Larimer County Commissioner Candidate profile: Jeff Jensen (Republican) Larimer County Commissioner District 2
By Dan Karpiel
The Surveyor reached out to all 10 of the major-party candidates for Weld County Commissioner and all nine candidates for the open County Commissioner seats in Larimer County and prefaced four questions, outlined below. Due to space limitations in print and a desire to provide as much detailed information as possible to readers, the candidates’ responses to the questions will be posted verbatim here.
1. Can you please provide a brief history of your background, i.e. career/occupation, family, history in Colorado/Larimer County, etc., just some basic get-to-know-you information for our readers.
I own a Consulting business focused on mentoring and coaching for start-up and turn-around businesses. I also consult for the Small Business Development Center (SBDC).
I have been married to Aimee for 30 years, with three adult children and one granddaughter.
I moved to Loveland in 1974 and moved to Fort Collins in 1983. My wife and I have lived in our current home 21 years.
I have been a member of the Larimer County Planning Commission for 10 years. I served twice as the Chairman. I helped create the Larimer County Comprehensive Plan, a 20-year vision for Larimer County. I have also been involved in the following county master plans: The Ranch Master Plan, The Facilities Master Plan, Transportation Master Plan, and The Larimer County Parks Master Plan. I have also been involved in the budget process for the last 3 years.
I serve as a Commissioner on the 8th Judicial Review Commission.
I served on the Board of Directors of Adoption Advocacy and Alternatives for 15 years.
I was a part of the Lions Club during the inception of the Colorado Eye Bank in Denver.
I have been involved in the Boy Scouts (Committee Chair) and the Girl Scouts (Troop Leader).
2. What prompted you to run for Larimer County Commissioner District 2?
Twelve years ago, I managed the campaign for my good friend, the late Lew Gaiter, Commissioner District 1. After helping him win the election, I had the honor of working with him and being mentored by him. I became fascinated by the scope of what a Commissioner’s job really is. We do everything from “Weeds to Whiskey” and it really is a true statement. The variety of issues that Commissioners deal with on a daily and weekly basis is enormous.
I believe my responsibility in my life and as a citizen is to create a legacy that leaves Larimer County better and more prosperous for those that come after us.
My background and executive leadership skillset are perfect for this position and I look forward to leading beyond 2020.
3. Can you please provide a brief outline of your political/ideological philosophy?
One of my core values is respect. I respect each individual and believe that each person has the responsibility and ability to make choices for themselves and their family. Respect of others also requires that we do not provide every service that may be demanded by citizens from the government. You deserve a voice.
The challenge of a Commissioner is to ensure that laws and regulations are applied equally across the 2600 square miles of the entire county.
Having worked at the highest levels of organizations, I have hired or been responsible for the recruitment of the leaders in my businesses. Recruitment is a critical skill to be able to identify these talented people who are the professional leaders and will keep the organization on track. I have been honored to be part of these processes for many years, and through my business experience of working with multi-million-dollar organizations, I have gained a unique perspective and understanding of how organizational development works.
4. What are the major issue(s) on which you want to focus your campaign and potential service as Larimer County Commissioner District 2?
I have lead organizations through some difficult times and turn-arounds. I have extensive experience in change management and crisis management, and I bring this experience to this office.
Top priorities must focus on families over failure and be very aware of the struggle that families will be facing over the next several years. As business begins to open again to rebuild their business families, there will be extreme challenges. Many of my clients will struggle for a long time. I am giving them the same advice I will give to our county: conserve cash, do not spend money on anything that is not necessary and focus on the long-term outlooks. We cannot be all things to all people. We must remain in our lane and support where we can, while seeking regional and private partnerships to address our challenges.
Facing at least a $14 million shortfall that will last at least several years will be the biggest challenge. At its core, Larimer County Government is a service organization and our citizens have come to expect tremendous service from this organization. We will need to look to all of Larimer County and the region to find the right solutions. Larimer County has already put together a regional taskforce to begin addressing these issues.
Some of the other issues facing us are growth, water, infrastructure needs, and meeting the demands of services such as Veteran Services, Social Services, transportation and well as others. We must be pragmatic and responsible to our communities as we move forward.
We must recognize that these issues affect every community in Larimer County, and we must act regionally to solve our issues. Larimer County is in a unique place to be the convener to facilitate and bring our communities together, while respecting the individuality and character of each of our cities and towns.
Larimer County is a unique place and its people, recreation, and beauty need to be respected. We need to protect these things and keep this a great place to live, work and recreate. We must have a vision of the future that gives those coming tomorrow the same opportunities as those who are already here. We have a responsibility to our children’s children, and we must create the legacy that preserves these assets for the future.
I have the experience and vision that looks to the future and will serve Larimer County honorably.
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