Local News

Durham City Manager Leaves Post After Turbulent Tenure

Posted January 14, 2005

— After a troubled tenure as Durham's City Manager, Marcia Conner will leave her job Friday.

"There's more excitement than disappointment because we're ready to start a new chapter in the life of Durham," Councilor Eugene Brown said.

Prior to Conner's departure, the city council was putting together a plan for hiring another city manager.

"Today is the day we start putting together the process for selecting the city manager," Mayor Bill Bell said.

"Sometimes I deserved a slap on the wrist. Other times, I think that the media hasn't portrayed it in the way it should be," Conner said. "Thank you for making me a household word. A regional face."

Despite a difficult few years, Conner says she intends to look forward.

"Being a city manager is a tough job. You don't have a personal life. The media's always around," Conner said. "You can only build on your experiences. It makes you a stronger person and better leader."

The embattled city manager resigned on July 22.

Conner began as city manager in June 2001 and had been operating under a microscope since 2002. She came under fire for a lengthy police chief search, then drew sharp criticism for the questionable handling of city contracts. The council cut her pay and made her subject to monthly reviews.

Conner walks away with a severence package of almost $165,000.

Durham's assistant city attorney, Patrick Baker, takes over as interim city manager.

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