Hartke upbeat about Chandler in annual address - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Hartke upbeat about Chandler in annual address

February 28th, 2022 development
Hartke upbeat about Chandler in annual address
Community
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By Ken Sain, Staff Writer

Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke Feb. 17 touted the city’s overall economic numbers in an upbeat State of the City address.

He said more than 740,000 square feet of industrial office space was added last year and another 1.8 million square feet is currently under construction.

The mayor’s speech at Chandler Center for the Arts was greeted by an enthusiastic crowd that dined on local food items prior to his address and later listened to the band QVLN.

“These investments by developers and the support of brokers are creating space for companies to expand and produce jobs,” Hartke said.

The mayor added that in addition to the nearly $20 billion Intel is investing in the city, another $245 million is planned in capital investments by other businesses over the next three years.

“We get compliments all the time about the ease and speed of our development process. We do our part to help Chandler businesses succeed,” Hartke said.

Hartke said a building boom continues, with the city surpassing $1 billion in the combined value of building permits for the second straight year.

“Chandler is a great place to live and work. Growth of Chandler-based jobs has increased our ratio to 1.23 jobs per household,” he said.

The mayor highlighted the city’s employment areas and the success they have had in bringing jobs to Chandler.

He called the zone around Chandler Municipal Airport “the last frontier” and said that the city is working on bringing more jobs to that area.

The city saw an uptick in tourism as more people feel comfortable traveling despite the pandemic.

“Hotel room demand was up 35% in 2021, which is 5% higher than pre-pandemic levels,” Hartke said.

The mayor also introduced a new program called Chandler Changemakers, which will highlight inspiring young residents over the coming year. He introduced some of them in a short video.

“As the saying goes – children are our future and with these kids, I think our future is in great hands,” the mayor said.

Young people occupied a portion of the mayor’s address in two ways.

Interviewed on an accompanying video were members of the Hamilton High School girls volleyball team: Jordan Middleton, Micah Gryniewicz, Tatum Thomas and Ella Butler.

The Chandler Changemakers were asked to stand, and they will be the subject of special monthly features throughout the year. They are: Milayna Jones, Anshul Verma, Prisha Shroff, Hamilton High School girls volleyball team members Jordan Middleton, Micah Gryniewicz, Tatum Thomas and Ella Butler; Gwyn Satterlee, Fernando Sandoval, Ella Wang, Sam Bregman and robotics team members Rohan Vallamshetla, Sidharth Kanderi, Ari Kanderi and Karan  Vallamshetla.

Also, winners of the city art contest were announced.

Winners in the 6-9 age bracket are Kaiwen Yao, Sahana Karthik and Olivia Brooks. The 10-13-year-old winners are Chetan Sai Vudaru, Emma Robertson and Violet Welch. In the 14-18 bracket, winners are Payton Harvey, Noura Ibrahim and Alyssa Gamby. And the Mayor’s Choice Award went to Kimberlie Martinzes-Wolf.

Hartke briefly touched on one controversial subject that the Council will be dealing with later this year, protecting traditionally marginalized people. Last year the Council rejected creating a non-discrimination ordinance on a 5-2 vote. Council has since brought in a consultant to evaluate the city’s need for such an ordinance.

Chandler is the largest city in Arizona that does not have a non-discrimination ordinance to protect LGBTQ residents.

“And we are engaging community stakeholders in the City’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Assessment to help us create a roadmap for future DEI programs,” he said.

Hartke said the city added 700 single-family homes and 300 multi-family buildings in the past year. He said construction on 167 affordable housing units is planned for this year through a public-private partnership.

The mayor said the city has been pro-active in dealing with homelessness, preventing 71 evictions by connecting residents with resources.

Hartke said the city’s crime rate is lowest it has been in 35 years, and thanked both the police and community for working together.

“Crime rates this low occurred in the ’80s when Chandler only had 80,000 residents,” Hartke said.

“The State of our City is strong and focused on the future, while honoring our community’s rich heritage and culture,” Hartke said. “Our financial security is great. Our water supply is secure. Our city is safe. Our downtown is kicking it.

“We have never had more jobs or corporate headquarters located in Chandler, all over Chandler. Our future is bright.”

The State of our City is strong and focused on the future, while honoring our community’s rich heritage and culture, Hartke said. Our financial security is great. Our water supply is secure. Our city is safe. Our downtown is kicking it.– Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke

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