Jones to face off against Meyer in race for County Executive

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Margaret “Maggie” Jones, Middletown, plans to face off against New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer in the Democratic primary in mid-September.

Jones filed for the post this month, according to a listing from the state Department of Elections and has set up a website and social media page.

Jones is an instructional coordinator at Delaware Technical Community College. According to her biography, she has spent two decades in state government.

According to her website, Jones plans to seek “input and guidance from the community is critical for development projects that occur throughout New Castle County. I will ensure open communication between our communities and county government by hosting town hall meetings throughout the county.”

Her opponent, Matt Meyer is serving out his first term in the post after depriving three-term County Executive Tom Gordon of a second term. Gordon had earlier served two terms.

There has been speculation that Gordon, a former county police chief, whose first term was marked by controversy, would run again.

Meyer has not seen as many controversies as Gordon but has lately been taking heat for not doing more regarding sexual harassment claims involving a top former New Castle County Police official.

Like his predecessors, Meyer has struggled on the labor relations front with county employee unions, while also dealing with a budget that is dependent on property taxes.

Jones recently gained the endorsement of the Delaware Building Trades Council.

Meyer, like his predecessors, has struggled with an unusual annual pay increase for the first decade of a county employee’s career. The system creates unrest among longer-term employees and makes budgeting more difficult when times get tougher.

Meyer pushed through a three percent lodging tax during a period with a strong economy. Lodging revenues have been at close to zero since the coronavirus outbreak led to closings and single-digit occupancy rates.

The lodging tax when coupled with the state tax amounts to the equivalent of an 11 percent sales tax in a state that touts its tax-free status.

Looming on the horizon is a Chancery Court decision that says the current system of not having regular tax assessments on a property does not follow state law. Meyer and previous county executives have cited the high cost of such assessments as a reason for not modernizing the system.

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