The Chapel Hill Town Council announced the appointment of Maurice Jones as the new town manager on Tuesday, July 10, 2018. His first official day as town manager was Sept. 2, 2018.
Jones served as city manager of Charlottesville, Va., since December 2010, after serving as the assistant city manager for several years. Charged with leading Charlottesville’s community relations efforts, Jones was instrumental in conducting a community race dialogue initiative, establishing a robust workforce development program, developing affordable housing policies, and carrying out a government operations efficiency study. He has also worked closely with neighborhood associations and residents on a variety of community issues.
“Maurice emerged as the best fit for Chapel Hill from a strong pool of candidates,” said Mayor Pam Hemminger. “Having spent almost 20 years working in a thriving college town, he has a wealth of experience addressing the town-gown relationships – including lessons learned during last year’s demonstrations. Additionally, he has proven successes in advancing affordable housing initiatives and understands the need for local government to be a catalyst in addressing the complex social issues of our times. Maurice also has strong passions for community engagement, the value of partnerships and the power of collaboration.”
“I want to thank the Town Council for affording me the opportunity to lead this outstanding organization,” Jones said. “Chapel Hill is rightfully regarded as one of the best places to live in our country. I look forward to working with the members of Council, Town staff and the people of Chapel Hill to enhance the quality of life for all members of this wonderful community and to ensure that future growth reflects the Town’s vision and values.”
Jones was first hired by the City of Charlottesville in 1999 to serve as communications director. During his six years in the position, he built a national award winning communications department responsible for management of public and media relations; the city website; and community government, public and educational access television channels.
In 2005, he took a position at the Miller Center Foundation, the fundraising arm of the University of Virginia’s Miller Center of Public Affairs where he worked closely with the center’s director, former Virginia Governor Gerald Baliles. He returned to the City of Charlottesville in February 2008 to become assistant city manager.
Originally from Dale City, Va., Jones graduated from James Madison University with a bachelor’s degree in communications. He also holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the Darden School Business at the University of Virginia.
He and his wife, Michele, have five children.
The Council conducted an extensive nationwide search for the position, gathering initial public input at listening sessions, and via social media and surveys. Chapel Hill residents were also selected for participation in an assessment center that engaged candidates in simulated scenarios. The recruitment and selection process began in February 2018, and the Council began reviewing applications in April.
Chapel Hill has a council-manager form of government. The nine council members, including the mayor, are elected. The council appoints the town manager. Each has a different set of responsibilities. The council sets policies; the town manager and his/her staff carry them out. As a professional administrator, the town manager coordinates all day-to-day operations and administration of about 700 employees and an annual budget of about $100 million.