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February 22, 2018 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

HURF and Utility Fund Overview Summary

This presentation marked the second in a series of presentations regarding the development of the FY2019 Budget. This presentation focused on the operations of the Water, Wastewater, Stormwater, and Solid Waste Enterprise Utilities as well as the Highway User Revenue Fund (HURF). It reviewed the purpose of each fund, FY2018 Budget vs Actuals through December 2017 and discussed key issues for each fund as well as an upcoming rate study planned during FY2019.

City of Surprise Transit Feasibility Study & Implementation Plan

Late last year, City staff requested the approval of City Council to proceed with a request for proposal for a Transit Feasibility Study and Implementation Plan to help ensure that the City sustains its high quality of life as we continue to grow. The City has since hired HDR to develop the study and plan which will supplement and, in other cases, supersede studies which have been conducted as part of the broader Northwest Valley and Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) regional studies.

As part of the Transit Feasibility Study, the City is seeking public input to determine what forms of public transportation will be most successful in Surprise. The Transit Feasibility Study will look at demographics, socioeconomic characteristics of the city, and how people travel in the Surprise area. The goal is to understand how transit can best serve Surprise residents and visitors, including what type of service will be needed and where transit will be most successful.

Public participation is needed to determine current traveling habits and top travel destinations such as schools, medical facilities, shopping and other activity areas that could be served with public transportation. Residents are encouraged to visit surpriseaz.gov/transitstudy to complete the online survey when it is published in March and to learn more about the Transit Feasibility Study, upcoming public meeting dates and more.

The study is anticipated to conclude later this year and provide recommendations and options that can be used to develop transit strategies that support short and long-term transportation needs.

Arts & Culture Master Plan Draft

In February 2017, the Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission and the Community Development Department hired a consultant to begin developing an Arts and Culture Master Plan. This team has conducted stakeholder meetings, participated in public outreach events, and conducted multiple surveys that evaluated the current conditions and identified the needs of the City. This development team has drafted strategies intended to bolster the community’s sense of place by expanding public art and promoting more cultural experiences.

The draft reflects ideas and opinions captured through public meetings, surveys and written comments. While the draft is plain text, the final copy will include graphics, samples, and visual aids. Both the master plan draft and an online comment form are available at www.surpriseaz.gov/artsmasterplan.

We are also hosting several public meetings where the draft will be presented and there will be an opportunity for discussion and Q&A:

  • Monday, Feb. 26 – 1 p.m. at Sierra Montana Rec Center, 14861 N Spring Ln
  • Tuesday, Feb. 27 – 6 p.m. at the Northwest Regional Library, 16089 N Bullard Ave
  • Wednesday, Feb. 28 – 1 p.m. at Marley Park Heritage Club, 15210 W Sweetwater Ave

Following these meetings, comments and suggestions will be compiled and presented to the Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission at a special meeting, which is also open to the public. That meeting will be held:

  • Thursday, Mar. 1 – 4:30 p.m. at Surprise City Hall – Community Room 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza

To learn more about the Surprise Arts & Culture Master Plan, please visit www.surpriseartsplan.com. For questions or more information, please contact Joshua Mike at 623.222.3134 or joshua.mike@surpriseaz.gov.


City Council Meeting

General Obligation Bond Project Update and Budget Amendment

The presentation discussed the timeline and bond process of the projects approved by voters in the November 7, 2017 Special Election, which includes six public safety projects, three traffic congestion mitigation projects, and pavement preservation. The Council took action to approve amending the budget by reallocating $5,058,800 from contingency in the grant fund to seven of the Special Bond Election projects in order to begin design in FY2018.

Honoring the Late CRS Director Mark Coronado

City Council unanimously agreed to recognize the late Community and Recreation Services (CRS) Director Mark A. Coronado’s service to Surprise in the following ways:

  • Rename 8-Acres Park “Mark Coronado Park” and include a memorial plaque at the park’s entry gate. (approximate cost $1,100)
  • Place honorary street signs along Bullard Avenue (Bell to Greenway Roads) to read “Mark Coronado Way.” The road will remain Bullard Avenue for all other purposes. (8 signs at an approximate cost of $300 total)
  • Brand the Mark Coronado Legacy Seat at Surprise Stadium *Change the color of the seat that Coronado purchased every Spring Training Season and add a logo identifying it as such (approximate cost is $1,000)

The recommendations were presented by the Honoring An Exceptional Leader Task Force. The group was created by the Surprise City Council, on an ad-hoc basis, to identify ways to recognize great women and men who invested a precious part of themselves to the benefit of the city. The Task Force was comprised of Planning and Zoning Commission Chair Ken Chapman; Community and Recreation Advisory Commission Chair Wayne Turner; Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission Chair Susan DeJong; Assistant City Manager Michael Frazier; City Attorney Robert Wingo and Public Works Director Mike Gent. The group is dismissed with this City Council action.

Mr. Coronado, who passed away in June 2017, led CRS beginning in 2000. Under Mark’s leadership the department grew to manage all recreational programming, city parks, aquatics, library services, community/sports tourism special events, recreational facility development, Spring Training operations and national/international tennis events. During his tenure with the city, Mark also held the roles of Interim City Manager, Acting Economic Development Director, Acting Public Works Director and Acting Communications Director.

Mark will be inducted into the Surprise Stadium Hall of Fame at a March 17 Spring Training game, and the other naming recognitions will be announced at that time.

FY2018 Financial Status Report Through November 2017

Staff reported that revenue is higher than expected through November 2017 in the General Fund. Local sales tax is trending upwards due to increased activity in many categories. Growth is trending upwards thus increasing the amount of revenue collected for development related growth (permitting, planning, inspections). There has also been a change in timing for intergovernmental revenue that has increased what we have received from the Arizona Department of Revenue when compared to budget. Uses through November for the General Fund are less than expected by $900,000.

Bullard Avenue Construction Update

City Council approved construction funding to restore Bullard Avenue to two vehicle lanes in each direction (Greenway-Peoria), with additional features for bicycle and pedestrian safety. The project funding was presented to City Council by staff on Tuesday evening.

In additional to the travel lanes, traffic signals will be installed at the Acoma and Sweetwater intersections, to complement existing crosswalks. Bike lanes and cycle tracks (separated bike lanes), along with a raised median (Greenway-Waddell), and landscaping are included in the project. Bullard Avenue will maintain the 35 mile-per-hour speed limit.

Based on the final design, the construction cost estimate is approximately $3.3 million; the city’s contribution is approximately $343,000 with the remaining funds being provided by federal awards. The project will be sent to bid with an anticipated start date of summer 2018. You can learn more about the Bullard Avenue Improvement project at surpriseaz.gov/bullard.


Events & Meetings

Ottawa University – O’Dell Center for Athletes Groundbreaking

Ottawa University Arizona broke ground on the O’Dell Center for Athletics on Friday, February 16 at the University’s newest residential campus, made possible by a $6 million donation from alumni Jim and Jeanne O’Dell. The 35,000-square-foot, three-story O’Dell Center for Athletics will be designed to house locker rooms, training facilities, coaches’ offices and student support services. The center will be immediately adjacent to the new Spirit multi-sport athletic field, near the Surprise Civic Center and Recreation Campus, and will include a new press box and entertainment area. Officials expect construction on the O’Dell Center for Athletics to be finished in the fall 2018.

The Ottawa University Arizona ground breaking on the O’Dell Center for Athletics

OUAZ is fielding 21 varsity men’s and women’s athletic teams. Since opening the campus in fall 2017, women’s soccer, men’s and women’s golf and also track and field have all qualified for the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) Nationals. OUAZ has had 11 NCCAA Player of the Week honors and three All-Americans. OUAZ has also been accepted into the Sooner Athletic Conference for Football, which will begin in the fall of 2018.

Poetry Slam @ WHAM Art Association

WHAM Art Association and the Surprise Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission partnered for another Poetry Slam on Friday, February 16. This event features open mic night for poetry, free verse, and storytelling. All are welcome to participate as performers and/or listeners. Any established or original pieces may be read. This event is free and open to the public.

Councilmember Skip Hall speaking to attendents at the Poetry Slam @ WHAM Art Association

There are two more Poetry Slams planned for this spring – March 16 and May 18 – from 6 pm until 8 pm at WHAM, 16560 N. Dysart.

Surprise Literacy Challenge

The 2017 – 2018 Surprise Literacy Challenge ran from October 1, 2017 – December 15 and included 14 participating schools from Dysart Unified School District as well as local charter schools. Over 3,200 students in 4th, 5th and 6th grades participated. The students earned a total of 1,119 Book Buck vouchers from Friends of the Surprise Libraries (FOTSL) for completing 5-in-a-row Bingos. They then redeemed these vouchers for previously loved books at the FOTSL area inside the local library.

There were 142 students across the challenge that completed the entire card which gave them entry into a drawing to receive new books, Kindles or sets of Spring Training tickets. Through the challenge, many students got their first-ever library card and also met with and talked to librarians. Among the favorite challenges, students reported that they enjoyed sharing recommendations with friends and also creating their own superheroes based on the protagonists from books they read during the challenge.

Councilmember Skip Hall congratulating Mrs. Mohaupt’s 5th grade class from Cimarron Springs Elementary School.

Congratulations to Mrs. Mohaupt’s 5th grade class from Cimarron Springs Elementary School.


Mark Your Calendar

Free Cleanup Event

Now is the perfect time to prune your landscape, clean out your garage and take advantage of the Spring Cleanup Event on Saturday, March 10. The event allows Surprise residents to drop off up to 2,000 pounds of residential waste free-of-charge at the Northwest Regional Landfill, 19401 W. Deer Valley Road, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Items that will be accepted include lawn waste and other typical household refuse. Participants will be required to show proof of Surprise residency, via a driver’s license and electric bill showing the same home address.

NOTE: Hazardous waste items will not be accepted during this event. Items such as paint, batteries, tires and pool chemicals will be collected at the city’s Household Hazardous Waste event, April 14 from 8 a.m. to noon, at the Public Works Maintenance Yard, 13433 W. Firefox Drive.

For more information about either event, please call the City of Surprise Customer Service Line at 623.222.1900, or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/sanitation.

Did You Know?

Spring Training Games Begin Saturday

Surprise Stadium opens for the official start of spring training with the season opener this Saturday, February 24, when the Kansas City Royals take on the 2017 NLC Champions – the Los Angeles Dodgers! Games are scheduled through March 25.

Grab a lawn seat for as low as $8 or purchase a ticket package! Packages include Full Season, Home Team Half Season, Home Team 7-packs and Flex 7-packs. All packages include priority seating and VIP Parking. Full Season and Half Season packages also include a VIP Season Ticket Holder Reception.

Ready To Order? Here’s how:

Online: surprisespringtraining.com or
tickets.com. Service charges may apply

By Phone: 888.755.2583. Serviced by
Tickets.com. Service charges may apply

Box Office: Surprise Recreation Campus Box Office, 15960 N. Bullard Avenue

For the latest information on Spring Training tickets and scheduling, please visit surprisespringtraining.com or call 623.222.2222.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

February 15, 2018 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Friends of the Library Bookmark Contest

Friends of Surprise Libraries held an event to judge their bookmark contest entries. Members of the Surprise Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission and Government & Community Partnerships Director Paul Bernardo joined me as we reviewed 300 entries from 6th, 7th and 8th grade public, charter and homeschool students from all over Surprise. The entry forms were separated into age groups, the judges selected their top four and then the judges chose a first place and an honorable mention.

Members of the Surprise Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission, Government & Community Partnerships Director Paul Bernardo and Councilmember Hall participated as the 2018 Bookmark Contest Judges

WHAM Art Association will have all entries as part of an art show in March. The winners will be announced and receive their awards at a City Council meeting in April.

Meeting with Surprise Youth Council

As part of quarterly meetings with City Council, I met with several Surprise Youth Council Members on Thursday, February 8. We were able to share information on projects we are working on, the committees they are part of, and their dreams and ideas for Surprise. We discussed partnering opportunities and overall events in the city. I am excited to see their dreams become reality!

Calibre Academy Student Tour

Councilman Patrick Duffy and I joined students at Calibre Academy on a tour of City Hall that concluded in the City Council Chamber where the students participated in a Q&A session with us. This impressive group of students just completed a lesson in government and intently listened to the information we provided them on local government.


Mark Your Calendar

City Offices Closed for Presidents’ Day

City of Surprise administration offices will be closed this Monday, February 19 for Presidents’ Day. Due to the holiday, City of Surprise trash and recycling customers only are reminded that collection will be postponed to one day for the week of February 19 through February 23. Monday collection will occur on Tuesday, Tuesday collection will occur on Wednesday, etc.

Please note that not all residents have the City services and as such, you may not experience a change in pick-up services. Please check with your respective service providers. If you have any questions, please call 623.222.1900.

City Council Meets Next Week

Surprise City Council will meet next Tuesday, February 20. Work Session is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. followed by the Regular City Council meeting at 6 p.m.

Surprise Cleanup Event

It is the perfect time to prune your landscape, clean out your garage and take advantage of the Spring Cleanup Event on Saturday, March 10. The event allows Surprise residents to drop off up to 2,000 pounds of residential waste free-of-charge at the Northwest Regional Landfill, 19401 W. Deer Valley Road, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Items that will be accepted include lawn waste and other typical household refuse. Participants will be required to show proof of Surprise residency, via a driver’s license and electric bill showing the same home address.

NOTE: Hazardous waste items will not be accepted during this event. Items such as paint, batteries, tires and pool chemicals will be collected at the city’s Household Hazardous Waste event, April 14 from 8 a.m. to noon, at the Public Works Maintenance Yard, 13433 W. Firefox Drive.

For more information about either event, please call the City of Surprise Customer Service Line at 623.222.1900, or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/sanitation.

Surprise Youth Council Hosts Level 4

The Surprise Youth Council is hosting their second Level 4 teen event on February 24, 7-10 p.m. on level 4 of the City Hall parking garage, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. High school age students will enjoy awesome music, art, dancing and fun in an adult-supervised and safe environment!

Admission is free; attendees must show photo ID to be admitted. Food will be available for purchase. For more information, visit surpriseaz.gov/level4 or email mike.cassidy@surpriseaz.gov.

2018 SYC Level 4 Event

2018 Surprise City Academy

Want to learn about the structure of city government, get updated on local issues and get to know your city leaders? Register for the 2018 Surprise City Academy! The eight-session academy offers the opportunity to learn about the city directly from the mayor, councilmembers, city manager and upper-level city staff. Plus, you will hear from city partners like Ottawa University and West-MEC.

The Surprise City Academy begins on March 5 and meets weekly through April 16. Most classes will meet from 6-8:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Surprise Public Safety Building, 14250 W. Statler Plaza.

It’s free to participate, but space is limited. Registration is required by Feb. 26! For an application and/or information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/cityacademy or contact Ruby Sitea at 623.222.3242 or ruby.sitea@surpriseaz.gov.


Did You Know?

Passport Acceptance Fees to Increase

The US Department of State informed the City earlier this month that the Office of Management and Budget has approved an increase in Passport Acceptance Fees effective April 2, 2017. The fees will increase from $25 per person to $35 per person. The City Clerk’s Office at Surprise City Hall offers passport services Monday –  Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Learn more at www.surpriseaz.gov/passport.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

February 8, 2018 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Recommendations to Honor the City’s Late CRS Director Mark Coronado

Last fall, City Council requested that a special task force convene to discuss opportunities to honor the late Mark A. Coronado. Mark passed away this past June, having led our Community and Recreation Services Department since 2000. Under Mark’s leadership the department grew to manage all recreational programming, city parks, aquatics, library services, community/sports tourism special events, recreational facility development, Spring Training operations and national/international tennis events.

The task force hosted three public meetings and heard several suggestions made by the public and fellow task force members. At their last meeting held on January 9, the task force members narrowed the list to three recommendations for City Council’s consideration. Their recommendation included the following:

  • Rename 8-Acres Park “Mark Coronado Park” and include a memorial plaque at the park’s entry gate (approximate cost $1,100)
  • Place honorary street signs along Bullard Avenue (Bell to Greenway Roads) to read “Mark Coronado Way.” The official street name would remain Bullard Avenue, and have no impact on physical addresses (8 signs at an approximate cost of $300 total)
  • Brand the Mark Coronado Legacy Seat at Surprise Stadium by changing the color of the seat that Mr. Coronado purchased every Spring Training Season and add a logo identifying it as such (approximate cost is $1,000).

City Council may vote on one or a combination of all the suggestions at a future meeting.

Surprise-Canada Cross-Border Healthcare Update

As part of Tuesday’s Surprise City Council Work Session discussion on the Surprise-Canada Cross Border Healthcare Initiative, highlights of a new feasibility study were presented, and The Right Honorable John N. Turner, 17th Prime Minister of Canada, spoke to Council. The Report on the Feasibility of Cross-Border Healthcare for Canadians in Surprise, Arizona is a result of research, discussions and an online survey of Canadian citizens, which received 657 responses.

Findings included:

  • Arizona remains a popular travel destination for Canadians across Canada, and estimates indicate the healthcare market potential will increase
  • The existing Arizona healthcare market for Canadians seeking care in the State represents 17,500 patients and $42 million (USD) annually without any proactive medical travel marketing
  • Surprise provides an optimally hospitable environment to support this pilot project as a willing host, offering: a significant concentration of Canadian part-time residents and visitors; outstanding proximity to regional healthcare centers of excellence; a dedicated Canada-focused economic development strategy; solid growth projections; stability of climate and market accessibility; and a community emphasis on wellness, health, education and caring
  • The current cohort of mostly Western Canadian, extended-stay visitors to Arizona who responded to the City of Surprise survey are already receiving healthcare outside of Canada, and making it easier to access Canadian healthcare in Arizona and receive reimbursement from their respective Provinces would be of interest to them by a factor of 97% approval.

You can find the full feasibility study and background on the healthcare initiative at www.surpriseaz.gov/crossborderhealthcare.

Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Presentation

The City of Surprise FY19 budget-building process has officially begun. Finance staff provided a first in a series of presentations. This first presentation was a general overview of the City’s budget, which included revenue sources, city funds and expenditures, as well as a review of the calendar for the upcoming fiscal year 2019 budget development. Emphasis was placed on the areas of policy making that the City Council has available to impact the FY2019 budget and known pressures, which include PSPRS (Public Safety retirement) and cost increases that will influence the outcome of the budget process.

Current Property Tax Distribution 2018

Future City Council Work Sessions and Regular Meetings will include additional presentations related to budget development including topics on Capital Improvement Projects and continued operating budget discussions. The Recommended Budget is schedule for release in April, followed by months of Council and public review that will result in the adoption of a balanced FY19 budget in June. FY19 will begin July 1, 2018.


City Council Meeting

District 2 Council Vacancy

City Council voted 4-2 to appoint Nancy Hayden to serve as the councilmember for District 2 (D2) on Tuesday evening. The seat was vacated following the death of Councilmember Jim Hayden this past December. Ms. Hayden immediately took the Oath of Office and joined the council for the remainder of the meeting. In all, six applicants were interviewed by the council in a January 23rd Special Meeting. You can watch the applicant interviews here.

Nancy Hayden has lived in Sun City Grand for 15 years and is the wife of the late Councilmember Jim Hayden. She cited wanting to develop a strong relationship between the city and residents and be part of the community’s development among her reasons for wanting to serve. You can read the complete candidate applications here, listed in order in which they were received by the City Clerk.

Councilmember Hayden’s appointment term will end December 31, 2018. The candidate that wins the August 28 Primary Election will then serve out the remaining two years of the four-year term, beginning January 1, 2019. D2 includes the following neighborhoods: Sun City Grand, Bell West Ranch, Park Rowe and a significant portion of Arizona Traditions. For more information about the August election visit www.surpriseaz.gov/2018election.

Appointment of New Members to Boards & Commissions

Residents Krista Watson and Connie Bowers were unanimously appointed to fill vacancies on the Disability Advisory Commission and Audit Committee, respectively. Thank you to the both of them for utilizing their talent and knowledge to serve our city!

Austin Ranch East Preliminary PLAT

Austin Ranch continues to grow with the approval of a 707-lot Preliminary Plat located on the southwest corner of Pinnacle Peak Road and 175th Avenue in the northern part of the city, west of Grand Avenue. The Preliminary Plat, referred to as “Austin Ranch East” will consist of seven parcels containing 707 residential lots ranging in width from 48 feet to 58 feet with a central 3.98 acre active recreation park served by numerous trails throughout the community.

Map of Austin Ranch East Preliminary PLAT

Sign Code Ordinance

At a public hearing held on January 18th, the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of a draft sign code to the City Council. The City Council heard the matter at a separate public hearing held during our last City Council meeting. After much discussion, Council asked staff to bring the matter back to the Council for further consideration and discussion at our City Council meeting on March 6. I expressed my concern for a proposal to completely ban A-frame signs, as there are businesses that truly need A-frame signage to attract customers, due to the lack of visibility at their locations. If you have any questions regarding the proposed sign code, don’t hesitate to call Planner Robert Kuhfuss at 623-222-3137.


Events & Meetings

West Valley Arts Council Opening Reception

The West Valley Arts Council hosted an opening reception, Vision & Sound: An African American Experience on Thursday, February 1. The exhibit will be on display until March 16. The exhibit is free and open to the public. Hours are Tuesday through Thursday from 10 am until 5 pm and Friday from 10 am until 2 pm.

This particular exhibit celebrates Black History Month with eclectic artists from New York, Maryland and Arizona. The West Valley Arts HQ is located at 16126 N. Civic Center Plaza

Surprise Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Meeting

The Surprise Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission meeting was held on Monday, February 5. Items of discussion included the first review of the Arts Master Plan.


Mark Your Calendar

Sunday in the Park Food Truck Festival

The City of Surprise, in coordination with State 48 Brewery and Food Truck Friday West, presents Sunday in the Park Food Truck Festival on February 11 with live music performed by The Steven P Project. I hope you can join us from Noon – 4 p.m. at 8-Acres Park, 15960 N. Bullard Avenue.

Event admission is free; food and drink will be available for purchase. You can choose from a variety of delicious food trucks, as well as an assortment of craft beers and wines provided by State 48 Brewery.

This is a great opportunity to enjoy live entertainment and unique food trucks that the whole family will love! Don’t forget a blanket or a lawn chair. Dogs must be on leashes. For more information, please contact the City of Surprise Community & Recreation Services Office at 623.222.2000 or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents.


Did You Know?

Surprise Resource Center Expands Services

The Surprise Resource Center has partnered with local agencies to provide Arizona residents with more social service options in the Northwest Valley! The Resource Center, in partnership with St. Mary’s Food Bank – The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), now distributes emergency food boxes to help eligible low-income individuals and households supplement their nutritional needs. Food boxes are available weekly, Mondays and Thursdays, between 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. at the Surprise Resource Center, 12425 W. Bell Rd, Bldg. A, Suite #124.

Appointments are not required; however, recipients must show valid identification and meet self-declared income status eligibility requirements. Eligible recipients are permitted one food box per individual, or household, per month.

Medicare and Medicaid support counseling provided by a certified SHIP (State Health Insurance Assistance Program) counselor is also now available with many thanks to a partnership with the Area Agency on Aging. A certified SHIP counselor will be at the Center each week, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., to answer Medicare and Medicaid questions. Appointments are required and can be made by calling 623.866.4214.

Do you need to connect with additional social services? Programs currently available at the Resource Center include Veteran Employment Assistance, the Community Action Program (CAP), WIC services, Arizona@Work employment assistance, and much more. The Surprise Resource Center hours of operation are Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Friday, 8 a.m. to noon; the Center is closed on city-observed holidays.

You can receive the latest information about the Surprise Resource Center, and other support programs, directly in your inbox by subscribing to the Human Service and Community Vitality Notify Me email list.

City Council Agendas

Council agendas are posted online at http://agenda.surpriseaz.gov at least two business days prior to the scheduled meeting. City Council meets the first and third Tuesdays of each month. Work Session are at 4 p.m. and Regular Meetings begin at 6 p.m. Additionally, all meetings are carried live on Surprise TV for cable customers and streamed online at www.surpriseaz.gov/surpriseTV.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

City begins FY19 budget discussions

The City of Surprise Fiscal Year 2019 budget-building process kicked off at the City Council’s Work Session, 4 p.m., Tuesday, February 6.

This was the first in a series of presentations regarding the overall development of the budget. The first presentation provided a general overview of the city’s budget, including revenue sources, city funds and expenditures.

The presentation also highlighted outside issues that influence the outcomes of the budget process. View presentation.

Future Council Work Sessions and Regular Meetings will include additional presentations related to budget development, including topics on Capital Improvement Projects and continued operating budget discussions. The Recommended Budget is scheduled for release in April, followed by months of Council and public review that will result in the adoption of a balanced FY2019 budget in June. FY2019 begins July 1, 2018.

Council agendas are posted online at http://agenda.surpriseaz.gov at least two business days before the meeting. City Council meets the first and third Tuesdays of each month. Work Sessions are at 4 p.m. and Regular Meetings begin at 6 p.m. All meetings are carried live on Surprise TV for cable customers and streamed online at www.surpriseaz.gov/surpriseTV.

February 1, 2018 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

The Promenade at Grand Ribbon Cutting

The Promenade at Grand Apartments in Surprise celebrated their grand re-opening yesterday. They are located at 17927 N. Parkview Place. Surprise Fire-Medical, Surprise Police, Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce, Ottawa University cheerleaders and residents gathered together to celebrate and enjoy the brand new exterior and interior renovations. Congratulations to the Promenade on their successful re-opening!

Surprise Fire-Medical, Police Department, Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce, Ottowa University Chearleaders and Councilmember Hall at the Promenade at Grand ribbon cutting

Read On Greater Surprise Committee Meeting

Read on Greater Surprise is an organization focused on improving awareness of literacy issues for children in Kindergarten through third grade. As a member of the strategic committee, I attended a meeting on January 26 where we discussed several important topics. The group evaluated a sampling of mid-year DIBELS test results, which assesses early childhood literacy. We also talked about the success of the new expanded Saturday hours at Hollyhock Library (11 a.m. – 5 p.m.). The Raising a Reader program on Tuesday mornings is going exceptionally well; and, with the help of a grant from the City, Friends of the Surprise Libraries will be able to fund another Raising a Reader program. Last month, the group discussed the topic of organizing a vendor fair to bring awareness to what types of pre-school programs are available. Those discussions continue, and we are working on the details of how to move that idea forward. I look forward to the next meeting!

The Colonnade Groundbreaking

The Colonnade hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for their new assisted living/memory support facility on Friday, January 26. The Colonnade is located at 19116 Colonnade Way. The assisted living facility will have 26 apartments (24 one-bedroom and 2 two-bedroom), while the memory support facility will have 24 studio apartments. The buildings will be connected by a common entry and a shared kitchen. The building should be complete in December 2018.

The Colonnade hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for their new assisted living/memory support facility

Tour of Christopher Todd Communities New Surprise Location

Christopher Todd Communities on Greenway, located at the southwest corner of Greenway and Litchfield roads, officially opened earlier last month. On Sunday, January 28, I toured this gated, professionally-managed, pet-friendly, single-family home rental community, which provides an alternative to traditional apartment living in the Northwest Valley. There are one- and two-bedroom rental homes featuring private backyards and smart living technology. Rent starts at $1,050 per month.

Regional Opioid Action Committee Meeting

The Regional Opioid Action Committee met at the city of Goodyear on Wednesday, January 31. This particular meeting focused on opioid prevention and education. Dr. Kenneth Baca, Superintendent of Tempe Union High School District, discussed the steps taken to implement a student-athlete opioid protocol pilot program on behalf of AIA for their district. He also discussed the importance of prevention and education at all ages.

In response to Governor Ducey’s call to action regarding this epidemic after his press conference last week requesting a special session, legislators met and successfully, and unanimously, passed expansive, bipartisan crisis reform.


Mark Your Calendar

Sunday in the Park Food Truck Festival

The City of Surprise, in coordination with State 48 Brewery and Food Truck Friday West, presents Sunday in the Park Food Truck Festival on February 11 with live music performed by The Steven P Project. I hope you can join us from Noon – 4 p.m. at 8-Acres Park, 15960 N. Bullard Avenue.

Event admission is free; food and drink will be available for purchase. You can choose from a variety of delicious food trucks, as well as an assortment of craft beers and wines provided by State 48 Brewery.

This is a great opportunity to enjoy live entertainment and unique food trucks that the whole family will love! Don’t forget a blanket or a lawn chair. Dogs must be on leashes. For more information, please contact the City of Surprise Community & Recreation Services Office at 623.222.2000 or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents.

Inaugural Surprise Spring Training 5k

The City of Surprise will host its inaugural Surprise Spring Training 5K on Friday, March 2 to help celebrate the 2018 Spring Training season. The course will begin at 7 p.m. at Surprise Stadium, spring training development home of the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals; the course will then advance through the City of Surprise and end in walk-off fashion as participants head for “home” (back to the stadium).

Registered participants will receive an exclusive Surprise Spring Training racing shirt, pre- and post-race runner’s brunch, a unique finisher medal and a “buy one, get one” ticket for select sections of the March 3 game in which the Royals face the White Sox. Participants are encouraged to dress in support of their favorite Cactus League team, with the best-dressed team of participants winning a complimentary suite to the Royals vs. White Sox on game on March 3.

Register early to take advantage of the $30 early registration rate. Early registration ends on March 1, after which registration will be $40. For more information and to register, please visit SurpriseSpringTraining.com/events or call 623.222.2000.

The City of Surprise will host its inaugural Surprise Spring Training 5K on Friday, March 2


Did You Know?

Summer Employment Opportunity

Looking for a great summer job or know someone who is? The city is looking for responsible individuals, age 16 years or older, with positive attitudes to be lifeguards and swim instructors; and training classes are coming up!

The city is offering three courses for Lifeguard Training. The first course will be February 3, 10, 17, & 24 (Saturdays only) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The second course will be offered March 3, 10, 17, & 24 (Saturdays only) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The third course will be offered on March 19 – 22 (Monday thru Thursday) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The class fee is $100 for Surprise Residents and $120 for Non-Residents.

The Swim Lesson Instructor Course will be offered March 26 – April 5 (Monday thru Thursday for two weeks) from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. The course fee is $120 for Surprise Residents and $140 for Non-Residents. Registration is currently underway online at www.surpriseaz.gov/recreation and in-person at the Community and Recreation Services Office, located at 15960 N Bullard Avenue.

After successful completion of the Lifeguard Training and Swim Lesson Instructor courses, you will be certified through the Starfish Aquatics Institute. All classes will be held at the Surprise Aquatic Center, located at 15831 N. Bullard Ave.

Please note course completion does not guarantee employment with the City of Surprise. For more information, please contact Daniel Luvisi at 623.222.2251 or daniel.luvisi@surpriseaz.gov.


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

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January 25, 2018 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Valley Metro RPTA Meeting

The Valley Metro RPTA Board met on Thursday, January 18. Part of the discussion was the approval of CEO Scott Smith’s goals.

Second Sundays in the Park

The City of Surprise, in partnership with State 48 Brewery, is pleased to present the Second Sunday in Park series at 8 Acre Park. There were approximately 6,500 attendees and 23 food trucks at the January event! Here are the dates, times and musicians slated for the next events:

February 11 Noon until 4 pm The Steve P Project
March 11 4 pm until 8 pm The Spirited Lads
April 8 4 pm until 8 pm Notes from Neptune

Sunday in the Park Food Truck Festival

Special Legislative Session Called To Pass AZ Opioid Epidemic Act

Governor Doug Ducey held a press conference on Monday, January 22 to call for a special session with bipartisan support to pass the Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act. Over the last few years, and with thanks to our Governor, Arizona has taken a number of steps aimed at preventing and treating opioid addiction. Last year, the state experienced the highest number of deaths in more than a decade. Through legislative action, executive order, and directly working with citizens of our state, meaningful progress in implementing policies to combat this epidemic have been made. If you or someone you know is addicted to opioids, please visit the city’s website www.surpriseaz.gov/opioid help to connect with agencies that can help fight the addiction before it’s too late.

Special Legislative Meeting - Opiod Epidemic Act

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Monthly Meeting

The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted their monthly breakfast meeting on Tuesday, January 22 at WestMEC’s Northwest Campus. Incoming Chamber Board President Scott Philips and Chamber CEO Raoul Sada discussed the three C’s of the Chamber. The Chamber exists to be the Catalyst for business growth, the Convener for leaders and influencers and the Champion for stronger communities. Surprise residents and Chamber members Steve Doolittle (outgoing Board Member) and Ray Grim (outgoing Public Policy Chair) were recognized for their contributions. After the treasurer’s report, members worked in groups for a table engagement activity. My group, led by Phil Lovas, discussed how the Chamber can ensure they are advocating for the needs of the business community.

Special City Council Meeting

City Council met on Tuesday, January 22 to interview six candidates for appointment to the vacancy of the District 2 seat following the death of Councilman Jim Hayden. Those interviewed included Nancy Hayden, Alyson Cline, Robert Estep, Susan deJong, Wendell V. Fountain and Glenn L. Stark. You can watch the applicant interviews here.

The public input period for the applicants seeking the Council appointment is open now through Tuesday, January 30 at 5 p.m. Public comments can be received by email (clerk@surpriseaz.gov), hand-delivered written responses to the City Clerk or by mail (Attn: City Clerk, Surprise City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, Surprise AZ 85374). The City Council is scheduled to vote on the appointment at their Regular Meeting at 6 p.m., Tuesday, February 6, at City Hall.

To view the candidates applications visit www.surpriseaz.gov/cityclerk.


Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Youth Council Hosts Level 4 Event

This is one garage-top party Surprise teens will not want to miss! The Surprise Youth Council is hosting their second Level 4 teen event on February 24, 7-10 p.m. on level 4 of the city hall parking garage, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza.

High school age students will enjoy awesome music, art, dancing and fun in an adult-supervised and safe environment! Admission is free; attendees must show photo ID to be admitted. Food will be available for purchase. For more information, visit surpriseaz.gov/level4 or email mike.cassidy@surpriseaz.gov.


Did You Know?

City of Surprise Seeking Volunteers for Commission Vacancies

The City of Surprise is currently accepting applications for the following commissions. All Board/Commission positions are voluntary.

  • Municipal Property Corporation – 1 vacancy
  • Tourism Commission (Hotel Representative) – 1 vacancy

Applications for the above mentioned commissions are available for pick-up immediately. Applications are available at the City Clerk’s Office from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Applications are also available online @ www.surpriseaz.gov/boards. Please submit applications to the City Clerk’s Office in person or by e-mail to: clerk@surpriseaz.gov. Applications are always available for all boards and commissions and will be kept on file for future vacancies.

National Citizen Survey Coming Soon

What do you love about living in Surprise? What services do you value most? What can the city do better to improve the quality of life in our hometown? You can share your thoughts in the 2018 National Citizens Survey (NCS)! What you tell us in this survey helps to identify priority projects for Surprise and indicates where limited city funding should go in order to provide the services you most desire.

This mailed survey, conducted by the National Research Center of Boulder, Colorado, examines residents’ responses on topics ranging from traffic flow to public safety to senior and youth services. The scientific survey sample equals 1,500 surveys that will be mailed to homes throughout the city. All survey results are anonymous. The city does not know which addresses have been selected by the third-party surveyor and only receives the aggregate results.

Beginning January 29, postcards will arrive at the selected addresses advising that the survey is on the way. The survey itself, along with a postage-paid return envelope, will arrive February 5. To be sure that selected residents receive their survey, a second survey will be mailed as a follow-up on February 12. Residents who complete and mail the first survey can simply recycle the second one. Selected households will also receive instructions for how to complete the survey online.

The last NCS the city conducted was in 2015, and 90% of residents indicated they would recommend Surprise as a place to live, a rating that is “much above” surveyed cities of our size. Residents told us Safety, Mobility and the Economy were most important to them. Respondents said we need to work on improving transportation/transit options, local job choices, education and resident volunteer opportunities.

Since the 2015 survey, the city, in partnership with the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), completed the Bell-Grand Intersection Improvements; Greenway Road was widened; residents passed a General Obligation Bond to fund projects in Public Safety, Transportation and Pavement Preservation; and our Human Service and Community Vitality Department continues to grow volunteer opportunities, most recently hosting nearly 400 volunteers during the city’s 2nd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Celebration of Service.

On the education front, Ottawa University opened a campus at City Center; West-MEC’s new northwest valley campus opened last summer and Highland Prep began classes last fall.

Additionally, more than 3,000 new jobs were created in Surprise since our last survey was conducted.

If your household receives a survey, please take the time to complete it and mail it back. By participating, you are helping to make Surprise an even better community! Results are expected by early summer and will be shared online at www.surpriseaz.gov.


Contact Me

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

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January 18, 2018 • Newsletter

Decide GO Bond Update

The city has released the anticipated procurement schedule for some of the bond projects approved by voters last November. As you recall, the voters of Surprise approved General Obligation bond funding for 10 projects in the areas of Public Safety, Traffic Congestion Mitigation and Pavement Preservation last November.

The advertisement for Design-Build Professional Services for the Public Works Operations Facility will open February 15, 2018.

The advertisement for Design Professional Services for the three Traffic Congestion Mitigation projects opens February 22, 2018. This includes improvements to sections of Waddell, Greenway and Litchfield roads.

The advertisement for Design Professional Services for Fire Station 304 and Fire Station 308 begins February 15, 2018.

The complete schedule, project timeline details and additional information is available at www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise. To view the formal bid posting, visit Anticipated Procurement Schedule for Bond Projects.


City Council Work Session

Proposed Amendment Regarding Signs

City Council heard a presentation regarding the city’s draft sign code on Tuesday evening. City staff has been working to bring forward a new sign code that will balance business needs and community aesthetics, in a manner that is consistent with the 1st Amendment and recent changes to the law. While this was only a discussion item, the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission will hear the issue at a public hearing to be held here at City Hall on Thursday, January 18, 2018 at 6:00 PM. The City Council is also scheduled to hear the matter at a public hearing on Tuesday, February 6, 2018 at 6:00 PM, at City Hall. If you have any questions regarding the proposed sign code, please don’t hesitate to call Planner Robert Kuhfuss at 623-222-3137.


City Council Meeting

Amendment of Municipal Code – Wireless Facilities

Due to recent legislative action from State and Federal lawmakers, revisions to Section 122-112, Wireless Facilities, of the Surprise Municipal Code are necessary to ensure compatibility when constructing Wireless Facilities in the city. House Bill 2365 was adopted in 2017 which now allows wireless providers to install and operate wireless facilities in city rights-of-way. HB 2365 also provided an application process for said facilities (most applicants are exempt from zoning review) and requires the establishment of terms and conditions for the wireless providers. The bill allows cities to require reasonable appearance and concealment requirements. Timing, submittal requirements, design standards and the review process have been modified and unanimously approved by City Council.

Vice Mayor Selection – 2018

City Council selected District 4 Councilmember Ken Remley to serve as Vice Mayor. Per city code, City Council must select a new Vice Mayor to serve on an annual basis no later than January 30 each year. The Vice Mayor acts on behalf of the Mayor in the event of absence. Congratulations, Ken!

FY2018 Financial Status Report

Finance Director Lindsey Duncan provided an update of the financial activity through the month of October 2017. General fund resources, year to date, are higher than budgeted at $5.3 million. The largest portion of the increase is from local sales tax as well as the charges for services due to the increase in activities by developers. Expenses were approximately $900,000 less than budgeted.

City Council Supports Legislation Regarding Street Light Districts

Arizona Revised Statutes (48-616, and others) authorize cities to form special taxing districts known as Streetlight Improvement Districts (SLIDs) for the presently limited purpose of purchasing electricity for street lights in a specified area. The City of Surprise currently requires these districts for streetlights on all roadways except parkways, major arterials, and minor arterials, and administers over 100 SLIDs at present. With a growing city, the number of SLIDs continues to expand causing a greater need for administration of the districts and coordination with the energy provider. In addition, each district has a different taxing rate resulting in a wide variety of taxes for property owners.

The creation of these districts throughout the development of the city has led to over 100 taxable districts citywide. The variability in the number of properties and lights in each district can lead to very different tax bills for each property owner. In addition, the administration of these districts and coordination with the energy provider is both time and work intensive.

The city is seeking a solution to optimize the use and to streamline the efficiency of administration of the districts in terms of assessment of costs and maintenance of the facilities. The goal is to create greater consistency for tax payers and to reduce the burden of administration. As a result, city staff has engaged outside Counsel along with two other cities and the League of Arizona Cities and Towns to draft a bill allowing cities to expand and consolidate street lighting districts and add powers to acquire, construct, and maintain street lighting facilities.

Amendments to the City Council Policies and Procedures Manual

The current City Council Policies and Procedures Manual expressly requires that “this manual will be reviewed by the City Council to consider recommendations and update it as necessary in August of odd-numbered years.” This item was brought forth for discussion and action in November but tabled for further review prior to action. Consequently, the City Attorney’s Office reviewed the policy and identified changes based on issues that have arisen implementing the current policy.

Specifically, the suggestions that have been drafted clarify that Council Members do not “check their constitutional rights at the door” by being an elected official and this policy does not supersede any constitutional rights that members enjoy. The purposed amendments also include an obligation, corollary to the obligation to report a violation, to refrain from making false, frivolous, or otherwise harassing allegations of violation. The suggested amendments passed with a 4-2 vote.

Amendments to Surprise Municipal Code

At a Council meeting on November 7, 2017, City Council voted to postpone the consideration of specific proposed amendments to Surprise Municipal Code, Chapter 2, Article II, Section 2-22. The suggested amendments included:

(1) Clarify what a public comment is in the context of the Clerk accepting public comments for posting on the City’s website during a council vacancy;

(2) Apply a “resign to run” obligation to boards and commissions members in order to ensure parity in Arizona State Law as it applies to City Council and Boards and Commissions (i.e., Board Members or Commissioners would need to resign their seats to run for City Council);

(3) Distinguish between excused and unexcused absences in the context of boards and commissions attendance and allow the Boards and Commissions Nomination Committee to resolve attendance issues;

(4) Streamline the Nomination Committee’s process for submitting names of applicants when a new vacancy opens within ninety days of a qualified applicant completing the application process through interview.

(5) Provide the Nomination Committee with the authority to resolve allegations of nonfeasance and malfeasance of boards and commission members, short of removal.

After much discussion, City Council voted 3-3. The motion to approve the amendments failed with the tie vote.


Events & Meetings

Tourism Advisory Commission Meeting

The Tourism Advisory Commission met on Thursday, January 11. Discussion included identifying tourism priorities for existing facilities and the approval of international cooperative marketing opportunities available through the Arizona Office of Tourism Coop and Brand USA. This collaboration is the nation’s first public-private partnership to promote travel to the US. The collaboration has marketing initiatives in 40 markets reaching more than 90% of inbound travel to the US. In addition to these items, staff stated the city’s website has been updated to include the new Sports & Tourism department.

Arizona Charter Academy Spelling Bee

On Friday, January 12, I was asked to judge the spelling bee competition at Arizona Charter Academy. Congratulations to the following winners:

Overall winners:

1st Place: Alexis Kohatsu
2nd Place: Confidence Nkol
3rd Place: Sister Nkol

Grade Level Winners:

1st grade: Alan Castillo
2nd grade: Amani Glover
3rd grade: Emmanuel Etukudoh
4th grade: Divine Etukudoh
5th grade: Christopher Buenaventura
6th grade: Johanna Delgado
7th grade: Alexis Kohatsu
8th grade: Confidence Nkol


Mark Your Calendar

Sunday in the Park

The City of Surprise and State 48 Brewery are partnering to add food trucks and craft beer once again for the Sundays in the Park concert series. Event admission is free. Food and drinks are available for purchase. There will be 15 delicious food trucks as well as an assortment of craft beers provided by State 48 Brewery and live music. This is a great event for the entire family. There will be free face painting and bounce house along with several other fun activities for children.

The event is this Sunday, January 21 at 8 Acre Park, 15850 N. Bullard Avenue from 12 noon until 4 pm.

City Schedules Meetings to Discuss Future Development in OTS

As a follow-up to the implementation of the Heritage Overlay District in the city’s Original Town Site (OTS), the city is hosting public engagement meetings in January and February to discuss new development opportunities in the area. Most meetings will be held in the Roy Villanueva Recreation Center, 15660 N. Hollyhock Street, at 6 p.m. on the following dates:

Monday, January 22 (CRS Advisory Board Meeting, City Hall- Community Room, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza); Wednesday, February 7; Wednesday, February 28

City staff and development partners will present information about future housing, recreation and retail amenities that are being considered for the OTS, in the general area bounded by Santa Fe Drive, Rimrock, Hollyhock and Nash streets. For more information, please call 623.222.3134.

Surprise POPS Band Concert

Expect big sounds from the Surprise Pops Band as they present a “Salute to the Big Bands” concert on Sunday, January 28, 3 p.m., Valley Vista High School Performing Arts Center, 15550 N. Parkview Place. Doors open at 2:15 p.m. The performance will feature the music of Count Basie, George Gershwin and other Big Band favorites.

The performance is open to the public and is free with the donation of a non-perishable food item. All Pops Band’s donations help support the Valley View Community Food Bank. For more information, visit www.surprisepopsband.com.


Did You Know?

2018 City Academy

Want to learn about the structure of city government, get updated on local issues and get to know your city leaders? Register for the 2018 Surprise City Academy! The eight-session academy offers the opportunity to learn about the city directly from the mayor, councilmembers, city manager and upper-level city staff. Plus, you will hear from city partners like Ottawa University and West-MEC.

The Surprise City Academy begins on March 5 and meets weekly through April 16. Most classes will meet from 6-8:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Surprise Public Safety Building, 14250 W. Statler Plaza.

It’s free to participate, but space is limited. Registration is required by February 26! For an application or information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/cityacademy or you can contact Ruby Sitea at 623.222.3242 or ruby.sitea@surpriseaz.gov.

Contact Me

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

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January 11, 2018 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Friends of the Library Meeting

Vice Mayor Todd Tande and I met with the President of Friends of the Library, Alyson Cline, on Tuesday, January 9. The focus of our meeting was literacy rates for kindergarten through eighth grade as well as Dysart Unified School District’s Continuous Improvement Plans (CIP). Leadership teams from each school provide information regarding achievements, gap analysis, goals and action plans to ensure continuous improvement at the school. These items form their CIP. For more information on the CIPs, please visit https://www.dysart.org/sites/default.aspx?pgid=555.

WESTMARC’s West Valley State of the State Address

City Council and staff attended WESTMARC’s State of the State address at the Renaissance Hotel in Glendale on Wednesday, January 10. Governor Doug Ducey discussed his 2018 agenda which includes continuing to battle the opioid crisis, increasing funding for education and adopting new policies for the child welfare system and former prisoners. He plans to call a special session to focus on the opioid crisis in early 2018. While he did not identify the funding sources for his agenda, he is scheduled to unveil his budget on Friday. He stated he is fully committed to accelerating and restoring education funding prior to the recession. Furthermore, his tax plan this year would allow veterans to keep more of their retirement pay which has not happened since the state created a tax exemption for military pensioners nearly three decades ago.

Honoring an Exceptional Leader Task Force Meeting

The Honoring an Exceptional Leader Task Force met on Tuesday, January 9 to review previously discussed options, with identified approximate costs, for ways the city could honor the late Community and Recreation Services (CRS) Director Mark A. Coronado. The Task Force members narrowed the list to three recommendations for future City Council consideration.

  • Rename 8-Acres Park “Mark Coronado Park” and include a memorial plaque at the park’s entry gate (approximate cost $1,100)
  • Place honorary street signs along Bullard Avenue (Bell to Greenway Roads) to read “Mark Coronado Way.” *The official street name would remain Bullard Avenue, and have no impact on physical addresses (8 signs at an approximate cost of $300 total)
  • Brand the Mark Coronado Legacy Seat at Surprise Stadium *Change the color of the seat that Coronado purchased every Spring Training Season and add a logo identifying it as such (approximate cost is $1,000)

The Task Force will present its recommendations to the City Council at the City February 6th Council Workshop, 4 p.m., at City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. City Council will either recommend that the action item be brought forward at the February 20th City Council Meeting, or ask that the Special Task Force perform additional work.


Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Fine Arts & Wine Festival This Weekend

The City of Surprise, in partnership with Thunderbird Artists, will be hosting the 6th annual Surprise Fine Art & Wine Festival this weekend. The event will take place January 12-14, 2018 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. each day at the Surprise Recreation Campus – 8 Acres Park, located at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue. Admission is $3.

The festival will feature spectacular artists, such as ceramic extraordinaire, Colleen Everett, whose work can be found in many corporate and private collections including the White House! Patrons can purchase an engraved souvenir wine glass and six tasting tickets for $10, giving them an opportunity to sample an extensive collection of domestic and imported wines, as well as flavored rums. The festival will also include live music and a variety of tasty food options.

For more information regarding the festival, contact Thunderbird Artists at 480.837.5637 or visit www.thunderbirdartists.com.

Surprise Police Host Shred-A-Thon and Prescription Drug Take-Back Event on Saturday

If you have documents to shred or unused prescription and over-the-counter medication to dispose of, please come out to the Shred-A-Thon and Prescription Drug Take-Back Event hosted by Surprise Police. The event is Saturday, January 13, 2018, 7 -10 a.m. at the Surprise Public Safety Building, located at 14250 West Statler Plaza.

You may bring up to three banker’s boxes or 13-gallon trash bags of documents per vehicle to be shredded. Please note that shredding will end at 10 a.m. OR when the shred trucks are filled up. Additionally, unused prescription and over-the-counter medications can be dropped off for destruction. We are unable to accept sharps (to include insulin syringes/needles) or inhalers of any kind.

Thanks to our event sponsors, Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and Iron Mountain Incorporated, there is no cost for the shredding of documents or destruction of medications. For more information, please call 623.222.4422.

2nd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration and Day of Service

The city will host our 2nd Annual MLK Celebration and Day of Service this Saturday, January 13, 2018 starting at 8:30 a.m. in the City Hall courtyard, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. The day will begin with a free breakfast for the first 500 attendees, and it will consist of a celebratory program that will include choir and drum performances. Once the program concludes, volunteers will be dispatched to sites throughout Surprise and neighboring areas to complete service projects as a way to continue to honor the legacy of Dr. King.

For more information or to sign-up to volunteer, please contact Ervin Curtwright at 623.222.3241 or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/MLK.

City Council Resumes Meetings

City Council will meet on Tuesday, January 16 for our regularly scheduled City Council Work Session at 5 p.m. and City Council meeting at 6 p.m. in City Council Chambers at City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza.


Did You Know?

City offices Closed in honor of MLK Day – Trash/Recycling Schedule Change

City of Surprise administrative offices will be closed Monday, January 15 in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Due to the holiday, City of Surprise trash and recycling customers ONLY are reminded that collection will be postponed by one day the week of January 15-19. Monday collection will occur on Tuesday; Tuesday collection will occur on Wednesday; Wednesday collection will occur on Thursday; Thursday collection will occur on Friday.

Please note that not all City of Surprise residents are City of Surprise trash and recycling customers, and as such, may not experience a change in pickup service. Please check with your service provider.

Please call 623.222.1900 if you have any questions.


Contact Me

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

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December 21, 2017 • Newsletter

Passing of Councilman Jim Hayden

It is with deep sadness, the city announced the passing of Councilman Jim Hayden on Wednesday, December 20. Councilman Hayden was a dedicated public servant most of his life. He was a Vietnam War veteran and served 20 years in the US Air Force where he trained pilots with critical skills needed to survive wartime conditions. He also served on the Glendale Fire Department for 22 years as a firefighter and EMT in addition to serving as Adjunct Faculty at Glendale Community College teaching Fire Science and Emergency Medical Technicians.

Please keep his wife Nancy and his family, friends and colleagues in your prayers. Thank you!

GO Bond Update

With the voter approval of the General Obligation bond this past November, I want to provide you with regular updates on the status of your investment. It is my plan to provide you with these updates on a regular basis, but our website www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise will also be updated throughout the projects for public transparency. In addition, throughout the five-year timeline for completion of all projects, staff will provide public status updates before City Council as needed and/or upon Council request.

Staff has finalized a design, bid and construction schedule that has changed some of the project start/completion dates that were originally listed during our public outreach ahead of the election. The project timelines and bond sale have been revised to better align with potential development as well as to advance the construction of critical roadways. Staggered timelines have work beginning in Winter 2018 and the final project completed in Summer 2022. The timelines are as follows:

  • PW Operations Facility: Winter 2018 – Winter 2020
  • Waddell Rd: Winter 2018 – Summer 2020
  • Litchfield Rd: Winter 2018 – Summer 2020
  • Public Safety Evidence & Readiness Center: Winter 2018 – Spring 2021
  • Greenway Rd: Winter 2018 – Winter 2021
  • Land for Future Fire Station/PD Substation/Park Summer 2018 – Winter 2019
  • Pavement Preservation: Summer 2018 – Summer 2020
  • FS 304: Winter 2018 – Fall 2020
  • Police Training Facility: Summer 2020 – Summer 2022
  • FS 308: Winter 2020 – Spring 2022

The revised dates will appear in the Winter 2018 Progress Magazine. The magazine is scheduled for mailing before December 30, 2017.

City Council Work Session

FY2018 Transit Services Update

Staff provided Council with an update on all transit services including the results of the survey that was conducted in October and November for the paratransit and RideChoice services. Valley Metro and the Northwest cities had originally proposed changes back in September of this year to the 571 to begin in April of 2018. Valley Metro conducted a survey and public hearing related to the proposed changes in October and November. As a result of the overwhelming negative response by the riders to the proposed changes, Valley Metro has scrapped the proposed changes.

In order to bolster support for the RideChoice operations in the Valley, MJM has completed the hiring of a staff position to be located in Phoenix at the Valley Metro mobility center. This position will enhance coordination efforts between Valley Metro, MJM and the cab companies on the RideChoice contract in an effort to improve on-time service and overall service to the City of Surprise.

The results of the survey, related to paratransit and RideChoice, were no surprise as on-time performance and ease of booking lead the way for the two areas that needed most improvement on the contractor’s side. Rob Antoniak, Valley Metro’s chief operating officer, was in attendance at the meeting and provided input and feedback to Council on the issues, and promised marked improvement over the next several months. Some of those improvements have begun to take shape over the last month. There was a change in routing and dispatch software to a system that is more compatible with the way Valley Metro and Transdev does business. They have segregated the Senior Center trips from the general paratransit calls, resulting in fewer issues with residents booking regional trips.

Lastly, it is important for our residents to please call, email or visit the Valley Metro customer site website and register any complaints for any service with Valley Metro. The contact information is listed below. This will allow Valley Metro to hone in on areas where service is lagging or an overall issue. To view the December work session, visit https://surpriseaz.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=31&clip_id=4844.

Valley Metro Customer Service contact information:
By Phone 602-253-5000
By Phone TTY 602-251-2039
Register On-line www.valleymetro.org
Email csr@valleymetro.org


City Council Meeting

Parcel Donation

City Council unanimously approved a donation of real property from J and J Holdings, LLC on Tuesday evening. The city was offered this parcel of land for the use of open space and a trail system. The land is located along the Agua Fria River, and the donation of the land will facilitate future trail open space and potentially recreational opportunities within this corridor.

Rio Ranch PAD

The Rio Rancho Rezone with Planned Unit Development (PUD) Overlay in District 1 focuses on the 190-acre residential portion of the 230-acre overall Rio Rancho Development. The amendment proposes to lower the overall density from 4.92 du/A to 3.55 du/A, lower the lot count from 906 units to 669 units, and provide for more traditional product types. In addition to improvements typical for residential development, Rio Rancho will provide public access to a potential regional trail proposed by the City of Surprise Parks and Recreation Master Plan.

The Rio Rancho Rezone with Planned Unit Development (PUD) Overlay in District 1

Approval of Preliminary Plat

City Council unanimously approved a preliminary plat for a 44-lot single family residential subdivision on approximately 10 acres located at the southeast corner of 175th Avenue and Sweetwater.


Events & Meetings

Lunchtime Theatre

The Surprise Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission and the West Valley Arts Council, in partnership with Theater Works, the West Valley Symphony and the Phoenix Opera, hosted “A Christmas Carol” on Thursday, December 14 at the West Valley Arts HQ. I had the privilege of playing Ebenezer Scrooge in this Charles Dickins well-known holiday classic as the other actors were being utilized for other events.

Councilmember Hall playing Ebenezer Scrooge in this Charles Dickins well-known holiday classic play

The next event, Unforgettable, will be held on January 18. For more information, please contact the West Valley Arts Council at 623.935.6384.

Honoring An Exceptional Leader Task Force Update

At the Honoring an Exceptional Leader Task Force meeting, held on Thursday, December 14, the group reviewed all public recommendations they received identifying ways the city could honor the late Community and Recreation Services (CRS) Director Mark A. Coronado. The Task Force was created by the Surprise City Council, on an ad-hoc basis, to identify ways to recognize great women and men who invested a precious part of themselves to the benefit of the city.

They narrowed the list to four options for future City Council consideration and requested a cost analysis for the following:

  • Rename 8-Acres Park “Mark Coronado Park” and include a memorial plaque at the park’s entry gate
  • Name a Surprise Stadium suite in his honor
  • Place an honorary street sign along Bullard Avenue (Bell to Greenway Roads) to read “Mark Coronado Way.” *The official street name would remain Bullard Avenue, and have no impact on physical addresses
  • Or a combination of any of the above options

Their third meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, January 9, 6 p.m., in the City Hall- Community Room, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. The public is encouraged to attend.

Within 30 days of the second meeting (Dec 14), Special Task Force will hold a third public meeting (Jan 9) to weigh all the information presented by city staff, and select the best two/three options. The Special Task Force will use all avenues available, market the meeting in a way that encourages Surprise residents to attend and submit ideas and discuss pros and cons of each idea.

11th Annual Adaptive Holiday Tree Decorating Event

The 11th Annual Adaptive Holiday Tree Decorating event was held at DreamCatcher Park on Friday, December 15. Approximately 675 guests from the Dysart School District, One Step Beyond, Blue Mountain Development, Higher Hopes and Second Chance Group Homes attended this year and enjoyed performances by the choirs from Paradise Education Center and Shadow Ridge High School, refreshments, interactive games, “snow,” dancing and visits from special guests Big Red from the Arizona Cardinals and Santa Claus!

Kids playing in snow at the 11th Annual Adaptive Holiday Tree Decorating event

Senior Services Annual Member Holiday Party

I attended the Senior Services Annual Member Holiday Party on Friday December 15 at the Promenade at Sun Health. Festivities included a formal dinner, dancing and live entertainment for 110 Senior Center members.

People dancing at the Senior Services Annual Member Holiday Party

Pickleball Court Ribbon Cutting

A ribbon cutting event for eight new pickleball courts was attended by a large passionate group of pickleball players on Saturday, December 16 at 10 a.m. at the Surprise Community Park. Pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports in the country, and Surprise is thrilled to now have a total of 16 courts. The ribbon was cut by Vice Mayor Todd Tande, Councilmembers Roland Winters, Patrick Duffy, and Ken Remley, Community and Recreation Advisory Commission Chair Wayne Turner and the Surprise Pickleball Association President Jeff Stone and myself. The Surprise Pickleball Association is a great partner of the city. Their recent $34,000 donation to the city will allow the city to purchase and install two shade structures and four sets of bleachers. These items will be installed in January.

Pickleball ribbon cutting by Vice Mayor Todd Tande, Councilmembers Skip Hall, Roland Winters, Patrick Duffy, and Ken Remley, Community and Recreation Advisory Commission Chair Wayne Turner and the Surprise Pickleball Association President Jeff Stone

Deck the Hock Event

Councilman Ken Remley and I joined members of the Senior Center, Residents of the OTS, Little Explorers Preschool and especially Thompson Ranch art students created themed ornaments to decorate eight trees at the Senior Center. Community members also created about 100 luminaria bags for display out front of the facility.

Legacy Traditional School and WestPoint Elementary provided choir performances.


Mark Your Calendar

City Offices Holiday Closures

City of Surprise administrative offices will be closed on Monday, December 25 for Christmas Day and Monday, January 1 for New Year’s Day.

City of Surprise trash and recycling customers ONLY are reminded that collection will be postponed by one day both the week of Christmas and New Year’s. There will be no collection on December 25 or January 1. Monday collection will occur on Tuesday; Tuesday collection will occur on Wednesday; Wednesday collection will occur on Thursday; Thursday collection will occur on Friday.

Please note that not all Surprise residents have City of Surprise trash and recycling; therefore, you may not experience a change in pickup service. If this is your situation, please contact your service provider. If you have any questions, please contact 623.222.1900.


Did You Know?

Christmas Tree Drop-Off Sites

The city offers four Christmas tree drop-off locations for residents’ convenience. The lots are open beginning December 26, 2017 through January 13, 2018 at the following locations:

  • Gaines Park – 15837 N. Nash Street (north end of parking lot)
  • Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce – 15795 N. Parkview Place (across from Valley Vista HS)
  • Dick McComb Softball Park – 17894 Westpark Boulevard (parking lot at corner of 180th Avenue & Westpark)
  • Asante Community Park – 16763 W. Vereda Solana Drive (parking lot at the north end of the park)

Please remember to remove all decorations and place the trees in the designated areas only. There is a limit of two trees per household. Additionally and as a reminder, not all holiday wrappings and decorations are accepted in the city’s curbside recycling program.

Acceptable Holiday Items for Curb-side Recycling

  • Non-metallic wrapping paper/paper cardboard rolls
  • Greeting cards without shiny embellishments
  • Shopping catalogs
  • Gift boxes/shipping boxes

Non-Acceptable Items for Curbside Recycling

  • Tape and tape dispensers
  • Christmas Trees
  • Christmas tree ornaments, lights, tinsel, fake snow
  • Popcorn peanuts from boxes

For more information, please call 623.222.1900.

Happy Holidays

I wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year. My sincerest gratitude for another year of your support.

Please note that I will not have a newsletter until the week of January 7. Thank you!


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

December 14, 2017 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Raising Cane’s Grand Opening

The much anticipated ribbon cutting and grand opening of Raising Cane’s, 14385 W. Bell Road, was held on Friday, December 8. Several Councilmembers joined me to welcome the highly requested restaurant to Surprise. In attendance for the grand opening was the Willow Canyon band and hundreds of anxious residents. Welcome to Surprise, Raising Cane’s!

Surprise Fire-Medical Annual Awards

The Surprise Fire-Medical Department held its 12th Annual Awards Ceremony on December 8, 2017 in the City Council Chambers. The Awards Ceremony recognized members and their achievements within the Department for the past year. The award recipients are chosen through a nomination and voting process by the Department members, except for the Fire Chief’s Award. The Fire Chief reserves the right to select a member for the annual Fire Chief’s award. Typically, the award is given to one recipient. This year, Fire Chief Tom Abbott chose two recipients, Emergency Medical Services Battalion Chief Jesus Rivera and Personnel and Community Affairs Battalion Chief Julie Moore.

Engineer Ryan Ellis received the Firefighter of the Year award. Members of the Department choose Ellis for multiple reasons, including his exemplary performance and professionalism on medical and fire calls; his management of the SFMD Communications Program; and his commitment to overseeing the SFMD Wildland Team. Ellis is known for his exceptional patient care, including the care of pediatric patients, and excellent customer service. He has served the Department for over 17 years.

The Perry award was created after a young Surprise Firefighter passed away from cancer in 2002. The award is presented to a fire suppression member that best epitomizes the SFMD values, which include respectfulness, positive behavior, responsibility, honesty, and pride. Firefighter Mike Meadors was recognized as the recipient of this year’s Perry Award.

Engine Company 301 and Ladder Company 305 were awarded the Company of the Year award for working a First Alarm fire in a large two- story apartment building. This award is normally given to one company, but the crew members from Engine 301 and Ladder 305 were recognized due to their coordinated incident plan of an interior fire attack and roof ventilation. The crews were able to stay ahead of the attic fire, stop the fire from extending into the unit’s living areas, and extinguish the fire.

Firefighter Louis D’Angelo was awarded Paramedic of the Year for his participation as the Co-Chair for the Emergency Medical Services Committee.

The ceremony also acknowledged promotions, Firefighters, Paramedics, and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) hired within the past eighteen (18) months. SFMD has hired eighteen (18) Firefighters, an Administrative Technician, five (5) Paramedics, four (4) EMTs, and promoted one (1) Captain and seven (7) Engineers. A special badge pinning event took place for the Paramedics and EMTs hired for the SFMD ambulance service. Congratulations to all!

Assistant Chief Brenden Espie, Fire Chief Tom Abbott, Engineer Ryan Ellis & Assistant Chief Darryl Johnston
Pictured left to right: Assistant Chief Brenden Espie, Fire Chief Tom Abbott, Engineer Ryan Ellis & Assistant Chief Darryl Johnston

Quarterly STEM Council Meeting

Canyon Ridge STEM Council meeting was held on Monday, December 11. Principal Jill Hoppe led our meeting which included all the fantastic STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) related events happening at Canyon Ridge Elementary School. Mark your calendars as Canyon Ridge STEM night will be held at the school on March 1 from 6 – 8 p.m. to showcase the program which includes teaching code to their 1st graders. It is quite an impressive curriculum preparing students for the workforce of tomorrow!

Meet the Elected Officials Night

The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted their annual Meet the Elected Officials Night on Wednesday, December 13 at Marley Park Heritage Club. This event provides an opportunity for the Chamber to develop or strengthen relationships with local officials, and state and federal legislators.


Mark Your Calendar

Council Meeting Next Week

City Council will be meeting for our regular meetings on Tuesday, December 19. Work Session will begin at 4 p.m. followed by the regular City Council meeting at 6 p.m.

Help Decorate for our “Deck the Hock” Holiday Event

We are decorating on Hollyhock Street for our first “Deck the Hock” holiday event and we need your help! Themed holiday trees and luminarias will be on display for everyone to enjoy on December 20 from 5-7 p.m. at the Surprise Senior Center, 15832 N Hollyhock Street. The festivities also will include local choir performances, hot cocoa, and treats.

Donations of new or handmade ornaments for one of six themed trees are being accepted now through December 18. Drop off your donations at the Senior Center between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Our tree themes are: patriotic, music, sports, Disney, animals and trains.

Blank luminaria bags can also be picked up at the Senior Center for you and your family to decorate.

For more information, please contact the Surprise Senior Center at 623.222.1500 or email Joe Gladieux at joe.gladieux@surpriseaz.gov.

Toy Drive in Full Swing

The Surprise Police began their annual toy drive late last month and are asking for the public’s assistance in this worthy cause. We are currently accepting either new unwrapped toys or new wrapping paper from those who want to help out the less fortunate children in our community.

Surprise Police and several community partners are working closely together and have recently set-up toy collection boxes at various locations throughout the City of Surprise. Donated toys can be dropped-off through December 18 at the following locations throughout the city:

  • Surprise Police Department,14250 W. Statler Plaza; Suite #103
  • Sun City Grand Palms Center, 19726 N. Remington Drive
  • Cimarron Club, 17100 W. Clearview Drive
  • The “Irish Wolfhound” Restaurant & Pub, 16811 N. Litchfield Road
  • Sun Village Community, 14300 W. Bell Road
  • Sunflower Colonnade, 19116 N. Colonnade Way
  • Vista de la Montana Adult Community, 18510 N. Parkview Place (Between 8 am and 5 pm)
  • Sante of Surprise, 14775 W. Yorkshire Drive
  • Sunflower RV Resort, 16501 N. El Mirage Road
  • Grandview Terrace, 14515 W. Granite Valley Drive, Sun City West, AZ

We greatly appreciate your support and ask that you please help by donating either an unwrapped new toy or some new wrapping paper for those children in our community who may go without this holiday season. Thank you for your generosity!

Spring Bookmark Contest

The Surprise Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission is partnering with non-profit Friends of the Surprise Libraries for their annual Spring Bookmark Contest which encourages local 6th – 8th graders to express their artistic talent by creating a reading and literacy-themed bookmark. Winners in each grade level will receive a plaque with their bookmark and a monetary award. In addition, their bookmarks will be professionally printed and distributed at the Maricopa County Northwest Regional Library in Surprise. This year, an art show of all the entries will be held at the WHAM (What’s Happening Art Movement) headquarters during the month of March 2018.

Bookmark Contest Timeline:

  • Contest begins December 11, 2017
  • Entries are due no later than January 31, 2018
  • Judging will occur February 7, 2018

Bookmark Contest Awards:

  • 1st place awards and $100 cash prize for each grade level
  • Honorable mention prize of $25 for each grade level

Bookmark Contest Entry Details:

  • See entry form for all entry requirements – Bookmark Contest Entry Form
  • Artwork size 2.5″ by 11″ only (out-of-size will be disqualified)
  • Students may submit more than one entry, but each entry must have its own completed entry form
  • Deliver or Mail entries to:
    Friends of the Surprise Libraries Inc.
    ATTN: Bookmark Contest
    16089 N. Bullard Ave Surprise AZ 85374

For more information, please contact Friends of the Surprise Libraries at admin@friendsofthesurpriselibraries.org or (623) 826-4939.


Did You Know?

Call of Election

Notice of election that the city of Surprise will hold elections as follows:

  • Primary Election: Tuesday, August 28, 2018
  • General Election: Tuesday, November 6, 2018 (If Applicable)

Offices to be filled – Four (4) Council Seats. Three (3) Council Seats with 4-year terms for Districts 1 (Acacia), 5 (Palm) & 6 (Palo Verde) with terms to expire 2022; and one Council Seat with a 2-year term, to fill the remainder of a term for District 3 (Mesquite District) that resulted in a vacancy from resignation in 2017, with term to expire December 2020.

Candidate Packets with Petitions are Available: Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018

Candidate Packet Filing Deadline: Nomination paper, financial disclosure statements, affidavit of qualifications and petitions are due no later than Wednesday, May 30, 2018 – 5:00 p.m. Candidate packets need to be filed at the City Clerk’s Office – 16000 N. Civic Center Parkway, Surprise, Arizona 85374.

Voter Registration Deadline: Monday, July 30, 2018

For further information or to set up an appointment for a Candidate’s Packet, please call the City Clerk’s Office at 623-222-1220.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question