By Carl Blankenship
CHAPEL HILL — Chapel Hill gained a new town manager with a familiar face Monday evening.
Chris Blue, who has served in the interim town manager role since Jan. 1, was appointed during a special meeting of the Chapel Hill Town Council called Monday evening. The lone agenda item was approval of a town manager employment contract.
The attending council members unanimously appointed Blue. Council members Tai Huynh and Adam Searing were absent. Blue’s permanent appointment is effective Aug. 1
Blue made a lateral move into town administration after a career in law enforcement. He is the town’s former police chief and took on the interim manager role after former manager Maurice Jones departed at the end of 2022.
“I am so appreciative to the Council for their trust in me and to our amazing Town team for their support, guidance and leadership over these last few months,” Blue is quoted in a press release. “I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish together for our community in the months and years ahead.”
Blue is a 1990 UNC-Chapel Hill graduate with a bachelor’s degree in radio, television and motion pictures. He worked in the restaurant business before joining the town police department in 1997 and worked his way through the ranks until he was promoted to chief in 2010. Blue was also awarded a master’s of public administration degree in 2005.
A release from the town described Blue as an innovative leader who “has received statewide accolades for efforts to advance progressive law enforcement.”
“In making this choice, the Council conducted an extensive national search and interviewed a number of highly qualified candidates,” Mayor Pam Hemminger is quoted in the release. “In the end, Chris’ leadership abilities, experience and demonstrated record of success in Chapel Hill led the Council to select him as our permanent Manager. All of us are excited about our choice and we are looking forward to working with Chris as he takes on this role permanently.
The Local Reporter has requested Blue’s contract from the town.