felt that growth was inevitable and whether everyone liked it or not, the city had to grow in a way it would bring more jobs to Milford.  He felt a cohesive council could make that happen.

 

Managing Editor Logan B. Anderson can be reached at landerson@newszap.com. Follow @LoganBAnderson on Twitter.

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