Shortly after John Hickenlooper was sworn in as governor last month, he began appointing his cabinet. Reeves Brown was selected to run the state Department of Local Affairs and got to work straight away—in Denver. The Grand Junction resident has been staying in a spare bedroom at a friend’s home in Aurora ever since. But Brown, along with the other members of Hick’s cabinet who live outside the Mile High City, will soon have a second home at the Governor’s Residence at the Boettcher Mansion. If the tenants agree to keep the place clean and do their own cooking, there will be no charge to taxpayers, according to 9News. “What better way than having the heads of these agencies get to know each other, by living together?” Hickenlooper asks.
Brown is eager to move in: “Anything that is not a cot or a sleeping bag is going to be a huge upgrade for me.” Lieutenant Governor Joe Garcia, who has homes in Pueblo and Colorado Springs, now has a workable plan. “I just didn’t know how I was going to afford it,” he says. “Would I be living out of my truck? So, this is a great option for me.” To some of us, it might sound like the staging of a reality show for CSPAN. Sue Birch, executive director of Health Care Policy and Financing, says her college-age kids told her, “Get with the times, Mom. People our age do this all the time. It’s just modern-day couch surfing” (via the Denver Post).
The governor’s family has first dibs on living in the mansion, but as the Post’s Joanne Ostrow notes in an article about “accidental first lady” Helen Thorpe, they will “remain in their Park Hill home to maintain relative normalcy.” Thorpe, a critically acclaimed author and journalist, is, indeed, a nontraditional political spouse, as 5280 assistant editor Natasha Gardner discovered in “The Two Lives of Helen Thorpe” from October 2009.