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New Cherryville City Manager named

JENNA-LEY HARRISON
Staff Writer
In less than a month, Lowell’s city manager Ben Thomas Blackburn Jr., will return to Cherryville to fill the same position, one he first served in his hometown a decade ago, according to a press release sent to the Times-News today.
City Council “was in full support” of the decision to hire Blackburn, who was one of 21 applicants and one of eight individuals who met all job description requirements, the release said.
The Cherryville native, who served as the city’s manager from 2000 to 2002 and planning/community development director from 1994 to 2000, is set to assume the city manager position a second time on Dec. 1, since he’s currently working on completing a number of projects in Lowell before switching cities.
“I have the responsibility to wrap them up,” he told the Times-News.
Blackburn couldn’t be more thrilled to return to Cherryville, where he’s maintained his residence during his 10-year tenure with Lowell.
“That’s where I was born and raised, and I’m going back home,” he said.
During a year when Cherryville has undergone investigations by both the State Bureau and Federal Bureau of Investigations involving alleged crooked cops and city employees, Blackburn looks forward to restoring citizens’ “confidence in government” and has no doubt his city is still comprised of “good people.”
In the same way someone’s life isn’t defined by one aspect, but rather its entirety, he said the city of Cherryville is not defined by its shameful moments.
“Cherryville will see itself through,” he said. “It’s a town of resilience. It has that at its core.”
The city will pay Blackburn $72,000 per year for the city manager position, the release said.
Blackburn and his wife Robin, a local middle school teacher, have two children, Alex and Emily, and are active members of Cherryville’s First United Methodist Church.

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