Chandler council candidate Matt Orlando - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Chandler council candidate Matt Orlando

May 27th, 2022 SanTan Sun News
Chandler council candidate Matt Orlando
Politics
1

MATT ORLANDO

Age:  66

Years in Chandler:  38 years

Immediate family: Pat, wife of 44 years.  We have three children: Matt, Anthony and Leah; two grandchildren

Education:  MBA Golden Gate University, CA; BA Rutgers University, NJ

Job:  Current Chandler City Councilmember

Matt Orlando

Matt Orlando

Why are you running for Council?

To keep working to build a better quality of life for all; continue to be a strong advocate for safe and clean neighborhoods; foster smart growth policies; and continue providing the open and transparent communication that you have come to expect and is critical for maintaining trust in local government.

Prior to your decision to run for Council, how have you been involved in the community and/or in town government-related activities?

I have been serving on the Chandler Council for 20 years and am proud of the success Chandler has enjoyed due to the decisions I and other councilmembers have made. As a 30-year military officer, serving both active duty and in the Arizona Air National Guard, I have led responses to natural disasters and homeland defense.

 What attributes do you bring to the table that would serve the city well, particularly if economic headwinds such as inflation confront America in the next few years?

Experience and the ability to make tough decisions. I served when Chandler was the fastest growing city in the nation, during the recessions, and through the Covid epidemic.  My vast military and corporate experience, plus my unmatched experience leading Chandler through challenging times while setting us up for future success.

 Name three your top concerns in Chandler for the next four years and tell how you would address them?

We must continue developing solutions that allow hard working families to afford a home and ensure development projects align with our neighborhoods’ concerns. We must accelerate the hiring of more first responders and support staff.  And we must find lasting solutions for homelessness, drug addiction, and mental health issues.

Name something you would change in city government that would improve it.

My vast experience has taught me that local government works best when it implements nonpartisan approaches to solve the real issues facing our community – not letting the needs of citizens become secondary to political whims. Let’s remember that potholes are neither Republican nor Democrat. They just need to be fixed.

How can the city facilitate the development of affordable workforce housing?

I worked with the council to approve a workforce/affordability housing plan that includes: coordinate with the state legislature to allow more construction of workforce housing; set aside some affordable/workforce housing units during new development; updating city codes to reflect the need for more housing options and utilize private/public partnerships that stimulate workforce housing.

 What issue has been handled poorly by the current City Council and what would you do differently?

Anyone who has worked in large organizations realizes communication is challenging.  Chandler is no different.  Although we strive to reach the public via press releases, videos of council meeting, surveys, and social media, we should do more outreach within our community. I’d like to explore more neighborhood coffees and conduct more outreach events.

Should Chandler pass an anti-discrimination ordinance with penalties for violating its provisions? Why or why not?

Chandler has always been a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community.   An anti-discrimination ordinance would reflect our values as a community and enhance our economic vitality. Many Valley cities have already passed similar ordinances and we should as well.  Chandler’s ordinance would only include education and mediation provisions as penalties.

What you support a bond issue to make the runways at Chandler Airport longer? Why or why not?

Chandler residents have voted three times not to expand the runway. Over the years, we’ve witnessed elected bodies usurping the will of the voters; I respect the will of the people. If, in the future, there is support from the community then the council can consider referring the issue for a vote.

 What achievement/activity that benefited your neighborhood or the city are you proudest of? 

Other than successfully championing for additional first responders for our city, I am most proud of always listening to Chandler’s residents and working to resolve their concerns. I always had and will continue to have the residents’ best interest in mind as I make decisions.

Orlando: Keep a trusted and experienced leader

By Councilman Matt Orlando
Guest Writer

Patricia, my wife, and I started our family in Chandler after I left the Air Force.  We have lived in Chandler for 38 years.  My three children were raised in Chandler, attended Chandler Public Schools, and are graduates of Arizona’s public universities.  Now my grandkids are being raised in Chandler.

After active duty, I served in the Arizona Air National Guard and retired as a Colonel after proudly serving our nation and state for 30 years.  Concurrently, I contributed to our national security by working in the aerospace and defense industry at several high tech companies in the valley.

Finally, I have the honor of serving 20 years as your city councilmember.  Over the years, four tenets have guided me as I made decisions for our community: work to build a better quality of life for all; be a strong advocate for safe and clean neighborhoods; foster smart growth policies; and provide open and transparent communication that you have come to expect and is critical for maintaining trust in local government.

I want to utilize my experience, leadership, and knowledge to ensure Chandler remains a world-class community.  We do this by ensuring we have top-notch public safety personnel, an educated workforce, lots of green spaces and cultural attractions, vibrant and sustainable downtown/entertainment districts, and a high-capacity transportation system that connects employees and customers to business nodes.

My continued priorities are:

Public safety & schools: I made public safety a top priority, again.  Last year, I led the effort to hire 25 additional police officers. This year we will hire additional eight police personnel, five of which will be assigned full time to a behavior heath unit to better integrate into the community and help those in need and prevent crime before it happens.  I will continue to work with our schools to expand programs and to hire additional public safety resources.

Neighborhoods & quality of life: Recently we completed a strategy to encourage more affordable/work force housing and I look forward to implementing our plan.  We worked with the business community to redevelop several failed/vacant retail corners for more housing and other uses.  We’ve expanded our outreach to preserve and revitalize existing neighborhoods and I will continue to work with residents to solve issues that affect them. We put additional resources to expand our parks and recreational programs.

Economic development: I will continue to diversify Chandler’s economic base while supporting existing local businesses in their expansion efforts.  In the past 3 years, our economic policies created over 11,000 office and industrial jobs.  I will continue to refine the sound economic policies that I helped implement years ago.

We’ve accomplished a lot during my first term, but we still have a lot more to do and I am just getting started.  Over the years I have relentlessly sought to earn your trust. Please vote to return me to the council so I can continue working for you and make Chandler an even better place to live. For more information: MattOrlando.com

Orlando: I am dedicated to maintaining public safety

By Matt Orlando
Arizonan Guest Writer

News media outlets have identified numerous police agencies throughout the nation as lacking or needing to improve on Police Use of Force and/or de-escalating practices.

As early as 2000, City Council, in conjunction with the Police Department, has been leading the Valley, if not the state, in implementing numerous programs and practices to ensure our citizens are engaged with police accountability practices.

In May of 2000, Council created the Citizen’s Panel for Review of Police Complaints. The panel, consisting of 15 citizens and Police Department personnel, reviews all police shootings and police incidents when direct physical force by the police results in serious physical injury or death.

The panel also reviews the findings of the department’s investigation of unsubstained, unfounded or exonerated citizen complaints, when that citizen requests a review of the Police Departments findings.

The panel acts in an advisory capacity to the Chief of Police. The panel is encouraged to make recommendations concerning training programs, revisions of policies or procedures, commendable actions, preventative or corrective measures except for employee discipline and community concerns regarding police action and procedures.

I have attended several of these meetings and have been impressed by the honest and open engagement by the panel’s members and the police department.  The meetings are open to the public and I encourage you to attend.

In addition to the panel, the Police Department has trained de-escalation practices and tactics for nearly ten years. Prior to the official implementation of de-escalation tactics and practices, the agency trained to  the concept of using minimal amounts of force necessary to safely take a subject into custody.

The Chandler Police Department implemented numerous policies and practices; this is just a small list:

  • Defined and described de-escalation in general orders policy and implemented an annual de-escalation policy review.
  • Annual training for all officers in Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) practices and techniques, to include training to self-identify biases that can hinder/hurt decision making and create unreasonable force options under stress.
  • Training on emotional control and decision-making under stress and the effects that stress can have on officers’ and citizens’ emotions.
  • Training on tactics that promote de-escalation and successful outcomes with individuals experiencing mental health-related events. This year we will hire 5 fulltime behavioral health police officers that will specialize in deescalating situations.
  • The department has purchased a top-of-the-line simulation system that will allow officers to train in reality-based video de-escalation scenarios. The system will also allow officers the opportunity to run scenarios involving developmentally disabled individuals.
  • A “Duty to Intervene” definition, training, and general order has been developed. This allows a second officer to intervene or take over for the primary officer if a situation dictates.

As a Council member, I am dedicated to the promise that our community is provided a high quality of life and safe neighborhoods, it is vital our law enforcement officers are equipped with the training, knowledge and tools necessary to navigate complex situations.

Go to MattOrlando.com for more information.

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