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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.
In 1971 Tully returned to the Midwest and served as an adjunct instructor at Divine Word College in Epworth. The following year he held a similar position at LORAS COLLEGE where he taught a course on American foreign policy. Between 1977 and 1979 he was a member of the board of directors of the League of Iowa Municipalities that developed statewide municipal policy and lobbied at both the state and federal levels to achieve it.
Tully was elected to a four-year term to the Dubuque City Council in November 1975. He led successful efforts to initiate a rolling five-year capital improvement program for the City and several referenda covering bond issues, local option taxes and annexation. As mayor, Tully led efforts to study the need for, and then to develop, a multi-million-dollar industrial park complex.
During 1978 and 1979, Tully served as one of six elected Iowa municipal representatives on the eighteen member Iowa Temporary State Land Preservation Policy Commission. Created by the Iowa General Assembly, the Commission studied Iowa's need for a land use policy and made suggestions for legislative action. Tully represented the private sector on the East Central Intergovernmental Association, eastern Iowa's regional planning organization, from 1980 through 1990.
From 1985 to 1991 Tully served on the Northeast Iowa Regional Coordinating Council. This eighteen-member group, created by the Iowa General Assembly, prepared and monitored an economic development plan for the eight counties of northeastern Iowa. During the same years, Tully served as president of ECIA Business Growth, Inc., a nonprofit Iowa corporation that approved and administered small business loans to expanding business.
Tully served as president of the DUBUQUE LUMBER COMPANY from 1970 to 1990 as well as its general manager with responsibility for operational management of the multi-million dollar building materials supplier in Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois. In 1984 he served as president of the Iowa Lumbermen's Association. He was a member of its board from 1979 through 1985 and chaired its legislative committee from 1985 through 1990. Tully served as a member of the executive committee of the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers' Association from 1988 to 1990. In 1990 he was president of the Northwestern Lumbermen's Association.
Tully's civic activities included his service as president from 1981 to 1983 of the Dubuque Crime Prevention Coalition that brought the Neighborhood Watch Program to Dubuque. He was a coordinator of the GREATER DUBUQUE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION in 1985 and 1986, chaired the United Way in 1990, and served on advisory boards for the Tri-State Independent Blind Society and HILLS & DALES CHILD DEVELOPMENT CENTER.
In 1987 Tully was listed in Marquis' Who's Who in the Midwest 21st and 22nd edition. In 1988 he was included in Marquis' Who's Who of Emerging Leaders in America 2nd edition. The following year, he received the Iowa Governor's Volunteer Award. In 1990 Tully was listed in Marquis' Who's Who in America 46th edition.
Reber, Craig D. "Former Mayor Tully Dies," Telegraph Herald, April 21, 2010, p. 1