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City of Lenoir hires Public Information Officer

LENOIR, NC (October 23, 2017)…The City of Lenoir is pleased to announce that Joshua Harris has been hired to serve as the city’s new Public Information Officer. Harris will join the city with more than 15 years of experience working in communications.

“I’m really excited about joining the team here in Lenoir,” Harris said. “There’s a lot going on in Lenoir – a great downtown, fantastic recreation opportunities, fun events. I look forward to telling everyone about all the exciting things happening around town.”

Harris was born in Lenoir and grew up in Granite Falls. He graduated from South Caldwell High School, and earned a Bachelor’s in English Literature from UNC Greensboro. After university, Harris worked as a reporter for several newspapers in North Carolina, including The News-Topic in Lenoir and The News Herald in Morganton. For the past 10 years, Harris has served as the Public Information Officer for the City of Morganton.

City Manager Scott Hildebran said Harris is a great fit for Lenoir, and his knowledge of various media platforms will help enhance the city’s communication with the media, citizens, and city employees.

“As a Caldwell County native and resident, Joshua knows, understands, and is committed to our community. He has more than 15 years experience in reporting and informing citizens about their local government,” Hildebran said. “He is well-respected by his public information peers and is known for producing high caliber work. We are excited and fortunate to have him join our team.” City Manager Hildebran stated Harris will start work for the city on November 13, 2017.

As PIO, Harris will assume many of the responsibilities previously held by long time Communications and Resource Director, Kaye Reynolds, who retired in September of 2017. In his role, Harris will work to inform the community about what is going on in the City of Lenoir government and in Lenoir in general. He’ll serve as a point of contact for the public, and provide information about city services and events to the media, residents, and businesses. Harris will also work with the city Main Street Office and the Lenoir Tourism Development Authority to spread the word about Lenoir across the region.

“It’s important that the public know what is happening in their local government,” Harris said. “An informed and engaged citizenry is key to building a prosperous community, and I plan to work hard to make sure Lenoir’s residents are informed.”

Harris said he also wants to make sure residents feel comfortable asking questions and that they know where to go to find information.

“Local government can get complicated sometimes. For example, cities raise revenue many different ways – property tax, sales tax, grants, financing, etc. – and sometimes certain money has to be spent certain ways,” Harris said. “Often, that’s not obvious, so it’s important that if our residents have questions about the way the City works, they ask, and if they ask me, I’ll get them the answer.”

In his free time, Harris enjoys hiking, camping, and driving through backwoods trails. He’s lived all across North Carolina, and he even spent a year overseas, but he said he has never lived anywhere as beautiful as the North Carolina mountains.

“I love the mountains, and I love western North Carolina,” Harris said. “There’s no place like it, and there’s no place I’d rather be.”

Harris and his wife Sarah have three children ages eight, six, and four. They live in the Baton area and attend Faith Presbyterian Church in Morganton.