First Year Reflections

Jan. 23, 2024
| by:
Councilmember Jane Poston

My whirlwind first year as a councilmember has been filled with learning, exciting progress for the city and, above all, a commitment to serve Chandler.  

Engaging with the community is the heartbeat of this role. Meeting residents and businesses, hearing their stories, celebrating their successes and being responsive is a core function of councilmembers. Hearing our community’s diverse voices has been an education and an honor.

And while I’ve been deeply involved in the community for years, my position as councilmember is giving me the chance to view our city from a new perspective.  I take this role very seriously and understanding the nuances of the budget and intricacies of development codes is presenting a new aspect of Chandler every day. I’ll share a few highlights of the past year.

Council and city staff work hard to make sure Chandler is known for its business-friendly policies, and that effort is earning recognition. The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry named Chandler the Best City for Business, citing how our business-friendly tax climate and regulatory policies make it easy and attractive for companies to locate and expand.

Intel’s investment of billions in Chandler will produce the most technologically advanced semiconductors in the world. Numerous advanced manufacturing and semiconductor suppliers have opened new facilities or expanded operations. We witnessed Scheel’s renovate space at Chandler Fashion Center, approved exciting new developments and welcomed new retail ventures and restaurants.

Every choice made in the council chambers directly impacts the lives of those we represent. We passed ordinances to protect residents’ quality of life by mitigating the impact of short-term rentals and data centers, while amending city code to confront the issue of animal cruelty and hoarding.

We lowered property taxes and became the largest Arizona city to pay off our public safety pension system debt. We adjusted utility rates to make strategic investments in infrastructure and nearly doubled investments in pavement preservation. We became the first Arizona city to receive triple-A ratings on bonds backed by property and excise taxes, which saves money on major city improvements.

We rebuilt Chandler’s busiest fire station to better serve the demand for emergency services in north Chandler and experienced historically low numbers of serious crimes. We invested in city employees to retain and attract talented people to serve our community, including unique health screening and wellness programs for first responders. We implemented our first, ever diversity, equity and inclusion strategic plan, following the adoption of the city’s non-discrimination ordinance.  

Whether addressing infrastructure needs, social issues or economic development, the ability to contribute to the betterment of Chandler is a driving force for councilmembers. It reaffirms the importance of our role in shaping the future of our city.

My first year as a councilmember has been a dynamic and transformative experience. The opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of our residents is what makes this role both demanding and incredibly rewarding.

I am forever grateful for the opportunity to serve our community and look forward to the great things ahead for Chandler.