Guest commentary: Aspen council candidate Manning explains why she want to change roles
10,779. That’s how many hours I’ve spent as the City Clerk. A typical city job is 40 hours a week. As city clerk, I’ve worked 850 hours over that attending City Council meetings, staffing HPC and P&Z meetings and working on elections. I love my job as city clerk. I love being the keeper of the records and looking for the odd approval from the 1950s. I love that I’m the marijuana expert for the city and our representative on the Valley Marijuana Council. I love that I get to interact with my neighbors when they come in to pay their utility bill and I’m covering the information desk.
The No. 1 question I get is why I would give up a job that I love to do, pays well and I’m good at to run for City Council.
City Council needs me. They need someone who lives in workforce housing. I’ve been a renter since I moved here. I know what it is like to apply for lottery after lottery and never finish higher than 24th.
Council needs someone who will have to work at least 40 hours a week to pay the bills. Doing what, I’m not sure yet. But I’m confident I’ll find something suitable and that works with my City Council schedule.
Council is now charged with one of its most critical tasks in hiring a city manager. I have spent the past 10 years working side by side with city staff and the community. I know firsthand the type of leadership we need to get the most from staff while encouraging growth and development and fostering relationships with the community. Who better than me to be part of the council that selects the next city manager?
Most importantly, I want to continue working with the business community. We need to do everything possible to remove barriers to doing business in this town instead of putting them up. As a council member I will be more effective in making this happen.
I’ve attended all but one and a half regular council meetings since I’ve been city clerk. I’ve read every memo in every packet. I have the relationships with staff to ask questions if something doesn’t make sense. As a staff member I know the need for clear direction, and I will not be afraid to give it as a councilmember.
We all want what is best for Aspen. I just see it through the eyes of a full-time worker who has spent the past 10 years inside City Hall. It is time for a change in the makeup of our City Council. I am asking you to vote for me and let someone with 10 years of public service and who is truly part of the working class to be part of City Council.
Leading up to the March 5 municipal election, The Aspen Times is publishing one guest commentary from each candidate. Manning’s website is linda4aspen.com, and she can be reached at Linda4Aspen@gmail.com.