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Jordan Hess, unopposed
Jordan Hess is running unopposed, but that hasn’t stopped him from knocking doors to better acquaint himself with Ward 2’s size and complexity. Each neighborhood in the district—which encompasses Grant Creek, areas off Mullan Road, plus the Westside—has its challenges, meaning the person who replaces outgoing Councilwoman Cynthia Wolken will need to bring themselves up to speed quickly.
The Union Gospel Mission’s July announcement that it intended to move from its current Toole Avenue location to West Broadway, near the new site of the Poverello Center homeless shelter, prompted one of Ward 2’s hottest debates. Hess says that he agrees with council’s decision to more thoroughly vet such social service operations prior to allowing them to open their doors, even though the decision was made retroactively.
Hess, who works for the University of Montana Mansfield Library as a web developer, often falls in line with the current council’s progressive majority. He lists his primary goals as continuing to connect and improve the city’s bike and pedestrian trails, and ensuring that residents of his ward can cross Reserve Street safely.
Hess agrees with many of council’s decisions, but insists that he wouldn’t be afraid to go against the grain. He is critical, for instance, of the May decision to legalize accessory dwelling units, or so-called “granny flats,” in single-family neighborhoods.
“I think I would want to emphasize that a philosophy of one-size-fits-all doesn’t work in Ward 2,” Hess says. “ADUs, for instance, don’t belong in Grant Creek. If anything, I’d bring an increased sensitivity to the diversity of our city and particularly the residents of my ward.”
Hess is officially running unopposed. But a month after the deadline to file as a candidate, Roger Seewald announced that he’d like the job, too. Seewald’s tardiness and the fact that he hasn’t launched much of a campaign contribute to our decision to endorse Hess.
Endorsement: Jordan Hess