Through a combination of optimism peppered with caution of “be careful what you wish for” Tom Kovach was sworn-in Tuesday as the New President of the New Castle County Council.
Supporters, members of County Council, and other dignataries were on hand as Kovach took the oath of office. Kovach said he wanted to “strive to be optimistic” about the county and that would be the approach he would take into his job. He said there were 3 things necessary to insure County government worked efficiently. He called for open government saying that “accessibility was the best way to insure trust.” He also called for a reduction of costs and to find ways to “insure the best business climate” saying that the County should work towards a combination of incentives and streamlining the processes for business to get their jobs done.
Councilman Penrose Hollins has been acting-President since Paul Clark was elevated to County Executive. He pointed out that the job of the County Council was to mainly deal with land use issues. Kovach said it was important to make sure land use laws are applied fairly.
Clark, the former Council President for the past 6 years welcomed Kovach to the position with a warning that “it’s the best job and the worst job”. He gently disagreed with Kovach that County government was open. He reminded Kovach the President’s job is the only at-large member of council. He said there are 12 diverse opinions on the council, but each member wanting to do what is best for the county. He joked to Kovach there are several myths about the President’s job that aren’t true beginning with the myth “that you are in charge.”
Kovach also took a minute to thank his former opponent and now fellow Council member Tim Sheldon for running a good campaign. Former Congressman Mike Castle received a standing ovation after he spoke in praise Kovach saying, “the secret to having a Republican elected in New Castle County was to have an election on a Thursday, in January, following a snow storm.” He praised Kovach “for being a hard worker, bright, and mostly for being open.” He echoed Kovach’s theme that the county has “a responsibility to make sure businesses stay and expand in New Castle County.”
Castle said he was also optimistic about the future, but did make a joke that he was optimistic even though he lost his primary race in September. It was that loss and Chris Coons’ victory for the U.S. Senate in September that set up the cold January vote that led to Kovach’s victory.