Mayoral candidate Amy Lathen: “I think there is a different way to do this”

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. — The 2015 Colorado Springs General Election is a little more than three weeks away, on April 7. FOX21 is interviewing each of the mayoral candidates trying to earn your vote for the city government’s top spot.

We begin with Amy Lathen, currently serving as Vice-Chair of the Board of County Commissioners for El Paso County. Lathen represents District 2, and has done so since 2008. She’s the first re-elected rep from that district in more than 20 years. She has also served as chairwoman of the county board. She is a Colorado native, Rampart High School graduate, UCCS graduate and mother of three, successfully managing family and career over the years.

Lathen is one of two women on the ballot for mayor of Colorado Springs in a field of six, and one of only a few with local government experience.

“Some folks came to me a little over a year ago and asked, ‘Would you be interested in looking at some of those things you’ve done at the county and bringing them to the city and running for mayor?’ After talking about the heavy lift that this is and talking with my family, we made a decision that yes, I think there is a different way to do this,” said Lathen.

Her record speaks for itself. She says her public achievements include transforming county government, reducing bureaucracy, cutting spending, increasing transparency, increasing the county credit rating, and implementing citizen budget oversight.

“I am not afraid to make a decision,” Lathen said. I’m not afraid to strap on a backbone and do what is right, but I am very collaborative and very intentional about talking with people first. If anybody thinks they can do this alone, they’re absolutely wrong.”

Her experience both past and present, working in the trenches and forming relationships, helps her stand out.

“This puts me in a position to not only know where the skeletons are buried, but how to proceed,” Lathen said. “How to go forward. And say look, I don’t have a theory. I have something that’s proven. I’ve been there. I’ve done it.”

Lathen said her personal commitments to the region separate her from others seeking the same office.

“I’ve been here through this community’s disasters that we’ve all gone through together, and been there with people while they’re crying, and sifting ashes with them,” Lathen said. “Going through recovery. But all of that experience in addition to just the nitty gritty of daily local government administration puts me in a different position.”

Lathen is in favor of bipartisanship, increased communication, and creating a new culture without government in-fighting. She says knowing how to listen is the most important thing she’s learned over the years.

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