City making good fiscal moves; you can help The Chandler Arizonan

City making good fiscal moves; you can help

City making good fiscal moves; you can help
Opinion
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By Councilman Jeremy McClymonds Guest Writer

 

At an early age I learned the importance of proper financial and retirement planning and turned it into my passion.

As a financial advisor, I am able to apply my experience in helping my clients achieve their financial goals to my role in overseeing Chandler’s budget as a City Council member. 

Chandler offered great value to taxpayers with the second-lowest total cost for services among Valley cities in 2019.

For the third decade in a row, the city was awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting and the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association. 

Like every City, Chandler faces many challenges and opportunities when it comes to maintaining fiscal sustainability. 

As a Council member, my role is to be a good steward of taxpayer dollars, and I believe ensuring debt levels are manageable is a vital piece of the mission. 

Underfunded pension plans are reflected as debt on the city financial statements. Therefore I have kept a close eye on the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System.

 My goal is to pay it down and make sure there is enough there to pay our public safety personnel when they retire. 

I am proud Chandler was one of the first cities to put together a pension obligation pay-down plan to pay over and above the minimum payment required by PSPRS and bring down our pension debt faster.

 What we have done by having a plan and paying towards the pension debt over the past four years has contributed to the City’s ability to maintain AAA bond ratings which were reaffirmed in October 2019. 

Our high bond rating, much like an individual having a high credit score, allows us to borrow funds, if needed, at the lowest interest rate possible.

Looking to the future, 2020 is going to be an exciting year for Chandler. 

The City is executing master plan updates for our parks, airport and transportation systems. 

These master plans will provide us a vision for what the future should look like in Chandler and the vision will translate into capital projects to clarify what needs to be in our capital improvement program. 

Now that most of Chandler’s vacant lands are filled, what we thought we needed a decade ago may look different today. 

 I look forward to working with the community to explore Chandler’s continued transformation and to understand what the needs of our residents and businesses are today. 

On Feb. 27, Council will be hosting a live budget discussion on the City’s Facebook page to garner feedback and answer questions from our residents about the budget. 

Community members can learn more on the City’s website at chandleraz.gov/BudgetLive. I can be contacted directly at jeremy.mcclymonds@chandleraz.gov.

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