Columbia City Administrator James “Jimmy” Morani submitted his letter of resignation following the April 1 meeting of the Columbia City Council meeting, but it was no April Fools’ joke.
Morani, who has lived in the area since 1995 and worked for Columbia since 2014, has accepted a position as town manager in Abingdon, Va.
“I have enjoyed living and working in Columbia,” Morani said. “At this point in my career, I evaluated my long-term career goals and what was in my family’s best interests. The town manager position in Abingdon, Va. presents a unique opportunity for me with new challenges. And, like Columbia, it is a wonderful place to raise a family.”
Morani says he is most proud of the work he and the council did “to establish a collaborative team environment with department leadership… in order to maintain the effective delivery of public services.”
That effort was furthered by the several city department heads Morani helped hire during his tenure.
“Working with the mayor and city council for the past four and a half years, we have hired several new department heads who have helped further advance a culture of cooperation within the organization,” Morani said. “It truly is a team effort at the city of Columbia.”
In his new role in Abingdon, Morani said he wants to “strike a balance of preservation and growth” in a city whose economy is based on a historical downtown district as well as a developing commercial district.
Morani, whose father served in the military, lived on the east coast for the first 12 years of his life. He said he was excited to find a new challenge in an area that has a similar culture as the Midwest.
Morani added that he plans to return to this area often.
“My parents live in Monroe County and my wife’s family lives just across the river,” he noted. “I look forward to seeing everyone when I am in town.”
Morani’s final day as Columbia’s city administrator will be May 3.