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October 24, 2014 • Newsletter

City Council Meeting


City Council Work Session
The City’s Director of Water Resource Management, Terry Lowe, provided the Council with several presentations pertaining to water beginning with storm water.  The recent storms have emphasized the importance of our storm water management.  The City continues to take into account public health and safety concerns such as the quantity and quality of the water; hence, we need to continue to control the pollution entering the surface waterways.  The FCS Group was hired to provide us forecast and develop a storm water utility that will be presented to the City Council at a future meeting.

During the Work Session, I was able to provide Council with a State and regional update on water supply.  The Arizona Department of Water Resources recently announced seven possibilities including Non-Indian Agricultural Priority CAP Water; reclaimed water/water re-use; groundwater in storage, water supplies developed from revised watershed management practices; water supplies developed through weather modifications; water supplies developed from rainwater harvesting; and, importation of new water supplies developed outside of Arizona (ocean desalination).

WESTCAPS, in partnership with the US Bureau of Reclamation, is in the process of conducting a basin study for the West Valley.  The West Salt River Basin Study will be completed by the summer of 2016.  This study will include projections of water supply and demand; an analysis of how existing water and power infrastructure and operations will perform taking into account realities such as population growth and climate change; the development of options to improve operations and infrastructure to supply adequate water in the future; and, a trade-off analysis of the option to be identified.

The Water Planning Subcommittee, which I am the Chair, is currently in Phase II of our strategic plan.  Our goal is to recommend policies that will provide the City with the foundation for sustainable water management.  The strategic plan will provide guidance to staff and allow for the proper formation, adoption and execution of water related initiatives.  The Subcommittee will recommend the consideration of policies concerning water conservation, reclaimed water usage, water acquisition, land use water management, funding and infrastructure.

As part of the City’s water conservation efforts, the Council agreed to reduce water waste along Bell Road by removing grass from the medians on Bell Road, west of Grand Avenue, which is approximately six miles.  The grass would be replaced with attractive xeriscaping.  Mr. Lowe believes this effort will save Surprise roughly $80,000 in landscape maintenance and $49,000 in irrigation equipment maintenance.  These savings do not reflect the money the City also pays to the Maricopa Water District for irrigation water.  Formal action has yet to be taken on this issue.

City Council Meeting
Lindsey Duncan, Finance Director, provided the Council with a FY2014 budget status report through the end of last fiscal year.  Sales tax figures (excluding construction) are 7.3% higher than FY 2013 actuals and 2.4% higher than FY2014 budget.  The City collected $1.25 million in construction sales tax which are 19.3% lower than FY2013 actuals and 6.0% higher than FY2014 budget.  The ending balance of our General Fund for FY2014 is $27.4 (unaudited).

Events & Meetings


GPEC Ambassador Event
Councilman Jim Biundo, Councilman Todd Tande and I toured the West-MEC campus in Glendale on Friday, October 17th as part of a GPEC (Greater Phoenix Economic Council) Ambassador event.  West-MEC provides career and technical education services on behalf of several school districts in the West Valley.  During the tour, we learned about the new START@West-MEC program that is designed to bring together students, businesses and the community to spark creative thinking and innovate problem solving.  The campus, in Glendale, provides a collaborative space for people that care about the value of education and mentoring others.  The campus offers a media lab, software development programs and much more.

Surprise Citizen Corp Council
The Surprise Citizen’s Corp Council met on Monday, October 20th to review by-laws for the program. Once initiated, the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) will be born.  This CERT team will consist of a five citizen-member Board which will staff from Police and the Fire-Medical Department will oversee.  The framework for the CERT team is designed to launch a process of learning about citizen preparedness in the event of an emergency or disaster.  The group will help the community all year-round by helping with community emergency plans, neighborhood exercises, preparedness outreach, fire safety education and workplace safety.  Once established, the CERT meetings will be held quarterly.

Unveiling of the e-Miata
Torque Trends, a company located in the AZ TechCelerator, recently replaced a 1.8L gas engine in a 1999 Mazda Miata with a 150Kw-AC induction electric motor that has nearly twice the power.  The transmission was replaced with their ev-Torque Box, an 8-inch diameter 32 pound gearbox.  The vehicle has now become the e-Miata and the owners plan to drive the vehicle to dealers and consumer shows all over the country.  Congratulations!

Meeting with CBRE
Assistant City Manager Rick Buss and I met with Tori Nienaber from CBRE.  CBRE is the real estate company that leases to our two shopping complexes along Bell and Grand Avenue in District 5.  The purpose of this meeting was to provide Ms. Nienaber with an update on the ADOT Bell/Grand Corridor project.  It is our intent to be as transparent and communicative as possible and to help the businesses affected by the project.  These meetings will be ongoing before and during construction.

WESTMARC Water & Energy Meeting
WESTMARC’s Water & Energy Committee met on October 22nd.  This Committee provides opportunities for its members to understand current water and energy resource issues.  We promote the relationship between business and water resources and energy policy.  This particular meeting focused on the 20/20 vision plan.  We also brainstormed subjects and speakers for future meetings.

New Community Development Director
City Manager Bob Wingenroth has announced that Eric Fitzer has been hired as the City’s new Community Development Director.  Mr. Fitzer will begin his career with us on November 3rd.  He comes to Surprise from the Arizona State Governor’s Office of Energy Policy.  Pervious work experience included serving as the Planning and Economic Development Director for the Town of Gila Bend.  Please join me in welcoming Eric to our team!

Vice Mayor Skip Hall with new Community Development Director Eric Fitzer
Vice Mayor Skip Hall with new Community Development Director Eric Fitzer

Mark Your Calendars


The G.A.I.N. event is finally here!  This Saturday, October 25th from 6 to 9 pm at Surprise 8-Acre Park.  We hope to see you there!

G.A.I.N Night

Veteran’s Day Parade at Sun Village
Sun Village will be hosting an “Annual Veteran’s Day Salute with Parade” on November 11th at the Sun Village Community, 14300 W. Bell Road in Surprise. The Parade will begin at 10 am and the presentation of colors will begin promptly at 11:45 am.  The American Kountry Band will play, followed by Up-Tempo Classic Country, along with some 50’s through 80’s music from 12 noon until 3 pm.  Lunch will be available.  We hope to see you there!

Surprise Super Swap Meet
The fall Surprise Super Swap Meet will be held on Saturday, November 15th.  This popular community-wide garage sale, sponsored by the Surprise Community and Recreation Services Department and the Surprise Senior Center Council, will be held in the Surprise Aquatic Center parking lot at 15831 N. Bullard Avenue from 8 am until 1 pm.  Parking and admission is free.  Vendor spaces are now available for rent.  If you are interested in space, please contact 623.222.1500.

Surprise Health and Wellness Fair
The Surprise Health and Wellness Fair will be held on Saturday, November 15th from 9 am until 12 noon.  The Fair will be held at the Banner Health Center at 13995 W. Statler.  There will be several health screenings, demos, clinics and displays.  This event is free to the public.

Contact Me


Domestic Violence AwarenessVice Mayor Skip Hall Domestic Violence Awareness
Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975
Email: skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov

Ask a Question

October 17, 2014 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings


Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce
The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce held their monthly breakfast meeting on Tuesday, October 14.  The key-note speaker was none other than Dan Majerle.  Dan Majerle is a retired professional basketball player who played 14 years in the NBA, primarily with the Phoenix Suns.  He is the current coach of the Grand Canyon University Antelopes and owner of the five successful Majerle’s Sports Grill restaurants located throughout the Valley.

Dan Majerle addressing the Chamber
Dan Majerle addressing the Chamber

The Chamber also recognized new businesses in Surprise.  Those businesses are Barbara Reed Nelson LLC, Affordable Caregivers, Axberg Wealth Management, Re/Max, Primerica, Surprise Dental & Denture and Champ’s Family Automotive.  Welcome to Surprise!

Tourism Advisory Commission Meeting
On Tuesday, October 4, I attended the Tourism Advisory Commission meeting.  Mark Coronado, Community and Recreation Services Director, discussed the success of the 2014 Surprise Fiesta Grande and its overall economic impact surrounding the businesses and restaurants in Surprise.  The Fiesta proved impactful to the City and its residents while bringing a new emphasis on growth and awareness to the Grand Avenue Corridor.

Paul Frie, Youth and Adult Sports Division Manager, reviewed the 2014 Summer Tournaments while providing insight into future tournament bidding opportunities to list the City as host to a wider range of nationally known tournaments.  Members of the Commission emphasized their support towards the continuation of these types of events in addition to Senior Adult softball events.

With Spring Training just around the corner, the Surprise Recreation Campus would like to add a “Spring Sports Festival” celebration to the line-up of spring events.  This post game event would bring nightly entertainment featuring a live concert, beer festival, memorabilia showcase and a family entertainment zone.  Anxious to proceed, the Commission has scheduled a special meeting for Tuesday, October 28 at 9 am to review a brief outline of all events and their estimated costs.

WHAM
I toured the WHAM facility with Connie Whitlock on Wednesday, October 15.  Recently, improvements to the facility have been made including the addition of gallery space.  WHAM is located at 16560 N. Dysart Road.

CRS Public Meeting
The City’s Community and Recreation Services Department held a public meeting regarding the final plans for Veramonte and Surprise Farms Parks.  Mayor Wolcott, Councilman Roland Winters, Councilman Todd Tande and I were in attendance with approximately 60 residents.  Design teams for the parks engaged those present to provide feedback on the proposed designs and programming.  SITE Design Group, Inc. took feedback from the youth in attendance and distributed a questionnaire to skateboarders as part of a skate park workshop.  These items will be discussed at the CRS Advisory Commission regular meeting on Monday, October 27th at 6 pm in the Community Room at City Hall.

Mountain Vista Ranch HOA Meeting
Mountain Vista Ranch HOA held their quarterly meeting on Wednesday, October 15.  Wayne Tuttle, President of Mountain Vista Ranch and Misty Lawson, Community Manager invited me to attend. During this meeting, the HOA approved their FY 2015 budget.  A presentation was also given from their new landscaper, Mike Wagoner of ProQual regarding tree trimming and landscape enhancements.  Eight residents were in attendance and they all expressed positive comments on the new landscaping!  Additionally, they expressed some issues with the City that need to be addressed.  These issues will be forwarded to the appropriate staff for proper handling.

Valley Metro RPTA
I attended the Valley Metro RPTA meeting on Thursday, October 16. Much of our discussion concerned West Valley bus routes and Route 571.  Statistics indicate that bus ridership in the West Valley has increased 13.5% but bus ridership, in general, has decreased .6% while light rail travel increased 1.5%.

Mark Your Calendars!


G.A.I.N. Night 2014
The Surprise Police Department invites you to attend G.A.I.N. (Getting Arizona Involved in Neighborhoods) Night on Saturday, October 25.  The event will take place in the northeast parking lot of 8 Acres Park (15960 N. Bullard Road) from 6 pm until 9 pm. The event will include the Surprise Police Department SWAT Team and K9 units display, the Surprise Fire-Medical Department fire prevention trailer and medical helicopter, food vendors, face painting, free raffles, bicycle safety tips, inflatable children’s rides, and much more!  G.A.I.N. Night is hosted by the Surprise Police Department.

G.A.I.N Night

Call to Artists
The West Valley Arts Council (WVAC) is currently accepting submissions for a juried show at the West Valley Arts Council HQ gallery.  The Surprise Invitational will feature the best visual artists in the area.  Artists may enter any 2D or 3D media and up to 3 items per entry.  The Surprise Invitational will be on display from November 15 through December 18, 2014.  The deadline for submission is October 28, 2014.  For more information, please feel free to contact the WVAC at 623.935.6384.

Surprise Super Swap Meet
The fall Surprise Super Swap Meet will be held on Saturday, November 15.  This popular community-wide garage sale, sponsored by the Surprise Community and Recreation Services Department and the Surprise Senior Center Council, will be held in the Surprise Aquatic Center parking lot at 15831 N. Bullard Avenue from 8 am until 1 pm.  Parking and admission is free. Vendor spaces are now available for rent. If you are interested in space, please contact 623.222.1500.

Surprise Health and Wellness Fair
The Surprise Health and Wellness Fair will be held on Saturday, November 15 from 9 am until 12 noon. The Fair will be held at the Banner Health Center at 13995 W. Statler.  There will be several health screenings, demos, clinics and displays.  This event is free to the public.

Contact Me


Domestic Violence Awareness

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

Ask a Question

October 10, 2014 • Newsletter

City Council Meeting


City Council Work Session
The City Council met for our regularly scheduled Work Session on Tuesday, October 7th.  As part of the Work Session, Assistant Fire Chief Darrell Johnston discussed the amendments to the fireworks regulation the State legislature recently made.  They created three categories of fireworks which consist of display fireworks (fireworks necessitating a permit from the City), consumer fireworks (fireworks citizens can purchase and use, subject to regulation), and unregulated fireworks that can be utilized anywhere, such as sparklers.  Display fireworks continue to be closely regulated by the City.  The Fire Department would like Council to consider similar changes to our current Fireworks Ordinance that would mimic the updated State changes.  The Ordinance would state consumer fireworks cannot be set off on public property (property belonging to any government entity); the use and sales of consumer fireworks are limited to time periods specified in the legislation just passed; consumers must be 16 years of age to purchase and set-off fireworks; and, consumer fireworks cannot be set off without the permission of the property owner.  This Ordinance would require the sellers of fireworks to obtain a permit from the Fire-Medical Department, which would provide recovery of expenses for an emergency response relating to firework injuries.

In addition to the discussion on fireworks, Misty Leslie, City Attorney, reviewed the Council’s requested changes to the Council’s Boards & Commissions policies.  Some of the discussion included the adoption of an annual schedule for each Commission’s regular meetings; prohibiting political activity (members must resign to run for a local election) by tendering a letter of resignation prior to campaigning; and, the elimination of the Teen Advisory Board and the Surprise Youth Leadership Commission to integrate the Youth Civic Leaders Program.

City Council Regular Meeting
Mike Gent, Public Works Director, and Dave Kohlbeck, Business Manager, provided the City Council with an overview of the fiscal year 2014 transit service as well as the planned fiscal year 2015 services.  Surprise Express Route 571 bus service was reviewed.  The City plans to work with Phoenix, El Mirage and Valley Metro to keep the fourth trip we acquired in July 2013.  Surprise will continue to seek a convenient temporary relocation of the Park-and-Ride once the construction of the Bell/Grand Avenue overpass begins.  Future transit services, such as a Surprise circulator and Surprise connection to regional service routes, were also discussed.

The Valley Metro Dial-A-Ride services were reviewed.  Priority has been given to ADA, seniors and others with disabilities.  Currently, services are provided Monday through Saturday from 7 am to 5 pm.  Fares within the City limits for service are $1 and outside the City limits are $1.25.  Based on consumer surveys, Dial-A-Ride is mostly utilized for medical purposes (31%), followed by other uses (27%) and work (20%).  Possible expanded weekday service, extended weeknight service hours and added Saturday service was discussed.

Janeen Gaskins, Grants Administrator, reviewed our current Surprise Community Outreach Program, and she suggested changes to the evaluation criteria based on the recommendations from the Grants & Community Outreach Committee.  The Council has set aside $50,000 to help support local 501(c)3.  The Committee had requested one funding round for FY14-15 and the elimination of in-kind contributions.  Mrs. Gaskins will conduct a pre-application meeting that will help determine eligibility.  Later this month, the Committee will review and rank the recommendations with plans to present their award recommendations to the entire City Council in November 2014.  These changes were passes unanimously.

Events & Meetings


HOA Summit
The City hosted an HOA Summit on Thursday, October 2nd for residents and leadership of HOA communities in Surprise.  The Summit provided an opportunity to ask questions and share concerns and ideas with City Council and City staff representing Police, Public Works, Code Enforcement, Economic Development, Intergovernmental Relations and Neighborhood Services.  There were 44 people in attendance representing 19 HOAs (Happy Trails, Sarah Ann Ranch, Summerfield, Sun City Grand, West Pointe, Sierra Montana, Surprise Farms 1,2 & 3, Sun Village, Rancho Gabriella, Mountain Vista Ranch, Greenway Parc I & II, Northwest Ranch, Sierra Verde, Saguara View, Greer Ranch South and Asante).

Vice Mayor Hall at HOA Summit
Vice Mayor Hall at HOA Summit
Police at HOA Summit

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surprise Fiesta Grande
The inaugural Surprise Fiesta Grande was held on Saturday, October 4th.  To kick-off the festival, a special ceremony was held to name the recreation area (Gaines Park, Surprise Senior Center, Hollyhock Pool, Villanueva Recreation Center and Hollyhock Library) in the Old Town Site after former Mayor, Vice Mayor and long- serving Councilman Roy Villanueva.  I had the honor of serving on the Council with Roy for several years prior to his passing in July 2014.  Roy was instrumental to our City as he initiated many important improvements in the areas of housing rehabilitation, economic development, utilities, police and fire services and federal grants.

Recreation Center Roy Villanueva Ceremony
Recreation Center Roy Villanueva Ceremony
Recreation Center Roy Villanueva Plaque
Recreation Center Roy Villanueva Plaque

Roy Villanueva Photo Dedication Roy Villanueva Recreation Complex Plaque The Fiesta was quite a success!  Mark Coronado, Director of Community and Recreation Services, and his team were able to obtain 33 local business partners, 9 food vendors and 122 entries for the car show.  Mr. Coronado estimates 14,000 to 16,000 people attended the event!

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Meeting
The Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission hosted their monthly meeting at City Hall on Monday, October 6th.  Susan deJong, Commission Chair, informed the Commission that she will proceed to schedule the Luncheon Theater Program through Herberger Theater and that the West Valley Arts HQ is a possible site for the program.  Eric Faulhaber, the Visual Arts Coordinator for the City of Chandler and Coordinator of the platFORM initiative gave the group a presentation outlining the platFORM program.  Councilman Jim Biundo and I were in attendance and found this program very interesting!  The initiative is available to create opportunities for student artists to place existing pieces or propose new sculptures for placement in public places.  The Commission will place this item on the November agenda for discussion and possible action to make the recommendation to the City Council.  The next cycle starts in April 2015.  Lastly, the Commission unanimously voted to endorse WHAM’s “Give your Community a Hand” mural project.  The unveiling will take place at the Surprise Party in December.

60th Aerial Delivery
I invited Mick Anderson and several other veterans to meet with the Mayor and me to receive a Certificate of Appreciation for their service in the US Air Force.  This special group of veterans meets every other year at a different location and this year, it was Surprise!  We were able to thank the group for their service and sacrifice to our country and provide them with a tour of the Council Chamber.

USAF 60th Aerial Port Squadron
USAF 60th Aerial Port Squadron
Vice Mayor Hall with Mick Anderson
Vice Mayor Hall with Mick Anderson

Community Drug Awareness Symposium
On October 8th, I attended the Community Drug Awareness Symposium at the CCV Surprise campus that was hosted by the Surprise Police Department and CCV. The Symposium provided information on the dangers of drugs and how to recognize signs and symptoms associated with drug abuse. Resources were available to those impacted by drugs.

Mark Your Calendars


Surprise Police Department – Tip A Cop Event
Representatives from the Surprise Police Department will be waiting tables alongside the staff of Red Robin to raise money for Special Olympics during the annual “Tip-A-Cop” event on Saturday, October 11th. Tips earned will be donated to the Special Olympics Arizona. The event will be held at the Red Robin located at 14015 W. Bell Road from 11 am until 3 pm and again from 4 pm until 8 pm.

Hazardous Waste
Residents with old paint cans, car batteries, etc. are encouraged to drop off these items at the City’s Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event on Saturday, October 11th from 8 a.m. until 12 noon.  The event will be held at the Public Works Maintenance Yard at 13433 W. Foxfire Drive.

Second Sunday in the Park
Second Sunday in the Park will be held this Sunday, October 12th from 2 pm until 4 pm at the Surprise Community Park, 15953 N. Bullard Avenue. The band, the Big Zephyr, will be playing a variety of music to entertain us all!

Columbus Day
Monday, October 13th is Columbus Day. Please note that City Hall will be closed.

Litchfield Road Closure
Beginning at 8 pm on Tuesday, October 14th, MCDOT (Maricopa County Department of Transportation) will temporarily close Litchfield Road at Northern Parkway to facilitate bridge construction.  During the closure, Northern Parkway will remain open. Reems Road or Dysart Road may be utilized as an alternate route.  Litchfield Road will reopen by 5 am on Wednesday, October 15th.

Boards & Commissions
The City is accepting applications for a few of our Boards and Commissions. Those with openings include:

  • Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission (1 vacancy)
  • Disability Advisory Commission (2 vacancies)
  • Health & Benefits Trust Fund Board (2 vacancies)
  • Planning & Zoning (1 vacancy)

All positions are voluntary.  Applications are accepted at the City Clerk’s office, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza (Monday through Friday from 8 am – 5 pm) or online at www.surpriseaz.gov.  For more information, please call the City Clerk at 623.222.1200.

FREE Class
You can learn how to optimize your retirement income with a free class that will help you best position your portfolio to take advantage of tax saving strategies and minimize exposure to market volatility on Wednesday, October 22nd from 10 am until 11:30 am at the Public Safety Building, 14250 W. Statler.  This free class will be taught by Mark Melkowski and Robert Feinholz with American Financial Education Alliance.  For more information or to register, please call Ruby Sitea at 623.222.3242.

Contact Me


Domestic Violence Awareness Month

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

Ask a Question

October 3, 2014 • Newsletter

Updates

Public Works Update
Earlier this month, our City Manager, Bob Wingenroth, made an executive decision to create a new department based on some of the functions that previously fell under Public Works.  This new department, Water Resource Management, will focus on our assurance to have an abundant, secure water supply which is consistent with our Council’s goals.  Terry Lowe, formerly our Assistant Public Works Director, has been promoted to Director of the Water Resource Management Department.  Terry has been with the City since 2004.  He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Engineering and Project Management.  Terry also served as our Project Manager when City Hall was being built.  He is a well-respected, professional and proven leader that is committed to sustainability in our City.

Mike Gent, also a former Assistant Public Works Director and Acting Public Works Director, has been promoted to Public Works Director.  Mike began his career in the private sector prior to transitioning into City government.  He earned his Master’s Degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Public Works.  Mike has been with Surprise for one year.  He is proud to work for a City that emphasizes “Servant Leadership” and is anxiously trying to incorporate those traits into his own personality and approach.  He is very committed to the success and sustainable growth of his family’s new hometown!

Terry Lowe
Terry Lowe
Mike Gent
Mike Gent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are very fortunate to have these two exceptionally talented men with our City.  Congratulations to the both of them as they embark on their new journey with us!
Events & Meetings

EPCOR
Mayor Wolcott and I met with representatives from EPCOR on Thursday, September 25th.  EPCOR provided us with an update on their application to the Arizona Corporation Commission on wastewater district separation and/or combination.  Additionally, we were provided with updated maps of the wastewater service areas and how they apply to Surprise.

Epcor Service Area Map

Water Planning Subcommittee Meeting
The Water Planning Subcommittee met on Thursday, September 25th.  Three important issues were discussed.  The first two issues concerned the presentation for the City Council Work Session that will be held on October 21st as staff will be providing an update to the Council regarding the Subcommittee’s progress.  At that time, we will also discuss a water conservation proposal to reduce water usage within the Bell Road rights of way.  Several comments and questions were raised and they will be incorporated into the final presentation.

Lastly, we conferred about additional water conservation.  As part of this discussion, members of the City’s Community Development Department were invited to join the meeting.  They were able to field questions about water-related building codes and standards, as well as Surprise and industry regulations.  Additionally, they provided guidance to the Subcommittee on the best ways to initiate water conservation programs that affect the development community.   The next meeting is scheduled for October 30th at 3:30 pm at City Hall.

Capitol Scholar Program
The Capitol Scholar Program, which consists of students from Imagine Prep and Arizona Charter Academy, held their mock legislative session at City Hall on Friday, September 26th since the State Capitol was unavailable.  Students were divided into 3 groups as they participated in Committee Hearings.  During this process, the students presented their individuals bills.  The bills concerned a variety of topics including cruelty of animals, bullying, dangerous crimes against children, graffiti and much more.  The Program concluded with a final third reading and signing of the passed bills in the Council Chamber.  The Committee consisted of Representative Rick Gray, Diane McCarthy, Councilman Jim Biundo, Councilman Todd Tande and me.

Capitol Scholars Mock Hearing
The Mock Hearing Committee

 

Capitol Scholar Participants
Capitol Scholar Participants

A Brush with Victory
West Valley Arts HQ, now located at 16126 N. Civic Center Plaza in Surprise, hosted the world premiere of artist Bill Patterson’s Gatorade Victory Lane paintings celebrating the Phoenix International Raceway’s most memorable moments of the past half-century on Friday, September 26thas part of the track’s 50th anniversary season.  I was honored to attend this event and I continue to be humbled by the outpouring of support of the arts by our residents.

Stand Up For Veterans
I attended the Stand Up for Veterans event on Saturday, September 27th at Glendale Community College.  This impressive event was organized by the Arizona Department of Veteran Services and Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers to help West Valley veterans readjust to civilian live upon their return home.  In addition to a job fair, this event provided veterans and their families with community resources such as education and legal assistance.  West Valley employers were in attendance to interview the veterans and offer networking opportunities.  Volunteers were also available to help with resumes, cover letters, etc.  Arizona’s Motor Vehicle Division was present to answer any questions or resolve issues for the returning service member.  My attendance at this event was to personally witness the need in the West Valley with hopes to establish such an event in Surprise in the future.

Art Leaders Breakfast
On Saturday, September 27th, I was invited to speak at the Arts Leader Breakfast, hosted by our City’s Arts & Cultural Commission.  Participants included Robyn Harris of Musical Surprise, Stephanie Savage of the West Valley Conservatory of Ballet, Connie Whitlock of WHAM, Desiree van de Boogaard of the West Valley Arts Council, Mona Myhre of the West Valley Symphony, Tiffany Nebeker of Spotlight Entertainment, Susan deJong and members of the Arts & Cultural Commission.  Discussion included the future of arts in Surprise and how groups can cooperatively work together to fulfill common goals.

Kneader’s Bakery & Café Ribbon Cutting
Kneader’s Bakery and Café opened their Surprise store located at 14183 W. Bell Road on Thursday, October 2nd.  In advance of the grand opening, a ribbon cutting event was held on Wednesday, October 1st.  I was honored to be present to welcome Jim Hipp, Operating Partner of the Surprise store; Andrew Smith, CEO; Shawna Smith, CMO; and David Vincent, CFO and help the group cut the ribbon.

Ribbon Cutting
Ribbon Cutting
Kneaders Bakery and Cafe, Surprise Store
Kneader’s Bakery & Café, Surprise Store

Mark Your Calendars

Surprise Fiesta Grande
The inaugural Surprise Fiesta Grande, the street-style festival on Hollyhock Street, north of Grand Avenue will occur this Saturday, October 4th from 12 noon until 9 p.m.  Admission is FREE!  For more information including street closures, please visit our website at www.surpriseaz.gov/fiestagrande. We hope to see you there!

Surprise Fiesta Logo

Community Drug Awareness Symposium
The Surprise Police Department is partnering with Christ Church of the Valley (CCV) to host a Community Drug Awareness Symposium on Wednesday, October 8th from 7 – 9 p.m. at the CCV Surprise Campus located at 14787 W. Cholla Street.  This Symposium will provide information on the dangers of drugs, how to recognize signs and symptoms associated with drug abuse and provide resources for those impacted by drugs.  Guest speakers include a recovering drug addict, a parent and a representative from the Maricopa Attorney’s Office.  The goal of this event is to arm the community with the knowledge necessary to combat this growing epidemic.

Hazardous Waste
Residents with old paint cans, car batteries, etc. are encouraged to drop off these items at the City’s Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event on Saturday, October 11th from 8 a.m. until 12 noon.  The event will be held at the Public Works Maintenance Yard at 13433 W. Foxfire Drive.

Columbus Day
Columbus Day, October 13th, is right around the corner.  Please note that City Hall will be closed.

Domestic Violence Awareness

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

September 26, 2014 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

ADOT
Councilman Jim Biundo and I met with Brock Barnhart, ADOT Assistant Communications Director, and Rick Buss, Assistant City Manager, on Thursday, September 18th.  We discussed collaborative communications strategies, including future outreach meetings with citizens and businesses that will be affected by the Grand Avenue/Bell Road interchange project. Construction is scheduled to begin in late 2015.

ADOT Grand Avenue-Bell Road interchange map

Valley Metro
On Thursday, September 18th, I attended Valley Metro’s monthly meeting.  We continue to meet to analyze and evaluate the transportation needs of the residents in the Valley.

American Legion
I was asked to speak at an American Legion meeting on Thursday, September 18th.  During the meeting, three students were recognized.  Those students were Andrew Lataille, Jerry Abah and William Costello.  The students were awarded the gift of attending Boys State. Congratulations to the boys and thank you to Larry Brown, George Van De Langeryt and Bill Lipscomb for the invitation!

Vice Mayor Hall speaks at an American Legion meeting

Kingswood Parke HOA Meeting
The Kingswood Parke HOA Board invited me to attend their HOA meeting on September 18th.  I provided the attendees with an update on economic development and upcoming events. Mike Gent, Acting Public Works Director, also attended and was able to provide an update on roads and construction on Mountain View Boulevard.

Mountain View Boulevard Construction
Mountain View Boulevard, west of Grand Avenue, is officially under construction!  The City’s contractor, SDB Contracting Services, is currently working on the mass grading efforts and sewer line installation.  Following all of the utility installations, the contractor will begin the construction of the curb, gutter, sidewalks and roadway improvements. Per the City’s contract with our construction contractor, the project is required to be fully completed by January 15th, 2015. The completion of this project will provide continuity and connectivity for Surprise residents, businesses and visitors.

Arizona Department of Water Resources Meeting
Michael Lacey, Director of Arizona Department of Water Resources, visited City Hall on Monday, September 22nd to provide us with the Department’s strategic vision for water supply sustainability. This is the 15th year of drought in Arizona and current demands outweigh supply. Director Lacey is working to address growth in our State, identify viable strategies for future water needs and provide a stable economy for our future for all water users.  To assist with his priorities, Director Lacey provided us with a map containing 22 different planning areas.  He is researching new water supplies (such as ocean, desalination, etc.) outside of Arizona to help with our water supply imbalance.  His department is also working on an aggressive re-use program, including revised watershed management practices, weather modifications and rain water harvesting.

Surprise Citizen’s Corp Council
The Surprise Citizen’s Corp Council met on Monday, September 22nd to continue discussion on the implementation of the Corp Council. If approved by City Council, the Corp Council will consist of six people, including representatives from the City Council, Police Department and Fire Department. Those individuals are Nancy Collins, resident; George Busch, CP volunteer; Police Lieutenant Mike Donovan, Fire Battalion Chief Dan Gromer, Fire Captain Renee Hamblin and me.  We will meet again on October 20th and our meetings will continue monthly.
The Surprise Citizen’s Corp Council is part of the national Citizen Corps initiative that seeks to make communities safer, stronger and better prepared to respond to and recover from emergencies.

Arts & Cultural Commission
Meeting The Arts & Cultural Commission held their monthly meeting on Monday, September 22nd.  Lloyd Abrams, Surprise Planning Manager, was introduced as he will be working closely with the Commission on the Village Plan moving forward.  Details for the Arts Leaders breakfast were provided. The Art Leaders breakfast will be held on Saturday, September 27th at City Hall.  The holiday ornament call to artists for display on the holiday tree at City Hall was also discussed.  The call has been distributed to local art organizations that have until October 24th to enter their submissions.  Selections will be made at the Arts & Cultural Commission meeting scheduled for November 3rd.  Additionally, the Mini Bat Painting Contest was discussed.  The Commission will be giving mini bats to all Surprise middle school art programs as part of a contest to have their bats displayed at the Surprise Stadium during Opening Day of Spring Training 2015.

Arizona Town Hall
I welcomed attendees at the Arizona Town Hall West Valley Outreach meeting held at the Communiversity on Wednesday, September 24th.  Councilman Jim Biundo and Councilman Todd Tande were also in attendance.  For well over 50 years, nonprofit organization Arizona Town Hall has engaged and educated our State to create solutions on critical policy issues. This particular town hall focused on Arizona’s most vulnerable populations, including the elderly, mentally ill, children, veterans, victims of domestic violence and the disabled. The vulnerable populations are those at systemic risk of falling into crisis at any time, most often in response to unexpected life events, and we need to take cooperative action and form strong partnerships in order to help those most at risk.

Arizona Town Hall West Valley Outreach meeting

Meet & Greet – Public Works Director
A Meet & Greet was held in the Mayor’s Atrium on Wednesday, September 24th for three Public Works Director finalists.

Mark Your Calendars

HOA Summit
The next HOA Summit will be held at City Hall in the Community Room on Thursday, October 2nd. This Summit will feature roundtable discussions with directors and staff from Public Works, Public Safety, Economic/Community Development, Code Enforcement, Neighborhood Services and Intergovernmental Relations. Additionally, City Manager Bob Wingenroth will provide a City update. If you are on an HOA board member or resident of an HOA, please plan to attend. You can register with Ruby Sitea at 623.222.3242.

Annual Health & Wellness Fair
The City will be hosting our 1st Annual Health & Wellness Fair at Banner Health Center (13995 W. Statler Boulevard) on Saturday, November 15th from 9 am – 12 noon. This Fair is free to the public and there will be free and low cost health screenings, including tests and evaluations for diabetes, hearing and vision, blood pressure, balance, body mass index and much more.  The Surprise Police and Fire Departments will have demonstrations and the medevac helicopter will be on display.

Surprise Fiesta Grande
The City’s Community and Recreation Services Department has announced an exciting giveaway during the upcoming Surprise Fiesta Grande which will be held on Saturday, October 4th from 12 noon until 9 p.m.  The City will raffle Family Four Packs to Disneyland, SeaWorld and tickets for opening weekend of the 2015 Surprise Spring Training season.  Entry Forms for the giveaway are available at the Community and Recreation Services office, located at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue or online at www.surpriseaz.gov/fiestagrande.  Winners will be announced at Fiesta Grande between 6 and 8 p.m.  Participants must be present to win.  Rules and regulations do apply.

The inaugural Surprise Fiesta Grande, a street-style festival on Hollyhock Street, north of Grand Avenue will feature fun for the whole family. Admission is FREE!  For more information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/fiestagrande. We hope to see you there!

Surprise Fiesta Grande logo

Second Sunday in the Park
Mark your calendar for the next Second Sunday in the Park!  The event will take place on October 12th from 2 – 4 p.m. and the band “The Big Zephyr” will be playing! Contact Me

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

 

September 19, 2014 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

The City Council hosted a joint meeting with the Planning and Zoning Commission on Tuesday, September 16th. Below is a summary of the discussion. Misty Leslie, City Attorney, presented on the Open Meeting Law.  She reiterated that all legal action must be held in public meetings. She also discussed how modern day technology can play a role with quorums and violations.

The goals and policies of General Plan 2035 were also discussed. Based on this discussion, a work plan will be developed. The Council agreed that future growth is contingent upon economic development that will bring employment to so many of our residents. MAG (Maricopa Association of Governments) estimates that 91% of employed residents leave Surprise daily to commute to other cities for work.

The City Council also discussed our priorities and objectives based on last fall’s retreat. In addition to jobs, some of our priorities include building a downtown, preservation, and connectivity. Furthermore, we want to improve our quality of life with the addition of neighborhood planning, housing rehabilitation and redevelopment, recreation and open space as well as arts and culture.

The Planning and Zoning Commission asked the Council to consider a few minor amendments to our current Plan. Those amendments include moving the date of the annual Summit to the fall to allow the incorporation of decisions into the spring budget process, simplifying status reports and consolidating requirements to streamline the process and improve clarity.

City Council Meeting

City Council unanimously approved the renaming of the current Original Town Site recreational facilities on Hollyhock to the Roy Villanueva Community and Recreation Complex. The area currently houses Gaines Park, the Surprise Senior Center, Hollyhock Pool, Villanueva Recreation Center and Hollyhock Library. Roy Villanueva served as our City’s Mayor, Vice Mayor and Council Member for almost 40 years prior to his passing in July 2013. During his many years of service, Roy initiated many important improvements in the areas of housing rehabilitation, economic development, utilities, police and fire services and federal grants. The official naming presentation will be part of the Surprise Fiesta Grande celebration on Hollyhock Street, just north of Grand Avenue, from 12 noon until 9 p.m.
Roy Villanueva

Roy Villanueva
Roy Villanueva

Events & Meetings

One Step Beyond, Inc.
On Thursday, September 11th, I attended the grand opening of One Step Beyond, Inc.  One Step Beyond is a non-profit providing comprehensive programs to individuals with developmental disabilities in the West Valley.  They began providing services in 2003 in Peoria, Arizona.  Their mission is to provide responsive, progressive and dynamic programs that will empower individuals with development disabilities to realize their dreams of optimal independence, meaningful employment, significant relationships and full participation within their communities. Mayor Wolcott and I with a representative from One Step Beyond, Inc.

Mayor Wolcott and I with a representative from One Step Beyond, Inc.
Mayor Wolcott and I with a representative from One Step Beyond, Inc.

Spotlight Entertainment Performing Arts
I attended the grand opening and ribbon cutting for Spotlight Entertainment Performing Arts Studio, located at the corner of Bell and Reems Roads, on Saturday, September 13th. Spotlight Entertainment offers a unique approach to Musical Theatre by combining singing, dancing and acting. All students participate in a full musical theatre-style production twice a year. Tiffany Nebeker, the owner of Spotlight Entertainment, has been operating her business since 2010.

Mark Your Calendar

Movie Night at Surprise Recreation Campus The Surprise Recreation Campus will be hosting movie night on Saturday, September 27th. “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” will be featured on the big screen at 7 pm; however, gates will open at 6 pm. Concession will be available and the Stadium food and beverage policy will be in effect.

Surprise Talent Show
The City is looking for its most talented residents! If you have any special talents such as singing, acting, playing an instrument, etc., this talent show is for you!  Applications will be accepted through October 2nd and auditions will be held in mid-October. Applications can be downloaded as www.surpriseaz.gov/recreation or you can get an application at the Community and Recreation Services offices located at 15960 N. Bullard.  Auditions and participation in the talent show are free. The show will be held at Valley Vista High School’s Performing Arts Center on Friday, November 7th at 6 pm.  Prizes will be awarded for youth, teen and adult categories.

Reminder – Newsletter Distribution Change Since City Hall work hours have changed to five days a week, there will be a change to the distribution of my newsletters. You will receive them on Friday evenings at 5 pm each week beginning in October. The first Friday evening edition will be sent on October 3rd.

Reminder – HOA Summit The next HOA Summit will be held at City Hall in the Community Room on Thursday, October 2nd. This Summit will feature roundtable discussions with Directors and staff from Public Works, Public Safety, Economic/Community Development, Code Enforcement, Neighborhood Services and Intergovernmental Relations. Additionally, Bob Wingenroth, City Manager will provide a City update. If you are on an HOA Board or a resident of an HOA, please plan to attend. You can register with Ruby Sitea at 623.222.3242.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

D5 Neighborhoods

There are so many great neighborhoods in D5! This page provides a look at the Homeowners Associations in the district and links to the association’s website, if there is one available.

Kingswood Parke

Mountain Vista Ranch

The Orchards

Park Rowe

Rancho Gabriela

Royal Ranch

Sierra Verde

The Cottages at Sierra Verde

Town Square at Sierra Verde

Sun Village

Sun Village Condos

West Point Towne Center

Not sure you live in District 5?  Click to find out…

September 5, 2014 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Surprise Fiesta Grande
Mark Coronado, Director of Community & Recreation Services, provided City Council with an overview of Surprise Fiesta Grande. Surprise Fiesta Grande will be a street-style festival at Grand Avenue and Hollyhock Street on Saturday, October 4th from 12 noon until 9 p.m. Admission will be free. There will be live music including Barrio Latino, Mariachi Cervantes, Ballet Municipal De Danza (from Nogales) and much more. The event will feature a classic car show along Sante Fe, a kid zone with piñatas and interactive games, authentic Mexican food, festive beverages, chalk art, a 3 on 3 youth basketball tournament, an adult softball tournament and dancing.

Proposed Site Location

City Council Meeting

Capitol Scholar Program
Students from Imagine Prep and Arizona Charter Academy who participated in the Capitol Scholar Program were recognized in addition to the two teachers who implemented the program, Alexa Pupo from Imagine Prep and Minnette Klenner from Arizona Charter Academy. The Capitol Scholar Program was developed based on an idea from Rep. Rick Gray. He shared his idea with school representatives and the Capitol Scholar Program was born. The purpose of the program was to teach the state legislation process. City Hall hosted the Program workshops which began in April. The workshops included discussions on writing, research, transforming bills into ideas, debating and public speaking to name a few. The student will travel to the State Capitol on September 26th to present the bills they created and to participate in a mock legislative session. Congratulations to Imagine Prep and Arizona Charter Academy as well as the student participants for their involvement with this extraordinary opportunity!

Participants of the Capitol Scholar Program with Mayor Wolcott
Participants of the Capitol Scholar Program with Mayor Wolcott

New Appointments
Richard Jessen was appointed to serve on the Judicial Selection Advisory Commission with a term expiration of July 1, 2018. Kenneth Broadfoot was appointed to serve on the Public Safety Retirement Board with a term expiration of December 1, 2016. Mary Melby was appointed to the Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission with a term expiration of July 1, 2015. Both Mr. Jessen and Mr. Broadfoot received the Oath of Office at the meeting. City Council is very grateful for our volunteers. We can’t do it without you. Thank you!

Surprise Village Marketplace East
The final plat for Surprise Village Marketplace East was unanimously approved (Resolution No. 2014-90). The plat, located at the southwest corner of Bell Road and Sarival Avenue, consists of 6 parcels which will include a 300-unit senior housing complex known as Fellowship Square Sopressa. There will be two entrances to the facilities. One entrance will be located next to Sam’s Club in the Surprise Village Marketplace and the second entrance will be located on Sarival.

Celebrity Flag Football Event
Surprise will once again host the NFL Celebrity Flag Football Game on January 31st, 2015 from approximately 12 noon until 5 pm at Surprise Stadium! This event will take place the weekend before the 2015 Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, Arizona at the University of Phoenix Stadium.

City Council unanimously approved $50,000 in tourism funds to utilize towards transforming the baseball field into a flag football field and installing temporary bleachers in right field. Participating players will be announced closer to the event date. There will be several promotional opportunities for the City since the game will be broadcast on Fox Sports. Additional promotional opportunities include, but are not limited to, ads in Sports Illustrated and national media coverage. The first Celebrity Flag Football event took place in 2008 when the Super Bowl was last held in Arizona.

Flag Football field rendition
Flag Football field rendition

Employment Contracts
City Council considered and approved the Employment Contracts for Bob Wingenroth, City Manager, Misty Leslie, City Attorney and Sherry Aguillar, City Clerk. All contracts were unanimously approved.

Over the last few months, Bob Wingenroth, City Manager, has been implementing a plan to build a City team that focuses on the City Council’s vision; foremost in economic development and job creation. Three new positions were requested that include a Community Development Director and two Economic Development Coordinators. Since these organizational changes were not included in the adopted FY2015 budget, a budget amendment was requested and unanimously approved. There was not an increase to the budget but funds will be transferred to accommodate these needs.

 Events & Meetings

Retirement Celebrations
Surprise Police Department hosted retirement ceremonies honoring Officer Doug Lynch and Officer Tim Murel. Officer Lynch joined the Surprise Police Department in January 2005 as a Dispatcher and he became an Officer in the Field Operations Division in February 2006. Prior to his retirement, Officer Lynch was a part of the Crime Prevention Unit and was also well-known for serving as “McGruff” at many community events. Officer Murel joined the Department in July 1996 and served many years as a motor officer and traffic accident reconstructionist. Both Officers retired effective August 28th, 2014.

Chief Frazier with Officer Lynch
Chief Frazier with Officer Lynch

 

Chief Frazier with Officer Murel
Chief Frazier with Officer Murel

 

Surprise Citizen Corps Council
Following the tragic events that occurred on September 11th, 2001, state and local government officials have increased opportunities for citizens to become an integral part of protecting the homeland and supporting first responders. Everyone agrees that the formula for ensuring a more secure and safer homeland consists of preparedness, training and citizen involvement. In 2002, President Bush launched the Citizen Corps, to capture the spirit of service that emerged throughout our nation following 9/11.
On August 28th, I met with Fire Chief Abbott, Police Chief Frazier, Assistant Police Chief Young, Commander Leggett and Fire Captain Hamblin to further discuss the Surprise Citizen’s Corp Council, the Council’s infrastructure, and the purpose and responsibilities of the Council. We will continue to meet once a month. Our next meeting will be held on September 22nd.

Water Planning Subcommittee
The Water Planning Subcommittee met on Thursday, August 28th. Terry Lowe, Assistant Public Works Director, addressed items from a previous meeting which included recirculation pumps and the possible use of reclaimed water at the Coyote Lakes Golf Course. Christine Nunez discussed Project WET (Water Education for Teachers). Christine will work with Paul Bernardo, the City’s new Youth Services Administrator, to discuss further.

The Subcommittee discussed the development and schedule of the water policies. The Water Conversation Policy is currently under legal review; the Use of Reclaimed Water Policy is currently under review by the Water Planning Subcommittee. The Water Acquisition Policy is currently underway and plans will be reviewed by the Subcommittee next month. The Land Use Water Management Policy will be divided into multiple components. The Subcommittee will be prepared to present the Reclaimed Water and Water Conservation Policies to the entire City Council at the end of the year.

Calibre Academy
I was asked to introduce a government-based learning activity to a fifth grade class at Calibre Academy on Wednesday, September 3rd. Students will examine and evaluate the purposes of government in relationship to the rights, responsibilities, privileges and duties of American citizens. From there, the students will develop a multimedia presentation to share their findings and compare their findings with the same facts from three other countries. Quite an impressive project for this age group and I am honored to be part of it!

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

August 29, 2014 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Process
Lindsey Duncan, Acting Finance Director, discussed the budget process for fiscal year 2016.  The budget process timeline will begin with a Strategic Planning Retreat in November, followed by a Budget Kick-Off Retreat in February.  In April, the City Manager will issue the recommended budget for discussion.  The tentative budget should be adopted in May followed by the adoption of the final budget and property tax levy in June.

City Council Meeting

Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Report
Lindsey Duncan, Acting Finance Director, discussed the FY2014 monthly budget status report as of May of this year.  Through the month of May 2014, our actual sales tax receipts, excluding construction, are 7.7% higher than the prior year and 3.1% higher than expected (FY2013 actual of $29.3 million compared to FY2014 actual of $31.5 million).  Restoring consumer confidence has contributed to increases in the retail and restaurant/bar categories.  In addition, the communications/utilities category continues to reflect rate increases enacted by those utilities last year.  The construction sales tax is 18.9% lower than the prior year due to one-time construction related to major roadway projects (Loop 303); however, it is still stronger than expected by 4.8%.

FYTD Results - General Fund

FYTD Resources

FYTD Expenditures

Quick N Clean Car Wash
The final plat for the Quick N Clean Car Wash was approved.  The car wash will be built at the northwest corner of Bell Road and 115th Avenue.  Construction will begin as soon as possible.

Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient Memorial
City Council unanimously approved a monument in memoriam of Medal of Honor Recipient Staff Sergeant Nick Bacon.  Mr. Bacon also served as the Surprise Town Manager from 1986 until 1990.  According to his Medal of Honor citation, “S/Sgt. Bacon was serving his second tour in Vietnam on Aug. 26, 1968, when he and his unit were ambushed during an operation west of Tam Ky. Under intense enemy fire, he destroyed an enemy bunker with hand grenades while his platoon leader was shot and fell wounded in an exposed position. S/Sgt. Bacon immediately assumed command of the platoon and assaulted the hostile gun position, finally killing the enemy gun crew in a single-handed effort. As a result of S/Sgt. Bacon’s extraordinary efforts, his company was able to move forward, eliminate the enemy positions, and rescue the men trapped to the front. S/Sgt. Bacon’s bravery at the risk of his life was in the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.” Mr. Bacon received his Medal of Honor from President Richard Nixon in 1969.  He passed away in July 2010.  Council directed that the memorial be located on the grounds of City Hall at a cost not to exceed $7,000.

Medal of Honor Recipient Staff Sergeant Nick Bacon
Staff Sergeant Nick Bacon
Nick Bacon Memorial
The Nick Bacon Memorial

 Events & Meetings

Arizona League of Cities Conference
The League of Arizona Cities and Towns held their Annual Conference last week at the Sheraton Downtown Phoenix Hotel.  The Conference began on Tuesday, August 19 with the Gubernatorial Forum and Welcome Reception.  Sessions began on Wednesday, August 20 after the opening General Session with keynote speaker, Elliot Eisenberg, who is a nationally acclaimed economist.  His predictions indicate that Arizona’s housing and economic development are on the rise but we still have work to do.  I was able to attend several informative sessions regarding local community initiatives, rapid fire innovation, military veteran issues, water management and energy resources. The Showcase of Cities was held on Thursday evening, August 21.  The City garnered media attention for our booth.  There were mariachis, trivia games and popcorn advertising the City of Surprise and the upcoming Surprise Fiesta Grande which will be held on Saturday, October 4.

Vice Mayor Hall with mariachisCouncilmember Villanueava singing

WESTMARC Water & Planning Meeting
WESTMARC (Western Maricopa Coalition) Water & Energy Committee met on Wednesday, August 27th in Peoria.  The Honorable Bob Burns, Commissioner for the Arizona Corporation Commission discussed elections and other issues facing the Commission.  The Arizona Corporation Commission is comprised of 5 elected officials statewide.  The Corporation regulates public service corporations, private water companies (like SRP), securities (anyone who trades in securities), pipeline & railroad safety (such as Southwest Gas), and corporations (registers business and files reporting of officers and expenditures).

ACC is a constitutional-created body, they do not report to the Governor or Legislature.  They employ over 250 people between both of their offices in Phoenix and Tucson. ACC consists of 8 divisions:  Administration, Corporations, Hearing, Information Technology/Broadcasting, Legal, Securities, Safety (Railroad & Pipeline) and Utilities.  The Corporation Division oversees 776,484 Corporations and LLC’s transacting business in the State of Arizona.  The Utilities Division regulates 225 telecommunication companies, 357 water utility companies, 62 sewer companies, 18 water and sewer companies, and 7 gas utilities.  Legislature provides a budget line for the ACC.

Any revenue the ACC receives that exceeds the Commission’s budget needs flows in to the State General Fund and it is utilized to defray the costs of state government.  Historically, the Commission has generated significantly more revenue than its General Fund requirements from securities and broker registrations, corporation filing fees, fines and miscellaneous service charges.  The Commission revenue has increased by over $800,000 since FY2011-2012.

Teresa Makinen, WESTCAPS Director, made a presentation about WESTCAPS, its history, purpose and the current members and interested parties.  The City of Surprise is a current Member. Additionally, there are 11 water providers as members (8 municipal and 3 private).  Ms. Makinen also provided an overview of the changes in WESTCAPS, from being a planning, collaborative committee with members that are Central Arizona Project (CAP) sub-contractors to possibly opening membership to all West Valley water entities.  Ms. Makinen gave an overview of the West Valley water supply deficit at build-out and the strategic planning and organizational efforts that WESTCAPS is currently undertaking.  Lastly, she spoke about the $1.7 million West Salt River Valley Basin Study that is funded by the United State Bureau of Reclamation ($860K) and the WESTCAPS Members ($840K). This study includes a supply and demand study, a supply analysis to include climate change, an economic analysis, a groundwater modeling update, a recharge and reuse siting study, and options and trade-off analysis.  She asked for stakeholder involvement, ending with a call to attend the Stakeholder Kick-Off meeting on September 9, 2014.

Contact Me

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

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