City Manager shares progress on strategic goals SanTan Sun News

City Manager shares progress on strategic goals

September 5th, 2018 | by SanTan Sun News
City Manager shares progress on strategic goals
Community
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City of Chandler

Great things are happening in Chandler every day and city employees are playing a big part in that success as they strive to achieve the City Council’s Strategic Policy Goals.

That was the message delivered to city employees by Chandler City Manager Marsha Reed during a recent information sharing meeting called a Team Talk, held at the Chandler Center for the Arts.

“We have to think about what do our citizens expect and what do our businesses expect,” Reed said. “They expect Chandler to be a fantastic place to work, to live – and it’s our job to make sure that they all feel that way.”

The staff members in attendance and those who watched a video of the presentation later heard Reed share updates on a number of projects and programs that are representative of the Council’s vision.

The genesis of the current strategic policy goals actually began at a Council retreat in 2015.

The direction expressed from those Council members was reviewed by the city’s executive team, and a consensus formed around six areas of focus: being the most connected city, being a leader in transparency, maintaining fiscal sustainability, attracting a range of private sector businesses, fostering a contemporary culture to capitalize on diversity in the community and being safe and beautiful.

Being the Most Connected City

Reed began her presentation by pointing to examples of projects advancing the city along a path toward being the “Most Connected City,” including the totally redesigned and restructured mobile-friendly, citizen-centric website – chandleraz.gov.

The new site features more dynamic and colorful imagery, video integration, search functionality, enhanced user functionality and much more.

“This is a phenomenal upgrade to our website,” Reed said. “I also encourage you to take a look at the Social Media Hub, which brings together social media from all departments into one web page.”

Improvements to our community’s transportation system also advance Chandler as a “Most Connected City.” Reed noted that the Council had allocated millions of dollars in recent years to completing arterial street projects, primarily in the southeast portion of the city, and that many city employees had contributed to those improvements.

Being a leader in transparency

Chandler has an award-winning reputation for being a transparent government and the city manager reminded employees, “We have 260,000 people watching every move we make and we have to deal with the public in a transparent way every day.”

The city website is an example of the organization’s approach to transparent operations, with numerous financial documents and reports, going back many years, available online.

Face-to-face interaction is also important and Reed expressed her appreciation for the staff members who spend many nights and weekends interacting with the public at meetings of the Council, boards and commissions, and neighborhood listening sessions.

“It is our responsibility to make sure they know where their tax dollars are being spent,” she said.

Maintaining fiscal sustainability

Maintaining fiscal sustainability is what sets Chandler apart from many cities, according to Reed, due to the fiscal discipline followed by the current and many previous councils.

“It’s what brought Chandler through the recession and out of the recession much faster than other cities,” she noted.

After thanking staff in every city department who already have started work on the 2019-2020 fiscal year budget, she added, “It’s the city manager’s main responsibility to bring forward a balanced budget to the Council, and we do that.”

Attract a range of businesses

“Chandler’s Economic Development team is the first to say that they can’t do their job alone,” Reed said. “It takes a lot of City staff members working together to help bring the best businesses to Chandler.”

Earlier this year, Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems, formerly Orbital ATK, broke ground on a massive new employment center on the Price Road Corridor.

“I’ve been in public service for 35 years, and this is the first time I’ve seen a rocket launched at a groundbreaking ceremony,” Reed said.

In other business development news, the city recently sold a 54-acre parcel near 56th Street and the 202 Santan Freeway, setting the stage for the Lotus Project, a large light industrial development.

In a nearby industrial warehouse district, Waymo is expanding its operations center for its self-driving car project.

Reed said that the city has welcomed Waymo ever since it made Chandler the first city in the world to test its vehicles and that the organization is looking at other strategies to help solidify Chandler’s place in the autonomous vehicle world.

Fostering contemporary culture

Chandler’s economic development prospects would not be as promising if city staff members did not support and work toward accomplishing the policy goal of fostering a contemporary culture to capitalize on diversity in the community.

The city’s diversity office hosts or supports a variety of cultural events through the year, including the Multicultural Festival, Diversity Reception and Operation Back to School.

On the cultural side, in addition to the festivals, concerts, library programs, art gallery exhibits and performances at the Chandler Center for the Arts, the Chandler Museum has continued to provide programs for students and the public while staff members are awaiting the opening of their new facility.

The new Chandler Museum will open to the public on Dec. 8, and it promises to be a spectacular venue for residents and visitors of all ages.

Being Safe and Beautiful

When it comes to “being safe,” Chandler’s Police and Fire departments are exceptional organizations, and with the opening of the new Public Safety Training Center they have state-of-the-art facilities and equipment to help keep our community safe.

As for “being beautiful,” Reed challenged city employees to ask themselves, “How do our parks look? How does our landscaping look? How does our City look when people come here? Because it comes down to who wants to visit here, who wants to live here, who wants to locate their business here,” she said.

The Team Talks session concluded with brief updates on a number of other customer service, branding and employee innovation initiatives, plus a status review on the many development projects currently underway or planned for the downtown Chandler area.

Of note are two new downtown parking garages, one that just opened and one that will be under construction soon. There is also excitement building for the city’s new eCab service starting Sept. 6.

These two electric vehicles, called Wave, will circulate throughout the downtown area, moving visitors from the parking garages to area businesses and restaurants more quickly.

Reed concluded her presentation to Chandler employees with these words, “Thanks to all of you for the work you do every day and your steadfast hold to what the Mayor and Council envision for Chandler.”

City Manager Marsha Reed addresses a group of Chandler employees during a recent Team Talk.

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