Events & Meetings
Kingswood Parke HOA Meeting City Manager Bob Wingenroth, Public Works Director Mike Gent and I attended the Kingswood Parke HOA meeting on Thursday, March 19. Several residents were present. Public Works Director Mike Gent provided a presentation on sidewalks for the HOA. Due to the pedestrian traffic concerns of the residents, a sidewalk on the east side of Parkview, from Bell north to Lea Lane has been requested.
Economic Development at the Ballpark Last week, Economic Development Director Jeanine Jerkovic hosted several organizations and companies in the Economic Development suite at Surprise Stadium. Some of those groups included GPEC (Greater Phoenix Economic Council) site selectors and California Tech Council. I am always honored to be part of these events to help convey what a fantastic city we live in!
WHAM Recycled Art Project I participated in WHAM’s Recycled Art Project on Saturday, March 21. This project is part of WHAM’s 3rd Annual Community Leader Art Activity fundraiser which helps the organization continue art programs in the West Valley. If you would like to personally view the art pieces or to bid on them, the Recycled Art Silent Auction Fundraiser will be held on March 29 from 4 to 7 pm at WHAM West Gallery (16560 N. Dysart Road).
Cal Ripken Day at the Ballpark The Cal Ripken League kicked off their season with a parade at Surprise Stadium prior to the spring training game on Saturday, March 21. Approximately 1,200 people were in attendance at the event. The entire City Council was also present to welcome our players to the Stadium and wish them luck as they embark on their season. This year, there are 156 teams in the league which consists of 1,900 players and over 400 volunteer coaches. A special thank you to our extraordinary CRS department for putting together not only this program but the many others they offer and to the hundreds of volunteers that help make this possible! Best of luck to all of our players!
Veramonte Block Party I attended the Veramonte HOA block party and Community Easter Egg Hunt on Sunday, March 22. There were approximately 100 residents at the event.
Celebrity Reading Day at Canyon Ridge On Tuesday, March 24, I was invited to participate in the Celebrity Reading Day event at Canyon Ridge Elementary School. I was honored to read to two 3rd grade classrooms who anxiously inquired about being a Council Member and local government.
GPEC Community Partnership Meeting Mayor Wolcott, Councilman Tande and I attended a meeting on Tuesday, March 24 with GPEC (Greater Phoenix Economic Council) to listen to their strategy for attracting companies throughout the Valley.
Surprise Literacy Challenge I attended a pizza party at Rancho Gabriela Elementary School for the 4th grade class taught by Mrs. Housari that won the Surprise Literacy Challenge, co-sponsored by Vice Mayor John Williams and me.
League of Women Voters Event Councilman Jim Biundo, Councilwoman Rachel Villanueva and I attended the League of Women Voters event at the Dysart School District office on Thursday, March 26. Guest speakers included Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell, Yavapai County Recorder Leslie Hoffman and our very own City Clerk Sherry Aguilar. Interesting facts were shared by all speakers. In the last election, 81% of the voters in Maricopa County voted early. Voter turnout for the 2014 election in Maricopa County was 48%. Voter turnout in Surprise for the last election was only 36%. In Maricopa County, for the 2010 election, 54% of registered voters voted; in 2012, which was a Presidential election, 76% of registered voters voted. Attendees partook in brainstorming ideas that may help facilitate increased voter participation. There were also opportunities for residents to register to vote and/or to sign-up to be on the Permanent Early Voter List. If you are not on the Permanent Early Voter List, you may want to consider it so ballots continue to be sent to you.
Mark Your Calendars
Surprise Community Center Open House Residents are invited to attend an Open House hosted by the City’s newly created Human Services and Community Vitality Department on Saturday, March 28 from 10 am until 2 pm at the Surprise Community Center located at 15832 N. Hollyhock Street. Department Director Michael Celaya welcomes you to meet the staff, take a tour of the facility and enjoy the food and beverages offered that day.
In addition to the Open House, City staff will be on hand to assist with voter registration and permanent early voter list sign-up. Furthermore, the four Heritage District Overlay concepts that were recently developed via input from the public will be available for viewing and feedback.
The Human Services and Community Vitality Department was formed in late January to help better engage residents and improve overall quality of life. The Department houses the City’s Neighborhood Services Division, Senior Services Division and Grants Administration.
Bike Rodeo Please join me on Saturday! The Surprise Police are hosting a bicycle skills event at the Christ’s Church of the Valley (CCV) on March 28, 2015. The event will take place from 8 am until 12 noon in the main church parking lot at 14787 W. Cholla Street. The “Bike Rodeo” is designed to teach skills needed to ride safely while helping bicyclists enjoy the sport of biking and reducing their chances of injury. The funding of this event was provided by a grant from the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.
Did You Know?
Grand Avenue Restricted Please note that NW Grand Avenue will be restricted to one lane at Loop 303 on April 4 and April 5.
Board/Commission Openings The City of Surprise is currently accepting applications for the following Commissions.
- Disability Advisory Commission (2 vacancies)
- Building & Construction Review Board (1vacancy)
- Health Benefits Trust Fund Board (3 vacancies)
- Judicial Selection Advisory Commission (1 resident vacancy)
- Tourism Commission (1 restaurant rep. vacancy)
All Board and/or Commission positions are voluntary. Applications are available at the City Clerk’s office from 8 am until 5 pm, Monday through Friday (16000 N. Civic Center Plaza). You can also download an application at www.surpriseaz.gov.
Students Aiding Community Dysart School District is keeping unwanted fruit produce out of the trash and putting it into the hands of the hungry in Surprise! Dysart students are offered at least one fruit or vegetable at lunch due to the Federal nutritional guidelines. A new program initiated by Dysart Registered Dietician Sarah Cox allows students to donate their unwanted fruit options. Great idea!