Durham Sets First-Ever Joint Community Conversations with Local Elected Officials
County Commissioners and City Council to Meet with Residents for Input on Topics Ranging from Public Safety to Affordable Housing
DURHAM, N.C. – For the first time, Durham residents will have a new way to engage with their local City and County elected officials at three joint community meetings beginning later this month.
During these discussions, residents will be able to address issues and provide feedback directly with Durham City Council Members and Durham County Board of Commissioners on topics ranging from public safety, affordable housing, human services, education, and economic development.
These community conversations will each have a different theme allowing residents to choose the issues they are most passionate about, and to make sure residents feel heard by elected officials as well as staff members from the City, County, and Durham Public Schools. Residents are invited to attend any or all of the meetings.
"We're excited to offer a holistic way to discuss community priorities. Residents will be able to hear from every organization that impacts each topic area," said City of Durham Budget and Management Services Director Bertha Johnson. "We hope this leads to better answers to resident questions and helpful feedback for the local government organizations that serve the residents of Durham."
"The coordinated community discussions will be a great continuation to the County’s recent citizen engagement efforts to update the County strategic plan," said Durham County Budget and Management Services Director Keith Lane. "Ongoing citizen feedback remains a high priority for the Board of County Commissioners as we begin the fiscal year 2018-19 budget development process."
The meetings are set for:
- Public Safety: Saturday, January 27 at 10 a.m. at the Durham Convention Center, 301 W. Morgan St.
- Affordable Housing, Transportation, and Human Services: Tuesday, January 30 at 7 p.m. at the Durham County Human Services Complex, 400 East Main St.
- Education and Economic Development: Tuesday, February 6 at 7 p.m. at Brogden Middle School, 1001 Leon St.
Representatives from the Durham City Council and Durham County Board of Commissioners will introduce the sessions, followed by presentations from City and County budget staffs on how tax revenues support services throughout the entire community. After the presentations, attendees will go through an interactive session to provide input, generate ideas, and identify priorities in each topic area. Feedback from all sessions will be compiled, analyzed, and shared with the public on both the City and County government websites.
"The feedback we hope to get from residents will be very important to shaping the annual budget for both the City and County, we hope our residents will take advantage of being able to speak to both local government bodies at the same time," Johnson said. "For the City, we'll also be using these meetings as the first phase of outreach to inform the update of the City’s strategic plan."
For more information on these upcoming community conversations, visit the City’s Budget and Management Services Department webpage or call (919) 560-4111, or visit the County’s Budget and Management Services Department webpage or call (919) 560-0004.
About the City of Durham Budget and Management Services Department
The City of Durham Budget and Management Services Department is responsible for the development and oversight of the City’s annual budget and Capital Improvement Program (CIP). The department is also responsible for performance management, continuous improvement, and strategic planning. A division of the department, the Office of Performance and Innovation, serves as internal consultants, helping City departments accomplish Durham's "One Vision and Five Goals" through advancing the City's Strategic Plan; providing framework for data-driven decisions; fostering a culture of innovation; and facilitating process improvements.
About the Durham County Budget and Management Services Department
The responsibilities of the Budget and Management Services Department include administrating the annual budget process, assisting departments with preparation of their budgets, analyzing all budget requests, and preparing the County Manager's annual recommended budget. The department prepares and maintains the County's capital improvement plan, performs management analysis and program evaluations for the County Manager, Board of County Commissioners, and County departments. In addition, the department provides revenue and fee analysis, customer service surveys, budget and administrative support, cost reduction and performance review analysis, and management of non-profit and grant administration.