City of Durham, City Manager's Report, Thomas J. Bonfield, Durham City Manager

January 3, 2020 | Volume 13, No. 1

Note from Tom

Priorities for a Safe, Equitable, and Prosperous City

January 2020 is a time to reflect on our goals and plans as we start a new year and a new decade. Each year, the Mayor and City Council identify top priorities for the City based on our strategic plan and the needs and desires of our community. The new year provides a good opportunity to review these priority areas for fiscal year 2019-2020:

  • Affordable Housing
  • Violent Crime, Police Disparities, Police Community Relations
  • Shared Economic Prosperity
  • Comprehensive Plan and Transit Plan Updates
  • Equitable Engagement

These are complex issues and initiatives that impact our city’s future, and as City Manager I will continue to work with our departments and partners to understand problems, identify opportunities, and find solutions. In future issues, we will take a closer look at each area and report on our progress.
A lot of work goes into running a city, and while these five areas have been identified as priorities, it does not mean that the other work of City departments is not valued or important. I look forward to seeing all that our 25 departments can accomplish in 2020 and the coming decade, and wish a successful 2020 to all of our residents, businesses, and partners.
View the Strategic Plan to learn more about the City’s strategic goals.

City of Durham News

Durham Among Top Cities for Economic Success in the New Decade

LendEDU has recognized Durham as one of the best positioned cities for economic advancement in the next 10 years. Analyzing nearly 400 U.S. cities on a variety of socioeconomic factors deemed important for economic success in the new decade, Durham ranked #33 specifically. See the full report.

Calling All Artists for Willard Street Apartments Public Art Proposals

DHIC, Inc. and Self-Help are now seeking artists or artist teams with experience in creating public art for the façade of their Willard Street Apartments, which is a new affordable housing community in downtown Durham. Submissions must be received by January 31. View complete RFQ details.

Durham Seeks Neighborhoods Projects for Matching Grant Program

Durham residents seeking to make their neighborhoods a better place to live, work, play, and shop may now apply to receive up to $2,500 for their project through the City of Durham Neighborhood Matching Grants Program. Applications are due January 31.

Free Curbside and Drop-off Collection Sites of Live Christmas Trees

The City of Durham offers several free ways to dispose of your live Christmas tree during January through February 1, including curbside pick-up and various drop off locations. Find the details for the option that is most convenient for you.

Get Involved with the City of Durham in 2020

Are you interested in getting more involved with your local government? Consider applying for a City of Durham job or serving as a volunteer on one of the City's 30+ boards, commissions, and committees

Office on Youth Vision: All young people in Durham are their whole, healthiest selves and have the power and platforms to lead positive community change.

Office on Youth Year in Review

In 2019, the Office on Youth (OOY) had an incredible year exploring how to make Durham a better place for young people. Highlights include hiring new youth staff, launching a Youth Listening Project, and hosting an award-winning Youth Voice Festival.

OOY recently took some time to reflect on their top highlights from 2019 and share what's ahead for 2020. View the full report in English or Spanish.

Photo Highlight

Aerial image of Durham wastewater treatment plant

Aerial Image of the North Durham Water Reclamation Facility

The City of Durham treats approximately 18-million gallons of wastewater each day. That's just one of the ways we work to keep Durham healthy.
Learn more about the Water Management Department.

Upcoming Events

2020 City-County Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance Program

Wednesday, January 15, noon-1:30 p.m.
First Presbyterian Church, 305 E. Main St.
Durham County Government and the City of Durham will co-host the 2020 City-County MLK Observance Program in honor of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Made in Durham Executive Director Casey Steinbacher will be the keynote speaker and the Durham City-County Mass choir will perform. The program is free and open to the public. Event details.

E-Waste & Textile Recycling, Paper Shredding & Live Tree Drop-Off Event

Saturday, January 18, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Durham County Memorial Stadium, 750 Stadium Dr.
The City’s Solid Waste Management Department is hosting a free event to collect old electronics (e-waste), papers for shredding, live trees, and old clothes and textiles. Staff will be on hand to assist with unloading these items. Event details.

Durham Water Works for You

Drought Status as of January 3: Normal

Durham is not currently under a drought condition, but as always, please be responsible with your water usage. Visit our website to find data on the current water supply status including current lake levels.

Weekly Water Tip

Resolve to Save Water (and Money) This Year

The first step in changing the way you use water in the future is by understanding how much water you use today, and the best place to find this information is on your monthly water bill. Even if you autopay your bill, be sure to review it every month to examine your water use patterns and look for anomalies as these can help you identify leaks.  

To find additional water saving tips, visit

Stay Connected with Durham Information Network

Durham Information Network is the communications umbrella for information about the City, and its events and activities. Follow our channels to stay engaged and informed, including Durham Television Network, the City Manager’s Report, and the Durham Digest.

Now Showing on Durham Television Network

Get a recap of this week's news in three minutes with the latest episode of Bull City Wrap

In this week's episode: PB Durham funds put to use in Ward 1; Considering a Durham Public Schools Central Kitchen; Funding to reduce the City's vehicle emissions; Improving quality of life for Ellerbe Creek residents; and, Progress on stormwater repair project.

Follow us on YouTube to find all of our programs.

Host Amy Blalock discusses stem equipment and entrepreneurship education

Social Spotlight

In May 2019, Ward 1 residents voted to fund the purchase of street trees. Since then, Keep Durham Beautiful and the General Services Department have purchased and planted over 500 trees in downtown and east Durham neighborhoods! Check the Participartory Budgeting (PB Durham) website for additional project updates and follow @PBDurhamNC!

Follow @CityofDurhamNC on social:
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Nextdoor | Flickr | Spreaker | iTunes | Stitcher

City of Durham staff plant neighborhood trees

Durham One Call is Here to Help

Durham One Call logo image

Durham One Call provides a high level of service in English and Spanish for inquiries and requests for service. Let us know how we can help you.

  • Call 919-560-1200
  • Use the One Call App 24/7
  • Visit the website
  • Stop by the City Hall lobby desk at 101 City Plaza Hall, M-F between 8-5

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