SPOTLIGHT: DURHAM CITY CLERK HAS SEEN TREMENDOUS ECONOMIC GROWTH DURING HER 33 YEARS
Appointed City Clerk of Durham in February 2000 after serving the City of Durham for 16 years as Assistant and Deputy City Clerk, D. Ann Gray enjoys working with the Mayor and City Council, as well as the City Manager and City staff; and providing service to the citizens on a daily basis.
Referred to as the “City of Medicine” with a population of 260,672, Durham is the fourth largest City in the State.
During Ann’s tenure, she has seen and continues to see economic boom in Durham under the leadership of the out-going and the longest serving Mayor. Projects like the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC), the renovation of the American Tobacco Campus, the Durham Bulls Athletic Park and the revitalization of Barnes Avenue and Southside have helped lay the foundation for Durham’s moto “where great things happen.” Newer residents of Durham may find this hard to believe, but Ann remembers there were many naysayers in the community when DPAC was proposed. Thanks to the leadership of the Mayor and Council, their vision of a thriving downtown with a world-class venue became a reality; making the DPAC the largest performing arts center in the Carolinas hosting over 200 performances a year, including touring Broadway productions, high-profile concert and comedy events, family shows and the American Dance Festival.
As any visitor to downtown Durham can attest, Ann states the sound of construction and the sight of cranes are now as common as the smell of tobacco once was years ago. The One City Center, a 26-story project is currently changing the skyline of Durham and will bring office and retail space and full-time residents to downtown. This year ground also broke on the new Durham Innovation District, an exciting research space that will bring jobs and businesses to downtown; the Van Allen and 55 Mangum projects will rise 12 and 10 stories respectively when completed; and the Unscripted Hotel, the former Jack Tar Motel is scheduled to open summer 2017. Outside of downtown, she referenced the Mayor’s Poverty Reduction Initiative which is actively working to improve the lives of some of the city’s most vulnerable residents.
Ann notes that Durham is consistently ranked one of the best places to live, work and retire; and the future of Durham is as exciting as its past; where great things will continue to happen. Durham City Clerk, D. Ann Gray, says she has seen much in her 33 years and looks forward to the future!