Black Mountain names interim manager

Fred McCormick
Black Mountain News

Less than 48 hours after the abrupt resignation of Black Mountain town manager Matt Settlemyer, officials appointed an interim manager to take his place. 

Justin Hembree, who currently serves as executive director of the Land of Sky Regional Council, agreed to fill the position until a permanent replacement can be found. 

The town of Black Mountain named Land of Sky Regional Council executive director Justin Hembree interim town manager May 24, two days after Matt Settlemyer resigned abruptly.

Mayor Don Collins and the board of aldermen emerged from a closed session in Town Hall May 24 to unanimously appoint Hembree to the interim role. A statement from the town said aldermen will "continue their search for candidates in the coming weeks and will post necessary information on the town's website."

Town manager Matt Settlemyer resigns May 22

Prior to his current position on the Land of Sky Regional Council, Hembree served as county manager for his native Mitchell County, as well as assistant county manager for Henderson County. He has worked in government management for 15 years, according to the town. 

Hembree fills the position vacated May 22 when the board emerged from a closed session meeting and announced that Settlemyer, town manager since 2012, was resigning immediately. 

In a brief email after his resignation, Settlemyer said only that he was looking forward to pursuing new opportunities and appreciated everything the town of Black Mountain had done for him.