HICKORY, N.C. – The City of Hickory has a new mayor.

On Tuesday, the City Council voted unanimously to appoint Jeff Cline to the position of Mayor.

Cline, a Hickory native, is a Senior Vice President for BB&T Insurance Services, according to city officials. He is a former member of the Hickory City Council, serving from 1995-1999, and also served as the President of the Catawba County Chamber of Commerce.

Cline will be sworn in at the June 6 City Council meeting. Until he is sworn in, Mayor Pro-Tempore Vernon Tarlton will continue all roles and responsibilities of the Officer of Mayor.

“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.”