2022 Chandler State of the City Address

Mayor Kevin Hartke
Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022
  • Doors open: 5:30 p.m.
  • Mayoral Address: 6:30 p.m.
  • Concert: 7-7:45 p.m.
  • Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 N. Arizona Ave.

Mayor Kevin Hartke and the Chandler City Council invite you to a community celebration and free concert for the 2022 State of the City. Through hardship and challenges over the past two years our community rallied together to persevere, and it is time to celebrate and thank one another for the tremendous support that was shared.

Join us for a free concert, featuring multi-instrumentalist, singer & composer Quetzal Guerrero, also known as QVLN (Q-Violin) starting at 7 p.m. QVLN is at the forefront of music genre evolution & exploration. With an intense understanding of North, Central & South Americans rhythms, his creative directive is to navigate all forms of musical expression using his electric violin as his compass.

Mayor Hartke will kick off his Chandler Changemakers initiative during his State of the City address which aims to highlight the amazing youth in our community that are making waves locally and beyond.
 

Do you have a budding artist at home? Encourage them to submit to the inaugural “Through Your Eyes” art contest. We want our youth to share how they see Chandler, now and into the future. Artwork will be displayed at the State of the City event. The community will be able to vote on their favorite pieces to help the artists win cash prizes.

Through Your Eyes Art Contest

 

2022 State of the City Speech | Mayor Kevin Hartke

Welcome to the 2022 State of the City address! I’m so happy to be with you in person tonight!

It was wonderful to reconnect during the opening reception. Stay after my remarks for an exclusive concert by Q-VLN.

I’ll begin tonight by introducing the great people who make up the Chandler City Council:

  • Vice Mayor Terry Roe
  • Councilmember Rene Lopez
  • Councilmember Mark Stewart
  • Councilmember Matt Orlando
  • Councilmember Christine Ellis
  • Councilmember OD Harris

We’re also joined tonight by several elected officials and organizations who represent Chandler.

  • Congressman Greg Stanton
  • Representatives for:
    • Senator Krysten Sinema
    • Senator Mark Kelly and
    • Congressman Andy Biggs
  • State Senator Sean Bowie
  • State Representative Jennifer Pawlik
  • State Representative Jeff Weninger
  • Maricopa County Supervisor Jack Sellers
  • Chandler Unified School District board member Lara Bruner
  • Central Arizona Project board members:
    • Jennifer Brown
    • Benjamin Graff
    • April Pinger-Tornquist

  • City Manager Josh Wright
  • Chandler Chamber of Commerce President Terri Kimball
  • East Valley Partnership President John Lewis

I also thank former Chandler mayors and councilmembers for your vision – today we enjoy the fruits of your service on the Council.

I apologize if I’ve missed any officials here tonight.

We continue to collaborate with the many people and organizations making a positive difference in our community.

Many residents give their time and talent serving on boards and commissions. I ask those in attendance to stand and be recognized.

I appreciate the gifts each of you bring Chandler.

And finally, I couldn’t effectively serve as your Mayor without the support of my wife and family.

I am grateful for the overwhelming support of Chandler voters.  

Your approval of all five bond questions provides a mechanism to implement large capital projects and improve infrastructure and facilities.

Resident input each year during the budget process will shape projects funded with bonds.

Chandler is one of about 40 cities nationally with Triple A Bond Ratings from all three rating agencies, producing great value when bonds are issued.

We recently saved $9 million in interest payments by refinancing two previously issued bonds.

Another $8 million was secured from the State of Arizona for a critical watermain at the Loop 101 and Loop 202 interchange.

Our fiscal responsibility is why taxpayers experience some of the lowest costs for services, utility charges and sales tax rates in the Valley.

The CIVIC program created last year gives residents behind the scenes insights on how the City works.

Year two is underway and we are working with the Mayor’s Youth Commission on a youth version.

Chandler truly is a Community of Innovation.

I thank members of the City Council for developing a shared vision and strategic goals.  

Five focus areas emerged to guide our City.

Tonight, I’ll address advancements of the past year and preview some things to come.

Let’s start with two of them: Economic Vitality and Innovation and Technology.

Chandler is a great place to live and work. Growth of Chandler-based jobs has increased our ratio to 1.23 jobs per household.

Building is booming. For the second consecutive year, the combined value of building permits in Chandler surpassed $1 billion.

Let me share some numbers with you:

  • 740,000 square feet

That’s the amount of office and industrial space delivered last year.

  • 1.8 million square feet

That’s the amount of industrial space now under construction.

These investments by developers and the support of brokers are creating space for companies to expand and produce jobs.

Above and beyond the billions being invested by Intel, here’s another number:

  • $245 million

That’s the amount of capital investment businesses are making over the next three years as they locate and expand in Chandler.

We get compliments all the time about the ease and speed of our development process. We do our part to help Chandler businesses succeed.

Another component of economic vitality is tourism and bringing people and dollars to our community.  

Chandler is a destination for meetings and events, particularly for business.

Hotel room demand was up 35 percent in 2021, which is five percent higher than pre-pandemic levels.

This year, VisitChandler.com will unveil an immersive experience featuring virtual tours and photos to promote travel to our community.

Unique places and experiences are being added, including 99 Ranch Market, Pickleball Kingdom and Arizona College Prep High School.

Scheels is transforming space at Chandler Fashion Center into their first Arizona storefront. I look forward to their opening next year.

And hospital expansions by Dignity Health and Banner Health are vastly improving Chandler’s medical centers.

Perhaps the most prominent representation of Chandler’s innovation and technology is found in our employment corridors.

The Price Corridor is our largest and it continues growing thanks to expansions announced by:

  • Intel
  • Northrup Grumman
  • CVS Health
  • ASML
  • Array Technologies, and
  • Cirrus Aircraft

Intel’s expansion is creating the most advanced manufacturing plant in the world.

Construction of new semi-conductor facilities marks the largest private investment in Arizona history. Once operational, Intel projects to add three thousand new jobs in Chandler.

A unique reclaimed water agreement with Intel will serve this expansion and add treated water to our aquifer deep below the City to fortify us from long-term drought impacts.

An agreement with Salt River Project to underground power serving this and other Price Corridor development preserves our Chandler neighborhoods. 

We get asked a lot about water and, by working closely with Central Arizona Project and Salt River Project, we have assured water resources Chandler needs long into the future.

Tonight, I pleased to announce another company growing in the Price Corridor.

GM Innovation Center is adding hundreds of new jobs in software development. I ask their representatives with us tonight to stand and be recognized.

Let’s talk employment elsewhere in Chandler.

West Chandler, our second largest employment corridor, is outfitted with new signage by YESCO, a business in West Chandler. This area has 29,000 jobs and miles of frontage along Interstate 10 and Loop 202.

An increasing number of developments and business growth is occurring here, including:

  • Rinchem
  • Mechanical Keyboards
  • Cranial Technologies
  • Stryker, and
  • Skin Script                                                                                                        

Chandler-inspired artwork and expansions are enhancing Uptown Chandler, including:

  • Laser Components
  • Port Plastics
  • State Forty-Eight, and
  • VirTra

Downtown Chandler is seeing significant commercial activity and revenue growth. Nine businesses have opened in new or rehabilitated commercial space.

In downtown, 365 multi-family housing units are under construction and two studies are examining pedestrian paths connecting our downtown area.

The Chandler Airpark marks our final frontier. Our goal is to develop a business center served by a modern airport.

And to further this goal, the City Council adopted a new Chandler Airpark Area Plan.

It lays the groundwork to propel the development of an Innovation District serving technology, aviation, healthcare, and research and development companies.

Businesses who have located in the Chandler Airpark include:

  • EMD Electronics
  • Viavi Solutions
  • Amazon
  • Bestway, and
  • SoLLid Cabinetry

I thank Vice Mayor Roe, Councilmember Stewart and Councilmember Harris for sponsoring funds toward economic development events like Start-up Weekend and the Voices of Chandler series.

Councilmember Stewart also championed a blockchain technology pilot project and the exploration of crypto currency payments.

 

A culture of innovation propels our community, setting a great example of how innovative solutions can improve services and quality of life.

Tonight, we are launching Chandler Changemakers, a year-long highlight of inspiring young residents.

This short video introduces you to some of Chandler’s amazing young entrepreneurs, awarding-winning inventors, champions, survivors and charity contributors.

{Play “Chandler Changemakers” video}

Wow! I ask the changemakers featured in tonight’s video to stand and be recognized.

Tonight’s video is a preview of some stories we’ll share in the coming year.

As the saying goes - children are our future and with these kids, I think our future is in great hands.

Leading up to tonight’s event, we asked our youth to show us Chandler “through their eyes”.

Residents then reviewed the entries and selected their top choices. Tonight, I’ll announce the winners of that art contest.

For the artists who are 14-18 years old, the winners are:

  • Payton Harvey
  • Noura Ibrahim
  • Alyssa Gamby

For the artists who are 10-13 years old, the winners are:

  • Chetan Sai Vudaru
  • Emma Robertson
  • Violet Welch

For the artists who are 6-9 years old, the winners are:

  • Kaiwen Yao
  • Sahana Karthik
  • Olivia Brooks

And the Mayor’s Choice award goes to:

  • Kimberlie Martinzes-Wolf

Congratulations! The Councilmembers and I would love to take pictures with you and the Chandler Changemakers after the concert.

It’s time to address our final three focus areas - Mobility, Neighborhoods and Quality of Life.

Let’s start with projects that are improving mobility and road safety.

The Transportation Master Plan outlines ways to enable people to move around Chandler. We have widened streets and added bike lanes, with plans for more.

We have identified several corridors for new bike lanes, protected lanes or shared use paths that enhance safety for bicyclists.

A unique partnership with Lyft connects Chandler riders with regional transit services.

We also completed a study and acquired a $2 million grant to launch a flexible transit service in parts of Chandler.

Transportation is critical to economic vitality and our quality of life. We are actively engaged in regional discussions for an extension of the half-cent county sales tax to plan for our future.  

Now on to Neighborhoods.

Our population has surpassed 280,000 residents.

Development of 700 single-family homes and 300 multi-family dwellings last year has added housing options.

Partnerships involving homeowners, businesses and volunteers are preserving the character and quality of existing neighborhoods.

300 residents joined the Envision Galveston neighborhood event.

108 home improvement projects were completed during For Our City Day and the Let’s Pull Together program.

The “Good Neighbor 101” classes are bringing residents of traditional neighborhoods together and connecting them with City services.

Construction of 167 affordable housing units will begin this year through a public-private partnership.

120 families in public housing are enrolled in a program that helps them achieve economic independence through education and job training.

We’ve devoted many resources toward helping people stay in their homes and rental units, thus preventing homelessness.

By monitoring court cases, 71 evictions were prevented by connecting residents with resources, a practice now followed by other cities.

We launched Chandler Support Court to connect those experiencing homelessness and charged with misdemeanor crimes with services aimed at ending their homelessness.

We’re leveraging technology to police smarter and more effectively.

Callers can stream live video footage to our 911 emergency communications center.

A state-of-the-art virtual firearm simulator by VirTra, an Uptown Chandler business, is in use at the Public Safety Training Center.

The police department’s forensics section was named a top performing lab by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors.

I thank Vice Mayor Roe and Councilmember Lopez, Councilmember Orlando and Councilmember Ellis for sponsoring funds to support Chandler Police leadership training.

Our Public Safety Training Center is now an accredited paramedic training site, enabling students to earn college credit as they attend.

A new partnership with Maricopa Ambulance adds ambulances and advanced medical equipment improving our response capabilities.

Our busiest fire station will be rebuilt in stages starting this year to expand our response capacity in north Chandler.

Voter approval during the recent bond election made this possible.

I thank Vice Mayor Roe, Councilmember Orlando and Councilmember Ellis for sponsoring dollars that outfitted firefighters with natural gas meters to aid in the detection of potential leaks.

The safety of our community is paramount.

Now, let’s dive deeper into our excellent quality of life.

We celebrate the community’s rich heritage through events, exhibits and programs, including the Multi-cultural Festival, first ever Asian Moon Festival and month-long Chandler Contigo series.

The Chandler Museum’s “Bigger than Boxing” exhibit offered intimate details about our first Black City Councilmember and fostered collaborations with many community groups.

Diversity mini grants for schools reached nearly 4,000 students and helped schools expand their library collections.

I thank Councilmember Lopez, Councilmember Ellis and Councilmember Harris for sponsoring funds to expand our diversity events.

And we are engaging community stakeholders in the City’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion assessment to help us create a roadmap for future DEI programs.

The Chandler Center for the Arts and Vision Gallery offered a series of online performances and art programs reaching 40,000 households and 7,000 students.

The Chandler Public Library opened the Makery, a space for all ages to explore emerging technologies, learn new skills and create art and media content.

Lantana Ranch Park is a popular addition to our park system and playing surfaces of numerous athletic fields have been improved.

The Field of Honor at Veterans Oasis Park provides a permanent monument honoring the service and sacrifice of Chandler veterans.

It’s the first memorial of its size and scope in the southeast Valley. A restored Korean War era fighter plane, known as “Willie”, is a prominent fixture of this monument.

And speaking of veterans, we formed a Military and Veterans Affairs Commission. Many of our newest commissioners are here tonight.

Chandler is recognized among:

  • the safest cities in America
  • best places to buy a home and raise a family,
  • top cities to find a job and for women in tech, and
  • top spots for recreation and an active lifestyle

The great schools in Chandler have garnered many accolades, awards and championships.

Crime rates are the lowest in 35 years thanks to the efforts of our community and police.

Crime rates this low occurred in the 80’s when Chandler only had eighty thousand residents. 

The State of our City is strong and focused on the future, while honoring our community’s rich heritage and culture.

Our financial security is great.

Our water supply is secure.

Our city is safe.

Our downtown is kicking it.

We have never had more jobs or corporate headquarters located in Chandler, all over Chandler.

Our future is bright.

We are proud to continue serving you as Mayor and Council.

Now, it’s time for the show. Bring on Q-VLN!