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Downtown 'Ambassadors' hit the streets

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Major, the bronze bull of CCB Plaza, was keeping an eye on downtown Ambassador Larry Brown this morning, as the 10-member Clean & Safe Ambassador team got a ceremonial introduction before heading off to keep the city center tidy, friendly and secure.

The Ambassadors are an element of the downtown Business Improvement District, a program for promoting the area and making sure visitors and potential investors have a good experience of downtown. The City Council levied a surtax of 7 cents per $100 valuation on property owners within the BID to pay for it.

Some of those property owners objected, organizing an unsuccessful "Stop the BID" campaign. Downtown Durham Inc.

"My hope is we will do a good enough job that over time they will become supporters of it," said Downtown Durham Inc. President Bill Kalkhof. "I'm convinced that it will make a difference ... but we've got to prove it."

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About the blogger

Jim Wise is a Durham News/N&O reporter and columnist who follows city and county government land-use and neighborhood issues. He's author of "Durham: A Bull City Story" and "Durham Tales: The Morris Street Maple, the Plastic Cow, the Durham Day That Was and More ... "