Local News

Durham Councilor Handles Adversity While In Office

Posted November 19, 2004

— A local city councilman has had his share of adversity while in office.

John Best works three jobs -- running a party rental business, working as a bartender and serving as a Durham city councilman.

"I'm just like every other citizen, working hard to make ends meet," Best said.

Since his election three years ago, he has seen his fair share of problems. In 2003, Best was months behind on paying his property taxes. A few months later, he violated city code by not having the proper permit for running his business out of his home.

Recently, the city councilman was held in contempt and was threatened with jail time for failing to pay alimony. Best said he makes no apologies.

"If we were going to judge people on whether they could serve the public based on lateness of bills, no one would ever serve because we have all been late once or twice on something," Best said.

In the last three years, Best has attended every City Council meeting. He insists his private struggles are not affecting his ability to serve.

"I've had my good and bad. I've been behind on my personal checkbook, but I was a step ahead of everybody on the city manager issue," he said.

Best said there have not been any calls from residents for him to step down. He believes Durham residents can relate to what he is going through.

Best paid his property taxes and eventually got the proper permit for his business. He has until Dec. 10 to come up with money for his alimony payments.

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