Blog Posts Tagged ‘city-of-chandler’

Nancy Jackson

Facility Manager
Chandler Senior Center


Until five years ago, City of Chandler employee Nancy Jackson spent most of her time working with young people as a Recreation Coordinator at Snedigar Sportsplex in south Chandler. Today, she manages the Chandler’s Senior Center and works with the young at heart.

“I’ve always loved to be around seniors; this is where my heart is,” Jackson says smiling. A graduate of the University of Washington with a degree in Therapeutic Recreation, Jackson, her staff and groups of volunteers spend each weekday making people feel welcome, appreciated and loved.

For many who come here, this is not their ‘second home’, this is their first home,” Jackson explained. “This is where they come to meet up with their friends, who they also call their ‘family’. They socialize. They talk in the morning over coffee. They read the newspaper and play games. Most will have lunch, and for some, this is their only hot meal of the day.”

Located in downtown near the Chandler Public Library, the Senior Center was built in 1986 and provides a broad range of recreational and social activities for seniors – including an onsite weekday meal – that enhances the social, emotional and recreational needs of participants.

“What we like to focus on is making meaningful connections,” says Jackson. “That’s what life is about; meaningful relationships. We help stimulate those relationships by offering games and activities and excursions so they can interact with each other and with staff. It’s all about living and experiencing life and being surrounded by people you love and care about.”

Jackson says most of the activities at the Center require no fee, and field trips and excursions can cost as little as $5. Outside agencies supplement some of the Center’s activities with services such as legal consultations, blood pressure screenings, peer counseling and wheelchair and walker repair.

A number of seniors volunteer their time to work at the Center, serving meals, wiping down tables, setting up rooms or taking out the trash and recyclables. Jackson’s two sons, 18-year-old D.J. and 15-year-old Brody, have even joined the volunteer staff and helped out at events.

“When we go out in the community to promote the Senior Center, we say ‘come one time and you’ll want to come back’,” Jackson exclaimed. “Once they get here and see the hustle and bustle and energy that’s in this building, they’ll want to come back.”

Evolution of Downtown Chandler

Downtown Chandler is emerging as an urban environment that continues to evolve and embrace many ways to work, live and be entertained. The destination for dining, retail and events is a hotbed for development.

Chandler City Hall. Photo from the City of Chandler.

Chandler City Hall. Photo from the City of Chandler.

Aerial view of Downtown Chandler during a block party.  Photo from the City of Chandler

Aerial view of Downtown Chandler during a block party. Photo from the City of Chandler

Alta steelyard Lofts open this fall with 301 residential units, igniting the next wave of multifamily, office and retail in the downtown core. Budding companies continue to enter the market, along with the presence of two state universities to create a dynamic work environment.

Alta steelyard Lofts will open this fall in Chandler with 301 residential units.  Photo from the City of Chandler.

Alta steelyard Lofts will open this fall in Chandler with 301 residential units. Photo from the City of Chandler.

The mix of restaurants and shops is expanding with Peixoto Coffee and Crust Restaurant at the Crowne Plaza San Marcos Resort.

Downtown Chandler is a gathering place for many community events.  Photo from the City of Chandler.

Downtown Chandler is a gathering place for many community events. Photo from the City of Chandler.

Chandler Center for the Arts, improvMANIA comedy club, festivals and the opening of an outdoor stage this fall are increasing entertainment options for all.

The ’80s Are Back in AZ Cities and Towns!

parks and rec logoHappy Park and Recreation Month!

Nothing beats spending a summer day biking on a trail, playing in a park, or swimming in a refreshing pool.

During the summer months, we can’t get away from the outdoors. That’s why, as designated by the U.S. House of Representatives, Park and Recreation Month is being celebrated nationwide in the month of July.

Some Arizona cities that aren’t formally celebrating Park and Recreation month in July will instead be celebrating at a later time when the temperature cools down.

This year the National Recreation and Park Association has encouraged communities to show and share the love of parks and recreation with a 2015 theme of the “totally tubular 80s,” making this the year that people are encouraged to rock leg warmers and head bands, break out their 80s hair styles, and get involved in their community through parks and recreation.

We love what several cities, such as Queen Creek, Mesa, Chandler, and Scottsdale are doing for Park and Recreation Month and hope other cities and towns follow suit.

Queen Creek is hosting the National Park and Recreation month with “totally tubular” style with several events including the ‘80s Party at the Splash Pad at the Founders Park from 10 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 11. Guests can enjoy the retro sounds from Dj Notez as well as fun activities for the kids. But that’s not the only “hip” event going on. There is also the ‘80s Week at the Library Recreation Annex, located at 21802 S. Ellsworth Road, where various classes will celebrate the ‘80s theme in their programs as well as seeing the recreation staff rocking the best ‘80s outfits on Wednesday, July 15. The last event to wrap up this “rad” week is the Queen Creek Festival at Horseshoe Park and Equestrian Centre on Saturday, July 18 for food trucks, boutique venders and live music. For more information of any recreational program in Queen Creek, please visit

Chandler’s “gnarly” Parks and Rec Month will be kick started with an Adult Retro Prom on Friday, July 24, at Tumbleweed Recreation Center, where any adult can take part in the old days of dressing up in the best ‘80s attire and dancing the night away. But that’s not all!  A wide array of other retro themed programs will be available at ‘80s prices or for free all throughout July! For more information on all the upcoming activities, please visit

Scottsdale also encourages its residents this 30th Parks and Rec anniversary by taking pictures of the beautiful parks the city has to offer and posting them on Instagram with the hashtag #JulyPRM30. Come and also enjoy the delightful open spaces in this community. For more information, please go to their homepage parks and rec

Mesa will be celebrating Parks and Recreation Month with some special events as well. They are encouraging residents to check out all that they have to offer from more than 200 parks and retention basins, to community recreation centers, pools, golf courses, amphitheater and two ball parks. To showcase the impact parks and recreation has in every community, NRPA encourages people that support parks and recreation to watch and share this video with the hashtag #JulyPRM30.


Jim Dawson, City of Chandler Building Plans Examiner

Chandler - DawsonNone of us enjoyed getting our homework returned by the teacher tattooed with red ink, but sometimes it was warranted.  This scenario is repeated numerous times in the world of Construction Plan Review, and Jim Dawson is the guy wielding the red pen.

As a Building Plans Examiner, Jim pores over the construction plans of developers and builders to ensure they are designed in accordance with the International Building Code, Fire Code, Mechanical Code, Plumbing Code, Energy Conservation Code, National Electric Code, Residential Code, and the Accessibility Design Access Guidelines that developed out of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Builders sometimes take issue with corrections being requested, but Jim’s grasp of the subject matter and reasoned demeanor usually wins out. And sometimes Jim doesn’t have to say a word, like the time a design consultant was upset with several ADA requirements and insisted on meeting personally with Jim. The consultant’s objections evaporated when Jim rolled his wheel chair into the lobby to greet him.

Jim has been paralyzed from the chest down and confined to a wheelchair since 2001 following a fall he took while on vacation in Canada. With his injury has come limited mobility and a greater reliance on others, especially his wife of 32 years, Tina. Before the accident, Jim was an active outdoorsman and traveled frequently while holding numerous jobs both in the United States and Canada. He has worked with Canada’s Department of Indian and Northern Affairs overseeing the infrastructure, housing and social service needs of numerous Native American communities in northern Alberta, Canada. He later owned his own construction company in his hometown of Kingston.

Meanwhile in Arizona he held jobs with Scottsdale and Gilbert, went into the home inspection business, and even operated a restaurant and bar in Mesa. He joined Chandler seven years ago and says he’s grateful to be working alongside many wonderful coworkers.

When asked about his life philosophy, Jim smiles and says, “I make a conscious mental decision each day to make it the best day I can possibly make it.”