2024 Chandler State of the City

Thursday, February 15, 2024
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6:30 p.m.
Add to Calendar 2024-02-15 18:30:00 2024-04-17 01:00:07 2024 Chandler State of the City Mayor Kevin Hartke and the Chandler City Council hosted the annual State of the City address on Feb. 15. Guests enjoyed the Lobby Experience — a pre-event reception celebrating Chandler's fun, vibrant, family-friendly community with free food, game decor and networking. Before the Mayor took the stage, attendees experienced a riveting and heart-pounding Japanese Taiko drum performance.  If you weren't able to join us, read Mayor Hartke's speech and enjoy the accompanying videos below. City of Chandler info@chandleraz.gov America/Phoenix public

Mayor Kevin Hartke and the Chandler City Council hosted the annual State of the City address on Feb. 15.

Guests enjoyed the Lobby Experience — a pre-event reception celebrating Chandler's fun, vibrant, family-friendly community with free food, game decor and networking. Before the Mayor took the stage, attendees experienced a riveting and heart-pounding Japanese Taiko drum performance. 

If you weren't able to join us, read Mayor Hartke's speech and enjoy the accompanying videos below.

  • I’d like to officially welcome you to Chandler’s 2024 State of the City.
  • People with diverse cultures, interests and talents expose us to new and exciting things.
  • Food, games and music connect us.
  • You’ve experienced a sample of that tonight.
  • Our common love for Chandler resonates across all walks of life.
  • Tonight, we’ll highlight areas that make us proud and ways our community brings people together.
  • Let me begin our journey by introducing my colleagues.
  • Vice Mayor OD Harris is on transportation, building safety and infrastructure boards at the regional and national level.
  • Councilmember Mark Stewart is on regional economic development and national innovation and technology committees.
  • Councilmember Matt Orlando is on literacy and water associations in Arizona and serves nationally on the League of Cities board of directors.
  • Councilmember Christine Ellis is on regional domestic violence and national human development and policy committees.
  • Councilmember Jane Poston serves on national public safety and crime prevention committees.
  • Councilmember Angel Encinas serves on local business and workforce development committees.
  • I serve as your Mayor. Later this year, I will also serve you as the Chair of the Maricopa Association of Governments Regional Council and President of the League of Arizona Cities and Towns.
  • As I prepared for tonight, I thought about our many accomplishments this past year.
  • Chandler is consistently recognized among the safest cities in America and best places to live.
  • Chandler was named the #1 city in the nation for renters.
  • We’re among the most family-friendly cities in America and best places for veterans to live.
  • A best place to start a side hustle and a city where Black Americans fare best economically.
  • A city recognized for technology and finding innovative ways to address challenges.
  • Residents gave us high satisfaction grades:
    • Quality of Life – 99 percent
    • Care by First Responders - 98 percent
    • City Services – 96 percent
    • Return on Taxes – 94 percent
    • Feel Safe in Chandler – 92 percent 
  • Last year, we illustrated our evolution from a city of crops and fields to a city of fabs and chips.
  • Today, we’re experiencing the fruits of that investment as more high-tech manufacturing and innovation companies expand operations.
  • Intel’s presence in Chandler is nearing 45 years and today it is a centerpiece of America’s semiconductor industry.
    • The billions being invested has a global impact, powering the most advanced technology in the world.
    • Their continued investment supports a growing presence of semiconductor innovators in Chandler.
    • Intel and the entire region are positioned well for semiconductor manufacturing growth. We are seeing that in Chandler.
  • Edwards Vacuum opened a manufacturing facility to meet the demand for vacuum and abatement services in the semiconductor industry.
  • EMD Electronics opened a factory that doubled its manufacturing capacity in the U.S. to produce semiconductor equipment and services.
  • Bechtel opened an office for its advanced manufacturing and technology global business unit.
  • Yield Engineering Systems opened space to create innovative manufacturing processes and prototypes for the semiconductor industry.
  • Saras Micro Devices has co-located at this facility to build manufacturing space for its advanced power delivery solutions.
  • Companies expanding operations weren’t limited to the semiconductor industry.
  • Chandler was named the Best City for Business by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
  • Our business-friendly tax climate and regulatory policies make it easy and attractive for companies to locate and expand.
  • Here are a few more companies who chose Chandler to expand their operations.
  • Vensure Employer Services opened its global headquarters to meet rising demand for human resources technology and services.
  • Mastek opened an innovation hub to provide services on leading enterprise platforms.
  • Raley's retained the Bashas’ corporate presence and opened a merchandising and operations support hub for its retail grocery stores.
  • SCHEELS opened its first Arizona store at Chandler Fashion Center, transforming retail space to offer recreation and sport specialty shops.
  • Andretti Indoor Karting and Games will open a new entertainment center this month featuring three-level go-kart racing and a variety of gaming experiences.
  • A well-deserved congratulations to our own Micah Miranda for being named Arizona’s Economic Developer of the Year in 2023.
  • One of Chandler's greatest strengths in attracting quality jobs is an educated population that creates a pipeline of talented workers.
  • Workforce development illustrates the power of collaboration and innovation.
  • Our broad approach engages the business community, higher education and tech platforms that connect people with training and jobs.
  • Grand Canyon University opened a site for its Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.
  • The University of Arizona expanded programs in Chandler to fill the need for talented workers.
  • Chandler-Gilbert Community College offered degree programs and expanded specialized job training for Chandler industries.
  • We worked with them to create internships for students to serve alongside city professionals.
  • We partnered with Arizona State University to launch Chandler Endeavor, an incubator that advances early-stage and grow-stage ventures.
  • Another program leverages ASU’s resources to equip Chandler Unified students with entrepreneurial tools and resources for success.
  • And, congratulations to CUSD for being named the best school district in Arizona for both academics AND athletics.
  • Quality jobs and great schools attract talented people from all over the globe.
  • As such, Chandler is one of the most culturally diverse communities in Arizona with a unique international flavor.
  • In 2023, we implemented our first-ever Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategic Plan.
  • Language translation devices fostered customer service interactions in 120 languages and dialects.
  • An award-winning online chat at our court provided access to services in multiple languages.
  • By the way, does anyone know what Struthio means…
  • It’s Latin for Ostrich.
  • And, the Ostrich Festival is next month – the Chandler Chamber of Commerce hosts this annual event celebrating our early history with ostriches.
  • A month-long series of Contigo events engaged the Latino community and our own Niki Tapia was nationally recognized as a Top Latino Leader.
  • We celebrated Juneteenth as an official city holiday and the MLK Awards recognized residents’ dedication to human and civil rights.
  • The Multicultural Festival showcased the people and cultures that make Chandler special.
  • Art, dance, music and, my favorite, food, are some of the many ways that we all connect.
  • As you’re ABOUT to see, our city offers diverse experiences that bring people together.
  • Wow – there are so many ways to make lasting memories right here in Chandler.
  • Let’s talk about the arts and our parks, recreation and libraries.
  • The arts and culture industry has a $12 million economic impact in Chandler.
  • Chandler Center for the Arts continues to attract diverse musical and theatrical performances.
  • The Pueblo Alto mural was completed, and new murals are coming to Apache Park and Chandler Museum this year.
  • The Chandler Public Library is adding a bookmobile with technology that will function as a mobile library.
  • Nearly 300 Chandler youth in public housing were provided after-school and literacy programs.
  • Our recreation centers will become certified autism centers to better serve residents.
  • Our own Kennedy Terrill was nationally recognized for engaging teens in recreation programs.
  • We’ve invested in parks and athletic facilities with improvements completed at 10 parks.
  • Major improvements at Tumbleweed Park will add a four-field diamond sports complex and design a new 18-court pickleball complex.
  • We’re adding multigenerational space at Tumbleweed Recreation Center and designing future improvements at Tumbleweed Ranch.
  • Significant improvements are being made at the Chandler Boys and Girls Club, in partnership with the City and Chandler Compadres.
  • The Galveston neighborhood is undergoing major improvements.
  • We’re making substantial upgrades, removing residents from flood risk and updating Gazelle Meadows Park.
  • CUSD is building a new elementary school and the nonprofit, Live Love, is creating a community center called The Oasis.
  • We earned Tree City USA status for the 11th consecutive year.
  • Grants are helping us develop a tree inventory and urban forestry management program.
  • That includes engaging CUSD students to plant trees in neighborhoods and city parks.
  • Our water and wastewater infrastructure and systems are reliable, secure and efficient.
  • Water conservation rebates offer incentives for water-efficient technologies and grass removal.
  • We saw a 900 percent increase in homeowner applications in the first 60 days of this program.
  • Advanced water meters will empower customers with data about their own water consumption.
  • We’ve converted more than 28,000 streetlights to LED fixtures that will reduce our electricity consumption by about $673,000 annually.
  • Agreements with multiple providers offer residents more access to broadband speeds through fiber-to-home infrastructure.
  • Planning has fostered innovation and investment that made us into the city we are today.
  • It has guided decisions for decades – in the areas of water, land use and finances.
  • Our General Plan gathers public input that creates the vision for development in Chandler.
  • We’ll soon begin the process to update our plan and take it to Chandler voters for approval in 2026.
  • It’s an important planning step that ensures residents guide how our community develops.
  • Attracting companies and high-quality jobs would not occur without voter-approved plans that preserve space for employment.
  • With that background, let me address some policy issues.
  • A new state law eliminated residential rental taxes – an estimated $11 million loss for Chandler that takes effect next year.
  • Chandler has the lowest combined taxes and costs for services because we plan and rely on diverse revenue sources to serve the community.
  • State preemption has become an ongoing theme at the legislature – recently in the areas of water, housing and development.
  • We oppose any legislation that overrides Chandler voters and bypasses local authority.
  • Instead, we’re modeling best practices and offering solutions.
  • A secure water position comes from long-range planning and wise investments over many decades.
  • Companies and residents in our city have a 100-year assured water supply lasting for generations.
  • We’re proactive in maintaining water and wastewater facilities, enabling Chandler to have the lowest overall utility rates in the Valley.
  • Our water allocation policy preserves supply for existing and future economic growth.
  • And, our reclaimed water system ensures every drop is reused many times over.
  • We are working with county, state and federal agencies plus private developers to create housing options that address the needs of our community.
  • Council has approved nearly 2,700 multi-family units and single-family homes in recent years that are pending construction.
  • Clearly, we are not hindering, opposing or slowing down housing!
  • For more than 50 years, Chandler has operated as a Housing and Urban Development-designated public housing authority.
  • We manage more than 300 single-family and multi-family units.
  • Plus, we administer hundreds of vouchers that supplement rent paid by tenants of privately owned units.
  • Our own Vickie Ellexson was named Arizona’s Employee of the Year for administering housing choice vouchers.
  • We use every tool in our toolbox to help Chandler families and individuals with housing.
  • We’re using real-time data and technology to guide housing strategies and combat instability.
  • We’re adding more affordable housing too.
  • In partnership with a developer, construction of Villas at McQueen begins this year to add 157 multi-family affordable housing units.
  • We’re reviewing proposals to redevelop two other city-owned sites to build additional units.
  • Commercial redevelopment offers another opportunity.
  • We’ve amended the Infill Incentive Plan to provide tools and promote redevelopment in parts of Chandler north of the Loop 202 freeway.
  • It’s a win-win that protects local authority, diversifies economic development tools and spurs investment in a community.
  • State lawmakers must work with cities to tackle these issues – not tie our hands – and not take decisions out of the hands of residents.
  • We’d like to see legislation that offers cities tools to address underperforming retail centers and housing while preserving the rights of residents to have input on development.
  • Downtown Chandler successfully illustrates redevelopment in action.
  • It has become a destination for entertainment and dining experiences, attracting new businesses and housing.
  • Eight new businesses opened last year, and DC Heights completed its first phase.
  • The second phase of New Square will add hotel rooms, conference space and a new restaurant.
  • One Chandler will create retail, office and multi-family housing at Arizona Avenue and Chandler Boulevard.
  • A two-story food hall featuring up to 12 restaurants will be built downtown.
  • Improvements to streets and signage will help drivers and pedestrians navigate downtown.
  • Voters will have another important decision to make this year regarding transportation.
  • The regional half-cent sales tax dedicated to transportation since 1985 is on the ballot this year.
  • It has funded the development of the Valley’s regional freeway network and transit system plus numerous street and transit projects in Chandler.
  • Proposition 479 is a critical source of funding to sustain and improve our streets, intersections, traffic technology and transit services.
  • Council has nearly doubled investments in pavement restoration, ensuring the quality of Chandler roadways.
  • Our award-winning streets crews completed over 150 miles of pavement restoration last year.
  • Chandler Flex has proven to be a popular on-demand transit service since its inception in 2022.
  • Residents have said they want bike lanes that are safe and offer improved connectivity.
  • We completed a study of protected bike lanes as well as traffic calming measures on Hunt Highway.
  • Frye Road will be our first protected bike lane, providing a 2.5-mile connection between Paseo Trail and San Marcos Park, west of downtown.
  • We also have dedicated trails and paths that connect with neighboring cities.
  • Serious crime rates hit historically low levels last year.
  • And, our police department has produced a steady decline in crime during the past decade.
  • That illustrates the supportive relationship that exists between residents, businesses and police.
  • Partnerships with service providers freed up first responders to address other community safety needs.
  • Integration of crisis and social service clinicians with police dispatchers diverted hundreds and hundreds of calls to behavioral health providers.
  • We’re putting opioid settlement funds to use by working with prevention and intervention services.
  • Human trafficking is a community safety issue that we’re facing head-on.
  • Millions in grants and funding sponsored by Representative Julie Willoughby are going toward technology and resources targeted at human trafficking and Internet crimes against children.
  • This includes investigative resources, technology and systems for a real-time police crime center.
  • Staff from all city departments completed training to identify and report human trafficking.
  • Our own Amanda Dahl was recognized by the Arizona Association of Crime Analysts as a stand-out new crime analyst.
  • Chandler Fire has become an accredited paramedic program – the first fire department in the East Valley and only the second in Arizona.
  • We equipped 24 graduates to become the newest paramedics serving Chandler.
  • Our busiest fire station was rebuilt, and a second engine was added to address the demand for emergency services in north Chandler.
  • This is the first major project completed using bonds authorized by voters in 2021.
  • A future project planned using bonds is a Police Forensic Sciences facility.
  • This new facility, to be built in the coming years, will feature a forensics team, consistently named a top-performing lab by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors.
  • First responders are exposed to unique health risks, so there are measures we have taken.
  • Cancer prevention and diagnosis services for firefighters reduce their risk and exposure.
  • Health screenings for police officers provide early detection of heart disease and cardiovascular risks.
  • Mental health resources also are available for first responders.
  • We have taken a unique approach to recruiting first responders to Chandler.
  • Chandler Fire conducted its recruitment process, and 30 new firefighters will start serving our community this year.
  • Chandler Police held ongoing recruitments - 48 police officers and 35 civilians were hired last year.
  • We’ve adopted several ordinances to preserve the quality of life in neighborhoods.
  • Our historic preservation ordinance promotes and preserves neighborhoods and landmarks.
  • We’ve confronted the impacts of short-term rentals, data centers and animal cruelty and hoarding.
  • We’re also working with other communities to prevent and address teen violence.
  • We condemn teen violence and recognize the danger and harm it creates among our youth.
  • We’re committed to engaging parents and youth to prevent and investigate these acts of violence.
  • It’s imperative that residents continue sharing information about teen violence with police.
  • A safe and resilient Chandler community begins with engaged residents.
  • Nationally recognized, For Our City Day and Golden Neighbors, revitalized neighborhoods and connected seniors with resources.
  • We’re one of only six cities nationally to receive the Global Cities Award from Just Serve, for connecting volunteers with community needs.
  • These accolades reflect the great work of people and businesses who are invested in Chandler.
  • We’re being proactive to prevent homelessness by connecting people with resources and housing.
  • Our goal is to keep people housed and leverage social services that create stability.
  • We administered rent and utility assistance for more than 2,000 Chandler households.
  • We awarded $1.4 million to 48 nonprofits that deliver a variety of social services to residents.
  • Community navigators connect people with a network of services to obtain housing, treatment and resources that stabilize their lives.
  • As we look to the year ahead, we’ll continue our focus on excellent services and fiscal practices
  • We have the lowest total cost of taxes and utility services in the Valley.
  • Our sales tax is the lowest in the entire state.
  • Council lowered property taxes for the eighth consecutive year.
  • We’re the largest Arizona city to pay off our public safety pension obligation.
  • Chandler is an appealing place, and we have many exciting things to come this year.
  • We’ll welcome more world-class companies and innovators to Chandler.
  • We’ll refresh the Sister City Program and broaden our international relationships.
  • We’ll create a plan for Mesquite Groves, our 70th park.
  • We’ll focus on community, service and excellence, not partisan division.
  • Vision and planning are rooted in our heritage.
  • We are innovators, inspired by possibilities.
  • And, we take responsibility for shaping our community’s future.
  • We’ve had an incredible year of announcements.
  • Our city is safe.
  • Our city is welcoming to all people, backgrounds and cultures.
  • Our city is connected through traditions and technology.
  • We are experiencing tremendous investment and prosperity.
  • And we are proud to serve you as Mayor and Councilmembers.
  • Thank you for being here!