Chapel Hill Chooses Blue for Interim Town Manager


By Terry E. Cohen

For some folks in Chapel Hill, it may have come as a bit of a surprise, and for others including the Town Council, it made perfect sense: in a unanimous vote Wednesday, the council selected retiring Chief of Police Chris Blue to be the interim town manager, starting on New Year’s Day 2023.

Until the search for a new town manager yields a permanent replacement for Maurice Jones, who announced his resignation from the position Tuesday based on assessing “personal priorities,” Blue will take the helm to implement daily and long-term operations of the town government.

Police Chief Chris Blue will serve as Chapel Hill Interim Town Manager, effective Jan. 1. Photo courtesy of the Town of Chapel Hill.

In a statement following the vote, Mayor Pam Hemminger referred to the appointment as a “unique opportunity,” given Blue’s long association with the Chapel Hill’s organization.

“Having Chris Blue in this important role will provide additional support and stability necessary so that we can continue the work of the Town as we search for our next town manager,” Hemminger said.

While many know Blue through his 12 years as the police chief, his more than 20 years serving Chapel Hill also include oversight of other departments: Parking Services, Building and Development Services, and Town Inspections, according to the official release, in which his interaction with the community was praised.

“It has been an honor to serve the community in which I grew up, received my education, and have spent my entire professional career,” Blue was quoted as saying. “I am humbled to be asked to step into this critical role and I look forward to supporting the remarkable work of our Town of Chapel Hill staff.”

Blue’s retires from the Chapel Hill Police Department on Dec. 31, just in time to step into his new responsibilities on Jan. 1.

 Terry E. Cohen is the editor of The Local Reporter. She also writes articles for a global media firm on topics related to Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) in business and industry.

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