October 26, 2017 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Valley Metro RPTA Meeting

The Valley Metro RPTA Board met on Thursday, October 19, where they approved the “Respect the Ride” Code of Conduct. This action focuses on creating a safe and positive rider experience by discouraging disruptive, intrusive, unsafe or inappropriate behaviors. No individual may engage in prohibited behavior on transit vehicles nor on or around public and non-public Valley Metro facilities and property including rail station platforms, park-and-ride locations, Traction Power Substations, administrative, operational and maintenance offices and facilities as well as any other property that is managed or maintained by Valley Metro. For more information, please visit http://www.valleymetro.org/getting_on_board/code_of_conduct.

Surprise Youth Foundation Meeting

The Surprise Youth Foundation hosted their monthly meeting on Thursday, October 19. The Foundation approved the funding of a donation for the 2nd Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Celebration and Service that will be held on Saturday, January 13. They also agreed to fund a scholarship to send one Police Explorer to a competition to test police skills at Purdue University and another scholarship for a child to attend Lions Camp Tatiyee, a camp for children with disabilities, based in Pinetop Lakeside, Arizona in July.

Surprise Youth Council Meeting

This month, the Surprise Youth Council (SYC) began meeting with City Council to provide us with an opportunity to get to know them on a more personal level. I met with four members of SYC on Thursday, October 19. Earlier this month, I was able to join them during the “Love Our Schools” event at Thompson Ranch Elementary School. Our members are active in the community, and I look forward to additional opportunities to continue to work and interact with them.

West Valley Arts HQ Annual Block Party

The West Valley Arts Council held their Annual Block Party and Surprise Invitational on Thursday, October 19 at the West Valley Arts HQ located outside City Hall. The event provided an opportunity for attendees to meet local artists, enjoy live music and experience the professional art gallery that featured over 90 works created by local artists, including photography by the city’s very own graphic designer and photographer Muriel Sawicki.

Surprise Senior Center Membership Appreciation BBQ

Our Human Service and Community Vitality staff hosted a membership appreciation barbeque at the Surprise Senior Center on Friday, October 20. I joined a few of my fellow Councilmembers and 140 members for this great event. The HSCV Department hosts an appreciation event twice a year. Thank you to our HSCV Department for all they do for our Senior Center and to our members! I appreciate you!

Poetry Slam

It was a pleasure attending the Poetry Slam at WHAM, sponsored by the Surprise Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission, on Friday, October 20. Local poet and writer Dusty Guardy graciously emceed the standing-room-only event with over 60 people in attendance. Attendees ranged in age from 5 to 80 years old! Over 20 amateur and professional poets shared both original and well-known writings. Additional information about the commission and their events can be found at www.surpriseaz.gov/arts.

Technology & Art: A Tinker Time for All Ages

The Surprise Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission hosted an interactive Art Encounter in conjunction with the Northwest Regional Library on Saturday, October 21. This event featured Kevin Caron with his 3-D art work created on a 3-D printer as well as students from Huntington University Arizona Center for Digital Media Arts. This event helped demonstrate the amount of art included in technology and how technology can be utilized to create art. Considered to be a Tinker-Time for All Ages, this event was a success. The commission will plan another similar event next fall.

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Meeting

Vice Mayor Todd Tande, Councilman Patrick Duffy and I attended the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce monthly breakfast meeting on Tuesday, October 24. The focus of the meeting was education, and it included a panel of local educational leaders including Ottawa University Vice President and Provost Dr. Dennis Tyner, Dysart Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Gail Pletnick, Arizona Charter Academy CEO Melissa Holdaway, WestMEC Northwest Campus Administrator Holly Medina and Dysart Unified School District Administrator of Career and Technical Education James Grieshaber.

Ottawa University Vice President and Provost Dr. Dennis Tyner, Dysart Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Gail Pletnick, Arizona Charter Academy CEO Melissa Holdaway, WestMEC Northwest Campus Administrator Holly Medina and Dysart Unified School District Administrator of Career and Technical Education James Grieshaber.

First Things First Fair & Open House

The city recently partnered with First Things First (FTF), a voter-created statewide organization that funds early education and health programs to help Arizona’s children ages birth to 5 years of age be successful once they enter kindergarten. Through this collaboration, the creation of the “Launchpad” playroom was born. This playroom provides a safe and fun educational space for these children to explore and ignite their imagination.

Our Human Service and Community Vitality Department hosted an open house and fair at the Surprise Resource Center on Wednesday, October 25 to celebrate this early childhood developmentally-friendly room that parents visiting the Resource Center can utilize to capture their child’s attention while they search for jobs and connect to community resources.

Mark Your Calendar

GAIN Night

The Annual Surprise GAIN Night event will be held this Saturday, October 28 from 6 pm until 9 pm at 8 Acre Park. Please join Surprise Police and Surprise Fire Medical Departments for this free public safety event that brings our community together. A food drive to benefit the Salvation Army is also part of the event. For every two cans of food donated, you will be entered into a raffle to win some exciting prizes! I hope to see you there!

Veteran Job Club

A multi-employer panel that will include the Department of Corrections and Lowes will be at the next Veteran Job Club on Thursday, November 2. Meetings are held at the Surprise Resource Center located in the AZ TechCelerator at 12425 W. Bell Road, Suite 124, from 6 pm – 7:30 pm. Meetings are held the 1st Thursday of each month. We suggest you bring extra copies of your resume and dress in business casual attire if you plan to attend. For more information, please email april.irish@surpriseaz.gov.

Did You Know?

Surprise Pitches to Land Amazon HQ2

Earlier this month, the city’s Economic Development Department submitted a proposal for Amazon’s second headquarters. Amazon announced its quest for a second headquarters earlier this year. The internet store is planning to invest more than $5 billion into the project and employ approximately 50,000 people. The company plans to make a decision in 2018. You can see our video pitch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfrfCZ8-LZI

ADOT Pavement Improvement Project – Restrictions

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) is scheduled to begin a two-week project to improve pavement conditions on eastbound Grand Avenue northwest of Loop 303 in Surprise beginning on Monday. Drivers should plan for lane restrictions, turn restrictions and lower speed limits between 163rd Avenue and Happy Valley Road during day and overnight hours beginning early Monday, October 30 and continuing through the evening of Wednesday, November 8.

Crews will remove and replace the top layer of asphalt in the two eastbound travel lanes and in the center turning areas onto Grand Avenue from Happy Valley Road to 163rd Avenue. Drivers should allow extra travel time and be prepared to use detours while the following restrictions are scheduled to be in place:
4 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, Oct. 30 and Tuesday, Oct. 31:

  • Grand Avenue will be narrowed to one lane in each direction between Loop 303 and Happy Valley Road and the speed limit will be reduced to 45 mph.
  • Only right turns onto Grand Avenue will be permitted at Deer Valley Road; also, the unsigned turn area located 1.5 miles north of 163rd Avenue will be closed. Drivers will use the frontage road as a detour for turns onto or from Grand Avenue.

4 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 1, and Thursday, Nov. 2:

  • Grand Avenue will be narrowed to one lane in each direction between Loop 303 and Happy Valley Road and the speed limit will be reduced to 45 mph.
  • The cross-over turn areas at Happy Valley Road and Norwich Drive will be closed. Drivers will use Deer Valley Road to access Grand Avenue.

10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3, to 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 4:

  • 163rd Avenue will be closed in both directions at Grand Avenue. Local traffic will use Jomax Road to Happy Valley Road to Loop 303 while the closure is in place. ADOT will provide access to 163rd Avenue for emergency vehicles if necessary.

9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, Nov. 6:

  • At 163rd Avenue, drivers will be restricted to right turns only onto Grand Avenue. Drivers must travel westbound and turn around at the first cross over north of 163rd Avenue or at Deer Valley Road to access eastbound Grand Avenue. Allow extra travel time, especially during peak travel hours.

4 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7 and Wednesday, Nov. 8:

  • Grand Avenue will be narrowed to one lane in each direction between Happy Valley and Deer Valley roads and the speed limit will be reduced to 45 mph.

The Northwest Valley Regional Landfill will remain accessible while work is underway, but drivers should allow extra travel time and follow signs for designated detour routes.

Schedules are subject to change based on weather and other unforeseen factors. For more information, please call the ADOT Project Information Line at 855.712.8530 or email Projects@azdot.gov.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

October 19, 2017 • Newsletter

City Council Meeting

Veteran Supportive City and Employer Designation Recognition

The Arizona Coalition for Military Families (ACMF) presented the City of Surprise with two plaques representing the Veteran Supportive City and the Veteran Supportive Employer designations. ACMF is a nationally-recognized public/private partnership focused on building Arizona’s statewide capacity to care for and support all service members, veterans and their families.

ACMF presented the City of Surprise with two plaques

The city’s Public Safety Veteran Recruitment Policy and Veteran Job Club are two initiatives we offer to assist veterans seeking work. Forty-five senior staff members were trained in best practices on Veteran hiring and retention and 78 city staff and community partners were trained as Veteran Resource Navigators, helping connect Veterans and their families to the right resource at the right time.

Under Surprise Fire-Medical and Surprise Police Veteran Recruitment Policies, veterans that served honorably in the United States Armed Forces, are eligible to receive five preference points on passing non-promotional recruitment written exams. The points are intended to bolster participation of service-minded veterans looking for employment opportunities beyond their military careers.

The Veteran Job Club is 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! If you would like to learn more, please call 623.222.1600.

2017 Election

City Clerk Sherry Aguilar provided information on the 2017 election. By now, all registered voters should have received their ballots. If you have not received a ballot, you can contact the Maricopa County Elections Department at 602.506.1511 for another one. Additionally, in-person replacement ballot voting will begin on Saturday, October 28 through Election Day (November 7) at Surprise City Hall. Hours of operation are 8 am until 5 pm, Monday through Sunday with extended hours on Election Day. The City Clerk’s office will be open from 6 am until 7 pm on Election Day for in-person voting and dropping off ballots.

Should you have any questions, please contact the Surprise City Clerk’s office at 623.222.1200 or clerk@surpriseaz.gov.

Events & Meetings

Colorado River Conference

I attended a conference on the Colorado River focusing on law and policy on Tuesday, October 10, at the Hilton Scottsdale. Arizona Department of Water Resources Deputy Director Clint Chandler presented the Drought Contingency Plan. The goal of the state agency is to reduce the probability of Lake Mead reaching critical elevations that would cause reductions in water deliveries. There are several strategies in place to ensure this catastrophe does not occur. Some of those strategies include incentivizing storage, recovering additional reduction volumes that wouldn’t ordinarily be allowed, commitment from our state legislators and federal government to conserve the Colorado River system water. This year, our state budget began allocating $2 million per year for three years for Lake Mead conservation efforts.

This past spring, the Governor’s office held a series of meetings with business and water leaders across the state to discuss water solutions. The group agreed that the Colorado River and groundwater were the issues that require the most attention. Through these discussions, the state is examining the current status of Arizona’s laws, policies and practices to determine where improvements should be made and institute reforms that benefit the state as a whole.

Additional presentations focused on the Central Arizona Project (CAP) Water Use Agreement, desalination, a rotational Fallowing Program for Arizona, and a panel discussion from regional experts on the Colorado River.

Valley Metro Audit & Finance Subcommittee Meeting

Valley Metro Audit & Finance Subcommittee met on Thursday, October 12. Agenda items discussed included, but were not limited to, an internal audit update, insurance renewal coverage and recommendation for Valley Metro RPTA approval of the redesign on the proposed downtown Phoenix light rail design modification in conjunction with the South Central Light Rail extension.

Jazz Festival

Assistant City Manager Nicole Lance, Sports & Tourism Director Kendra Pettis, members of her staff and I met with representatives who would like to host a potential jazz festival in Surprise.

Tourism Advisory Commission Meeting

The Tourism Advisory Commission led by Chair DeAngelo Hall met on Thursday, October 12. The city will partner with State 48 Brewery to offer a new series of Second Sundays in the Park that will now include food trucks along with live entertainment. The series will begin on December 10 and take place on the 8-Acre Field. State 48 Brewery will also sponsor a Beer Festival at 8-Acre Park on February 17, 2018. The festival will feature a musical performance by “Authority Zero” and local breweries will participate as they celebrate Arizona Beer Week.

Surprise Fiesta Grande

The 4th annual Fiesta Grande event was held on Saturday, October 14th from 3 9 p.m. Approximately 7,500 people attended the street-style celebration which included nine food venders, a Vendor Village organized by local contributing organizations and sponsors, a classic car show with 43 vehicles and free kids’ play zone. At the center of the event was live Latin musical performances offered in partnership with 101.9 FM Radio La Campesina and included Mariachi Luz Del Sur, Ballet Folklorico- Fiesta Mexicana Dance, La Propuesta de Mexico, Banda Alterada, Grupo Caribe and Grupo Esencia.


Mark Your Calendar

Union Hills Drive Lane Restrictions Begin Next Week

Beginning Monday, October 23 through Friday, December 15, Union Hills Drive will be restricted to one lane with flaggers between 111th and 107th avenues. This restriction will be in place from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The contractor may work weekends, if needed, to remain on schedule. Please allow extra time to travel through the work area as there may be traffic delays.

The 115th Ave and Union Hills Drive project is a partnership between Surprise, the Flood Control District of Maricopa County, the city of Peoria and the Maricopa County Department of Transportation, to construct two miles of drainage improvement designed to intercept flood water from the northeast and carry it south to the Agua Fria River, decreasing flood hazards to communities in the project area. The project is scheduled to be complete in summer 2018.

For questions or concerns, please call the construction hotline at 602.264.6416.

Valley Metro Input Requested

Valley Metro is considering service changes for 2018, and they want input from current Express Route 571 riders. Valley Metro staff will be at the Surprise Park-and-Ride on Monday, October 30, during morning bus departure times to gather feedback about the proposed Express Route 571 changes which include offering morning trips on both Grand Ave and to the Glendale Park-and-Ride via Loop 101/I-10 West. In addition, evening trips would all travel on I-10 West/Loop 101.

Riders unable to provide input on Oct. 30 have several ways to give feedback on proposed changes including:

  • Webinar:Nov. 7 at noon; registration at valleymetro.org
  • Complete an online comment card
  • Public hearing: Nov. 14 from 5-6:15 p.m.; 101 N. 1st Avenue, 10th floor
  • Email comments to input@valleymetro.org through Nov. 17

Valley Metro changes bus service twice per year as a way to add service or maximize efficiency of routes. The next service change occurs April 23, 2018. For more information about proposed April 2018 service changes, please visit valleymetro.org/servicechanges.

Did You Know?

Clothing Drive for Eve’s Place

Please consider joining the city donation drive to support domestic violence survivors and Eve’s Place, a community based provider of safety and empowerment services for victims of domestic violence and teen dating violence. New and moderately used men, women and children’s clothing items will be accepted through October 27. You can look for the purple marked collection boxes placed around our City Hall campus. Thank you!

Call To Artists for Surprise City Hall Project

The Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission is seeking artists or firms to create a mural for the Surprise City Hall cashier’s area that represents the artist’s interpretation of the White Tank Mountains. Qualified artists and firms are invited to submit a Statement of Qualifications as part of the Request for Qualifications process, which is detailed on www.surpriseaz.gov/arts.

The deadline to submit is November 3, 2017, and the contract will be awarded December 6, 2017. For more information, please contact Danielle Osborne at danielle.osborne@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.1034.

October 12, 2017 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Bond Election Ballots Mailed; Bond Meeting Recap

Ballots were mailed this week to all registered voters for the November 7 General Obligation Bond Election, which is mail ballot only. Surprise residents will consider three separate General Obligation Bond questions to fund 10 capital improvement projects in the areas of Public Safety, Traffic Congestion Mitigation and Pavement Preservation. I hosted a bond meeting in Sun Village on October 5. Staff was there to review the projects, needs and costs. Information about the bond election is also available at www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise.

Economic Development Update

At the October 5 Bond Meeting, Economic Development Coordinator, Suzanne Boyles also provided an Economic Development update. New retail under construction in the Loop 303 area includes a car wash, Hayashi and Popeye’s. Recently open in the area are Greulich’s Automotive Services, Denny’s and Verizon. City Center is also seeing growth. Raising Canes, Pieology, Menchies, Tokyo Joes and Starbucks are under construction, and In-N-Out Burger will be developing in the same area. There is also new medical coming into the city. A new building off of Litchfield Road and Statler Boulevard is 90 percent leased, and a new behavioral health hospital is under construction at Bell and Dysart Roads. Plus, our AZ TechCelerator business incubator just welcomed two new medical technology companies, one focused on regenerative medicine and another on mobile EEG technology. In our industrial district, Milam Glass is under construction, as well as 100K square feet of speculative industrial space. It’s exciting to see business growing in Surprise!

Mainstreet Grand Opening

On October 5, I attended the ribbon cutting of Mainstreet, the nation’s largest developer of transitional care properties, in celebration of their new rapid recovery center in Surprise. Mainstreet’s Founder and CEO, Zeke Turner, was there to cut the ribbon. The center will provide post-acute care and recovery services to patients following hospital interventions or surgeries. The facility, located just south of Grand Avenue at the northwest corner of Parkview Place and Parkwood Drive, is approximately 70,000 square feet and offers 100 state-of-the-art patient rooms with a focus on patient care.

Ribbon cutting of Mainstreet, the nation’s largest developer of transitional care properties

Ribbon Cutting for new area of Dick McComb City Park

On October 7, I attended the ribbon cutting for the newest addition to the Dick McComb City Park – approximately 8.5 acres of open recreation space. This new grass area is a wonderful example of how the city and HOA communities can work together to make great things happen. Surprise Farms III HOA President, Mark Beaudry, was at the ribbon cutting and spoke about the way we were able to partner and how the HOA has agreed to maintain the grass for the first three years. I look forward to seeing residents take advantage of the new space!

Mark Your Calendar

Seeking Volunteers for Day of Service at St. Mary’s Food Bank Oct. 18

Serve alongside your friends and neighbors as we sort food at St. Mary’s Food Bank during our Surprise Day of Service event. Food sorting will take place on Wednesday, October 18 from 9 a.m. to noon at St. Mary’s Food Bank, located at 13050 W. Elm Street in Surprise. To volunteer, please sign-up with Jason Hughes at jason.hughes@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.3239.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection this Weekend

If you’ve been holding on to unwanted paint, electronics and other hazardous waste, take advantage of the City’s Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event this Saturday, October 14. This event is free and for Surprise residents only. Please bring a driver’s license or utility bill to show proof of a Surprise home address. Drop-off is at the Public Works Maintenance Yard, 13433 W. Foxfire Drive (from Bell Road, turn north on Dysart and follow signs to the entrance off Foxfire), from 8 a.m. – Noon. For a list of accepted items, visit www.surpriseaz.gov/HHWevent or call 623.222.6000.

Surprise Fiesta Grande

The heart of Surprise will be alive with food, music and fun when Surprise Fiesta Grande returns to the city’s Original Town Site on Saturday! This street-style celebration runs from 3 – 9 p.m. on Hollyhock Street, north of Grand Avenue. Event admission and parking are free. Attractions and activities include a classic car show, authentic Mexican food, flavorful food trucks, festive beverages, free kids’ play zone, pinata plaza, and a vendor village organized by local contributing organizations and sponsors. To see the entertainment lineup, parking information and more, visit www.surpriseaz.gov/fiestagrande.

Arizona History & Culture Speaker Series returns with new speakers, topics

There’s a fun opportunity to experience stories of Arizona history and culture through a speaker series presented by the Surprise Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission in partnership with Arizona Humanities. Local experts from Arizona Humanities’ AZ Speaks program will present on a variety of topics from Arizona’s historic military sites to early western songs and singers. Get the event schedule here: http://bit.ly/2xhcxsh.

AZ Fall League Play is Underway

The Arizona Fall League season opened this week, bringing a glimpse of baseball’s future, and City of Surprise is part of the action! The Surprise Saguaros, one of six teams represented in the Arizona Fall League, consist of Major League baseball’s top prospects showcasing their talents as they prepare for the Major League stage. General tickets start at $8 and are available for purchase the day of the event at the Surprise Stadium Box Office. For additional information, including the home game schedule, please visit www.surprisespringtraining.com or contact the Surprise Stadium Box Office at 623.222.2222.

City to Host USTA Tennis Tournaments

The Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex is proud to welcome several United States Tennis Association (USTA) tennis tournaments this fall.

October 12-15 – USTA 18 and over National Championships 4.0
October 19-22 – USTA 18 and over National Championships 3.0
November 2-5 – USTA Southwest Hardcourt Championships
December 8-10 – USTA Southwest 65 and over Section Championships

The Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, was recently recognized as a USTA National and USTA Southwest Section Facility of the Year. The complex welcomes over 2,000 active USTA members throughout the fall competitive season.

Visit www.surpriseaz.gov/tennis for information on tournaments, classes and more at Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex. For information on registration or open court availability please call 623.222.2400.

Did You Know?

Ottawa University Sports Field is Nearly Complete

Ottawa University’s competitive athletic field for soccer and football is nearly complete! The 97,000 square-foot field is built to NAIA/NCAA standards and to host national competitions. OUAZ offers 21 academic programs and more than 30 student activities and associations at the Surprise campus located in City Center. You can learn more at www.ouazspirit.com

Before and after images of the Ottawa University competitive athletic field

Surprise Literacy Challenge Kicks Off

The 5th Annual Surprise Literacy Challenge has begun and 100 fourth – sixth grade classrooms from 13 schools are participating in this two-month challenge to experience literacy in fun and interesting ways! I am proud to host the challenge in partnership with the Northwest Regional Library and Friends of the Surprise Libraries.

Participating students will receive a Surprise Literacy Challenge bingo card with various activities to complete – like creating a comic strip based on a fiction book or reading a book of poetry. Students who “black out” all of the squares on their card will be entered into a drawing for cool prizes – like books, a Kindle Fire and even Spring Training tickets!

Teachers can win too! If a teacher has 100 percent classroom participation, they will receive books and Kindle Novel Studies. Plus, their class will be entered into a drawing for some great classrooms prizes. One fourth grade class will receive an ice cream party and individual medals; one fifth-grade class will win a pizza party and individual medals; and one sixth-grade class will have the opportunity to lead the Pledge of Allegiance at a City Council meeting, get individual medals and a take a photo with the Mayor and Council Members.

Thank you to all of the teachers and students participating in this year’s challenge and to all of the parents who are supporting their children as they take on this literacy challenge!

City Accepting Parade Entries for 3rd Annual Veterans Day Parade

The city is looking for patriotic-themed parade entries for the 3rd Annual Veterans Day Parade, which will be held on Saturday, November 11. The parade, which will honor the men and women in uniform who have selflessly served our country, will begin at 9:30 a.m. and run along Bullard Avenue near the Surprise Recreation Campus. The city is seeking clubs, organizations, groups or residents who would like to participate in the parade. There is no fee to participate. Interested parties may obtain an entry form online at www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents or at the Community & Recreation Services Offices located at 15960 N. Bullard Ave. For more information, contact Community & Recreation Services at 623.222.2000. Entries are due by October 27.

Task Force to research way to honor long-time CRS Director Mark A. Coronado

Recognizing that the City of Surprise rests on the shoulders of great women and men who invested a precious part of themselves to the benefit of our city; the Surprise City Council has adopted a policy to create an Ad-Hoc “Honoring an Exceptional Leader Task Force” within the City of Surprise.

Earlier this year, the City Council instructed the City Manager’s Office to draft a policy that would recognize people that made a significant contribution to advance the city through possible naming dedications of city amenities, awards, facilities, parks, roadways, etc…

The group is being assembled, at the request of City Council, to research options to honor the late Community and Recreation Services Director Mark A. Coronado. Coronado led the department from 2000 until his death this past June. Under Mark’s leadership the department grew to manage all recreational programming, city parks, aquatics, library services, community/sports tourism special events, recreational facility development, Spring Training operations and national/international tennis events.

During his tenure with the city, Mark also held the roles of Interim City Manager, Acting Economic Development Director, Acting Public Works Director and Acting Communications Director. The task force’s first meeting will be Tuesday, November 14, 6 p.m. in the Community Room of City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. The public is encouraged to attend.

Surprise Fire-Medical Receives AHA’s Lifeline EMS Recognition Award

Congratulations to the Surprise Fire-Medical Department on receiving the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline EMS Gold Plus Award for implementing quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks. Fire-Medical Chief Tom Abbott accepted the award at the October 3 city council meeting.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

October 5, 2017 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Public Safety Retirement System Financial Status

Staff presented an update on the status of the Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS). The system was established on July 1, 1968 to provide a uniform, consistent, and equitable statewide retirement program for Arizona’s public safety personnel. Due to several depressions in the economy during the 2000’s the fund went from being fully funded in 2000 to having only half the money needed to pay its obligations in 2010. This led to a number of reforms intended to help ensure PSPRS can and will exist for future generations of public safety employees. This was the first installment in a multi-chapter discussion on the status of the system, future outlook, and action plan for the statewide system and for the city of Surprise.

City Council Meeting

Domestic Violence Awareness Proclamation

Mayor Wolcott officially proclaimed October “Domestic Violence Awareness Month” Tuesday evening. In honor of this issue, purple lights will shine from Surprise City Hall and the city’s public safety building to help raise awareness about domestic violence. Purple is the nationally-recognized color signifying domestic violence awareness. Residents can help raise awareness by joining city of Surprise employees in wearing purple clothing or a purple ribbon throughout the month of October. This year, national wear purple day is Thursday, October 19. Help “Paint Surprise Purple” and show your support via social media using the hashtags #PurpleThursday #PaintSurprisePurple.

Surprise City Hall at night lite with purple light

Millions of men and women are victimized by domestic violence each year. If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, you are encouraged to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE or visit www.TheHotline.org. Additionally, Eve’s Place provides mobile advocacy services for victims of domestic and sexual abuse weekly at the city’s Surprise Resource Center. Individual appointments and support groups are available for adults and teens. The Surprise Resource Center also partners with New Life Center, Sojourner Center, Hope Women’s Center and New Leaf’s Faith House to support victims of domestic violence.

The Surprise Resource Center is located on the city’s AZ TechCelerator campus at 12425 W Bell Rd. Suite 124. For more information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/resourcecenter or call 623.222.1600.

Public Hearing

City Council approved a zone change request for ten acres located at the southeast corner of 175th Avenue and Sweetwater Avenue. The approved zoning will allow up to 50 single-family residential lots with a minimum lot size of 4,000 square feet; however, a separate Preliminary Plat is currently under review, which anticipates 44 lots. The developer of these ten acres will be responsible for completing street improvements along 175th Avenue adjacent to the site, in addition to half-street improvements along Sweetwater adjacent to the site. The city has also received development applications for additional properties located north of Sweetwater, one of which was the subject of a neighborhood meeting being held by the applicant at Paradise Honors High School earlier this week.

FY2017 Financial Status Report

During the FY2018 budget process, estimates of FY2017 expenses and revenues were presented. These FY2017 estimates helped define the available funds for FY2018. The staff presentation gauged the FY2017 estimates against actual financial performance. As the annual financial audit is currently underway, the amounts presented are not yet final for FY2017. Total FY2017 resources were greater than estimated by $1.9M and total expenditures were less than expected by $3.6M which led to an ending balance of $3.3M greater than expected. The balance will be applied to public safety personnel retirement system employee refunds made earlier this fiscal year.

Events & Meetings

Bloomberg Philanthropies “Idea Accelerator” Workshop

Mayor Sharon Wolcott, Vice Mayor Todd Tande and I joined 12 others including two Planning & Zoning Commissioners and the minority partners who own the land outside City Hall (known as SCDC) on Thursday, September 29 as part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies “Idea Accelerator” workshop. Unfortunately, the majority partner was absent due to illness. The purpose of the workshop was to provide city officials, developers, and local business stakeholders with strategies and tools to identify and address issues as related to building the city’s downtown. All present agreed that the current state of land is not delivering.

Benevilla Professional Friends Luncheon

Councilmembers Roland Winters, Ken Remley and I attended Benevilla’s Professional Friends Luncheon on Friday, September 29 at Rio Salado Community College. Together, we honored the awardee, Amber Hughes from Ryley, Carlock & Applewhite, with their esteemed Professional Friends recognition for outstanding work supporting our community. We were also provided with important updates on the fantastic programs and services Benevilla offers.

Dick McComb City Park Ceremony

Most of City Council joined Community and Recreation Services staff and the Community and Recreation Advisory Commission members on Saturday, September 30 when the City officially renamed Surprise Farms Community Park to Dick McComb City Park. Mr. McComb was our city’s longest-tenured City Manager (1990-2000) who played an instrumental role in the success of our city.

Love Our Schools Day

On the morning of Saturday, September 30, the Surprise Youth Council (SYC) led a service initiative for Love Our Schools Day. This annual event, which is dedicated to organizing community volunteers to perform meaningful acts of service at local schools, was a perfect opportunity for our SYC members to show their heart and character. Eleven SYC members and more than a dozen community members recruited by SYC, worked inside and outdoors at Thompson Ranch Elementary School where 80% of the school’s students reside in Surprise. They cleared and repaired an overgrown garden that will now be used by 1st and 2nd graders to grow vegetables and learn about science. They painted large outdoor learning tools for math and reading that teachers can use to teach students outside when they’ve been cooped up indoors for too long during the cooler months. Additionally, they performed much needed maintenance tasks in the school’s classrooms and cafeteria, where they scrubbed tables, desks, and walls. Councilmen Remley and I were on hand to support this initiative, passing out supplies to volunteers and encouraging their commitment to community stewardship. Thompson Ranch Principal Rachel Saunders and Assistant Principal Casey Kuhn offered their own skills to each task and expressed their great appreciation for the impact these services will have on their students.

Councilman Hall, SYC and community members

STEAM Showcase at Thompson Ranch Elementary School

I was invited to participate in the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Mathematics) Program at Thompson Ranch Elementary School on Monday, October 2. Throughout the tour, we visited pre-school through 8th grade classes as the students were learning about these subjects. Thank you to Thompson Ranch administration for hosting us!

STEM Council Meeting at Canyon Ridge Elementary School

Canyon Ridge STEM Council met on Monday, October 2 at Canyon Ridge Elementary School. Discussion items included Canyon Ridge Continuous Improvement Plan, the focus of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) work across grade levels and 2017-2018 STEM projects and initiatives such as iExplore and outdoor classroom.

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Meeting

The city’s Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission met on Monday, October 2. West Valley Arts HQ Director Bernadette Carroll presented on the Arts and Economic Prosperity report. This report is conducted by Americans for the Arts, a non-profit organization aimed at advancing the arts in our country. The report provides evidence that the non-profit arts and culture sector is a significant industry in the West Valley region, one that generates $23 million in total economic activity. Other items of discussion included the Veterans Art Show that will be held in conjunction with the Veterans Day Parade on November 11, the Public Art Bus tour that will be held on October 19 and other events held during Art week (October 14-23).

Mark Your Calendar

Join Us at Art Week Events

From October 14 – 23, the community is invited to participate in ‘Art Week’ – a collection of fun, family-friendly events designed to gather public input on the Surprise Arts & Culture Master Plan. There will be chances to help create a community art piece and win art too! Your input will help set the standard and strategic direction for how we continue to implement and enjoy arts and culture in the city of Surprise.

Find the Arts & Culture Master Plan booth at the following Art Week events, where you can fill out a short survey, collaborate on the community art piece and be entered to win a variety of art pieces donated by WHAM and the West Valley Arts Council:

Surprise Fiesta Grande

October 14, 3-9 p.m.
Villanueva Recreation Complex, 15660 N Hollyhock

Street Street-style festival featuring live music, authentic Mexican food, dancing, car show and kid zone. www.surpriseaz.gov/fiestagrande

Portrait Sessions & Outreach

Event October 16, 6 – 8 p.m.
Asante Community Park, 16763 W Vereda Solana Drive

Professional photographer will be available to take family portraits and provide the digital prints. Plus, other family fun activities will be available while you wait!

Public Art Bus Tour

October 18, 9 a.m. – noon
Meet at City Hall, 1600 Civic Center Plaza

See art galleries and public art installations around Surprise. Reserve your spot by calling Susan deJong at 623.214.7537. www.surpriseaz.gov/arts

West Valley Arts Council Block Party

October 19, 5-9 p.m.
West Valley Arts HQ, 16126 N Civic Center Plaza

Watch artists create art in real time and enjoy live music, a professional art gallery, local food trucks and more. www.westvalleyarts.org

Did You Know?

Greenway Road Improvements

Pavement preservation work on Greenway Road, Reems Road to Sarival Avenue, will begin Friday, October 6 and continue through Tuesday, October 17. Traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction. Left turns will be restricted during work hours, 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This project is part of the city’s annual Pavement Preservation Program which identifies city streets that need treatment to rejuvenate, rehabilitate, and lengthen the life of the roadway. Learn more about the city’s Pavement Preservation Program at www.surpriseaz.gov/ppp.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question