Jensen chooses senior administrators ahead of becoming Noblesville mayor

When Chris Jensen takes office as mayor of Noblesville in January, he plans to appoint a high-ranking state employee, the Indiana Pacers senior director of safety and security, and the city’s planning director as deputy mayors.

Jensen, who is running unopposed in the city’s mayoral election Tuesday, plans to create two positions: director of public safety and director of community and economic development. Those positions will be equivalent to the city’s existing deputy mayor position.

Matt Light, current chief of staff at the Indiana State Board of Accounts, will serve as Jensen’s deputy mayor. He’ll replace Steve Cooke, deputy mayor under Mayor John Ditslear.

At the State Board of Accounts, Light leads a staff of nearly 300 that audits all state agencies and local units of government. Before joining the office, Light served in an executive role in the Indiana Attorney General’s office. He also was an adjunct professor at the Indiana University McKinney School of Law.

Jensen said Chad Knecht, senior director of security and safety for the Pacers, will fill become Noblesville’s director of public safety, overseeing the police department and the fire department and their respective chiefs.

Knecht previously served as deputy operations director for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. In addition to managing the public safety departments, he’ll also manage the Noblesville’s mental health care initiative and community partnerships.

Sarah Reed, current planning director in Noblesville, will be promoted to director of community and economic development, overseeing the planning and economic development departments.

All three positions will report directly to the mayor’s office. Jensen told IBJ that the funding for the two new positions has already been included in next year’s budget.

“This team is ready to lead Noblesville on Day One,” Jensen said in written comments. “Bringing years of management experience and a proven record of results to Noblesville, I’m proud these leaders of their respective fields are joining me to serve our city and residents.”

Jensen won a four-way race in May’s Republican primary. He’ll take office Jan. 1. He replaces Ditslear, who has led the city for the past 16 years.

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