Mayor Chris Jensen Talks First Four Years in Office – and Vision for the Next Four

Writer / Renee Larr
Photographer / Justin Sicking

Noblesville Mayor Chris Jensen has delivered calculable results, but knows there is much more work to be done to navigate the city through its tremendous growth successfully. That’s precisely why he decided to run for re-election in November. His campaign focused on four key pillars: raising the quality of life and culture, making infrastructure connections, unmatched public safety, and taking care of taxpayer dollars.Chris Jensen

“When I decided to run four years ago I honed in on these four areas, and I’m proud of the strides we made in those areas,” Jensen says. “For my re-election campaign I wanted to focus on moving those forward even more. I think those are essential functions of how we move our city forward.”

Jensen says his top priority is public safety. He says he wakes up daily thinking about ways to keep the community safe, as it grows and expands. He says his team is looking at ways to become more proactive in public safety.

“Nearly four years ago we launched the Noble Act, a proactive, community-based paramedicine program where we help identify vulnerable citizens,” Jensen says. “They could be dealing with addiction, homelessness or PTSD. The goal is proactively getting them the services they need before becoming part of our legal or medical systems.”

Jensen says they’ve been able to help 1,500 residents through the Noble Act. He aims to use it as a model for other communities throughout the state and Midwest. He says he’s proud of their work so far and wants to continue and expand the program. He also hosts the online series “Mental Health Mondays.”

“When I was elected four years ago, we had no idea a pandemic was sitting on our doorstep,” Jensen says. “A local therapist approached me and told me there was a lot of angst and anxiety in the community. She asked me if I would be interested in doing a Facebook Live therapy situation. At first I thought there was no way I was doing that, but then I realized it was selfish of me. If I can share my feelings, then it might bring comfort to others – and boy, has it. Now I look forward to it.”

Noblesville is a heavily trafficked community, and Jensen has taken on the challenge of infrastructure development to improve the community for future generations. He knows these large projects are challenging for the community to navigate, but he says residents have been incredibly gracious and supportive.

Chris Jensen“We broke ground on Pleasant Street, which is a $125 million east-west corridor that’s going to reduce traffic in downtown and enhance mobility through our community,” Jensen says. “I’m incredibly excited about that project. Another huge infrastructure project I’m focused on is the northern leg of State Road 37. It’s a beautiful corridor now up to 146 Street and free-flows all the way to Greenfield, but that needs to continue up to State Road 32 and 38, so partnering with our friends at INDOT to get it funded and underway is a big goal of mine.”

Jensen says we’re currently seeing the renaissance of downtown Noblesville. He says the addition of housing attracts more residents to that part of the city. He says the goal has always been getting more people living, working and playing downtown.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy in Noblesville,” Jensen says. “We’re trying to ensure they have the support they need. People won’t see any changes to our historic downtown square. Residents will see us come alongside those building owners to assist them as they renovate or enhance.”

Attracting employees and jobs is a significant focus of the mayor, but he says the goal is to attract quality jobs, versus quantity. He says the days of trying to attract large employers with a significant amount of employees are gone. He says the city is seeking to incentivize quality investment.

“In the future you’re going to see Noblesville focus on adding to our population, which is a statewide goal of Governor Holcomb’s,” Jensen says. “We need the jobs of the future to track the future workers. We will continue to partner with not only our K-12 educational institutions, but our higher-education institutions on workforce training programs, to ensure we have the jobs of the future so our future employment base has a place to land after they graduate from high school, training opportunities or four-year college degrees.”

Jensen says running for re-election was a no-brainer, with one caveat; he needed his family’s approval, Jensen says he realized he had more to do once he received the OK and started his campaign.Chris Jensen

“I think local government is where things really get done,” Jensen says. “I truly believe if you want something in your community done, call your mayor.”

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