August 29, 2014 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Process
Lindsey Duncan, Acting Finance Director, discussed the budget process for fiscal year 2016.  The budget process timeline will begin with a Strategic Planning Retreat in November, followed by a Budget Kick-Off Retreat in February.  In April, the City Manager will issue the recommended budget for discussion.  The tentative budget should be adopted in May followed by the adoption of the final budget and property tax levy in June.

City Council Meeting

Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Report
Lindsey Duncan, Acting Finance Director, discussed the FY2014 monthly budget status report as of May of this year.  Through the month of May 2014, our actual sales tax receipts, excluding construction, are 7.7% higher than the prior year and 3.1% higher than expected (FY2013 actual of $29.3 million compared to FY2014 actual of $31.5 million).  Restoring consumer confidence has contributed to increases in the retail and restaurant/bar categories.  In addition, the communications/utilities category continues to reflect rate increases enacted by those utilities last year.  The construction sales tax is 18.9% lower than the prior year due to one-time construction related to major roadway projects (Loop 303); however, it is still stronger than expected by 4.8%.

FYTD Results - General Fund

FYTD Resources

FYTD Expenditures

Quick N Clean Car Wash
The final plat for the Quick N Clean Car Wash was approved.  The car wash will be built at the northwest corner of Bell Road and 115th Avenue.  Construction will begin as soon as possible.

Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient Memorial
City Council unanimously approved a monument in memoriam of Medal of Honor Recipient Staff Sergeant Nick Bacon.  Mr. Bacon also served as the Surprise Town Manager from 1986 until 1990.  According to his Medal of Honor citation, “S/Sgt. Bacon was serving his second tour in Vietnam on Aug. 26, 1968, when he and his unit were ambushed during an operation west of Tam Ky. Under intense enemy fire, he destroyed an enemy bunker with hand grenades while his platoon leader was shot and fell wounded in an exposed position. S/Sgt. Bacon immediately assumed command of the platoon and assaulted the hostile gun position, finally killing the enemy gun crew in a single-handed effort. As a result of S/Sgt. Bacon’s extraordinary efforts, his company was able to move forward, eliminate the enemy positions, and rescue the men trapped to the front. S/Sgt. Bacon’s bravery at the risk of his life was in the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.” Mr. Bacon received his Medal of Honor from President Richard Nixon in 1969.  He passed away in July 2010.  Council directed that the memorial be located on the grounds of City Hall at a cost not to exceed $7,000.

Medal of Honor Recipient Staff Sergeant Nick Bacon
Staff Sergeant Nick Bacon
Nick Bacon Memorial
The Nick Bacon Memorial

 Events & Meetings

Arizona League of Cities Conference
The League of Arizona Cities and Towns held their Annual Conference last week at the Sheraton Downtown Phoenix Hotel.  The Conference began on Tuesday, August 19 with the Gubernatorial Forum and Welcome Reception.  Sessions began on Wednesday, August 20 after the opening General Session with keynote speaker, Elliot Eisenberg, who is a nationally acclaimed economist.  His predictions indicate that Arizona’s housing and economic development are on the rise but we still have work to do.  I was able to attend several informative sessions regarding local community initiatives, rapid fire innovation, military veteran issues, water management and energy resources. The Showcase of Cities was held on Thursday evening, August 21.  The City garnered media attention for our booth.  There were mariachis, trivia games and popcorn advertising the City of Surprise and the upcoming Surprise Fiesta Grande which will be held on Saturday, October 4.

Vice Mayor Hall with mariachisCouncilmember Villanueava singing

WESTMARC Water & Planning Meeting
WESTMARC (Western Maricopa Coalition) Water & Energy Committee met on Wednesday, August 27th in Peoria.  The Honorable Bob Burns, Commissioner for the Arizona Corporation Commission discussed elections and other issues facing the Commission.  The Arizona Corporation Commission is comprised of 5 elected officials statewide.  The Corporation regulates public service corporations, private water companies (like SRP), securities (anyone who trades in securities), pipeline & railroad safety (such as Southwest Gas), and corporations (registers business and files reporting of officers and expenditures).

ACC is a constitutional-created body, they do not report to the Governor or Legislature.  They employ over 250 people between both of their offices in Phoenix and Tucson. ACC consists of 8 divisions:  Administration, Corporations, Hearing, Information Technology/Broadcasting, Legal, Securities, Safety (Railroad & Pipeline) and Utilities.  The Corporation Division oversees 776,484 Corporations and LLC’s transacting business in the State of Arizona.  The Utilities Division regulates 225 telecommunication companies, 357 water utility companies, 62 sewer companies, 18 water and sewer companies, and 7 gas utilities.  Legislature provides a budget line for the ACC.

Any revenue the ACC receives that exceeds the Commission’s budget needs flows in to the State General Fund and it is utilized to defray the costs of state government.  Historically, the Commission has generated significantly more revenue than its General Fund requirements from securities and broker registrations, corporation filing fees, fines and miscellaneous service charges.  The Commission revenue has increased by over $800,000 since FY2011-2012.

Teresa Makinen, WESTCAPS Director, made a presentation about WESTCAPS, its history, purpose and the current members and interested parties.  The City of Surprise is a current Member. Additionally, there are 11 water providers as members (8 municipal and 3 private).  Ms. Makinen also provided an overview of the changes in WESTCAPS, from being a planning, collaborative committee with members that are Central Arizona Project (CAP) sub-contractors to possibly opening membership to all West Valley water entities.  Ms. Makinen gave an overview of the West Valley water supply deficit at build-out and the strategic planning and organizational efforts that WESTCAPS is currently undertaking.  Lastly, she spoke about the $1.7 million West Salt River Valley Basin Study that is funded by the United State Bureau of Reclamation ($860K) and the WESTCAPS Members ($840K). This study includes a supply and demand study, a supply analysis to include climate change, an economic analysis, a groundwater modeling update, a recharge and reuse siting study, and options and trade-off analysis.  She asked for stakeholder involvement, ending with a call to attend the Stakeholder Kick-Off meeting on September 9, 2014.

Contact Me

Office: 623.222.1325 Mobile: 623.451.3975 Email: skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov

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SURPRISE LITERACY CHALLENGE

Councilmember John Williams and I have issued a challenge to help promote reading among elementary-age students in Surprise. We are asking students to read at home (non-homework related) and keep a log of their reading, with a parent signature to confirm their progress. Students then turn the logs into their teachers, who keep track of the total number of minutes read among the students in their respective classrooms.

Several local elementary schools and hundreds of students, grades 3 – 6, participated in the first-year initiative and the winning teachers were awarded trophies in May. We are hoping that even more students accept the challenge this year!

MEMORIAL TO MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT

As a Vietnam veteran myself, I have tremendous respect for our military men and women who are currently serving or who have served in the past. That’s why I am proud to say that the Surprise City Council voted to commission a monument in memorial of Medal of Honor Recipient Staff Sergeant Nick Bacon. Bacon served as the Surprise Town Manager from 1986 – 1990.

According to his Medal of Honor citation, “S/Sgt. Bacon was serving his second tour in Vietnam on Aug. 26, 1968, when he and his unit were ambushed during an operation west of Tam Ky. Under intense enemy fire, he destroyed an enemy bunker with hand grenades while his platoon leader was shot and fell wounded in an exposed position. S/Sgt. Bacon immediately assumed command of the platoon and assaulted the hostile gun position, finally killing the enemy gun crew in a single-handed effort. As a result of S/Sgt. Bacon’s extraordinary efforts, his company was able to move forward, eliminate the enemy positions, and rescue the men trapped to the front. S/Sgt. Bacon’s bravery at the risk of his life was in the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.”

I honor and respect what Nick Bacon did for his fellow soldiers, and I am so happy that the city in which he served as a city manager will recognize his heroic efforts. Take a look at the renderings of options for the monument (shown below), which will be located on the grounds of Surprise City Hall.

August 15, 2014 • Newsletter

Events and Meetings

Shadow Ridge HS Parent Academy
Councilman John Williams and I attended a Parent Academy at Shadow Ridge High School on Saturday, August 9th.  The Academy was very informative and focused on the new trends with teens and drugs.  Did you know that 1 in 5 teens have abused prescription drugs?  In fact, the most commonly abused prescription drugs include painkillers, anti-depressants and ADD meds. Some of the signs of drug abuse include fatigue, depression, socializing with new groups of friends, spending less time with family and poor academics.  A special thank you to Police Chief Mike Frazier and his officers as well as Officer Wendy Klarkowski, Shadow Ridge SRO, for making us aware of the new trends.  Thank you to Michael Hawkins and Matthew Kuffel, Principal and Assistant Principal at Shadow Ridge High School respectively, for hosting!

Surprise PD listening to parents concerns
Surprise PD listening to parents concerns
New trends in drug concealers
New trends in drug concealers

Spirit of ‘45 Event
In 2010, Congress unanimously passed Concurrent Resolution 226 calling for a national “Spirit of ’45 Day” to be observed on the second Sunday of August to honor the men and women who were the ordinary heroes of the WWII era.  I was honored to take part in the “Spirit of ’45 Day” on Sunday, August 14th at Surprise Funeral Care.  A special thank you to Julie Bell, Funeral Director at Surprise Funeral Care and Nancie Scalercio, Commander of the Northwest Valley Veterans Association for hosting this event.

Surprise Regional Chamber Breakfast
The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted their monthly breakfast on Tuesday, August 12th at the Colonnade. Debbie Flores, CEO of Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center was the featured speaker.  She shared with us some of the hospital stats from 2013. Banner Del E Webb opened in 1988.  The hospital admitted 17,500 patients last year and it had 42,000 emergency room visits.  There were 1,700 babies delivered in 2013. The hospital was recently ranked one of the best hospitals in the Phoenix-metro area by US News & World Report. Additionally, the hospital cared for more than 29,000 residents of Surprise last year, including nearly 8,000 children.

Students who participated in the Surprise Youth Entrepreneurship Boot Camp were also recognized at the breakfast.  The Boot Camp was held at the AZ TechCelerator for a week in June and it offered high school students the opportunity to learn from business leaders and to develop a plan for a business that they would present to a team of judges, including Councilman Todd Tande and myself.  Bull Dog Lock-up won by creating a winning business plan that addressed a storage need at Arizona Charter Academy.  They will be launching a locker rental business at the school in the coming months.

Surprise Youth Entrepreneurship Boot Camp Participants
Surprise Youth Entrepreneurship Boot Camp Participants

Business & Educators Breakfast
Dysart Unified School District and Superintendent, Dr. Gail Pletnick hosted the Business and Educators Breakfast meeting on Wednesday, August 13th.  Councilman Todd Tande, Councilman Jim Biundo and I were in attendance.  Karen Winterstein, Sunset Hills Elementary School Principal, was recognized for earning the prestigious title of 2014 Principal of the Year by the National Association of Elementary School Principals.  Beth Maloney, fifth grade teach at Sunset Hills Elementary School was also recognized for being awarded the 2014 Arizona Educational Foundation Teacher of the Year.  Erin Eccleston, Vice President of Outreach and Mobilization for Expect More Arizona, gave a presentation addressing issues Arizona is facing in regards to education.  Arizona ranks 43rd in the nation for average starting teacher salary.  Other stats included 23% of Arizona students do not graduate on time and 53% of high school graduates are not eligible for admission into a state university.  These stats as well as others can be found at www.ExpectMoreArizona.org.

Surprise Fire Medical Promotion Ceremony
The Surprise Fire Medical Department hosted a promotion ceremony for several members of the Department who were recently promoted. Joseph Spector was promoted to Engineer after working with the City since March 2007.  Steve Gilbert was promoted to Engineer after working with the City since June 2007. Douglas Richards was promoted to Captain after working with the

Capt. Douglas Richards
Capt. Douglas Richards
Eng. Joseph Spector
Eng. Joseph Spector
Eng. Steve Gilbert
Eng. Steve Gilbert

Also recognized were new recruits who recently completed the Fire Academy.  A special welcome is extended to Abram Fogelson, Joseph Franzmeier, James Zamora and Michael Schmitt.

New Fire Recruits
New Fire Recruits

Mark Your Calendars

Loop 303 – Interstate 10 Grand Opening Celebration ADOT is hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony at 9 am on Saturday, August 16th immediately prior to the opening of the Loop 303/I-10 corridor.  Please feel free to join Governor Jan Brewer, Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord, Mayor Sharon Wolcott and several other elected officials as we celebrate the grand opening!  The public is welcome to participate by walking or running on the frontage roads of the corridor before it is open to traffic.  The festivities will begin at 7:30 am.

Loop 303
Loop 303

Did You Know?

Status of Mountain View Boulevard
Construction contractor bids for the Mountain View Boulevard improvement project closed last Thursday, August 7th.  Our Finance and Public Works Departments are currently working with our Legal Department on executing the contract, collecting insurance and bond documentation and preparing the purchase order.  The construction kick-off meeting is scheduled for September 1st.  Pursuant to the construction contract, the improvements need to be completed by January 15th, 2015.  More details will be relayed upon receipt of the information.

RISE Learning for Life
RISE is a grass-roots community based educational organization created for and by members.  RISE presents members with opportunities for stimulation, enlightenment and interaction with peers and fosters an environment that encourages life-long learning.  Programs are determined by the desires and interests of the membership.  RISE offers over 300 non-credit enrichment classes per year in the areas of social sciences, natural sciences, health and wellness, spirituality and religion, arts, lifestyles and financials. RISE is the largest student association with the Maricopa Community College District.  Annual Membership dues are $45 per person and the effective term is from July 1st to June 30th of the following year.  Membership is open to any adult resident in Maricopa County.  For more information, you can visit www.riosalado.edu/programs/rise.

RISE 300+ non-credit enrichment classes

Newsletter Due to the Arizona League of Cities Conference next week, I will not be sending a newsletter but I look forward to you receiving the next edition on Friday, August 29th!

Contact Me

Vice Mayor Skip HallOffice: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975
Email: skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov

Ask a Question

August 8, 2014 • Newsletter

City Council Meeting

Heroic Act Recognized
On the night of July 3, Engine 302 responded to Brookside Bar and Grill where rescuers discovered a patron on the dance floor, unresponsive, having suffered a heart attack.  The crew had noticed bystanders performing CPR.  Once the crew arrived, they took over and the victim regained a pulse after shock was administered.  His pulse was lost a second time and shock was again administered.  I am pleased to tell you that the victim recovered nicely and was released from the hospital a few days later.  Fire Chief Abbott stated that if it hadn’t been for the people who acted quickly and correctly by performing CPR prior to the emergency crew arriving, the victim might not have survived.  Two of those individuals who administered the lifesaving CPR were recognized at our Council meeting.  Please join me in honoring Mr. Gary Erwin, Manager of the Brookside Bar and Grill and Staff Sgt. David Patton from Luke AFB for their heroic efforts.

Heroic Act Recognized
Mayor Wolcott, Engine 302, Staff Sgt. David Patton, Mr. & Mrs. Clark, Gary Erwin, Chief Abbott and me


Drowning Impact Awareness Proclamation

In Maricopa County alone, an average of 19 children drown each year.  While these losses are devastating, they can be prevented.  To encourage water-safe practices and to recognize the impact of drowning, Governor Brewer and Mayors throughout Arizona have issued proclamations.  To date, 31 cities, including Surprise, have issued a Proclamation proclaiming Drowning Impact Awareness Month (August).  City Hall will have purple ribbons to remind us of the impact every fatal and non-fatal drowning has on the victim, family, friends, emergency personnel and the entire community.  The ribbon will remind us to take steps to be water-safe in all of our neighborhoods.  Please feel free to stop by and take one for yourself!

Drowning Impact Awareness Proclamation

Drowning Impact Awareness Month

Summer Youth Employment Program
Twenty participants from the Summer Youth Employment Program were recognized at the Council meeting with a certificate and plaque.  The participants were selected through an application, interview and eligibility process.  Participants were Surprise residents that were full-time students between the ages of 15-19.  The Program ran from May 27 – August 1.  The City of Surprise received a program budget of $57,889 from the City Council to implement the Program.  The budget included a grant from the Tohono O’odham Nation for $31,000 and Community Development Block Grant funding of $26,889.  This is a program designed to give income qualified youth the opportunity to gain employment experience while receiving weekly life skills training.

Summer Youth Employment Program
Mayor and I with Bianca Garcia, City Council Intern


New Youth Civic Leader

Siera Petry, the City’s new Youth Civic Leader, received an Oath on Tuesday evening.  Siera will be joining the Council at the dais for the month of August.  Siera is a senior at Willow Canyon High School.  She is an active volunteer for the City and a scholar student.

New Youth Civic Leader
City Clerk Sherry Aguilar and Siera Petry after Oath

Events and Meetings

Welcome Reception for Bob Wingenroth
The Links in Sun Village hosted a Meet and Greet for new City Manager, Bob Wingenroth, on July 2.  Over 50 people were in attendance representing 5 communities in Surprise including Sun Village, Sun City Grand, Kingswood Parke, Mountain Vista Ranch and Coyote Lakes.  Thank you to Links Owner, Gabriel Rivas and Manager Chef Peter Salazar for hosting the event.

West Valley Arts Council – Grand Opening

The City Council is happy to announce the grand opening of the West Valley Arts Council (WVAC) Headquarters in the Civic Center, just north of City Hall, next to the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce.  Hundreds of art enthusiasts celebrated the grand opening, ribbon cutting and opening exhibit on Thursday, July 24.  The 2,500 square foot gallery space will feature regularly changing exhibits by local and regional artists as well as outdoor and evening performance art and concerts.  City Council approved the WVAC project in December using $74,000 in contingency funds from the FY14 budget.  Please join me and the hundreds of others who attended the grand opening with a warm welcome for WVAC.  The HQ summer hours are Tuesday – Thursday from 10 am until 5 pm and on Friday from 10 am until 2 pm.

West Valley Arts Council (WVAC)
WVAC HQ
WVAC Ribbon Cutting
WVAC Ribbon Cutting


Marley Park VCP Ceremony

On July 4, I attended the Marley Park Veteran’s Commemorative Plaza (VCP) Ceremony and ribbon cutting.  The VCP in Marley Park was built for the community to commemorate those who have served or may be serving in the armed forces.  The plaza features 5 benches and brick pavers surrounding the flagpole forming a “Circle of Honor”.  The design features a 30 foot flagpole and pentagon-shaped base that includes emblems for each of the 5 branches of military service.

Veterans Commemorative Plaza
Rendering of VCP
Ribbon Cutting
Ribbon Cutting
Youth Tournaments at Surprise Stadium
National youth baseball tournaments have been boosting our City economy this summer!  These summer tournaments have generated over 1,500 hotel room nights, resulting in an economic impact of over $1 million. While 5 of the 6 tournaments have passed, the American Legion West Regional tournament is scheduled to begin August 6 – August 11.  This tournament will consist of 8 teams from Arizona, Texas, Nevada, California, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.  Please feel free to stop by and support these teams as they participate in America’s favorite pastime.  Tickets are available at the gate.  Please contact Community and Recreation Services at 623.222.2000 for additional information.

Surprise Stadium
Surprise Stadium

Youth Services Coordinator
Last month, I participated in interviews for a new position, Youth Services Coordinator, which was approved with the FY15 budget.  We are pleased to announce the hire of Paul Bernardo.  Mr. Bernardo’s resume is very impressive and he will bring with him a wealth of knowledge, experience and credentials from previous positions he held with two other municipalities, the YMCA and the Boys and Girls Club of America.  Paul will begin his career with us on August 18.

Dysart Unified School District Principal Luncheon
Councilman John Williams and I hosted two lunch meetings last month, for the High School Principals and the Junior High Principals, at City Hall.  Principals from Shadow Ridge High School, Willow Canyon High School, Dysart High School, Canyon Ridge Elementary School and Sunset Hills Elementary School participated.  Discussion of collaborative efforts in partnering with youth and our ability to engage them through civic engagement was the focus of the meetings.  Ideas were exchanged and initiatives were discussed to enhance our current Youth Master Plan.

Mark Your Calendar

Fall HOA Academy
West Valley HOA Board Members, management company staff and homeowners are invited to register for the 2014 Surprise HOA Academy.  Topics will range from contracts and budgeting to CC&R enforcement and code compliance.  Classes will be held at the Public Safety Building Auditorium, 14250 W. Statler Plaza from 6-8:30 pm on October 14, October 21, October 28, November 4 and November 10.  You can register online or contact Ruby Sitea at 623.222.3242.  Applications are due by 6 pm on September 30.

Did You Know?

New Businesses Coming to Surprise
I am pleased to announce a few new businesses coming to Surprise and to District 5!

Kneaders Bakery & Café
Kneaders Bakery & Café will be ready to open in approximately 45 days.  The restaurant will be located east of Civic Center Drive on Bell Road.  Kneaders opened in 1997 and have grown ever since.  They specialize in bread, bakery and other café items.  There will be a drive thru as well.

Uni Sushi & Steak
Uni Sushi & Steak is a Japanese restaurant coming to Surprise.  The plans for this restaurant are the first review stages.  They will be opening at the northeast corner of Litchfield and Bell Road.

Texas Roadhouse
Texas Roadhouse plans to open another restaurant!  The owners attended a concept meeting with the City.  They plan to open near Trader Joe’s in the near future.

Contact Me

Vice Mayor Skip Hall
Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975
Email: skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov

Ask a Question