December 18, 2015 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

West Valley Pops Band Sponsorship/Name Change

The West Valley Pops band performs free concerts in Surprise, throughout the West Valley and at Valley Vista Performing Arts Center. At their concerts, they collect canned food items which are distributed by West Valley food banks to those in need.

Staff has had a preliminary discussion with the West Valley Pops Band regarding a potential sponsorship opportunity. If approved, the West Valley Pops Band will change their name to the Surprise Pops Band. The annual sponsorship is estimated at $1,500 and would be managed through the City Manager’s budget via general funds.

General Plan 2035 – Open Space Character/Wildlife Corridor Discussion

Staff discussed the proposed Major Amendment to the Surprise General Plan 2035. The City Council was presented with further information related to the Wildlife Corridors, the Open Space Character Area, and the difference between the original staff recommendation and the Planning and Zoning Commission’s recommendation to City Council. The Council invited the public to speak, and City Council engaged in questions and discussions.

The City Council then held a Public Hearing to further engage discussion and listen to members of the public that elected to speak. As the discussion progressed, City Council voted to continue this item to a special meeting on Saturday December 19 at 9 a.m.

City Council Meeting


Verdugo Land Development, LLC requested a Minor General Plan Amendment and a Rezone/Major Amendment to the Verdugo PAD, together with a Preliminary Plat for a property located generally east of 163rd Avenue and south of the San Ysidro Road alignment.

The Surprise General Plan 2035 shows the area in question as Suburban Residential with a density range of between one and three dwelling units per acre (1-3 DU/Ac). At 29.64 acres, this would generate between 29 and 88 dwelling units. The proposed Minor Amendment to the General Plan, however, would generate between 148 and 237 dwelling units for the same land mass, which falls within the parameters of a Minor Amendment. The subject property lies within the currently approved Verdugo PAD, which calls for Suburban Residential, Commercial and Employment for this specific property, the latter two being contrary to the General Plan as currently approved. The related Major PAD Amendment seeks to change the zoning for a significant portion of the Verdugo project, which includes the transfer of approximately 15 acres of Medium Density Residential, and the deletion of approximately 12 acres of High Density Residential, in lieu of the approximately 29 acres of Medium Density Residential proposed for the subject site. If the related PAD Amendment is approved, there will be a net decrease of 12 dwelling units for the overall Verdugo PAD. The subject Minor General Plan Amendment will allow the Rezone/Major PAD Amendment to proceed.

Staff believes the proposed rezone, in conjunction with the related Preliminary Plat, is an overall improvement to the PAD and advances the goals and policies as established in both the currently approved General Plan as well as the proposed update to the Land Use Element of the General Plan. The Minor General Plan Amendment and the Rezone/PAD Amendment passed unanimously.

New Appointments for Boards & Commissions

City Council unanimously approved the appointment of Andrew Orlikoff to fill a vacancy on the Board of Trustees with a term expiration of June 30, 2017 and the appointment of Merrill Edelstein to fill a vacancy on the Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission with a term expiration of June 30, 2019. City Clerk Sherry Aguilar issued the Oath of Office. Congratulations, Andrew and Merrill!

Surprise Parks & Recreation Master Plan

Community and Recreation Services (CRS) and Community Development staff collaborated with Jay Hicks, Master Plan Consultant to prepare an update to the Parks and Recreation Master Plan. The consultant prepared current facility and program inventory, benchmarking locally and nationally, summarized potential deficiencies according to planning area and projected populations, identified potential construction costs for our current 20 year CIP plan and conducted a public survey. Staff reviewed progress, survey results and resulting conceptual themes in January 2015. Several workshops were held with the CRS Advisory Commission that included goals, policy and objective development, as well as general design guidelines and principles.

The goals of the Master Plan include improving the residential quality of life by reinvesting in our existing parks; promoting active recreation, sports and sports tourism; providing a connected park experience and pursuing opportunities to create and acquire new parks and open space. The goal, by 2030, is to have a total of 1,200 acres of new public parks which includes one new 200-acre city park, six new 25-acre community parks and 847 acres of open space. The final draft was approved by CRS Advisory Commission on November 23, 2015. This update to the plan aligns with the General Plan update. City Council unanimously approved the Surprise Parks & Recreation Master Plan Update.

Events & Meetings

Adaptive Holiday Party

Councilman Todd Tande, Councilman Roland Winters and I attended the Adaptive Holiday Party at DreamCatcher Park and provided a welcome for the guests on Friday, December 11.

Second Saturday – December 2015

I volunteered at Radiant Church’s Second Saturday on Saturday, December 12. The event took place on the Radiant Church campus on Reems Road. Over 600 volunteers helped serve more than 2,500 kids gifts they can enjoy this Christmas season. I am grateful to be part of this life changing event for children and their families in our community each year. The generosity of the Radiant community was very touching and embodies what life is really about. Thank you!

Committee on Water Resource Planning Meeting

The Committee on Water Resource Planning, on which I serve as Chair, met on Monday, December 14. Due to technical difficulties, the Committee elected to defer the water portfolio update discussion to our next meeting. The Water Resource Management Director made a presentation to the Committee on the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority (WIFA) of Arizona. The Committee elected to move this item forward to City Council in January for recommendation to begin the WIFA process in order to utilize this funding vehicle for water related projects. Water Resource Management staff provided an update to the committee on proposed conservation programs and capital improvement projects which will be placed in the proposed FY17 budget for Council review.

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Meeting

Councilman Jim Biundo, Councilman Todd Tande and I attended the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce monthly breakfast meeting. Our very own Community Development Director Eric Fitzer was the guest speaker. Mr. Fitzer elaborated on our sign code as the City of Surprise has begun the process to amend the City of Surprise Sign Code.

Over the next few months, staff will be conducting stakeholder meetings and work sessions with the City Council. City staff has broken these work sessions into three signage types: Wall and Window Signage; Monument Signs and the Comprehensive Sign Program; and Temporary and Off-Site Signs. Staff has been able to reach out to 28 stakeholders who compose the sign industry, Surprise Regional Chamber, and the real estate and development communities’ interests and welcomes the opportunity to add additional stakeholders to the list. The sign code is a set of requirements, standards and guidelines to help govern outdoor advertising and signage within the City of Surprise and as such, they are very important to the aesthetic nature of the community as well as businesses and residents.

The Surprise Chamber announced a new Chamber program, a business-exclusive leads group. This new group will meet every Wednesday morning at 7:15 a.m. in the Chamber conference room, located at the Chamber Conference Center at 16126 N. Civic Center in Surprise.

Reception for City Attorney

Surprise City Manager Bob Wingenroth hosted a reception on Tuesday, December 15 in honor of Robert Wingo who recently accepted the permanent position of City Attorney. Wingo joined Surprise in December 2013 as the Deputy City Attorney and became Chief Deputy in April 2014. He most recently served as the Interim City Attorney, following the resignation of the previous City Attorney in late October 2015.

“Robert is an outstanding attorney, but more importantly, an outstanding person. He has a heart of service and great strength of character,” says City Manager Wingenroth. “He is a humble leader, and a strong advocate for democracy, transparency, and the law.”

Wingo has 11 years of legal experience including prior service as the City Attorney for Page, Arizona (March 2012 – December 2013). He served as Page’s Assistant City Attorney five years prior to being named City Attorney for that community.

He holds a B.A. summa cum laude in Anthropology from Northern Arizona University and received his law degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Law.

The City Attorney is the chief legal adviser to the Council and City departments and represents the Surprise in all legal proceedings. The attorney also administers the City’s legal department, which includes city prosecutors and a civil division.

Legacy Traditional School Spelling Bee

I was asked to judge a spelling bee for Legacy Traditional School in Surprise on Thursday, December 17. Congratulations to the winners on their success in the first ever Legacy Traditional School Surprise Campus Spelling Bee! The winners were: First Place- Skylar D. and Runner Up- Parker K. Congrats to all 25 finalists from 3rd-8th grade!

Spelling bee winners recieveing their awards

Valley Metro RPTA Meeting

The Valley Metro RPTA Board met on Thursday, December 17. Several items were discussed and decided upon including the approval of Eric Anderson as the short-term Interim CEO until January 31, 2016. A longer-term Interim CEO is being considered from interested applicants.

All travel will be approved by the CEO and a report will be provided to the Board on a monthly basis. Furthermore, the General Counsel and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) will report directly to the Board.

Employee Appreciation Holiday Luncheon

The Employee Appreciation Committee hosted a luncheon for all employees on Thursday, December 17. City Manager Bob Wingenroth acknowledged several deserving employees for going above and beyond, and City Directors served food to the staff.

Surprise Police and Fire Chief

Mark Your Calendar

Cactus Road Sidewalk Ramp Project

A project to replace sidewalk ramps at 19 locations along Cactus Road will begin on Monday, December 21. There will be daytime lane restrictions between 7 am and 4 pm through January 5 as crews work from east to west along Cactus Road from 141st Avenue to 151st Avenue, including locations at the Bullard and Cactus intersections.

Lunchtime Theater in Surprise Continues

Lunchtime Theater continues in Surprise in 2016 with three more shows! Lunchtime theatre is presented through a collaboration between the City of Surprise, the West Valley Arts Council, Theater Works and the West Valley Symphony. The remaining three lunchtime performances will be held in the beautiful 2,500 square foot Arts HQ gallery. Performances include:

  • January 13, 2016: “Jam Session with Maestro Kellogg and Friends” – West Valley Symphony. View event
  • January 28, 2016: “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” – Theater Works presents a musical about the contemporary conundrum of “the relationship”. View event
  • March 3, 2016: “City of Angels” – Theater Works presents a musical homage to the classic film. View event

All performances begin at Noon at the Arts HQ, 16126 N. Civic Center Plaza, Surprise, AZ. Tickets are $9 for each performance. To order tickets, please call the West Valley Arts Council at 623.935.6384 or Susan de Jong at 623.214.7537. Each performance will be 45-50 minutes long.

Attendees are welcome to bring a lunch or pre-order from the City Café @ Surprise. To place a lunch order, please contact the City Café @ Surprise at 623.222.8900. Lunch orders from the City Café @ Surprise will be delivered to the Arts HQ before the performance.

World Series Day

Surprise Stadium will be recognizing the Kansas City Royals for the 2015 World Series win at the 1:05 pm game scheduled for Saturday, March 5!

Did You Know?

Surprise City Manager Receives Patriot Award

Surprise City Manager Bob Wingenroth was presented with a U.S. Department of Defense award Tuesday evening for his efforts to support veteran initiatives. Wingenroth received the Patriot Award from the Department’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) office. This award recognizes supervisors and bosses nominated by a Guardsman or Reservist employee for support of military services. The nomination was submitted by Staff Sergeant Timothy Suan, A U.S. Air Force Reservist and City of Surprise Intern. Congratulations Bob!

Staff Sergeant Tim Suan, Bob Wingenroth & Patrick McDermott
Staff Sergeant Tim Suan, Bob Wingenroth & Patrick McDermott

Major Rehab Funds Available

The City is currently accepting applications from income-qualified resident homeowners to participate in the Major Housing Rehabilitation Program. Eligible repairs include plumbing, mechanical, electrical, heating, cooling and accessibility. The program is funded through the federal HOME Investment and Partnerships Grant (HOME).

Projects are selected on a first-come, first-served basis, with special consideration given to projects that address health and safety issues. Funds are limited. For more information, please contact Jason Hughes at 623.222.3239.

Fall Tennis Tournaments

Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex has had a very busy fall hosting several tournaments over the last few months. Approximately 1,800 players from various USTA leagues participated. For more information on future tournaments, you can visit our website or USTA’s website at

Work to improve Greenway & Dysart intersection begins Sunday

Work to improve the intersection of Dysart and Greenway Roads will begin Sunday, Dec. 20. The project will improve ride quality in the east and west directions and enhance pedestrian accessibility.

Work is expected to be completed by Jan. 24, 2016, pending there are no weather-related delays.

There will be phased lane restrictions during the project. There is a planned full closure of the intersection starting the evening of Friday, Jan. 15 and running through the evening of Sunday, Jan. 17 to complete the paving phase of the project. Detour routes will be posted to assist in navigating around the closure.

If you have any questions regarding this project, please call the Public Works Department at 623.222.6000.

Daytime road closures scheduled Dec. 21 & 22

Asphalt repairs in Surprise, west of the Loop 303, will occur on December 21 and 22; the daytime road closures will impact the following roadways:

  • Southbound Verde Vista Drive, south of Greenway Road, will be closed December 21 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Southbound 175th Avenue, south of Bell Road, will be closed December 22 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Motorists are encouraged to plan ahead and consider alternate routes during the closures.

Happy Holidays – From My Family to Yours!

At this time of year, I reflect upon how extremely grateful I am to work with truly wonderful people like you, the residents of Surprise, and my colleagues at City Hall including my fellow Council Members. I sincerely wish you a season of health, happiness and prosperity as you embark upon the new year. Best wishes to all of you in 2016, and God bless!

Office Closing

Please be advised that City Hall will be closed on Friday, December 25 and Friday, January 1 in honor of the upcoming holidays.

This will be the last newsletter for 2015. My newsletter will resume the week of January 4, 2016. Thank you!

Social Media

You can now follow me on Facebook and on Twitter @skiphall2! I look forward to hearing from you!

Contact Me

Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975

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AZ TechCelerator Relaunch Reveals New Programs, Innovation Tenants

A newly completed makeover of the city’s AZ TechCelerator has transformed more than just the look of the former City Hall campus. In addition to receiving spruced up paint, flooring, signage, landscaping and furniture, the campus has added several new programs and tenants that will join the city’s business incubator program, which has occupied the space since its launch in 2010.

At the AZ TechCelerator open house event on Dec. 10, Surprise Economic Development staff revealed the following new programs will be housed at the campus:

    • Surprise Resource Center: The Surprise Resource Center is a Community Action Program (CAP) that occupies 1,900 sq ft of space in Building A. The program, which is funded through a partnership with Maricopa County, will help qualifying low-income residents of the Northwest Valley with utility payments, rent and housing. The center opens Monday, Dec. 14.
    • The Beehive Coworking Space: A program designed to provide shared facilities and support for work-at-home professionals who may not fit the usual AZ TechCelerator innovation start-up profile. Applications will be available early next year.
    • Global Concierge Services: A program dedicated to the success of international companies looking to expand into the U.S. market.
    • Entrepreneur in Residence: A dedicated professional and entrepreneur who is available for counseling and support services to AZ TechCelerator tenants and partners.


The flagship innovation and technology incubator program will continue to operate out of the campus, offering company support services, mentorships and start-up space, as well as temporary office space for large corporations expanding into Surprise and affiliate memberships. The incubator is welcoming the following new tenants:

  • Me On A Bike, Inc.: creating software that will be utilized for the development of an application that will allow users to archive personal information in innovative ways and recall it using various mobile or computer devices.
  • Kobargo Technology Partners: provides managed IT services to small and medium-sized businesses by educating and assisting clients in leveraging mobility, the cloud and networking solutions that increase efficiency and productivity.
  • Sassi Stones, LLC: invented a massage stone that can stay hot for two hours, eliminating the need for a stone warmer. Sassi Stones warm up on one side in just one minute and stay hot 60-90 minutes.


Existing innovation tenants include Google (formerly Athena Wireless), Deutsch Dental Arts, Smiles by Delivery and Torque Trends. Business services and partnerships at the AZ TechCelerator include To My Surprise Shuttle, ABD Printing & Signs, The Fraternal Order of Eagles and Arrington Accounting.

Graduates of the incubator program have seen great success. A recent graduate, MD24 Housecall, grew from three employees to 150 and moved into a large office space in the city. Another tenant, Athena Wireless, was acquired by Google earlier this year.

For more information about the AZ TechCelerator, please visit at

Surprise Resource Center Opens

A regional resource center providing human services such as utility and housing assistance opened in Surprise on Dec. 14.

The Surprise Resource Center and Community Action Program (CAP) Office, which is funded through a partnership with Maricopa County, will help qualifying low-income residents of the Northwest Valley with utility payments, rent and housing.

The Surprise Resource Center is located within the city’s AZ TechCelerator campus at 12425 W Bell Road. Please call 623.222.HOPE (4673) to schedule an appointment. All calls and messages are only accepted on Mondays from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Appointments are limited and based on availability of funding.

For information on additional social service resources provided by the city and other regional assistance agencies, please visit

December 11, 2015 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Santé of Surprise Holiday Festival

Santé of Surprise hosted a Holiday Festival on Friday, December 4. Guests who attended the holiday festivity brought canned food items to donate to the Valley View Community Food Bank. Its always an honor to help Valley View Community Food Bank as they feed thousands of our Surprise families each year. A special thank you to Santé for hosting this wonderful fundraiser and to those who help support this special cause.

14th Annual Surprise Party

The Community and Recreation Services (CRS) Department hosted the 14th Annual Surprise Party on Friday, December 4 and Saturday, December 5. Mayor Wolcott, Councilman Todd Tande, Councilman Roland Winters and I kicked-off the event with the tree lighting ceremony that was attended by thousands of Surprise residents.

Surprise Party tree lighting Hot Air Ballons

Approximately 7,500 people attended the event on Friday and 13,000 on Saturday. The most popular events included the balloon glow, tree lighting, sky divers, fireworks and zip line. This event could not happen without the hard work and dedication of CRS Director Mark Coronado and his outstanding team. Thank you!

Valley Metro Joint Meeting

I participated in the Valley Metro RPTA and Valley Metro Rail Boards of Directors joint meeting on Monday, December 7 to continue our discussion pertaining to the resignation of Valley Metro CEO Steve Banta. The boards approved his resignation without a separation agreement. Although on administrative leave, Mr. Banta will stay on Valley Metro payroll until January 4 when his paid time off expires.

The boards also reviewed various human resource policies including the Ethics Policy, Travel Policy, Credit Card Policy, Accounting Policies and Procedures and the travel records submitted to the AZ Republic.

For Our City Initiative

Councilman Todd Tande and I met with City staff on Monday, December 7, to further discuss the For Our City initiative. The purpose of the For Our City initiative is to coordinate community service projects for the City of Surprise and non-profit organizations by collaborating with faith-based communities, employers, business groups, and others in our area. It is our hope that Surprise begins our own For Our City program in the very near future.

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Open House

I was invited to attend the Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Student Art Open House on Monday, December 7 at City Hall. This is the first time that the Commission has had the opportunity to hang student art in the City Hall Gallery.  The student gallery consists of an art collection from various charter school students and was organized by Imagine Rosefield’s principal, James Mecca. If you get a chance, please visit the gallery and check out the talent of our charter school youth!

Student Art Student Art

Boards & Commissions Committee

Councilman Roland Winters, Councilwoman Rachel Villanueva and I met to interview a candidate for the Board of Trustees. The Committee will make a recommendation to the full City Council at the next regular City Council meeting on Tuesday, December 15 at 6 p.m.

Taste of Surprise

The Surprise Rotary Club Taste of Surprise Committee met on Wednesday, December 9 to continue to plan the Taste of Surprise event. The event will be held on March 9, 2016 at the Riverboat, 18300 W. Bell Road. Mark your calendars! This is an annual event where attendees are treated to the local flavor of many different restaurants in Surprise as well as entertainment!  Committee Chairperson Amanda Sanchez has done a fabulous job organizing this event!  I am so grateful for all of her hard work and dedication to making it a success for all of Surprise.

Department of Human Service & Community Vitality Annual Holiday Party

Tis’ the season to express our gratitude for the residents of Surprise and all they do to support the needs of our community. The Department of Human Service & Community Vitality hosted their Annual Holiday Party at the AZ Traditions Ballroom. Councilman Todd Tande, Councilman Roland Winters and I attended and expressed our sincerest gratitude and happiest season’s greetings to the residents in attendance.

Meet the Elected Officials Night

The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted “Meet the Elected Officials Night” at Marley Park on Wednesday, December 9. Several people attended the event including State Treasurer Jeff DeWit. Thank you to the Surprise Chamber and Ray Grim for putting on this nice event!

Surprise Resource Center Ribbon Cutting

I was thrilled to be part of the celebration and ribbon cutting for the Surprise Resource Center and Community Action Program (CAP) office at the AZ TechCelerator on Thursday, December 10. The addition of this Program in our City enforces our Council and City Leadership’s commitment to human services which began earlier this year with the addition of the Department of Human Service and Community Vitality. This Department has become our anchor for those less fortunate and now we can expand on the magnitude of those services with the CAP office.

Guest speaker at event addresses the crowd

HSCV Director Speaks at ribbon cutting event

AZ TechCelerator Re-Launch

City Council attended the re-launch of our very own AZ TechCelerator on Thursday, December 10. Earlier this year, City Council unanimously approved a $500,000 budget amendment for improvements to the TechCelerator as a vote of confidence in the program’s ability to continue to exceed our expectations. The community value generated from this business incubator has been enormous with over 200 jobs in Surprise created as a direct result of the innovation program, the very first in the West Valley.

Congratulations to Economic Development Director Jeanine Jerkovic, AZ TechCelerator Manager Julie Neal, and the Economic Development team for their creative genius, hard work and continued dedication to Surprise.

Event opening crowd at the Surprise Resource Center and Community Action Program (CAP) office at the AZ TechCelerator

Mayor and Council cutting ribbon at AZ Tech relaunch

Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Police Explorers – Spirit Day

Several members of our Surprise Police Explorer Post 2236 are partnering with Chick-fil-A for “Spirit Day”, a Tip-a-Cop fundraising event. on Saturday, December 12 from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. If you plan to dine at the Chick-fil-A at Surprise Market, 13725 W. Bell Road, please be sure to tip your server.

Second Sundays in the Park

Second Sundays in the Park concert series continues this Sunday, December 13 from 2 – 4 p.m. with a live performance by The Goode Time Carolers. This free family event, presented by Surprise Toyota, will take place at Surprise Community Park, 15953 N. Bullard. We hope to see you there!

Surprise Police Department – Crime Prevention Awareness Event

The Surprise Police Department is hosting their final 2015 crime prevention awareness event on December 14 from 4 – 6 p.m. at the Walmart store located at 17049 W. Bell Road. Officers from our Community Relations Unit will be educating the public about programs like “Lock-It or Lose-It”, a campaign aimed at reducing theft of property from vehicles. For more information on the campaign, please visit

Did You Know?

Surprise Dog Park Opens!

I am pleased to announce the Surprise Farms Community Park – Dog Park is officially open for visitors and their dogs. The dog park, located at 15991 N. Willow Canyon Drive opened on Wednesday, December 9. Amenities include drinking fountains, picnic tables, park benches, dog play features and a grass play area. The park consists of three divided areas; one area for dogs over 20 pounds, one area for dogs under 20 pounds and one area will be utilized as an alternative when either of the sections are closed for maintenance and healthy turf practices.

Please note this dog park will be closed on Thursdays from 6 – 10 a.m. for mowing and cleaning.

Spring Training 2016

The Spring Training schedule is now available! Get your tickets when the online pre-sale begins on December 12 or purchase them in person when the box office opens its windows on January 9. For more information, please visit

Special Work Session Scheduled for December 15

A 4 p.m. Work Session will take place on December 15 prior to the City Council Special Meeting (5:30 p.m.) and Regular Meeting (6:00 p.m.).

The Work Session agenda includes the General Plan Update which proposes amendments to elements of the Surprise General Plan 2035; Council will consider and may take action on the General Plan Update during the December 15 Regular Meeting.

The Work Session and Regular Council meetings can be viewed online at

Social Media

You can now follow me on Facebook and on Twitter @skiphall2! I look forward to hearing from you!

Contact Me

Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975

Ask a Question

December 4, 2015 • Newsletter

City Council Meeting

Fall 2016 Elections

Kristi Passarrelli, Assistant Elections Director with Maricopa County Elections Department, updated the City Council on the fall 2016 election cycle. In 2012, Legislature amended A.R.S. 16-204 which states that city/town candidate elections must be held on the same day as the Primary or General election in even-numbered years, effectively banning all municipalities from holding candidate elections on any other statutory election date. Since Surprise is a non-charter city, we must hold our candidate elections during even numbered years in August and November.

With the fall 2016 primary election, there will be a separate ballot for each party entitled to participate in the primary. For a voter who is registered as an Independent, or no party preference, the voter will designate the ballot of only one political party that is represented on the ballot. A 90 day notification will be sent to Independent voters on the Permanent Early Voting List requesting the selection of a political party (Republican or Democrat).

The first day to request an early ballot is 93 days prior to each election; hence, May 29, 2016 for the August 30, 2016 Primary Election. Voters can request for both Primary and General elections on this date. Voters can request an early ballot by August 7, 2016 for the November 8, 2016 General Election. This is the earliest date a General Election Only request can be made. The last day to request a ballot to be mailed is 11 days prior to each election; therefore, August 19, 2016 for the August 30, 2016 Primary Election and October 28, 2016 for the November 8, 2016 General Election.

If you would like to request an early mail ballot, you can do so via phone at 602.506.1511, online at or in writing (Maricopa County Elections, Attn: Early Voting, 510 S. 3rd Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85003).

Southgate at Canyon Ridge West

Approval for a rezone/Major PAD Amendment was requested to change land use of a 15.77 acre portion of Parcel 1, Lot 2 of Canyon Ridge West for Southgate (115th Avenue & Bell Road) from PAD (High Density Residential 9-22 DU/Ac) to PAD (Low Density Residential 2-6 DU/Ac.). The proposal for Southgate at Canyon Ridge includes development standards that meet or exceed standards for Canyon Ridge West and includes a reduced street cross-section which omits the park strip between the curb and sidewalk.

The Preliminary Plat for this proposal was also reviewed. After no public comments, the both items were approved unanimously.

Recent Changes in City Ordinances

The City of Surprise adopted several changes to ordinances related to animal ownership. In an effort to ensure all citizens are made aware of the new changes, the Surprise Police provided the following review of the effected ordinances or city codes.

To begin with, the definition of “at large” was changed in Surprise City Code 10-19. The code also requires a dog owner to contain their pet within a structure (home), an enclosure (fenced rear yard), or restrain and control the animal (leash) at all times. While away from their premises, the dog owner has the same requirements; however there continues to be an exemption for a dog park.

Within the same city code, there was also a change for homeowners in gated communities. A previous exception stating dogs were not at large anywhere within a gated community has been deleted. At this time, gated communities are treated the same as any other location within the City of Surprise.

Surprise City Code 10-24 also was modified. The code penalizes all owners who: do not get their dog licensed, counterfeit a dog license, remove a valid license from a dog, or place a license for another animal on their dog which is not valid.

Also, the Surprise Police would like to remind citizens of Surprise City Code 10-26. This code states an owner who wants to continue keeping an animal previously declared vicious by a court must obtain liability insurance, have the animal spayed or neutered, and muzzle the animal when taking it off the owner’s premises.

Other changes were also made to Surprise City Code 10-56. The change states an animal found running around a neighborhood may cause the owner to have to pay food and housing charges, if the owner was negligent in allowing the animal to get out. Proof of negligence is more than just a dog getting out – it would come from the dog getting out multiple times or proof the owner is not taking reasonable steps to keep the animal contained.

Additionally, in regard to Surprise City Code 10-79, the code now requires only one person to file a formal complaint with the police about a barking dog prior to enforcement action being taken.

If you have additional questions in regard to these city ordinances, please contact the Surprise Police Department at 623.222.4000. Click here for more information or to review current Surprise City Ordinances:

Events & Meetings

Cobalt Rehabilitation Hospital Ribbon Cutting & Open House

I attended the Cobalt Rehabilitation Hospital ribbon cutting and open house on Thursday, November 19. The $17.5 million rehabilitation hospital with 40 beds is specifically designed for treating devastating head injuries that general hospitals may not be equipped to handle. The hospital brings 140 jobs to Surprise ranging from neurologists to registered nurses and other key staff positions. The hospital recently hired Dr. Raj Singh as its medical director. He is also the medical director for the Barrow Neurosurgical Associates NeuroSpine and Rehab Center and the Rehabilitation Institute of Scottsdale. Patients are expected later this month.

ADOT Meeting

Councilwoman Rachel Villanueva and I met with representatives from ADOT on Friday, November 20 to discuss the best possible communication roll-out for businesses and residents with regards to the upcoming Bell/Grand Intersection project scheduled to begin this spring. We are working with ADOT to find ways to help businesses with the closure as well. The entire city will be impacted by this construction and it is my intent to provide whatever communication and assistance I can provide to ease the project pains of all involved. Bob Wingenroth, City Manager, has taken a proactive role with city management to address the concerns of our businesses and residents as well.

2016 Legislative Breakfast Meeting

State Senator Judy Burges, Representative Phil Lovas and Representative David Livingston attended the City’s 2016 Legislative Breakfast meeting at the AZ TechCelerator on Tuesday, December 1. The focus of the conversation was economic development, bringing higher wage jobs to the City of Surprise and our City’s contribution to the State’s economy. Our State Legislators discussed their initiatives, which included better veterans benefits, HOA issues, State Land concerns and Governor Ducey’s education plan that will be a May ballot initiative.

Stormwater Utility Outreach Meeting

On Wednesday, December 2, I attended the Stormwater Utility meeting at City Hall. The City began hosting a series of public meetings beginning last month to inform you, the residents, about the proposed Stormwater Utility and to gather input on stormwater management. If adopted, a utility designated for stormwater management would enable the city to cover the costs of public health and safety concerns often caused by stormwater such as flooding, which causes polluted standing water that attracts disease-bearing pests and transportation issues, such as sinkholes and premature pavement loss.

City Council will consider the Stormwater Utility at a regular City Council meeting early next year. For more information, please refer to our website at

Valley Metro Special Meeting

Due to the recent news about Valley Metro expenses and documentation and the resignation of CEO Steve Banta, Phoenix City Councilwoman Thelda Williams, who is also Chair of the Valley Metro Rail and the Valley Metro RPTA that I serve on has requested a formal audit of the Valley Metro travel and employee expenses from January 2010 to present. The audit will focus on making sure that proper organizational controls, oversight and accountability measures are in place for the future. Phoenix City Manager Ed Zuercher indicated the audit would begin as soon as possible.

Valley Metro held a special meeting on Thursday, December 3 at their offices in Phoenix. We accepted the resignation of Mr. Banta and requested an outside audit in addition to the audit that the City of Phoenix will be conducting. Eric Anderson, Transportation Director for Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), has been named temporary interim Director.

Mark Your Calendar

14th Annual Surprise Party

Please come celebrate the upcoming holidays at our 14th Annual Surprise Party on Friday, December 4 ( 5 pm – 9 pm) and Saturday, December 5 (11 am – 5 pm) at the Surprise Recreation Campus. This fun-filled event offers a variety of activities and entertainment experiences. Admission is free with a canned food or toy donation benefiting Sanderson Ford Operation Santa Claus.

The schedule for Friday includes a hot air balloon glow, Arizona Skyhawks Skydivers, a traditional tree lighting ceremony, great food, live musical performances from “Steppin’ into Tomorrow” and “Gonzology” plus fireworks. Santa’s Workshop, presented by Palm Valley Pediatric Dentistry, will offer a free opportunity for youth of all ages to visit Santa & Mrs. Claus while enjoying arts & crafts, cookies and much more!

Saturday’s festivities include an arts & crafts festival, classic car show, interactive games, camel rides, a petting zoo, clowns, face painters, inflatables, carnival, gingerbread house contest and much more. There will be a variety of entertainment throughout the day including performances by the City of Surprise dance programs. Saturday’s events will be held at Surprise Recreational Campus, 8 Acre Park, just north of the Stadium.

Did You Know?

Increased Air Activity @ Luke Air Force Base

Luke Air Force Base has advised us of upcoming increased air activity. The increase began on December 1 and is expected through December 13. The purpose of the exercise is to provide the Singapore armed forces an opportunity to exercise and train their full spectrum of command, control and execution.

Spring Training 2016

The Spring Training schedule is now available! Get your tickets when our online pre-sale begins on December 12 or you can purchase them in person when the box office opens its windows on January 9. For more information, please visit

Economic Development Update

The October statistics are in! There were 3 large business inquiries, 1 small business inquiry, 2 AZ TechCelerator inquiries, 2 large business site visits, 12 small business assists and 14 AZ TechCelerator tenant requests.

Social Media

You can now follow me on Facebook under Skip Hall! Click the link to visit my new page: I look forward to hearing from you!

Contact Me

Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975

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