Thirty Six Years Of Service Comes To An End
MANSFIELD, TEXAS – City Manager Clayton W. Chandler, who helped guide
Mansfield from a small, rural community of approximately 8,000 to one of the fastest
growing cities in the country that was often named one of the Best Places to Live in the U.S., announced Monday he was retiring after 36 years on the job.
Chandler, a Georgia native who came to Mansfield in May 1984 after working in city
government in Ohio and South Carolina, publicly announced his retirement during the
Monday City Council meeting. Chandler expressed his pride in being a part of the work to
grow Mansfield over the last 36 years into a city known for its quality of life and strong
“The goal of the team here at the City of Mansfield has been to make a difference in
the lives of the residents of this community,” Chandler said. “The changes in this city from
when I arrived in 1984 are significant. I am grateful to have been a part of those changes that I believe have been for the betterment of Mansfield. And I am especially proud of the
employee organization and all of our accomplishments. These team members are among the best in their respective fields. I am proud to have worked with them and know they will
continue to dedicate themselves to the work of this city.”
Mansfield One of The Best Places To Live, A Credit to Chandler
“Mansfield has been extremely fortunate to have Clayton Chandler as its City
Manager,” said Mayor David Cook. “He served this city at a critical time in its history. His
knowledge and expertise were key in guiding us through explosive growth and economic
challenges. Our City is one of the Best Places to Live because of him and the team he
assembled. We wish Mr. Chandler and his Family all the best in his retirement and thank
him for his service to this community.”
During Chandler’s tenure Mansfield went from a community of approximately 8,000
to more than 75,000 population. The city saw explosive growth in the late 1990s and 2000s as neighborhoods emerged from what was farmland in southeast Tarrant County. During most of the 2000s Mansfield posted more single-family building permits than any other suburb in the county, with only Fort Worth and Arlington seeing more residential
As the home-building activity increased, Chandler and his city staff planned
expansion of the city’s infrastructure including water and sewer to new and future
neighborhoods, and roadways such as Broad Street that were constructed before new
development came. Today Broad Street is a major east-west commercial thoroughfare
crossing the city and site of Mansfield’s growing medical district.
Chandler also became a fierce advocate for the development of the city’s freeway
infrastructure, working with the state to improve U.S. 287, which runs through the center of the city, and lobbying the legislature for more than 30 years for the extension of SH360 from Interstate 20 to U.S. 287. Construction of new bridges over U.S. 287 and improvements to freeway entrance and exit ramps have increased mobility in the city as the population has grown.
Economic Development & 360 Tollway
In May 2018, Chandler celebrated with others at the opening of the 360 Tollway,
which is also known as the Senator Chris Harris Memorial Highway, named after the late
Senator that was an ally of Chandler’s in the legislature for nearly three decades. The tollway has not only provided better access to central business districts for Mansfield commuters, it has also opened up thousands of freeway frontage acreage for economic development, which Chandler has been able to do time and again throughout the city.
Growing the city’s tax base was also a priority for Chandler as economic development
efforts centered on the establishment of the Mansfield Economic Development Corporation
and a dedicated half-cent sales tax to fund efforts to bring industry and jobs to the
community. Since its start in 1997, the MEDC has provided $81 million for the city’s
economic development efforts.
One of the largest economic development efforts in the city’s history was under
Chandler’s direction as city leaders sought to bring a hospital to the community, resulting in
the opening of Methodist Mansfield Medical Center in December 2007 and a $124 million
impact to the city’s economy annually.
Quality of Life in Mansfield
While the city’s economic growth was a priority for Chandler, he was equally focused
on the city’s quality of life. He was instrumental in the creation of the Mansfield Park
Facilities Development Corporation and the voter-approved, half-cent sales tax dedicated to
expanding and growing Mansfield’s park system. The city now boasts more than 1,000 acres of parkland and numerous athletic and recreational facilities enjoyed by residents. Mansfield Parks & Recreation has been named the best park system in the state three times.
In 2004 the Mansfield Park Development Corporation renamed the park on North
Walnut Creek Drive Clayton W. Chandler Park in honor of his service to the community.
As a result of his extensive work in bringing a hospital to the city, Methodist Mansfield
Medical Center named its emergency room for Chandler, recognizing those efforts and for
serving on its advisory board.
Mansfield drew nationwide attention in 2007 when it was first named to Money
Magazine’s Best Places to Live list. The city was named to the list three more times, in 2009, 2012 and 2014.
Chandler has undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Georgia
with extensive expertise in municipal finance and general government operations. In 2007,
Chandler received the Distinguished Service Award from the International City Managers
Forbes Magazine has named Mansfield one of the fastest growing suburbs in
the country. Mansfield was the first city in the United States to receive the prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year award, and has been recognized on state and national levels for its park system, planning, police, fire, library services and communications and marketing.