New Columbus manager ‘getting up to speed’

Published 12:45 pm Monday, August 23, 2010

New Columbus Town Manager Jonathan Kanipe has been learning about the town and its issues for a couple of months now and says hes feeling pretty good about his new role.

Kanipe, who was hired at the beginning of July, says he is impressed with the town’s people and the council members. He also says the town staffs knowledge has been a big help.

Kanipe says he has spent much of the past couple of months getting up to speed on issues of the town and dealing with the day to day operations as they come up.

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He has been working with Foster Creek developers, including meeting with the partners about the current plans for the development.

Hes also talked with Lynn Sprague about the upcoming Columbus Farm Festival as well as working on the sidewalk project proposed for Hwy. 108, which will be done when the N.C. Department of Transportation does curb work there this year.

Im trying to learn what issues were going on before I got here, Kanipe says. Theres definitely been a lot to get into, but Im feeling pretty caught up to speed.

Kanipe was hired this year to replace former town manager Tim Holloman, who was fired after the new town council was sworn in last December.

Kanipe grew up in Marion, N.C., where his parents still live, and came to Columbus after serving as the Catawba town manager for the past few years.

Catawba is similar in size to Columbus, with both having approximately 1,000 residents.

He graduated from the University of North Carolina, then earned a masters degree in public administration from Appalachian State University. He did an internship with the Town of Beech Mountain. He also holds a certificate of municipal administration from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hills School of Government.

Kanipe is also 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. He also chaired the Western Piedmont Council of Governments while he worked in Catawba.

Kanipe was chosen by the town out of about 60 applicants. Town council members and the mayor have said they think Kanipe is a good fit for Columbus.