Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Wilmington City Council sends charter resolutions to General Assembly


Wilmington City Council passed a set of resolutions last week seeking to change the city’s charter, but was divided over the redistricting process.

City Council is responsible for redistricting after the census every 10 years, but President Trippi Congo claims the process is too political. His resolution would require an outside entity to do it, then have council approve it.

Councilwoman and redistricting committee member Michelle Harlee disagrees the process is political.

“Because I feel as though the next council that will be in these seats in ten years should make that decision, they can make decision," Harlee said. "I won’t be able to support this particular resolution because I think they should have the same autonomy and the same authority to work together, collectively, and encourage everybody to get involved.”

The redistricting resolution failed with 4 yes votes, 4 present, and 5 absent.

Congo also argued filling a vacant council seat by appointment is incredibly political and gained enough support to pass a resolution seeking to use special elections instead.

Two other resolutions passed seeking charter changes lowering the minimum age to run for city council and mayor to 23.

The current minimum age to run for council is 25, It’s 30 for mayor.

Council President Trippi Congo says the age requirement in most other cities is 18.

“We don’t really do a great job educating our youth around local politics," Congo said. "And hopefully that will become a part of our education system eventually and hopefully through that, younger people will be able to feel the want to become involved in city council. And I just would hate for an age restriction to stop them from being a part of people that just want to be able to help their community.”

Both resolutions passed 8 yes, 5 absent.

Those resolutions now head to the General Assembly in Dover for approval.

Rachel Sawicki is Delaware Public Media's New Castle County Reporter. They are non-binary and use they/them pronouns.