Jay Tibshraeny has served in several capacities of Chandler city government, including mayor from 1994-2002. After serving in the Legislature since 2003, he pursued a return to the Chandler mayoral post and was elected in August, running unopposed.
The 56-year-old Chandler native, an agricultural and property manager, takes office on Jan. 13.
Q: What are your emotions as you prepare to return to your old job?
A: I’m excited about returning to the mayor’s seat. Serving Chandler is a lifetime passion of mine.
Q: How has Chandler changed since you were last mayor?
A: Obviously, there is a new group of people to work with, and the fiscal challenges are bigger than when I left. Then, we had just achieved our triple-A bond rating, and the finances in the city and the state were strong. Now, there are some challenges that we will continue to address.
Q: How has your time in the Legislature prepared you for coming back to city-level government?
A: You have to work within your caucus and across the aisle, and I did that. It built my skills, the kind of skills you need on a City Council about working with everyone and trying to find the best solution.
Q: Chandler has long welcomed the technology business. Has that become the city’s primary identity?
A: Administrations going back even before mine have long focused on bringing jobs, good jobs, to the city. We saw Intel as a magnet to attract high-tech business and pave the way for the outstanding Price Road corridor we have. It’s a game plan we’ve followed about having quality businesses — many of them tech, but not all of them.
Q: Municipal budgets can be at the mercy of the state and national economic situations. What could have been done differently in Chandler, and how much of the problems are a product of the outside economic climate?
A: It was a national recession, so there wasn’t a lot of control the city had over that. Generally, I think the city has done a good job of stying on top of the issues facing it. The only area I would be concerned with is the fact that the reserve funds have been spent down a bit.
Q: What’s your business blueprint? What other types of business can the city tap?
A: Downtown and the Price Road corridor are important, and the Airpark area has ground for business. That area in southeast Chandler, I think, can be a great location for different companies and be a place for people to work who live in that area.
Q: What’s your impression of the new City Hall?
A: This will be the third council chamber I’ve worked in, and fourth City Hall. Yeah, it’s a nice facility, but work still needs to be done. My focus is hitting the ground running and rolling up my sleeves and getting to work, so that’s what I’m focused on doing.