Voter Guide: Meet the 6 candidates running for Chandler City Council in Aug. 4 election

Get to know the six candidates running for three Chandler City Council seats in the Aug. 4 election. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Get to know the six candidates running for three Chandler City Council seats in the Aug. 4 election. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

Get to know the six candidates running for three Chandler City Council seats in the Aug. 4 election. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

Get to know the six candidates running for three Chandler City Council seats in the Aug. 4 election.

Dates to know



Where to vote



  • Maricopa County voters can choose any voting location and time that works for them. Voters can visit https://locations.maricopa.vote to find a nearby location.



  • County voters can request a one-time ballot to be sent by mail to their residence or mailing address on file, or to a temporary mailing address for the Aug. 4 primary election and Nov. 3 general election at https://request.maricopa.vote. Voters may also sign up there for the permanent early voting list.




Candidate Q&A (listed in alphabetical order)

Beth Brizel


Occupation: Business Owner/Recruiter – Recruiting Connection, LLC

Experience: Small Business Owner, Kyrene Governing Board Member 2010 – 2014, Co-Chair for YSOS – PAC supporting the Tempe Union High School District bond/override elections in 2015 and 2017.

Website: www.Beth4ccc.com

What makes you qualified for the role of Chandler City Council member?

I have lived in West Chandler for 25 years and have always been involved in my Community. I was elected to the Kyrene Governing Board in 2010 and served for 4 years. I was a co-Chair for the TUHSD PAC that supported their bond and override elections in 2015 and 2017. I have owned my own company since 2002 and understand the stress small business owners are under at this time. My 18 years as a small business owner and 25 years of Community involvement makes me uniquely qualified for a seat on the Chandler City Council.

What is your top priority or initiative for the council to address?

Chandler has done an exceptional job attracting many high-profile companies from outside AZ to the area. The Price Corridor is a testament to this. I will work to refine and continue the sound economic policies that are currently in place that protects the tax base and promotes a strong economic development environment. With the coronavirus crisis, this will be even more important moving forward. My background as a small business owner, and overseeing the Kyrene School District's operational hundred-million dollar budget during the recession, has given me valuable experience in protecting core programs and services while being fiscally prudent.

How do you plan on addressing the build-out in Chandler?

There are few remaining parcels of land available for large, affordable, master planned communities. Much of the housing development is on smaller in-fill parcels that are scattered throughout Chandler. Providing affordable housing options - especially for first time homeowners and empty-nesters - is one of my priorities. I will work with the city planners, developers, and builders to create innovative affordable housing designs. The focus should be on affordable single family homes, not just multi-family complexes. Finally, we need smarter growth initiatives to preserve and revitalize traditional neighborhoods.

What has the City Council done well, and what could it do better?

The city council has instituted and maintained prudent financial policies and Chandler was able to gain great bond ratings. Those high ratings have saved the city tax payers millions of dollars on financing and refinancing of municipal projects. Impact fees have provided revenue to help offset expansion and growth costs.

Chandler needs smarter growth initiatives to preserve and revitalize traditional neighborhoods as well provide affordable housing options for first time homeowners. We need to hire additional police officers to keep up with Chandler’s population growth. In order to keep our children and teachers safe we need to hire additional SROs.

What kind of infrastructure improvements would you advocate for in Chandler?

Chandler devoted most of its largest undeveloped parcels, mainly along freeway corridors and around the municipal airport, as well as other remaining areas in South Chandler, to retail development and business centers, so that they could become key economic engines and employment centers. I will remain committed to that. I will work with the business community to create new uses for failed or vacant retail centers. Finally, Chandler has an opportunity to be a leader in creating a clean energy economy. By investing in clean energy and energy-efficient technology, we can save money, create jobs, and improve health.

Christine Ellis

Occupation: serving as a Proctor for CNA, Managers, D&S Diversified Technology Regional Manager and Broadcaster at the Holy Spirit Network




Relevant experience: wife, Mother, Grand Mother, Pastor, CEO 19 ALH, BSN, RN 30 years community Health, Adjunct Instructor MCC, Bridge Foundation FCS, Haitian Disaster Relief, For Our City.

Website: www.christine2020.com

What makes you qualified for the role of City Council member?

My heart is in this City where my family has lived for 33 years, worked and where we raised our son and daughter. I have been active in the community as a volunteer and participant in service projects and with charitable organizations such as For Our City, helping people of Chandler. I lead by example, listen carefully and research topics and issues prior to decision making. I organize my time so that I am available to people who need my help and those who will have an impact on our City.

What is your top priority or initiative for the council to address?

Economic development is the engine that drives the City’s progress and its ability to deliver services and our high standard of quality of life. Chandler must continue to be a great City in which to work, play and live. That will happen as we attract new businesses that will be “good citizens” of our community and also provide quality employment and generate tax revenue.

How do you plan on addressing the build-out in Chandler?

Though we have been addressing buildout for the last thirty years only to see delays and slowdowns that keep putting it in front of us time and again, we must now get very serious and review and update our General Plan and study the actions of Cities that have faced buildout. Council with the help and expertise of city staff and city planners must develop a blueprint based on today’s reality. That new design for buildout must include the maintenance of established neighborhoods and urban and rural redevelopment. Too, we need to prioritize the continued development of downtown and the Arizona Ave. corridor.

What has the City Council done well, and what could it do better?

For many years Chandler has been fortunate to have visionary leaders on Council and outstanding staff in its city offices. That combination has attracted quality employers, community minded housing developers anxious to invest in a community blessed with resources and outstanding parks, educational and recreation amenities. The City Council must get more aggressive in attracting diversified businesses and it must accelerate the progress of downtown development along the Arizona Ave. corridor. Council should reexamine housing patterns and encourage development of affordable housing needed for our diverse work force.

What kind of infrastructure improvements would you advocate for in Chandler?

The people I know and the people I meet think our first priority should be the improvement of City streets and increase affordable housing. I would add to that the need to develop and protect our water supply so that we can continue providing water for a growing population and new industry and businesses. Communication infrastructure is a close third on my list and would include City efforts to provide cable, fiber optic and Wi-Fi hot spots throughout the city.

Od Harris

Occupation:
Accountant/Entrepreneur

Relevant experience: Scaled 35 accounting firms in 7 states, selling to a major competitor. Founded a Presidentially awarded nonprofit, Ready Set Go, impacting 1000s of entrepreneurs. Phoenix Business Journal 40 under 40. I sit on several local & national boards giving millions to nonprofits. US Army Veteran. Master's degree in accounting.

Website: www.odharrisforaz.com

What makes you qualified for the role of City Council member?

I have a wealth of experience as a successful business owner and entrepreneur. As an accountant, I am fiscally conservative by the nature of my trade. This translates to me saving the city money during the budget process and having a deeper understanding of budget issues. I have also had a presidentially awarded non-profit award by George Bush Sr., Ready Set Go, whose sole purpose is to educate and facilitate underserved communities, women and veterans on how start a business. Furthermore, my depth of experiences, which include an Army veteran, pastor and the numerous boards that I sit on, prove my ability to work with others.

What is your top priority or initiative for the council to address?

It is very hard to prioritize one issue over another. However, all things COVID related and the recovery from the economic and school shut downs will take priority at this point. Helping our business community from the shutdown, making sure educators and students are on track and trained properly, and ensuring our public safety and first responders are given all the proper training and equipment are needed to see us through this pandemic and the recovery process. Finally, ensuring the monies received from the state for the COVID recovery is allocated in a fair proper and speedy manner will be top priority.

How do you plan on addressing the build-out in Chandler?

As Chandler reaches build out, people invariably become more territorial and the decision of land use and zoning becomes more critical. I think the best way to do that is to include our public in these decisions. Neighborhoods, HOA’s, the business community, real estate professionals, public safety and educators are just some of the professionals and industry leaders who need to be consulted and included on these vital land decisions as we make them in the future.

What has the City Council done well, and what could it do better?

The Chandler City Council and our city staff, past and present, have steered Chandler well over the years. However, our current council lacks in pro-active leadership, transparency and citizen inclusion. Too often, our leaders have allowed for city staff to make decisions that we have reserved for our leadership. This is an unfair burden on them and unfair to our voters who put them in office to make these critical decisions. I can assure you, as a council member, I will educate myself on all issues and get opposing views and opinions before I vote on an issue. I will also see to it that the public is informed and educated on them as well.

What kind of infrastructure improvements would you advocate for in Chandler?

Chandler infrastructure is highly functional, generally speaking, and kudos to our city for their efforts and success. As your councilmember, I would like to see more focus on sustainable and green infrastructure going into the future. Our resources and city need to be protected for our future and as a council member, I would be committed to this ideal and seek to implement these infrastructure plans wherever we could.

Rick Heumann

Occupation: VP of sales CMA-Manufacturers Representative Group

Relevant experience: Chandler City Council 2009-2016—termed out, Chandler Planning and Zoning Commission 2000-07, 2017-current—current chair, co-chair Chandler bond election—$450 million without raising taxes, extensive board experience with Chandler nonprofits

Website: www.rick4chandlercouncil.com

What makes you qualified for the role of Chandler City Council member?

My qualifications of being involved in Chandler for over 25 years include serving on Planning and Zoning, City Council, and many other community involvements. This makes me the candidate with what counts most right now, experience. My decision-making ability, involving large scale budgets and policy making, was a major part of what I spent my time on when previously on the council. My work in dealing with the Great Recession, water issues, and education, give me the experience necessary as we work our way through these challenging times.

What is your top priority or initiative for the council to address?

My top priority, if elected, is to work on our fiscal policy dealing with the downturn in the economy, due to the Covid -19 virus. We must make sure that we make smart decisions that will ensure that we come out on the other side stronger. I have the experience from serving on the Council during the Great Recession. We were able to maintain our AAA bond rating with all the agencies and not incur any layoffs or furloughs of our employees. We must, in this challenging time, make sure we keep our public safety officers fully staffed and equipped.

How do you plan on addressing the build-out in Chandler?

As Chandler approaches its final buildout, my experience serving on the Planning and Zoning Commission gives me the insight into proper planning for the remaining vacant land in our city. We also have to take into consideration redevelopment in the older areas of our city without disrupting the neighborhoods. We must have input from our residents, and in working with private/public partnerships, to make the best use of the remaining land. We need to focus in on is work force housing so that our teachers and blue-collar workers can both work and live in our city.

What has the City Council done well, and what could it do better?

The city has done a good job over the past thirty years of being great stewards of the taxpayer’s money. The city has the lowest taxes of any other city in the valley and the best services for our residents. In my previous time on the City Council, I made sure we continued those policies. Our work on protecting the Price Road Corridor from residential encroachment during my time has allowed it to be one of the premier employment corridors of the valley. What we need to continue to work on is our public safety staffing, infrastructure maintenance, and quality of life.

What kind of infrastructure improvements would you advocate for in Chandler?

There are several infrastructure improvements needed in Chandler. The first is to make sure we maintain our roads as they age. There are areas that are approaching over 20 years in service and will need to reviewed for new asphalt and possible expansion. We need to review our transportation needs as our population ages and make sure it grows to efficiently move our residents. This can be accomplished with the use of new smart technologies such as autonomous vehicles and new traffic management systems. Our water systems right now are in good shape but we must plan to maintain those to ensure a safe and reliable system.

Jeremy McClymonds (incumbent)

Occupation: Chandler City Councilmember, City of Chandler, 2018-Present and Owner/Financial Advisor, FORM Prosperity Wealth Advisors, LLC 2011-Present

Relevant experience: Husband, Father, Financial Advisor, Chandler City Councilmember, Compadre, Kiwanian, Past Chairman of the Chandler Chamber and Vote Yes on Prop 493 for our General Plan.

Website: www.keepjeremy.com

What makes you qualified for the role of Chandler City Council member?

I have committed over a decade of service to our community. In addition to currently serving on Chandler City Council, I have served on the Boards for my HOA, Chandler Compadres, Kiwanis CYP, Chandler Chamber of Commerce (past Board Chair), City of Chandler Parks and Recreation and Chairman of Vote YES on Prop 493 for our General Plan. I built experience with each endeavor, but more importantly a deeper understanding of the needs and wants of all those that call Chandler home.

What is your top priority or initiative for the council to address?

Chandler must prioritize innovation in all aspects of our community. We should seek innovation in our economy and move government out of the way so industrious entrepreneurs can thrive. Additionally, I believe in prioritizing resources for our police and fire so they can protect our communities and supporting stronger neighborhoods for our kids as they will inherit the future of Chandler. To achieve these priorities, I have created a tailor-made plan that is in line with the City’s strategic plan that I helped create. Visit www.KeepJeremy.com to learn more.

How do you plan on addressing the build-out in Chandler?

As Chairman of Vote YES on Prop 493, which supported the passing of Chandler’s General Plan, I have specialized experience and understanding of our General Plan that outlines how and where the City should develop or redevelop as it reaches build-out over time. Council must make difficult, case by case decisions on each project while using the General Plan as a guide to deliver the optimal balance of residential, commercial, industrial and public areas. The population of Chandler is projected to reach 300,000 by 2040 and so it is critically important that we are strategic about redeveloping and reallocating resources to balance the needs of our citizens.

What has the City Council done well, and what could it do better?

This City Council has done a great job of providing high quality services at a low cost. This has allowed us to provide safe reliable drinking water, have a second to none police and fire departments, a first-rate parks system and community services all at a low cost. Additionally, we have fostered a business friendly climate that has attracted some of the largest employers in the Valley so our citizens can live, work and play without leaving Chandler. One thing we can do better is in the area of technology. We have made great strides recently and I look forward to more.

What kind of infrastructure improvements would you advocate for in Chandler?

As mentioned earlier, technology is an area where we can improve and I believe that also relates to technological infrastructure. The last few months have shown us that we need to have a robust internet and strong telecommunications network. With the almost daily roll out of new technologies that use these systems, we need to make sure that we have allowed those networks to thrive. Additionally, as our infrastructure ages, we must ensure that we invest in keeping our roads, water systems and sewer systems in first class shape.

Mark Stewart (incumbent)

Occupation:
owner of Concept2Completion, Modern Marketing of the Digital Age

Relevant experience: husband, father, small-business owner, and current Chandler City Council member

Website: www.stewart4chandler.com

What makes you qualified for the role of Chandler City Council member?

America desperately needs regular people serving in public office, everywhere in government. I believe in servant leadership and creating a government that serves the people. Since my first election in 2016, I have continued to be committed to leaning on our community when making my decisions.

Chandler is facing new opportunities. We have an incredible opportunity to create new lines of communication and embrace our diverse culture and people. I am excited about this.

Chandler is poised to financially recover quickly because we have good infrastructure, excellent public safety, and incredible schools. I am dedicated to the shared vision for Chandler’s bright future!

I am a family man, small business owner, and I love our city. Thank you for the opportunity to continue to serve.

What is your top priority or initiative for the council to address?

We have seen some incredible challenges in 2020 that have shifted priorities. Not long ago, I would have said that managing our budget expenditures through the remainder of the year due to the economic slowdown was our top priority. We must now also expand our focus to include coming together as a community and creating more in-depth conversations and relationships.

Being the only elected incumbent, I have built relationships, and I understand the budget process. While I appreciate term limits, right now, we need stability and servant leaders that have relationships and a deep understanding of the budget process.

I am ready to continue helping Chandler create opportunity for everyone.

How do you plan on addressing the build-out in Chandler?

Build out is an important topic, and Chandler is fortunate to have a General Plan voted in by the residents. That General Plan addresses buildout, so it is the Council’s responsibility to see that through. We will continue to work with our schools, neighbors, and property owners to create a community that attracts private investment and business relocations while respecting the neighborhoods already here. In the city center, we will likely see more density. In more traditional areas of Chandler, we will expect projects to fit the General Plan and overall look and feel of the area of development. We still have about 15% open space split evenly between business and residential use. There will be difficult decisions to make, but I will continue to support my neighbors.

What has the City Council done well, and what could it do better?

City Council has diverse ideas and approaches to governance. Those differing points of view are healthy. We can dream bigger! Chandler is on the verge of becoming not only the premier city in Arizona but in the nation. Our people are ready for big, bold moves, and so am I.

What kind of infrastructure improvements would you advocate for in Chandler?

Chandler must continue to enhance our older neighborhoods and invest in water treatment and recycling. We also need more athletic and ball fields for our kids.


MOST RECENT

The city of Chandler announced in a news release Dec. 2 that the city is requesting proposals from qualified offerers for the redevelopment of a vacant site in downtown Chandler. (Courtesy city of Chandler)
Chandler seeking redeveloper for vacant downtown site

The city of Chandler announced in a news release Dec. 2 that the city is requesting proposals from qualified offerers for the redevelopment of a vacant site in downtown Chandler.

Here are the coronavirus updates you need to know in Chandler. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
COVID-19 cases in Gilbert, Chandler rising and more coronavirus news

Read the latest coronavirus news from Gilbert and Chandler.

Fry's Marketplace is the anchor tenant for the Post at Cooley Station development. (Tom Blodgett/Community Impact Newspaper)
Businesses open at Post at Cooley Station in Gilbert and more local news

Read recent business and community news from Chandler and Gilbert.

(Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Someburros opens location at Chandler's The Steelyard development

Someburros opened a new Chandler location this month.

The Chandler USD governing board met Nov. 18 to discuss virtual learning and COVID-19. (Alexa D'Angelo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Chandler USD reports 12 active COVID-19 cases on districtwide dashboard; county reports 69 active school outbreaks

Chandler USD reported 12 COVID-19 cases across its campuses Nov. 30, according to data from the district.

Here are the coronavirus updates you need to know in Chandler. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Coronavirus case counts continue to rise across Maricopa County; Chandler sees 182 new cases

Here are the coronavirus updates you need to know in Chandler.

Here are the coronavirus hospitalization data updates to know across Arizona. (Community Impact staff)
Number of people in ICU units with COVID-19 up more than 400% since end of September

Here are the coronavirus hospitalization data updates to know across Arizona

The Kyrene School District is getting a new superintendent. (Courtesy Kyrene School District)
Kyrene School District names new superintendent

Kyrene School District is gettinng a new superintendent.

The Brickyard in downtown Chandler has been approved to extend its premises to its parking area. (Courtesy city of Chandler)
Chandler launches program allowing businesses to expand into on-street parking

The program, dubbed On the Street, was created to help businesses that have been faced with capacity restrictions due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

BlackBerry Cafe offers homestyle cooking and a family feel

BlackBerry Cafe owners say they aspire to make the restaurant feel like family to all its customers.

City of Chandler headquarters in downtown Chandler  (Alexa D'Angelo/Community Impact Newspaper)
City launches new way to engage with Chandler services

Chandler has a new way to experience civic engagement.

The county has adjusted the COVID-19 risk levels for local school districts. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Maricopa County updates COVID-19 school dashboard; Chandler, Gilbert, Higley all considered 'substantial risk'

The county has adjusted the COVID-19 risk levels for local school districts.