Events & Meetings
Valley Metro Audit & Finance Subcommittee Meeting
At the Valley Metro Audit & Finance Subcommittee Meeting on March 9, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) presented on staffing for the upcoming fiscal year – explaining the need for additional staff and the potential financial impact. The committee provided feedback for the CFO to consider.
West Valley Arts Council Celebrates 35 Year Anniversary
West Valley Arts Council celebrated their 35 year anniversary at Arts HQ on March 9. The event featured live music, food and art. I attended, along with Vice Mayor Tande and Council Members Winters and Remley. Following the reception, guests were invited to enjoy the “Neu Art Exhibit” at Surprise City Hall. The exhibit is on display through April 20. Stop by the first floor of City Hall to check it out!
“The Future of Desalination” Speaker Panel
The Kyle Center for Water Policy hosted a panel of speakers on March 10 who addressed the future of desalination by sharing their experience with and knowledge of the process, as well as the associated costs. Desalination is the process of removing salt from saltwater. Desalinated water is produced by either using seawater or brackish water (water that has more salinity than fresh water, but not as much as seawater). Shawn Bradford with Epcor talked about how the desalination plants in Goodyear deal with brackish water; Chuck Collum with Central Arizona Project spoke about next steps for dealing with brackish water throughout Arizona and gave insight into how North San Diego County is using desalination plants to supply 8 percent of that county’s water; Bob Lotts with APS spoke about his work on the Governor’s appointed Water Augmentation Council, which includes desalination; and Sharon Magdel, Ph.D., Director of University of Arizona’s Water Resources Research Center, shared what Israel is doing with desalination, as they possess leading technology in this field.
Veteran Success Project Advisory Board Meeting
I am a member of the Veteran Success Project Advisory Board. The Veterans Success Project is a program spearheaded by the Maricopa Community College District that is designed to provide support to military personnel, veterans and their families as they move from active duty to civilian life. I attended a meeting on March 15 where the board discussed the kickoff of a pilot program at Luke Air Force Base that will help those transitioning out of the air force find employment. We also discussed an outreach program for both active duty military and veterans. The program would involve a self-assessment that would help to identify the person’s current needs and their goals so the program can support their next steps. Lastly, we talked about the opening date for the new Veterans Resource Center – which will occupy the former Visitor’s Center at Luke Air Force Base. The center would provide various social services for veterans, with employment assistance being a major component. The center will open in the near future, but the exact date has not yet been determined.
Mark Your Calendar
Public Meetings on Proposed Sign Code Changes, Mar. 22 & 29
The city is in the process of updating its Sign Code and wants your input! The proposed code aims to balance business needs with aesthetics, while meeting the requirements of law.
There are two public meetings remaining where you can learn more and give your feedback on the proposed changes:
6-7 p.m. Surprise City Hall – Community Room, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza
6-7 p.m. Surprise Regional Library, 16089 N. Bullard Avenue
The code changes will also be presented to the Surprise City Council at their Regular Meeting on March 7 at 6 p.m. in the Surprise City Hall – City Council Chambers.
To learn more, view the proposed sign code text or submit online comments, please visit: www.surpriseaz.gov/signcode.
Surprise Arts Commission hosts Public Art Bus Tour, March 22
Spend a morning discovering various art exhibits and experiences in the city of Surprise! On March 22, the Surprise Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission and Benevilla are joining together to offer a free public art bus tour.
Tour participants will visit art locations such as WHAM Art Gallery, Arts HQ and City Hall; they will also view public art pieces, including the Joe Tyler Learning Tree!
The tour will begin at 9 a.m. at Benevilla, located at 16752 N. Greasewood St. in Surprise, and will end at the same location at noon. Space is limited, so please reserve your spot by Wednesday, March 15, 2017. Reservations can be made by calling Benevilla at 623.584.4999.
At the conclusion of the bus tour, there will be an option to enjoy lunch at Birt’s Bistro on Benevilla’s campus. The lunch package is $15 per person, which includes a meal, soft drink, tip and tax. Please note if you would like the optional lunch when you reserve your spot for the bus tour. Payment is due at the time of reservation.
Community Pride Day, April 8
Looking for an opportunity to better your community? The city invites all residents to participate in our Community Pride Day Cleanup Event. This event will have volunteers helping with landscaping projects and trash removal.
Volunteers are asked to meet at the city park located on 183rd Avenue, south of Enoch Drive (24303 N. 183rd Avenue) at 8 a.m. on Saturday, April 8 to receive cleanup assignments. Volunteers will meet back at the park for lunch at 11:30 a.m. and the event will conclude at noon.
If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Jason Hughes at 623.222.3239.
Did You Know?
Seeking Applications for Voluntary Commissions
The City of Surprise is currently accepting applications for the following commissions:
Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission – 1 vacancy
Municipal Property Corporation Board – 1 vacancy
All board/commission positions are voluntary.
Applications for the above mentioned commissions are immediately available for pick-up from the City Clerk’s Office from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday at 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza.
Applications are also available online at www.surpriseaz.gov.
Please submit applications to the City Clerk’s Office in person or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applications are always available for all boards and commissions and will be kept on file for future vacancies.
For more information, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at 623.222.1200.
Surprise Youth Council Accepting Applications; Deadline is March 20
The city of Surprise is recruiting new members for the Surprise Youth Council (SYC) – a group of groundbreaking teens who are making a difference in their community!
SYC members serve the community by collaborating with local leaders, including the Mayor and City Council, to give youth a voice in city issues and to help solve youth issues through awareness campaigns, service projects, and community-building events.
Students who are currently in grades 6-11 may apply, as long as they are attending a middle school or high school within the Surprise city limits, attending a Dysart Unified School District high school, or reside within Surprise city limits.
Applications are being accepted now – Mar. 20. The application consists of a video submission, no longer than 1 minute and 15 seconds, and should include the following information:
- Your name, grade and school you attend
- Why you want to be on the SYC
- If you could bring one thing to this city or change one thing, what would it be? What can you and a group like SYC do about it?
- Of these three words: fearless, creative, hardworking – which one best describes you and why? Briefly tell us about a time you were fearless, creative or hardworking.
The videos should be sent to Youth Services Administrator Mike Cassidy by uploading your application video from your Google Drive and sharing it with email@example.com.
Applicants must also have a parent or guardian complete and return a Parent Acknowledgement Form.
2017 Surprise Retail Survey is open! Help bring in new shopping & dining; vote for local favorites
Do you have a favorite restaurant that you would like to see open in Surprise? What about a unique shopping experience that you want added to your hometown? Tell us in our 2017 Surprise Retail Survey!
We want to know how we can make our city a one-stop shopping and dining destination, and we’ll be giving away $20 Visa gift cards to five randomly-selected survey-takers just for offering their thoughts!
The survey will help the city to identify retail strengths within the community, as well as opportunities to bring additional amenities closer to home. Every response helps the Surprise Economic Development Department better reach the retailers you want the most.
In the 2015 Surprise Retail Survey, we asked what restaurants and retailers you wanted us to target, and two of your top ten picks have already opened in Surprise – Oregano’s Pizza Bistro and Texas Roadhouse! We are still actively engaging with others on the list, and hope to see more of your favorites open up shop in Surprise.
It’s important to us that we attract businesses you want, because the money you spend here, stays here. In fact, local sales tax makes up nearly 40 percent of our city’s General Fund revenues which support public safety, clean parks and street maintenance.
The survey runs through April 9 and is available online at www.surpriseaz.gov/retailsurvey.