Thank you, Chandler – It’s been a great ride - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Thank you, Chandler – It’s been a great ride

January 8th, 2019 SanTan Sun News
Thank you, Chandler – It’s been a great ride

by Mayor Jay Tibshraeny

Guest Writer

When I was first elected to the City Council in 1986, I had no idea what I was in for. Nor did I think that three-plus decades later I would be finishing my seventh term as the mayor of this wonderful city. And, I wouldn’t change a thing.

In those early years I was on the council, we faced some significant challenges. Our financial situation was bleak. And yet, with the coming growth we were sure to face, we had to change that.

One of my early goals on council, as vice mayor – and in my first term as Mayor in 1994, was to fix that. I am proud of all our past councils for embracing a goal to become one of the most financially stable cities in the country. Had we not, the growth of the 1990’s and early 2000’s, along with two recessions, could have killed our collective dreams for Chandler.

After eight years in the State Senate, I was privileged to have the people of Chandler welcome me back to the Mayor’s office in 2011. I created a number of initiatives of which I am very proud.

Coming back during the Great Recession was challenging. We held a job fair that attracted more than a hundred employers and thousands of people – and we called it Job Connect. From there, we started my Health Connect Initiative, focusing on mental, physical and financial health.

Moving from high growth to sustainability mode, we launched Neighborhood Connect, and ushered in the Mayor’s Listening Tour. I will always look back on these programs, knowing that we were able to provide resources for residents to help them improve their lives, while enhancing the overall quality of this city.

Some of the other areas where we made strong progress include transportation, parks and recreation, and planning and economic development. In my first terms as mayor, I was able to move up the construction of the Price Freeway, becoming the first city in the state to utilize a new financing option. That led the acceleration of Chandler Fashion Center, an economic boon to our city.

I have always been an advocate of parks and recreation.

We have developed so many amenities that we all can be very proud of, including: a new museum, which we dedicated in early December; the 7.5-mile Paseo Trail system; bike park; skate park; arts center; community centers; as well as many pools and libraries – several in partnership with our school districts.

Through solid and balanced planning, we have created a place where people can truly live, work and play in comfort and safety. We have one of the most robust economies in the Southwest, if not the nation.

Our talent pool runs deep, thanks to an outstanding education system. And our employment base is diversified and ever expanding.

Even as a Senator, I fought hard to preserve the dynamic employment center that is the Price Corridor. The Price, with its many anchors – Intel, Northrup, Wells Fargo, Infusionsoft, and now Allstate – among dozens of others – continues to solidify our reputation as the Innovation and Technology Hub of the Southwest.

And, of course, we have, over time, developed the finest public safety departments in the country. That is evident not just in our low crime rate, excellent response times and other statistics, but also in the support the community continues to show for these men and women.

I thoroughly enjoyed serving the region in my time with Maricopa Association of Governments, Greater Phoenix Economic Council and the League of Arizona Cities and Towns. But, when it was announced to me that I was named the City and County Magazine Public Official of the Year, it was extremely special.

Special because that recognition was based on the community as a whole. And, as a community, we have done this together. My ideas and efforts mean nothing if it were not for the buy-in of a collective vision.

My proudest accomplishment though has been the time I took to personally work with residents on things of concern to them. Personal conversations, emails, phone calls. I tried to be as responsive as humanly possible. I hope that came through because it was what I truly enjoyed most about the job. I look forward to continued service as Justice of the Peace. It will keep me in contact with our many residents – and again, many of them seeking help.

Thanks to all of you for your continued support through the years. I can’t begin to tell you what this great ride has meant to me. It’s been my privilege to serve you.