Isanti welcomes new Deputy City Clerk

Karissa Henning also works in human resources

By Elizabeth Sias

The city of Isanti recently welcomed one of its newest employees.

Karissa Henning started in July as the Human Resources/Deputy City Clerk.

Henning graduated from the University of Minnesota in May 2011 with a degree in Human Resource Development. She said she found out about the opening in Isanti through the job postings listed on the League of Minnesota Cities website.

Karissa Henning is the city of Isanti’s new Human Resources/Deputy City Clerk. Photo by Elizabeth Sias

Working both in HR and as the Deputy City Clerk alongside City Administrator/City Clerk Don Lorsung, Henning, from Maple Grove, is responsible not only for personnel work, employee benefits, training and development regarding policies and procedures and all employee files, but also for sending out City Council agenda packets, City Council paperwork and files, recording the audio and minutes of City Council meetings, licensing and permits, updating the city website, and sending out publications and postings.

She decided to apply because a lot of it entails human resources work, but she’s enjoyed the administrative duties as well. With elections coming  up, she said she’s looking forward to her involvement in the process.

“It’s a big learning curve,” Henning said. “It’s fun though. I’m not sure what I’ll be doing in the elections—I’ll be learning as I go. It will be interesting to see all the behind-the-scenes work.”

Before starting with Isanti, Henning had an internship with the city of Maplewood’s HR department from the summer of her junior year to the summer of her senior year in college.

“I really liked my internship with the city of Maplewood,” she said. “I liked the environment of being in a city and the committees. I feel like cities are very proactive.”

After her internship, she knew she wanted to continue working in local government. She said the difference in Maplewood and Isanti is that with a smaller city, people tend to take on more tasks—much like her dual roles in HR and as the Deputy City Clerk.

Becoming acclimated and learning about the deputy city clerk position has been her biggest challenge, but Henning said she’s enjoyed learning. She hopes to become more familiarized with the filing system and eventually review policies to ensure everything in place is up to date.

“I really enjoy my coworkers and I also really enjoy all of the learning I’ve done,” she said. “There’s a lot of work, primarily from the deputy clerk side, that I didn’t know of, like the process of getting a license, or getting something approved through council. That was all a learning process to see how a city runs.”