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

January 10, 2020 | Volume 13, No. 2

Note from Tom

Committing Our Support to the Durham Housing Authority

Over the past two weeks, a light has been shone on the conditions at McDougald Terrace, Durham Housing Authority’s (DHA) largest public housing property, and the situation is deeply troubling. We’ve heard directly from the residents who have been impacted by unfit and unsafe living conditions that are not acceptable for anyone in our community. I feel deep concern and compassion for what the McDougald Terrace residents are experiencing.
DHA is an independent entity that provides housing and services to thousands of Durham families, and whose Board of Directors is appointed by the City Council. While the properties are not owned and maintained by the City, we must play a role in addressing this situation that has come to a head after years of federal funding cuts.
The City is working closely with DHA and Durham County to support temporary housing needs for displaced families. We are also working closely with DHA to evaluate the issues and requirements that need to be addressed to ensure residents can return to safe living conditions.
Many City departments, working with City/County Emergency Management, have gone above and beyond in their response, including the Fire and Neighborhood Improvement Services Departments who were part of the initial CO Task Force that visited 296 homes to conduct inspections, install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and educate residents. Other departments are also finding ways to assist, including a food, clothing, toiletry, and diaper drive led by our Parks and Recreation and Solid Waste Management Departments.
Mayor Schewel and the City Council have identified affordable housing as a high priority, and that includes assuring safe public housing conditions. More than 68% of the recent $95 million housing bond includes money for the redevelopment of DHA properties. We will be working with the Mayor and City Council to identify funding possibilities to support a long-term solution at McDougald Terrace.
This is a complex problem that many communities are facing nationwide, and there is no quick and easy solution. I’m confident that the City and its partners, along with our compassionate community, will find effective and innovative ways to make this right. 

City of Durham News

GoDurham Service Changes Take Effect January 25

Based on travel data and public input, GoDurham has created a short-range transit plan to improve the reliability, on-time performance, and passenger experience on GoDurham routes. Learn more about the service changes that will take effect Saturday, January 25.

Employee Monica Croskey Chaparro Recognized as Local Gov Leader

Monica Croskey Chaparro, the City's Assistant Budget and Management Services Director of Strategy and Performance, earned the top spot on Engaging Local Government Leader's (ELGL) list of 100 Traeger Award Winners. The award recognizes top influencers in local government. Learn more about her 12 year career in local government.

DPAC For All Program Continues in 2020

Through a program called DPAC for All, DPAC offers a select number of reserved $20 seats exclusively for Durham residents for most Broadway shows. Upcoming shows that offer this special seating include: Mean Girls, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, Les Misérables, The Color Purple, Stomp, The Band's Visit, and many more. Tickets must be purchased in person. Find additional shows and details.

Most City of Durham Offices Closed for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Most City of Durham offices, including City Hall and all non-emergency City operations, will be closed on Monday, January 20 in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Residents are asked to take note of changes in city-provided services.

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. Please note, all tree pick-up requests for non-yard waste customers must be submitted by 5 p.m. on January 30.

Photo Highlight

City Manager Tom Bonfield addresses staff in City Council Chambers

Budget Season is Underway at the City of Durham

On Thursday, department directors met with City Manager Tom Bonfield and the Budget team to kick off our annual planning process for the 25 departments serving our community. Learn more about our budget process

Upcoming Events

Parks & Recreation MLK Event: Celebrating the Legacy Through the Arts

Saturday, January 11, 2-5 p.m.
W.D. Hill Recreation Center, 1308 Fayetteville St.
Participants will enjoy a series of activities highlighting components in the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., including visual art displays, poetry open mic, community discussions, live performances, arts and crafts projects, and more. The event is free and open to the public. Event details.

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 10: 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.

Water Tip of the Week: What can you flush? Makers of many household cleaning and baby hygiene products claim their wipes are “flushable,” but the truth is they can clog sewer pipes and cause backups. Unlike toilet paper, wipes don’t break down after they’re flushed, and the obstructions they can cause are costly to repair. Other items you don’t want to flush include Q-tips, toilet cleaning pads, paper towels, moist towelettes, or facial tissues—basically any item that isn’t toilet paper! Find more water saving tips at

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

Learn about current City issues and events with monthly episodes of City Life.

In case you missed it: In October, City staff sat down to discuss the affordable housing bond referendum, which went on to pass in November. City of Durham Community Development Director Reginald J. Johnson and Assistant Director of Strategy Karen Lado talk about the issue of affordable housing in Durham, what the bond will accomplish, and how it could impact you. Watch the episode.

Follow us on YouTube to find all of our programs.

Host Amy Blalock discusses the affordable housing bond with Community Development staff

Social Spotlight

On this Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (Thursday, January 9, 2020), join us in saying "thank you" to our @DurhamPoliceNC officers for their 24/7/365 public service to Durham!

Follow @CityofDurhamNC on social:
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On this #LawEnforcementAppreciationDay, join us in saying "thank you" to our  @DurhamPoliceNC  officers for their 24/7/365 #publicservice to #Durham!

Durham One Call is Here to Help

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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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