Surprise Party hot air ballons

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

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