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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

Ask a Question

SURPRISE LITERACY CHALLENGE

Councilmember John Williams and I have issued a challenge to help promote reading among elementary-age students in Surprise. We are asking students to read at home (non-homework related) and keep a log of their reading, with a parent signature to confirm their progress. Students then turn the logs into their teachers, who keep track of the total number of minutes read among the students in their respective classrooms.

Several local elementary schools and hundreds of students, grades 3 – 6, participated in the first-year initiative and the winning teachers were awarded trophies in May. We are hoping that even more students accept the challenge this year!

MEMORIAL TO MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT

As a Vietnam veteran myself, I have tremendous respect for our military men and women who are currently serving or who have served in the past. That’s why I am proud to say that the Surprise City Council voted to commission a monument in memorial of Medal of Honor Recipient Staff Sergeant Nick Bacon. Bacon served as the Surprise Town Manager from 1986 – 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.”

I honor and respect what Nick Bacon did for his fellow soldiers, and I am so happy that the city in which he served as a city manager will recognize his heroic efforts. Take a look at the renderings of options for the monument (shown below), which will be located on the grounds of Surprise City Hall.

August 15, 2014 • Newsletter

Events and Meetings

Shadow Ridge HS Parent Academy
Councilman John Williams and I attended a Parent Academy at Shadow Ridge High School on Saturday, August 9th.  The Academy was very informative and focused on the new trends with teens and drugs.  Did you know that 1 in 5 teens have abused prescription drugs?  In fact, the most commonly abused prescription drugs include painkillers, anti-depressants and ADD meds. Some of the signs of drug abuse include fatigue, depression, socializing with new groups of friends, spending less time with family and poor academics.  A special thank you to Police Chief Mike Frazier and his officers as well as Officer Wendy Klarkowski, Shadow Ridge SRO, for making us aware of the new trends.  Thank you to Michael Hawkins and Matthew Kuffel, Principal and Assistant Principal at Shadow Ridge High School respectively, for hosting!

Surprise PD listening to parents concerns
Surprise PD listening to parents concerns
New trends in drug concealers
New trends in drug concealers

Spirit of ‘45 Event
In 2010, Congress unanimously passed Concurrent Resolution 226 calling for a national “Spirit of ’45 Day” to be observed on the second Sunday of August to honor the men and women who were the ordinary heroes of the WWII era.  I was honored to take part in the “Spirit of ’45 Day” on Sunday, August 14th at Surprise Funeral Care.  A special thank you to Julie Bell, Funeral Director at Surprise Funeral Care and Nancie Scalercio, Commander of the Northwest Valley Veterans Association for hosting this event.

Surprise Regional Chamber Breakfast
The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted their monthly breakfast on Tuesday, August 12th at the Colonnade. Debbie Flores, CEO of Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center was the featured speaker.  She shared with us some of the hospital stats from 2013. Banner Del E Webb opened in 1988.  The hospital admitted 17,500 patients last year and it had 42,000 emergency room visits.  There were 1,700 babies delivered in 2013. The hospital was recently ranked one of the best hospitals in the Phoenix-metro area by US News & World Report. Additionally, the hospital cared for more than 29,000 residents of Surprise last year, including nearly 8,000 children.

Students who participated in the Surprise Youth Entrepreneurship Boot Camp were also recognized at the breakfast.  The Boot Camp was held at the AZ TechCelerator for a week in June and it offered high school students the opportunity to learn from business leaders and to develop a plan for a business that they would present to a team of judges, including Councilman Todd Tande and myself.  Bull Dog Lock-up won by creating a winning business plan that addressed a storage need at Arizona Charter Academy.  They will be launching a locker rental business at the school in the coming months.

Surprise Youth Entrepreneurship Boot Camp Participants
Surprise Youth Entrepreneurship Boot Camp Participants

Business & Educators Breakfast
Dysart Unified School District and Superintendent, Dr. Gail Pletnick hosted the Business and Educators Breakfast meeting on Wednesday, August 13th.  Councilman Todd Tande, Councilman Jim Biundo and I were in attendance.  Karen Winterstein, Sunset Hills Elementary School Principal, was recognized for earning the prestigious title of 2014 Principal of the Year by the National Association of Elementary School Principals.  Beth Maloney, fifth grade teach at Sunset Hills Elementary School was also recognized for being awarded the 2014 Arizona Educational Foundation Teacher of the Year.  Erin Eccleston, Vice President of Outreach and Mobilization for Expect More Arizona, gave a presentation addressing issues Arizona is facing in regards to education.  Arizona ranks 43rd in the nation for average starting teacher salary.  Other stats included 23% of Arizona students do not graduate on time and 53% of high school graduates are not eligible for admission into a state university.  These stats as well as others can be found at www.ExpectMoreArizona.org.

Surprise Fire Medical Promotion Ceremony
The Surprise Fire Medical Department hosted a promotion ceremony for several members of the Department who were recently promoted. Joseph Spector was promoted to Engineer after working with the City since March 2007.  Steve Gilbert was promoted to Engineer after working with the City since June 2007. Douglas Richards was promoted to Captain after working with the

Capt. Douglas Richards
Capt. Douglas Richards
Eng. Joseph Spector
Eng. Joseph Spector
Eng. Steve Gilbert
Eng. Steve Gilbert

Also recognized were new recruits who recently completed the Fire Academy.  A special welcome is extended to Abram Fogelson, Joseph Franzmeier, James Zamora and Michael Schmitt.

New Fire Recruits
New Fire Recruits

Mark Your Calendars

Loop 303 – Interstate 10 Grand Opening Celebration ADOT is hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony at 9 am on Saturday, August 16th immediately prior to the opening of the Loop 303/I-10 corridor.  Please feel free to join Governor Jan Brewer, Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord, Mayor Sharon Wolcott and several other elected officials as we celebrate the grand opening!  The public is welcome to participate by walking or running on the frontage roads of the corridor before it is open to traffic.  The festivities will begin at 7:30 am.

Loop 303
Loop 303

Did You Know?

Status of Mountain View Boulevard
Construction contractor bids for the Mountain View Boulevard improvement project closed last Thursday, August 7th.  Our Finance and Public Works Departments are currently working with our Legal Department on executing the contract, collecting insurance and bond documentation and preparing the purchase order.  The construction kick-off meeting is scheduled for September 1st.  Pursuant to the construction contract, the improvements need to be completed by January 15th, 2015.  More details will be relayed upon receipt of the information.

RISE Learning for Life
RISE is a grass-roots community based educational organization created for and by members.  RISE presents members with opportunities for stimulation, enlightenment and interaction with peers and fosters an environment that encourages life-long learning.  Programs are determined by the desires and interests of the membership.  RISE offers over 300 non-credit enrichment classes per year in the areas of social sciences, natural sciences, health and wellness, spirituality and religion, arts, lifestyles and financials. RISE is the largest student association with the Maricopa Community College District.  Annual Membership dues are $45 per person and the effective term is from July 1st to June 30th of the following year.  Membership is open to any adult resident in Maricopa County.  For more information, you can visit www.riosalado.edu/programs/rise.

RISE 300+ non-credit enrichment classes

Newsletter Due to the Arizona League of Cities Conference next week, I will not be sending a newsletter but I look forward to you receiving the next edition on Friday, August 29th!

Contact Me

Vice Mayor Skip HallOffice: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975
Email: skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov

Ask a Question

August 8, 2014 • Newsletter

City Council Meeting

Heroic Act Recognized
On the night of July 3, Engine 302 responded to Brookside Bar and Grill where rescuers discovered a patron on the dance floor, unresponsive, having suffered a heart attack.  The crew had noticed bystanders performing CPR.  Once the crew arrived, they took over and the victim regained a pulse after shock was administered.  His pulse was lost a second time and shock was again administered.  I am pleased to tell you that the victim recovered nicely and was released from the hospital a few days later.  Fire Chief Abbott stated that if it hadn’t been for the people who acted quickly and correctly by performing CPR prior to the emergency crew arriving, the victim might not have survived.  Two of those individuals who administered the lifesaving CPR were recognized at our Council meeting.  Please join me in honoring Mr. Gary Erwin, Manager of the Brookside Bar and Grill and Staff Sgt. David Patton from Luke AFB for their heroic efforts.

Heroic Act Recognized
Mayor Wolcott, Engine 302, Staff Sgt. David Patton, Mr. & Mrs. Clark, Gary Erwin, Chief Abbott and me


Drowning Impact Awareness Proclamation

In Maricopa County alone, an average of 19 children drown each year.  While these losses are devastating, they can be prevented.  To encourage water-safe practices and to recognize the impact of drowning, Governor Brewer and Mayors throughout Arizona have issued proclamations.  To date, 31 cities, including Surprise, have issued a Proclamation proclaiming Drowning Impact Awareness Month (August).  City Hall will have purple ribbons to remind us of the impact every fatal and non-fatal drowning has on the victim, family, friends, emergency personnel and the entire community.  The ribbon will remind us to take steps to be water-safe in all of our neighborhoods.  Please feel free to stop by and take one for yourself!

Drowning Impact Awareness Proclamation

Drowning Impact Awareness Month

Summer Youth Employment Program
Twenty participants from the Summer Youth Employment Program were recognized at the Council meeting with a certificate and plaque.  The participants were selected through an application, interview and eligibility process.  Participants were Surprise residents that were full-time students between the ages of 15-19.  The Program ran from May 27 – August 1.  The City of Surprise received a program budget of $57,889 from the City Council to implement the Program.  The budget included a grant from the Tohono O’odham Nation for $31,000 and Community Development Block Grant funding of $26,889.  This is a program designed to give income qualified youth the opportunity to gain employment experience while receiving weekly life skills training.

Summer Youth Employment Program
Mayor and I with Bianca Garcia, City Council Intern


New Youth Civic Leader

Siera Petry, the City’s new Youth Civic Leader, received an Oath on Tuesday evening.  Siera will be joining the Council at the dais for the month of August.  Siera is a senior at Willow Canyon High School.  She is an active volunteer for the City and a scholar student.

New Youth Civic Leader
City Clerk Sherry Aguilar and Siera Petry after Oath

Events and Meetings

Welcome Reception for Bob Wingenroth
The Links in Sun Village hosted a Meet and Greet for new City Manager, Bob Wingenroth, on July 2.  Over 50 people were in attendance representing 5 communities in Surprise including Sun Village, Sun City Grand, Kingswood Parke, Mountain Vista Ranch and Coyote Lakes.  Thank you to Links Owner, Gabriel Rivas and Manager Chef Peter Salazar for hosting the event.

West Valley Arts Council – Grand Opening

The City Council is happy to announce the grand opening of the West Valley Arts Council (WVAC) Headquarters in the Civic Center, just north of City Hall, next to the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce.  Hundreds of art enthusiasts celebrated the grand opening, ribbon cutting and opening exhibit on Thursday, July 24.  The 2,500 square foot gallery space will feature regularly changing exhibits by local and regional artists as well as outdoor and evening performance art and concerts.  City Council approved the WVAC project in December using $74,000 in contingency funds from the FY14 budget.  Please join me and the hundreds of others who attended the grand opening with a warm welcome for WVAC.  The HQ summer hours are Tuesday – Thursday from 10 am until 5 pm and on Friday from 10 am until 2 pm.

West Valley Arts Council (WVAC)
WVAC HQ
WVAC Ribbon Cutting
WVAC Ribbon Cutting


Marley Park VCP Ceremony

On July 4, I attended the Marley Park Veteran’s Commemorative Plaza (VCP) Ceremony and ribbon cutting.  The VCP in Marley Park was built for the community to commemorate those who have served or may be serving in the armed forces.  The plaza features 5 benches and brick pavers surrounding the flagpole forming a “Circle of Honor”.  The design features a 30 foot flagpole and pentagon-shaped base that includes emblems for each of the 5 branches of military service.

Veterans Commemorative Plaza
Rendering of VCP
Ribbon Cutting
Ribbon Cutting
Youth Tournaments at Surprise Stadium
National youth baseball tournaments have been boosting our City economy this summer!  These summer tournaments have generated over 1,500 hotel room nights, resulting in an economic impact of over $1 million. While 5 of the 6 tournaments have passed, the American Legion West Regional tournament is scheduled to begin August 6 – August 11.  This tournament will consist of 8 teams from Arizona, Texas, Nevada, California, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.  Please feel free to stop by and support these teams as they participate in America’s favorite pastime.  Tickets are available at the gate.  Please contact Community and Recreation Services at 623.222.2000 for additional information.

Surprise Stadium
Surprise Stadium

Youth Services Coordinator
Last month, I participated in interviews for a new position, Youth Services Coordinator, which was approved with the FY15 budget.  We are pleased to announce the hire of Paul Bernardo.  Mr. Bernardo’s resume is very impressive and he will bring with him a wealth of knowledge, experience and credentials from previous positions he held with two other municipalities, the YMCA and the Boys and Girls Club of America.  Paul will begin his career with us on August 18.

Dysart Unified School District Principal Luncheon
Councilman John Williams and I hosted two lunch meetings last month, for the High School Principals and the Junior High Principals, at City Hall.  Principals from Shadow Ridge High School, Willow Canyon High School, Dysart High School, Canyon Ridge Elementary School and Sunset Hills Elementary School participated.  Discussion of collaborative efforts in partnering with youth and our ability to engage them through civic engagement was the focus of the meetings.  Ideas were exchanged and initiatives were discussed to enhance our current Youth Master Plan.

Mark Your Calendar

Fall HOA Academy
West Valley HOA Board Members, management company staff and homeowners are invited to register for the 2014 Surprise HOA Academy.  Topics will range from contracts and budgeting to CC&R enforcement and code compliance.  Classes will be held at the Public Safety Building Auditorium, 14250 W. Statler Plaza from 6-8:30 pm on October 14, October 21, October 28, November 4 and November 10.  You can register online or contact Ruby Sitea at 623.222.3242.  Applications are due by 6 pm on September 30.

Did You Know?

New Businesses Coming to Surprise
I am pleased to announce a few new businesses coming to Surprise and to District 5!

Kneaders Bakery & Café
Kneaders Bakery & Café will be ready to open in approximately 45 days.  The restaurant will be located east of Civic Center Drive on Bell Road.  Kneaders opened in 1997 and have grown ever since.  They specialize in bread, bakery and other café items.  There will be a drive thru as well.

Uni Sushi & Steak
Uni Sushi & Steak is a Japanese restaurant coming to Surprise.  The plans for this restaurant are the first review stages.  They will be opening at the northeast corner of Litchfield and Bell Road.

Texas Roadhouse
Texas Roadhouse plans to open another restaurant!  The owners attended a concept meeting with the City.  They plan to open near Trader Joe’s in the near future.

Contact Me

Vice Mayor Skip Hall
Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975
Email: skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov

Ask a Question

June 27, 2014 • Newsletter

Events and Meetings

Valley Metro
Valley Metro held their monthly meeting on Thursday, June 19.

Meeting with CBRE
On Thursday, June 19, I met with Michelle Thompson of ADOT, Denise Garcia of Clarion Partners and Tori Nienaber of CB Richard Ellis regarding the concerns of Surprise Towne Center and Surprise Market Place regarding the impending Grand Avenue/Bell Road Corridor road construction project.  Some of their concerns included traffic pattern disruption, tenant impact and sales tax revenue.  There was assurance from the ADOT representative and myself that communication before and during construction will be a top priority.

56th Fighter Wing Change of Command Ceremony
On Friday, June 20, I was privileged to witness the Change of Command Ceremony at Luke Air Force Base.  Major General Michael A. Keltz explained the history and symbolism of the ceremony as it continues to announce to all the authority of the incoming commander in the finest of military traditions. Brigadier General Michael Rothstein is the outgoing Commander of the 56 Fighter Wing.  He was commissioned in 1988 as a distinguished graduate of the US Air Force Academy.  An F-16 pilot with more than 2,500 hours, he has commanded at the squadron, group and wing levels.  Luke AFB is the second major wing he commanded.

Brigadier General Scott Pleus is the incoming Commander.  He received his commission in 1989 through the Air Force ROTC program at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.  General Pleus is a command pilot with more than 2,300 flying hours including combat time.

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43rd Annual State Convention for Marine Corps.
The Marine Corps League – White Tank Mountain Detachment #1246 of Surprise hosted the 43rd Annual State Convention for Marine Corps on Saturday, June 21 at the Renaissance of Marriott Hotel in Glendale.  The City issued a Proclamation in honor of the event which I read as part of the welcome ceremony.  The City supports the commitment and dedication of the men and women who served and continues to serve our great nation and we are proud to recognize the 239 years of service provided by the US Marine Corps. Derek Stull was the recipient of the Marine Corps scholarship and he will be attending Dallas Baptist University this fall.

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Meet the Candidates
Bob Wingenroth hosted a Meet and Greet for 6 Community Development Director candidates in the Mayor’s Atrium of City Hall on Monday, June 23.  The top three candidates included Lloyd Abrams who is currently employed with the City of Surprise since 2000 as the GIS Division Manager, Derek Horn who is currently the President and Manager of Design and Development Solutions, LLC, and Rebecca Zook who is employed with the City of Peoria as the Deputy Director of Development.

Water Planning Subcommittee
The Water Planning Subcommittee met on Tuesday, June 24 to continue the development of the City’s policies related to water.  Prior to this meeting, the Subcommittee determined that six policies would be initially developed.  These policies are Water Conservation, Use of Reclaimed Water, Water Acquisition, Land Use Water Management, Funding and Infrastructure.

The second policy, Use of Reclaimed Water, was specifically discussed on Tuesday.  It establishes priorities for how the City will utilize the reclaimed water it generates through the wastewater treatment process.  Reclaimed water is a very important water resource that can be used to recharge the groundwater supply or offset groundwater usage.  The policy will provide the frame work for Council and staff to develop strategies that will maximize the benefits of reclaimed water.  The Use of Reclaimed Water Policy addresses five focus areas: Use Strategy, Program Planning, Development and Growth, Outreach and Education, and Regional Participation.  The policy is currently under review.  It is the Subcommittee’s intent to finalize a draft for City Council’s review and adoption during a Council Meeting in September.

 US-60/Grand Avenue COMPASS Meeting
Maricopa Association of Governments held a public hearing on Tuesday, June 24 at the Northwest Regional Library to discuss the US-60/Grand Avenue COMPASS Study.  The goals of COMPASS are to create an overall vision for the corridor while embracing the important regional function and unique character of the US-60/Grand Avenue; define the operational character of the corridor that will enhance economic development and improve traffic operations; establish an access management system providing efficient access to and from adjacent properties and develop guidelines for signage and landscaping.  The study area begins at the Route 303 traffic interchange in Surprise and ends at the Wiletta Street intersection in Phoenix.  One of the concepts includes a commuter rail that would feature 7 stations from Surprise to Phoenix and 10 improved traffic interchanges within the project area.

Veramonte Park Improvements Meeting
The Community Recreation Services Commission hosted a joint public input meeting with Veramonte HOA to discuss the Veramonte Park site developments, design plans and provide a Master Plan Update presentation.  The City Council approved approximately $948,000 in the FY 14/15 capital budget for facility improvements.  The proposed Phase II improvements conceptually include a restroom, parking lot for approximately 50 spaces, two ramadas, and softball and soccer field lighting.

Mark Your Calendars

Meet & Greet – New City Manager
There will have the opportunity to meet our new City Manager, Bob Wingenroth, on Wednesday, July 2 at the Links Neighborhood Grill (17300 N. Sun Village Parkway) in Sun Village from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm.  Please join me in congratulating Mr. Wingenroth in his new role and wish him the best of luck!  We hope to see you there.

Did You Know?

City Hall Hours of Operation

New City Hours

Newsletter Update
Since the City Council is on break in July, you will not be receiving a newsletter until August 8th.  Please note that my webpage at www.surpriseaz.gov will be updated with any news from now until then.

Contact Me

Vice Mayor Skip Hall
Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975
Email: skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov

Ask a Question

June 20, 2014 • Newsletter

City Council Meeting

City Council Meeting
The City Council met for a regularly scheduled City Council Work Session and City Council Meeting on Tuesday, June 17. I have included some of the highlights below:

Judge Robert Miles (Supreme Court) and Kelly Schwab (Maricopa County Bar Association) were reappointed to the Judicial Selection Advisory Commission with a term expiration of July 1, 2018. Christopher Herring was also appointed to fill a vacancy on the Judicial Selection Advisory Commission with a term expiration of July 1, 2018. Tyson Gage was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Personnel Appeals Board with a term expiration of July 1, 2015; John C. Hart was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Building and Construction Review Board with a term expiration of July 1, 2016, and Gabriel Rivas was appointed to fill a vacancy for the Tourism Advisory Commission to represent the restaurant position with a term expiration of July 1, 2015.

A utility rate study was performed and presented to the City Council earlier this year during a Council Meeting. Part of the utility rate study included a ten year forecast that evaluates the efficiencies of current rates on a self-supporting basis. A public hearing was held to adopt the proposed rates. The new rates will go into effect on August 1.

Events and Meetings

Surprise Entrepreneurial Boot Camp
The Surprise Youth Entrepreneurial Boot Camp wrapped-up on Friday, June 13th at the AZ TechCelerator.  Four teams presented their business plans to a team of judges including Councilman Todd Tande, Michael Gillete, an attorney with Gammage and Burnham, Shannon Engle with Wells Fargo and myself.  I was able to announce the winners later that evening at an awards ceremony.  The winning team was Bull Dog Lock-up.  Bull Dog Lock-up will provide storage for the students of Arizona Charter Academy via locker rental; in doing so, they will provide a secure place for students to store their athletic and school items.  Students at Arizona Charter Academy do not have lockers.  The winning team members of Jevonne Richard, Willie Douglas, Chris McGrier and Yazmin Padilla received $2,000 to help start their business.  This money was donated from a variety of businesses in Surprise.

the judges
The judges

Bull Dog Lock-up Winners with Mayor
Bull Dog Lock-up Winners with Mayor
All the teams did a fantastic job of researching and creating viable business plans.  We are very proud of each and every one of them for their enthusiasm and hard work!

Rules Subcommittee Meeting
The Rules Subcommittee met on Monday, June 16 to review and discuss the City Council Policy and Procedures Manual draft.  Items of discussion included the use of staff, parliamentary procedures and rules of public comment.  Direction was given to staff to finalize the Manual and distribute to Council for discussion at an upcoming City Council meeting in August.

Surprise Police Promotion Ceremony
The Surprise Police Department hosted a Promotion Ceremony on Tuesday, June 17 in the Police Department Briefing Room.  Officer Evan Becher, who was hired in September of 2007, was promoted to Sergeant; Sergeant Bert Anzini, who was hired in March of 2005, was promoted to Lieutenant; and Commander Terry Young, who was hired in November of 2010, was promoted to Assistant Chief of Police.  It was a privilege to witness the promotions of some of our finest!  Congratulations to each of them!

image 1
From left to right: Sgt. Becher, Chief Frazier, Vice Mayor Hall, Mayor Wolcott, Asst. Chief Young
City Manager Wingenroth, Councilwoman Villanueva, Councilman Williams and Lt. Anzini
Community Recreation Services Commission Public Hearing
The Community Recreation Services Commission hosted a public hearing on Wednesday, June 18 at Willow Canyon High School to discuss the Surprise Farms upgrades. The City Council approved approximately $1.68 million in the FY14/15 capital budget for facility improvements specifically at Surprise Farms.  The proposed improvements conceptually include restrooms, basketball courts, drinking fountains, paved and lighted parking lots, a dog park, a skate park and much more.  The meeting was very well attended with well over 100 residents.  The Parks and Recreation Board along with Mark Coronado, Director of Community Recreation Services were there to answer questions and hear input from the residents.

Mark Your Calendars

Meet Our Community Development Director Candidates
You can have an opportunity to meet our six Community Development Director Candidates on Monday, June 23  in the Mayor’s Atrium of City Hall from 6 – 7 pm.  Please join us and welcome our candidates to Surprise.

Cell Phones for Soldiers Mission
The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce is working to collect as many cell phones prior to the Fourth of July in efforts to send them overseas to our soldiers. Cell Phones for Soldiers Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to providing cost-free communication services to active-duty military members and veterans.  Since 2004, the organization has provided more than 204 million minutes of free talk time and mails approximately 7,500 calling cards each week. If you have any extra cell phones that you would like to donate, please drop off the phones at the Chamber at 16126 N. Civic Center Plaza.

Northwest Regional Library
The Northwest Regional Library, located at 16089 N. Bullard Avenue, will be closed on Friday, June 20 and Saturday, June 21 for equipment Installation.  Customers can still pick up their holds in the City Room off the lobby using the south entrance from 9 am until 5 pm both days.

Did You Know?

City Hall Hours of Operation
Beginning Monday, June 30, City Hall will be open five days a week from 8 am until 5 pm to better accommodate our residents and businesses!

Do You Do Your Part To Recycle?
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Contact Me

Vice Mayor Skip Hall
Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975
Email: skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov

Ask a Question