City Council and Ottawa Staff breaking ground at school's new Practice Fields

August 31, 2017 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Arizona League of Cities & Towns Conference

The 2017 League Annual Conference was held at the Hilton El Conquistador in Oro Valley, August 22 – August 25. Our entire Surprise City Council were joined by elected officials from 91 other cities and towns and some of our state legislators. The conference is a platform for Arizona’s mayors and councilmembers to network and share best practices, innovative ideas and successful strategies.

The conference opened with an excellent general session with keynote speaker Dr. Lowell Catlett whose discussion focused on the mega trends shaping tomorrow’s communities. In addition, I attended sessions pertaining to water and wastewater needs- trends and investments; as well as increasing jobs and growth, focusing on municipal priorities and capitalizing on new opportunities to drive economic growth. Councilmembers and city staff held meetings onsite with Central Arizona Project (CAP), EPCOR and NEXXUS Consulting to discuss updates on CAP, including our current water supply, the new EPCOR rates, recent EPCOR concerns and improving our city’s transportation, respectively.

Ottawa University Surprise

Aerial image of inaugural class of OUAZThe inaugural class of OUAZ has begun! Classes started on Monday, August 21! Total enrollment (434 students), has surpassed Ottawa’s original target goal of 200 students. The university offers 21 intercollegiate sports and offers degrees from the School of Arts & Sciences, School of Education and School of Business. In addition to this great news, OUAZ women’s soccer team won their first ever OUAZ athletic contest beating Arizona Christian 1-0! Congratulations on your successes!

I encourage you to follow the excitement of our newest treasure on Facebook at

Early Childhood Summit

I attended the First Things First Summit at the Phoenix Convention Center on Monday, August 28. The Summit brought together professionals, stakeholders and supporters of early childhood education and health to share innovative strategies, research and practices that help our youth get ready for school and build a strong foundation for life. The conference included sessions on child health and development, early learning and very important to me – early literacy and community awareness.

Homeschool Educators of Surprise

The Homeschool Educators of Surprise held their kick-off event at Northwest Regional Library on Monday, August 28. I was honored to speak at the event and engage with this passionate group of parents. Educating our youth is one of our greatest responsibilities. It is amazing to see how many parents are utilizing their time and talent to invest in the education of their children. This group consists of approximately 120 parents who homeschool their children.

Council Conversation on Surprise TV

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Chair Susan DeJong, Commissioner Lee Whitehead and City Planner Joshua Mike joined me for my latest Council Conversation taping regarding a variety of topics involving arts and events in Surprise on Wednesday, August 30. The show will be available to watch on Surprise TV beginning next week, you can find it at If you have any ideas for future show topics, please let me know!

West-MEC (Western Maricopa Education Center) Tour

West-MEC Superintendent Greg Donovan provided me with a tour of the new West-MEC campus on Wednesday, August 30. The Northwest Campus is located on the southwest corner of Dysart Road and Grand Avenue in Surprise. The campus will open later this fall to high school students. This particular campus will focus on automotive, computer technology, construction, health and beauty and medical industries.

Ottawa University Competition Field Groundbreaking Ceremony

City Councilmembers joined administrators from Ottawa University at the August 31st groundbreaking ceremony for the competition field. The competition field will be located south of the tennis complex on Tierra Buena and it will accommodate the OUAZ football and soccer programs.

Mark Your Calendar

City Offices Closed for Labor Day

City of Surprise administrative offices will be closed on Monday, September 4 in observance of Labor Day.

City of Surprise trash and recycling customers ONLY are reminded that collection will be postponed by one day the week of September 4-8. Monday collection will occur on Tuesday; Tuesday collection will occur on Wednesday and so forth. Please note that not all Surprise residents are City of Surprise trash and recycling customers, hence, you may not experience a change in pick-up services. Please check with your respective service provider(s). If you have any questions, please call our customer service line at 623.222.6000.

Fall Cleanup Event – Free

It is the perfect time to prune your landscape, clean out your garage and take advantage of the Fall Cleanup Event on Saturday, September 16. The event allows Surprise residents to drop off up to 2,000 pounds of residential waste free-of-charge at the Northwest Regional Landfill, 19401 W. Deer Valley Road, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Items that will be accepted include lawn waste and other typical household refuse. Participants will be required to show proof of Surprise residency, via a driver’s license and electric bill showing the same home address.

NOTE: Hazardous waste items will not be accepted during this event. Items such as paint, batteries, tires and pool chemicals will be collected at the city’s Household Hazardous Waste event, October 14 from 8 a.m. to noon, at the Public Works Maintenance Yard, 13433 W. Firefox Drive.

For more information about either event, please call the City of Surprise Customer Service Line at 623.222.6000, or visit

Did You Know?

Help Our City Collect Water Bottles for Hurricane Harvey Survivors

The City is partnering with Highland Prep High School to collect 100,000 water bottles to benefit the survivors, volunteers and first responders in Houston, Texas. We will be accepting cases of water in the City Hall lobby (16000 N. Civic Center Plaza) through 5 pm on Tuesday, September 5. Please feel free to deliver the water immediately behind our information desk at City Hall or the Surprise Police Department, 14250 W. Statler Plaza.

City Hall is open Monday through Friday from 8 am until 5 pm but we are closed in observance of Labor Day on Monday, September 4. Thank you in advance for your generosity to this cause!

Neighborhood Grant Program Application Now Available

The Surprise City Council approved funding to support the Neighborhood Grant Program that provides eligible neighborhoods with small grants to fund neighborhood events, functions or even some community improvements. Recognizing an opportunity to encourage community engagement and further build strong relationships with communities in Surprise, the city designated $10,000 to support the grant program for FY18.

To be considered, projects must meet the following program criteria:

  • Provide a public benefit
  • Result in a product, which benefits a neighborhood or the larger Surprise Community
  • Be feasible for completion by June 2018
  • Involve the benefiting neighborhood in project identification, planning and execution
  • Emphasize neighborhood self-help; or be educational, community-building, or a public physical improvement
  • Final report due and presentation to the Sub-Committee on Community Outreach, Partnerships and Grants on June 13, 2018

Additionally, a minimum of 5 neighbors within the residential area must sign the application and support the idea; neighborhoods governed by a homeowner association (HOA) must have HOA approval.

Interested communities should deliver the complete Neighborhood Grant Program application to City Hall, attention Jodi Tas, by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, November 10. An information session will be held September 21, 2017 at 4:00 pm at Surprise City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza in the Council Overflow room.

For more information about the grant, visit Neighborhood Grant Program or contact Jodi Tas, 623.222.1330.

Contact Me

Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975

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