Councilmember Jennifer Adams
Sworn onto City Council in July 2018, I am currently serving my first term on the Tempe City Council.
I am a 29-year veteran of the City of Tempe staff, having retired in August 2017. Many roles and responsibilities were mine during my tenure with the city, including positions in social services, public works, and most recently facility maintenance manager in Internal Services. Lots of mayors and councils have come and gone during my tenure at the city, but one thing never changes my love for Tempe and my dedication to making it a great place to live.
During my campaign, I knocked on many doors, introduced myself to neighbors, and shared my aspiration to represent Tempe residents on the City Council. Yes, it was HOT for much of that door knocking … but I come from sturdy stock, having grown up in a farming community in Nebraska where hard work always pays off. Serving my community comes naturally! I am proud to use my experience and skill set to serve Tempe well. This is an exciting new chapter, sharing my love of community and contributing my hard-earned experience to the City Council.
Budgeting knowledge is one of my strengths. In my last assignment at the city, I managed a $7.5 million operating budget and up to $10 million for the annual capital budget. As soon as I took office, I started asking challenging budget questions and promoting cost-saving measures to reduce our spending. As a result of my extensive budget experience, I am a hands-on Councilmember who reviews the budget. I meet regularly with our Chief Financial Officer. Managing the city’s purse strings is one of the most important responsibilities of the City Council- an area where I contribute my expertise and maximize our resources.
Big-picture thinking also motivates me. The City Council is implementing a strategic plan based on residents input. City performance goals are measured and course corrected as we move through our financial goals.
I am using my background as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Manager, Life Coach and Certified Mediator to work with others in the community. I am providing resources and solutions to many constituents experiencing challenges in the community. The Council is building consensus and solving challenging issues as our city grows and evolves.
As a long-term manager for city infrastructure, I understand the importance of maintaining our roads. I support a solid pavement management program. One of the City Council’s top legislative agenda priorities is to lobby the state legislature to stop sweeping dollars from the Highway User Revenue Fund to balance the state’s budget. These dollars are derived from taxes and fees specifically dedicated to the development and maintenance of streets and roadways. Tempe is working with Arizona League of Cities and Towns demanding the restoration of these funds as intended. Without the state restoring these funds, we will have an uphill battle restoring our streets to acceptable levels. Please contact your state representative to stress the need for HURF (Highway Revenue User Fund) to fund our city streets.
I am a champion for small businesses. I believe they are the backbone of our neighborhoods in Tempe. What better place to gather and visit with your neighbors than at the local coffee bar or bagel shop? Or perhaps you run into your child’s teacher at the hair salon and have an impromptu catch-up on school performance? Maybe your teen can get a summer job at the corner pizzeria or café? Indeed, these small businesses contribute a great deal to the fabric of our community. Small businesses are mainstays of important goods, services and restaurants that contribute to the quality of life where Tempe residents live. Increasingly, local businesses are becoming “the place where everybody knows your name,” which promotes a safer and friendlier neighborhood. Profits increase too, as satisfied locals recommend local businesses to others. Residents can also enjoy the quality products and personalized service that comes with a sense of community.
By working with our strip-center owners and with our sign ordinance team at the city, I believe concessions can be made that could enhance the visibility of some shopping centers in Tempe. Better visibility leads to better foot traffic and sales. Let’s join forces to recognize these businesses for the community assets they are and help them thrive and grow!