Thursday, May 31, 2007

INNOCENT:Durham Mayor Rips Baker, Staff

"... these three individuals [David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann,] are innocent of these charges."

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, Apr. 11, 2007
From today’s Durham Morning Herald: “Mayor rips water, sewer figures”

Mayor Bill Bell ripped city administrators Wednesday for saying that City Manager Patrick Baker's 2007-08 budget request would raise water and sewer rates by 6.9 percent.

The percentage actually will vary slightly depending on how much water a household uses, and for most customers will be in that ballpark. But Bell criticized Baker and his staff for publicizing the average because it could confuse residents.

"Your proposal represents about an 8 percent increase, independent of how much water you use," the mayor said during a Wednesday budget review. "That to me is different than a 6.9 percent increase."

Deputy City Manager Ted Voorhees and Assistant City Manager for Budget and Strategic Initiative Julie Brenman tried to explain the calculation to the mayor, but made little headway.

"That's very misleading," Bell said, interrupting Voorhees as the administration was explaining that officials calculate the percentage using an industry-standard assumption for household water use. "I'm not going to let you talk me out of this." …
The rest of the H-S story is here.

Mayor Bell’s criticisms yesterday of Bell and his staff come on the heels of his rejection of City Manager Baker and Police Chief Chalmers’ “report” on DPD’s actions in the Duke lacrosse case.

Bell blasted the report as inadequate and has called for an outside investigation of DPD’s conduct in the case.

Bell has been particually eager to know what role DA Nifong had in directing the Duke lacrosse investiagion.

Regarding an outside investigation, defense attorney Joe Cheshire recently told The Chronicle:
"I would not be surprised if [an independent investigation] would uncover conduct that was criminal in nature as it relates to obstruction of justice and creation of evidence," Joe Cheshire, an attorney for [David Evans, wrote in an e-mail.
For his part, Baker seems to want “business as usual. He’s selected current DPD Deputy Chief Ron Hodge as one of three finalists to succeed Chalmers when he retires this August.

I’ll have more to say soon about Mayor Bell.

KC Johnson, Liestoppers and The Johnsville News are covering Durham doings in detail and with great skill. Give them a look. I visit them every day.


Anonymous said...


All I can say is thank god that President Brodhead showed the restraint that he did in handling the LAX case and the respect that he did for the legal process and for the feelings of those in the black community who thought that a rape may actually have occurred. If Brodhead had injected himself into the proceedings as some were urging him to do and had publicly attacked Nifong and used the power and prestige of Duke to force an early end to the case, the leaders of Durham would be angry and the black community of Durham would be angry and there would be no investigation by the city.

Anonymous said...

John: The rest of the H-S story went on to explain how the city staff was correct. The Mayor then proceeded to blast Mr. Baker at Monday's Council meeting for no apparant reason. I'll be interested to read where you are headed.