I want to continue our successes of last 4 years SanTan Sun News

I want to continue our successes of last 4 years

August 6th, 2018 | by SanTan Sun News
I want to continue our successes of last 4 years
Opinion
0

By Rene Lopez

 

I am a third-generation Arizona native and Navy veteran, born and raised in Mesa. As the son of a heavy mechanic welder and a working homemaker, I graduated from Dobson High, attended MCC and went graduated from UofA with a BS in Nuclear Engineering.

Even though I traveled extensively as a naval officer and a project manager within the telecom, energy (oil and gas), and IT industries, I have always called Arizona, specifically the Southeast Valley, home. In February 2007, my family and I moved back and chose Chandler because of its recognition as well-run city and growth it was experiencing.

I initially ran for City Council to help keep Chandler operating as well as it has been for the last couple decades. By meeting with councilmembers and staff prior to being elected, I was able to fulfill all goals I wanted to accomplish in my first term as councilmember.

By teamwork and commitment, we discovered innovative ways to improve efficiencies and continue successful delivery of services, while expanding parks and public safety sectors so that we maintained our “safest cities” status.

We lowered our annual operating expenses for the last two years – 6.3 percent this year alone – and lowered the city portion of property taxes three years in a row, exceeding my own expectations.

Chandler has not just maintained a fiscal and pragmatic approach to delivering services and quality of life amenities, but has expanded our tax base and employment corridors, and now our downtown is growing by leaps and bounds.

I am running for re-election to help continue our successes from the last four years. My goals for my next term are to keep Chandler as the greatest city to work, live, play and thrive in.

I will do this by working with our new mayor, along with fellow councilmembers and staff, to dig deeper, innovate and listen to experts and residents to find more efficiencies.

I believe our financial stability and increased effectiveness is the most significant accomplishment that all other successes can build from. By maintaining our extremely high credit rating (AAA from all three major credit rating bureaus) and strong fiscal responsibility, we will attract more businesses with higher-paying jobs and more community-minded residents who wish to keep Chandler the best place to raise a family and contribute to our future success.

As we transition from buildout to buildup, we need to ensure we maintain our history and identity. We still have some high growth and elevated construction in designated areas such as downtown, iptown, Price Road corridor and airport, per our General Plan.

However, we need to ensure we maintain our balance and that this growth follows what our residents desire in these designated urban areas, while our more spacious “rural” areas maintain low population density and charm – which is the reason many have moved to this great city.

With vast employment opportunities, partnerships with education, nonprofits, and extensive parks and recreational areas, Chandler remains a great city to raise a family – hopefully for generations to come.

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