Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny delivered his 2013 state of the city address last week, touching mostly on the subjects of employment, neighborhood sustainability, outreach and transparency and better health.
“Reflecting back we’ve made a lot of progress in a short amount of time,” Tibshraeny said from the Council Chambers.
The presentation started with the mayor playing a 10-minute video touting progress in those areas.
The mayor characterized the city as a high-tech hub of the Southwest —citing that OpenForum.com, a small business resource website managed by American Express, ranked it among the top four best places for tech startups; he also referenced Gov. Jan Brewer taking notice of the financial impact of Price Road Corridor during her recent public speaking stops.
“People are taking notice,” he said. “They’re taking notice of what all of us have known for quite some time — that Chandler is the high-tech and innovation hub of the Southwest. Now, a lot goes into making a claim like that — but we have a lot to back it up.”
The most important issue at the state level is the sales tax legislation that he said that Brewer is “shepherding through the Legislature.” Tibshraeny said the legislation changes the formula on how cities can recover their sales taxes from the state.
“Right now, it’s based on the point of the construction project, they want to change it to point of sale,” he said. “Well, in a city like Chandler, where we built the Price Road Corridor, that means it would be more influential and more important to have lumberyards on the Price Road Corridor than all the high-tech factories that we’ve accumulated and attracted over the last decade.”
Noting that the financial loss due to the piece of legislation could cost Chandler $10 million, he warned the results would be “devastating” to more than just Chandler.
“It’ll cripple our rural communities,” he said.
Tibshraeny also touted the economic and developmental partnerships between East Valley cities, a thriving community he pointed out is projected to have a combined population of 1.6 million by 2020. It currently has 65,000 businesses with a labor force of about 710,000, he said.
He also noted 162,000 East Valley residents are enrolled in higher education.
Among the successes Tibshraeny cited were also in the field of health.
“The health of any community is such a critical aspect of its overall success,” he said.
Tibshraeny lauded the new patient tower under construction this spring at Chandler Regional Medical Center that promises 200 jobs and 96 new beds, as well as the expansion making the hospital the first Level 1 trauma center in the East Valley.
The mayor touted his Health Connect initiative, and the fire department teaching CPR to residents throughout the city.
He also said residents using the city’s prescription drug card program have saved more than $35,000 on medicine with an average savings of 56 percent on their prescriptions.
The mayor highlighted several of Chandler’s tech companies, including established giants like Intel, but also recognized smaller, award-winning startups that are new to the scene, too.
He added that job creation is taking place all over Chandler and that the city is entering into new and expanding on educational partnerships with the state’s colleges and universities to meet the demands of high-tech companies.
The mayor said the city will continue outreach to residents and noted that a recent budget survey with more than 700 responses showed a 98 percent approval rating for city leadership, services and programs.
“We remain fiscally prudent, as we should.” Tibshraeny said “We continue to emerge from the recession but we do have a bit of a ways to go.”
Tibshraeny concluded: “The state of the city is very good and hopefully we’ll get better.”
To watch the 42-minute state of the city address, visit evtnow.com/chandlerchannel11 and click on “Special Programming.”
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