Chandler City Manager Mark Pentz is settling into his position and is already preparing to pinch pennies with city staff in every department over the next year to keep the city’s budget balanced.
Pentz, who began work Jan. 20 as Chandler’s highest paid official at $157,000 a year, said initial figures from staff show the next year will be tough financially.
"After doing some analysis, it looks as if the 2004-05 budget year will be another difficult year in terms of closing the gap between anticipated revenues and anticipated expenditures," he said. "The work to date is very preliminary. It is going to be another difficult budget season, I do know that."
Pentz said through the budgetary process he can become more familiar with Chandler as each expenditure is scrutinized.
"I think it really takes a full budget cycle to get to know the council’s priorities and the city’s operations," Pentz said.
Pentz said he plans to look at issues surrounding the city’s transfer station expansion.
He also is researching plans for Chandler’s downtown redevelopment.
"I believe downtowns are the heart of a community," he said. "That’s one of the things that attracted me to Chandler was the council’s willingness to invest in the downtown."
Pentz is not concerned by the possible changes the March election may bring.
"I’ve been confronted with that in other jurisdictions," he said. "Certainly with a city manager form of government the city manager and staff provide continuity when there’s a change in the council."
Chandler Mayor Boyd Dunn said the city is excited and fortunate to have Pentz as a member of it’s team.
"He has a tremendous background in city administration and brings a number of skills to Chandler that will make a very positive impact on our community," Dunn said.