County Executive Thomas P. Gordon

Sworn into office Nov. 12, 2012, Thomas P. Gordon is the first three-term county executive in New Castle County history. His administration has been and continues to be characterized by fiscal responsibility, better public safety and improvement of parks and other county facilities for the benefit of all residents.

A native of the county he serves, Gordon was born in Wilmington in 1952 and grew up in the city as a Salesianum School graduate. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Wilmington University. Before his first run for county executive – promising improved finances, better parks and overhaul of land use laws responsible for out-of-control development in the Bear-Glasgow region -- Gordon served in the New Castle County Police Department, rising in its ranks and graduating from the FBI National Academy and U.S. Secret Service Protection Program. Ultimately attaining the rank of colonel and position of chief of police, Gordon implemented the agency’s first community policing program and helped command a task force that led to capture and prosecution of Delaware’s first modern-era serial killer.

Fiscal accomplishments
In his first terms, which began in 1997, Gordon led the county’s financial turnaround, eliminating a projected $100 million shortfall by measures such as the County Reinvention Initiative. He focused on restructuring and streamlining, eliminating duplication and many positions, halving the number of departments and centralizing services for resident convenience – leading to a $100 million surplus. For his second four-year term, he set and achieved unprecedented fiscal goal, leading the county to earn the highest AAA bond rating by all top three Wall Street rating agencies. When he left office, the county had the largest reserves in its history, $185 million.

He is the county’s only two-term executive in history who proposed no tax increase – and his third-term budgets have not raised taxes either, despite hard economic times. He continued to control costs while providing vital county support to keep DuPont Co. in Delaware, create the Delaware Board of Trade and conduct environmental study for port expansion, all measures aimed to keep or create well-paying jobs.

Other achievements
  • Public safety improvements such as the Targeted Analytical Policing System, which cut crime 16.4 percent in its first three years, and the new state-of-the-art J. William Bell Fusion Center
  • Enactment of the Unified Development Code, the first sweeping update of county land use laws since first zonings were set in 1955—and the code’s comprehensive and continuing update
  • Splitting tax bills paid to the county so residents see the large sum for schools vs county services
  • Prevention of commercial development of the former Hermitage farmlands at Del. 896 and U.S. 40, buying the site and creating Glasgow Regional Park with popular walking trails, bark park, sled hill playground and huge renovation to save its historic house and barn for public use
  • Extensive improvement to other county park sites including long-neglected Rockwood Mansion and Carousel Park, where Clydesdales of the county police Mounted Patrol Unit are live-in stars
  • Many trademark county activities presented free and open to the public, such as Sleeping Under the Stars at Rockwood and Dancing Under the Stars at Glasgow Park, drawing 10,000+ in 2015
  • Special HEROIN ALERT project to raise awareness targeting youth with an online game, other outreach including ads on Xbox, buses and search engines topping 3.3 million views
  • Police Athletic League of Delaware, founder and chairman of the board
  • International Association of Chiefs of Police, member
  • Fraternal Order of Police, member
Past affiliations
  • White House Council on Teen Violence, member
  • Police Athletic League of Delaware, founder and chairman of the board
  • Council of Civic Organizations of Brandywine Hundred (CCOBH), president
  • Rose Hill Community Center, steering committee member
  • Rockwood Museum, board member
  • Historic Red Clay Valley, board member
  • Better Business Bureau, board of directors
  • Delaware Safety Council, member