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May 25, 2017
 
Chandler remains healthy, fiscally fit

By Mayor Jay Tibshraeny

In early May, the City of Chandler was recognized as a 2017 Healthy Arizona Worksite Gold Award recipient for excellence in worksite wellness. Our employees are committed to health and fitness. And, it relates well to our theme for this year’s budget: “Chandler is Healthy and Fiscally Fit.”

On May 25, the City Council tentatively adopted the 2017-2018 Fiscal Year Budget and the 2018-2027 Capital Improvement Plan. Final adoption is set for June 8, with adoption of the annual property tax levy on June 22.

The budget, at $934.5 million represents a 3.8 decrease from last year; and a proposed property tax levy reduction of two-cents, down to $1.14 per $100 of assessed valuation.

Yes, we still have some challenges that include an unstable global economic environment as well as an underfunded state public safety retirement system. But at the same time, I remain encouraged that our community continues to move in a good direction.

Chandler’s solid economic foundation is the product of more than two decades of sound financial planning. Policies that have been strictly adhered to by those you have entrusted with your hard-earned tax dollars. I want to thank my fellow Councilmembers who fully understand the impacts of this strategy, and have worked tirelessly on this budget to ensure we remain fiscally strong.

The 2017-18 budget is a solid one, and we again are able to fund road projects, build parks and maintain basic services and infrastructure.

At the same time, we celebrated many successes over this past year (the fiscal year runs July 1 through June 30). We renovated and upgraded several parks, and we continue to construct and widen roads in south Chandler, aggressively maintain and improve others, and have undertaken some critical new utility projects.

We continued to focus on neighborhoods and celebrate residents. My Listening Tour continues, and seems to grow in popularity with each stop. In February, we announced our 3rd annual Neighborhood Excellence award winners and I again hosted my Teen Leadership Academy in March.

We welcomed many new businesses to Chandler including Waymo’s (formerly Google) autonomous vehicle testing site in west Chandler. Rogers announced it will move its headquarters to Chandler this year and Intel announced a $7 billion expansion at its Ocotillo campus, generating several thousand jobs. The business community continues to find Chandler as an attractive place to locate and grow.

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 you, the residents of Chandler. Through public meetings, surveys and our popular Budget Connect online forum, we have developed a comprehensive 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 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 is Healthy and Fiscally Fit!