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College Graduate Ready To Start New Job As Kenly Town Manager

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KENLY, N.C. — With the economy still struggling, a lot of college graduates are having a tough time finding a job, much less a job at the top, but that is right where a Wake County native is headed. He is getting an unique graduation gift -- the keys to a town.

Tony Sears is only 24, and what a summer he is having.

"You know, graduate, get a job and get married all about the same time, so I figured if I was going to do it, I was going to do it. I was going to do it all at once," he said.

Sears will graduate from Appalachian State this weekend, but he is already on the job. He is the new town manager in Kenly.

"There are definitely some challenges," Sears said. "Mostly being that academia is not always coinciding with the real world, and you learn about things in school and it's time to apply those and see how much you remember and how ready you are."

When outgoing town manager Ed Temple first took office, Sears was learning to drive.

"He's right out of school. He's got all of the new ideas from the school. I'm sure that they will be great in this town," he said.

Sears says there is another reason Kenly is a good fit for him. It reminds him of Apex, the place he grew up. He officially starts work full-time in July, but he is working part-time now and shaking a lot of hands.

"They seem ready to make a lot of changes. In the interview process, that was one of the words they continued to use was that they're ready to make some changes and I'm ready to come in and help them make some changes," Sears said. "[I'll] help them move forward in the best way the town sees fit."

Sears is still looking for a place to live. He and his fiancee plan to tie the knot next month.


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