Columbus Town Manager Jonathan Kanipe resigns

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Town of Columbus will have new direction soon as town manager Jonathan Kanipe announced his resignation last month.
Kanipe announced in May that he is resigning his position to accept the town administrator position for the Town of Biltmore.
photoKanipe is leaving Columbus on June 24 with council already hiring interim manager Timothy Barth, former Maggie Valley Town Manager, who will work with Kanipe while he works his notice. Barth began his employment with Columbus on Monday, June 9.
Leaving Columbus on good terms, Kanipe said he would not leave if he thought the town was in a bad position.
“I think Columbus is poised for some great things in the very near future and am excited to see what happens next,” Kanipe said. “The opportunity presented by Biltmore Forest was terrific, though, and allows me to experience some new and different challenges while keeping my family in western North Carolina.”
Columbus Mayor Eric McIntyre said as much as he hates to see Kanipe leave he knew early on that Kanipe would eventually move on to do bigger things.
“I hate to see him leave,” McIntyre said, “but I can’t blame him at all.”
McIntyre said Columbus is in great shape right now and said Kanipe is a good man who is good at keeping his word. He said he appreciates that Kanipe is eeing Columbus through its new budget.
“Someone who can do what Kanipe does, you’d think had 20-25 years (of experience) under his belt,” McIntyre said. The mayor also said the town is impressed with Barth so far.
Kanipe will have worked for Columbus almost four years when he leaves later this month. He was hired on July 6, 2010 and has guided Columbus through several projects, the largest being the rehabilitation of the town’s wastewater treatment plant. At the time the town decided to rehabilitate the plant, it was past its expected life and was at risk of state violations and fines if steps were not taken to improve the 40-year old facility.
Kanipe said he is very proud of Columbus department heads and employees who work for the town.
“The Columbus employees are terrific and do their jobs exceedingly well,” said Kanipe. “They believe a great deal in the service they provide to citizens and do an excellent job to make sure the needs are met for those in the community.
wI have enjoyed working with the town council as well and believe their cohesion and cooperation have resulted in significant progress for the town.”
Kanipe said he has also greatly enjoyed getting to know the people of Columbus and Polk County and is amazed each day by the generosity and goodwill that is exhibited here.
“Whether it be various volunteer committees or citizens that stop by to say hello and ask how things are going, there is a genuine sense of community here and it shows,” Kanipe said.

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