Hensley won’t seek fourth term

  • John Santana<br>Mill Creek Enterprise editor
  • Monday, March 3, 2008 11:59am

Pretty soon, finding a good tee time around the country will be among Dale Hensley’s top concerns.

Hensley, who is in his 12th year on the Mill Creek City Council, won’t seek re-election to his post later this year. Along with Terry Ryan, Hensley is the longest-serving city councilman in the city’s 23-year history.

“Twelve and out,” he said. “I’ve had a good run.”

Hensley first joined the city council in 1996, when Kathy Nielsen was mayor, Ryan was newly appointed and current state Rep. John Lovick was in his first term as a council member.

“I was excited about Town Center 10-11 years ago when it was just a dream,” Hensley said.

Now that Town Center is nearing completion, Hensley plans to step aside, do some traveling, play some golf, and allow the council to have some “fresh voices on there.”

As a councilman, Hensely has represented the city and council on boards as diverse as the Snohomish County Board of Health, Snohomish County Tomorrow, a group related to planning and development, and the city’s former police advisory board. Before joining the city council, Hensley served on the city’s Civil Service Commission.

During his tenure, Hensley developed a style where he didn’t speak much during debates, opting instead to make his point and allow someone else to have their say.

“There’s no sense in talking just to hear yourself talk,” he said. “I like to sit back, listen and analyze the issue before saying anything.”

Hensley said he’s enjoyed being part of the council, a body that, unlike those in other cities, has largely avoided political infighting and remains civil during debates.

“It’s been a very harmonious group even though everyone has different values,” he said. “Everybody on the council has the best interests of the city at heart.”

Hensley is pleased with how the city’s progressed during the last decade, but acknowledges that more work lies ahead, particularly in terms of helping a private effort to build a senior/community center.

“We’ve done a real good job with parks and park development, especially the sports park,” he said. “Where we have work to do is with the senior end of the spectrum. The city’s big enough now to where we need to step up for this segment of the population. We’ve done a lot for the kids, but there’s more than one priority.”

Hensley said he’s also pleased with the city’s stable financial situation, based in part on greater-than-expected sales tax revenues from Town Center.

A retired Everett Community College administrator, Hensley has been working part-time as a consultant with Lake Washington Technical College in Kirkland.

“It’s been fun,” he said about working with the college. “We’ve been working a lot with legislators to allow them to let Lake Washington offer bachelor degrees.”

In addition to Hensley’s seat, two other council seats – currently held by Mark Bond and Mike Todd – are up for election this year. All three terms run through Dec. 31.

Talk to us