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Financial Trouble for City Council Member

A member of the Wilmington City Council is in financial trouble. Council member Pat Delair's home is in forclosure. Between the principal and interest, Delair owes more than forty thousand dollars on her downtown property. Both taxpayers and fellow council members question whether someone who can't manage their own finances, should have the fiscal responsibily of the city's. Right now 511 North Front Street is owned by Pat Delair but at the end of this month it will belong to the highest bidder. The property is in foreclosure for more than forty thousand dollars and it's not the first time delair has been behind on her finances. Fellow City Council members say taxpayers are worried. "I've probably had fifteen or sixteen citizen phone calls and a lot of them are concerned," Wilmington City Councilman Jason Thompson said. Thompson chairs the city audit committee; a committee Delair sits on. This is also an election year for Delair. "We're charged with overlooking the financial situation of the city audits and things of that nature and that there's a member on my committee that is evidently having trouble taking care of her own finances and they're not very confident in her ability to take care of the city's finances," Thompson said. "If you are in the position of spending other people's money but can't manage your own pocket book, I just think its not a conflict of interest but it just shows that you aren't up to the task," Taxpayer Tim Delia said. Delair was unavailable for comment because of an illness that's put her in the hospital. A spokesperson says Delair has tried to sell the property repeatedly, but can't because the ground below it is contaminated. Her spokesperson says the situation is unfortunate, and Delair hopes her service has proven she is straight forward and dedicated to handling the issues important to the city. In the meantime, Delair's seat on the audit committee may be in jeopardy. "I'll probaby sit down with her and the mayor and discuss her situation and what's best for the citizens and audit committee," Thompson said. In terms of Delair's faulty financial history, the New Hanover County tax office had unpaid property taxes in the amount of more than 25 hundred dollars in 2006 and she was deliquent in paying her taxes in 2005.

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