Aaron Chirpich Named City Manager 

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City Events 2024 Elections

Aaron Chirpich Named City Manager 

Aaron Chirpich, the City’s Assistant City Manager and Community Development Director, was named City Manager at the June 24, 2024, City Council Meeting following a national search. On June 25, Chirpich officially took over for Kevin Hansen, who had served as Interim City Manager since April 2023. 

Bringing nearly two decades of public sector experience, Aaron Chirpich is well-equipped to serve as the City Manager of Columbia Heights. His career, which began in 2007 as a development specialist for the Headwaters Regional Development Commission (HRDC), has seen him in various key roles. He was the HRDC Development Director, spent almost five years as the community development specialist with the City of New Hope, and joined the City of Columbia Heights as the Community Development Director in April 2019.  

Most recently, he was promoted to Community Development Director and Assistant City Manager for the City of Columbia Heights. As Community Development Director/Assistant City Manager, he participated in labor negotiations and worked as a policy advisor on all major issues.   

Throughout his time with the City of Columbia Heights, Chirpich has primarily overseen the Community Development Department, comprised of a building official, city planner, community development coordinator, administrative assistant, and a newly created building inspector position.   

 The Columbia Heights Community Development is responsible for the long-range planning of City development and zoning, enforcement of land-use control ordinances and Building Code, administration of permits and licenses, coordination of economic development activities, and assemblage of the Comprehensive Plan.  

 Since joining the City of Columbia Heights in 2019, Chirpich has worked on numerous redevelopment projects, such as opening the new City Hall location at 3989 Central Ave NE, a 62-unit affordable housing unit located at 800 42nd Ave NE, and being the lead staff contact for the redevelopment at 4300 Central Ave NE.   

 Chirpich, along with City staff and elected officials, will continue to work on future redevelopment projects in Columbia Heights, such as 4300 Central Ave NE and 800 53rd Ave NE. In addition to the major redevelopment projects on the horizon, the City of Columbia Heights is working towards replacing its aging park system, John P. Murzyn Hall, and Public Works Building.  

Chirpich graduated from Bemidji State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history with a minor in political science, pre-law emphasis. He furthered his educational background with a Master of Public Administration degree from Metropolitan State University.   

With Chirpich's naming as the City Manager, Kevin Hansen will resume his previous role as Public Works Director.