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|Preceded by||Sylvia S. Kerckhoff|
|Succeeded by||William V. Bell|
|Born||September 29, 1950
Hot Springs, Arkansas
Nicholas J. Tennyson (born September 29, 1950) served two terms as mayor of Durham, North Carolina from 1997 to 2001. Elected in November, 1997, Tennyson was re-elected in 1999 with almost two-thirds of the vote but lost a second re-election bid to Bill Bell by fewer than 500 votes in 2001.
Public service was a family tradition as his father had served as mayor of Arkadelphia, Arkansas, in the early 1950’s.
He campaigned on reducing crime, redevelopment of the urban core, and increased confidence in city administration. Tennyson was an active supporter of data based public safety efforts and instituted quarterly reports to Council – replacing past practice of an annual report. In spring 1999, before Tennyson's reelection to a second term, Durham experienced its largest drop in crime since 1971, when the city began keeping computerized statistics. The drop followed a national trend.
Downtown Durham and public-private partnerships were a key focus for him. The redevelopment of the American Tobacco Campus was cited as a major reason to put a restricted fund in place using a 1 cent property tax set-aside for infrastructure improvements that helped American Tobacco and later used for Parrish Street projects
Tennyson has served as the Executive Vice President of the Home Builders Association of Durham, Orange and Chatham Counties since 1995. (Mayors in North Carolina are part-time officials under the Council-Manager form of government.) He has a Bachelor Arts degree from Duke University and Masters in Human Resources Management from Pepperdine University.
A veteran of the US Navy, Tennyson served as a commissioned officer on active duty from 1972 - 1977. After leaving active duty, he continued his service as a member of US Naval Reserve, ultimately retiring In 1996 as a Captain.
He and his wife, Jennifer, have two sons and a daughter, all of whom were educated in Durham Public Schools.
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