Wilmington’s mayor-elect announces transition team

A day after securing the mayor-elect title for the city of Wilmington, Dennis Williams today announced his six-person transition team, giving the public the first glimpse of new leadership in the city.

Williams built his team with individuals who have decades of experience in business, economic development and public safety.

John Matlusky, policy attorney and former chief of staff of the Delaware State House of Representatives, will serve as chief of staff for the new administration.

“We worked together in the general assembly for the past 12-13 years and he got legislation passed, he was a person that could bring people together from both sides of the isle and that’s critical and we definitely need that,” said Williams. “We need people in this administration who have respect in Dover.”

Williams selected Harold Gray, businessman and former vice president of United Way of Delaware, as director of economic development.

“We worked with businesses to create the business round table that has gone from ten businesses to 37 businesses,” said Williams. “The business community respects him. He has some of the great attributes that I need to get this economic development thing rolling.”

Williams also announced the city’s new fire chief, Anthony Goode, but remained quiet on the new police chief.

“I have chosen my police chief but I’m not going to tell who the police chief is just yet,” said Williams. “I told everybody it will be just before Christmas.”

He reaffirmed his stand through the primary season this past summer that the new chief will be someone from outside the department.

“I know this persons capability, their education level and their position on law enforcement and fighting crime.”

Other members chosen for the transition team include Leonard Sophrin, transition administrator, Alexandra Coppadge, communications and media relations and former Delaware state treasurer Velda Jones-Potter who will serve as an advisor to the transition team.

The mayor is still in the process of evaluating members of the current administration and has not decided which agencies or departments he plans to keep.

“We have to look at what we’re going to be faced with coming in with our deficit and our crime problem. As we speak, we’re putting together a Strike Force which is going to be dealing with our violent crime and our gun issues. We have to go in and look at the budget and see where the fat is, where mistakes have been made, where there’s duplication and we have to go in and rectify that immediately because the city is hemorrhaging money and we can’t afford to keep that happening.”

Williams secured the democratic primary nomination in September and ran for mayor unopposed. He will replace Mayor James Baker in January.

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