Local News

Durham Names Conner City Manager

Posted April 5, 2001 7:00 a.m. EDT

— Durham's new city manager will be on the job next month. Marcia Conner officially accepted the position Thursday and is leaving Austin, Texas for the Bull City.

After six years as assistant manager, Conner says it was time to climb to step out of the shadows and climb to the top of the roster in Durham.

"I've had a great opportunity here, in terms of work, but it's not a city manager job and Durham has the same attributes and potential to be the same type of city Austin is," says Conner.

Conner says Durham and Austin share many of the same challenges, like managing smart growth and downtown development.

"Probably the first challenge when I walk in the door is the issue of the budget," she said.

Conner comes to Durham just as the city faces a hefty $10 million budget deficit. It's a challenge she feels well qualified to handle. And while the Bull City certainly has challenges, Conner also believes Durham is full of potential.

"It's one of the fastest growing corridors, top 10 corridors in the country. I think the diversity that's there, the educational system, the quality of life [is all attractive]," Conner says. "I don't think you could ask for a better welcome in terms of coming to a community, and it made me feel I was already part of a wonderful community."

Conner admits Austin will be a tough city to leave behind, but with so many e-mails and letters of encouragement to come to Durham, she says she knows she made the right decision. Conner is expected to begin her new job by mid to late May. She will make $138,000 a year as city manager. She will also receive a $500 a month car allowance.