Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Commissioner George Dunlap

Posted By on Tue, Oct 21, 2008 at 1:46 PM

The Democrats have picked George Dunlap to replace the late Valerie Woodard on the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners. Dunlap, who will vacate his seat on the School Board, was elected in the same type of format that came under fire during the heated Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s election after Jim Pendergraph stepped down.

According to the Charlotte Observer:

This is the third time in less than a year that local Democrats have held a special election to fill a vacancy in an elected office. Last December, Charlotte attorney Nick Mackey was picked by party members to succeed retiring Sheriff Jim Pendergraph.

But that election was controversial, and commissioners refused to appoint Mackey. They argued at the time that state law did not require the board to back the party's choice, and that commissioners could name their own replacement.

So, what does Dunlap bring to the BOC? He maintains the democratic majority for one and he says that he’s an independent thinker.

Dunlap’s election wouldn’t be complete without Bill James putting his two cents in it. James told the Observer that he wants to delay the appointment, which could happen at tonight’s meeting.

Republican Bill James said he wants to delay the appointment until the county can review the election as it did with the sheriff's seat. He said he wants that to include a review of Dunlap's background, including personnel files related to his public duties and any complaints against Dunlap by a former school board member and one current member.

He also referred to a 1991 incident in which Dunlap, then a police officer, was suspended for hitting a female officer.

People who know Dunlap are happy to see him in this position. One of his church members told me that for a politician, “George is a stand up dude.”

He’s also vocal and doesn’t avoid talking to the media and speaking frankly. When Creative Loafing contacted Dunlap about magnet school changes, he was open and forthright in answering questions. District Three seems to have someone who will represent them to the fullest again. Just like Woodard did.

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