Colorado Springs mayoral candidate questionnaire: Johnathan Tiegen

· Mar. 17, 2023, 6:27 pm
Colorado Springs mayoral candidate Tig Tiegen.Colorado Springs mayoral candidate Tig Tiegen.Courtesy
Colorado Springs mayoral candidate Tig Tiegen.

KRCC News sent detailed surveys about some of the most critical issues facing city leaders, to the candidates running for the Colorado Springs mayoral seat. The short biography below is gleaned from the candidate’s response, their websites and other sources.

Former Marine John Tig Tiegen said he is running because he will not allow "corruption, failed communication, and lack of accountability of our elected officials" to continue in Colorado Springs. In an interview with KOAA, Tiegen said he believes in individual freedom and being mayor would help return that freedom to the individual. 
He is the founder of a local militia, according to the Gazette and Sixty35 (at the time, known as, the Independent). Tiegen has also faced questions about his residency, according to the Gazette.

Role and vision

What is your elevator pitch for why voters in Colorado Springs should choose you as the next mayor?

The City of Colorado Springs has been my home for 38 years and my commitment to contribute to the well-being of the community began when I was a student at Horace Mann Middle School. Throughout middle school and high school, I volunteered for the Ronald McDonald House to support their mission to assist the families in the midst of a medical crisis. I contributed to my community by maintaining facilities and assisting with manual labor projects as needed until I was able to broaden my service to my community and nation in a greater way by enlisting in the United States Marine Corps at 17 years old. My commitment to serving my fellow Americans guided me on a military career dedicated to protecting the most vulnerable and defenseless among us and overseas. This led me to Benghazi, where on September 11, 2012, destructive politics resulted in the loss of faithful American lives. I have witnessed firsthand how corruption, failed communication, and lack of accountability of our elected officials can be devastating, and I will not allow this to continue in our incredible City of Colorado Springs. As a father of twins and active participant within our city, it is undeniable that deficient resources within our community due to lack of oversight, accountability, and appropriately prioritized and allocated funding is spurring further degradation of our city. Though several foundations and humanitarian organizations have been established to provide necessities for our community, it will be my responsibility as your Mayor to ensure that tax-funded city programs and private foundations are meeting the needs of our citizens.

What do you see as the role and/or function of city government?

Infatuation, safety and emergency management needs to be the primary focus.

What is the number one challenge facing the next mayor of Colorado Springs, and how would you address it?

Public Safety is the number one challenge. Public Safety is in all facets of our community. Being a leader and standing up, so the first responders know they are protected by their community and leadership. Holding the District Attorneys office accountable to addressing the cases that come to them instead of a revolving door of repeat offenders.

What is your vision for Colorado Springs in the next 25 years, and what realistic policies do you propose to get us there?

Once in office, I will collaborate with the department heads and community leaders to create a realistic vision for Colorado Springs.

Law enforcement / Public Safety

What is the most pressing public safety issue facing the city and how would you address it?

The most pressing public safety issue is lack of support and empowerment from Leadership to perform the duty they have sworn to, in protecting and serving their community. We can not fill open positions and shortage in staff to serve an oath of protecting and serving a city when leadership isn't upholding their constitutional oath to protect and serve.

What is your response to the findings from the audit on how the Colorado Springs Police Department uses force? What, if any, changes need to be made to the way CSPD operates?

Without having met with the Chief of Police, having an educated response for any changes would be a fallacy to reality.

What do you think of the current relationship between the Colorado Springs Police Department and the public? Is it acceptable or should more be done, and if so, what?

Without having met with the Chief of Police, having an educated response for any changes would be a fallacy to reality.

What do you think of the Law Enforcement Transparency and Advisory Commission (LETAC)? What would you do differently with this commission or its purpose if given the chance?

Without having met with the Chief of Police, having an educated response for any changes would be a fallacy to reality. However having any advisory commission it is essential to have members voluntary and have completed training / educational courses at minimum on any subject on which they would be advising.

Emergency officials are implementing new notification software and other measures in the case of a wildfire or other hazard, but some residents say that isn’t enough. How would you address their concerns?

Having a town hall with community members, and then collaborate with emergency officials and the community to find resolutions.


How do you define sustainable and responsible growth, and is the city successful in growing responsibly and sustainably?

Organized growth that does not out pace infrastructure is paramount! No we are not growing responsibly and sustainably. We have already outgrown perimeters in water and resources.

What different approach would you take, if any, to help address housing affordability?

Obtaining community land trusts governed by boards of residents and public representatives for affordable housing. Maintained by nonprofits. Establishing housing trust funds. Take the burden off taxpayers.

Infill is identified in the PlanCOS master plan as a key strategy for the city moving forward, and yet, council is currently debating annexations. How do you define infill and how do you balance it with annexations?

Infill is unban development. In maintaining Gen. Palmer's vision, the balance needs to be a planned community, built around its natural beauty and environment.

What do you think of the recent water service extension ordinance passed by council and signed by the mayor aimed at limiting annexations based on water supply? What would you have done differently?

Considering we have currently outgrown perimeters, water sustainability extensions should have been more conservative and delayed until we had reached the established reserve levels.

How do you balance maintaining the character of Colorado Springs with the need for development? What is the character of Colorado Springs?

The character of Colorado Springs is big city military community with small town mentality. Maintaining the character with growth is not solely up to the Mayor it is about collaboration with community and maintaining sustainability.

Transportation / Infrastructure

What is the most important infrastructure project needed in Colorado Springs right now, and how would you address it?

Roads! Insure the allocated funds earmarked for the repair and structure are only utilized as purposed. In addition increasing the capabilities of the Road Way Maintenance division to consistently keep up with the ongoing needs of an expanding city.

How do you feel about the transportation options currently available in Colorado Springs? What plans, if any, do you have to increase options for reliable public transportation?

As we have expanded as a city and continue to grow, keeping up with the current expansion means increasing service hours and routes.

What are your thoughts about expanding the use of active transportation like bicycles or walking? Should it be a primary focus and if so, what should be done?

It is not a primary focus as the primary focus needs to be on the city infrastructure and public safety.

Parks & Open Space, Economy & Other

General Palmer's original vision for the city of Colorado Springs was that of a planned community, built around its natural beauty and environment. Do you agree with that vision, and if so, how do you plan to stay true to it?

Yes. Restricting national development builders future ability to have unimputed access in development / building. Unfortunately we have veered off tract from Palmers original vision.

What do you see as the current state of economic diversity, and where does the city have the opportunity to grow?

Work with Economic Development and Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce to promote and attract businesses into the community. Grants to attract businesses, this will depend on what the community can offer. Promoting outdoor recreation and activities that would draw in a younger crowd. Organize events to draw businesses in. Most specifically entrepreneurs within the retiring miliary community.

Is the city doing enough to address the issue of people experiencing homelessness? What, if anything, would you do differently?

The community/nonprofits/religious organizations should collaborate to come together with the Homeless Outreach Team in providing long-term successful solutions.

What is your stance on if and when to ask voters to retain funds that exceed the cap imposed by the Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR)?

When infrastructure / community safety is in dire need, with the insurance it is allocated as promised / requested.

Who are your top three campaign donors?

All has been grassroots by way of personal donations and volunteering of personal time.

Quick responses

Would you support city councilors receiving a living wage or salary as opposed to the annual stipend of $6,250?


Do you support the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado Springs?


Would you support creating an independent board for Colorado Springs Utilities, rather than having council serve as the board?


Do you support Front Range Rail?


Do you support extending Constitution Avenue?


Is the city adequately addressing climate change and adaptation?


Do you support the ballot measure that extends the TOPS sales tax?


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