Chandler State of the City Address

Mayor Kevin Hartke and the Chandler City Council invite you to the  

2020 Chandler State of the City Address

Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020
5:30 p.m. | Made in Chandler Expo
6 p.m. | Address
Chandler Center for the Arts
250 N. Arizona Ave.

The event is free and open to the public. Starting at 5:30 p.m. join us to experience several products that are made right here in Chandler, then celebrate the accomplishments of the City and to take a look into our bright future during Mayor's address. 
 

Expo Participants
Arizona College Prep: Erie Cam DeCaussin: Artist Craft 64 Desert Cider House
Intel Mingle & Graze Pedal Haus Peixoto
San Ten Brewery Serrano's Spooky's Swirls Suchstyles: Artist
Tessa Karrys: Artist VB Cosmetics YoYo Factory Zinger Bats

 

State of the City Speech

Opening Video

Glad I finally made it here!

I want to thank our communications department for putting that video together. We had a lot of fun.

On behalf of our City Council and staff, I certainly appreciate you all taking part in tonight’s State of the City address.

I hope you had the chance to meet some of the makers and innovators behind Chandler’s unique businesses tonight during the Made in Chandler expo.

I encourage you to stay after this address to continue to learn about their history, stories and passions.

I’d like to start tonight with some introductions.

Please hold your applause until the end of each group introduction.

First, I would like to introduce the Chandler City Council.

  • Vice Mayor Rene Lopez
  • Councilmember Sam Huang
  • Councilmember Jeremy McClymonds
  • Councilmember Matt Orlando
  • Councilmember Terry Roe
  • Councilmember Mark Stewart

I am honored to have Congressional representatives here tonight, please stand to be recognized:

  • Congressman Andy Biggs
  • David Romney, from Senator McSally’s office
  • Inder Gunnala, from Senator Sinema’s office
  • Matt Lubish, from Congressman Greg Stanton’s office

I would like to recognize the other elected officials that have joined us tonight from across the Valley, please stand to be recognized – again please hold your applause until the end:

  • Senator Sean Bowie
  • Senator J.D. Mesnard
  • Representative Jennifer Jermaine
  • Representative Jennifer Pawlik
  • Arizona Corporation Commissioner and former Chandler Mayor Boyd Dunn
  • City of Maricopa Mayor Christian Price
  • Town of Queen Creek Mayor Gail Barney
  • City of Apache Junction Councilmember Jennifer Pena
  • City of Mesa Councilmembers Jen Duff and Kevin Thompson
  • Town of Queen Creek Councilmembers Robin Benning and Jeff Brown
  • Central Arizona Water Conservation District Board of Directors, Ben Graff.

I would also like to thank a few other former City officials and City stakeholders in the audience, and again please hold your applause until the end:

  • Former City of Chandler Councilmembers Nora Ellen and

Rick Heumann

  • City Manager Marsha Reed and City Employees; and
  • Board and Commission members, past and present, please stand

There are a few special relationships I want to acknowledge that make Chandler an amazing city, please stand to be recognized:

  • Chandler Unified School District board, educators and staff
  • Chandler Chamber of Commerce members and President Terri Kimball
  • Downtown Chandler Community Partnership members, staff and Executive Director Mary Murphy-Bessler

This month we are celebrating the centennial of Chandler’s incorporation as a City.

There are several founding families that have helped shape Chandler into the innovative and vibrant community it is today. 

I would like to acknowledge those families and I encourage all of you to learn more about how their histories intertwine with Chandler’s throughout our incorporation centennial events this month.

I wouldn’t be here without the support of my wife and family.

Thanks everyone for coming out tonight.

And shout out to those joining us on Facebook live. Thanks for tuning in!

Alright, let’s get down to business!

Chandler is truly a Community of Innovation.

In 2019, the City Council worked diligently with staff to update Chandler’s vision and brand to better reflect where our community is headed.

To be a world-class City that provides an exceptional quality of life, five focus areas emerged in the development of our vision and goals.

In the opening video we subtly touched on each:

  • Infill and Redevelopment,
  • Innovation and Technology,
  • Mobility,
  • Neighborhoods; and
  • Quality of Life

Throughout 2019, Council and staff worked together to make strides in each of these areas and to lay a strong foundation for the future.

Tonight I will highlight some of our achievements and look at where we are headed.

Let’s start with Infill and Redevelopment.

Build out is approaching.

With roughly 12 percent of available land remaining in our community, we are finding opportunities to repurpose existing spaces while planning for the use of unbuilt properties.

Our goal is to create unique amenities, spaces and experiences that will attract people to Chandler.

Last year we saw many of these types of projects come to fruition, including:

  • Civic Market,
  • Sleepy Whale,
  • Oregon Street Parking Garage,
  • New Square,
  • Hidden House,
  • Craft 64
  • The Sicilian Butcher
  • Jollibee
  • The Crayola Experience
  • With many more on the horizon.

George Oliver announced a 53 million dollar renovation to existing buildings to bring a new creative office portfolio to the heart of Downtown.

In addition to continued large expansion projects like Intel and Northrop Grumman, we saw significant investment throughout the rest of our employment corridors, with nearly 3 million-square-feet completed or under construction last year.

In 2019, 19 companies announced expansions or new operations that are anticipated to create nearly 4,000 jobs in target industries.

These developments and companies are expected to invest 190 million dollars in our community.

Beyond their financial commitment, I appreciate that many of the companies choosing Chandler are investing their time in our community through youth programs, volunteerism and getting involved with local boards.

Tonight I am excited to introduce Price Corridor’s newest tenant, Clarivate Analytics, a global leader in providing trusted insights and analytics to accelerate the pace of innovation.

Please join me in welcoming Jerry Steed, CEO and Chairman of Clarivate Analytics.

The Chandler office will be home to approximately 150 employees and will be one of three global Centers of Excellence, with the other locations in London and Malaysia.  

I look forward to working with you as your company and employees plant roots in our community.

Another important component of our economic development efforts is Tourism, which is focused on bringing people and dollars to our community, thus improving our economic competitiveness.

Last year we saw a 9.5% increase in the number of room nights booked over the previous year.

In 2020, we will continue to build upon our efforts to position Chandler as a destination for meetings and events.

The past year has truly been phenomenal.

I am excited to announce that in 2020 we will be launching a rebranding process for West Chandler.

West Chandler is our second largest employment corridor, home to nearly 28,000 jobs with miles of frontage along Interstate 10 and Loop 202.

This rebrand will provide a unique identity to the area and for the increasing number of developments and businesses that are expanding there.

Let’s talk about Innovation and Technology.

Companies are drawn here for our strong commitment to Innovation and Technology.

Chandler has become a safe testing ground for pioneers and industry leaders to pilot innovative ideas.

The opening of Hub249 and the business incubation and development programs at the ASU Chandler Innovation Center position Chandler to be a hotbed for new ideas.

I thank Councilmember Stewart for advocating for additional funding to boost our annual Startup Weekend that gathered entrepreneurs from all across the East Valley for a weekend of idea sharing and business development workshops.

I believe Chandler has done an excellent job of supporting the culture of innovation in our community, and set a great example of how innovative solutions can improve services and quality of life.

We were ranked 9th in the Top Digital Cities list from the Center for Digital Government for using technology to

  • tackle social issues,
  • enhance services,
  • strengthen cybersecurity and more. 

I am extremely proud of the partnerships Chandler has with companies working on emerging technologies.

Our partnerships with local innovators have also caught an international eye with leaders and journalists from across the nation and a half dozen other countries coming to Chandler to learn more.

Because of the variety of companies manufacturing components and leading the way in the development of autonomous vehicle technology, Chandler was dubbed the Autonomous Vehicle Capital of the World

Last year we became the first city in the nation to launch an autonomous vehicle ridehailing pilot program with Waymo.

Waymo recently surpassed 20 million miles of public road cruising, with a large number of those miles driven here in Chandler.

The Chandler Fire and Police departments also have worked with Waymo to literally write the book in terms of how to respond to incidents with autonomous vehicles.

Other City departments have taken measures to adapt our transportation plans, zoning ordinances and infrastructure to prepare for this technology.

The Oregon Street parking garage in Downtown Chandler is an example of how we are accounting for technologies and services to change how we move, now and in the future.

The growth of innovation and technology in Chandler can be found most prominently in our employment corridors.

Intel’s expansion of their Ocotillo site is creating the most advanced manufacturing plant in the world.

Northrup Grumman opened a new home for their launch vehicles business that supports our national defense and aerospace.

Voya Financial and Toyota Financial are expanding their operations in the Price Corridor.

Insight Enterprises announced its move to the Chandler Airpark, while Zovio and Offerpad opened their new facilities last year. 

Chandler companies produce a diverse array of products and services that have local and global impacts.

We have put together a video that highlights a small sample of the unique products you may not have known were made in your own backyard.

Made in Chandler Video

Let’s look at Mobility next.

When we look to the future, our focus extends beyond how autonomous vehicles will integrate on our streets and into how we will provide safe and convenient connections for our residents, businesses and visitors.

I say it often but it is my goal for Chandler to one day earn the title of “Best Roads to Drive While Drinking a Cup of Coffee.”

Our emphasis on street maintenance and addressing traffic concerns will remain at the forefront of priorities as we approach build-out.

Construction is progressing and will continue into 2020 to widen segments of Queen Creek, Cooper and Chandler Heights Roads.

These projects will ease congestion and improve road safety in our growing south Chandler area.

The opening of the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway expansion is extremely exciting for our City as it adds a regional connection to a vibrant and dynamic employment corridor.

We have seen redevelopment and repositioning of existing buildings in West Chandler to attract companies that will benefit from this enhanced access.

As development occurs throughout our City, we are looking for opportunities to create engaging spaces and multiuse paths to connect developments and neighborhoods.

The Commonwealth Canal project in Downtown has won several awards for rehabilitating a historic Salt River Project canal that now pays homage to Chandler’s past and founder.

This project not only made that passage more functional, it created a safe and beautiful path to connect residential neighborhoods with the surrounding businesses.

Elsewhere in Downtown, Councilmember Roe supported a budget amendment that commissioned a mural in Downtown’s historic breezeway that depicts Chandler’s progress and promotes a connection from the historic downtown area to the New Square development to the south.

And looking at connectivity, we continue to evaluate and test new alternatives for transportation.

The Wave, our Downtown eCab service, saw great success last year, serving nearly 1,200 riders a month with extended operating hours in response to increased demand.

After conducting a public survey regarding the use of e-scooters in the community, we are currently looking at partners to provide options in our Downtown.

We are also expanding and enhancing bicycle lanes in our city.

The recently completed Transportation Master Plan identified several corridors for new lanes, protected lanes, and shared use paths that will offer a safe way for bicyclists to travel.

This Master Plan also outlines the future development of all transportation hubs that will enable people to move around Chandler and the region.

We have started the process of updating our Airport Master Plan to provide proper guidance for existing and future development.

I thank Vice Mayor Lopez for representing Council on the Airport Commission and participating in this process.

I look forward to engaging with the community as the master plan update process progresses.

Now on to Neighborhoods.

Chandler is composed of unique neighborhoods and home to a diverse population.

I have had the pleasure of watching many neighborhood programs grow in our community, and I am proud of the work that staff and our local partners do to keep our neighborhoods clean, safe and vibrant.  

Together with 40 community group partners, 20 school partners and nearly 2,000 volunteers, staff coordinated over 200 services projects for a combined community investment of over 450,000 dollars.

In 2020, I look forward to launching a pilot program that will analyze the needs of specific neighborhoods and put into action solutions to address them.

We are using a holistic approach to neighborhood improvement through coordination with City departments, non-profits, business partners, faith agencies and community members.

This approach will empower neighbors to create long-lasting, thriving neighborhoods.

I would like to commend Councilmember Orlando for being an advocate for this project.

Our city was designated as a High Performing Public Housing Authority for Housing Choice Voucher and Public Housing Programs.

And with the increased need for public housing options, we have begun the process to develop strategies to reposition our aging public housing units.

Through this process, the City will explore innovative options to meet the demand for housing for all income levels.

Over 2.5 million dollars was allocated through City and grant funding to programs serving Chandler’s families in crisis, special populations and youth.

And we are strengthening our partnership with schools to implement programs that help educate and employ various populations in the city.

Last year Council held our first joint meeting with the CUSD School Board to strengthen our relationship and discuss opportunities for the future.

Quality of Life

Chandler’s commitment to providing a high quality of life for our residents is evident through all of the projects and programs I have spoken about.

This location, the Chandler Center for the Arts celebrated its 30th anniversary season and the new Chandler Museum marked its first year in operation.

The newly appointed Chandler Museum Foundation will assist in supporting the Museum facilities, collections and services by expanding educational offerings through promotion, fundraising and expertise.

Our Chandler Public Library system continues to re-invent itself and our Tumbleweed Recreation Center upgraded its fitness facility.

Our taxpayers experience some of the lowest costs for services, utility charges and sales tax rates in the entire valley.

Looking at Chandler today, we are a growing community.

We have a population of about 263,000.

We have a young, diverse and talented resident base.

The City is one of only 40 government agencies across the U.S. that holds a Triple A Bond Rating from all three major rating agencies, and these ratings were reaffirmed in 2019.

Chandler is experiencing the lowest crime rate ever in nearly 50 years of tracking that statistic.

Chandler has been recognized as:

  • a top place for families,
  • a best place to find a job,
  • top city for women in tech, and
  • has received several accolades surrounding our schools, including having CUSD named a top school district in the state.

Our students are also receiving great recognition – the Si Se Puede Chandler girl’s robotics team placed third in the world for their work in autonomous technology.

Many students, athletes and teams have taken home awards and titles last year.

Many more are being made in Chandler and will soon make their mark on the world.

We continue to celebrate the diverse heritage of our residents through various events, exhibits and programs.

I offer a big thank you to Councilmember Huang for his role in expanding the 25thAnnual Multicultural Festival with the addition of the Asian Village.

It was the vision of many Councils ago to have a park in every square mile of residential development.

I am happy to report that we are nearing this goal with the completion of Homestead North Park, which is currently under design.

Throughout last year, renovations and upgrades were made to several parks and recreational facilities across the city.

These improvements are a direct result from citizen input, and I want to thank everyone who took the time to share feedback.

Due to demand, we will deliver four new lit, multi-use fields to Tumbleweed Park this year and added lighting to existing fields at Chuparosa Park.

Councilmember McClymonds has spearheaded the addition of two sand volleyball courts at Chuparosa Park as well, which will be completed this year.

The work on our Parks and Recreation facilities remain a top priority for Council and we will continue to work diligently with our community to provide amenities that offer unique experiences and facilities that can be utilized for an array of uses.

This year we will run a feasibility study for a Multi-Generational Facility to understand what the needs are for our active adults and additional programming.

In tandem with the feasibility study, we will complete a master plan update for our Parks.

It is our goal to offer a variety of safe and well-maintained parks for our residents and visitors.

Girls Softball – we hear you!

Pickleball – we hear you!

I hope you all will make your voice heard by participating in our master plan update process.

My first year as Mayor will be a year I will never forget.

Every day I get to experience what makes Chandler so great.

I get to see first-hand the groundbreaking technologies that are being developed in our community.

I am honored to get to know the dedicated staff, volunteers and business owners that contribute to making our community feel like home for all.

And I have enjoyed learning the stories and the history of our residents and founding families to understand how our community became what it is today.

Many people, businesses and places make Chandler.

I thank all of you for being a part of our community’s history, and for continuing to be an important part of our future.
 
Closing Video