Boyd Dunn has served on the Chandler City Council since 1994, including the last eight years as mayor.
Dunn, who turned 58 on Thursday, is a divorce attorney. He temporarily pursued the top job at the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office earlier this year, but for now, he said, he has no public-office aspirations.
Q: What are your emotions as your tenure ends?
A: It’s something I’ve been thinking about quite a bit. A lot of my focus as mayor was on two areas I feel were critical: Dealing with the enormous growth in the city, and make Chandler economically solvent. We had to get facilities built to provide the services our citizens were requesting. Not only the new City Hall, but the new public-safety facilities and fire stations, parks, recreational facilities, libraries and other amenities. Getting the performing arts center remodeled was something I felt needed to be done to keep us competitive in that area.
Q: And in the economic realm?
A: I think many cities get misdirected in looking at retail as their means of financial survival. That’s important, but I’m absolutely convinced cities need to decide what their industry is going to be, and what industry best fits their community. Those cities that realize this too late will be playing catch-up. That’s where Chandler has had a success — Intel, eBay, Gangplank, biomedical research, the incubator … the list is lengthy. That’s not only providing an immediate need of jobs for your citizens, but these are companies that are going to be here for decades and will continue providing jobs and investing in the community.
Q: Are you satisfied with how Chandler navigated the financial challenges?
A: You can always look at what you could have done better; I think that’s healthy. But the evidence of how we’ve done is how healthy we are on a fiscal basis, even amid the downturn. We’ve had two difficult budgets to balance. But we’ve had no long-term layoffs, no tax increases, the emergency funds are still intact, and we’ve still gotten triple-A bond ratings. We’ve not had to make cutbacks on essential services for citizens. We haven’t had to make the tough decisions other cities have, and that’s because we had fiscal policies in place to prepare for the downturn. The new mayor and Council will have another challenging year in balancing the budget, but we could be in a far worse position.
Q: What’s next for you?
A: It’s going to be a change. Chandler is the best city in the country I can think of to be mayor of; we have the best staff and Council around. I’ll probably go back to the private sector. I’ll stay as involved publicly as I can, but I’m going to refocus on my family and job. My wife will be happy to see me around more. I’ll help out Jay (Tibshraeny) as much as he wants — we’re great friends who believe in the same things for Chandler. I expect that it will be a very seamless transition.