Thursday, May 19, 2016

Lathen leaving BOCC early to head C.S. Forward

Posted By on Thu, May 19, 2016 at 5:13 PM

Lathen: hanging up her government hat for a eco-devo job. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Lathen: hanging up her government hat for a eco-devo job.
El Paso County Commissioner Amy Lathen has taken a job with Colorado Springs Forward and will resign her office on July 11, the nonprofit said in a news release this afternoon.

Lathen, an unsuccessful candidate for Colorado Springs mayor last year, is paid $87,300 a year as a commissioner. Her pay at CSF was not disclosed.

CSF is a politically active group, formed a few years ago, whose political action committee backed John Suthers for mayor.

Lathen could have sought another term as commissioner but chose not to run.  Lathen is prevented from seeking another term by term limits.

Springs City Council legislative analyst Tim Geitner and former state Rep. Mark Waller are vying for the Republican nomination in Lathen's commissioner district. That race will be decided at the June 28 primary election.

Democrat Michael Seraphin had mounted a campaign in District 2 but shut down his bid after finding out he didn't declare as a Democrat soon enough to be placed on the ballot.

Lathen's replacement for the final six months of her term as county commissioner will be chosen by a vacancy committee comprised of Republican precinct people in District 2, who number about 90 to 100. The appointment must take place within 10 days of her resignation date or Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, would appoint her successor, according to El Paso County Republican Party executive Daniel Cole.

The obvious appointee will be the primary winner.

Here's the CFS press release about Lathen:
Colorado Springs Forward is pleased to announce that Amy Lathen will take the helm as executive director in July. Since 2008, Lathen has served on the El Paso County Board of County Commissioners, for District 2. Currently, she is chair of the board, and for the past seven years has served as chair, vice-chair and third commissioner.

In order to give the vacancy committee sufficient time to prepare, she will resign from the county on July 11, after the June 28 primary election. This ensures that voters’ voices in District 2 will be heard – and the vacancy committee will be guided by the electorate when making the appointment. She is resigning six months early to lead Colorado Springs Forward.

“It has been an extraordinary privilege to serve the citizens of El Paso County for nearly a decade,” Lathen said.
“I look forward to bringing more success and prosperity to the Pikes Peak region by helping private-sector economic development through Colorado Springs Forward.”

Amy Lathen’s accomplishments with El Paso County
During her time with the county, El Paso County’s credit rating with Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s was increased twice. Lathen chaired the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority, founded the El Paso County Groundwater Quality Study group, co-hosted the Regional Stormwater Taskforce/Steering Committee in 2012, increased the amount of Road and Bridge dollars for District 2 (through reprioritization of existing funds), founded the Barriers to Business group, and increased the County’s Sunshine Review rating for transparency to an A+, to name just a few accomplishments.

“Although we’ve had great success over the past few years, there is still plenty of work to do. We are thrilled to have Amy Lathen and excited to work with a full-time executive director to accomplish our goals around elections and a vibrant economy,” said Lynette Crow-Iverson, chairwoman of the CSF board of directors.

“With her extraordinary experience in this region and expertise in legislative policy development, Amy will be a powerful force for enacting positive economic changes in this community.”

Recent accomplishments and activities of Colorado Springs Forward
CSF had been instrumental in supporting Measure 2C, which passed in November, allocating 0.62 percent of sales tax for five years to repair roads, and Measure 2D, which also passed and allowed the city to retain $2.1 million in excess revenue above the TABOR cap, to invest in repairing local trails and parks sidewalks.

Acting as the governing board of Colorado Springs Utilities, the Colorado Springs City Council has been going through a public process to consider a separate board of directors to govern the multi-million-dollar municipally owned utility.

Colorado Springs Forward supports and provides public awareness for the creation of a separate board to govern the Colorado Springs Utilities, believing as the city continues to grow, that City Council and the utility functions both merit their own focused oversight.

CSF also believes any new separate board should be given the appropriate level of authority to do their job for the utility – most specifically both responsibility for their budget and for the setting of utility rates.

In addition, one of CSF’s functions is to encourage effective leadership. In the past 18 months, CSF endorsed John Suthers for mayor; Merv Bennett, Tom Strand and Jariah Walker for City Council; Scott Turner for El Paso County Commissioner District 4; and Mark Waller for El Paso County Commissioner District 2. (To date, CSF has not endorsed a candidate for District 3.)

The future for Colorado Springs Forward
With the advent of Lathen’s leadership as a full-time executive director, CSF will be able to strengthen its position in the community to help shape public policy that will benefit the region economically and politically.

Colorado Springs Forward is a non-profit, broad-based alliance of people and organizations that care deeply about and are committed to the success of the Pikes Peak region. Colorado Springs Forward was formed by a group of community leaders in April 2014, to re-establish Colorado Springs as the most inviting and respected city in which to live, work and play. Board members include: Lynette Crow-Iverson (Chair), Phil Lane, Kathy Loo, Douglas Stimple, Jariah Walker, and Tom Neppl.

Colorado Springs Forward’s mission is to unite the citizens, communities and organizations of the Pikes Peak region to educate, collaborate and coordinate so that, together, they can effectively address the challenges and opportunities faced by our region. They will lead with words and actions, with a sense of urgency, so that together we can reach our full potential and an excellent quality of life.

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