Tag Archives: Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission

August 10, 2017 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Rock Star Academy @ Red Line Grill

Musical Surprise hosted a RockStar Academy at Red Line Grill on Saturday, August 5. Students from Surprise displayed their musical talent for most of the evening and to say the talent is impressive is an understatement! The performances included music tributes to bands such as Journey and much more!

Arts & Cultural Commission Meeting

The Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission met on Monday, August 7. Project Manager for Smith Kraft, Brandon McMillen, was present to receive feedback from the Commission on signage at City Hall. He will provide the Commission with some mock-ups to review next month. IT Security Manager Gina Busby was present to discuss security camera options for the art around City Hall. The Commission received a progress report on Art in Public Places at Surprise City Hall. City Planner Joshua Mike was also present to provide an update on the Arts & Cultural Master Plan surveys.

Friends of the Library Board Meeting

I attended the Friends of the Library Board meeting on Wednesday, August 9. Friends of the Library awarded a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) grant to Desert Oasis Elementary School in the amount of $465 for STEM challenges for 62 sixth graders. The Board discussed the possibility of an upcoming book sale in November. Friends is looking for a Recording Secretary and a Community Outreach Member for their Board.


Mark Your Calendar

Raising a Reader Series

Surprise has partnered with Southwest Human Development to host a free eight week Raising a Reader program that utilizes proven skills to educate parents about the importance of early literacy and provides tools to help children learn to read. Using an evidence-based model that focuses on developmental milestones and brain development, literacy specialists will model how to engage children with the use of books. Families will also learn the significance of singing, dancing and playing as a way to build their child’s vocabulary and prepare them for school.

All members of the family are invited to participate! Plus, participating families will take home a bag filled with award-winning children’s books at the end of each week. Courses will be taught from 11 a.m. -12:30 p.m. on consecutive Fridays beginning August 11 at the Surprise Resource Center, 12425 W. Bell Rd, Suite 124. To enroll in the eight week Raising a Reader series, contact Lizette Garced at LGarced@swhd.org.

Free Educational Presentation on Older Adults and Suicide

Suicide rates of older adults are higher than any other age group in Maricopa County. The City of Surprise has partnered with Area Agency on Aging and Maricopa Elder Behavioral Health Advocacy Coalition to provide a free educational presentation.

A Matter of Life is a presentation created to educate and help people recognize the signs and symptoms of suicide, depression, anxiety and substance abuse. It encourages help-seeking behaviors by connecting people with resources and tools to access help for themselves or someone they know.

This program will be held on Wednesday, August 23 at 9 a.m. at the Surprise Senior Center, located at 15832 N. Hollyhock Street. It will run approximately one hour. Please register with Trisha Weston at 623.222.1544 or trisha.weston@surpriseaz.gov.

Senior Services is a division of the Human Service & Community Vitality Department and is designed to provide programs to strengthen the community and better serve Surprise residents. Located in the heart of Surprise, in the Heritage District, at 15832 N. Hollyhock Street. The Surprise Senior Center is the hub of activities for citizens age 50 and better and adults with disabilities. The membership fee for a resident of Surprise is $12 per year, and for non-residents it’s $15 per year. The Senior Center also offers a gym membership for an additional fee (some rules and restrictions apply). Hours of operation are Monday thru Friday from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Disclaimer: Information in seminars and classes sponsored by the City are a public service and should not be construed as advice or representation of any specific business, company, individual business owners, brokers or affiliations. The City does not endorse any particular business, product or speaker. Any information presented does not reflect the opinion or position of the City.


Did You Know?

Surprise Satellite Voting Site Designation

Surprise City Hall will serve as a Satellite Voting site for this November 7 Special Election cycle. This designation allows any registered voter residing in Maricopa County to vote or drop-off a ballot at Surprise City Hall- Clerk’s Office, during the replacement ballot period and on Election Day.

Due to the designation, the hours for In-Person Replacement Ballot Voting and Ballot drop-off have changed from what was published in the July issue of Surprise Progress Magazine. Below are the following dates/times:

Saturday October 28 – Tuesday, November 7: In-Person Replacement Ballot Voting period and Ballot Drop-Off. This includes Saturday and Sunday voting; 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. (*extended hours on Election Day)

*Election Day, Tuesday, November 7: In-Person Voting and Ballot Drop-Off, 6 a.m. – 7 p.m.

This is a Ballot by Mail Election only. Ballots will be mailed on October 11. In Surprise, registered voters will consider three separate general obligation bond questions requesting bond funding for 10 projects in the areas of public safety, traffic congestion mitigation and pavement preservation. The projects include a Public Safety Evidence & Readiness Center, a permanent fire station in north Surprise and a new fire station in the southeast part of the city, road improvements on Waddell, Greenway and Litchfield and a citywide pavement preservation program to fund major road repairs. To learn more about all of the projects, costs and timelines please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise.

Surprise City Hall is located at 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, Surprise, 85374.


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

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June 8, 2017 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Community Development User Fee Discussion

The current FY18 budget is supported in part by direct charges for services provided by the city. These charges for services fall into three broad groups including utility rates, development impact fees, and user fees. With that being said, the revision of utility rates and development impact fees is highly regulated by state law. Though less regulated, user fees do have state mandated posting requirements and Comprehensive Financial Management Policies call for a periodic examination of user fees to determine an acceptable rate of cost recovery. In order to ensure compliance with state mandates and to facilitate a more consistent user fee policy process, a consolidated user fee schedule was adopted by City Council in FY16. User Fees make up $9.8 million of the estimated User Fee Revenue for FY18. Community Development fees are $2.4 million of that amount. The Community Development Department has not conducted a formal overhaul of the Community Development User Fees since 2010, under Resolution 2010-23, which had an effective date of April 1, 2010. There have been subsequent minor modifications in 2012 and 2016 but not a thorough review of the fees. The Department’s goal is to recover all or part of program costs associated with development; some of which include various other departments.

Community Outreach consists of a written notice of the proposed fee schedule on our city website, distribution of information via the city’s social media outlets with a notice of intent and the potential City Council adoption on August 15, 2017.


Special City Council Meeting

Public Hearing on Budget, Truth in Taxation and Property Tax Levies

The city is required to hold a public hearing on proposed expenditures and tax levy in which any taxpayer may appear and be heard in favor of or against any proposed expenditure or tax levy. Pursuant to Arizona Revised Statute 42-17107, any increase in the primary property tax levy, exclusive of new growth, must go through a Truth in Taxation hearing. Statute requires that a public hearing is held prior to the levy of property taxes for street light improvement districts (SLIDS). A public hearing was conducted with no comments from the public.

The resolution adopting the FY18 final budget and the notices of intent to levy primary and street light improvement districts property tax levies were adopted as part of this meeting. The resolution was passed unanimously.

The FY18 Budget, approved at $275.8 million, maintains city services and the primary property tax rate of $0.7591 per $100 of assessed property valuation. Due to new construction and higher property valuations, as assessed by Maricopa County that would generate approximately $380,100 in new money.

The property tax levy adoption is scheduled for discussion and action for the City Council meeting on June 20.


City Council Meeting

Mattamy Preliminary Plat Discussion

Community Development Director Eric Fitzer provided an overview of the preliminary plat for City Center, a 56.38 acre property located along Statler Boulevard west of Litchfield Road, which included a multi-phased, attached and detached, single-family lot subdivision. The applicant proposed a total of 369 residential lots on 50.7 acres for a density of 7.28 dwelling units per acre. The lots would consist of a combination of 50 foot by 60 foot detached, 46 foot by 80 foot detached, and 50 foot by 60 foot duplex parcels. The plat also included 9.9 acres of land that would provide 17.6 open space for the development.

City Council voted to deny the approval of the Mattamy preliminary plat by a 4-3 vote.

City Council Approves Bond for November Ballot

City Council unanimously approved sending three General Obligation Bond questions in the areas of Public Safety, Traffic Congestion Mitigation and Pavement Preservation to the ballot in a Special Election on November 7, 2017. All registered voters in Surprise will receive a ballot by mail. Residents are invited to learn more about the projects, costs and voter information at a specialized website Decide Surprise www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise.

The projects included in the following questions were based on community needs, comments received from residents during the 2016 bond election outreach process, and input received during and after the Surprise Capital Improvement Funding Exploratory Committee’s meeting that was held on April 19.

Question #1: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $34 million public safety bond proposal to: build a Public Safety Evidence & Readiness Center; renovate an existing city facility into a Police Training Facility; acquire Land for Future Fire Station/Police Substation & Park; build a new Fire Station at Cactus and Litchfield roads; build a new Fire Station along 163rd Avenue, south of Happy Valley Road, to replace the current temporary station; and build a Public Works Operations Facility to centralize operations. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $26 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

Question #2: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $15.5 million street bond proposal to provide funds to plan, design, construct and improve Waddell, Greenway and Litchfield roads. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $12 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

Question #3: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $10 million street pavement preservation bond proposal to plan, design, construct, replace and improve deteriorated street pavement citywide. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $8 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

General Obligation Bonds are sold to investors who are repaid with interest. The repayment comes from a secondary property tax, which Surprise does not currently have. If all three questions are approved, the annual secondary property tax could be up to $46 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value, or approximately $4 per month. ($92 per $200,000 in Limited Property Value, or approximately $8 per month). You can determine the exact cost to your property by following the steps listed at www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise.

Educational public meetings will be scheduled ahead of the November 7 Special Election. Meeting dates and locations will be posted at www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise.

Voter registration for this election closes on October 9. You can register online by visiting: https://recorder.maricopa.gov/elections/registrationform.aspx, or stop by the Surprise City Clerk’s Office in person Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

City Clerk Employment Contract

At the request of the Performance Evaluation Leaders Committee consisting of Councilman John Williams and myself, an employment contract for City Clerk Sherry Aguilar was drafted. Her former contract was set to expire on June 30, 2017. Her employment contract is now in harmony with the other Council appointed positions and it was approved unanimously.


Events & Meetings

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Meeting

The Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission met on Monday, June 5. Several items were discussed including the Arts & Culture Master Plan that will set the standard and strategic direction for how the city will continue to implement and enjoy arts and culture. Planner Joshua Mike and Designing Local consultant Josh Lapp provided an overview of their current community outreach plans that consists of several roundtable discussions with arts and cultural stakeholders. The discussions were held this week.


Mark Your Calendar

Valley Metro to Host Dial-a-Ride Transition Public Meeting

The city of Surprise, in partnership with Valley Metro, will host a public outreach meeting on Wednesday, June 14 to provide current Northwest Valley Dial-a-Ride passengers an opportunity to learn about the new transportation service models prior to the July 1 transition of Dial-a-Ride to RideChoice and Valley Metro Paratransit.

The outreach meeting will be held in the Surprise City Hall Community Room, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, on June 14 from 4:00-5:30 p.m. A brief presentation will begin at 4 p.m. Customers unable to attend the meeting can stay informed about the Dial-a-Ride service changes by visiting www.surpriseaz.gov/transportation.


Did You Know?

Surprise Named National Finalist for 2017 Best Intergenerational Community Award

The City of Surprise has been selected as a National Finalist for the 2017 MetLife Foundation/Generations United America’s Best Intergenerational Communities Awards. Since 2012, the awards program has recognized 24 innovative communities across America that are leading the way by incorporating intergenerational solutions that engage the wisdom and vitality of all generations. Surprise was recognized for its intergenerational workforce development partnerships that promote a greater sense of community while establishing and tapping into our current and future talent pool.

Those programs include:

Surprise City Court Explorers Program – an interactive worksite-based career education program affiliated with the Boys Scouts of America that introduces high school students to career opportunities in the judicial and legal lines of work

Helping Partners Program – a vocational training program for adults with cognitive and developmental disabilities that is offered by nonprofits Benevilla and One Step Beyond in partnership with the city

Summer Youth Employment Program – a summer jobs program for teens where they to receive professional development training through city internships; from shadowing a building inspector to working with seniors

Other programs and services included the Surprise Citizen Patrol, Surprise Community Pride Day, Crisis Response Team and the Block Party Trailer Program.

The award entry also cited how volunteerism in the city engages all generations to share their time and talent to maintain and grow community vitality. Our volunteers assist our police and fire-medical departments, beautify the community through clean up events, help raise money for college scholarships and more.

The winning community is Two Harbors, Minnesota. The other National Finalists are: Jenks Public Schools in Jenks, Oklahoma, and the Town of Yarmouth, Massachusetts. A blue-ribbon panel of judges selected the winning entries from among a host of applicants from across the country. Presentation of this year’s awards will occur at the 2017 Global Intergenerational Conference on June 14 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The Best Intergenerational Communities awards program is made possible with a grant from MetLife Foundation.

Surprise Community Outreach Grant Program Application Opens

A City Council-led initiative to assist community organizations in providing programs and events that benefit City of Surprise residents is now accepting applications. Council set aside $65,000 for FY2017-2018 for the Surprise Community Outreach Program in an effort to support and grow qualified local programs and events to improve the health and welfare of Surprise residents.

To be considered, applicants must be a 501(c)3 organization or partner with a 501(c)3 verified agency. The maximum award per applicant is $10,000. According to program guidelines, funds are distributed by reimbursement through an invoice process. The application, complete program details and eligibility requirements are available online at: www.surpriseaz.gov/communityoutreachprogram.

Applications will be accepted until Friday, August 11 and should be post-marked to:

Human Service & Community Vitality Department
City of Surprise
Attention: Jodi Tas
16000 N. Civic Center Plaza
Surprise, AZ 85374

A pre-application meeting that will include information about the program and the application process will be held on Wednesday, July 12, at 11 a.m. at Surprise City Hall- Overflow Room, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. For more information, please contact Jodi Tas at 623.222.1330 or jodi.tas@surpriseaz.gov.

Contact Me

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

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May 18, 2017 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Surprise Community Outreach Program and Neighborhood Grant Program Update

The City Council designated $75,000 from the FY2017 budget for community outreach programs. From that total, $65,000 has been allocated for the Surprise Community Outreach Program and $10,000 for the Neighborhood Grant Program. With this investment, 21 local non-profits and neighborhood groups were supported which led to 15,500 residents being served between both programs.

Potential General Obligation Bond Discussion

City staff briefed City Council on three proposed General Obligation Bond questions in the areas of Public Safety, Traffic Congestion Mitigation and Pavement Preservation, at Tuesday’s Work Session.

The three proposed questions and projects, as presented to Council, were determined based on community needs, comments received from residents during the 2016 bond election outreach process, and input received during and after the Surprise Capital Improvement Funding Exploratory Committee’s April 19 meeting.

Proposed Question #1: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $34 million public safety bond proposal to: build a Public Safety Evidence & Readiness Center; renovate an existing city facility into a Police Training Facility; acquire Land for Future Fire Station/Police Substation & Park; build a new Fire Station at Cactus and Litchfield roads; build a new Fire Station along 163rd Avenue, south of Happy Valley Road, to replace the current temporary station; and build a Public Works Operations Facility to centralize operations. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $26 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

Proposed Question #2: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $15.5 million street bond proposal to provide funds to plan, design, construct and improve Waddell, Greenway and Litchfield roads. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $12 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

Proposed Question #3: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $10 million street pavement preservation bond proposal to plan, design, construct, replace and improve deteriorated street pavement citywide. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $8 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

Per City Council consensus at the Work Session, staff will bring back a Call to Election action item at the June 6 Regular Council Meeting. If approved, the three separate bond questions would appear on the ballot in a Special Election on November 7. All registered voters in Surprise will receive a ballot by mail.


City Council Meeting

Reappointment of Presiding Judge Louis F. Dominguez

Surprise Municipal Code provides a reappointment process for incumbent presiding judges whereby the Judicial Selection Advisory Commission makes a recommendation to the City Council after investigation and evaluation. This process has occurred, and the Committee is recommending reappointment of Presiding Judge Louis F. Dominquez to Surprise Municipal Court.

City Council unanimously approved Resolution 2017-46 reappointing Presiding Judge Dominguez for a term of four years.

Surprise Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission’s Art in Public Places Plan

The Surprise Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission was first tasked by City Council to develop a display plan for the city in 2014. The purpose of the request was to update and enhance the look of City Hall and the surrounding campus with the inclusion of art and artistic elements and to create a space that residents and visitors alike will enjoy. The first draft of the plan revealed that a more comprehensive and detailed look was needed with the help of multiple resources and stakeholders. In March 2016, the Commission worked with a consultant to proceed.

After a very thorough process and after input by the City Council following a City Council Work Session in February 2017, the Commission provided City Council information regarding the plans, priorities and associated costs. Recommended projects include, but are not limited to, a new lobby seating area, art exhibit signage, LED lighting, new paint in highlighted areas, relocation of a few existing art pieces and a mural near the city cashier area.

City Council unanimously approved the Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission’s plan for Art in Public Places at City Hall.


Events & Meetings

WESTMARC Economic Development Summit

WESTMARC infographicWESTMARC Economic Development Summit was held on Thursday, May 11. Guest speakers included Land Advisors CEO and Founder Greg Vogel, EMSI Economic Development Consultant Matthew Miller, ASU Senior Sustainability Scientist Dr. Shade Shutters, Chancellor of Maricopa Community College District Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick. Conversation and panel discussion surrounded today’s workforce strategy and labor trends. Discussion also included the need for more accurate educational and labor data to provide to interested businesses. Currently, standard labor market information does not appropriately capture this information because the data is reported based on where people are employed versus where they reside.

West Valley Arts HQ – New Exhibit

West Valley Arts HQ hosted the opening of their high school student art exhibit on Thursday, May 11. The exhibit features impressive art work of high school students from throughout the West Valley. Their work will be on display through May 25.

crowed listening to music performance at Arts HQ gallery

Subaru Superstore of Surprise Grand Opening

Subaru Superstore of Surprise hosted their grand opening and community event on Saturday, May 13. The newest auto dealer in the Prasada Auto Mall is located at 13090 N. Autoshow Avenue. Welcome to Surprise!

Image of the Subaru Superstore of Surprise


Mark Your Calendar

Parenting with Purpose

The City of Surprise will be hosting a Parenting with Purpose workshop at the Surprise Resource Center on May 30 and June 6 at the Surprise Resource Center from 6 – 7:30 pm. During this workshop, you will discover how you can raise successful children and much more. The Surprise Resource Center is located at 12425 W. Bell Road, Suite 124.

For more information or to reserve your spot, please contact Charlotte Confer at 623.222.1600.


Did You Know?

Volunteers Needed

Are you interested in volunteering or completing your internship with the City of Surprise Human Service and Community Vitality Department? We need you! Please contact a volunteer coordinator in one of our three divisions to determine what opportunities are available at this time. The divisions include Neighborhood Services (Jason Hughes – 623.222.3239), Senior Services Division (Trisha Weston – 623.222.1544) and our Surprise Resource Center (Muriel Gutierrez – 623.222.1600).

For more information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/3574/Volunteer-Internship-Opportunities.

Current Curfew Ordinance Reminder

As students are released for summer break, the Surprise Police Department reminds residents about our curfew ordinance for those under the age of 18. According to the city ordinance, it is unlawful for any minor to remain upon, go or be upon any public street, alley or other public place of the city between 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m., Sunday through Thursday, and between 12:00 midnight and 5:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday unless accompanied by a legal guardian.

Often times, crimes occurring between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. are either committed by juveniles or against juvenile victims. To ensure the safety of minors, starting Friday, May 26, the Surprise Police will be heavily enforcing the curfew ordinance. Violation of this ordinance is a class 1 misdemeanor. Parents may also be cited for their children being out after curfew if they allowed the juvenile to violate the ordinance.

Review this city ordinance in detail

Promotional Vendors Needed for Annual 4th of July Celebratione

The City of Surprise invites promotional vendors to participate in the 34th Annual 4th of July Celebration at Surprise Recreation Campus! Businesses and organizations can reserve promotional booth space for a fee of $500, which includes a 10 x 10 vendor space, (1) table, (2) chairs and an in-game public announcement during a Rookie League baseball game featuring the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals.

Event attendees will enjoy in-game contests, music and giveaways – all leading up to a fireworks spectacular!

Surprise Recreation Campus is located at 15850 N. Bullard Avenue. Parking and admission are free with a canned food donation benefiting the St. Mary’s Food Bank. This annual event is expected to draw 12,000 – 15,000 participants. Interested vendors should contact Regina Miller at 623.222.2249 or regina.miller@surpriseaz.gov.


Contact Me

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

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March 16, 2017 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Valley Metro Audit & Finance Subcommittee Meeting

At the Valley Metro Audit & Finance Subcommittee Meeting on March 9, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) presented on staffing for the upcoming fiscal year – explaining the need for additional staff and the potential financial impact. The committee provided feedback for the CFO to consider.

West Valley Arts Council Celebrates 35 Year Anniversary

West Valley Arts Council celebrated their 35 year anniversary at Arts HQ on March 9. The event featured live music, food and art. I attended, along with Vice Mayor Tande and Council Members Winters and Remley. Following the reception, guests were invited to enjoy the “Neu Art Exhibit” at Surprise City Hall. The exhibit is on display through April 20. Stop by the first floor of City Hall to check it out!

“The Future of Desalination” Speaker Panel

The Kyle Center for Water Policy hosted a panel of speakers on March 10 who addressed the future of desalination by sharing their experience with and knowledge of the process, as well as the associated costs. Desalination is the process of removing salt from saltwater. Desalinated water is produced by either using seawater or brackish water (water that has more salinity than fresh water, but not as much as seawater). Shawn Bradford with Epcor talked about how the desalination plants in Goodyear deal with brackish water; Chuck Collum with Central Arizona Project spoke about next steps for dealing with brackish water throughout Arizona and gave insight into how North San Diego County is using desalination plants to supply 8 percent of that county’s water; Bob Lotts with APS spoke about his work on the Governor’s appointed Water Augmentation Council, which includes desalination; and Sharon Magdel, Ph.D., Director of University of Arizona’s Water Resources Research Center, shared what Israel is doing with desalination, as they possess leading technology in this field.

Veteran Success Project Advisory Board Meeting

I am a member of the Veteran Success Project Advisory Board. The Veterans Success Project is a program spearheaded by the Maricopa Community College District that is designed to provide support to military personnel, veterans and their families as they move from active duty to civilian life. I attended a meeting on March 15 where the board discussed the kickoff of a pilot program at Luke Air Force Base that will help those transitioning out of the air force find employment. We also discussed an outreach program for both active duty military and veterans. The program would involve a self-assessment that would help to identify the person’s current needs and their goals so the program can support their next steps. Lastly, we talked about the opening date for the new Veterans Resource Center – which will occupy the former Visitor’s Center at Luke Air Force Base. The center would provide various social services for veterans, with employment assistance being a major component. The center will open in the near future, but the exact date has not yet been determined.


Mark Your Calendar

Public Meetings on Proposed Sign Code Changes, Mar. 22 & 29

The city is in the process of updating its Sign Code and wants your input! The proposed code aims to balance business needs with aesthetics, while meeting the requirements of law.

There are two public meetings remaining where you can learn more and give your feedback on the proposed changes:

March 22
6-7 p.m. Surprise City Hall – Community Room, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza

March 29
6-7 p.m. Surprise Regional Library, 16089 N. Bullard Avenue

The code changes will also be presented to the Surprise City Council at their Regular Meeting on March 7 at 6 p.m. in the Surprise City Hall – City Council Chambers.

To learn more, view the proposed sign code text or submit online comments, please visit: www.surpriseaz.gov/signcode.

Surprise Arts Commission hosts Public Art Bus Tour, March 22

Spend a morning discovering various art exhibits and experiences in the city of Surprise! On March 22, the Surprise Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission and Benevilla are joining together to offer a free public art bus tour.

Tour participants will visit art locations such as WHAM Art Gallery, Arts HQ and City Hall; they will also view public art pieces, including the Joe Tyler Learning Tree!

The tour will begin at 9 a.m. at Benevilla, located at 16752 N. Greasewood St. in Surprise, and will end at the same location at noon. Space is limited, so please reserve your spot by Wednesday, March 15, 2017. Reservations can be made by calling Benevilla at 623.584.4999.

At the conclusion of the bus tour, there will be an option to enjoy lunch at Birt’s Bistro on Benevilla’s campus. The lunch package is $15 per person, which includes a meal, soft drink, tip and tax. Please note if you would like the optional lunch when you reserve your spot for the bus tour. Payment is due at the time of reservation.

Community Pride Day, April 8

Looking for an opportunity to better your community? The city invites all residents to participate in our Community Pride Day Cleanup Event. This event will have volunteers helping with landscaping projects and trash removal.

Volunteers are asked to meet at the city park located on 183rd Avenue, south of Enoch Drive (24303 N. 183rd Avenue) at 8 a.m. on Saturday, April 8 to receive cleanup assignments. Volunteers will meet back at the park for lunch at 11:30 a.m. and the event will conclude at noon.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Jason Hughes at 623.222.3239.


Did You Know?

Seeking Applications for Voluntary Commissions

The City of Surprise is currently accepting applications for the following commissions:

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission – 1 vacancy
Municipal Property Corporation Board – 1 vacancy

All board/commission positions are voluntary.

Applications for the above mentioned commissions are immediately available for pick-up from the City Clerk’s Office from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday at 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza.

Applications are also available online at www.surpriseaz.gov.

Please submit applications to the City Clerk’s Office in person or by e-mail to clerk@surpriseaz.gov.

Applications are always available for all boards and commissions and will be kept on file for future vacancies.

For more information, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at 623.222.1200.

Surprise Youth Council Accepting Applications; Deadline is March 20

The city of Surprise is recruiting new members for the Surprise Youth Council (SYC) – a group of groundbreaking teens who are making a difference in their community!

SYC members serve the community by collaborating with local leaders, including the Mayor and City Council, to give youth a voice in city issues and to help solve youth issues through awareness campaigns, service projects, and community-building events.

Students who are currently in grades 6-11 may apply, as long as they are attending a middle school or high school within the Surprise city limits, attending a Dysart Unified School District high school, or reside within Surprise city limits.

Applications are being accepted now – Mar. 20. The application consists of a video submission, no longer than 1 minute and 15 seconds, and should include the following information:

  • Your name, grade and school you attend
  • Why you want to be on the SYC
  • If you could bring one thing to this city or change one thing, what would it be? What can you and a group like SYC do about it?
  • Of these three words: fearless, creative, hardworking – which one best describes you and why? Briefly tell us about a time you were fearless, creative or hardworking.

The videos should be sent to Youth Services Administrator Mike Cassidy by uploading your application video from your Google Drive and sharing it with cityofsurpriseyouth@gmail.com.

Applicants must also have a parent or guardian complete and return a Parent Acknowledgement Form.

For questions or more information, please contact Mike Cassidy at 623.222.1033 or mike.cassidy@surpriseaz.gov or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/syc.

2017 Surprise Retail Survey is open! Help bring in new shopping & dining; vote for local favorites

Do you have a favorite restaurant that you would like to see open in Surprise? What about a unique shopping experience that you want added to your hometown? Tell us in our 2017 Surprise Retail Survey!

We want to know how we can make our city a one-stop shopping and dining destination, and we’ll be giving away $20 Visa gift cards to five randomly-selected survey-takers just for offering their thoughts!

The survey will help the city to identify retail strengths within the community, as well as opportunities to bring additional amenities closer to home. Every response helps the Surprise Economic Development Department better reach the retailers you want the most.

In the 2015 Surprise Retail Survey, we asked what restaurants and retailers you wanted us to target, and two of your top ten picks have already opened in Surprise – Oregano’s Pizza Bistro and Texas Roadhouse! We are still actively engaging with others on the list, and hope to see more of your favorites open up shop in Surprise.

It’s important to us that we attract businesses you want, because the money you spend here, stays here. In fact, local sales tax makes up nearly 40 percent of our city’s General Fund revenues which support public safety, clean parks and street maintenance.

The survey runs through April 9 and is available online at www.surpriseaz.gov/retailsurvey.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

March 9, 2017 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Continued FY18 Budget Discussion

City Council heard the third presentation in a series of discussions on the upcoming FY2018 budget. The focus of this particular discussion was the enterprise utility funds and the Highway User Revenue Fund (HURF). The enterprise utilities include the Solid Waste, Stormwater, Wastewater, and Water services. Rates are set for each of those funds to recover the costs of the services provided.

The Solid Waste utility revenues are currently 3 percent or $0.1M ahead of the FY2017 budget. In the upcoming fiscal year, there will be a focus on vehicle and equipment replacement, renegotiation of the landfill services contract, and reviewing the efficiency of bulk trash scheduling.

The Stormwater utility is new in the current fiscal year with estimated year end revenues of $1.3M. Establishing its reserve and starting the construction of stormwater related infrastructure are the priorities for this utility.

The Wastewater utility revenues are currently 5 percent or $0.4M above FY2017 budgeted amounts. FY2018 will see an evaluation of current debt to identify potential refinancing opportunities; a review of current capacity, most specifically the recharging of treated water; and an update of the development impact fees.

The Water utility revenues are currently 15 percent or $0.9M above the budget through six months. Like the Wastewater utility, an update of the development impact fees is on the horizon, along with capital projects enhancing system interconnectivity and expanding arsenic treatment capacity. Management of the water portfolio, specifically the expansion of water rights, is also an important priority for the upcoming year. For FY2018, the Water utility is scheduled for an 8.25 percent rate increase adopted by Council in June of 2014.

HURF receives the majority of its revenue from gasoline tax collected by the state and distributed to the cities. The revenues are currently 3 percent or $0.1M above its budgeted amount. Key issues for HURF in the upcoming budget year include replacement of equipment and vehicles, as well as the continued maintenance of our streets through the pavement preservation program.

The budget discussions will continue over the next few Council meetings resulting in the June adoption of the FY2018 budget that will become effective July 1, 2017.

If you missed the live presentation, visit www.surpriseaz.gov/budget to watch it. All of the budget presentations are posted to the website following the City Council Work Session or Regular Meeting at which they are presented.

Surprise Public Art Policies and Procedures Guide

Members of the Arts & Cultural Commission elaborated on the Public Art Policies and Procedures Guide that was originally introduced at a City Council Work Session last month. The purpose of the guide is to establish a process for the selection, acquisition, placement and maintenance of works of public art, including policies for public art management, acceptance of donations and deaccession procedures.


City Council Meeting

Boards & Commissions Appointments

City Council unanimously approved three appointments that included Dustin Gardy (Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission), Robert Monahan (Disability Advisory Commission) and Ken Wright (Municipal Property Corporation Board). Congratulations!

Budget Amendment for Fencing at 8-Acre Park

The 8-Acre Park is the multi-purpose field located North of Surprise Stadium on Bullard Avenue. This field is used extensively throughout the year for youth sports such as soccer, flag football, tee-ball, baseball and softball practices. In addition, the area is utilized for City special events such as the annual Surprise Party.

Community and Recreation Services requested a FY17 budget amendment by reallocating appropriations and an actual transfer of $300,000 within the General Fund to the General Capital Projects Fund to facilitate the construction of fencing around the park for several pertinent reasons. The fence would provide a safety barrier for users of the field from Bullard Ave and Paradise Lane; allow for a greater span of control during special events; and would create a venue for ticketed events throughout the year. The fence would also allow maintenance staff to close the area during times of maintenance or over-seeding. 8-Acre Park would remain open to the public when the field is not being used for programming or closed for maintenance.

8 Acres Park fence project

The fence installation will consist of wrought iron fencing, brick pillars with lights and rolling gates to match existing stadium fencing. The fencing would be 2,300 linear feet of 8′ high ornamental fencing with six 20′ x 8′ rolling gates, one 40′ x 8′ iron double roll gate and one 8′ x 8′ double drive gate for accessibility. The resolution for the budget amendment utilizing savings was unanimously approved.

Discussion of Proposed Text Amendment of Surprise Municipal Code on Signs

The city’s Community Development Department is currently working to re-write our sign code. The goal is to balance business needs with community aesthetics, while complying with recent court decisions regarding free speech. Some of the highlights of the draft code include:

  • A content-neutral approach to sign regulation
  • A provision that serves to replace all previous sign codes while leaving intact any currently approved through the Comprehensive Sign Program
  • Robust definitions with illustrations and graphics
  • Clear articulation of permitted and prohibited signs
  • More opportunities for permanent business signage through increased wall and monument sign area
  • A provision for vertical (blade) signage in certain circumstances
  • Increased community aesthetics through a reduction in certain types of temporary signage
  • Limited use of Electronic Messaging Centers
  • A provision that will allow unique and creative designs through a Council-approved Comprehensive Sign Program

The draft code has been released to the public for review and comment, and outreach meetings have been scheduled as follows:

March 15
6-7 p.m. Surprise City Hall – Community Room, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza

March 22
6-7 p.m. Surprise City Hall – Community Room, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza

March 29
6-7 p.m. Surprise Regional Library, 16089 N. Bullard Avenue

More information is available on our website at www.surpriseaz.gov/signcode. You are encouraged to attend any of these meetings and to contact staff for more information or to submit comments.


Events & Meetings

Read Across America Day

I was invited to participate in Read Across America Day at Countryside Elementary School on March 2. Read Across America Day celebrates Dr. Seuss’ birthday and the joys of reading. I was honored to read a Dr. Seuss book to the second grade students of Ms. Igoe’s class.

Councilman Skip Hall reading to students

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Meeting

The Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission met on Monday, March 6 to discuss the Public Art Master Plan timeline which is scheduled for completion in July 2018. In addition, the winner of the baseball bat contest was chosen.

Youth Services Update

Youth Services Administrator Mike Cassidy and I met earlier this week to discuss the status of youth services. It is the goal of the City Manager’s department to ensure that we are: reaching a diverse group of youth within our community; engaging the disengaged; making 20 Surprise Youth Council Members feel like the outreach is significantly more; facilitating academic, technical and interpersonal skill-building so we are positioning Surprise for the future.


Mark Your Calendar

Second Sundays in the Park – March 12

The city continues its Second Sundays in the Park concert series this Sunday, March 12 with Celtic music performed by “Kilted Spirit” from 4 until 6 p.m. in the center of Surprise Community Park. The event is free. Surprise Community Park is located at 15953 N. Bullard Avenue.

Community Pride Day

Looking for an opportunity to better your community? The city invites all residents to participate in our Community Pride Day Cleanup Event. This event will have volunteers helping with landscaping projects and trash removal.

Volunteers are asked to meet at the city park located on 183rd Avenue, south of Enoch Drive (24303 N. 183rd Avenue) at 8 a.m. on Saturday, April 8 to receive cleanup assignments. Volunteers will meet back at the park for lunch at 11:30 a.m. and the event will conclude at noon. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Jason Hughes at 623.222.3239.


Did You Know?

Southwest Gas Rate Case Update

Southwest Gas has recently filed a base rate adjustment request with the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC). The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) issued his recommended opinion and order approving the proposed settlement agreement which was signed by, among others: Arizona Corporation Commission staff, the Residential Utility Consumer Office, the Arizona Community Action Association, Property Owners and Residents Association of Sun City West. The ACC is expected to vote on the order during either their March or April open meeting. The recommended order can be modified by the Commissioners.

The recommended order adopts a $16 million revenue increase –the average residential customer will experience a 1.09% (or $0.40/month) increase. The recommended order adopts the Company’s proposed expansion of its Customer Owned Yard Line (COYL) program and Vintage Steel Pipe (VSP) Replacement Program. The COYL expansion will allow the Company to include a more proactive, systematic approach to replacing COYLS, whether or not they are leaking. The VSP program will facilitate the accelerated replacement of VSP (specifically, pre-1970s VSP). The agreed-upon VSP replacement program will enhance public safety by facilitating a proactive approach to the replacement of aging infrastructure, but will also offer rate impact protections to customers by including a reasonable cap on the annual rate adjustment that they will experience.

The recommended order adopts a modification to the Company’s decoupling mechanism to remove the monthly weather adjustment provision. Additionally, the mechanism will be renamed the Delivery Charge Adjustment Provision. For low income customers, the Low Income Ratepayer Assistance (LIRA) program eligibility is increasing to 200% of Federal Poverty Income Guidelines.

If you are not in favor of the recommended order, now is your time to notify the Commissioners. You can find their information at www.azcc.gov.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

February 23, 2017 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Budget Discussion For Fiscal Year 2018

On February 21, the Council had its second in a series of work sessions on the upcoming FY2018 budget. The focus was on the sources of funds for the General Fund. The General Fund’s unassigned fund balance is $2.5 million higher than estimated due to greater revenues and lower expenditures than expected for last fiscal year. These funds can be used for one time uses such as capital projects. Revenues for the current fiscal year are also currently 4% or $1.8 million above budgeted amounts. Impacts to local sales tax collections within the Bell Road and Grand Avenue Interchange Improvement project area are smaller than anticipated. These impacts are further offset by greater collections in other areas of the City.

Also reviewed were the city’s reserves which total $35.2 million for the current fiscal year. A revision to establish separate Operating, Budget Stabilization, and Emergency reserves within the General Fund was discussed. This will help to clarify the purpose of the General Fund reserves, identify when they can be used, and establish timelines to replenish them when they are used.

The budget discussions will continue over the next few Council meetings resulting in the June adoption of the FY2018 budget that will become effective July 1.

Discussion of Adoption of Public Art Plan

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Chair Susan DeJong provided an overview of the proposed Public Art Plan. The purpose of the plan is to identify and refine how art is integrated into City Hall. Commission members have worked in partnership with Consultant Architekton. The Commission would like to utilize some of this fiscal year’s funding to cover some of the priority projects. The goal is to proceed with the highest impact projects for the lowest cost.


City Council Meeting

Major Amendment to the Sycamore Farms PAD

Sustainability Engineering Group, on behalf Taylor Trust Farms LLC, sought approval of an amendment to the zoning of the Sycamore Farms PAD to modify land uses and to adjust certain commercial development standards. These proposed amendments demonstrated intent to develop the site to better represent the current needs of the residential and commercial development community that has transformed since the adoption of the Sycamore Farms PAD 16 years ago. The amendment passed unanimously.

Sycamore Farms PAD Map

Approval of Annexation

Staff requested the approval of an annexation of a 3.34 acre portion of Peoria Avenue, located between Sarival Avenue and Reems Road. Based on a previous Intergovernmental Agreement, Maricopa County expanded and constructed this proposed annexation section of Right-of-Way on the south side of Peoria Avenue between Reems Road and Sarival Avenue. This annexation will transfer ownership and maintenance to the City of Surprise and provide a safe transportation option and improve connectivity. The recommendation passed unanimously.

Council repeals City-wide Temporary Sign Policy; and Bell and Grand Temporary Sign and Use Permit Policy

The city of Surprise has a history of responding to business needs. During the last economic recession, City Council adopted a citywide temporary signage policy, in 2009, to temporarily allow for a-frame signs, building banners and ease restrictions for sign walkers.

Council extended it for one year in 2012 and agreed to keep it in place during the Bell-Grand Construction Project in 2016.

Eight years later with an improving economy, Council approved removing the temporary policy, at their February 21 Regular Meeting. This move is aimed at eliminating the clutter of too many temporary signs that have popped up along city sidewalks and other locations throughout the city.

Businesses citywide have until April 22, 2017 (60 days following Council action) to comply with the original signage policy.

Under the original policy:

  • A-frames are not permitted.
  • Building banners are only allowed twice per year, for 30 days.
  • In the event of a Grand Opening, the building banner is permitted for a 60-day period.

The city also realized that closing Bell Road for seven months during the Bell-Grand intersection work would impact area businesses, so Council adopted a temporary Bell-Grand Signage Policy, for businesses surrounding the construction zone that allowed for more temporary signage during construction and waived temporary use permit fees.

Now that the work is complete, Council has voted to repeal this policy as well. Bell-Grand businesses have until April 22, 2017 to comply with the original signage policies as listed previously. In addition, Bell-Grand area businesses will once again be required to obtain a building permit for directional signage and special events may also require a Temporary Use Permit. These two items were temporarily lifted under the temporary Bell-Grand policy.

The ultimate goal is to remove clutter from our city streets and sidewalks and create an atmosphere that aims to make business signage more impactful.

The Sign Code is available online at:

https://www.municode.com/library/az/surprise/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=PTIILADEOR_CH113SI

Questions? Call Community Development at 623.222.3000.

Purchase of Real Property in Original Town Site

The City Council has identified the Surprise Heritage District as an important area to the City’s heritage and as such to expand current city services in the area. The City owns the majority of property surrounding the site and thus has identified the Do Norma property as a property to acquire as an investment for City services in the future. The Council unanimously agreed to purchase the 5.84 acres.

Budget Amendment for Pickleball Courts and Shade Structures

In February 2015, City Council formed a Capital Improvement Funding Exploratory Committee to review potential use of general obligation bonds to fund specific capital improvements. Construction of eight additional lighted Pickleball Courts was included in the review of the committee and the courts were supported by the Community and Recreation Services Advisory Commission. It was later decided to remove the courts from the bond package and look for other sources to fund this $500,000 project.

Construction of the additional courts adjacent to the existing courts will require the relocation of the sand volleyball courts at Community Park. Conservative estimated project completion would be August 2017.

Separately, over the years City Council approved the construction of a wide variety of Park and Recreation facilities including sports fields and courts, playgrounds, water features, dog parks, and open space. These facilities are a gathering place for all ages. During much of the year, the heat from the shade makes it difficult to fully enjoy our facilities. Equipment is hot to the touch, flooring too hot for bare feet, and without shade of any kind, there is no way to find respite other than leaving the facility and heading inside.

Shade structures may be constructed throughout the city at a cost of approximately $20,000 for a 30’x30′ and $40,000 for a 40’x40′. Staff will specifically analyze the needs citywide and recommend the best mix of structures to maximize the benefit from a $200,000 investment in shade. City Council unanimously approved the budget amendment to proceed.


Events & Meetings

Valley Metro RPTA Monthly Meeting

The Valley Metro RPTA Board unanimously voted to officially make an offer for an Internal Audit Manager.

Surprise Becomes a College Town!

Ottawa University and the City of Surprise announced on Friday, February 17 that Ottawa University Arizona (OUAZ), a new residential university campus, will be opening Fall 2017 in Surprise, expanding upon the university’s 40-year presence in our state, making Surprise a university town, and bringing intercollegiate athletic programs to the West Valley.

OUAZ Surprise, 15950 N. Civic Center Plaza, will offer a full complement of academic, athletic and student activity programs including multiple undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The university will be home to 19 varsity men’s and women’s sports teams, and will be working toward a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) designation. Upon award of the designation, OUAZ would be one of only four NAIA programs in Arizona.

Ottawa University President Kevin C. Eichner announced the university aims to enroll 250 students for its first semester of classes at the new campus, with a target of up to 3,000 residential students over 10 years, adding to its current 8,300 alumni roll in the Arizona market.

Ottawa University is a private, non-profit, Christian university that was founded in Ottawa, Kansas in 1865. The future 35-acre campus will be embedded within the Surprise City Center, integrating with the existing 250-acre City of Surprise Civic Center and Recreation campus. The school will also launch out of existing space within the Communiversity at the Civic Center, allowing students to avail themselves to the surrounding city amenities, including the Surprise Aquatic Center, Dream Catcher Park, the Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex, and Surprise Stadium, as well as robust shopping and dining amenities.

Ottawa University Dedication
City Council Members with Dr. Kevin Eichner and Dr. Dennis Tyne

Surprise Fine Art & Wine Festival

Despite the inclement weather, the Surprise Fine Art & Wine Festival took place this past weekend. Although there were a few cancellations, 67 artists participated. There were six wineries and a distillery as well as three musicians. There were approximately 1700 patrons on Friday and a few hundred the remainder of the days.

State of the City Address

In her message to residents, businesses, partners and volunteers on Wednesday, February 22, Mayor Sharon Wolcott demonstrated that when we work together in the spirit of community pride we enhance quality of life for all ages and establish a solid foundation for future generations. She cited examples of success in transportation, including the on-time completion of the Bell-Grand intersection improvements; public safety; job growth; and social-service support that have all improved quality of life in Surprise.

As part of the Surprise International initiative, Mayor Wolcott announced the creation of a cross-border task force to study innovations in the $100 billion health tourism industry and to explore whether Surprise can play a role in “setting a new standard in medical tourism delivery.” The task force will be comprised of Canadian and Arizonan industry partners, and will be co-chaired by Surprise Economic Development Director Jeanine Jerkovic.

She reminded the audience that Surprise remains a growing community and that will increase the demands in maintaining a safe and vibrant city and cited the continued need to support transportation improvements, educational opportunities and securing space for future public safety locations, parks and open space.

Watch the video of the speech or read the transcript at www.surpriseaz.gov/sotc.


Mark Your Calendar

Mayor’s Welcome Back Lunch

Mayor Wolcott will be hosting the 15th Annual Mayor’s Welcome Back Luncheon to celebrate the return of the Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers on Thursday, March 2 from 11 am – 1 pm. The event will take place at Surprise Stadium – Sanderson Ford 1st Base Concourse, located at 15930 N. Bullard Avenue.

Event admission will include a catered lunch provided by State 48 Brewery; 1 plaza level ticket to the Colorado Rockies vs. Kansas City Royals scheduled game; and a 15th anniversary commemorative gift. Guests will also have the opportunity to hear about the upcoming season from team staff. For more information, please contact the Community and Recreation Services office at 623.222.2000.

Surprise Police Explorers Host “Tip A Cop” Event

The Surprise Police Department Police Explorer Post 2236 will join forces with the staff at the local Outback Steakhouse Restaurant, located at 14225 W. Grand Avenue, in order to raise donations in support of the their growing program. The event will be held on Saturday, March 4 from 4 – 8 pm.

The explorers are inviting the public to join them at the event and help support their fund raising efforts during this “Tip-a-Cop” event. So, come meet some of the Explorers and enjoy some of your favorite food. Remember to bring your change to tip your “server” and make a donation/contribution to help the Explorers raise funds to support their growing program.

Click here to learn more information about Surprise Police Explorer Post 2236: http://ow.ly/VqYMc


Did You Know?

15th Annual Spring Training Season Starts This Weekend!

We are thrilled to kick off the 15th Annual Spring Training Season in Surprise! If you haven’t secured your tickets for the Kansas City Royals or Texas Rangers games, it’s not too late! The first game begins on February 25, at 1:05 pm, with a hometown match-up between the Royals and Rangers to support our local youth sports programs!

This season, there is something for everyone! Here are a few of the fun promotional event dates:

February 26 – KC Royals Surprise Recreation Campus Hall of Fame Inductees
March 2 – KC Royals Mascot “Slugger” visits Surprise Stadium
March 5 – Texas Rangers Surprise Recreation Campus Hall of Fame Inductees
March 12 – Ronald McDonald visits Surprise Stadium
March 25 – Budweiser Clydesdales visit Surprise Stadium

With craft brew all the rage these days… For $30 you have access to the Four Peaks Pavilion in right field, a catered meal and a beverage! Other options include the Boulevard Craft Brew tent and our local State 48 craft brew stand! New on the food menu includes grilled corn on the cob and the Triple Play- a hot dog inside a hamburger, wrapped in bacon!

For a complete game schedule and more, visit www.surprisespringtraining.com or call 623.222.2222.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

January 26, 2017 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) continues to issue project updates for the Bell Road/Grand Avenue bridge project. Please note that the project has entered the third and final stage.

I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the Bell-Grand interchange traffic configurations before the project is complete in February. View the ADOT Bell-Grand interchange animation to better understand traffic movements at the project intersections.

Upcoming Activities

  • Westbound Bell Road closed between 134th Avenue and West Point Parkway from 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, to 5 a.m. Monday, Jan. 30, for pavement work. DETOUR: Drivers can use Dysart Road to Grand Avenue and Litchfield Road to reconnect to westbound Bell Road.
  • Grand Avenue base paving has been completed. Final paving will still need to be done and will require simultaneous closures of Towne Center Drive and Bell Grande. Final paving is anticipated to begin on Jan. 29.
  • Grand Avenue will be restricted to one lane in both directions at times over the next couple of weeks during daytime hours. Two lanes of traffic will be back in place at the end of each day.

City, County, and State law enforcement will be patrolling the area. Please obey all traffic signage and posted speed limits.

For more information or if you have questions: ADOT’s project hotline (855) 712-8530, press option #1 or email: bellandgrandinfo@azdot.gov

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Traffic Pattern Update

The Bell-Grand Traffic Pattern Map focuses on the intersections at Grand and Bell Grande Drive; Grand and Bell Road; and Grand and Towne Center Drive. Here are the biggest changes you will encounter:

  • An active traffic signal on the top of the Bell Road Bridge will direct traffic movements from the new on-off ramps to and from Grand Avenue;
  • Traffic descending northwest on Grand Avenue ramps will merge into Grand Avenue traffic prior to approaching the Towne Center Drive intersection. Shoppers will note dual lefts at the intersection to get into the commercial area;
  • There will be NO access to Bell Grande Drive (by Carl’s Jr.) for traffic coming off of the eastbound Grand Avenue ramp from Bell. If you want to shop at Surprise Marketplace, stay on Bell and enter the parking lot by the Chick-fil-A driveway at the bottom of the bridge;
  • And motorists traveling on Grand Avenue in either direction that want to access Bell Road should be in the left lane to access the ramps. At the top of the ramps there will be dual left lanes and one right lane to connect you to Bell.

Bell-Grand Traffic Pattern Map

The map complements the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) interchange video that provides an animated portrayal of how motorists will access Bell Road from westbound Grand Avenue when the ramps open next month. Additionally, the city has identified the ‘Top 5 Driving Pattern Changes to Know’ to assist residents with navigating the area.

The Bell-Grand project is scheduled to be completed prior to the first Spring Training game at Surprise Stadium on February 25. For more information about the Bell-Grand project, visit www.surpriseaz.gov/bellandgrand.


Events & Meetings

AZ STEM Community of Practice Meeting

Along with representation from Canyon Ridge Elementary School, I attended the AZ STEM Community of Practice Meeting at Centerra Mirage STEM Academy in Goodyear on Tuesday, January 17. AZ STEM School Community of Practice is a joint initiative between hi-tech businesses, community members, educators, students and parents. This is a collaboration that consists of 57 forward-thinking schools dedicated to sharing best practices and finding solutions to educate our youth in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). This particular meeting consisted of break-out sessions that focused on attracting funds and partnerships.

Mountain Vista Ranch HOA Meeting

On Wednesday, January 18, I attended the Mountain Vista Ranch HOA meeting to present an overall city update with a focus on economic development. Police Chief Terry Young accompanied me to discuss recent vehicular burglaries. He reinforced the need to lock your car doors and keep your valuables indoors or out of sight. All but one vehicle was left unlocked during these aforementioned crimes.

El Mirage City Hall Grand Opening

City Councilmembers Jim Hayden, Roland Winters, Ken Remley and I attended the El Mirage City Hall grand opening and ribbon cutting on Thursday, January 19 along with several other elected officials and dignitaries from around the Valley. The new City Hall is located on El Mirage Road between Peoria and Olive Avenues.

AZ History & Culture Speaker Series Continues

The Surprise Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission in partnership with Arizona Humanities hosted another fantastic speaker series event on Monday, January 23 at City Hall. The presentation introduced us to the flamboyant stage coach robber Pearl Hart and the road that took her from an innocent teenager to a life of crime. We had 95 people attend the free event!

The next speaker series event will follow the footsteps of Martha Summerhayes who gave birth to the first Anglo child born at Fort Apache. The free event will be held February 15 from 11 am – noon in the City Council Chambers at Surprise City Hall. Please contact Commission Chair Susan deJong for additional information at 623.214.7537.

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce

The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted their Annual Meeting as part of their monthly breakfast meeting on Tuesday, January 24. Chamber Board Chair Patrick McDermott introduced the 2017 Board Officers which, in addition to himself, include Scott Philips, Jeremiah Hood, Steve Doolittle and Melissa Holdaway. Additionally, Mr. McDermott provided the 2016 highlights which included the award-winning ShopSurprise campaign produced in collaboration with the city of Surprise, the revitalization of the Chairman’s Circle and an overview of the Chamber’s financials. The Chamber gained 75 new members and 17 Chairman Circle members in 2016. The total membership exceeds 400 members.

Chamber CEO Raoul Sada discussed the three pillars of the Chamber which include Membership Services and Resources, Voice of the Business Community, and Public Education and Outreach. For more information on the Chamber, please visit their website at www.surpriseregionalchamber.com.


Mark Your Calendar

2017 Surprise City Academy

If you are interested in learning about the structure of city government or just want to update yourself on local issues, now is the time to register for the 2017 Surprise City Academy. The eight-session academy offers the opportunity to learn about the city directly from City Council and city management.

The Surprise City Academy will begin on March 6 and continue weekly through April 17. Most classes meet from 6-8:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Surprise Public Safety Building, located at 14250 W. Statler Plaza. The Academy is free but space is limited, so I encourage you to register by February 23.

For more information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/cityacademy or contact Ruby Sitea at 623.222.3242.

Lunchtime Theatre Series

The City of Surprise and the West Valley Arts Council, in partnership with Theatre Works, the West Valley Symphony and the Phoenix Opera are excited to offer another performance, “Jam Session with Maestro Kellogg and Friends”. The performance will be held on February 9, 2017. The first performance will be held at 11:30 a.m. and the second at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased by calling the West Valley Arts Council at 623.935.6384.

State of the City Address

Mayor Sharon Wolcott plans to highlight the success of Our Community. Our Story and provide the vision for future success in the 2017 State of the City luncheon event.

When: Wednesday, February 22

Where: The Colonnade, 19116 Colonnade Way, Surprise, 85374

Registration begins at 10:45 a.m. Lunch follows and the program begins at 11:30 a.m.

The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce is accepting registrations online and by phone at 623.583.0692 or 623.748.1828. Single tickets are $35; or $500 for a reserved table for 10. The event is hosted by the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce and Sun Health.


Did You Know?

Surprise Veteran Job Club

The City of Surprise is proud to serve the men and women of the Armed Forces, both active-duty and veterans, who serve us so well! That’s why we have launched a Veteran Job Club, where veterans provide other veterans, active military and their family members with industry and career pathway knowledge to help them gain the skills they need to land a new job or pursue a new career! This group includes employment assistance, guest speakers and networking!

When: February 2, 2017 from 6 – 7:30 p.m.

Where: Surprise Resource Center at the AZ TechCelerator campus, 12425 W. Bell Rd, Suite #124

To register, please call the Surprise Resource Center 623.222.1600.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

January 12, 2017 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) continues to issue project updates for the Bell Road/Grand Avenue bridge project. Please note that the project has entered the third and final stage through late February 2017.

I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the Bell-Grand interchange traffic configurations before the project is complete in February. View the ADOT Bell-Grand interchange animation to better understand traffic movements at the project intersections.

Current Activities

View the weekly construction photos and additional information on the project website.

  • Grand Avenue narrowed to one lane in each direction at times beginning 9 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 15, to 9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19, between Dysart and Litchfield roads for paving work. Please be prepared for lane restrictions, allow extra travel time and use caution in work zone.
  • Bell Road narrowed to one lane in both directions between Litchfield and Dysart roads nightly 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., Monday, Jan. 16, to Wednesday, Jan. 18, for pavement work.
  • The driveways at Bell Grande and Towne Center Drive along Grand Avenue will be closed at times as paving continues on eastbound Grand Avenue through Jan. 19.

Upcoming Activities

  • Westbound Bell Road closed between 134th Avenue and West Point Parkway from 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, to 5 a.m. Monday, Jan. 30, for pavement work. DETOUR: Drivers can use Dysart Road to Grand Avenue and Litchfield Road to reconnect to westbound Bell Road. 

Work continues on the following:

  • Paving eastbound Grand Avenue. Paving anticipated to last through Jan. 19.
  • Installing curb and sidewalk along eastbound Grand Avenue.
  • Paving Grand Avenue ramps.

City, County, and State law enforcement will be patrolling the area. Please obey all traffic signage and posted speed limits.

For more information or if you have questions: ADOT’s project hotline (855) 712-8530, press option #1 or email: bellandgrandinfo@azdot.gov


Events & Meetings

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Meeting

The Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Meeting met on Monday, January 9. Items discussed included finalizing plans for sponsoring bus tours to City Hall and West Valley Arts HQ for students of Dysart Unified School District and local charter schools so they can view art and learn about Black History Month. City Hall has a gallery of local art on display year-round, and West Valley Arts HQ will be featuring a new exhibit “Vision & Sound: An African American Experience” from Feb. 2-26 The Commission’s Strategic Plan and the possible pursuit of sponsoring a community centered public art event known as Chalk it Up was also discussed. The draft Surprise Public Art Policy and Procedures Guide as well as the Display Plan were approved and are now ready for City Council consideration and possible action.

Citizen Review Meeting

On the night of Monday, January 9, CampCorp and City Staff held a Citizen Review meeting for the Minor General Plan Amendment and Rezone of the CampCorp, located north of the intersection of Bell Road and Grand Avenue. In the past, this area was a residential assembly plant for Del Webb, a truss factory for Foxworth-Galbraith, and is now the site of CampCorp – a builder of portable manufacture structures. The existing zoning of Regional Commercial and the General Plan Use of Commerce and office make this site legal nonconforming (grandfathered), and limits expansion capabilities. In a joint effort with the City to initiate the General Plan Amendment and with CampCorp applying for rezone to General Industrial (IG), it is anticipated that the plant can expand, providing more opportunities for jobs in the Surprise area.

Tourism Advisory Commission

The Tourism Advisory Commission met on Tuesday, January 10. Commissioners selected a new Chair and Vice Chair. Congratulations to DeAngelo Hall and Kristen Peck, respectively. Economic Development Manager Mike Hoover provided an economic development update.

The Commission also discussed the upcoming 2017 College Baseball Classic Tournament. The schedule is as follows:

Friday, February 17
1 p.m. – Duke University vs. Oregon State University
5 p.m. – Indiana University vs. Gonzaga University

Saturday, February 18
10 a.m. – Gonzaga University vs. Duke University
2 p.m. -Gonzaga University vs. Oregon State University
6 p.m. – Duke University vs. Indiana University

Sunday, February 19
9:30 a.m. – Duke University vs. Oregon State University
1:30 p.m. – Indiana University vs. Gonzaga University

Monday, February 20
11:00 am Indiana University vs. Oregon State University

Game times and schedules are subject to change. For more information or to purchase tickets, please call the Surprise Stadium Box Office at 623.222.2222.

Friends of the Library Board Meeting

I attended the Friends of the Library board meeting on Wednesday, January 11. The Friends of the Surprise Libraries Inc. is a non-profit, independent organization. The group supports literacy and programs at the Northwest Regional Library, the Hollyhock Library and local schools.


Mark Your Calendar

Martin Luther King, Jr. day of celebration & community service

I am honored to be speaking at the city’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Celebration and Service on Saturday. I hope you will join me rain or shine!

The program celebrating Dr. King’s life will begin at 9 a.m. in the outside courtyard at City Hall. In the case of rain, the program will move to the Communiversity (next to the courtyard). Following the program, there will be an opportunity to serve your community through various service projects.

For more information, including a parking map, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/MLK.

Surprise Police host Shred-a-Thon and Drug Take Back

The Surprise Police Department will host a Shred-a-Thon and Drug Take Back Event on Saturday, January 21 from 7-10 a.m. This event will be held at the Surprise Public Safety Building located at 14250 West Statler Plaza.

During the event, the public will be able to bring up to 3 boxes of documents, per vehicle, to be shredded. Additionally, unused prescription and over-the-counter medications can be brought and dropped off for destruction. There is no cost for the shredding of documents or destruction of medications.

Please note that we are unable to accept sharps (to include insulin syringes/needles) or inhalers of any kind. Additionally, the shredding event will continue until 10 a.m. or until the shred trucks have been filled up.

Surprise Pops Band Concert

The Surprise Pops Band is kicking off the new year with a free concert featuring Broadway show tunes! The concert will be held on Sunday, January 22 at 3 p.m. at Valley Vista Performing Arts Center located at 15550 N. Parkview Place in Surprise.

Doors open at 2:15 p.m. Attendees are asked to bring a nonperishable food item donation to benefit the Valley View Community Food Bank. For more information, please visit www.surprisepopsband.com.

Surprise Citizens Patrol Recruitment Meeting

The Surprise Citizens Patrol will be hosting a recruitment and informational meeting at the Surprise Public Safety Auditorium located at 14250 West Statler Plaza on January 25 at 6 p.m. The meeting is designed to inform the public about the Citizens Patrol and opportunities the program offers to those who are willing to volunteer. Come join the internationally acclaimed Volunteer Service organization, a winner of the 2015 IACP (International Association of Chiefs of Police) Award for Outstanding Achievement in Law Enforcement Volunteer Programs.

Join us for the meeting and hear from Surprise Police Chief Terry Young, see a presentation by the program leaders, experience a SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) Team demonstration, and tour the Police Department facilities.

Besides patrolling the streets and assisting at crime scenes, the Surprise Citizens Patrol partners with the police on programs such as vacation watch and the “We Care” Program. I hope you will consider joining this valuable group of volunteers!

Click here to learn more about the Surprise Citizen Patrol: http://ow.ly/PiPoX


Did You Know?

Board and Commission Openings

The City of Surprise is currently accepting applications for the following Commissions:

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission – 1 vacancy
Disability Advisory Commission – 1 vacancy

Applications for the above mentioned commissions are available immediately and can be picked up at the City Clerk’s Office, Monday through Friday from 8 am – 5 pm. Applications are also available online at www.surpriseaz.gov/boards.

For more information, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at 623.222.1200.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

December 15, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) continues to issue project updates for the Bell Road/Grand Avenue bridge project. Please note that the project has entered the third and final stage through late February 2017.

Work continues on the following:

  • Reconstructing eastbound Grand Avenue
  • Installing curb and sidewalk along eastbound Grand Avenue
  • Paving Grand Avenue ramps

City, County, and State law enforcement will be patrolling the area. Please obey all traffic signage and posted speed limits.

For more information or if you have questions: ADOT’s project hotline: (855) 712-8530, press option #1 or the Project email: bellandgrandinfo@azdot.gov


Events & Meetings

AZ TechCelerator Open House

AZ TechCelerator hosted a “Tech the Halls” Holiday Open House on December 8. This event was an opportunity to look at the latest advancements from Surprise’s technology start-ups, including electric vehicle conversions, water desalination and electric skateboards.

Since 2009, the TechCelerator has fostered local start-ups resulting in 16 businesses, over 200 jobs graduated and a local Google corporate office. This year, the TechCelerator reached worldwide with its Global Concierge Services program which helps international businesses establish local operations in Surprise and has thus far generated more than 300 additional community jobs.

Dunkin’ Donuts Grand Opening

The City is happy to welcome Dunkin’ Donuts to District 6.  Dunkin’ Donuts, located at 13953 W. Waddell Road near the intersection of Litchfield and Waddell roads, opened on Friday, December 9.

Rockin’ Holiday Celebration

Surprise Towne Center and Surprise Marketplace hosted a “Rockin’ Holiday Celebration” on Saturday, December 10. This well-attended event provided free activities and entertainment for the entire family. I want to personally thank our residents who continue to patronize our local Surprise businesses! Please continue to ShopSurprise!

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission

The Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission met on Monday, December 12. Betty Drake with Drake and Associates presented draft policies and procedures relative to public art in Surprise. Commission members were given an opportunity to provide feedback.


Mark Your Calendar

WHAM Bowls of Home Program

WHAM Art Center will be hosting a “Bowls of Hope” program on Saturday, December 17 from 8 am until 2 pm. Bowls, created by local artists, will be sold at this event. This event will raise money for local organizations that help needy families in the West Valley. Last year, WHAM raised $1,900 which was split between St. Mary’s Food Bank, Valley View Food Bank and Eve’s Place.

WHAM is located 16560 N. Dysart Road. Learn more at www.wham-art.org.

Coffee with a Cop

Surprise Police will be hosting a “Coffee with a Cop” event on Saturday, December 17 from 10 am until 12 noon at Sunsational Coffee, 15643 N. Reems Road. This community event offers an opportunity to speak to police representatives in a social setting with hopes to make stronger and lasting connections to our residents and community as a whole.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Celebration & Service

In honor of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the city of Surprise, in partnership with APS and the Northwest Black History Committee, is hosting a day of celebration and service on Saturday, January 14, 2017.

A program celebrating Dr. King’s life will begin at 9 a.m. in the outside courtyard at Surprise City Hall, located at 16000 N Civic Center Plaza. It will feature a keynote address by Colonel Richard Toliver, retired USAF, author and renowned speaker with ties to the King family. Emceeing the program will be Steve Irvin, Emmy award-winning journalist and anchor of ABC15 News. Come early, and enjoy a free breakfast at 8:30 a.m. Breakfast is limited to the first 500 attendees.

Following the program, at 9:45 a.m., volunteers will be sent out into the community to complete service projects that include food sorting, painting, landscaping, trash collection and more. Projects will last approximately 1-4 hours.

How to get involved:

  • Individuals/Families – Join us for the breakfast, the program and the day of service! If you can only attend the service project portion of the day, please arrive at 9:45 a.m. to receive an assignment. Advanced registration is not required.
  • Groups – If you plan on bringing your group/club/congregation and would like to participate in the service projects, please RSVP your group name and estimated number of people to Ervin Cutwright at Ervin.Cutwright@surpriseaz.gov.
  • Sponsorships – If your business or organization would like to help sponsor the event, please contact Christina Ramirez at Christina.Ramirez@surpriseaz.gov to hear about opportunities available.
  • Service Project Ideas – If you would like to suggest service projects to complete, please contact Christina Ramirez at Christina.Ramirez@surpriseaz.gov.

For more information, including a parking map, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/MLK.


Did You Know?

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Volunteers Needed

A New Leaf, in partnership with Valley of the Sun United Way is looking for volunteers to support Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites in the West Valley during the tax season (from late January through April 15). Volunteers will assist individuals and families in preparing their tax returns, claiming benefits for which they are eligible and being connected to financial education and asset building opportunities. Services are provided free of charge. For more information, please contact Ann Picchione at APicchione@TurnaNewLeaf.org.

Surprise Seeks National Anthem Performers

The city is looking for experienced vocalists and musicians to perform the National Anthem at Surprise Stadium for the 2017 Cactus League Spring Training games. To be considered, please submit an audio recording via DVD or audio CD to the Community and Recreation Services office, located at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue. Recordings may also be submitted electronically by .mp3 or YouTube link to regina.miller@surpriseaz.gov by Jan.16, 2017.

All submissions must include the performer’s name, address, phone number and email address, along with their performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Due to the number of demos received, you will only be contacted if you are selected. Limited spots are available.

For more information, please contact Regina Miller of the Surprise Community and Recreation Services Department at 623.222.2249.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

December 8, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) continues to issue project updates for the Bell Road/Grand Avenue bridge project. Please note that the project has entered the third and final stage through late February 2017.

Work continues on the following:

  • Reconstructing eastbound Grand Avenue
  • Paving Grand Avenue ramps

City, County, and State law enforcement will be patrolling the area. Please obey all traffic signage and posted speed limits.


City Council Work Session

Chance Shelter Presentation

Representatives from Chance Shelter provided an overview of their non-profit organization located in Surprise. This no-kill animal shelter provides compassionate care to animals through adoptions, education, crisis intervention and community involvement. Some of their future endeavors include kindergarten-12th grade summer camps and classes, an alliance with West-MEC in addition to internships. They are hoping to get a facility to expand their services and enhance the community.


City Council Meeting

Public Hearing for Rezoning of Property

Community Development staff presented on a request for rezoning from rural residential (RR) to business park (BP) of approximately 8.1 acres located on the west side of Litchfield Road, ½ mile north of Peoria Avenue. The designation does not allow for residential uses in the area that is located beneath the Luke AFB 65 Day-Night Average Sound Level noise contour. Staff indicated the proposal is consistent with the Surprise General Plan 2035.

rezoning from rural residential (RR) to business park (BP) of approximately 8.1 acres located on the west side of Litchfield Road, ½ mile north of Peoria Avenue.

The Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of the rezoning request. City Council unanimously approved the request after no public comment.

2016 State Legislative Agenda

Deputy City Manager Nicole Lance discussed the City’s 2017 Draft Legislative Agenda for the first session of the 53rd Arizona State Legislature. This year’s agenda focuses on economic development, land use planning, public safety, transportation, environmental resources and military preservation. City Council agreed with Mrs. Lance’s approach of utilizing partnerships and intentional engagement as well as the agenda which was unanimously approved.


Events & Meetings

Surprise Police Department Promotion Ceremony

The Surprise Police Department held a promotion ceremony on December 1, 2016 honoring the promotions of Sergeant Adam M. Brown and Sergeant Garrick “Rick” Boxberger. Sergeant Brown began employment with the Police Department in 2005 and Sergeant Boxberger joined the Department in 2011. Both Sergeants served in the Field Operations Division, are members of the SWAT team and have served as Field Training Officers. Prior to joining the SWAT team, Sergeant Boxberger served as a negotiator for SWAT and is trained in Crisis Intervention and as an Evidence Tech.

Congratulations on your well-deserved promotions, and thank you for all you do to keep Surprise a safe city!

15th Annual Surprise Party

The 15th Annual Surprise Party was held last weekend. The annual celebration has become a fantastic holiday tradition for many of our Surprise families. The tree lighting ceremony kicked off the weekend festivities and was followed by live musical performances, great food, fireworks and visit from Santa!

Surprise City Council with members of the Surprise Youth Council
Surprise City Council with members of the Surprise Youth Council

Surprise Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission

The Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission met on Monday, December 5. Agenda items included, but were not limited to, a review of their budget and approval of a partnership with Friends of the Library for a bookmark contest.

Prior to the meeting, I attended a reception hosted by the Commission that showcased the amazing artwork of our charter school students. If you have an opportunity, I would encourage you to visit the art hallway at City Hall to personally see the admirable artwork of our creative students.


Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Shops hosting “A Rockin’ Holiday & Santa Too” Event

Surprise Towne Center and Surprise Marketplace are hosting “A Rockin’ Holiday & Santa Too” event this Saturday, December 10 from 12 noon until 3 p.m. at Surprise Towne Center located at 13716 W. Bell Road. The family-friendly event includes a free live concert featuring 80’s cover sensation Rock Lobster. In addition, there will be free photos with Santa, many giveaways, festive face painters, balloon artists, holiday arts & crafts and much more.

In the spirit of the season, guests are encouraged to bring a can of food or non-perishable food item that will be donated to St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance of Surprise. I hope to see you there!

Spring Training 2017

The 15th annual Surprise Spring Training Season will kick off on Saturday, February 25 at the Surprise Recreation Campus – Surprise Stadium featuring Surprise’s home teams: the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers.

The Surprise Stadium will host 33 games this season, including two World of Baseball preparatory games against Team Venezuela on Wednesday, March 8 (1:05 p.m.) and Thursday, March 9 (1:05 p.m.).

There will be a special online pre-sale at www.surprisespringtraining.com starting this Saturday, Dec. 10 at 8 a.m. (MST). Tickets can also be purchased over the phone with Tickets.com at 888.755.2583. Service charges may apply to online and phone orders.

The Surprise Recreation Campus Box Office will open for ticket sales on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017 beginning at 7 a.m. (MST). The box office is located at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue.


Did You Know?

Surprise Police Awarded GOHS Grants

The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) recently awarded the Surprise Police Department with several grants totaling $44,665. A majority of the funds granted, $30,000, will pay for overtime costs involved in DUI investigations and aid in the completion of many scheduled DUI Task Force operations throughout the West Valley.

The additional money from the GOHS grant will be used to purchase new equipment to assist officers in the area of DUI/Impaired Driving Enforcement and for the Surprise Police Department’s participation in the “Know Your Limit” campaign. Click here to learn more about the “Know Your Limit” campaign: http://ow.ly/lsYJ306Dibe


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question