Local News

New City Manager Offers Strategic Solution to Bull City Crime

Posted July 1, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— Tuesday was Lamond Ewell's first day on the job as Durham's new city manager and he's already, rolling up his sleeves. At the top of his agenda is long-term crime fighting in the Bull City.

You have to know a little about a lot of things to be city manager. When WRAL'sMark Robertscaught up with Ewell, he was knee deep in discussion about yard waste collection fees. It was just one of many staff briefings the southern California transplant got on his first day as Durham's city manager.

Ewell is inheriting a city with a bad reputation for crime. He says his philosophy is simple: more prevention, less after the fact. He also believes crime shouldn't be something that is just handled by police. It's a citywide issue that involves the community, business, and government.

There's a lot more that the city and its manager have to deal with. Roberts asked some in the Durham community what they want their city manager to think about. Durham resident Adrian David believes there are just too many vacant or abandoned homes around the city that could be made into comfortable living environments.

Crime comes first to Gerald Barnette's mind. He says there are things that could be done within the city that aren't being done.

B.D. Perry, another Durham resident, believes whatever changes are made in Durham will be for the better.

Ewell says he's working on a long-term, strategic plan for the Bull City. It's his hope Durham will become a more business friendly community with a healthier outlook on the future.

So far, Ewell says he's impressed with the area and the people he has met, but it's just the honeymoon phase of his relationship with the community. WRAL will keep in touch with Ewell and talk to him after he handles his first few controversies. For now, Durham's new city manager is ready to take whatever is thrown his way.