By Jay Tibshraeny
Chandler’s strong economic foundation is the product of careful financial planning that spans several decades, resulting from policies that have been strictly adhered to by council members and city staff who residents have entrusted with their tax dollars.
It’s one of the reasons that this year’s budget theme is “Fiscal Strength and Low-Cost Services.”
I am proud to report that this plan contains a proposal for a slight decrease to the city property tax rate and no increases in the city sales tax rate. However, as in years past, we remain guarded in our forecast.
At the same time, I am optimistic about the direction toward which the city continues to move.
The 2016-17 budget, adopted by the Council on June 9, shows a slight increase from the prior year, and we again are able to fund new parks and amenities, develop infrastructure, deliver quality services and maintain our roads and utility systems.
We continue to be among the lowest of all Valley cities for resident costs.
We celebrated many successes over the past year, including the dedication of the Downtown Stage, our Veterans Memorial and Citrus Vista Park, while rededicating Folley Park after significant upgrades.
We continue to construct and widen roads in south Chandler, aggressively maintain and improve others, while undertaking some significant new utility projects vital to our future growth.
We continue to focus on neighborhoods and celebrate residents.
My Listening Tour continues and seems to grow in popularity with each stop. In April we announced our third annual Neighborhood Excellence award winners, and my Teen Leadership Academy graduated a second strong class in March.
We welcomed many new businesses to Chandler, including the FedEx Distribution Center near the airport, as well as the Ride Now, Porsche and Earnhardt Cadillac dealership at our Auto Mall.
We also welcomed the Google Autonomous Car project in Chandler, joining just three other cities across the nation for the testing of the next wave of driverless car technology.
Thanks to our management team and budget staff for their dedicated work to prepare a prudent, sensible plan. This financial roadmap is the product of a long and transparent process—and many hours of work on the part of our city staff, the City Council, and the residents of Chandler.
Through public meetings, surveys and our popular Budget Connect online forum, we have developed a sustainable fiscal blueprint that this community can take great pride in—all reasons why we have been able to maintain AAA bond ratings from all three rating agencies.
Thanks also to my fellow city councilmembers. They remain, as do I, committed to an unparalleled quality of life for our city and residents.
We live in a tremendous community — one that exemplifies this year’s theme to its core.
We truly are a city of “Fiscal Strength and Low-Cost Services.”
— Jay Tibrshraeny is mayor of Chandler