Chapel Hill Police Chief and Executive Director of Community Safety Chris Blue has been named the new Interim Town Manager of Chapel Hill, effective January 1. The appointment was announced by Mayor Pam Hemminger the day after the town announced that Maurice Jones will leave the Town Manager position on December 31.

Blue was set to retire on December 31 after 25 years of service with the police department. A celebration to mark his retirement was held earlier this week.

The town plans to begin their search for a permanent town manager in January. The process is expected to take 6-8 months.

Our take: Chief Blue is well-liked by those at town hall and has availability because he had planned to retire — but in general police chiefs and town managers come to the table with different skill sets. We think Blue will primarily be in the role to manage things until they find a new person, and see this as a “keep ships afloat” scenario.