Dependable Erection

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Patrick Baker to replace outgoing City Attorney Henry Blinder - confirmed

That's what Ray Gronberg is saying over at the Herald Sun in a story datelined tomorrow. A very interesting development. Baker was one of Blinder's assistants when he was tapped to replace Marcia Connor 3 years ago, who had even less of the confidence of the Council than Baker seems to have now.

If true, the main question will be whether or not the Council hires a manager with the experience to not require the kind of oversight some members seem to think is necessary; someone who has the trust necessary to make the executive level decisions that often need to be made between Council sessions.

I'll wait and see how it plays out later this afternoon before i spew forth with a remarkably uninformed and completely un-nuanced opinion on this potentially fascinating development.

: Kevin has some interesting and timely thoughts about City Council.

UPDATE II: City press release:
Durham City Manager Patrick W. Baker announced today his intentions to transition to the Durham City Attorney position in June, following completion of the City’s budget process. Baker, who has been city manager since 2004, will fill the position being vacated by Henry Blinder, who recently announced his retirement as city attorney effective January 25, 2008.

“Serving as city manager for the past three years has been a great experience and has enabled me to serve the community at a fantastic time in its development,” Baker said. “The timing of this morning’s State of Durham’s Economy address was fortuitous in that it punctuated many of the highlights that I am proud to say have taken place during my time as city manager – downtown redevelopment is taking off with more than almost a billion dollars of investment, and the streetscape and downtown plaza was completed; our downtown neighborhoods are being revitalized; Minor League Baseball is coming town and the Durham Performing Arts Center is set to become a reality – on time and on budget. I am proud to have been a part of a great time in Durham’s history and to have worked with such a talented and dedicated group of employees. Serving as the city attorney is a great professional opportunity that will also allow me to spend much-needed time with my family.”

“Patrick has served Durham well, and Council is pleased that he will continue with the City as the city attorney,” said Durham Mayor William V. “Bill” Bell. “Having served as the assistant city attorney for eight years, Patrick is well suited to lead the department, and we look forward to his continued leadership in that area.”

Bell said that Council will begin the search for a new city manager immediately and, working closely with the City’s Human Resource Department, will outsource the actual search process. Karen A. Sindelar, an assistant city attorney in the City Attorney’s Office, will become interim city attorney effective January 25, and will earn $150,000.

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  • I thought Patrick Baker made a few mistakes---being an attorney can give you the wrong set of tools for open government--- but he was a great improvement over Lamont Ewell and Marcia Conner. I am glad he is staying in Durham government.

    I am not at all sure that a more experienced city manager will do any better. I hope that Ted Voorhees is considered for the job.

    By Anonymous steve bocckino, at 5:35 PM  

  • As with any situation mistakes will be made and the successes that are made will be over shadowed by those made mistakes made in the past. Let's take those mistakes as learning lessons and move on. A new manager will be hired and see what the future holds. Now as for Ted Voorhees, why wasn't he considered as the interim when Marcia left? Why did the City Council bring in an assistant city attorney with no city manager experience and not consider one of the deputy city managers instead? What does that say about the City Council's vote of confidence in him? Either way City Council will do what they want to do but let's hope it's in the best interest of the citizens of Durham.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:10 AM  

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