Wilmington mayor says he ‘won’t be intimidated’ during minute-long farewell speech [video]

Mayor Dennis Williams delivers a minute-long farewell address in Wilmington City Council chambers. (Zoë Read/WHYY)

Mayor Dennis Williams delivers a minute-long farewell address in Wilmington City Council chambers. (Zoë Read/WHYY)

Wilmington Mayor Dennis Williams, D-Wilmington, said he has no regrets about his four year in office during a one minute farewell speech in city chambers Wednesday night.

Williams gave his final speech before Mayor-elect Mike Purzycki takes office in January. Williams lost his bid for re-election in an eight-person Democratic primary.

The speech followed a 30-minute video tribute to the mayor, which started more than an hour late due to “technical difficulties.”

After watching the video, the mayor only spoke for about a minute to the audience, and the only six council members who showed up to his speech.

“I did everything I could when I came into office, I made mistakes, I’m only human, but I have no regrets,” he said.

“I made decisions. I wasn’t going to buckle under when people tried to intimidate me. I wasn’t going to do it then, and I’m not going to do it now. If I was the mayor tomorrow—anyone who tries to intimidate the mayor will not be able to intimidate me. The people elected me to make decisions, not to be wishy washy, that’s who I am. I am the mayor, I’m the one who makes the policy.”

During the video, Williams talked about his family, his parents’ positive influence on his life and said he had wanted to be a mayor since he was 8 years old.

He said he has a passion for helping children, and he believes he supported them as mayor by providing services to low income families, offering summer enrichment programs and setting up job training for young people.

During the video, Williams called Wilmington a thriving place for new businesses, and arts and culture. He also credited himself to improving the police department by building community-police relations, adding new technology, like body cameras and the Real-Time Crime Center, and hiring former Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey.

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