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

January 31, 2020 | Volume 13, No. 5

Note from Tom

Police Chief Davis to Present Gang Unit Plan

The shooting death of 9-year-old Zion Person and the brazen vehicle gun fire exchange through downtown on December 3 struck a nerve throughout our city, leading to strong calls from the community, Mayor, and City Council for a response. Working closely with the Durham County Sheriff’s Office, the Durham Police Department quickly determined that both of these incidents (and many shootings around the same time) had a high probability of gang affiliation.  

During the press conferences that followed, Police Chief Davis called for the establishment of an enhanced gang task force to increase intelligence, response, and investigation into gang activity and incidents that were contributing to the uptick in violence and shooting incidents our community was experiencing toward the end of 2019. At the upcoming work session on Thursday, February 6, Chief Davis will present the work and status of the Police Department’s Gang Unit to the City Council. While the presentation information is not available at the time of this posting, we will include it in next week’s email. 

Next month, Chief Davis will also present the 2019 Annual Crime Report to City Council. I continue to believe Durham is a safe community, however, because of the emboldened nature of a relatively small number of individuals in our community who resort to gun violence, it is imperative that efforts continue to be stepped up in the Police Department and the entire criminal justice system to respond for everyone’s safety.

Durham City Council Work Session Details:

City of Durham News

Fire Department Receives 500 Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Thanks to a charitable donation from Kidde, the Durham Fire Department will soon be able to install 500 carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in homes throughout the Bull City. The donation will be accepted at a brief ceremony on Tuesday, February 4.

Durham Police Solve Sexual Assault Cold Case with DNA Testing

On Thursday, January 30, the Police Department announced an arrest for a sexual assault that happened in Durham in 2015 on the Ellerbee Creek Trail. A new law, the "Survivors Act," has put more resources to addressing the backlog of untested sexual assault kits in Durham and across the state. Watch the Thursday press conference.

2020 Golden Leaf Awards Nominations Now Being Accepted

Do you know of a Durham property that’s outstanding for its design, preservation, curb appeal, or stewardship of the natural and built environment? Nominate it now for the 2020 Golden Leaf Awards. Submit online through Tuesday, March 3.

Durham Hosts East Main Street Re-Striping Plans Open House

If you travel on East Main Street, mark your calendar for a February 12 open house to learn about the City’s plans for this roadway to better accommodate people who bike, walk, and ride the bus. An online survey is also available to give feedback.

Vendor Applications Open for DPR's Biggest Annual Events

Calling all potential event and festival vendors! Durham Parks and Recreation are now accepting applications for Earth Day Festival, Bimbé Cultural Arts Festival, and Rock the Park Concert Movies Series. 

Willard Street Apartments Public Art Proposals Due Today

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 at 11:59 p.m. View complete RFQ details

Voters will NOT be required to show photo ID for the March 2020 Primary Election - image of I Voted stickers

No Photo ID Needed to Vote in March Primary

On December 31, 2019, a federal district court blocked NC’s Voter Photo ID requirement from taking effect. In the Durham Digest newsletter that went out with January water bills, it stated that an ID would be necessary to vote in upcoming elections. Unfortunately, the newsletter had already been printed and mailed before the court issued its decision. 

Please note that this has changed, and no ID will be required to vote – this includes the upcoming March 3, 2020 Presidential Primary and other contests. To find the most current voting information, contact the Durham County Board of Elections.

Photo Highlight

Southern High School students pose in a group photo with RENT Musical Director Mark Binns

DPAC Coordinates RENT Chorus Workshop at Southern High School

On Thursday, January 30, Durham Public School students participated in a special workshop while RENT was in town to perform at DPAC. Mark Binns, the musical director of RENT, led a chorus workshop at Southern High School. Students had the opportunity to sing numbers from the Broadway show and engage in a Q&A session.
View photos and videos from the session.

Upcoming Events

2020 Durham Senior Games Early Bird Registration

Early Bird Registration open February 3-28; Senior Games start April 13
Events take place at various locations
Sign up to participate in the 2020 Durham Senior Games and Silver Arts Program. Mature adults (age 50 or better) will compete in more than 30 sporting events and 20 art forms. Register early to receive a discount. Event details.

McDougald Terrace and Burton Park Community Cleanup

Saturday, February 8, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
1501 Sima Ave.

Volunteers are invited to join Keep Durham Beautiful, Durham Police Department, Public Works Department's Stormwater and GIS Division, Water Management Department, and other partners and community members to clean up litter in Burton Park and around McDougald Terrace. Snacks, water, and litter cleanup supplies will be provided. Register online. Event details.

Earth Day Set for Sunday, April 19 - FREE

Sunday, April 19, 12-5 p.m.
Durham Central Park, 501 Foster St.
“Go Green” at Durham’s Earth Day Festival sponsored by Durham Parks and Recreation in partnership with the Durham Parks Foundation. Attendees will enjoy a day filled with an eclectic mix of music, food, hands-on environmental education activities, and much more! Choose an earth friendly transportation option by carpooling, walking, taking the bus, or riding your bike to the festival. Event details.

Durham Water Works for You

Drought Status as of January 31: 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: Most of the water in your home goes down the toilet—literally! But your household can save nearly 13,000 gallons a year (and about $140 on your annual water bill) simply by switching out your older, inefficient toilets for ones with the independently certified WaterSense label. A WaterSense toilet uses 1.28 gallons or less per flush without sacrificing performance. On top of that, you can save up to $100 per toilet with our WaterSense rebate. Get more information at If everyone in the U.S. made the change, we could save 520 billion gallons of water in 2020—the equivalent of 12 days at Niagara Falls!

Census 2020 Countdown: 60 Days Until Census Day

During Census 2020, the Census Bureau will count every person living in the U.S., and this information will help make sure our community gets: fair representation in Congress; financial resources for health, schools, transportation, and more; and, information to help leaders plan for our community's future. Visit the Durham County website to learn more and make sure you are counted!

Find out more in our latest episode of Bull City Today.

Screenshot of Bull City Today episode shows host Amy Blalock discussing the 2020 Census

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 this month's episode: Durham Mayor Steve Schewel is in the beginning months of his second term in office. What does he feel was accomplished in his first term? What did he learn from the challenges the City faced during that time? And what does he see as the main issues that need to be addressed in his second term? In this new CityLife episode, host Beverly Thompson sits down with the Mayor to learn how the answers to these important questions are already having and will continue to have a profound impact on Durham’s future. Watch the episode

Follow us on YouTube to find all of our programs.

Mayor Steve Schewel discusses his second term in office

Social Spotlight

Today is the LAST DAY to request free disposal of your live Christmas tree in Durham. Find out how to request this service before today’s deadline! 

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

Tweet shows image of tree by the curb

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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