The city of Aspen has chosen internal candidate Linda Manning to succeed City Clerk Kathryn Koch, who is retiring after 43 years of public service.
The 36-year-old Manning, who will earn $68,297 annually in the position, has been a city employee for four years, serving as records manager at the Clerk’s Office for the past six months. Before that, she served as accounts receivable manager for Utility Billing and Finance. She has a degree in geology and archaeology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
“I hope to keep the Clerk’s Office as a friendly reliable resource for information and to expand the ways it is available to the public,” Manning said in a statement. “Kathryn has been a great role model and (I) look forward to the challenge of filling her shoes.”
Before joining the city, Manning worked as store manager at BMC West and Harbert Lumber.
Clerk’s duties include directing and managing city records, liquor and marijuana licensing, City Hall communications, city elections and municipal-court operations. The search for a new city clerk, which began in February, called for a candidate with at least five years of experience. Finance Director Don Taylor, who oversees the position, said that because Manning was an internal candidate, she deserved an interview.
“She’s pretty highly regarded, and that showed through in the interview process,” he said.
Koch, who announced her retirement in January, said in a statement that she has felt honored working as Aspen’s city clerk.
“This is one of the greatest jobs in the valley,” she said. “It’s very diverse, and I get to work with a wide variety of internal and external customers. From records management to elections, special events to working with businesses and voters, it has all been such a joy.”
Taylor regarded working with Koch as “one of the highlights of my career.”
“She has always conducted herself with professionalism and integrity (and) her deep appreciation for the Aspen community always guided her actions in her job,” he said in a statement.
When Koch started in 1974, City Hall had two floors and there were only two people in the planning department, which was shared between the city and county. During her tenure, Aspen became one of the first jurisdictions in Colorado to televise its council meetings.
“We have done a great job keeping up with the changes,” she said. “We have more boards and commissions, more personnel and more citizen involvement than in the ’70s.”
Mayor Steve Skadron said that Koch will be missed.
“I can’t thank Kathryn enough for her steady calm at the council table and patient guidance behind the scenes,” he said. “It’s a privilege to have been one of her Aspen mayors — from Eve to Steve.”
Manning will start in her new position May 1, and the search for her replacement will begin immediately, Taylor said.