The new Mayor Hess moved to Missoula in 2005 to attend the University of Montana, where he studied Geography with emphases in Community & Environmental Planning and Cartography & GIS. He most recently worked for more than eight years as Director of Transportation at the University of Montana, where he led UM to be the first college campus in the nation to operate modern, fast-charging-battery electric buses.
During his service on the City Council, Mayor Hess held several leadership roles, including chair of the Public Works Committee, chair of the Transportation Policy Coordinating Committee, chair of the Land Use and Planning Committee and Vice President of the Council. He has been a champion of the City's zero-waste and clean energy goals, expansion of Missoula's trail network and conservation lands and growth in the diversity of the city's transportation options. He was instrumental in the City's acquisition of the citywide water system, now Missoula Water. He is steeped in the City of Missoula's mission, strategic vision and culture. He is committed to promoting livability and equity in new development. He believes the best decisions are made in an atmosphere of collaboration with equity and sustainability in mind.
Mayor Hess believes the most critical issues facing Missoula and many other cities across Montana are housing, the climate crisis, tax reform, equity and people in crisis.
"It is an honor to be able to work every day to make our community a better, more equitable place to live and work," he said. "I am proud of the work the City has accomplished during my nearly nine-year tenure on the City Council, but there is so much more to be done."