Chandler City Council picks new member - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Chandler City Council picks new member

July 9th, 2018 SanTan Sun News
Chandler City Council picks new member


Managing Editor

A financial advisor with extensive experience in the Chandler Chamber of Commerce and community organizations is taking his service one step further as a member of the City Council.

The Chandler City Council voted unanimously on June 28 to appoint Jeremy McClymonds to the seat vacated by Nora Ellen, who is running for the state House in Legislative District 17.

The mayor and the City Council last month reviewed 36 candidates’ applications and narrowed down the list of candidates to nine people. Members interviewed the nine finalists in a special meeting on June 25.

“I’m definitely excited,” McClymonds said. “I’ve been actively involved in the community for years. It’s just an opportunity to maximize the good I can give to my friends, family and neighbors. Chandler’s already a well-run city. I’m definitely humbled by the opportunity.”

Besides McClymonds, the other candidates interviewed were William Crawford III, Matt Eberle, Victor Hardy, Aaron Harris Sr., Jill Hudson, Diane Ortiz-Parsons, Eshe Pickett and John Repar. Crawford, Eberle and Harris are running for election to the Council in the Aug. 28 primary.

McClymonds is the owner/financial advisor for FORM Prosperity Wealth Advisors. He is the business/membership development chairman for the Chandler Chamber of Commerce and Chandler Parks and Recreation boards; membership development chairman for the Chandler Compadres and on the board of the Kiwanis ­– Chandler Young Professionals.

Terri Kimble, Chamber president/CEO, called his selection “truly a boon for the city of Chandler. “He is a passionate advocate for Chandler and its business community. He believes in not only getting involved, but rolling up his sleeves and taking an active role, whether it be making informed decisions on legislation or volunteering at community events.”

McClymonds told the Council during his opening statement that he had “called Chandler home for the last 15 years. Chandler’s been fortunate to have generations of amazing leaders.”

When asked why he wanted to be appointed to the Council, McClymonds said he wanted to “make an impact in a new and challenging” way and his skills and experience would allow him to make Chandler “a better place to live.”

“I know if I’m given an opportunity to serve on the Council, I’ll be able to leave a legacy of positive impact,” he said.

When asked what he would contribute to the Council, McClymonds professed his affection for the city.

“I love Chandler. It’s a world-class city,” he said. “I believe children and commerce are the lifeblood of all great communities.”

When asked what his strengths were, he said he is “an accomplished sales and finance” professional who is “proud of my legacy and commitment to Chandler.”

McClymonds noted he had received the Micro Business Award for his company at the Chamber’s annual Community Awards gala last month.

He also mentioned how he has 10,000 followers for his “Chandler Loyal” feeds on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. He posts about businesses and events in Chandler but does not mention his own company in the posts.

When asked what his goals and priorities for the city would be on the Council, he talked about the economy, growth and technology, among other topics.

“I believe Chandler is what I would call a right-size city,” McClymonds said. “I’m fiscally conservative. My goal is to continue with the right-size city.”

Arts, public safety, solid waste and creating a “smart city” would also be priorities, he said. “Smart city” means using “technology to increase efficiencies,” McClymonds said.

When asked what he thought were the biggest challenges the city was facing, he said, “Navigating the build-out.” McClymonds also said the city needs to “find optimal balance between residential, commercial” and other zoning uses.

“We’re hearing complaints of the number of apartments and storage facilities built,” he said.

He also said it is “increasingly difficult and important to best develop vacant land.”

He and his wife, Sheila, have two grown children, Jeff and Gabrielle.

When asked what decision or policy the Council had made within the last five years he disagreed with, McClymonds mentioned his concern that a strip mall at the southwest of Ocotillo and Gilbert Roads does not “fit in with the area.”

He said it does not reflect the “rural, agrarian” look that the southeast part of Chandler is supposed to have.

Finalist Crawford retired as the vice president of student affairs at Chandler-Gilbert Community College.

“I have been engaged in public service for over 47 years,” Crawford said during his opening statement. “Those years of experience have allowed me to hone my leadership abilities. The City Council matters to our city.”

When asked why he wanted to be on the Council, Crawford said Chandler is “an awesome community that’s been good to me.”

Eberle is managing member of Biltmore Executive Group, which offers companies support and advice in many areas including acquisitions, finances, strategic planning, investments and hiring of executive-level professionals.

Eberle touted his professional skills, compassion and community service when being asked why he wanted to be considered for the vacant seat at the June 25 interviews.

“Councilmember Nora Ellen is a leader who has vision,” he said. “I have a proven track record of success in large organizations. I’m willing to make difficult decisions when required. I have a strong work ethic.”

When asked what his strengths were, Eberle said “an acute ability to digest massive amounts of information” and “the ability to collaborate effectively.”

Hardy is a veteran and the officiating pastor at Congregational Church of the Valley. He is president and co-founder of Chandler Men of Action and director and organizer of the Chandler Community Celebration Choir.

Hardy worked as a security guard in the Chandler Unified School District from August 2005 to May 2010, according to his resume. He worked as a human resource supervisor for the U.S. Air Force from 1985 to 1996. He serves on Chandler’s Human Relations Commission.

After he was asked why he wanted to serve on the Council, he said he wanted to help give a voice to people in the community.

“The biggest reason is, I believe I can move,” he said. “I can reach out to others, reach out to those who feel like they’re being suffocated and not have a voice.”

Harris is the federal programs director for the Higley Unified School District. He also is an online education adjunct instructor at Ottawa University, his resume said.

Harris is involved in civic activities such as serving as a member of Chandler’s Housing and Human Services Commission and as chairman of the city’s Citizens’ Panel for Review of Police Complaints and Use of Force.

When asked why he wanted to be on the Council, he said, “I love Chandler.”

“Integrity and commitment are my guiding principles,” he said. “I will continue to be supportive of the mayor and Council’s vision. The future is bright.”

Hudson is an attorney and owner of Hudson Law Firm and an adjunct faculty member for Chandler-Gilbert Community College. The former prosecutor is also an adjunct faculty member at ASU.

When asked why she wanted to be on the Council, she said, ”I really do believe I don’t have personal goals. What I see myself is (being) able to bridge gaps.”

Ortiz-Parsons, an educator in the Chandler Unified School District for 30 years, was also an adjunct teacher at Chandler-Gilbert Community College from 2011 to 2016. Ortiz-Parsons served as a Chandler Planning and Zoning Commission member from 1994 to 2000 and was a member of the National Association State Board of Education, from 2010 to 2015.

She also worked as the Chandler Ostrich Festival events coordinator from 1980 to 2000.

Ortiz-Parsons has extensive political experience including serving as field director in northern Arizona in the (Paul) “Babeu for Congress” and state coordinator for “Carson for America” in 2016.

“I think we need female representation to enhance our Council at this time,” she said.

Pickett is a cloud automation engineer at Intel Corporation, and she moved to Chandler in 2005 and has been involved in many civic activities. he is the chairwoman of Chandler’s Neighborhood Advisory Committee and was part of the city’s Citizens’ Advisory Committee (General Plan Update). Previously, she volunteered as a Big Sister for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona for six years.

“I believe in giving back,” Pickett said when asked why she wanted to be on the Council. “It’s something I’ve always thought to do; it’s in my DNA. I stay abreast of the issues. I make sure I’m a voice for people who don’t feel comfortable. My role in technology requires I’m in a constant state of learning.”

Repar said as a retiree he would do a good job of helping senior citizens.

“I have an open mind,” he said when asked what strengths he would bring to the Council. “I’m not afraid to ask questions. I’ve been told that I’m very insightful. I’m creative. I’ve got a lot of experience behind me. I’ve spent time with the Council, with the Chamber.”

Vice Mayor Lopez said the decision on whom to pick for the seat was “very hard,” but for him one of the reasons McClymonds was ultimately the winner was “his long-term commitment and involvement with Chandler.”

“He’s had a passion for Chandler a long time,” Lopez said. “He’s a very well-rounded character, businessman and philanthropist, helps nonprofits; helps the kids, all-around great guy. I look forward to working with him. I’ve worked with him on many other ventures for the last four years through Compadres and through the Chamber.”

Kimberly Carrillo/Staff Photographer