Hickory City Council appoints Jeff Cline as mayor
With Mayor Rudy Wright’s unexpected passing, City Council had to appoint a replacement to serve the remainder of the unexpired mayoral term, as detailed by North Carolina State Statute 160A-63. Mayor Pro-Tempore Vernon Tarlton will continue all roles and responsibilities of the Office of Mayor until Cline is sworn in at the June 6 City Council meeting.
Cline, a Hickory native, is a Senior Vice-President for BB&T Insurance Services. With a Bachelor of Science and a Masters of Business Administration from Wake Forest University, Cline joined the family business as a commercial insurance agent at Cline Southern Insurance Agency, which later sold to BB&T.
An active community member, Cline served on the Hickory City Council from 1995 to 1999. He has also served as the President of the Catawba County Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Economic Development Corporation, and Chairman of the Board for Catawba Memorial Hospital, which is now Catawba Valley Medical Center.
“This is a solemn and surreal time for our community and I want to reassure our citizens that the work of Mayor Wright goes forth and continues,” said Cline. “He was my friend and we worked closely together on the bond referendum. His vision for the city was thrilling and we will work to implement that vision.”
Cline and his wife, Joy, are members of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, parents to three married daughters, and the proud grandparents of one baby granddaughter.