October 31, 2014 • Newsletter

Events & Meeting


Surprise Employee Fall Fest
The Employee Appreciation Committee (EAC) hosted a fall fest for Surprise employees on Thursday, October 23. The fest included scarecrow, costume and pie eating contests and pizza.  Seven departments participated in the scarecrow contest but the IT team won.  The costume contest consisted of two categories – individual and group.  Barry Hegrenes, Risk Manager, won the individual prize for his Alice Cooper costume and our CRS Department won the group prize dressed as the IT Department.

While the fall fest provided fun and networking, our City Manager Bob Wingenroth utilized the opportunity to recognize several outstanding employees.  He distributed two City Manager’s Excellence Awards.  Police Officer Wendy Klarkowski received an award for her exemplary service to the citizens of Surprise.  As a School Resource Officer for Shadow Ridge High School, she developed and implemented a program that challenges students to make positive life decisions.  She was also recognized for helping an at-risk resident with utility bills so the resident could pay, out of her own pocket, for her much needed medication.  The second award was presented to Victim Advocate and City volunteer, Barbara Jones along with Sergeant Mark Ortega and Communications Technician Amanda Boyer, who were able to take immediate action that likely saved a woman’s life.  Ms. Jones received a call from a distressed female who informed Ms. Jones that her boyfriend was holding her against her will.  Ms. Jones asked the right questions and expeditiously sought Sergeant Ortega.  Sergeant Ortega and Ms. Boyer found that the cell phone was active and stationary in a remote, wooded location.  Because of the relentless investigative follow-up of these three individuals, the woman was safely rescued from a harmful situation and reunited with family and friends.

The City Manager’s Public Safety Service Award was presented to the Surprise Fire Medical Department crew of Engine 302A and Battalion 305A.  Wes Odom, Steve Spirlong, Chris Gouso, Abram Fogelson, Dan Gromer and Donny Martinez went above and beyond after responding to a recent medical emergency.  The crew arrived at a Surprise residence to transport a woman to the hospital.  The patient had fractured her back in the process of moving to the City and she and her daughter were concerned about unloading the remainder of their furniture and returning the rented moving truck.  Without being asked, the crew arranged for an extension on their moving truck and returned to the home to unload all of the boxes and furnishings, including assembling the necessary furniture.  When completed, the crew returned the rental truck and offered the family a number to call them if they needed further assistance (on their own time).

Mr. Wingenroth also presented a Peer to Peer Award.  This Award was given to Tito Solis from Public Works.  Tito was nominated by his peers for his work ethic, commitment, teamwork and dedication.

I am so proud of these individuals who represent our City so well and I’m honored to witness their well-deserved recognitions!  Congratulations to all of them for their awards and thank you for your service to our citizens!

Costume WinnerCostume WinnersAward Winners

Harvest Fest
The Surprise Community Garden, located at 16752 N. Greasewood Street, hosted an October Harvest Fest on Friday, October 24.  The Surprise Community Garden is a Community for All Ages (CFAA) program led by Benevilla in partnership with the City of Surprise and Rio Salado College.  The Fest included pumpkins, music, crafts, gifts and much more. Afterwards, the Jan Petrie Band performed ‘60s and ‘70s rock at Birt’s Bistro.

The Surprise Community Garden
Frank & Rosemary Lieberman

Surprise G.A.I.N. Night
Many people from the community came together for G.A.I.N. Night on Saturday, October 25 at Surprise 8 Acre Park.  The Surprise Police and Fire-Medical Departments were well represented with K-9 demonstrations, a SWAT Team display, a medical helicopter, bicycle safety tips and much more.

Mayor Wolcott and Vice Mayor Hall at G.A.I.N.
Mayor Wolcott and I at G.A.I.N
Medical Helicoper
Medical Helicopter was a hit with attendees!

Community & Recreation Services Commission Meeting
The Community & Recreation Services Commission met on Monday, October 27.  An update on the Surprise Farms and Veramonte Parks was provided.  There was also a presentation by Site Design Group, Inc. on skateboard concepts.  Wayne Turner was elected as Chair of the Commission and Michael Planeta was elected as Vice-Chair, both through June 30, 2015.

Arizona Charter Academy Ribbon Cutting
I attended the Arizona Charter Academy (ACA) ribbon cutting on Wednesday, October 29.  ACA now has a new 26,000 square foot high school building with 13 classrooms, 2 science labs, a dance room, library, video recording studio, front office, 2 conference rooms, office space and many more improvements to the campus.

ACA Ribbon Cutting
ACA Staff at Ribbon Cutting

ACA is a K-12 school in Surprise with more than 700 students.  The school went from a “D” to an “A” rating in only 3 years under the leadership of the elementary school principal, Heather Henderson.  Because of her hard work, leadership and dedication, Ms. Henderson was recently awarded the Transformational Leader of the Year Award by the Arizona Charter Schools Association. Congratulations!

Heather Henderson, ACA Principal
Heather Henderson, ACA Principal

Mark Your Calendars


USTA Tennis Tournaments
The USTA League Tennis National Championships will be held at the Surprise Tennis and Racquetball Complex over the next few weekends.  This upcoming weekend, the 55 and Over 6.0 and 8.0 National Championships will occur.  We are expecting 750 total players, all from out of town and they are expected to utilize at least 400 hotel rooms.  There will be another tennis tournament the weekend of November 7-9 for the 55 and Over National Championships followed by a 40 and Over Mixed Doubles National Championships the weekend of November 14-16.  The last tournament will be held the weekend of November 21-23 for 40 and Over 7.0 and 9.0 Mixed Doubles National Championships.  The USTA National Selection Tournament for Boys and Girls 18’s will be held the weekend of November 28-30.

Veteran’s Day Parade at Sun Village
Sun Village will be hosting an “Annual Veteran’s Day Salute with Parade” on November 11th at the Sun Village Community, 14300 W. Bell Road in Surprise. The Parade will begin at 10 am and the presentation of colors will begin promptly at 11:45 am.  The American Kountry Band will play, followed by Up-Tempo Classic Country, along with some 50’s through 80’s music from 12 noon until 3 pm.  Lunch will be available.  We hope to see you there!

Nick Bacon Memorial Dedication
There will be a memorial dedication for Nick D. Bacon, USA Medal of Honor Recipient and former Surprise Town Manager, on Tuesday, November 11 at sunset in the south courtyard of City Hall.  An orchestra, the West Valley Pops Band, will begin playing patriotic music at 5:15 pm and the candlelight program is scheduled to begin promptly at 5:55 pm.  Parking is available in the City Hall parking garage and City Court parking lot on the northeast side of the complex.  We hope to see you there for this very special and moving event!

SSGT. Nick D. Bacon
Nick D. Bacon
Nick Bacon Memorial
Nick Bacon Memorial

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014 Annual Summit
The 2014 Annual Summit for the City Council will be held on Saturday, November 8 in the City Hall Community Room from 8 am until 2 pm. The purpose of the meeting is to comply with Chapter 6 of the General Plan, which is known as the Implementation Plan.  The Summit presents a summary of the report and acts as a forum to obtain input to the staff from the Council.  This is an open meeting.

Second Sunday in the Park
The band, the Roadrunners will be playing ‘50s and ‘60s rock music at the next Second Sunday in the Park on November 9 from 2 pm until 4 pm at the Surprise Community Park (15953 N. Bullard).  This public event is free.

Surprise Super Swap Meet
The fall Surprise Super Swap Meet will be held on Saturday, November 15th.  This popular community-wide garage sale, sponsored by the Surprise Community and Recreation Services Department and the Surprise Senior Center Council, will be held in the Surprise Aquatic Center parking lot at 15831 N. Bullard Avenue from 8 am until 1 pm.  Parking and admission is free.  Vendor spaces are now available for rent.  If you are interested in space, please contact 623.222.1500.

Surprise Health and Wellness Fair
The Surprise Health and Wellness Fair will be held on Saturday, November 15th from 9 am until 12 noon.  The Fair will be held at the Banner Health Center at 13995 W. Statler.  There will be several health screenings, demos, clinics and displays.  This event is free to the public.

Did You Know?


Upcoming Road Closures
To facilitate the Northern Parkway bridge overpass construction, the Maricopa Department of Transportation (MCDOT) contractor will temporarily close Reems Road overnight beginning at 8 pm on Wednesday, November 5, 2014; and Litchfield Road at 8 pm on Thursday, November 6, 2014.  The roadways will reopen at 5 am the following day.

Litchfield Road will also be temporarily closed beginning 5 am on Monday, November 10, 2014 through 5 pm, Wednesday, November 26, 2014. During the closures, Northern Parkway will remain open. Dysart Road may be utilized as an alternate route.

Election Day
Please remember to vote on Tuesday, November 4.  Polls will be open from 6 am until 7 pm.

Contact Me


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

Ask a Question

October 24, 2014 • Newsletter

City Council Meeting


City Council Work Session
The City’s Director of Water Resource Management, Terry Lowe, provided the Council with several presentations pertaining to water beginning with storm water.  The recent storms have emphasized the importance of our storm water management.  The City continues to take into account public health and safety concerns such as the quantity and quality of the water; hence, we need to continue to control the pollution entering the surface waterways.  The FCS Group was hired to provide us forecast and develop a storm water utility that will be presented to the City Council at a future meeting.

During the Work Session, I was able to provide Council with a State and regional update on water supply.  The Arizona Department of Water Resources recently announced seven possibilities including Non-Indian Agricultural Priority CAP Water; reclaimed water/water re-use; groundwater in storage, water supplies developed from revised watershed management practices; water supplies developed through weather modifications; water supplies developed from rainwater harvesting; and, importation of new water supplies developed outside of Arizona (ocean desalination).

WESTCAPS, in partnership with the US Bureau of Reclamation, is in the process of conducting a basin study for the West Valley.  The West Salt River Basin Study will be completed by the summer of 2016.  This study will include projections of water supply and demand; an analysis of how existing water and power infrastructure and operations will perform taking into account realities such as population growth and climate change; the development of options to improve operations and infrastructure to supply adequate water in the future; and, a trade-off analysis of the option to be identified.

The Water Planning Subcommittee, which I am the Chair, is currently in Phase II of our strategic plan.  Our goal is to recommend policies that will provide the City with the foundation for sustainable water management.  The strategic plan will provide guidance to staff and allow for the proper formation, adoption and execution of water related initiatives.  The Subcommittee will recommend the consideration of policies concerning water conservation, reclaimed water usage, water acquisition, land use water management, funding and infrastructure.

As part of the City’s water conservation efforts, the Council agreed to reduce water waste along Bell Road by removing grass from the medians on Bell Road, west of Grand Avenue, which is approximately six miles.  The grass would be replaced with attractive xeriscaping.  Mr. Lowe believes this effort will save Surprise roughly $80,000 in landscape maintenance and $49,000 in irrigation equipment maintenance.  These savings do not reflect the money the City also pays to the Maricopa Water District for irrigation water.  Formal action has yet to be taken on this issue.

City Council Meeting
Lindsey Duncan, Finance Director, provided the Council with a FY2014 budget status report through the end of last fiscal year.  Sales tax figures (excluding construction) are 7.3% higher than FY 2013 actuals and 2.4% higher than FY2014 budget.  The City collected $1.25 million in construction sales tax which are 19.3% lower than FY2013 actuals and 6.0% higher than FY2014 budget.  The ending balance of our General Fund for FY2014 is $27.4 (unaudited).

Events & Meetings


GPEC Ambassador Event
Councilman Jim Biundo, Councilman Todd Tande and I toured the West-MEC campus in Glendale on Friday, October 17th as part of a GPEC (Greater Phoenix Economic Council) Ambassador event.  West-MEC provides career and technical education services on behalf of several school districts in the West Valley.  During the tour, we learned about the new START@West-MEC program that is designed to bring together students, businesses and the community to spark creative thinking and innovate problem solving.  The campus, in Glendale, provides a collaborative space for people that care about the value of education and mentoring others.  The campus offers a media lab, software development programs and much more.

Surprise Citizen Corp Council
The Surprise Citizen’s Corp Council met on Monday, October 20th to review by-laws for the program. Once initiated, the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) will be born.  This CERT team will consist of a five citizen-member Board which will staff from Police and the Fire-Medical Department will oversee.  The framework for the CERT team is designed to launch a process of learning about citizen preparedness in the event of an emergency or disaster.  The group will help the community all year-round by helping with community emergency plans, neighborhood exercises, preparedness outreach, fire safety education and workplace safety.  Once established, the CERT meetings will be held quarterly.

Unveiling of the e-Miata
Torque Trends, a company located in the AZ TechCelerator, recently replaced a 1.8L gas engine in a 1999 Mazda Miata with a 150Kw-AC induction electric motor that has nearly twice the power.  The transmission was replaced with their ev-Torque Box, an 8-inch diameter 32 pound gearbox.  The vehicle has now become the e-Miata and the owners plan to drive the vehicle to dealers and consumer shows all over the country.  Congratulations!

Meeting with CBRE
Assistant City Manager Rick Buss and I met with Tori Nienaber from CBRE.  CBRE is the real estate company that leases to our two shopping complexes along Bell and Grand Avenue in District 5.  The purpose of this meeting was to provide Ms. Nienaber with an update on the ADOT Bell/Grand Corridor project.  It is our intent to be as transparent and communicative as possible and to help the businesses affected by the project.  These meetings will be ongoing before and during construction.

WESTMARC Water & Energy Meeting
WESTMARC’s Water & Energy Committee met on October 22nd.  This Committee provides opportunities for its members to understand current water and energy resource issues.  We promote the relationship between business and water resources and energy policy.  This particular meeting focused on the 20/20 vision plan.  We also brainstormed subjects and speakers for future meetings.

New Community Development Director
City Manager Bob Wingenroth has announced that Eric Fitzer has been hired as the City’s new Community Development Director.  Mr. Fitzer will begin his career with us on November 3rd.  He comes to Surprise from the Arizona State Governor’s Office of Energy Policy.  Pervious work experience included serving as the Planning and Economic Development Director for the Town of Gila Bend.  Please join me in welcoming Eric to our team!

Vice Mayor Skip Hall with new Community Development Director Eric Fitzer
Vice Mayor Skip Hall with new Community Development Director Eric Fitzer

Mark Your Calendars


The G.A.I.N. event is finally here!  This Saturday, October 25th from 6 to 9 pm at Surprise 8-Acre Park.  We hope to see you there!

G.A.I.N Night

Veteran’s Day Parade at Sun Village
Sun Village will be hosting an “Annual Veteran’s Day Salute with Parade” on November 11th at the Sun Village Community, 14300 W. Bell Road in Surprise. The Parade will begin at 10 am and the presentation of colors will begin promptly at 11:45 am.  The American Kountry Band will play, followed by Up-Tempo Classic Country, along with some 50’s through 80’s music from 12 noon until 3 pm.  Lunch will be available.  We hope to see you there!

Surprise Super Swap Meet
The fall Surprise Super Swap Meet will be held on Saturday, November 15th.  This popular community-wide garage sale, sponsored by the Surprise Community and Recreation Services Department and the Surprise Senior Center Council, will be held in the Surprise Aquatic Center parking lot at 15831 N. Bullard Avenue from 8 am until 1 pm.  Parking and admission is free.  Vendor spaces are now available for rent.  If you are interested in space, please contact 623.222.1500.

Surprise Health and Wellness Fair
The Surprise Health and Wellness Fair will be held on Saturday, November 15th from 9 am until 12 noon.  The Fair will be held at the Banner Health Center at 13995 W. Statler.  There will be several health screenings, demos, clinics and displays.  This event is free to the public.

Contact Me


Domestic Violence AwarenessVice Mayor Skip Hall Domestic Violence Awareness
Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975
Email: skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov

Ask a Question

October 17, 2014 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings


Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce
The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce held their monthly breakfast meeting on Tuesday, October 14.  The key-note speaker was none other than Dan Majerle.  Dan Majerle is a retired professional basketball player who played 14 years in the NBA, primarily with the Phoenix Suns.  He is the current coach of the Grand Canyon University Antelopes and owner of the five successful Majerle’s Sports Grill restaurants located throughout the Valley.

Dan Majerle addressing the Chamber
Dan Majerle addressing the Chamber

The Chamber also recognized new businesses in Surprise.  Those businesses are Barbara Reed Nelson LLC, Affordable Caregivers, Axberg Wealth Management, Re/Max, Primerica, Surprise Dental & Denture and Champ’s Family Automotive.  Welcome to Surprise!

Tourism Advisory Commission Meeting
On Tuesday, October 4, I attended the Tourism Advisory Commission meeting.  Mark Coronado, Community and Recreation Services Director, discussed the success of the 2014 Surprise Fiesta Grande and its overall economic impact surrounding the businesses and restaurants in Surprise.  The Fiesta proved impactful to the City and its residents while bringing a new emphasis on growth and awareness to the Grand Avenue Corridor.

Paul Frie, Youth and Adult Sports Division Manager, reviewed the 2014 Summer Tournaments while providing insight into future tournament bidding opportunities to list the City as host to a wider range of nationally known tournaments.  Members of the Commission emphasized their support towards the continuation of these types of events in addition to Senior Adult softball events.

With Spring Training just around the corner, the Surprise Recreation Campus would like to add a “Spring Sports Festival” celebration to the line-up of spring events.  This post game event would bring nightly entertainment featuring a live concert, beer festival, memorabilia showcase and a family entertainment zone.  Anxious to proceed, the Commission has scheduled a special meeting for Tuesday, October 28 at 9 am to review a brief outline of all events and their estimated costs.

WHAM
I toured the WHAM facility with Connie Whitlock on Wednesday, October 15.  Recently, improvements to the facility have been made including the addition of gallery space.  WHAM is located at 16560 N. Dysart Road.

CRS Public Meeting
The City’s Community and Recreation Services Department held a public meeting regarding the final plans for Veramonte and Surprise Farms Parks.  Mayor Wolcott, Councilman Roland Winters, Councilman Todd Tande and I were in attendance with approximately 60 residents.  Design teams for the parks engaged those present to provide feedback on the proposed designs and programming.  SITE Design Group, Inc. took feedback from the youth in attendance and distributed a questionnaire to skateboarders as part of a skate park workshop.  These items will be discussed at the CRS Advisory Commission regular meeting on Monday, October 27th at 6 pm in the Community Room at City Hall.

Mountain Vista Ranch HOA Meeting
Mountain Vista Ranch HOA held their quarterly meeting on Wednesday, October 15.  Wayne Tuttle, President of Mountain Vista Ranch and Misty Lawson, Community Manager invited me to attend. During this meeting, the HOA approved their FY 2015 budget.  A presentation was also given from their new landscaper, Mike Wagoner of ProQual regarding tree trimming and landscape enhancements.  Eight residents were in attendance and they all expressed positive comments on the new landscaping!  Additionally, they expressed some issues with the City that need to be addressed.  These issues will be forwarded to the appropriate staff for proper handling.

Valley Metro RPTA
I attended the Valley Metro RPTA meeting on Thursday, October 16. Much of our discussion concerned West Valley bus routes and Route 571.  Statistics indicate that bus ridership in the West Valley has increased 13.5% but bus ridership, in general, has decreased .6% while light rail travel increased 1.5%.

Mark Your Calendars!


G.A.I.N. Night 2014
The Surprise Police Department invites you to attend G.A.I.N. (Getting Arizona Involved in Neighborhoods) Night on Saturday, October 25.  The event will take place in the northeast parking lot of 8 Acres Park (15960 N. Bullard Road) from 6 pm until 9 pm. The event will include the Surprise Police Department SWAT Team and K9 units display, the Surprise Fire-Medical Department fire prevention trailer and medical helicopter, food vendors, face painting, free raffles, bicycle safety tips, inflatable children’s rides, and much more!  G.A.I.N. Night is hosted by the Surprise Police Department.

G.A.I.N Night

Call to Artists
The West Valley Arts Council (WVAC) is currently accepting submissions for a juried show at the West Valley Arts Council HQ gallery.  The Surprise Invitational will feature the best visual artists in the area.  Artists may enter any 2D or 3D media and up to 3 items per entry.  The Surprise Invitational will be on display from November 15 through December 18, 2014.  The deadline for submission is October 28, 2014.  For more information, please feel free to contact the WVAC at 623.935.6384.

Surprise Super Swap Meet
The fall Surprise Super Swap Meet will be held on Saturday, November 15.  This popular community-wide garage sale, sponsored by the Surprise Community and Recreation Services Department and the Surprise Senior Center Council, will be held in the Surprise Aquatic Center parking lot at 15831 N. Bullard Avenue from 8 am until 1 pm.  Parking and admission is free. Vendor spaces are now available for rent. If you are interested in space, please contact 623.222.1500.

Surprise Health and Wellness Fair
The Surprise Health and Wellness Fair will be held on Saturday, November 15 from 9 am until 12 noon. The Fair will be held at the Banner Health Center at 13995 W. Statler.  There will be several health screenings, demos, clinics and displays.  This event is free to the public.

Contact Me


Domestic Violence Awareness

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

Ask a Question

October 10, 2014 • Newsletter

City Council Meeting


City Council Work Session
The City Council met for our regularly scheduled Work Session on Tuesday, October 7th.  As part of the Work Session, Assistant Fire Chief Darrell Johnston discussed the amendments to the fireworks regulation the State legislature recently made.  They created three categories of fireworks which consist of display fireworks (fireworks necessitating a permit from the City), consumer fireworks (fireworks citizens can purchase and use, subject to regulation), and unregulated fireworks that can be utilized anywhere, such as sparklers.  Display fireworks continue to be closely regulated by the City.  The Fire Department would like Council to consider similar changes to our current Fireworks Ordinance that would mimic the updated State changes.  The Ordinance would state consumer fireworks cannot be set off on public property (property belonging to any government entity); the use and sales of consumer fireworks are limited to time periods specified in the legislation just passed; consumers must be 16 years of age to purchase and set-off fireworks; and, consumer fireworks cannot be set off without the permission of the property owner.  This Ordinance would require the sellers of fireworks to obtain a permit from the Fire-Medical Department, which would provide recovery of expenses for an emergency response relating to firework injuries.

In addition to the discussion on fireworks, Misty Leslie, City Attorney, reviewed the Council’s requested changes to the Council’s Boards & Commissions policies.  Some of the discussion included the adoption of an annual schedule for each Commission’s regular meetings; prohibiting political activity (members must resign to run for a local election) by tendering a letter of resignation prior to campaigning; and, the elimination of the Teen Advisory Board and the Surprise Youth Leadership Commission to integrate the Youth Civic Leaders Program.

City Council Regular Meeting
Mike Gent, Public Works Director, and Dave Kohlbeck, Business Manager, provided the City Council with an overview of the fiscal year 2014 transit service as well as the planned fiscal year 2015 services.  Surprise Express Route 571 bus service was reviewed.  The City plans to work with Phoenix, El Mirage and Valley Metro to keep the fourth trip we acquired in July 2013.  Surprise will continue to seek a convenient temporary relocation of the Park-and-Ride once the construction of the Bell/Grand Avenue overpass begins.  Future transit services, such as a Surprise circulator and Surprise connection to regional service routes, were also discussed.

The Valley Metro Dial-A-Ride services were reviewed.  Priority has been given to ADA, seniors and others with disabilities.  Currently, services are provided Monday through Saturday from 7 am to 5 pm.  Fares within the City limits for service are $1 and outside the City limits are $1.25.  Based on consumer surveys, Dial-A-Ride is mostly utilized for medical purposes (31%), followed by other uses (27%) and work (20%).  Possible expanded weekday service, extended weeknight service hours and added Saturday service was discussed.

Janeen Gaskins, Grants Administrator, reviewed our current Surprise Community Outreach Program, and she suggested changes to the evaluation criteria based on the recommendations from the Grants & Community Outreach Committee.  The Council has set aside $50,000 to help support local 501(c)3.  The Committee had requested one funding round for FY14-15 and the elimination of in-kind contributions.  Mrs. Gaskins will conduct a pre-application meeting that will help determine eligibility.  Later this month, the Committee will review and rank the recommendations with plans to present their award recommendations to the entire City Council in November 2014.  These changes were passes unanimously.

Events & Meetings


HOA Summit
The City hosted an HOA Summit on Thursday, October 2nd for residents and leadership of HOA communities in Surprise.  The Summit provided an opportunity to ask questions and share concerns and ideas with City Council and City staff representing Police, Public Works, Code Enforcement, Economic Development, Intergovernmental Relations and Neighborhood Services.  There were 44 people in attendance representing 19 HOAs (Happy Trails, Sarah Ann Ranch, Summerfield, Sun City Grand, West Pointe, Sierra Montana, Surprise Farms 1,2 & 3, Sun Village, Rancho Gabriella, Mountain Vista Ranch, Greenway Parc I & II, Northwest Ranch, Sierra Verde, Saguara View, Greer Ranch South and Asante).

Vice Mayor Hall at HOA Summit
Vice Mayor Hall at HOA Summit
Police at HOA Summit

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surprise Fiesta Grande
The inaugural Surprise Fiesta Grande was held on Saturday, October 4th.  To kick-off the festival, a special ceremony was held to name the recreation area (Gaines Park, Surprise Senior Center, Hollyhock Pool, Villanueva Recreation Center and Hollyhock Library) in the Old Town Site after former Mayor, Vice Mayor and long- serving Councilman Roy Villanueva.  I had the honor of serving on the Council with Roy for several years prior to his passing in July 2014.  Roy was instrumental to our City as he initiated many important improvements in the areas of housing rehabilitation, economic development, utilities, police and fire services and federal grants.

Recreation Center Roy Villanueva Ceremony
Recreation Center Roy Villanueva Ceremony
Recreation Center Roy Villanueva Plaque
Recreation Center Roy Villanueva Plaque

Roy Villanueva Photo Dedication Roy Villanueva Recreation Complex Plaque The Fiesta was quite a success!  Mark Coronado, Director of Community and Recreation Services, and his team were able to obtain 33 local business partners, 9 food vendors and 122 entries for the car show.  Mr. Coronado estimates 14,000 to 16,000 people attended the event!

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Meeting
The Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission hosted their monthly meeting at City Hall on Monday, October 6th.  Susan deJong, Commission Chair, informed the Commission that she will proceed to schedule the Luncheon Theater Program through Herberger Theater and that the West Valley Arts HQ is a possible site for the program.  Eric Faulhaber, the Visual Arts Coordinator for the City of Chandler and Coordinator of the platFORM initiative gave the group a presentation outlining the platFORM program.  Councilman Jim Biundo and I were in attendance and found this program very interesting!  The initiative is available to create opportunities for student artists to place existing pieces or propose new sculptures for placement in public places.  The Commission will place this item on the November agenda for discussion and possible action to make the recommendation to the City Council.  The next cycle starts in April 2015.  Lastly, the Commission unanimously voted to endorse WHAM’s “Give your Community a Hand” mural project.  The unveiling will take place at the Surprise Party in December.

60th Aerial Delivery
I invited Mick Anderson and several other veterans to meet with the Mayor and me to receive a Certificate of Appreciation for their service in the US Air Force.  This special group of veterans meets every other year at a different location and this year, it was Surprise!  We were able to thank the group for their service and sacrifice to our country and provide them with a tour of the Council Chamber.

USAF 60th Aerial Port Squadron
USAF 60th Aerial Port Squadron
Vice Mayor Hall with Mick Anderson
Vice Mayor Hall with Mick Anderson

Community Drug Awareness Symposium
On October 8th, I attended the Community Drug Awareness Symposium at the CCV Surprise campus that was hosted by the Surprise Police Department and CCV. The Symposium provided information on the dangers of drugs and how to recognize signs and symptoms associated with drug abuse. Resources were available to those impacted by drugs.

Mark Your Calendars


Surprise Police Department – Tip A Cop Event
Representatives from the Surprise Police Department will be waiting tables alongside the staff of Red Robin to raise money for Special Olympics during the annual “Tip-A-Cop” event on Saturday, October 11th. Tips earned will be donated to the Special Olympics Arizona. The event will be held at the Red Robin located at 14015 W. Bell Road from 11 am until 3 pm and again from 4 pm until 8 pm.

Hazardous Waste
Residents with old paint cans, car batteries, etc. are encouraged to drop off these items at the City’s Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event on Saturday, October 11th from 8 a.m. until 12 noon.  The event will be held at the Public Works Maintenance Yard at 13433 W. Foxfire Drive.

Second Sunday in the Park
Second Sunday in the Park will be held this Sunday, October 12th from 2 pm until 4 pm at the Surprise Community Park, 15953 N. Bullard Avenue. The band, the Big Zephyr, will be playing a variety of music to entertain us all!

Columbus Day
Monday, October 13th is Columbus Day. Please note that City Hall will be closed.

Litchfield Road Closure
Beginning at 8 pm on Tuesday, October 14th, MCDOT (Maricopa County Department of Transportation) will temporarily close Litchfield Road at Northern Parkway to facilitate bridge construction.  During the closure, Northern Parkway will remain open. Reems Road or Dysart Road may be utilized as an alternate route.  Litchfield Road will reopen by 5 am on Wednesday, October 15th.

Boards & Commissions
The City is accepting applications for a few of our Boards and Commissions. Those with openings include:

  • Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission (1 vacancy)
  • Disability Advisory Commission (2 vacancies)
  • Health & Benefits Trust Fund Board (2 vacancies)
  • Planning & Zoning (1 vacancy)

All positions are voluntary.  Applications are accepted at the City Clerk’s office, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza (Monday through Friday from 8 am – 5 pm) or online at www.surpriseaz.gov.  For more information, please call the City Clerk at 623.222.1200.

FREE Class
You can learn how to optimize your retirement income with a free class that will help you best position your portfolio to take advantage of tax saving strategies and minimize exposure to market volatility on Wednesday, October 22nd from 10 am until 11:30 am at the Public Safety Building, 14250 W. Statler.  This free class will be taught by Mark Melkowski and Robert Feinholz with American Financial Education Alliance.  For more information or to register, please call Ruby Sitea at 623.222.3242.

Contact Me


Domestic Violence Awareness Month

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

Ask a Question

October 3, 2014 • Newsletter

Updates

Public Works Update
Earlier this month, our City Manager, Bob Wingenroth, made an executive decision to create a new department based on some of the functions that previously fell under Public Works.  This new department, Water Resource Management, will focus on our assurance to have an abundant, secure water supply which is consistent with our Council’s goals.  Terry Lowe, formerly our Assistant Public Works Director, has been promoted to Director of the Water Resource Management Department.  Terry has been with the City since 2004.  He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Engineering and Project Management.  Terry also served as our Project Manager when City Hall was being built.  He is a well-respected, professional and proven leader that is committed to sustainability in our City.

Mike Gent, also a former Assistant Public Works Director and Acting Public Works Director, has been promoted to Public Works Director.  Mike began his career in the private sector prior to transitioning into City government.  He earned his Master’s Degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Public Works.  Mike has been with Surprise for one year.  He is proud to work for a City that emphasizes “Servant Leadership” and is anxiously trying to incorporate those traits into his own personality and approach.  He is very committed to the success and sustainable growth of his family’s new hometown!

Terry Lowe
Terry Lowe
Mike Gent
Mike Gent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are very fortunate to have these two exceptionally talented men with our City.  Congratulations to the both of them as they embark on their new journey with us!
Events & Meetings

EPCOR
Mayor Wolcott and I met with representatives from EPCOR on Thursday, September 25th.  EPCOR provided us with an update on their application to the Arizona Corporation Commission on wastewater district separation and/or combination.  Additionally, we were provided with updated maps of the wastewater service areas and how they apply to Surprise.

Epcor Service Area Map

Water Planning Subcommittee Meeting
The Water Planning Subcommittee met on Thursday, September 25th.  Three important issues were discussed.  The first two issues concerned the presentation for the City Council Work Session that will be held on October 21st as staff will be providing an update to the Council regarding the Subcommittee’s progress.  At that time, we will also discuss a water conservation proposal to reduce water usage within the Bell Road rights of way.  Several comments and questions were raised and they will be incorporated into the final presentation.

Lastly, we conferred about additional water conservation.  As part of this discussion, members of the City’s Community Development Department were invited to join the meeting.  They were able to field questions about water-related building codes and standards, as well as Surprise and industry regulations.  Additionally, they provided guidance to the Subcommittee on the best ways to initiate water conservation programs that affect the development community.   The next meeting is scheduled for October 30th at 3:30 pm at City Hall.

Capitol Scholar Program
The Capitol Scholar Program, which consists of students from Imagine Prep and Arizona Charter Academy, held their mock legislative session at City Hall on Friday, September 26th since the State Capitol was unavailable.  Students were divided into 3 groups as they participated in Committee Hearings.  During this process, the students presented their individuals bills.  The bills concerned a variety of topics including cruelty of animals, bullying, dangerous crimes against children, graffiti and much more.  The Program concluded with a final third reading and signing of the passed bills in the Council Chamber.  The Committee consisted of Representative Rick Gray, Diane McCarthy, Councilman Jim Biundo, Councilman Todd Tande and me.

Capitol Scholars Mock Hearing
The Mock Hearing Committee

 

Capitol Scholar Participants
Capitol Scholar Participants

A Brush with Victory
West Valley Arts HQ, now located at 16126 N. Civic Center Plaza in Surprise, hosted the world premiere of artist Bill Patterson’s Gatorade Victory Lane paintings celebrating the Phoenix International Raceway’s most memorable moments of the past half-century on Friday, September 26thas part of the track’s 50th anniversary season.  I was honored to attend this event and I continue to be humbled by the outpouring of support of the arts by our residents.

Stand Up For Veterans
I attended the Stand Up for Veterans event on Saturday, September 27th at Glendale Community College.  This impressive event was organized by the Arizona Department of Veteran Services and Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers to help West Valley veterans readjust to civilian live upon their return home.  In addition to a job fair, this event provided veterans and their families with community resources such as education and legal assistance.  West Valley employers were in attendance to interview the veterans and offer networking opportunities.  Volunteers were also available to help with resumes, cover letters, etc.  Arizona’s Motor Vehicle Division was present to answer any questions or resolve issues for the returning service member.  My attendance at this event was to personally witness the need in the West Valley with hopes to establish such an event in Surprise in the future.

Art Leaders Breakfast
On Saturday, September 27th, I was invited to speak at the Arts Leader Breakfast, hosted by our City’s Arts & Cultural Commission.  Participants included Robyn Harris of Musical Surprise, Stephanie Savage of the West Valley Conservatory of Ballet, Connie Whitlock of WHAM, Desiree van de Boogaard of the West Valley Arts Council, Mona Myhre of the West Valley Symphony, Tiffany Nebeker of Spotlight Entertainment, Susan deJong and members of the Arts & Cultural Commission.  Discussion included the future of arts in Surprise and how groups can cooperatively work together to fulfill common goals.

Kneader’s Bakery & Café Ribbon Cutting
Kneader’s Bakery and Café opened their Surprise store located at 14183 W. Bell Road on Thursday, October 2nd.  In advance of the grand opening, a ribbon cutting event was held on Wednesday, October 1st.  I was honored to be present to welcome Jim Hipp, Operating Partner of the Surprise store; Andrew Smith, CEO; Shawna Smith, CMO; and David Vincent, CFO and help the group cut the ribbon.

Ribbon Cutting
Ribbon Cutting
Kneaders Bakery and Cafe, Surprise Store
Kneader’s Bakery & Café, Surprise Store

Mark Your Calendars

Surprise Fiesta Grande
The inaugural Surprise Fiesta Grande, the street-style festival on Hollyhock Street, north of Grand Avenue will occur this Saturday, October 4th from 12 noon until 9 p.m.  Admission is FREE!  For more information including street closures, please visit our website at www.surpriseaz.gov/fiestagrande. We hope to see you there!

Surprise Fiesta Logo

Community Drug Awareness Symposium
The Surprise Police Department is partnering with Christ Church of the Valley (CCV) to host a Community Drug Awareness Symposium on Wednesday, October 8th from 7 – 9 p.m. at the CCV Surprise Campus located at 14787 W. Cholla Street.  This Symposium will provide information on the dangers of drugs, how to recognize signs and symptoms associated with drug abuse and provide resources for those impacted by drugs.  Guest speakers include a recovering drug addict, a parent and a representative from the Maricopa Attorney’s Office.  The goal of this event is to arm the community with the knowledge necessary to combat this growing epidemic.

Hazardous Waste
Residents with old paint cans, car batteries, etc. are encouraged to drop off these items at the City’s Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event on Saturday, October 11th from 8 a.m. until 12 noon.  The event will be held at the Public Works Maintenance Yard at 13433 W. Foxfire Drive.

Columbus Day
Columbus Day, October 13th, is right around the corner.  Please note that City Hall will be closed.

Domestic Violence Awareness

Contact Me

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

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