City Council members spent weeks interviewing Baker and two other candidates: Charles Penny, assistant city manager of Rocky Mount; and David Thompson, chief operating and financial officer of Freeman White Inc., an architectural and engineering firm in Charlotte.
"I'm very, very excited and appreciate the City Council's trust in me," Baker said.
Council members said it was not an easy decision, but in the end, they said it was the right decision.
"He has the support of all seven council members and it doesn't get any better than that," councilor Cora Cole-McFadden said.
"We have to remember we're all on the same team. The mayor is our elected quarterback and now Patrick Baker is our administrative quarterback," councilor John Best said.
resigned amid heavy scrutiny. Baker had taken over for Conner on an interim basis as the city searched for her successor.
Many employees at City Hall said Baker has boosted employees' morale. Baker had served as assistant city attorney for seven years at City Hall. He is a graduate of Wake Forest University. He is also involved in the community as a member of the Citizens on Patrol program.
Baker said he does not expect to make sweeping changes. He hopes to keep the momentum of downtown development going and said fighting crime will be his No. 1 priority.
"It really drives everything we do from economic development to neighborhood revitalization," he said. "People see the future of Durham and from City Hall's perspective, I need to do what I can to make sure that future becomes a reality."
City council members said Baker has demostrated a vested commitment to the community. He could be sworn in as early as next week.
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