Kristin Stephens (D) Larimer County Commissioner District 2
After 30 years as a resident of the county, residing in the southwestern area of Fort Collins, and having served the public in numerous capacities, Kristin Stephens has her sights set on the Larimer County Board of Commissioners. A Democrat who currently serves as the Mayor Pro-Tem of Fort Collins, Stephens will face Republican Bob McClusky this November for the open seat in District 2.
In addition to serving for five and a half years on the Fort Collins city council, Stephens has served as both chair and vice-chair of the Poudre Fire Authority and chair of the Election Code Committee. Last year she was appointed to the National League of Cities’ Joint Committee on Homelessness. She was also appointed to the North Front Range Metropolitan Planning Organization where she works on regional transit, transportation planning, and the finance committee.
A mother of three who is starting her 17th year as a 4-H leader, Stephens explained that she believes she brings the vision, experience and work ethic to serve the entire county. “I have dealt with a lot of regional issues during in my time in local government … the work I’ve done locally, I want to take it to a higher level. I think of the issues, the big issues we’re dealing with we can address better regionally than we can just as induvial cities,” Stephens said, citing both transportation and access to affordable housing as two examples of policy areas that can be effectively addressed at the county level. “I think so many of our solutions need to have that regional answer and that led to me to want to run for the county and deal with these issues at a bigger level.”
Stephens also said that, in her time in public service, she has heard from countless constituents that county government is almost something of a mystery. Therefore, Stephens has said that increasing the transparency of county government and working to better inform and involve residents will be a focus of her service.
As Stephens explained, “I think building some transparency in county government is something we need. I talk to so many folks who say ‘I don’t know what county government does, I don’t know what the budget is, I don’t know how to get involved’ so really think we should be making sure we do more outreach and get more people plugged into local government.”
Like many who go into public service, Stephens said her motivation is predicated upon a desire to serve the community she calls home. “There is not a lot of grandeur about in serving in local government, I am doing it because I love my community,” Stephens said of her desire to run. “I’m not doing it for a paycheck, it’s just really been an honor to serve and it’s something that I want to do. We all might have a different vision but the idea that we want out community to be strong and be healthy and be better is something we all share.”
Stephens said she believes the county has done a lot of good work in recent years but does see room for improvement. She wants to provide support for local businesses struggling as a result of the COVID pandemic, assure access to affordable housing, protect the environment and assure that growth is managed effectively.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to serve and I love some of the work the current county commissioners have done and I would like to build on that. For me, the transparency and getting more people involved is something I really want to do,” she added.
Asked what message she would like to share directly with Berthoud voters, Stephens said, “I want to hear from the folks in Berthoud and from all parts of the county. It would be my honor to serve and I want to make sure everyone is served well by the new slate of county commissioners. I feel like our future is hopeful and I firmly believe we will get through COVID and will be stronger than ever as a community.”
Further details on Stephens and her campaign can be found at http://kristinforlarimer.com//
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