Nicole Henning named Aspen City Clerk, has to rebuild office staff |

Nicole Henning named Aspen City Clerk, has to rebuild office staff

Aspen City’s newest clerk, Nicole Henning, poses for a portrait in her office in City Hall on Thursday, January 9, 2020.
Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times

Nicole Henning has been named Aspen’s City Clerk.

Henning, a former deputy clerk, is taking over for Linda Manning, who stepped down from her position in December.

Henning will oversee municipal elections, along with managing city records, liquor and marijuana licensing, municipal court operations, volunteer and quasi-judicial boards, and a department of four employees.

The first order of business for Henning is to hire three of those four employees. Three positions became vacant in the past two months. The same day Manning tendered her resignation, so did records manager Jeannine Stickle.

Longtime city employee Reed Patterson, who works in the Clerk’s Office and handles municipal court, retired this month.

“I get to build my team and get it to where I want it,” Henning said.

As deputy clerk for the past three years, Henning said she received the best training under Manning’s leadership.

“I got to work with the most amazing clerk, Linda, and I’m happy that I had the three years with her that I did,” she said.

Henning, whose salary is roughly $86,000, served as election manager in last year’s municipal election when Manning unsuccessfully ran for a council seat.

“I would say that was the quickest way for me to get my feet wet as far as that goes,” Henning said. “I think that was a huge part in me deciding that I wanted to be the clerk.

“It was an exciting time and especially with Linda running. It made it a fun experience.”

Manning recruited Henning to the clerk’s office from the building department.

“She had a feeling that this was the perfect job for me, and I quickly felt the same way,” Henning said. “And then shadowing Linda for the past three years gave me the motivation and desire to do the job.”

City Attorney Jim True, who oversees the Clerk’s Office, said he’s confident promoting from within is a wise choice for the department.

“Logically, she’s willing to take on this position and it’s the perfect, logical step,” he said. “We were just talking about how she kind of got thrown into the election. So she knows how to do that fairly well.”

What Henning won’t be doing that her predecessor did is bake treats for city staff and visitors.

“I’m not willing to keep fresh baked goods in the office,” Henning laughed.

But Manning’s tradition of hoola-hooping in Conner Park behind City Hall at 3 p.m. every Friday will continue.

The event has been jazzed up now that Manning gifted the Clerk’s Office a karaoke machine upon her departure.

Council will ratify Henning’s position Tuesday.