The new falcon herald logo.
El Paso County Colorado District 49

The fight for local control

In my opinion, much time spent in the first five months of every year, when our state legislators are in session, is time that should make all of us a bit nervous about our liberties and rights. I say this because I strongly believe that the majority of bills, which are proposed in our state Legislature, carry with them more regulations and burdens that restrict our freedoms than good ideas that enrich our lives and protect our liberties.One of the best things that can happen to the majority of proposed legislation is for it to find the closest trash bin. We are blessed to have a number of legislators locally who are known for “killing bills,” which in most cases, protects our liberties.Another effect of this over-legislation has been the erosion of local control. Local control in governance is a cornerstone of our Constitution and puts the power with the people – where it was intended. Our Constitution, written not as a democracy but as a representative republic, holds the government in check and prevents the majority (acting through their government in a purely democratic model) from violating the rights of the individual. In a democratic model the majority rules. This is destructive of liberty because there is no law to prevent the majority from trampling on individual rights. My husband and I like the old saying, “a democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what’s for dinner.”Okay, why the civics lesson? Here at the county level, even though we are an arm of the state, we find ourselves increasingly under the burden of outside mandates and intrusion. This is affecting not only our policies as they relate to our own citizens in El Paso County, but our ability to fund those services that are legitimately mandated by our Constitution and that our citizens expect. Every time a mandate is handed down to us at the county from the state or federal level, you lose more control over your tax dollars and liberties.Through lobbying entities like Colorado Counties Inc., personal testimony and through my colleagues who do serve in the state Legislature, I will continue to fight to reduce these mandates and make sure that the mandates that do come all the way down the chain to the county level have dollars attached to them. You have hired me to represent you – El Paso County citizens, not citizens from Washington D.C. or Denver or anywhere else.Consider this example. The federal government has mandated that El Paso County change out each and every road sign to new signs containing higher retro-reflectivity material. There are no studies that show that this material reduces accident rates or mortality rates. This is just an arbitrary mandate that comes with no funding to cover the costs of some idea over which our citizens have no control. Now, El Paso County has to foot the bill of several million dollars, taking citizen tax dollars away from the serious and legitimate business of our sheriff’s office, district attorney’s office, coroner, etc.Let us fight to regain local control in El Paso County. Oppose legislation, individuals and ideas that remove your power within our representative republic. Amy LathenEl Paso County Commissioner, District 2

StratusIQ Fiber Internet Falcon Advertisement

Current Weather

Search Businesses

Search Businesses