Columbus hires new town manager

Published 1:09 pm Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Columbus has hired a new manager to guide its operations after being without a permanent manager since December.

Jonathan Kanipe was officially hired to replace former town manager Tim Holloman, who was fired last December by a newly elected council. Interim Town Manager Bob Shepherd has been temporarily filling the manager position since the beginning of this year.

Kanipe is currently town manager of Catawba, near Hickory, which is similar in size to Columbus. Kanipe is resigning his position there after serving for four years and will begin with Columbus the first day of the new fiscal year on July 1.

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Kanipe will be paid $55,200 annually.

Jonathan fit the profile developed by town council, says Columbus Mayor Eric McIntyre. He has experience as a town manager and that was in North Carolina, where laws, agencies and resources are somewhat unique. So he will not have a steep learning curve on these things and can focus more on the needs of Columbus immediately. Having grown up in our region, he will also have an idea of what to expect. His education and experience fit perfectly the profile we developed.

A native of Marion, Kanipe has an undergraduate degree from UNC and was named Outstanding Senior in 2002. He completed a masters of public administration at Appalachian State University in 2006, where he received the ASU Local Government Alumni Association Scholarship. He also completed an internship with the Town of Beech Mountain and holds a certificate of municipal administration from the UNC School of Government.

I look forward to beginning my tenure in Columbus and feel there is a great opportunity to make a positive impact for the town and citizens of Columbus, Kanipe says. I would like to thank the mayor and town council for this opportunity. I am pleased to return to Western North Carolina and my wife and I look forward to getting to know Columbus and the surrounding area much better.

Kanipe is a member of the International City and County Management Association and the North Carolina City and County Management Association, a Rotarian and is a licensed real estate agent. While in Catawba, he chaired the Western Piedmont Council of Governments, which worked on regional trails and greenways on behalf of the regional creation committee.

Kanipes wife holds a masters degree in history from Appalachian State, where she taught for two years. She works for the Catawba Science Center, a non-profit organization as an educator and teen volunteer coordinator. Kanipes parents reside in Marion, where his father is director of small businesses and industry training at McDowell Technical Community College and his mother is entering her 40th year as an elementary teacher at Nebo Elementary School.

Columbus received more than 60 applications for the manager position.