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Community by Laurie Fagen

Saying “it’s good to be back as mayor,” Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny gave his fi rst State of the City address since being reelected last year. Tibshraeny, who served as Chandler’s mayor from 1994 to 2002, is serving a fi fth term following eight years in the Arizona State Senate.

Budget, economy

Despite financial challenges still facing the City, he says Chandler has fared better than others in the area.

“The fi scal policies held to by Council helped Chandler get through the Great

STSN photo

BACK TO WORK: Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny is back at his former position, this time in a new office at Chandler City Hall.

Recession better than most cities in the region. And we still deliver services to our residents at the lowest cost of any City in the Valley.”

Economic development and job creation are a high priority of the current administration, which resulted in the City’s fi rst “Career Connect” job fair in January, with 60 companies and about 1,000 job-seekers taking part in what may be an annual event “as long as the need exists.” Tibshraeny also discussed the new $5 billion Intel fab coming to the Ocotillo campus.

“It will bring thousands of construction jobs, and when it’s completed, about 1,000 permanent jobs.” He also listed additional fi rms now in Chandler that “illustrate our efforts to build a diversifi ed workforce,” including Safelight and PayPal; B.E. Aerospace, airplane engineering and interiors, which brought 40 jobs; Digital

Realty Trust, a data center with 75 jobs; Cummings Engineering, mobile device technology, creating 15 jobs at Innovations, the City incubator; and Cable Solutions, cable installation, with 75 jobs.

Retail, re-use

Tibshraeny says there are “encouraging signs” for retail as well and praised Southern Chandler’s Shops at Pecos Ranch and owners Ron and Amy Volk for a “well-designed and very attractive center” at Germann and Dobson roads. However, there are still many vacant retail spaces, including former grocery

stores such as the former Bashas’ at Alma School and Queen Creek and at Pecos and McQueen. Tibshraeny announced a new initiative on “four-corner retail” where commercial redevelopment matching grant program funds will be used to “make a greater impact on commercial corner redevelopment.” It will be used for “less façade work and more potential re-use,” such as the new Chandler Preparatory Academy charter school at Warner and Alma School roads. He says staff is now pulling together data on pivotal corridors such as Dobson, Alma School and Arizona Avenue, and this summer employees from Economic Development, Downtown Development, Planning and the City Manager’s offi ce will discuss options.

“These will be the people we want to have look for creative alternatives, think outside the box and dissect

June 4 - 17, 2011

Returning mayor predicts positive outlook for city Announces new initiatives including online meetings, big box re-use

this mission literally corner by corner,” he says.

Online meetings STSN photo

HE’S BACK: Mayor Jay Tibshraeny returns to the City of Chandler and its new City Hall.

and take a survey.

“We think it will be better for those who have no time to come to a meeting.”

Overall, he says the state of the city “is very, very good and the outlook is even better.”

The State of the City address will be re-broadcast periodically on the City’s Cable Channel 11 and streamed on the City’s website at Following a recent work-out at Fitness Forum in Chandler, Mayor Tibshraeny told the SanTan Sun News that returning to lead the city is “much, much more satisfying” and he’s happy to be back.

Laurie Fagen is publisher of the SanTan Sun News and lives in Fox Crossing with husband Geoff Hancock, cat Jazz and for the summer, son Devon, 19, a soon-to-be sophomore at ASU.

Another new initiative is called “Neighborhood Connect,” a 60 to 90-minute online community event slated for the morning of Sat., Oct. 15 at the Council Chambers. In addition to the video being streamed live on the Internet and Chandler’s Cable Channel 11, there will be log-in stations at the four public libraries. Residents can email concerns in advance of the meeting; watch via computer or television; post comments and neighborhood issues,


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