Chandler councilmember: This is not goodbye, so stop me and say hello
Courtesy of City of Chandler
By Rene Lopez
As I neared the end of my eight years of serving the residents of Chandler, I wanted to thank you for the humble opportunity to represent you and our city to improve the lives of our residents.
My wife of 25 years and I are blessed to have landed in this great City back in 2007 to finish raising our children. I had been involved with many communities and political projects and was serving on the Parks and Recreation Commission when I became aware of the opportunity to further be involved in the city as a councilmember.
With two young kids and my wife and I working full-time jobs, it was a major sacrifice for my family to support my run. However, it was the best decision we made.
Now that our children are grown and my tenure is wrapping up, I reflect on all the accomplishments we have made to keep Chandler the shining example for other cities to strive to be:
In Downtown Chandler, we saw the completion of Overstreet, New Square and two new parking garages. We have still more developments to come.
We saw massive economic investments with Intel’s $20 billion expansion, the retention and growth of Orbital ATK, and their subsequent purchase by Northrop Grumman. There are additional investments and growth along the Price Road corridor, and many other new headquarters moving to Chandler.
Our population grew by over 15% with 38,000 new residents now calling Chandler home.
All this growth occurred while still maintaining best in class for cost of service by lowering the City portion of our property tax seven consecutive years in a row, cumulatively cutting it by 6.5%.
Continue to be a leader in water conservation, water infrastructure investments, and a City that is well prepared for the coming years of drought.
Paid down Chandler's unfunded liability to our Public Safety Pension Retirement System by over $125 Million, securing the retirements of our police officers and firefighters, and putting more money back into the pockets of our, and into our reoccurring general fund.
Continued to expand our partnerships with non-profits, completed the Chandler Museum, and reinvested in the Chandler Center for the Arts.
Developed new parks such as Citrus Vista, Homestead North and South and Lantana Ranch.
Renovated several other parks including Harris, Summit Point, Vida, Folley and Tumbleweed, to name a few.
Lastly, my most proud and enduring contribution, completing the Veteran’s Field of Honor at Veteran's Oasis Park.
I also want to thank my personal mentor, former Mayor Jerry Brooks, in providing guidance, support, and collaboration during my time in office. I only regret that he passed before he was able to see the completion of our Veteran’s Field of Honor.
I have been privileged to serve our city alongside many great people that hold the residents of Chandler in extremely high regard.
I am leaving the city in great hands of leaders that want to see Chandler continue to succeed, a city staff led by Josh Wright, and a great contingent of executives and directors that make me proud to have spent eight years serving with them.
They have become more than just friends, but part of my Chandler family.
This is not goodbye, as I continue to serve our community in other ways, so I hope to see you around Chandler. And if you see me, please stop to say hello.