Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

New Castle County employee residency requirement fails in veto override attempt

Delaware Public Media

A residency requirement for certain New Castle County employees will not go forward — after Council failed to overturn an executive veto. 

With a vote of 7 to 6, New Castle County Council fell short of the supermajority needed to override the veto by County Executive Matt Meyer. 

The residency requirement Council passed last month would have applied to new senior appointed executive branch positions such as department general managers. 

Meyer wrote in a letter to Council that he vetoed it because he worried it would make it harder for future administrations to find the best talent for key roles. And he noted Council members who oppose nominees from outside the county can vote against their approval. He said it would not likely affect his administration.

Councilman Dave Carter led the effort to override the veto.

“The legislation was pretty specific,” he said. “It’s only certain positions, limited to high-level policy, politically appointed officials that make major decisions about the people here in New Castle County, and I think they would benefit from living amongst them and understanding them.”

Councilwoman Janet Kilpatrick supported Meyer’s veto. She said she knows how hard it is to move a family. 

“The jobs with New Castle County, even in the upper hierarchy, are not permanent jobs,” she said. “They are temporary jobs. So you are asking somebody to take themselves and their entire family and move. ”

Residency requirements are not unheard of in the area; the City of Wilmington requires all new employees to live in the City for at least five years after they’re hired.


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.
Related Content