Hamilton City Council candidate looks to create best solutions to issues

Kristina Latta-Landefeld
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Kristina Latta-Landefeld

Kristina Latta-Landefeld isn’t from Hamilton, which can be a big disadvantage for someone running for City Council. But that gives her a unique perspective that can help longtime residents who don’t always feel they’re heard by city leaders, she said.

“I know that my biggest challenge to overcome is that I was not born and raised in Hamilton,” she said. “One thing that’s important for people to know about me is I truly see myself as a candidate for the people of Hamilton, and I recognize how important Hamilton is to those families who have been here for generations, and there’s a lot of history that’s part of that.”

“So even though I’m new, I really do have an appreciation and understanding for the values that Hamiltonians carry with them,” said Latta-Landefeld, 37, who plans to visit each of Hamilton’s 17 neighborhoods in her campaign.

She said unlike some Hamilton natives through the years who have joined the council with personal agendas, she can “give voice to some of those families and those communities that might feel left behind.”

Latta-Landefeld has worked in Hamilton 5½ years after arriving in town to be executive director and a coach at the Great Miami River Center. Shortly after that, she became director of community programs at Envision Partnerships, which works to promote healthier living among area residents, partly by discouraging substance abuse. The Rossville resident has lived in the city 4½ years, after first living locally in Maineville.

She’s heard concern that city leaders don’t tell people what they’re about to do, or the details of what they are doing: “I do think there’s a perception that there isn’t enough dialogue that happens,” Latta-Landefeld said. “I think probably sometimes that perception is accurate, and I think sometimes it’s not.”

She said can change that.

“I ask a lot of questions to understand a situation, especially when there’s higher risks involved,” she said. “And higher risks could be things like demolishing historic buildings, things that cost a lot of money. Changing the feel or the landscape of a community.”

“I’m not feeling like I’m there to be the one with the answer, but I am the one to be there to ask the questions and work with the stakeholders to figure out the best possible solution because they’re not always easy,” she said.

With the recent retirement of Robert Brown from City Council, at least one new council member will be elected Nov. 2.

Running for the three seats up for election Nov. 2 are incumbents Tim Naab and Michael Ryan, as well as challengers William Joel Lauer and Danny Ivers. Council members serve four-year terms.

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Among other boards she serves on, she is a committee member with Hamilton Pride; board of directors secretary of Thinking Habitats, a media literacy nonprofit organization; and a volunteer with 17Strong.