Chapel Hill’s Town Manager Resigns


By Terry E. Cohen

This morning, Chapel Hill Town Manager Maurice Jones tendered his resignation, with his last day being Dec. 31, 2022. Announcement of the news came first via a press release from the Town, followed 25 minutes later by a statement from Mayor Pam Hemminger and the Chapel Hill Town Council.

According to the release, Jones, who has served in the town manager position for four-and-a-half years, cited having assessed “personal priorities” as the reason for his departure. Per the release, the Town Council plans to hold a special meeting at 5 p.m. tomorrow, Dec. 14, to formalize the appointment of an interim town manager while the search for a permanent replacement takes place over six to eight months, starting in January.

The mayor and council’s follow-up message sought to reassure the public that “that maintaining stability within the organization and advancing key initiatives are top priorities for the Town Council.”

Mayoral Aide Jeanne Brown told The Local Reporter that the Town did not anticipate any changes to its scheduled work. The Town has two deputy town managers, Loryn Clark and Mary Jane Nirdlinger. Because the matter constitutes a personnel issue (which typically has privacy protection in municipal and county governments), Brown said that further details from the Town about the resignation itself would be unlikely.

The special meeting to confirm an interim town manager will not be streamed live, but is open to the public on site per Brown.

During his tenure, Jones was tasked with implementation steps for several Town initiatives, including the first Climate Action and Response Plan, the launch of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), and a comprehensive compensation and classification study for town employees.

The Town’s numerous development projects, including two recently approved ventures—the “expedited entitlement review process” for affordable housing and the planning framework called “Complete Community”—also fall to the town manager’s direction of staff for implementation.

Hemminger and the council praised Jones in their message for his service to the Town through the pandemic and beyond, referring to him as “a steady hand” that has left “the Town on solid footing.”

Assignment Editor/Correspondent Michelle Cassell contributed to this article.

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.

Michelle Cassell is a seasoned reporter who has covered everything from crime to hurricanes and local politics to human interest over the course of 35 years.

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