Who is on Chandler City Council? What to know about the members
Chandler's council is made up of seven members, including Mayor Kevin Hartke, and is tasked with running Arizona's fourth-largest city.
Councilmembers are elected at large and do not represent specific districts or precincts. They are limited to two consecutive four-year terms; however, there are no rules preventing councilmembers from taking a break from public service when their consecutive terms are up and then returning to the council later for another eight-year stint.
Elections for the council are held during even-numbered years and the races are staggered so that three positions are up for election each time. The seats currently held by Councilmembers Christine Ellis, OD Harris and Mark Stewart are next up in 2024, and Chandler will hold its next mayoral election in 2026.
City Council meetings are generally held on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month and are open to the public, as are council study sessions, which are usually held the Monday before each formal council meeting.
Who is the mayor of Chandler? What to know about Kevin Hartke
Mayor Kevin Hartke
Elected in 2018, Hartke is just starting his second term as mayor. The St. Louis, Missouri, native has lived in Chandler since 1985 and was the longtime lead pastor at Trinity Christian Fellowship. He joined the council in 2008 and served two full terms before running for its top position. He won reelection with an overwhelming majority in August, the first contested mayoral race in Chandler since 2006.
Vice Mayor Matt Orlando
Orlando has lived in Chandler since 1983 and was elected to his sixth term on the City Council in August. He first won election to the council in 1990 and served until 1998. In 2004, he won the election again, serving until 2012, and he launched another successful run in 2018. He is from Newark, New Jersey, and previously worked at Honeywell, where he oversaw technical sales. He is also a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and Arizona Air National Guard.
Councilmember Angel Encinas
Born and raised in downtown Chandler, Encinas was elected to his first term on the council in August. He is the first LGBTQ person to serve on Chandler's council and a small business owner who manages an immigration consulting firm and a real estate business.
Councilmember Christine Ellis
Ellis was born in Haiti and moved to the United States in 1982. She has resided in Chandler since 1987 and won the election to the council in 2020. Ellis is a registered nurse and founded a senior care company in 1998, which she operated until 2015. She also helps lead The Bridge for Community Services, a faith-based nonprofit organization that feeds and ministers to homeless individuals in the Valley. Ellis is the first Black woman to serve on Chandler's council.
Councilmember OD Harris
A Chicago native, Harris has served on the council since winning election in 2020. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army and owns a small media company. He franchised and eventually sold his first business, a tax and accounting company. In 2014, he founded the Ready Set Go Foundation, a nonprofit that helps entrepreneurs in underserved communities.
Councilmember Jane Poston
Raised in the East Valley, Poston is a longtime Chandler resident and was elected to her first term on the council in August. She is a small business owner and a former city employee who served on various city committees before winning her council seat, including the 2021 Citizens' Bond Committee.
Councilmember Mark Stewart
Stewart has lived in Chandler since 2001 and first won election to the City Council in 2016. He is from Missouri and runs a consulting company that specializes in marketing and branding for Valley businesses. He is also a coach for the YMCA and Little League International.
Sasha Hupka covers Chandler and regional issues for The Arizona Republic. Do you have a Chandler tip? Reach her at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter: @SashaHupka.
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Who is on Chandler City Council? What to know about the members.