City Council Work Session
Boys & Girls Club of Surprise
Earlier this year, City Council identified the need for a Boys & Girls Club within the City of Surprise. After a 5-2 vote, City Council allocated $2 million for an endowment fund where interest earned will help fund operational costs for the future development of a Club; however, a new facility is at least two years away. Mark Coronado, Director of Community & Recreation Services, presented an option to open Boys & Girls Club satellite locations at current City operated recreation centers in advance of the new facility. This option eliminates initial costs to open a facility since we would utilize space at Countryside Recreation Center and Sierra Montana Recreation Center.
Mr. Coronado reinforced that all existing facility programing will continue and enhance opportunities for all youth in our community.
Surprise City Code Chapter 10 – Animals Chapter
After reviewing Surprise City Code. Chapter 10, Surprise Lieutenant Harold Brady recommends that City Council consider a few changes to the animals chapter, including, but not limited to, definitions of at large, owner and vicious; new licensing violations; additional regulations for animals declared vicious; cost recovery for impounded animals; animal cruelty penalties; improved due process for owner(s) of suspected barking dogs; and eliminating an exception allowing dogs to be off leash throughout gated communities.
New violations were recommended for failure to obtain a license within 15 days after written notification to do so, counterfeiting a dog license, removing a valid license from a dog and placing an invalid license on a dog. New vicious animal restrictions were also discussed including the purchase of a $100,000 public liability insurance policy and spaying or neutering within 30 days of final judgment of viciousness.
Barking dog procedure recommendations included civil violations for first offenses (Must disturb peace and quiet for two or more residences); second violation may be criminal or civil at the discretion of the enforcement agent; third and subsequent violations are criminal. There must be at least one witness willing to testify in court under these proposed circumstances.
Surprise Conference and Training Center
Water Resource Manager Director Terry Lowe discussed the need for future water and wastewater jobs within the next 10 years. One of the greatest challenges in finding replacements for those currently working in these positions and expected to retire within the next five years is there is a lack of applicants with needed certifications and lack of skills to operate today’s treatment systems.
The City of Surprise can help as we have the facilities to show the complete Life Cycle of Water in Arizona at one location; the groundwater treatment/distribution (Rancho Gabriella WSF) and water reclamation/recharge (SPA1 WRF). This can be achieved in partnership with Gateway Community College.
The proposed new training center, the Surprise-Gateway Training Center, would contain a wastewater operations lab, a water operations lab, large assembly space, three classrooms (2 standard classrooms and 1 learning lab), a water education lab, an OSHA education lab and a small fitness center.
In order to proceed, the Council will need to consider and staff will need to complete an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with Gateway Community College. The design should be complete by December 2015, and a groundbreaking would likely take place during the first quarter of 2016. Classes are anticipated to begin in September 2016, timeline and approval permitting.
City Council Meeting
Domestic Violence Awareness Proclamation Presentation
Domestic violence is an awful epidemic affecting individuals in every community, regardless of age, gender, race, religion or economic status. Sadly, 1 in 4 U.S. women experience violence by a partner at some time during their life and 2 out of 3 children are exposed to trauma and violence in their life. The devastating consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and last a lifetime.
Vice Mayor John Williams presented a Proclamation in honor of the City’s support of Domestic Violence Awareness Month for the month of October. We stand behind all victims, and we will continue to bring awareness to providing protections against domestic violence.
Events & Meetings
Rotary Club of Surprise Monthly Meeting
I attended the Rotary Club of Surprise monthly meeting on Thursday, October 1. The Rotary Club discussed the plans for their two major annual fundraisers. The 2015 Rotary Club of Surprise Golf Classic will be held on November 7, 2015 at Great Eagle Golf Club. More information can be found at www.surpriserotarygolfclassic.org. The Taste of Surprise will be held on March 9, 2016.
Arts & Cultural Commission Meeting
The Arts & Cultural Commission met on Monday, October 1. The Commission will have a booth at the upcoming Surprise Fiesta Grande. They are also busy planning the Art Encounter at City Hall scheduled for November 12 from 5 until 7 pm.
Meet & Greet for New Director Candidates
City Manager Bob Wingenroth hosted a Meet & Greet in the Mayor’s Atrium on Friday, October 2 for seven finalists vying for the Director of Human Service and Community Vitality Position. I will include the announcement of the new director in a future newsletter.
Governor Ducey’s International State of the State Address
Assistant City Manager Rick Buss, Economic Development Director Jeanine Jerkovic and I attended Governor Ducey’s International State of the State address on Monday, October 5 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort. A bi-national mega-region, shared border and foreign trade policy were the focus of the Governor’s conversation.
This year, U.S. exports are down by 5% while Arizona’s export volume continues to increase with a current volume of up to 7%. Arizona exported approximately $21.25 billion in goods and services to foreign markets in 2014. Arizona’s largest market in 2014 was Mexico with $8.62 billion in exports. The second largest market was Canada with $2.25 billion, followed by United Kingdom ($1.10 billion), China ($1.02 billion) and Germany ($753 million).
The state’s largest merchandise export category is computer & electronic products which accounted for $4.975 billion of Arizona’s total merchandise exports in 2014. The largest metropolitan areas are Phoenix – Mesa – Scottsdale at $12.8 billion (65.4% share); Tucson at $2.3 billion (11.7% share); Sierra Vista-Douglas at $425 million (2.2% share); Lake Havasu City – Kingman at $255 million (1.3% share); and Prescott at $50 million (0.3% share).
Boards & Commission Interviews
Councilman Roland Winters, Councilwoman Rachel Villanueva and I interviewed interested candidates for openings on the Arts & Cultural Commission on Wednesday, October 7. Thank you to everyone who applied!
Mark Your Calendar
Household Hazardous Waste Collection
The City’s next Household Hazardous Waste Collection event will take place on Saturday, October 10 from 8 am until 12 noon. Drop-off is at the Public Works Maintenance Yard, 13433 W. Foxfire Drive (from Bell Road, turn north on Dysart and follow signs to entrance off Foxfire Drive). This event is free and for Surprise residents only.
Acceptable items include antifreeze, car batteries, motor oil, gasoline, diesel, fuel additives, pool chemicals, stain, paint, pesticides and much more. For more information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/HHWevent or you can call 623.222.6000.
Second Sunday in the Park
The Silverkats live will perform 70s and 80s cover tunes at the next Second Sundays in the Park event on Sunday, October 11 at the Surprise Community Park, located at 15953 N. Bullard Avenue. The band will play from 2 until 4 p.m.
Surprise Fiesta Grande
Please mark your calendar and join us at this fun-filled street festival paying homage to the significance of the Original Town Site (OTS) and the importance of the Grand Avenue Corridor. The event will be held on Saturday, October 17 from 2 pm until 10 pm on Hollyhock Street on the Roy Villanueva Recreation Campus in the OTS.
I hope to see you there! For more information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/fiestagrande.
Bullard Avenue Task Force Meeting
The Bullard Avenue Task Force will meet on October 19 at 6 pm at the Northwest Regional Library meeting room, 16089 N. Bullard Avenue. This meeting is open to the public. For more information about the task force, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/bullard.
Did You Know?
City Hall – Upcoming Holiday Schedule
With several fall holidays quickly approaching, there are a few holiday scheduling changes you may want to know about.
City offices will remain open on Columbus Day – Monday, October 12.
City offices will be closed on Veterans Day – Wednesday, November 11. The holiday trash and recycling schedule will be in effect that week. Monday and Tuesday pick-up will not be affected. Pick up originally scheduled for Wednesday, November 11 will move to Thursday, November 12 and pick up originally scheduled for Thursday, November 12 will move to Friday, November 13.
City offices will be closed for Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 26 and Friday, November 27. The holiday trash and recycling schedule will be in effect. The holiday will only affect residents with Thursday pick-up, which will move to Friday, November 27.
Important Election Dates for November 2015
The City of Surprise has been designated as an Early Voting Site for the Nov. 3 election. All registered voters within Maricopa County are able to vote at City Hall through October 30 at 5p.m. Please note that voter registration for the Nov. 3 election has closed, but those who are registered have until Oct. 23 to request an Early Ballot.
No voting will take place at City Hall on Election Day. All voters must go to their designated polling locations to vote in person. Polls will be open from 6 am until 7 pm on Election Day only. For information on your polling location for Election Day, you can contact the Maricopa County Elections Department at 602.506.3535 or visit our website at www.surpriseaz.gov/electionnews.