Local News
9:26 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Council Threatens To Remove Airport Advisory Chairman; Dulin Calls Him A 'Chump'

Airport Advisory Committee Chairman Shawn Dorsch (r) is under scrutiny from Charlotte City Council members for advocating in support of a legislative effort to transfer airport control to a regional authority.
Credit Julie Rose

 The Charlotte City Council is threatening to remove the chairman of its Airport Advisory Committee for encouraging lawmakers and commissioners in surrounding counties to support a measure that would strip the airport from the city's control. 

"This chump we got running the airport advisory committee, his name is Shawn Dorsch," said an irate Councilman Andy Dulin at the end of Wednesday's council budget meeting. "He serves at the pleasure of Council, as does that advisory board and I'd like to make a motion here and now that immediately – that we remove him from being chair of the advisory board and then he can go give advice to anybody he wants."

Instead of removing Dorsch from the Airport Advisory Committee, the city council voted to summon the entire 11-member committee to discuss its views at a future meeting. Dorsch said in a statement the Committee "want(s) to assist the city council in any way (it) can to do what is best for the people of Charlotte."

Mayor Anthony Foxx criticized the committee for doing an "end run" around the city council by advocating for the airport authority bill quietly, but not discussing it at any of its public meetings.

The Airport Advisory Committee had considered holding a special meeting to discuss the airport authority bill, but was urged by interim city manager Julie Burch to wait until the city had time to complete its own study of the issue. 

On Thursday, the consultant hired to do that study will report the initial phase of his findings.