Former Mayor John Dulcich eyes a return to City Council
September 3, 2009
By Tim Pfarr
When John Dulcich left the Newcastle City Council in 2007, he felt that it was time to pass the torch. But recent changes in the city have drawn him back.
“I felt that things were not financially sound,” he said.
He said there is a smaller margin for error in the current economy, and he can help the city stay on course.
“Long-term financial progress is what we’re looking to,” he said.
Dulcich graduated from the University of Oregon in 1983 with a degree in business/accounting. He moved to present-day Newcastle in 1991. He joined the City Council when the city incorporated in 1994, and was mayor from 2002-2005.
If elected, he said he would bring accountability back to the city’s finances, as well as push hard for a library.
He said he wants a vibrant downtown with many community-gathering spots, but he feels constructing multi-story, multipurpose buildings is not necessarily the best way to accomplish that.
In particular, he said he’s opposed to the city’s push toward forcing downtown buildings to be multi-story through floor-area-ratio requirements.
“I’m more of a free-market kind of guy,” he said.
Dulcich said he recognizes that multipurpose buildings may help make the most use out of expensive land, but he believes multi-story buildings should be a developer’s choice, not forced by city requirements.
Forcing buildings to be multi-story is “density for the sake of density,” and the city doesn’t need such buildings to be unique, he said.
“Newcastle’s cool as it is,” he said. “It’s the people who make it cool.”
He also said that multi-story, multipurpose buildings downtown could hinder retail, by reducing available parking, and shift focus from retail to housing. Without a retail focus, the city could lose sales tax revenue.
Dulcich also said that push kept a library from being constructed in Newcastle, and the city was responsible for urging the King County Library System to enter into an agreement with Lorig Associates to construct a mixed-use building that included a library and apartment units.
Dulcich said city officials told library system officials that entering into such an agreement would get the project completed sooner. However, Lorig has had difficulty financing its portion; city officials said construction would likely not begin until 2010.
Dulcich said the library would have already been built had it not been for the agreement with Lorig, because public funds are in place.
While Dulcich was mayor, he obtained federal and county funding for the Coal Creek Parkway project, becoming the first person in the city to receive county and federal match funds for a local project. As a councilman, he championed legislation forcing door-to-door salespeople to obtain permits.
He’s the only person in city history to serve two consecutive terms as mayor.
Dulcich worked for seven years as CEO of Ashton Capital before starting his own financial consultant business, Dulcich Capital, in 2007.
He’s endorsed by Attorney General Rob McKenna, King County Councilman Reagan Dunn and U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert.
- Last book he read: “Team of Rivals,” by Doris Kearns Goodwin
- What he does for fun: Fishing, watching his children’s sports teams, watching Pac-10 football, has an on-again-off-again love/hate relationship with golf
- Best memory from when he was 18: Fishing on the Columbia River with his father, brothers and good friend Trygve
- How his best friends describe him: Loyal, reliable, fun, having a very dry sense of humor