2023 Town Council Candidate
My career started as a carpenter framing homes while I completed my bachelors of science degree in Construction Management from Colorado State University. I have 45 years of experience in construction of residential, commercial, industrial and civil projects for private owners, municipalities, and both state and federal government. I have been in business as a general contractor since 1997 and I am currently president of Hensen Construction and Development Inc., based in Telluride.
During my career I spent five years as a consultant working with national and international companies, helping them negotiate and resolve contract disputes. The goal was to find a solution to the dispute without going to litigation and having the lawyers be the only real winners. I learned a lot about listening to both sides of an issue and the value of knowing as many of the facts as possible before making a final decision. I feel this ability to listen is a necessary trait of any person serving the residents of Mountain Village.
In 2022 I was appointed to the San Miguel County Board of Appeals (BOA) and serve on that board currently. The responsibility of the BOR is to hear appeals from parties that feel the county has not ruled correctly on their particular issue and want further review and judgement recommendation. We also review and make recommended changes to new and existing codes, and policies for the county. Serving on this board requires us to follow the same order of business and conduct meetings in the same manner as the Mountain Village town council. This exposure and experience has helped me prepare to be an active member of the Mountain Village Town Council.
Length of Time as Town Resident:
Previous Political Experience/Specific Qualifications:
Currently serve as a member of the SMC Board of Appeals.
Reasons You Would Like to Serve:
I have owned and lived in MV Deed restricted housing for the majority of the last 22 years and have seen the cost of "affordable housing" climb from near $100 per square foot to $1,000 per square foot. I think I have a vast knowledge of how to help get the "affordable" back in affordable housing. I also served as the Town of Tellurides construction manager on affordable housing projects and have been contracted to build some of the Town of Tellurides affordable housing projects. I feel we can do a better job of identifying the appropriate density to be applied to available lots for housing and I think we can have affordable housing outside the meadows and the VCA area. I also think we need to have defined and safe plans for evacuation of densely populated areas like the Meadows in case of fire or another emergency. I realize not everyone in the Village agrees with these concepts and that is why my door will always be open so we can discuss the available solutions.
I also see the need to plan for the future of the Mountain Village in a sustainable manner and with respect for all the residents within the Town. I believe in working with the businesses that make this a vibrant environment and would like to see diversity in our businesses to help the long-term growth of our area.
I feel we have infrastructure shortfalls that need to be addressed and plans that need to be put in place for long term growth. Transportation and parking are both near the top of the list. Gondola funding is an issue that is coming to head for the next council, and we need to get it right. I am willing to put in the work to get it done for the long term.
I also see that town staff are shorthanded and need support so they can do a quality job and not get burned out with their jobs. We need quality staff in order to keep this ship afloat. Staff need to be fairly compensated for the jobs they’re doing and be respected.
Other Information You Want to Include (family, community involvement, other personal information):
My wife and I have lived primarily in the Meadows for the past 22 years and raised our children here. We have been involved in the community and have seen many changes over this time. I would like to think we can work together with the community to preserve the great aspects of the Telluride region while adapting to the growth that is inevitable in a tourist destination community. This requires commitment and planning, and I want to be part of that process.