Verbal jabs traded as budget fails City Council vote

by: Jason Stoogenke Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

At Charlotte’s City Council meeting Monday night, city leaders said “no” often.

They said no to the property tax hike. They also voted against the almost $1 billion in construction projects -- including police stations -- the tax hike would have funded.

If the vote passed, property taxes would have gone up 8 percent, equating to more than $70 on a $200,000 home.

Mayor Anthony Foxx scolded council, saying, "If you're going to vote no on something, at least have a plan to say yes to something and, right now, there's nothing."

One person in attendance described him as a parent, reprimanding his children.

"What has been done tonight is perhaps the most irresponsible decision that I've seen the City Council make in history," Foxx said.

Then Foxx got into a heated conversation with council member Andy Dulin -- who fought this from the beginning -- back when it looked like a losing cause.

"I've been coming down here for seven years and Lord knows I lose more than I win. I mean I don't leave here happy very often," Dulin said.

"I understand you’re feeling pretty good right now," Foxx replied.  

"I'm not strutting and I'm not clucking and I'm not going to do a jig as I walk out to my car tonight," Dulin said.

As part of Monday night’s budget discussion, the council was supposed to discuss offering benefits for same-sex couples, but when the budget was stricken down, the issue was put on hold.

The budget had included $75,000 for benefits to go to partners of city employees in same-sex relationships.

Less than two weeks after a California church put up a billboard in Charlotte apologizing for the passage of Amendment One, a businessman in Greensboro requested four be placed in that city.

Missiongathering Christian Church put up the billboard after Amendment One passed. It put up a similar billboard in California after Prop 8 passed.

Now, a City Council committee will look at the rest of the budget. The full council plans to vote in two weeks.