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