24. September 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Uncategorized

by Amy B Wang – Aug. 28, 2012 11:02 PM
The Republic | azcentral.com

Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/community/chandler/articles/2012/08/28/20120828chandler-city-council-race-results-nora-ellen-leads.html?nclick_check=1#ixzz27QQRVLUKChallenger Nora Ellen pulled away from a crowded primary field that included two incumbents Tuesday night and won a seat on the Chandler City Council.

Incumbents Jack Sellers and Rick Heumann and challengers Scott Taylor and Terry Roe appear headed for a November runoff for the two other council seats. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, none of the four had the 50 percent plus one of the votes cast for mayor to win a council seat outright.

Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny, running unopposed, was re-elected to a sixth term.

“I’m elated and humbled,” Ellen said. “I’m just — that’s really all I can say. I’m so excited and speechless.”

Ellen said she was watching with close friends and family, all staring at their smartphones. When the initial results came in showing her in first place she hugged her son and cried.

“Because we’d worked so hard,” Ellen said, “and it was like, wow, way out in front like that.”

At a joint watch party for Sellers and Heumann on Tuesday night, the anxiety in the room was evident as the results rolled in.

Sellers, who remained in second place throughout the evening, continually hovered just shy of the 50 percent plus one of the votes cast for mayor required to win a seat outright in the primary.

“I’m a little frustrated,” Sellers said. “I would have liked to have been done tonight because I think I can better spend my time, but we don’t mind doing this. We do what we need to do.”

Sellers and Heumann acknowledged some surprise at how close the results were, given Chandler’s high approval ratings.

“The only thing we can think of is people are happy and they didn’t come out,” Heumann said. “It was very low turnout, which probably didn’t bode well for us. We’re going to go out and continue to knock on doors like we have and get our message out about what’s so great about Chandler.”

Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/community/chandler/articles/2012/08/28/20120828chandler-city-council-race-results-nora-ellen-leads.html?nclick_check=1#ixzz27QQ7WcOz

03. August 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Uncategorized

I am happy to share that I have received The Arizona Republic’s endorsement.

Choose … Ellen in Chandler

Chandler should take heart in the quality of its representation.

The City Council has diverse viewpoints but maintains a laser-like focus on job creation and neighborhood revitalization. There is no animosity, no backbiting. Even if members disagree, they leave it all on the dais once votes have been tabulated.

Though Ellen is relatively new to politics, the seasoned Chandler real-estate agent has ideas worth pursuing to better connect with residents and speed permits for businesses. She is energetic, accessible and has an eye toward regionalism, having already reached out to officials in neighboring cities for ideas.

Ellen is a Chamber of Commerce board member and served on the mayor’s four-corner retail committee, which studied ideas to revamp vacant shopping centers. She also is the only non-incumbent to earn the support of sitting council members. Kevin Hartke and Jeff Weninger have endorsed her, and Weninger is serving as her honorary campaign chair.

View the entire article here:


03. August 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Uncategorized

I am so excited and honored to share this press release by the Chandler Police Associations! 

Chandler Lieutenant And Sergeant Association

“The citizens of Chandler deserve council members who unequivocally support public safety while demonstrating genuine willingness to communicate with representatives of the police department and community.

Because Nora Ellen possesses all these attributes, she has earned CLASA’s absolute endorsement for city council. Nora Ellen is the ONLY candidate to unanimously receive an endorsement from all Chandler Police Associations.

While being approachable and understanding, Nora has demonstrated her commitment to our community through her service with the Chamber Board of Directors and as a Neighborhood Commissioner.

We are confident Nora Ellen will support public safety and our commitment to the citizens of Chandler through law enforcement while opening doors of communication and bridging the existing chasm between police and council.”

See Nora’s Endorsements Page on her website for State Law Enforcement endorsements.

26. July 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Uncategorized

Be sure to register by Monday, July 30th to vote in the upcoming elections.

If you are from Chandler, vote for Nora Ellen for Chandler City Council!


26. July 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Uncategorized

The SanTan Sun News Includes Two Articles Written by Nora Ellen

in the July 21-Aug.3, 2012 Edition, on pages 8 and 42.


26. July 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Uncategorized

2012 Chandler Election Candidate Profile For Nora Ellen

When Nora Ellen decided to run for Chandler City Council, she sent her son a  text message. The news surprised him so much, he said, that he nearly crashed  into the person next to him.

“She is not a politician,” said her son, J.D. Mesnard, a representative in  the Arizona Legislature. “People might say that about me, but she is fully  authentic. She does not have the sound bites down. She is exactly what she  appears to be: dedicated, hardworking and fully devoted to making Chandler a  better city.”

For years, Ellen, 56, has stayed involved in Chandler somewhat under the  radar, serving on various committees and boards with the Chandler Chamber of  Commerce and other business groups. She was asked to be on the Chandler Mayor’s  4-Corner Retail Committee, which looked for recommendations to help the city’s  struggling retail centers. She also was appointed a commissioner of the  seven-person Mayor’s Neighborhood Advisory Committee.

Those tasks, combined with her full-time job as a realtor, mean Ellen sees  firsthand the problems and solutions Chandler faces on a neighborhood level, she  said.

“I’m in the neighborhoods every day and I see what happens when there are  abandoned homes and how that affects our neighborhoods,” Ellen said. “I know the  value of fighting for property rights and the importance of home ownership and  how that affects our economy.”

Ellen has brushed aside criticism that she is running because of her  connection to Mesnard. In fact, Mesnard said, the two often laugh about the  turns their lives have taken, because neither had thought they would run for  political office.

“I think that just shows how our family loves to serve our community,” Ellen  said. “When you get attacked like that, I think it’s a good sign. No one would  attack you if you were not a valid candidate or a threat.”

For a newcomer, Ellen has garnered strong support from Chandler business and  city leaders, including Councilman Kevin Hartke and Vice Mayor Jeff Weninger,  who not only endorsed her but agreed to co-chair her campaign.

“I have respect for all the people running, but I think Nora could definitely  take it to the next level,” said Weninger, who described Ellen as a “problem  solver.” “She would be the perfect fit.”

Among seven council candidates, Ellen is the only female. While she is not  shy about her desire to bring more diversity to the council, she said she hopes  that her dedication to the city would come across regardless of the  audience.

“I want to reach the men and women of Chandler, not just the women,” Ellen  said. “If I could stand on the roof and (talk into) a loudspeaker, I would. I  want to say, ‘Hey, hey! I love our city!’ And I want so much to do everything I  can to make our city prosper.”

Nora Ellen

Age: 56.

Occupation: Realtor.

Hometown: Colorado Springs, Colo.

Years lived in Chandler: More than 10; 22 in Arizona.

Family: Adult son, daughter and son-in-law.

Contact: electnoraellen@gmail.com.

Read more:  http://www.azcentral.com/community/chandler/articles/2012/07/02/20120702chandler-election-nora-ellen-profile.html#ixzz21lATeSnz

25. July 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Uncategorized

2012 Chandler City Council candidate questionnaire

Name: Nora Ellen.

Age: 56.

Hometown: Colorado Springs, Colo.

Educational, professional and political experience: Real-estate  investor and multimillion-dollar producing Realtor. Chandler Chamber of Commerce  Public Policy Committee. Government Affairs Committee for the Southeast Valley  Realtor Association. Realtor Association Political Action Committee. Precinct  Committeeman/Captain. University of Northern Colorado, Covenant College.

Current occupation: Real-estate agent and investor.

Family: Adult children: Son, daughter and son-in-law.

How long have you lived in Chandler? 10-plus years (Arizona for  22).

Have you ever been charged with a misdemeanor or felony, or been part of a  matter in civil court? If so, what was the outcome? No.

What is Chandler’s greatest asset, and how can the city maximize it? I  believe the people of Chandler are the city’s greatest asset. To ensure that the  city remains a great place to live, work and raise a family, we need to focus on  keeping our neighborhoods safe and creating a thriving job market for our  residents. One way we can do this is to connect Chandler residents looking for  employment with Chandler job openings. This will keep the city economy churning  and benefit everyone.

Why are you seeking a seat on the Chandler City Council? I love  Chandler. I began serving in Chandler not long after moving to Arizona more than  20 years ago. My involvement in the community ranges from being a commissioner  on the mayor’s Neighborhood Advisory Committee and four-corner retail committee  to the Chandler Chamber Board of Directors. I am ready to take that service to  the next level as a Chandler Councilwoman and continue building in all areas for  our future prosperity.

What is your top priority, if elected? My top two priorities are to  promote job creation and economic development, and to protect our neighborhoods.  When our residents are enjoying successful businesses and jobs, every aspect of  city life prospers. I want to ease the regulatory burden on business generally  and streamline the business start-up process to same-day permitting. I will also  focus on using Chandler’s excellent business network to create an efficient way  of connecting those looking for work to the jobs that are available.

What differentiates you from your opponents? There is much that makes  me stand out from my opponents. The most obvious differentiation between me and  every other candidate is that I am the only female in the race. There is great  value in having diverse backgrounds on the council; unfortunately, there is only  one woman currently serving, and she is nearing her term limit. My combined  experience as a business owner and mother, together with my involvement in the  critical areas of business development and neighborhood safety, give me a unique  perspective.

In addition, unlike some of the other first-time candidates, I’ve been  involved with city policy and working in the community on a voluntary basis for  years. For instance, I am a commissioner on Chandler’s Neighborhood Advisory  Committee, and was part of the mayor’s four-corner retail committee. I’m also a  member of the Chandler Chamber Board of Directors, and the Government Affairs  Committee for Realtors. I have a balanced understanding of the needs of  businesses and residents and a thorough knowledge of how to form public policy  that enhances the lives of our residents. I also have great relationships with  business and community leaders and enjoy their endorsements and support, which  will make me an effective councilwoman from day one.

Discuss one recent council vote in which you agreed. Why? I agreed  with the vote to provide the two-year labor agreement with the International  Association of Firefighters Local 493. This provides a 2.7 percent  across-the-board wage and salary range adjustment in 2012-13 while staying  within our budget goals. This is a well-deserved agreement for Chandler  firefighters, fire engineers and fire captains for their great service to our  city.

Discuss one recent council vote in which you disagreed. How would you have  handled it differently? I would say that overall there have not been that  many issues of significant controversy on the council over the last couple of  years. However, one issue that has been a major focus lately relates to the  contracts with public safety. The council decided to exclude merit-pay increases  for police officers for the upcoming year. I realize that the budget is tight  right now, but I believe that public safety is the paramount issue at the local  level, and police officers are obviously at the forefront of that.

The council voted unanimously, which I do not take lightly. I’m just not sure  I agree with that decision. In another area, I do oppose the current budgeting  process. Departments need to be placed more under the microscope, validating and  justifying each year why they need what they’re requesting and not just resubmit  the old numbers. This is more akin to a zero-based budgeting strategy than the  current broad-spectrum budgeting, and is a better process for council to use as  stewards of taxpayer money.

Should Chandler consider increasing the property-tax rate to fund  postponed parks and public-safety facilities? No. I do not believe  increasing property-taxes on our residents is the best solution for generating  funds for these areas. Many are struggling just to stay in their homes. I see it  on a daily basis as a professional Realtor. We need to prioritize with the tax  collections we have and live within our means. If we want to see revenue growth,  it really comes down to jobs. A thriving job market will see residents better  able to afford staying in their homes and paying their property taxes, thus  generating revenue for parks and facilities.

What is one thing the city can do now to prepare itself for a more urban,  pedestrian-friendly future? If it costs money, how would you fund it? Having  covered pedestrian walkways would be helpful, especially for the summer months.  Also, the creation of strategically placed parking structures would be helpful  to save space while accommodating more visitors, and with the added benefit of  covered parking. Preserving historic architecture and historic uses will  complement the surrounding area. There are grants available for this kind of  redevelopment, including federal funds. The Downtown Chandler Community  Foundation has done a great job in finding grants and fundraising to help pay  for these projects.

Chandler has more retail space than the market can support. What, if  anything, should the city do in the short and long term to reuse these  sites? I had the privilege of serving on the mayor’s four-corner retail  committee, which was tasked with addressing this very issue. As our report  states, any serious solution “includes fast-tracking reuse and redevelopment  project permits in targeted areas at no additional charge.” This relates to the  same-day permitting process I will push to achieve on council. In addition, one  of the best ways to eliminate retail vacancy is to create a thriving  business-growth environment that necessitates the use of more space. In other  words, we need to grow our economy. As the economy grows, businesses will grow.  As businesses grow, the retail space problem will shrink.

Are you pleased with downtown’s direction? Why or why not? Yes. The  Chandler Art Walk, the Farmers Market and Summer Dash and Splash are some of the  varied activities that attract tourism and make downtown the point of  destination. Specialty stores and restaurants are what customers look for in a  downtown setting. The Downtown Chandler Community Partnership has done an  excellent job in attracting such businesses.

Do you support the city’s effort to attract college campuses? Why or why  not? Absolutely! I support attracting college campuses because of the value  I place on education for our future prosperity. Students will often choose to  attend college where they live, if there is availability. Once finished, there  is a great likelihood they will decide to work nearby and end up living in the  city where they attended school. We should definitely expand on these  partnerships with our higher-education institutions.

What kinds of businesses or industries, if any, should Chandler target to  create high-wage jobs in the Price Corridor and Chandler Airpark? We cannot  under-appreciate the value of past council decisions that created the potential  we see today for these areas. They had vision, and we are seeing it come to  fruition before our eyes. It has been exciting to see the corridor and airpark  grow, and we need to make sure we stay focused on the goal: high-wage job  creation. Areas in manufacturing, bio-technology, biosciences, defense,  aerospace, information technology, renewable/sustainable energy and others are  the future. In particular, we need to replicate the tremendous success we have  had with Intel to bring more high-tech manufacturing companies to Chandler. Not  only will such businesses bring more high-wage jobs to Chandler, but they will  spawn job creation among the many small businesses that directly benefit as  well.

Read more:  http://www.azcentral.com/community/chandler/articles/2012/06/26/20120626chandler-election-nora-ellen-questionnaire.html#ixzz21lE9GX1l

10. July 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Uncategorized

Thank you to Vice Mayor Jeff Weninger for hosting my Pizza-Party fundaiser and to all my friends that came to support me in running for Chandler City Council!