Columbia names new city administrator

Columbia-City-HallThe Columbia City Council made a big move at Monday’s meeting – they unanimously passed a resolution to name James Morani as the new city administrator to fill vacancy that will be left when current city administrator Al Hudzik retires this fall.

“Columbia is a community that I think has a lot of great things going for it and I’m just excited about being able to have the opportunity to work here and work with all of you,” Morani told the council.

Although currently a resident of Oakville, Mo., Morani lived in the metro east for more than 15 years, and his parents live just south of Columbia. For the past 4.5 years, Morani has worked as the village administrator for New Baden. Prior to that, he was the city administrator of Vandalia.

Previously, he worked as a policy analyst for the Illinois House or Representatives. Since July 1, Morani has served as president of the Southwestern Illinois City/County Management Association and on the

Board of Directors for the Illinois City/County Management Association. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and a Master of Public Administration from SIUE. He also holds credentials from the International City/County Management Association and the International Public Management Association for Human Resources.

“I plan to help continue the city’s efforts to enhance the quality of life for its residents and strengthen the local economy,” Morani said.

Morani’s first day of work will be Oct. 20, with a base salary of $88,000.

Hudzik said he plans to leave his position shortly after Morani begins his job, but that there will probably be some overlap of the two.

Also at Monday’s meeting, Columbia Police Chief Joe Edwards announced that CPD Sergeant Mike Conrad has been promoted to assistant squad leader within the Metro East Auto Theft Task Force, which is a multi-jurisdictional group of law enforcement personnel who work specifically on motor vehicle theft law enforcement.

“The director spoke very highly of him, and wanted me to pass on this thanks to the city for sending such an incredible police officer to their task force,” Edwards said.

Also, the council offered a reminder that the next meeting will be Tuesday, Sept. 2, due to the Labor Day holiday. It will begin at 6:50 p.m., to allow for a public hearing on a proposed commercial development by Joe Koppeis on the north end of Columbia.

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Andrea F.D. Saathoff

Andrea is a graduate of Gibault High School and the University of Missouri School of Journalism, the University of Missouri Harry S Truman School of Public Affairs and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville College of Education. She lives in Columbia with her husband and their twin toddler sons. When she isn't cheering on St. Louis Cardinals baseball or riding the emotional roller coaster of Mizzou Tigers football, she enjoys attending and participating in the many family events the county has to offer. email:
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