Columbia Borough building

- When: Council meeting, January 14

- What happened: Candie L. Johnson, who formerly served as township manager for West Earl Township, will serve as interim borough manager while it searches for a permanent replacement for former Manager Rebecca S. Denlinger. Johnson, who resigned her position in West Earl in September due to what she says was a “difference of personalities” with supervisors, will be paid $40 per hour while serving as Columbia’s interim manager.

- Why it matters: Denlinger leaves Columbia as a number of high-profile projects are underway or about to start, including the $2.2 million renovation of the borough’s historic market house. While the transition plan calls for relying heavily upon the borough’s professional advisers, such as the borough’s engineers, council sought an interim manager to run day-to-day operations while it searches for Denlinger’s replacement. Denlinger previously told council such a plan would mean council would not need to rush and will have time for a proper search.

- Background: Johnson got her start in municipal government in 1997, when she was hired as an accounting clerk in Northern Lebanon Township in Lebanon County. After working in codes and zoning for four other municipalities, she was appointed as West Earl’s manager in June 2014. Denlinger, who in December was named Elizabethtown’s new manager, came to Columbia in January 2018 as the borough’s community and economic development director and assistant borough manager. Denlinger was promoted to borough manager in June 2018.

- Quotable: “I promise to the Borough Council and the residents of Columbia to be a good captain, to manage the ship and do the best I can for you at this point,” Johnson said in brief remarks during the meeting.

- Other vacancy: The borough also is searching for a new planning and zoning manager to replace Jeff Helms, who retired at the end of last year. No hiring timetable has been set by council.