City Council member Dulin won’t seek re-election

City Council member Dulin won’t seek re-election

City Council member Dulin won’t seek re-election

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by STEVE HARRISON / Charlotte Observer

WCNC.com

Posted on January 17, 2013 at 5:54 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 25 at 8:43 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Republican City Council member Andy Dulin, who has represented District 6 in south Charlotte since 2005, said Thursday he won’t seek re-election this fall.

For the last two years, Dulin has been one of council’s only two Republicans out of 11 members. But his departure is unlikely to change the balance of Democrats and Republicans on council, since his district leans heavily Republican.

“I’ve known for some time that eight years is an appropriate amount of time to serve,” Dulin said at a news conference at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center.

Dulin said one of his biggest achievements on council was helping block a proposed $926 million capital plan last year.

Dulin and Republican Warren Cooksey voted with four Democrats in June to pass a smaller capital plan, which was later vetoed by Democratic Mayor Anthony Foxx, who said the budget didn’t meet the city’s needs.

“We formed a bipartisan coalition and defeated an 8 percent property tax increase,” Dulin said.

The City Council is still struggling with passing a capital budget.

Dulin, who worked part-time as a residential real estate broker, spent much of his time at community meetings. He enjoyed the spotlight that comes from working on City Council. When he made an unsuccessful run for the Republican nomination for the 9th Congressional District last year, a major theme in his campaign was that he put his cell phone on campaign signs and said he would take anyone’s call.

Dulin also relished his role as one of only two Republicans. During last year’s budget fight, he and Foxx exchanged words on at least two occasions. Dulin had charged the mayor hadn’t done enough lobbying to secure the six votes needed for passage.

Former Republican at-large council member Edwin Peacock said Dulin “wore his heart on his sleeve.”

Dulin said he might run for office again. In addition to his bid for Congress, he lost a 2008 Republican primary against Bob Rucho for the N.C. Senate.

Dulin will finish his term, which ends in December. In addition to the capital plan, council members are considering whether to support a request from the Carolina Panthers for $125 million in public money to help for pay for renovations to Bank of America Stadium.

City staff has proposed increasing the prepared food and beverage tax from 1 percent to 2 percent to pay for the city support.

Council members gave an early nod to the Panthers’ request during a closed session vote Monday night. They voted 7-2 to see if the General Assembly would support the tax increase, which would have to be passed by legislators.

Dulin was one of the yes votes. But he said he is concerned about the possible tax hike.

“I’m not happy about that at all,” he said. “I wouldn’t be pleased if it went up.”

Dulin declined to say how the city might otherwise pay for stadium improvements.

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