Field of 7 vie for 3 open Chandler City Council seats in primary - East Valley Tribune: Chandler

Field of 7 vie for 3 open Chandler City Council seats in primary

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Sunday, August 19, 2012 8:04 am | Updated: 2:18 pm, Sun Aug 19, 2012.

While Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeney is running unopposed for a sixth term, seven people are vying for three seats on the City Council in the Aug. 28 primary election.

A mixed field of candidates ranging in age from 34 to 69 includes incumbents, business owners and a former educator.

Among them: Incumbents Jack Sellers and Rick Heumann; Terry Roe and Scott Taylor, who both lost in the 2010 election; and first-time candidates Nora Ellen, Sam Huang and John Sibley Wolfe.

In Chandler, the mayor’s job pays $36,810 and a council seat pays $24,450.

While the mayor is running unopposed, the votes cast for him do have an impact. A council candidate must receive 50 percent plus 1 vote of the total number of votes cast for the mayor to win a council seat in the primary. If more than three candidates receive that, the election is decided with the top three winning a council seat.

In the event that no candidate receives at least 50 percent plus one vote in the primary, the six who received the most votes advance to the November election.

Meet the council candidates

Nora Ellen; 56, Realtor

Education: Studied real estate and physical education at the University of Colorado


A Chandler resident for more than 10 years and a 22-year East Valley resident, Nora Ellen is the only woman in the city council race.

She believes that the issues facing the city that need to be maintained and strengthened are job creation and economic development, public safety, neighborhoods and government accountability.

Ellen said it is her background as both a business owner and her involvement with the city that gives her the experience to be a council member.

“As a Councilwoman, my top priority will be to bring more jobs to Chandler and promote economic development,” Ellen said. “In many ways, Chandler has been a model city in this regard, but there is still more that we can do such as easing the regulatory burden on businesses, streamlining the business start-up process and planning reviews, and connecting Chandler residents looking for work to the Chandler jobs that are available. Economic development must be the immediate focus, but in the long-term, one of the most important issues facing our city that few of our residents may realize is the imminent transition from high-growth to build-out, which will happen by about 2020.”

Rick Heumann; 58, sales manager for CMA, a California-based marketing firm supporting gift and home furnishing companies

Education: B.S. in marketing, Arizona State University


Rick Heumann is no stranger when it comes to serving the city of Chandler. Running for re-election, Heumann is seeking his second four-year term on council to continue giving back to the city and the programs he started. Heumann formerly served on the Chandler Planning Commission for seven years and his platform is continuing to create quality high-paying jobs in quality neighborhoods.

In May of 2011, Heumann also organized the Chandler Education Coalition, a group of schools and colleges throughout the East Valley, including Arizona State University, that focuses on how educational institutions and educators can make the most out of limited resources and showcase the best and brightest students for companies.

An avid runner and fitness buff, Heumann said, “It’s about creating high-paying jobs and creating quality neighborhoods. I’ve got the experience and knowledge and want to continue the things I’ve started to give back to the city.”

Sam Huang; 50, former principal of Career Success High School in Mesa.

Education: Ph.D in Educational Leadership from the State University of New York-Buffalo (concentration in Comparative and Global Studies in Education)


Born and raised in Taiwan, Sam Huang, who became a U.S. citizen, hopes to become Chandler’s first Asian City Council member and focus on bringing the city’s minority groups closer to together and market Chandler as a city for global economic growth.

A first-time council candidate, Huang said he believes he is the best candidate for the next phase of Chandler’s growth, capitalizing on diversity and meeting the challenges of creating a smarter city.

A five-year resident of Chandler, Huang believes he can help redirect resources for better purposes.

“Keeping taxes low leaves more for the community commerce, investments in economic opportunity and job growth,” Huang said. “This is why I can assure you that as an elected official I would never raise taxes or property taxes.”

“An accountable government should tax less and deliver better services through efficient and progressive management,” Huang added.

Terry Roe; 52, retired Mesa police sergeant

Education: Attended Mesa Community College and Studied Business Administration at the University of Phoenix


A Chandler resident for 24 years, East Valley resident for 45 years, and having 20 years of law enforcement experience, it seems as though Terry Roe would’ve done it all, but he hasn’t.

After coming up short in the 2010 Chandler City Council elections, he is trying for a seat again.

A retired law enforcement officer, he’s a strong believer in being tough on crime and executing smart spending to have a safer community while maintaining the quality services the city now has.

Roe also believes that Chandler must remain business friendly to continue to attract business expansion and create more jobs.

“There is one issue that makes everything else possible,” Roe said. “It is good budgeting.”

Jack Sellers; 69, retired facilities manager of General Motors Desert Proving Grounds in Mesa

Education: Bachelor’s degree in engineering from New Mexico State University


Jack Sellers, who has lived in Chandler since 1994, is seeking re-election to his second four-year term on council. Retired as facilities manager for the General Motors Desert Proving Ground in Mesa, Sellers has a strong interest in economic development and transportation issues. He is running on a diverse platform drawing on his experience and remaining active in the East Valley.

“There are many important challenges and issues that we have faced in Chandler,” Sellers said. “I will work hard to make certain that the issues that are important to the people are addressed.”

Among the issues Sellers believes are important in Chandler are maintaining quality city services and public safety, job creation, quality education opportunities and protecting seniors.

Sellers served as a member and chair of the Chandler Transportation Commission and chaired the Chandler Transportation Bond Committee. He also served on the Chandler Airport Noise Compatibility Study Advisory Committee and represents Chandler on the Maricopa Association of Governments Transportation Policy Committee.

Scott Taylor; 34, insurance agency owner

Education: Studied business in college


A 10-year resident of Chandler, Scott Taylor is vying for a council seat for the second time after coming up short in the 2010 elections.

Taylor is focusing on what he believes are three key issues for the city: creating more jobs and companies, keeping neighborhoods clean and safe, more effective government spending, and widening Gilbert and McQueen roads south to Riggs Road.

“We must be more proactive promoting these advantages to business owners around the country, branding ourselves as the place to do business in the Southwest United States,” Taylor said, noting that in Arizona, 70 percent of the people that have a science or engineering degree live in the East Valley.

“Public safety should always be a priority,” Taylor added.”We must keep the local sales taxes and secondary property taxes competitive, while at the same time, we will continue the quality of life we all enjoy.”

John Sibley Wolfe; 48, owner of Sibley’s West gift shop in downtown Chandler

Education: Bachelor’s degree in journalism, Northwestern University, and MBA from Arizona State University


A 15-year resident of Chandler, John Silbley Wolfe believes the city has a lot to be proud of, is a well-run, well-managed city and is the envy of the East Valley.

He is running for council for the first time and hopes he can help the city to continue providing the quality services it now provides while expanding on its downtown retail and entertainment possibilities.

On his decision to run for office, Wolfe said that he believes he can provide a “normal citizen’s” and small business perspective on the voting body.

Wolfe believes that some of the challenges the city faces is how it will deal with its vacant retail space and undeveloped lots and how it could minimize the affect of businesses during periods of road construction.

A supporter of free enterprise and maintaining a business-friendly low-tax atmosphere, Wolfe said, “We have to be creative ... Working with the developers and property owners is key.”

More about

More about

More about

  • Discuss
Your Az Jobs