City of Wilmington Mayoral Cattle Call — Outsourced to Mayor Baker Edition

Filed in Delaware by on March 5, 2012

This is a quick inventory of recent news and goings on in Wilmington’s Mayor’s race. Last time we did this as shortly after the New Year, and even this won’t be a proper cattle call, but we’re going to let Mayor Baker do the honors via this video weighing in on the candidates so far (thanks to


A largely diplomatic effort from Mayor Baker. Pay attention to his comments re: the temperment of Dennis Williams. You’ll be hearing more about this, I’m sure.

And speaking of Representative Williams, the NJ reported yesterday (no links! Sorry gang, but this just isn’t up on their website) in their Dialogue Delaware section:

As of Thursday, Williams owed $3,003.29 in school taxes and $296.93 in county taxes on two properties he owns in Wilmington, according to county records. That adds up to $3,300.22.

The News Journal inquired about the out­standing obligations Thursday, just days after Williams talked a big fiscal game at the forum.

The next day, Williams paid his past-due bill, which he said accrued as he dealt with a medical emergency in the family.
Williams also denied that he owes $1,739.40 in Wilmington property taxes and $1,633.98 in water and sewer bills connected to his Madison Street home and another property he owns on Vandever Street. The city automatically deducts the tax and utility bills from his police pension ac­count, said Williams, a for­mer city police officer.

Fiscal wizardry, indeed.

The NJ also had a long piece reporting on the crime-fighting strategies of the current candidates. I have plenty to say about this and will write something up later this afternoon. But suffice to say that there isn’t alot to be inspired by here.

Lastly, Kevin Kelley is holding public meetings on his public safety plan this week — tonite at 7pm at Claymore Senior Center and tomorrow Thursday night at 7 pm at H. Fletcher Brown Boys and Girls Club. (Apologies, fixed the date of the second meeting.)

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"You don't make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas." -Shirley Chisholm

Comments (15)

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  1. mike4smom says:

    Sounds like a three man race based on those remarks.

  2. cassandra_m says:

    I edited this post to fix the day of the Kelley meeting on his proposed Crime Plan. Thursday is the second meeting at the Fletcher Brown Boys and Girls Club. It is what I get for doing that from memory.

  3. Bob W 7th District says:

    What do you think of the Kelly crime plan?

  4. mike4smom says:

    I consider myself an independent, but have registered Democrat in order to have a voice in this city.

    What is wrong with the Republican Party? Why is there no candidate? Why do independents, republicans, greens, libertarians, etc. have to be disenfranchised? The Wilmington system is broken. It is hard to believe in 2012 that portions of the electorate have no voice because of our lousy 2 party system.

    Wake up citizens of Wilmington. Demand an Open Primary!

  5. cassandra m says:

    Republicans, greens, libertarians, etc. certainly are not disenfranchised. They have every right and every opportunity to get on the ballot and to ask people to vote for them. Certainly in my time here there have been Republican’s running for Mayor and City Council and Greens running for City Council. What they haven’t been able to do do is to get enough of a critical mass of votes to get past the starting gate or to get past the basic inclusion threshold. But the fact that they aren’t able to get enough votes isn’t disenfranchisement by any means.

    And an Open Primary doesn’t solve your problem. You’d have to go to the voting booth and still ask for a ballot from one of the parties running. All that would change is that you wouldn’t have to be a registered member of that party to vote in the primary.

  6. mike4smom says:

    Yes, I know how an open primary works, I have voted in them. Here is my point.

    Some folks are registered as R’s or whatever party that is not D. They will never consider registering as a D. Now, not all of these folks are people who would run for office and when their party for whatever sad reason does not field a candidate and the primary becomes the default general election then they have no voice.

    Perhaps open primary is not the way to go. Perhaps the City of Wilmington should begin holding non-partisan elections. Many municipalities across the country do this for positions such as Sheriff and Judges. If the city went to this type of election then all voters would have a say in who is their mayor.

  7. liberalgeek says:

    So in Wilmington, the Republicans need training wheels? Please. If you are a Republican, call them up and demand a qualified candidate. Hell, if you’re an independent, do the same.

    Ya know what they’ll tell you?

    “We can’t even put up a qualified candidate for Governor, Lt. Governor or Senate. How the hell are we supposed to find a qualified Republican that hasn’t moved out of the city?”

  8. mike4smom says:

    I think I will call them now.

  9. cassandra_m says:

    Non-partisan elections is a better solution, but them the other parties still have to overcome the problem that LG has pointed out. Credible candidates and candidates who will do the work to — you know — *ask* for votes everywhere. Robert Bovell ran for Mayor in 2004 as a Republican candidate. So I’m resting my case.

  10. mike4smom says:

    Didn’t live here in 2004. You may or may not have to overcome the issue of credible candidates. Currently we have 6 candidates in the race, I am sure this will change closer to the primary, of those 6 a few are credible. I am sure some R’s or other minority party voters like one or the other of them, but the way the system works now they don’t have a say unless they change to D. If it is non-partisan everyone gets a vote.

    As suggested, I have contacted the Party leaders and I am awaiting a reply. (not holding my breath)

  11. cassandra_m says:

    The only reason people say the system doesn’t work now is because none of the other parties can put up anyone strong enough to survive a General Election. The system problem there belongs to those parties who can’t produce the candidates who can go the distance. You only need one candidate in the General who can shake up the status quo for much of it all to change. But we are only changing it to non-partisan because the other parties are non-functional, which is quite the gimme for them.

  12. mike4smom says:

    I agree one candidate in the general can shake things up, I have little confidence that will happen in this election cycle. I wish it would. I also agree that the other party is failing and is not a functional party.

    I have the impression Wilmington has been operating this way for a while and your examples of previous candidates supports this impression. Obviously this election cycle will not have a non-partisan election, but I think unless something changes the story repeats.

    You disagree, but my argument and I stand by it is that the current system (albeit because the 2nd party is non-functional) is unfair to non-Dem Wilmington citizens.

    I have a friend who for reasons I don’t understand will not change his party. He likes one of the candidates the D’s have put up. At this point in the game there is no R candidate, in a 6 man race this guys (and folks with like minds) can make a difference for the candidate, but they can’t vote. The winner of the primary is likely to be unopposed in the general, so this voter is shut out.

  13. cassandra_m says:

    And this voter is shut out because 1) He won’t change his registration and 2) because none of the other parties give him any choices to make.

    The system works exactly as it is meant to. Blaming the system for not providing these voters with choices is like blaming your radio for not delivering better music. The radio works just fine — a lack of stations isn’t the fault of the radio. And a lack of candidates for R, I or G voters isn’t the fault of the system.

    Especially for Rs. This year can be a genuine change year in the city and the Rs weren’t ready to take advantage of that. And they should have been. You could see this coming a mile away and while the work would have been damned hard for them, if they had the right candidate(s) they could give whatever D survived the primary a run for their money. Even in City Council the Rs don’t run candidates who might represent a genuine choice for their voters. And there they are guaranteed a seat.

  14. mike4smom says:

    I am not saying the Republicans don’t have a major part in this nonsense, but a primary is supposed to act as a way for the party to pick a candidate, not as the general election. I don’t think the constitution mandates a 2 party system. So, in absence of 2 actual functioning parties, non-partisan elections are needed.

  15. pandora says:

    Um… what’s needed is for Republicans to get serious about running in urban areas. But if they did that a lot of them would lose their “cities are cesspools” argument – which they love.