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Durham Residents Offer Mixed Reaction To Conner's Resignation

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DURHAM, N.C. — Reaction was mixed Friday to news of Marcia Conner's resignation.

After a rocky relationship that lasted three years, Conner and Durham City Council members agreed she should go.

"I'm mad," Durham resident Stephen Hopkins said. "I'm mad. I'm mad. I'm mad at City Council. I think Durham's lost a lot."

Council members spent 12 hours Thursday negotiating Conner's future at City Hall. It all boiled down to one vote.

"My departure as city manager is best for everyone," Conner said.

Conner will stay on the job until the two sides agree on a severance package. If Conner and the city cannot reach an agreement, the deal will be off, and the issue of her employment will go back to City Council.

For the past two years, Conner operated under intense scrutiny after making some controversial decisions. Monthly reviews and a mandatory management class were part of her tenure.

Last month, a group presented the council with a petition with thousands of signatures. It demanded Conner's resignation.

Charlotte Woods spearheaded that effort.

"My reaction to her being gone, if she is, indeed, gone, is: 'Thank God,'" Woods said. "All we want is accountability with our government. After all, we're paying for it."

Now, it is up to the City Council to decide how to replace Conner. It is a process that could take months.

Mayor Bill Bell said the council will start discussion at the next council meeting in August.


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