Unchallenged for 16 years, Vos Caudill retires as Pitkin County Clerk

Janice Vos Caudill outside of the Pitkin County office building in Aspen on Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022. (Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times)

After 16 years as Pitkin County’s Clerk and Recorder, Janice Vos Caudill resigned Tuesday with about a year left on her fourth term in office.

“Really, it’s all about me retiring,” Vos Caudill said. “It’s time for me to focus on my third chapter in life — and that’s retirement.”

She said she was hiking with a friend recently and experienced shooting pain in her back and legs and couldn’t continue. The incident felt like a shot across the bow, and Vos Caudill said she decided soon after to take advantage of her overall good health and that of her husband and quit working.

“Like everyone, you take a step back and you assess life,” she said. “Do I want quality of life and my health or do I want to work five more years.”

Vos Caudill submitted a letter of resignation, effective April 1, and officially resigned Tuesday in front of Pitkin County commissioners at the board’s regular weekly work session. She told them she wanted to spend more time with her husband, family and friends “who still recognize me” and take advantage of the Aspen area’s hiking and skiing.

Vos Caudill, whose husband grew up in Aspen, said they plan to stay in Aspen once she retires.

“Everyone said today there are going to be really big and difficult shoes to fill,” Pitkin County Manager Jon Peacock said Tuesday.

Board Chairwoman Kelly McNicholas Kury, who worked as elections manager under Vos Caudill before she was elected to the board in 2018, said she will miss late-night venting sessions in Vos Caudill’s office.

“She’s one of the hardest working civil servants in our community,” McNicholas Kury said. “She’s been a real mentor to me, and a friend.”

Other members of the board congratulated Vos Caudill and thanked her for her years of service.

Vos Caudill, a Wisconsin native, moved to Colorado in 1998 and was appointed Pitkin County’s Clerk and Recorder in 2005. She’s been elected to four four-year terms in office since then — the last in 2018 — and no one has ever run against her.

Back in 2014, she told The Aspen Times she wasn’t sure why no one ever filed to challenge her.

“The joke in our department is, ‘Who would want this job?'” Vos Caudill said at the time.

Reminded of the quote Tuesday, Vos Caudill laughed.

“It really is very rewarding,” she said.

Pitkin County will post a job notice on its website beginning Wednesday advertising for a replacement for Vos Caudill. Applicants must be a registered Pitkin County voter and must have lived in the county for at least the past year.

Commissioners will try to appoint a replacement clerk by March 1 to give that person a month to shadow Vos Caudill before she retires. The county also might contract with her for a brief period to smooth the transition, Peacock said.

Vos Caudill’s term ends Jan. 10, 2023.