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

March 22, 2019 | Volume 12, No. 8

Note from Tom


Looking to Durham’s Past to Inspire a More Equitable Future

Durham has many incredible and interesting stories in its 150 year history, but not many have made it to the big screen. Earlier this week, “The Best of Enemies” premiered at Carolina Theatre, portraying the true-life, Durham-based story of Ann Atwater and C.P. Ellis. The City was honored to have Director Robin Bissell and former Councilmember Eddie Davis join employees and guests in City Hall the next day to discuss the movie and this important time in Durham’s history. While it will be exciting to have this local story told in theaters across the country, the discussion in City Hall brought home the fact that the issues of racial inequality and hatred remain as significant to our community today as they were over 50 years ago.

Throughout our organization, we continue to evaluate racial equity and consider how past and current decisions and systems within our community and organization have contributed to racial inequality, and how to address this inequity. The City Council has established a Racial Equity Task Force, and in the upcoming budget I will propose the creation of a dedicated Equity and Inclusion staff position. As this work continues I will use this and other forums to communicate on our progress.

Watch the City Hall discussion with "The Best of Enemies" Director Robin Bissell

City of Durham News


Solar hot water panels on top of green roof

Durham Selected for National League of Cities’ Prestigious Resiliency Program 

Grant Will Help City Explore Solar Energy
Durham will join seven other cities in the 2019 cohort of the National League of Cities' Leadership in Community Resilience Program, receiving $10,000 in direct financial support as well as technical assistance and professional development opportunities to explore how to expand its solar capacity and improve resilience to extended power outages. Learn more.

Durham 150 Opening Celebration to Honor City's Past, Present, Future

Yearlong Celebration Kicks Off Saturday, April 13

The 150th anniversary of the incorporation of the City of Durham will be commemorated on Saturday, April 13 at the American Tobacco Campus from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. “Our yearlong celebration of the sesquicentennial begins in earnest on April 13,” said Durham Mayor Steve Schewel. “All are encouraged to attend and invited to learn more about our diverse, important past and position for the future. We’ll honor changemakers and lead constructive dialogues, celebrating and engaging with one another. It’s going to be awesome.” Attendees will hear from the mayor, enjoy birthday cake, and see live entertainment while learning about Durham's rich history of innovation and regeneration.The event is free and open to the public. Learn more.

Photo Highlight


Meeting participants sit around table clapping; presentation screen at front of the room reads: "Congratulations on being the winning cities of the 2018 Mayors Challenge!"

Durham Mayors Challenge Kickoff

The Durham Mayors Challenge hosted its kick-off event with Bloomberg Philanthropies, Delivery Associates, and Duke Center for Advanced Hindsight on March 21-22, 2019. After running a successful pilot in 2018, the City was awarded $1 million from Bloomberg to continue its innovative approach to reduce single-occupancy vehicle trips into downtown Durham and promote alternative modes of transportation. Mayor Steve Schewel and City Manager Tom Bonfield joined the team for the Thursday morning work session. Learn more.

Upcoming Events


Minneapolis 2040 – Race, Place, and Equity

Monday, March 25, 2019, 4:30 p.m.
Carolina Theatre, 309 W. Morgan St.

As Durham creates a new Comprehensive Plan, what lessons can we learn from Minneapolis? Heather Worthington and Paul Mogush from the City of Minneapolis will share their experiences with us. The Minneapolis 2040 plan, which incorporates more than two years of community input, is one opportunity to undo barriers and overcome inequities created by a history of policies that have prevented equitable access to housing, jobs, and investments. Learn more.

17th Annual Women’s Forum
Visionary Women: Champions of Peace and Nonviolence

Thursday, March 28, 2019, 68 p.m.
City Hall Council Chambers, 101 City Hall Plaza, First Floor

This free forum, held annually in honor of National Women’s History Month, is open to the public and will be moderated by City of Durham Public Affairs Director Beverly B. Thompson. Panelists include Durham County District Attorney Satana Deberry; Parents of Murdered Children–Durham Chapter Leader T. Diane Jones; and Women in Action Director and Elna B. Spaulding Conflict Resolution Center Executive Director Grace Marsh. Learn more.


Durham Hosts Continuum of Care Grant Funding Workshop

Tuesday, April 2, 2019, 10 a.m.
Neighborhood Services Improvement Dept., 807 E. Main St., Bldg. 2, Suite 300

Durham is hosting a free workshop for representatives of organizations interested in applying for grants in the 2019 Continuum of Care (CoC) Homeless Grants Competition. Pre-Registration Required by March 29. Learn more.

Y.E. Smith Play Street

Saturday, May 4, 10:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
2410 E. Main St. (outside of Y.E. Smith Elementary)

Join our Neighborhood Improvement Services Department and their partners for their 2nd Annual YE Smith Play Street! This free community day will feature fun activities for the whole family including food, games, info booths, and more! 
Learn more.

Y.E. Smith Play Street - Saturday, May 4 | 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Now Showing on Durham Television Network


Catch Up with Bull City Wrap

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

In this week's episode: Businesses invited to community safety workshop; upcoming meeting about Highway 54 East sidewalks; updates on Hoover Road Athletic Park project; maintaining conservation easements; and new DEAR program supports driver's license restoration.

Video screenshot of Durham staff assisting client with driver's license restoration paperwork

Stay Current with Our Durham-Focused Shows

The Durham Television Network produces four shows to help keep residents informed.

Follow the City of Durham YouTube channel to see the latest episodes, or watch on Spectrum channel 8, AT&T U-verse channel 99, and Frontier channel 70.

Durham Water Works for You


Buchanan Boulevard Waterline Replacement Project Update

The City appreciates your ongoing patience with the work along the busy corridors associated with this project. Find additional details and updates online.

Week of March 25:
  • On street parking and turning lane closures in W. Chapel Hill Street between Kent Street and the Durham Freeway.
  • Temporary lane closures in W. Chapel Hill Street intersections between Kent Street and Buchanan Blvd.  Flaggers will be utilized to maintain traffic.
  • W. Chapel Hill Street will have lane and on-street parking closures to accommodate waterline installation.
  • No work will take place on Saturday or Sunday.

Central Park Waterline Replacement Project Update

The City appreciates your ongoing patience with the work along the busy corridors associated with this project. Find additional details and updates online.


Week of March 25:
  • Broadway Street will be reduced to one lane as water line work continues.
  • North Street will be reduced to one lane as water line work begins.
  • Geer Street will be reduced to one lane as sanitary sewer work continues.
  • Washington Street between Trinity Avenue and Geer Street will be reduced to one lane as water line work continues.
  • Washington Street between West Corporation Street and Geer Street will be closed as sanitary sewer work continues.
  • The intersection of Washington Street and West Corporation Street will be temporarily closed as sanitary sewer work continues.
  • No work is scheduled for this weekend. 
Water tip of the week: It’s national Fix-a-Leak Week! Unsure if you have a hidden water leak at home? Your water meter can tell you. Find your meter box outside near the curb, carefully lift the lid, and look for a faucet icon in the top left corner of the display. If you see the icon, you likely have a leak. Check faucets, toilets, and hoses, or consult a licensed plumber.

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 Citizens’ Newsletter.


Follow us @CityofDurhamNC on social:

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

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Social Spotlight

This week, City Hall welcomed Robin Bissell, director of the film The Best of Enemies, for a moderated discussion with Durham Historian Eddie Davis. Bissell discussed the making of the film which portrays the relationship between civil rights activist Ann Atwater and Ku Klux Klan leader C.P. Ellis who co-chaired a summit on the desegregation of Durham schools in 1971. Watch the full recording on the City of Durham YouTube channel.

We’ve got a full house at City Hall today to hear from @BestEnemiesFilm Director @robinbissell!

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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