Local News

Durham's new city manager takes office

Posted August 11, 2008 7:53 p.m. EDT
Updated August 11, 2008 10:54 p.m. EDT

— Tom Bonfield took over as Durham city manager Monday. He replaced Patrick Baker, who moved over to become city attorney.

Bonfield was the city manager in Pensacola, Fla. He has more than 25 years in local government administration, including city manager and financial administrative positions.

"We feel very strongly that we've selected the right person,” City Councilman Eugene Brown said.

Bonfield is the third city manager in less than four years.

"I hope to be here a very long time,” Bonfield said.

He already has some ideas on improving Durham, such as: speeding up work on city projects, creating budgets for three years and strengthening neighborhoods.

"It can be done. It's not easy,” he said.

Bonfield said he doesn't put much stock in the rivalry among Triangle communities.

"I've driven all three communities, and I like Durham better than any of them," he said.

However, there is one thing he doesn't like.

"The streets are in terrible shape. I'm sure (the Department of) Public Works is not going to be happy I just said that,” Bonfield said.

Baker, who became city manager in 2004, is taking the place of former city attorney Henry Blinder, who retired in January.