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6 Jan. 22 - Feb. 4, 2011


New Council from Page 1 “There are several important items we will address


in the fi rst few meetings of the new council that we have been receiving briefi ngs about: the 2011-12 budget, medical marijuana, water rates and hiring a new city manager,” says the council’s newest member. “Hiring a new city manager is probably the most immediate agenda item. Chandler is a great city and we expect excellent candidates to apply. The council has met and decided on a course of action that should bring us a city manager this spring.”


Tibshraeny, who has returned to serve as Chandler’s top elected offi cial after eight years in the state senate, agrees that selecting a new city manager will be a top priority in the weeks ahead. “The council has talked about what we want in a city manager and the public will be involved as well,” says Tibshraeny. “We’ve hired a consulting fi rm to get feedback on what Chandler citizens are looking for, and we’ll use that information to develop a profi le of the ideal candidate, and then conduct a targeted nationwide search. The way these things work, we expect a three- to four- month process before making a selection to fi ll the position.”


Economic concerns dominate agenda In addition to hiring a new city manager, Chandler’s elected offi cials will focus on economic issues facing the city. The mayor and council will begin by evaluating the current budget, getting


Community


input from staff members on Chandler’s fi nancial status and seeking recommendations on how to best balance limited resources against citizens’ needs.


“On Jan. 24, we’ll have a special budget briefi ng with the council where Chandler department staff will present issues and items of concern,” explains Tibshraeny. “It will be an informational session to determine where the city is now and what fi nancial challenges we face. That will give us a baseline to make policy decisions going forward.” Chandler offi cials must also factor in the possibility that state cuts loom on the horizon and could strain the city’s budget even further. “Discerning the uncertain revenue streams of these times and putting together a budget will probably be the most diffi cult issue to resolve in the immediate future,” notes Hartke. “While our sales tax revenue is increasing over the past year, the malaise of our state budget affects us all. Any change that state lawmakers put in place with state shared revenues will not bode well with cities.” Chandler leaders are examining ways to minimize the impact of such cuts, and plan to solicit ideas from SanTan Sun area residents on ways to improve the city’s economic health while maintaining quality services in the community.


“Directors are looking at budget items and cost saving measures,” Hartke explains. “We will start having community budget forums at the beginning of February to receive input from residents. While


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this will be a lean budget, Chandler will provide our core services and amenities that citizens expect and enjoy.”


Listening tour encourages involvement To boost citizen participation and involvement, Tibshraeny is embarking on a series of visits around Chandler in the coming months. His purpose is to hear comments, concerns and suggestions of residents throughout the area on matters facing the city.


“I’m starting a listening tour that will continue for the next eight months or so,” Tibshraeny reports. “I’ll be going around the city in conjunction with the Neighborhood Advisory Committee to talk to constituents about issues that concern them, things like code enforcement, foreclosures, whatever’s on their minds.”


The mayor will include the SanTan Sun area on his schedule, tentatively planning to hold an open meeting at Santan Elementary School in June. With an emphasis on working together with the public to navigate pressing issues, Chandler offi cials are optimistic the city faces a bright future. “I believe this will be an effective, cohesive, hard- working council, and that Mayor Tibshraeny will lead us well,” says Hartke.


Miriam Van Scott of Kerby Estates is a freelance writer and Chandler transplant from the Washington, D.C. area. She can be reached at Miriam@SanTanSun.com.


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