Primary Election - Aaron Harris Sr. - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Primary Election – Aaron Harris Sr.

June 28th, 2018 development
Primary Election – Aaron Harris Sr.

Name: Aaron Harris Sr.

Age: 38

Educational Background: BA/MA in Elementary Education

Current employer/job: Higley Unified School District- Federal Programs Director

Immediate Family (spouse’s name/number of children): Tamela E. Harris/6 children

Year you moved to Chandler: 2004

Last book read: Servant Leadership by Robert Greenleaf

Most favorite annual event in Chandler: Ostrich Festival

Most favorite spot in Chandler: Desert Breeze Park


Why are you running for or seeking another term on City Council?

I am running for Chandler City Council because of my love for Chandler! I have a great affection for our city as evidenced by my affiliation with the Chandler Gilbert Family YMCA, Chandler Exchange Club, Chair of the Chandler Citizens Review Panel for Police Complaints and Use of Force, and member of the Housing and Human Services Commission. I am poised to strengthen the quality of life for all citizens through optimal city services, high quality amenities, and safety. As Chandler becomes more diverse, we must preserve Chandler’s past, while protecting the city’s prosperous future.

FOR INCUMBENTS: Briefly explain your three most significant accomplishments.

FOR NEW CANDIDATES: Why should voters consider you?

As a K-12 educator, I understand the importance of strong families, safe neighborhoods and economic development within a community. Creating infrastructure that involves careful assessment, implementation, and accountability will lead to improved public safety, core city services, fiscal management and the creation of jobs through technological innovation.

I eagerly accept the challenge that waits and I am ready to put in the hard work that lies ahead. The future is about our families and the services provided by our city. I want to take a more active role within city government to ensure Chandler remains a world-class community.

FOR INCUMBENTS: What initiative do you most regret not getting done and why didn’t it?

FOR NEW CANDIDATES: What would you bring to City Council that it doesn’t have now?

A true champion for education! My passion for education runs high as I truly believe empowering others will lead to a well-educated Chandler! I will work tirelessly to connect with all residents throughout the city including those who are underrepresented as their representative on the council. I am one who invests in human capital in order to create meaningful relationships that will energize, inspire, and motivate others to greatness in order for Chandler to maintain its status a world-class city.

What is the biggest challenge facing Chandler over the next five years?

Smart growth- Older, aging neighborhoods will serve as the greatest challenge in the next 5 years. As we move closer towards build out, these areas are at risk of becoming obsolete. Increased commercial vacancies, older housing, and a lack of amenities will bring about complex challenges. Retrofiring these areas to better serve the needs of the community must be considered.

I will maintain the identity of historical neighborhood communities and support small business and free enterprise that exists within. Volunteerism and community involvement from residents will bring a stronger identity and civic pride within neighborhoods.

What are your three primary goals if you are elected?

Public Safety- We must have the resources to recruit, retain, and promote staff in order to maintain our high level of emergency service and safety throughout the city.

Parks and Recreation- My goal is to maximize existing resources in order to build new parks and amenities for the citizens’ of Chandler while continuing to restore the city’s aging parks. Our public library system is vital to supporting the overall literacy within our city and serves a pillar within neighborhoods.

Infrastructure- My goal is to demonstrate sound fiscal maximize resources in order to maintain infrastructure that is necessary for world-class city.

How can Chandler best sustain the high quality of life it currently enjoys?

Sustaining the high quality of life Chandler currently enjoys is possible by maintaining the current levels of growth experienced within the city. Sound fiscal management is important as this will provide the resources needed to maintain the current and future levels of infrastructure. Chandler has maintained its Rainy Day Fund in order to withstand another recession or state funding shortfall. Rapid unplanned growth comprises future growth, therefore city leaders must adhere to the voter approved General Plan. The plan recognizes the need for strong neighborhoods, diverse housing, employment opportunities, and high quality recreational and shopping amenities.

Chandler businesses and residents can expect a councilman who is more concerned with the work this position entails and not the title or prestige that is often associated with. There are many negative perceptions that exist of this job and I will work to dispel all. This position requires a lot of time and energy and I will remain committed throughout the 4 year- elected term. I believe in transparency and accountability. The citizens of Chandler will not work for the government. I have the personal traits and skills needed in order to be successful in this position. I will strive to serve as a representative for all and not a champion of a special interest groups or lead with a narrow perspective. I believe in servant leadership with vision and direction. In order to continue to the progress made by the city’s founders, former council members and mayors who created the city’s vision and ensured early on that Chandler would become a world class city, we must put our special agendas and interests aside in order to do what is best for the citizens of Chandler. I will serve as the elected official and voice for the citizens who voted for and are ultimately responsible for my victory.

Businesses can expect a councilman that understands the importance of small business within our community. Small and medium sized businesses are the bedrock of our community and are vital to the continued growth of our economy. They energize our community by providing jobs, goods, and services that have made Chandler’s neighborhoods vibrant places to live, work, and play. As a councilman, I will continue to promote economic development throughout the city of Chandler. Fair business practices will lead to new business and the creation of jobs that will keep the city thriving and prosperous in years to come. Fair and equitable policies are also critical as the Chandler Chamber of Commerce establishes partnerships with future potential businesses. I will work with leaders within the chamber business community in order to sustain existing businesses while leveraging resources that will continue to increase business development and jobs.

 Parks and Recreation- My goal is to maximize existing resources in order to build new parks and amenities for the citizens’ of Chandler while continuing to restore the city’s aging parks. Parks and recreation are a necessity to neighborhoods just as public safety and other essential services. As a councilman, I will remain committed to supporting our local park system. Equity is a great concern residents across the city as some parks and fields are not as equipped as others. I will work to ensure that our parks mirror each other and adequate space exists for both genders. World-class cities exist because of the active system of parks and recreational programs for all citizens. Our public library system is vital to supporting the overall literacy of our city and are pillars within neighborhoods where established.

I must note that parks improve and increase property values and also improves the livelihood of the local economy. Businesses have cited the quality of parks within a city as one of the reasons they choose to relocate and build. The overall health, safety, and well-being of our community depends upon parks as this gives residents the opportunity to stay active and fit. As I campaigned and collected petition signatures, I witnessed families and other social groups of all ages enjoying the many amenities Chandler offers. Residents from all over the valley engage aquatics, pickle ball, football, tennis, soccer, baseball, and softball. Over usage is an area of concern by residents and coaches, and I will remain cognizant of this in order to prevent injury. If we want our children to strive for the best, we must give them our very best.