By Sasha Hupka | Arizona Republic
View CommentsChandler mayoral and City Council candidates voiced ideas and concerns around housing affordability, sustainability and ways to support LGBTQ communities at a forum organized by Chandler Pride.
Incumbent Mayor Kevin Hartke and mayoral candidate Ruth Jones were joined Wednesday by council candidates Jane Poston, Angel Encinas and Farhana Shifa, as well as incumbent Councilmember Matt Orlando, for the 90-minute discussion.
Council candidates are elected citywide and are vying for three open seats.
Council candidate Darla Gonzalez, who works as the grassroots director for the Arizona Free Enterprise Club, did not attend. Chandler Pride co-founder Eduarda Schroder said Gonzalez emailed to excuse herself from the event because of a work commitment.
Growth and development worries dominated the discussion. In the past year alone, city officials have considered planning and zoning proposals from allowing backyard chickens to banning data centers.
Chandler is also experiencing a shortage of police officers, and residents have raised concerns around affordable housing and the preservation of neighborhoods.