Purzycki sworn in as Wilmington mayor, speaks to key goals
Mike Purzycki was sworn in as mayor of Wilmington at the Grand Opera House Tuesday night.
After taking the oath of office, Purzycki offered a speech focused on what he calls “ambitious goals” to inspire residents to join in a shared vision for the city.
That vision capitalizes on the city's strengths - which he says include Wilmington’s diverse neighborhoods, the city's financial hub, the Port of Wilmington and what he called the 11th busiest train station in the country.
“These are advantages that most city government officials would just die for," Purzycki said. "But like many cities, we have problems."
He counts public safety and employment among those problems, and says decreasing unemployment will be one of his administration’s top priorities.
“We have failed to control senseless violence over the past too many decades," Purzycki said. "Too many of our children are being raised in poverty. Levels of joblessness and incarceration in our neighborhoods have become normalized.”
He offered a few specific initiatives to help address the city’s issues – such as a new employment infrastructure and 311 information system.
Another issue he wants to address: the city’s structural limitations.
“We must ask the (Delaware) General Assembly to approve changes to our residency laws and again to raise any tax but the property tax which is fast becoming uncompetitive," Purzycki said.
Purzycki added the city lacks control over its schools, and annexation power.
He also wants to develop a long-term funding formula that’s sustainable without continuously asking the state for help while at the same time raising the standards for public places like the Hicks Anderson Community Center, firehouses and even the city/county building – but notes he can only promise his very best.