City Council President Theopalis K. Gregory, Sr. Convenes the First Meeting of the 106th Session of the Wilmington City Council

Posted on  01/08/2013 9:00 pm

Wilmington City Council President-Elect Theopalis K. Gregory, Sr. this evening convened the inaugural meeting of the 106th session of the Wilmington City Council at the Baby Grand on Market Street in Wilmington. Council President Gregory, eight District Council Members and four At-Large Council Members were administered their oaths of office by Family Court Associate Judge William L. Chapman, Jr. during this special meeting of Council.

Council Members Sherry Dorsey Walker (D-6th District) and Robert A. Williams (D-7th District) assumed their Council positions for the first time tonight since their election in November. They were joined by other recently elected Council colleagues Nnamdi O. Chukwuocha (D-1st District), Darius J. Brown (D-3rd District) and Maria D. Cabrera (D-At-Large) who were originally sworn into office in mid-November to fill expired or appointed terms. Returning Council Members who were re-elected in November include At-Large Council Members Justen A. Wright (D), Loretta Walsh (D), and Michael A. Brown, Sr. (R) as well as District Council Members Ernest “Trippi” Congo II (D-2nd District), Hanifa G.N. Shabazz (D-4th District), Samuel Prado (D-5th District) and Charles M. “Bud” Freel (D-8th District).

Council President-Elect Gregory has named Council Member Walsh as President Pro-Tem for the 106th session of the Council. The President Pro Tempore, which is the official name of the position, presides over City Council meetings in the absence of the Council President. Pro Tempore is a Latin phrase that means "for the time being.”

Council President Gregory has also named the Chairs and Members of various Council Committees. Unless otherwise stated, Council President Gregory is an Ex-Officio Member for all committees.

The Committee assignments are:

COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Loretta Walsh, Chair
Darius J. Brown
Maria D. Cabrera
Ernest “Trippi” Congo II
Sherry Dorsey Walker
Justen A. Wright

EDUCATION, YOUTH & FAMILIES
Ernest “Trippi” Congo II, Chair
Michael A. Brown, Sr.
Maria D. Cabrera
Nnamdi O. Chukwuocha
Hanifa G.N. Shabazz
Sherry Dorsey Walker

FINANCE COMMITTEE
Charles M. “Bud” Freel, Chair
Michael A. Brown, Sr.
Samuel Prado
Hanifa G.N. Shabazz
Loretta Walsh
Justen A. Wright

HEALTH, AGING & DISABILITIES
Robert A. Williams, Chair
Darius J. Brown
Charles M. “Bud” Freel
Sherry Dorsey Walker
Justen A. Wright

HOUSING, LICENSES & INSPECTIONS
Samuel Prado, Chair
Darius J. Brown
Maria D. Cabrera
Nnamdi O. Chukwuocha
Hanifa G. N. Shabazz
Sherry Dorsey Walker

PUBLIC SAFETY
Michael A. Brown, Sr., Chair
Ernest “Trippi” Congo II
Charles M. “Bud” Freel
Loretta Walsh
Robert A. Williams

PUBLIC WORKS & TRANSPORTATION
Hanifa G.N Shabazz, Chair
Michael A. Brown, Sr.
Nnamdi O. Chukwuocha
Samuel Prado
Robert A. Williams

WILMINGTON CABLE, VIDEO AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Theopalis K. Gregory, Chair
Michael A. Brown, Sr.
Maria D. Cabrera
Sherry Dorsey Walker

City Council approved a resolution tonight confirming Council staff that will serve at the pleasure of Council President Gregory. They include:

  • Romain Alexander as Chief of Staff. Romain has worked for the City of Wilmington for 21 years including 12 years as Director of the Department of Parks and Recreation, seven as superintendent of the Department’s Recreation Division and two years as Director of the former City Department of Youth and Families. Alexander will oversee all staff positions as well as the internal operations of City Council.
  • Marchelle Basnight as Deputy Chief of Staff. Marchelle has worked for City government for 10 years including three years as Senior Budget Analyst and Contracts Manager in the City Office of Management and Budget and for the past seven years as Legislative Analyst for City Council. In that role, Marchelle has been Council’s lead staff person providing Council Members with updated information during fiscal year budget discussions and debates.
  • John Rago as Director of Communications and Policy Development has worked for the City for 12 years as Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Communications and Policy Development for Mayor James M. Baker. In addition to his government service career with the City, New Castle County and the State of Delaware, John has been employed in the news departments of WHYY Television and WDEL Radio as a news director and producer. He will oversee the operations of the City’s television station (WITN-TV, Channel 22) as part of his responsibilities.
  • Tanya Washington as Legislative Director. Tanya has worked for City government for 21 years. She began her career as a Fiscal Analyst for City Council and also served Council as Legislative Analyst and Legislative Staff Director for then Council President James Baker. Tanya most recently served as Mayor Baker’s Chief of Staff and was Deputy Chief of Staff for 10 years prior to being appointed to the Administration’s top management position.
  • Maribel Seijo re-appointed as City Clerk, a position she has held since 2000. The City Clerk presides at Council meetings and records the official votes of the Council. The position is mandated by the Wilmington City Charter as the official custodian of all City Council records including Ordinances, Resolutions and other official business. Prior to serving as City Clerk, Maribel, who has worked in the City since 1996, served as Deputy Clerk for City Council and in the Revenue Division of the City’s Finance Department.

“We have an excellent Council in place and an excellent Council staff,” said Council President Gregory. “We are ready to serve the citizens of Wilmington. We will carefully research and then reach decisions regarding the multitude of important issues facing Wilmington. We will offer our own initiatives to improve our City when appropriate and necessary. We will also support initiatives from around the City that make Wilmington an attractive City in which to reside, raise our families, work and have fun. The 106th Session of City Council will be active, vocal, and constructive. We are eager to work with Mayor Dennis P. Williams and his Administration to move our City forward.”