August 28, 2015 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Community Meeting on Bullard Avenue

City staff hosted a public community meeting on the traffic changes along Bullard Avenue. At the start of the school year a few weeks ago, the City added three new crosswalks on Bullard Avenue to provide safe access for the students attending the five schools within that area. With the new crosswalks in place, the speed limit was reduced from 45 mph to 35 mph and a second lane for traffic in each direction was eliminated. A bike lane was also added, as was a golf cart lane to help provide a safety buffer between the traffic lane and bike lane.

Residents are encouraged to share their thoughts about the recent changes in an online survey which is linked off of the homepage at www.surpriseaz.gov. The survey closes on Sunday, August 30 at midnight. Survey results and possible solutions addressing the concerns will be presented to the City Council at the next regular City Council meeting on Tuesday, September 1 at 6 p.m. Staff will also share the feedback in a second public meeting on Tuesday, September 8 at Marley Park Elementary School, 15042 W. Sweetwater, at 6 p.m.

League of Arizona Cities and Towns Conference

Last week, City Council attended the 2015 League of Arizona Cities and Towns Conference in Tucson. This conference is always well attended by State legislators, elected officials and staff and provides us with networking opportunities that we may not ordinarily be given.

The League provides cities and towns with important services and tools while it focuses on representing the interests of the 91 incorporated cities and towns in Arizona before the legislature. They also provide members with legal and technical assistance.

Besides attending the Resolutions Committee meeting, I partook in sessions on: Forest Health and its impact in our State; how we can better help our veteran population; emergency preparedness; community based entrepreneurship; and water issues, including the crisis in California and how we can lessen the impact of drought in Arizona.

Surprise City and Youth Council
Surprise City and Youth Council
Surprise Youth Council Mayor Nithya Satiyaselan
Surprise Youth Council Mayor Nithya Satiyaselan

Veterans Mentoring and Entrepreneurship Seminar

The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted a free Veterans Mentoring/Entrepreneurship seminar at the Parkwood Assisted Living facility on Tuesday, August 25. The seminar began with a SCORE presentation on the ABC’s of starting a business, followed by a panel discussion by Veteran business owners who spoke about their personal experiences.

After the event, there were several mentors available to speak with Veterans covering numerous topics including legal, business coaching, insurance, accounting, advertising, operational logistics and social media.

WESTMARC Water & Energy Committee

I attended the WESTMARC Water & Energy Committee meeting on Wednesday, August 26. Mitch Haws, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Study Manager, gave a briefing on the WESTCAPS West Salt River Valley Basin Study. Mr. Haws discussed the laws and funding mechanisms supporting the study, the current status of the study – including four mandatory study elements, the purpose of the study and the study task team leaders. He talked about the Climate Change modeling and scenarios, the Recharge Screening Analysis, the Economic Analysis and the next steps. Two task team leaders gave briefs on their team tasks, Christine Nuñez, City of Surprise Environmental Manager, presented on the supply portion of the study, and Jake Lenderking, EPCOR Water Resource Manager, on the demand portion of the study. Mr. Haws also gave an overview of the WESTCAPS organization, its members, study partners, study advisors and some of the organizations past key accomplishments.

Following Mr. Haws, Mr. Guy Carpenter of Carollo Engineers and also the National WateReuse Association’s Board of Director’s First Vice President, discussed Direct Potable Water Reuse also known as DPR. He talked about the current technologies, the pros and cons, the cost implications, the current water laws on the use of DPR, as well as the public’s negative perception and misconceptions about DPR. Mr. Carpenter gave a synopsis on the WateReuse Research Foundation report on Examining the Criteria for Direct Potable Water Reuse that included removal of viruses, bacteria and protozoa in water being a priority over the public concern of endocrine disruptors. Also, Mr. Carpenter gave the group an overview of the Big Spring DPR facility in Texas which is currently the only DPR in operation in the nation.

Sierra Verde Community Meeting

Police Chief Terry Young and I attended the Sierra Verde Community meeting on Wednesday, August 26. The meeting was very productive. Officer Tim Klarkowski discussed crime statistics stating there has been a 4 ½ percent decrease in crime within the HOA. Based on discussions, police will be enforcing the area monitoring for speed.

Police Chief Young and I addressing the Board and Residents of Sierra Verde
Police Chief Young and I addressing the Board and Residents of Sierra Verde

AZ TechCelerator

Councilman Jim Biundo and I took a tour of the AZ Techcelerator with Julie Neal, Economic Development Coordinator. Earlier this year, the City Council approved funds to be utilized towards improvements for the space. The work should be completed by early October.

Councilman Biundo, Julie Neal and me
Councilman Biundo, Julie Neal and me
New outdoor painting
New outdoor painting
Old City Council Chamber
Old City Council Chamber

Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Senior Idol

The 10th Annual Surprise Senior Idol Show and Contest will be held on Wednesday, October 14 at 1 pm at Valley Vista High School’s Performing Arts Center, 15550 N. Parkview Place. The contest is open to non-professional entertainers, 50 years of age or older. Past winners are not eligible for competition but are allowed to participate in the show. Performances are limited to three minutes. Prizes will be awarded.

Contestant registration forms can be acquired at the Surprise Senior Center, located at 15832 N. Hollyhock Street, or by sending an email to terri.serein@surpriseaz.gov. All forms are due no later than Friday, September 25 at 3 p.m. Tickets will go on sale Tuesday, September 1.


Did You Know?

Arizona Charter Academy Recognition

Please join me in congratulating Arizona Charter Academy (ACA) as they’ve just been named one of Arizona’s top companies to work for. This is the second year that ACA has won the award.

Thank You!

The City would like to thank the residents and staff members who participated in its Back to School Supply Drive! Thanks to everyone’s generosity, we were able to donate an estimated $1,500 worth of school supplies to several local elementary schools.

Surprise City and Youth Council


Contact Me


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

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August 14, 2015 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Community Outreach at St. Mary’s Food Bank

On Saturday, August 8, I participated in the Second Saturday event through Radiant Church at St. Mary’s Food Bank in Surprise. There were 236 volunteers who sorted through two full trailers of food equaling an impressive 41,739 pounds, bagged 9,646 pounds of pasta, cleaned and painted the facility and installed new flooring. The volunteer outreach was truly incredible!

woman loading food box

Volunteers sort items at St. Mary's Food Bank

St. Mary's Food Bank logo

Hampton Inn 10 Year Anniversary Celebration

Hampton Inn & Suites celebrated their 10 year anniversary on Sunday, August 9. Several members of the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce and I were present. I am always appreciative of the opportunities to celebrate the success of our local businesses.

Palm Vista Baptist Church Ribbon Cutting

Councilman Winters and I attended the grand opening and ribbon cutting for the new worship building of Palm Vista Baptist Church on Tuesday, August 11. The new 16,000 square foot building will seat 650 worshipers and host a variety of community services and programs during the week. Congratulations to Palm Vista on their new addition!

Ribbon being cut at Palm Vista Baptist Church

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Business Outreach Update Meeting

City staff, Mayor Wolcott, Councilwoman Villanueva and I met with representatives from the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) on Thursday, August 13 to discuss the results of our joint business outreach initiative that took place earlier this summer. Almost 300 businesses were interviewed and surveys were received by approximately 200 hundred of them.


Mark Your Calendar

Bullard Avenue Informational Meeting

The City invites the public to attend a community informational meeting regarding the recent changes along Bullard Avenue from Peoria Avenue to Greenway Road. The meeting will be held on Monday, August 17 at 6 pm at Marley Park Elementary School (15042 W. Sweetwater Avenue). Staff will be available to brief residents on the purpose and details of the changes and to answer any questions.

At the start of the school year a few weeks ago, the City added three new crosswalks on Bullard Avenue to provide safe access for the students attending the five schools within that area. With the new crosswalks in place, the speed limit was reduced from 45 mph to 35 mph and a second lane for traffic in each direction was eliminated. A bike lane was also added, as was a golf cart lane which provides a safety buffer between the traffic lane and bike lane.

Surprise Fiesta Grande

The Surprise Fiesta Grande will be held on October 17 from 2 pm until 10 pm. Admission will be free. More information will follow soon!

Surprise Fiesta Grande logo

2015 Harvest Festival

Benevilla and the City of Surprise will host their annual Harvest Festival on Friday, October 23 from 5 pm until 7 pm at the Surprise Community Garden, located at 16752 N. Greasewood Street. Admission is free. There will be free pumpkins, an art show, live music and much more!

Cotton Lane – Overnight Closings

Cotton Lane will be closed each evening, from 9 pm until 5 pm, between Cactus Road and Peoria Avenue beginning Monday, August 17 so that EPCOR may conduct waterline work. The evening closures should conclude on Friday, August 21. For more information, please call our Public Works Department at 623.222.6000.


Did You Know?

Surprise Public Safety Launches Veteran-preference Recruitment Policy

The City of Surprise Police and Fire-Medical Departments now offer preference points for military service veterans applying for the positions of police recruits and firefighters. Eligible veterans, who have served at least six months of active military duty, will be awarded an extra five points to their passing entrance recruitment exam score. To qualify, the veteran candidates must have been honorably discharged from military service.

For additional information on eligibility, please feel free to visit the recruitment pages of the Surprise Police and Surprise Fire-Medical Departments at www.surpriseaz.gov and click on the Public Safety Veterans Recruitment link.

Community Outreach Program

A City Council-led initiative to assist community organizations with providing programs and events that benefit the City of Surprise residents is now accepting applications. Funding for the Community Outreach Program was approved as part of the FY16 budget. The Surprise City Council set aside $40,000 to $50,000 for the program in an effort to support and grow qualified local programs and events.

To be considered, applicants must be a 501(c)3 organization or partner with a 501(c)3 verified agency. The maximum award per applicant is $10,000. According to program guidelines, funds are distributed by reimbursement through an invoice process.

A non-mandatory pre-application meeting that will include information about the program and application process will be held on Wednesday, August 19, 2015 at 4 p.m. in the Surprise Senior Center Training Room, located at 15832 N. Hollyhock Street. Please sign in at the reception area in the lobby and ask for Janeen Gaskins.

Northwest Regional Library Hours Change

The City of Surprise and the Maricopa County Library District will be modifying the hours for the Northwest Regional Library effective August 31, 2015. The library will now be open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. and will have extended hours on Sundays, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. There are no changes to the Friday and Saturday hours which are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

League of Arizona Cities and Towns Conference

Next week, the League of Arizona Cities and Towns will host their annual conference in Tucson, Arizona. Due to the conference schedule, I will not produce a newsletter next week; however, the newsletters will continue the following week, and my August 21 newsletter will include a summary of the aforementioned conference.

Additionally, City Council cancelled their regularly scheduled meeting for the third Tuesday of August because of the conference. The next City Council Work Session and City Council Meeting are scheduled for Tuesday, September 1. Thank you for your understanding!


Contact Me


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

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Surprise Public Safety launches veteran preference recruitment policy

The City of Surprise Fire-Medical and Police Departments now offer preference points for military service veterans applying as firefighter and police recruits.

Veterans, those that were on active military duty for at least six months, will be awarded an extra five points to their passing entrance recruitment exam score.

To qualify for the extra points, veteran candidates must have been honorably discharged from military service.

“These brave men and women served and protected our country; this policy is one way we can say thank you,” says Fire-Medical Chief Tom Abbott.

“Helping to employ our nation’s veterans is the right thing to do and we hope this policy in some way honors their service,” add Police Chief Terry Young.

For additional information on eligibility visit the recruitment pages of Surprise Fire-Medical and Surprise Police at www.surpriseaz.gov and click on the Public Safety Veterans Recruitment link.

August 7, 2015 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Youth Strategic Plan for 2015-2016

Several members of the Surprise Youth Council presented their Youth Strategic Plan for the new fiscal year to the City Council. Their strategic priorities include representing the City’s youth voice, understanding issues, helping to solve problems and bringing the entire community together. Some of their goals include helping teens improve self-esteem and working with the arts community on a mural to promote positivity.

SYC Members Samantha Salazar and Jada Henderson at council meeting
SYC Members Samantha Salazar and Jada Henderson

Surprise Retail Market

Economic Development Director Jeanine Jerkovich discussed the 2015 retail survey results. The survey launched in May and garnered nearly 3,000 responses. In addition to the results, staff considered retail gap analysis as well. Locally-owned businesses are clearly preferred by our residents. Some of the top ten local favorite restaurants include Nick’s Diner I & II, Jim’s Burgers and Eggs, Vogue Bistro, Saigon Kitchen, Amuse Bouche, and Archie’s Deli. By tenfold, Costco was the most desired retailer, and the top desired restaurants were In-N-Out Burger, Sweet Tomatoes, Portillos, Cheesecake Factory and Texas Roadhouse.

The next steps include an outreach campaign to the top ten most wanted retailers and restaurants, a specialized campaign for Costco and a local recognition for top ten local favorites.

Thank you to all of our engaged residents who completed this survey. The data collected truly helped ideyntify our City’s retail strengths as well as opportunities to bring your favorite amenities to Surprise. If you would like more information on the survey results, you can view them at www.surpriseaz.gov/retailsurvey.


City Council Meeting

Surprise Summer Youth Employment Program Participants Recognized

The Surprise Summer Youth Employment Program participants were honored at our City Council meeting on Tuesday evening. For ten weeks this summer, 21 teens from our City worked alongside staff and select partner organizations through a paid internship program. They helped with a variety of tasks in mostly all of our departments, and they also participated in a weekly life skills training class. I am so proud of our youth, and I want to thank them for their hard work all summer!

City Council Intern Rose Aranas
City Council Intern Rose Aranas
Summer Youth Employment Program Interns with Mayor Wolcott & Bob Wingenroth
Summer Youth Employment Program Interns with Mayor Wolcott & Bob Wingenroth

Appointment of New Members for City’s Boards & Commissions

After three days of interviews with the Selections Committee consisting of Councilman Roland Winters, Councilwoman Rachel Villanueva and me, a recommendation to approve new Board/Commissions members was brought before the City Council. The City Council unanimously approved the recommendations as follows: Althea Whitehead for the Arts & Cultural Commission; Monique Hernandez for the Community & Recreation Services Commission; George de Langeryt for the Disability Advisory Commission; Robert Ferrago and Gwen Skorpuan for the Board of Trustees, both with a term expiration of June 30, 2018; James Connor for the Personnel Appeals Board; Jim Ferguson and Shari Martin for the Planning & Zoning Commission; and James Penberthy for the Tourism Commission. The new members’ terms will expire on June 30, 2019 unless otherwise noted. The City is honored to have so many residents willing to donate their time, knowledge and talent. Thank you to everyone who interviewed!

New Members for City's Boards & Commissions

City Code Amendment regarding City Attorney

The City Council voted to authorize the City Attorney’s office to draft an ordinance that would change the city code to have the City Attorney report to the City Manager. That position is currently appointed by the City Council. Once the ordinance is written by outside legal counsel, to avoid any conflict of interest, that ordinance will be brought before the City Council for a vote. The discussion and vote will most likely occur in September. If approved, the reporting structure change would go into effect 30 days following adoption.

Greenway Road Preservation Projects

The City Council unanimously voted to approve a budget amendment in the amount of $4.5 million to establish Greenway Road improvement projects (from Litchfield Road to Bullard Avenue) by reallocating appropriations of $2.7 million from the General Fund Mid-Decade Census Project and contingencies from the Sewer Fund and Water Resource Development. The improvements include the following:

Segment 1 Improvements
Greenway Rd. will be widened between Litchfield Rd. and Bullard Ave. These widening improvements will include: two additional travel lanes, turning movement lanes, raised median with landscaping, sidewalks on the north and south side, drainage improvements, sewer line, reclaimed water line, signing and striping, lighting and improvements to the existing asphalt. The intersections at Bullard Ave. and Litchfield Rd. will be re-profiled to improve the drainage and remove the dips. The design is currently underway and will be completed in October of this year. Following the construction contractor bidding process, construction will begin in November and will be completed by March 2016.

Segment 2 Improvements
The intersection of Greenway Rd. and Dysart Rd. will be re-profiled to improve the eastbound and westbound dips. These intersection improvements will improve traffic flow but more importantly improve the safety of this intersection. Construction is scheduled to begin in November and last through January 2016.

Surprise Transient Lodging Tax Public Hearing

Community & Recreation Services Director Mark Coronado discussed the increase of the Surprise Transient Lodging Tax (Bed Tax) by 2%. This increase required an ordinance amendment which was unanimously approved by City Council. The current bed tax rate is 2.52%. The Surprise General Fund receives 1% of the tax and the other 1.52% is put into the Tourism Fund. The increase brings the current tax rate to 11.99% which is still significantly lower than other Valley cities such as Glendale, Scottsdale, Mesa and Tempe.


Events & Meetings

Surprise Announces New Police Chief in July

City Manager Bob Wingenroth announced key organizational leadership changes earlier last month. After a 40-year career in law enforcement, Surprise Police Chief Michael Frazier accepted the position of Assistant City Manager. Mr. Frazier replaced the retiring April Reynolds. Mr. Frazier now oversees the following departments: Police, Fire-Medical, Public Works and Communications.

Terry Young, the former Surprise Assistant Police Chief, was named the new Chief of Police. Chief Young joined the Surprise Police Department in 2010, after retiring from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office as Deputy Chief. During his career, he oversaw a variety of divisions including Patrol Operations, Investigations and Personnel Management.

New ACM and Police Chief seen with City Council

City council during New ACM introduction

Dedication for New Home

On July 10, I was honored to attend the dedication of a new home in the Original Town site (OTS) along with Councilwoman Villanueva and City Manager Bob Wingenroth. The Human Service and Community Vitality Department handed over the keys of a newly constructed, 1,300 square foot home to a local family. The three bedroom, two bathroom Habitat for Humanity constructed home was built as part of the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, an income-based grant that assists families with rehabilitation activities.

The new Habitat for Humanity Home
The new Habitat for Humanity Home
Homeowner with Councilwoman Villanueva, City Manager Wingenroth and me
Homeowner with Councilwoman Villanueva, City Manager Wingenroth and me

Additional grant programs available through Neighborhood Services include the Homebuyer’s Assistant Program, Emergency Housing Rehabilitation Program and the Major Rehabilitation Program. If you’d like to learn more about these grants and housing programs in our City, please contact Jason Hughes at 623.222.3239.

Legacy Traditional School Ribbon Cutting

Mayor Wolcott, Councilmembers Tande, Winters and Biundo and I attended the Legacy Traditional School-Surprise Campus ribbon cutting on Friday, July 31. The charter school welcomed 1,200 students in grades kindergarten through eighth grade this week. The 68,000 square foot school has 40 classrooms and a curriculum that focuses on academics, athletics, performing arts and citizenship.


Mark Your Calendar

Bell Road Sidewalk Project

Pedestrians will soon see paved sidewalks on the south side of Bell Road as part of the City’s Bell Road sidewalk project. The project, which began this week and will conclude in October 2015, will construct a sidewalk that extends from the Park and Ride located near Grand Avenue, east to the Avenue of the Arts.

One-half to one mile curb lane eastbound restriction will be required with this project and will move as the project progresses. Motorists should expect delays and be mindful of construction crews working in the area. Local business access and access to the Surprise Park and Ride will be maintained throughout the project.

For more information on the traffic restrictions, please visit http://surpriseaz.gov/index.aspx?NID=100.

Surprise Veteran’s Day Parade

The City is looking for patriotic themed parade entries for our inaugural Veteran’s Day Parade, which will be held on Wednesday, November 11 at the Surprise Recreation Campus. This parade, which will honor the men and women in uniform who have selflessly served our country, will run along Bullard Avenue and begin at 11 a.m.

If you are interested in participating in the parade, please visit our Community & Recreation Services offices at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue, or you can call 623.222.2000. Entries are due by October 28.


Did You Know?

Surprise MVD to Re-open

The Surprise Motor Vehicle Division office will reopen on August 10 after the completion of interior renovations. The remodeling project has increased the capacity in the customer waiting area, offering more efficient and comfortable service.

Residents wanting access to select MVD services, including registration renewal, duplicate vehicle registration, duplicate driver license, change of address and temporary vehicle permits will still be able to utilize the MVD kiosk located inside the Surprise City Court, 16081 N. Civic Center Plaza, Suite 105.

Northwest Regional Library Hours Change

The City of Surprise and the Maricopa County Library District will be modifying the hours for the Northwest Regional Library effective August 31, 2015. The library will now be open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. and will have extended hours on Sundays, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. There are no changes to the Friday and Saturday hours which are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Programming will remain the same with the ever popular baby story time for crawlers, various teen book discussions, and much more. For more information, please call the Northwest Valley Regional Library at 602.656.3400.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

Surprise Retail Survey Results are in!

The City of Surprise launched a retail survey in May that garnered nearly 3,000 responses!

Thanks to our engaged residents, and residents from neighboring communities, we were able to collect data that helped to identify the City’s retail strengths, as well as opportunities to bring additional amenities closer to home.

Select survey insights are available below, with full results available at www.surpriseaz.gov/retailsurvey:

Top 10 Local Favorites

  • Nick’s Diner I & II
  • Jim’s Burger and Eggs
  • Vogue Bistro
  • Saigon Kitchen
  • Amuse Bouche
  • Archie’s Deli
  • New York Flavor
  • Big Buddha
  • Babbo Italian Eatery
  • Rio Mirage

Top 10 Desired Retailers

  • Costco
  • Whole Foods
  • Hobby Lobby
  • Macy’s
  • TJ Maxx
  • Joann’s Fabric
  • Old Navy
  • Nordstrom
  • Harkins Theater
  • Home Goods

Top 10 Desired Restaurants

  • In-N-Out Burger
  • Sweet Tomatoes
  • Portillo’s
  • Cheesecake Factory
  • Texas Roadhouse (Great news! A Texas Roadhouse is currently being constructed in the area of Grand Ave. and Mountain View Blvd.)
  • Cracker Barrel
  • Oregano’s
  • Pita Jungle
  • Mimi’s Café
  • El Pollo Loco

The city would like to thank everyone who participated in the survey! The Surprise Economic Development team will now use the results to guide their retail recruitment efforts.