Bill Bell (mayor)
|Bill Bell (mayor)|
|Mayor of Durham, North Carolina|
|Preceded by||Nick Tennyson|
|Spouse(s)||Judith C. Bell|
|Children||William V. Bell II
Tiffany Anne Bell
Anjanee Nicole Bell
Kristen Vaughn Bell-Hughes
|Alma mater||Howard University, New York University|
Born "William V. Bell," Bill Bell is the current mayor of Durham, North Carolina. Mr. Bell holds a Bachelor of Science and Master's degree in Electrical Engineering from Howard University and New York University, respectively.
Formerly a senior engineer for IBM, Bell was first elected to the Durham County Board of Commissioners in 1972, where he served until 1994, and again from 1996 to 2000. He was the chairman of the Durham County Commissioners from 1982 to 1994. Bell was first elected mayor of Durham in 2001 and was re-elected in 2003 and in 2005.
Bell is currently Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of UDI Community Development Corp., a non-profit organization. He is a member of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition, a bi-partisan group with a stated goal of "making the public safer by getting illegal guns off the streets." The Coalition is co-chaired by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
2007 Mayor Re-election Campaign
In 2007, Bell was challenged by Republican Thomas Stith, III. Thomas Stith attacked Bell over several city issues including violence. During the weekend of October 13 and October 14, two people were murdered in Durham. On October 15, Bell tried to calm the public about the murders, claiming the city was safe and the weekend murders were not random. The next day, Stith went after Bell, pointing out that Durham's murder rate was up nearly 50 percent over the previous year. Stith and Bell continued to argue over how to deal with Durham crime. Stith consistently claimed that he would fight crime more consistently than Bell had, while Bell said that Stith had six years on the town council to do that. Stith said he wanted to see more police officers on the streets, while Bill Bell said the current police officers are well equipped.
In late October 2007, after lead was found in Durham drinking water, Stith sent out a campaign mailer that said in bold letters: "Bill Bell knew and didn't tell us our water was dangerous to drink." Bell responded to this by saying, "That mailer sent out by Thomas Stith was a complete lie." Bell also said that Stith had no leadership experience.
Bell also has been accused of being anti-preservation, as his company, UDI, gets many Durham contracts to demolish historic structures.
|Mayor of Durham, North Carolina
2001 – current
- "Mayors Against Illegal Guns: Coalition Members".
- newsobserver.com | Local election season cranks up Friday
- newsobserver.com | Durham councilman takes on mayor
- abc11.com: Recent Durham murders at the center of mayoral race 10/16/07
- newsobserver.com | Mayor's race locked in on crime
- newsobserver.com | Durham mayoral candidates tangle
- Election Results :: WRAL.com
- newsobserver.com | Bell turns back Stith in Durham