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Meyer vows to tackle longstanding problems with 'ingenuity' during second term

New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer gives a virtual speech after being sworn in to his second term

Elected officials—both returning and new— are taking oaths of office in New Castle County Tuesday.


New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer was sworn in for his second term Tuesday morning. 

He took the opportunity to reflect on his first term—which was marked by unprecedented challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as an influx of federal money to respond to the crisis. 

“In seven months we have hosted 364 COVID-19 testing events and administered over 289,000 tests,” he said. “We’ve provided support for tens of thousands of meals for families who have never needed food assistance before and have provided funding for 2,149 small businesses and nonprofits.”

Meyer said “stark inequalities” in the county have widened during the pandemic. 

“Those students who were falling behind before the pandemic may now be falling further behind,” he said. “If you cannot afford high-speed internet at home, and if you do not have access to a good computer, you really cannot even go to school. It is shocking how many students have no available computers and are forced to manage solely with their cell phones. The educational opportunity gap that was unacceptable decades ago, unacceptable one year ago, is getting so much worse.”

Meyer vowed to use lessons learned during the pandemic to respond to this and other longstanding problems—such as healthcare disparities— going forward.

“We possess the ingenuity in New Castle County and across Delaware the leadership to tackle our most overwhelming problems and to do so at lightning speed, and the reality is we have done so in the past year with no national leadership,” Meyer said. 

Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki also reportedly took the oath of office for his second term Tuesday — from home, where he’s recovering from emergency heart surgery. Purzycki is 75, and city officials say he is expected to make a full recovery. Purzycki’s swearing in is set to be broadcast with Wilmington City Council’s inauguration meeting Tuesday evening.


Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.
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