By Tom Lehman 1:41pm, January 8, 2013 - Updated 2:07pm, January 8, 2013
Mayor Williams' swearing in ceremony and interviewIt was a happy birthday for Dennis Williams, who was sworn into office as Wilmington's 55th mayor Tuesday.
Williams, who turns 60 on the same day he becomes mayor, took his oath of office in front of a packed auditorium at East Side Charter school, a tribute to his early education at North East Elementary.
"This was a very important place. There were six or seven teachers I can remember who had a major influence in my life," he says.
Williams says his early childhood experience is why he broke tradition and was sworn in during a separate ceremony from city council.
He says not enough positive recreational and educational opportunities for the city's youth, something his administration seeks to address.
"We're setting our sights on young people and education because you do know if people do not get educated that's the first step to the criminal justice system," he says.
The incoming mayor says he was also surprised because his mother, who had been recovering from the flu, joined his family during the ceremony. He cited her as a major influence in his life and was happy she could attend.
Williams says he doesn't want to be know as a "ninth-floor mayor" and looks to get a quick start during his first day in office.
"As soon as I leave here, I'm going to work. My birthday will be in my office with a slice of cake and a cup of coffee," he says.
He's expected to deliver his inaugural address around 8:30 p.m. during tonight's city council meeting, which be broadcast live on WDEL.
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