November 30, 2017 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Council Conversation Taping

Earlier this week, I taped my quarterly Council Conversation that focused on Recreation, Sports & Tourism. Community and Recreation Services Director Donna Miller and Assistant Director Paul Frie provided us with an update of the upcoming events we will be sure to want to attend. In addition, this interview provides an introduction of our newest department, Sports & Tourism, as well as an introduction of the department’s two leaders, Director Kendra Pettis and Assistant Director Joe Bertoletti. You can watch the show here:

Council Conversations with Councilmember Hall, Kendra Pettis (Sports & Tourism Director) and Joe Bertoletti (Sports & Tourism Assistant Director)

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Meeting

A Tribute to the Veterans was the theme of the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce meeting this month. The meeting was held on Tuesday, November 28 at The Colonnade. Vice President of Veteran Initiatives of the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation Steve Yamamori spoke about the Veteran Success Project. An Advisory Committee, of which I am honored to serve on, consists of municipal and community leaders.

Mr. Yamamori shared some veteran statistics. Our country consists of more than 20 million veterans. There are 532,206 veterans residing in our state which makes up 11% of the population. From that number, 477,985 of them are male, 54,221 are female, and 49% are 65 and older.

Due to the difficulty transitioning from the military to civilian life, the Veteran Success Project opened the Military and Veterans Success Center in the West Valley. Luke AFB provided an in-kind donation of space to house this program and in turn, the Veteran Success Project will help every airman with the transition into civilian employment. The building is located by the Lightening Gate of Luke AFB located on Litchfield Road. Included in the facility are three case manager offices and a conference room. There is also a kid’s area and state of the art technology located throughout the building.

Veteran Success Project rendering

The Project’s goal is to serve 100,000 veterans and their families over the next 10 years. The program will offer case-managed, success planning services focusing on transition, education, housing, human services, professional development, career and personal services. To support this endeavor, funding will be a two-pronged strategy to cover immediate costs, as well as legacy funding through an endowment fund. The endowment will be able to fund operating costs in perpetuity.

Governor Doug Ducey’s Policy Advisor on Military and Veterans Affairs, Dr. Joseph Cuffari, provided a legislative update concerning veteran bills during Governor Ducey’s administration. The State of Arizona has 54,746 active duty personnel between their installations: Fort Huachuca, Davis-Monthan AFB, Yuma Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma Proving Grounds, Luke AFB and the Naval Observatory. Currently, there are 7,600 personnel at Arizona National Guard’s 36 facilities and 7,400 in reserves in addition to the almost 600,000 current veterans in Arizona.

Arizona receives an economic impact of $11.5 billion from military and veterans, in addition to supplying 77,000 jobs. The state receives $255.9 million in state and local sales tax, based on 2017 figures, as well.

Surprise Youth Council Meeting

The Surprise Youth Council met on Wednesday, November 29 at the AZ TechCelerator. I attended, as well as members from the Surprise Youth Foundation, to share conversation about an upcoming Surprise Youth Festival this spring.

Mark Your Calendar

16th Annual Surprise Party

Celebrate with the City of Surprise at our 16th Annual Surprise Party on Dec.1 and 2 at the Surprise Recreation Campus! This event offers a variety of holiday-themed activities and entertainment experiences. Admission is free with a canned food or toy donation benefiting Sanderson Ford Operation Santa Claus. An overview of the each day’s highlights are below:

Friday, December 1 (5 p.m. – 9 p.m.) – Hot air balloon glow; Arizona Skyhawks Skydivers; a traditional tree lighting ceremony; fireworks; great food and live musical performances from “3 Nations” and “Smashed.” Santa’s Workshop, presented by Palm Valley Pediatric Dentistry, offers a free opportunity for youth of all ages to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus while enjoying arts and crafts, cookies, and fun!

Event Lineup

5 – 7 p.m. Musical performances by “3 Nations”
7 – 7:15 p.m. Tree Lighting Ceremony
7:15 – 8:45 p.m. Musical performances by “Smashed” / Festive Balloon Glow
8:45 – 8:55 p.m. Skydivers
8:55 – 9 p.m. “Party in the Sky” Fireworks

*Schedule of events subject to change

Friday’s event will be held at the Surprise Recreation Campus – Stadium Plaza, located at 15850 N. Bullard Avenue. Fireworks will begin approximately at 8:55 p.m

Saturday, December 2 (11 a.m. – 5 p.m.) – Arts, crafts and gifts festival; classic car show; interactive games; camel rides; a petting zoo; clowns; face painters; inflatables; carnival; gingerbread house contest and much more! Throughout the day, enjoy a variety of entertainment, including performances by the City of Surprise dance programs and “Robosaurus” – the world’s largest car-crushing robot. Event activities and attractions may include a nominal fee. Concessions will be available for purchase.

Saturday’s events will be held at the Surprise Recreation Campus – 8 Acres Park, north of Surprise Stadium.

Event Lineup

11 – 11:15 a.m. The 16th Annual Surprise Party kickoff
11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. City of Surprise – Special Interest Class Performance Groups
1 – 3 p.m. “Rock Lobster” musical performance
3 – 5 p.m. “3 Nations” musical performance

*Schedule of events subject to change.

Carnival Operating Hours

Friday 5 – 9 p.m.
Saturday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

For additional event information, please contact the Surprise Community and Recreation Services Department at 623.222.2000 or visit

City Council Meeting

The next City Council Work Session and City Council meeting is scheduled next Tuesday, December 5 at Surprise City Hall in the Council Chamber. The Work Session will begin at 5 pm followed by the Regular City Council Meeting that will begin at 6 pm.

Did You Know?

Call for Youth Artists

The City of Surprise Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission is partnering with non-profit Friends of the Surprise Libraries for their annual Spring Bookmark Contest which encourages local 6th – 8th graders to express their artistic talent by creating a reading and literacy-themed bookmark. Winners in each grade level will receive a plaque with their bookmark and a monetary award. Plus, their bookmarks will be professionally printed and distributed at the Maricopa County Northwest Regional Library in Surprise. This year, an art show of all the entries will be held at the WHAM (What’s Happening Art Movement) headquarters during the month of March 2018.

Bookmark Contest Timeline:

  • Contest begins December 11, 2017
  • Entries are due no later than January 31, 2018
  • Judging will occur February 7, 2018

Bookmark Contest Awards:

  • 1st place awards and $100 cash prize for each grade level
  • Honorable mention prize of $25 for each grade level

Bookmark Contest Entry Details:

  • See entry form for all entry requirements – Bookmark Contest Entry Form
  • Artwork size 2.5″ by 11″ only (out-of-size will be disqualified)
  • Students may submit more than one entry, but each entry must have its own completed entry form.

Deliver or Mail entries to:

  • Friends of the Surprise Libraries Inc.
    ATTN: Bookmark Contest
    16089 N. Bullard Ave
    Surprise AZ 85374

For more information, please contact Friends of the Surprise Libraries at or (623) 826-4939.

Contact Me

Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975

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November 22, 2017 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Arts & Economic Prosperity Report

West Valley Arts HQ Executive Director Bernadette Carroll provided a presentation on the Arts & Economic Prosperity Report. The Arts and Economic Prosperity 5 report was conducted by Americans for the Arts, a nonprofit organization aimed at advancing the arts in America. This report provides evidence that the nonprofit arts and culture sector is a significant industry in the West Valley Region – one that generates $23 million in total economic activity. This spending, $13.2 million by nonprofit arts and cultural organizations, and an additional $9.8 million in event-related spending by their audiences, supports 758 full-time equivalent jobs; generates $18 million in household income to local residents; and delivers $2.6 million in local and state government revenue.

This economic impact study sends a strong signal that when we support the arts, we not only enhance our quality of life, but we also invest in the West Valley Region’s economic well-being. For more information on the report, please visit

City Council Meeting

Pickleball Donation

Earlier this year, City Council approved a Capital Improvement Project to construct eight additional pickleball courts adjacent to the existing courts at Community Park. The Surprise Pickleball Association has been highly supportive of this project and has donated $34,000 to add four sets of bleachers and two shade structures around the new courts.

Events & Meetings

Grand Openings and Ribbon Cuttings in Surprise

This past week, we celebrated the grand opening and ribbon cuttings of a few new businesses in Surprise. Sonoran Sun Pediatric Therapy opened their doors for young patients. They are located at 15653 N. Reems Road, Suite 110, and the owners are residents of Surprise.

Sonic Drive-In hosted a ribbon cutting on Thursday, November 18, at their new store located at 17181 W. Greenway Avenue. In addition, we celebrated the ribbon cutting of FAST SIGNS and 2Knuckle Sports both located in the Brookside Shopping Center located at 15332 W. Bell Road.

Sonoran Sun Pediatric Therapy grand opening and ribbon cutting

Best of luck to all our new businesses. We welcome you to Surprise.

Community Conversation on Homelessness

Our Human Service and Community Vitality Department hosted a community conversation on homelessness. Vice Mayor Todd Tande, Councilman Ken Remley and I joined city staff and the representatives from local businesses, non-profit agencies, community groups and individuals who have interaction with our homeless for this open conversation.  Our goal was to share what homelessness looks like in the area from all of our perspectives and further discuss the conditions, trends, data and possible solutions.

Dysart High Schools Band Jamboree

Marching bands from Dysart, Shadow Ridge, Valley Vista and Willow Canyon high schools came together for the 1st Annual Band Jamboree at Willow Canyon High School on Monday, November 20. The program featured all four marching bands and included a drumline battle. Dysart Unified School District Assistant Superintendent Dr. Stephen Poling and I joined Glendale Community College Director of Bands Bill Humbert and volunteer Rudy Johnson to evaluate the friendly competition with a tremendously large crowd in the cheering section. Shadow Ridge High School won first place, followed by Willow Canyon (2nd place), Valley Vista (3rd place) and Dysart High School (4th place).

Mark Your Calendar

City Offices Closed This Thursday and Friday

Our city administrative offices will be closed Thursday, November 23 and Friday, November 24 for the Thanksgiving holiday. City of Surprise trash and recycling customers ONLY are reminded that trash and recycling collection normally scheduled for Thursday, November 23 will occur on Friday, November 24.

Please note that not all City of Surprise residents are City of Surprise trash and recycling customers and, therefore, may not experience a change in pickup service. Please check with your service provider. Please contact City of Surprise Customer Service at 623.222.6000 if you have any questions.

Honoring An Exceptional Leader Task Force

The Honoring an Exceptional Leader Task Force met last week to solicit public input on ways the city could honor the late Community and Recreation Services(CRS) Director Mark A. Coronado. The Task Force was created by the Surprise City Council, on an ad-hoc basis, to identify ways to recognize great women and men who invested a precious part of themselves to the benefit of the city. The task force will host their second meeting is scheduled on Thursday, December 14 at 6 p.m., in the City Hall- Community Room, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. The public is encouraged to attend.

Mr. Coronado passed away this past June, having led CRS since 2000. 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.

At the group’s November meeting, public and Task Force input recommended the following options for honoring Coronado:

  • Rename Bullard Avenue in Coronado’s honor
  • Rename 8-Acres Park in Coronado’s honor and/or add a tribute in his honor within the park
  • Rename Surprise Stadium in Coronado’s honor and/or add a tribute in his honor within the stadium
  • Rename the Surprise Recreation Campus in Coronado’s honor
  • Dedicate a day of community service in Coronado’s honor

This taskforce will bring their recommendation to City Council for consideration in early 2018.

Did You Know?

Surprise Board & Commissions Openings

The City of Surprise is currently accepting applications for the following Commissions. All Board/Commission positions are voluntary.

  • Municipal Property Corporation – 1 vacancy
  • Audit Committee – Resident Position (This member must have knowledge of financial reporting, accounting, auditing, or relevant fields and familiarity with local governance and operations) – 1 vacancy
  • Disability Advisory Commission – 1 vacancy

Applications for the above mentioned commission are available immediately and can be picked up from the City Clerk’s Office from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday. The City Clerk’s Office is located in Surprise City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. Applications are also available online at Please submit applications to the City Clerk’s Office in person or by e-mail to Applications are always available for all boards and commissions and will be kept on file for future vacancies.

Small Business Saturday in Surprise

Small Business Saturday was proclaimed at Tuesday Night’s Council Meeting in an effort to support our city’s local businesses, which help to create jobs and boost our local economy. Small Business Saturday is as an American Express initiative that has been widely adopted by public and private organizations across the nation to encourage people to shop small the Saturday after Thanksgiving ever year.

To help localize the campaign, Surprise businesses and residents can download “Shop Small Surprise” marketing collateral to promote Small Business Saturday at Show your support on social media using the hashtag #ShopSmallSurprise

The city encourages residents to shop local beyond the holiday season; that’s why we have partnered with the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce on a renewed “ShopSurprise” campaign that offers local retail deals via text all year long. To start receiving daily deals, text ‘ShopSurprise’ (one word) to 85100. Additionally, please don’t forget to ‘Like’ the Shop Surprise, Arizona Facebook page and follow @ShopSurpriseAZ on Twitter.

For more information about the ShopSurprise campaign, contact the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce at 623.748.1828 or


I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support. It is my honor to serve you! I wish you and your families a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.

Contact Me

Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975

Ask a Question

November 16, 2017 • Newsletter

Joint Council/Planning & Zoning Meeting

City Council Members and Planning & Zoning Commissioners met at Ottawa University on Thursday, November 9 to discuss the vision for downtown Surprise. As a strategic activator for the Civic Center, Ottawa University plays a critical role in the future of the City Center. Ottawa’s Vice President and Provost, Dr. Dennis Tyner, provided a thorough update on the university. Ottawa had a goal of enrolling 250 students in their first semester in Surprise. Dr. Tyner happily reported that 434 students were enrolled which far exceeded their original goal. He stated 55 percent of the students came from Arizona with 38 students from Surprise; 35 percent of the students are from California. The university recruited locally and invested in athletes to start the inaugural year. They hope to enroll an additional 375 new students this upcoming spring and fall. Staff utilized the Infinity program to attract students who are participants and incentivized those students with scholarships. Ottawa University’s short-term goal is to build three additional buildings which include an indoor/outdoor athletic facility, KDR (kitchen, dining, recreation area) that will seat 1,000 people and their first residential hall.

The land developer and their partners, and the public were also invited to join the discussion. The desires of our residents are important to consider as we are building a downtown from scratch, and we want it to thrive and survive for the long-term. Comments and questions were also noted from Facebook Live. Resident desires include: more eclectic restaurants, entertainment options, upscale bars, small shops and boutiques, housing similar to Kierland Commons in Scottsdale, a performing arts center, and parks and city bus routes that can transport residents to the area. It is evident that residents do not desire more senior living complexes and apartments. Bottom line is that Council’s plan for the area always included the creation of a downtown that would allow walkability, recreation and interaction amongst those that would reside and congregate there.

Events & Meetings

Arizona Charter Academy Veterans Day Concert

Arizona Charter Academy (ACA) hosted their second annual Veterans Day concert on Thursday, November 9. Veterans from Surprise were invited to attend the breakfast and the patriotic concert led by their 7th grade choir. I’m very appreciative of ACA’s acknowledgment of our veterans and the beautiful voices of their choir. It was a touching event. Many thanks to ACA’s CEO Melissa Holdaway and Music Director Rachael Crossman for your continued partnership!

Surprise Veterans Day Parade

The city hosted its 3rd Annual Veterans Day parade on Saturday, November 11. Our Grand Marshal was David G. Herrerea who served in U.S. Army and is a World War II veteran. Each year, the attendance continues to grow for the parade. This year, there were 80 parade entries. Approximately 350 people enjoyed the pancake breakfast that was catered by Puffy Taco Shack, and approximately 5,000 people attended the parade. Those who entered the parade were also judged in a variety of different categories. The winners are:

  • Best Veteran Service Organization: VFW Post 286, Nicky D. Bacon
  • Best Military: Vietnam Veterans of America- Billee Culin, Chapter 1043
  • Best Motorized: M-151 A1 Military Jeep & M-416 Trailer
  • Best Non-Motorized: Painted Promise Ranch
  • Best Musical/Performance: Shadow Ridge High School Marching Band
  • Best Youth: Cub Scout Pack 194

Congratulations! And a special thank you to our Community and Recreation Services and Sports and Tourism departments for their hard work and dedication preparing for this event!

Veterans Day Ceremony at Sun Village

I participated in the Veterans Day ceremony at Sun Village on Saturday, November 11. I was honored to be part of the Honor Guard. Each year, Sun Village hosts this ceremony. Many thanks to the hard work and dedication of resident Tomas Garcia. Thank you!

Future of Cross-Border Healthcare Panel Discussion

As seasonal Canadian visitors return to Arizona in ever-increasing numbers, the city is studying how to provide better, more innovative healthcare options for them in the future. On Tuesday November 14, the Surprise Economic Development Department hosted a panel discussion at City Hall with Canadian leaders who are seeking to advance an important cross-border healthcare initiative in partnership with the city. The Surprise Economic Development Department is leading an initiative to bring Canadian medical services and Canadian medical practitioners to the market. Surprise is aiming to be a medical destination for services where rehabilitation and recovery is most desirable in a warm climate. Cross-Border Healthcare Taskforces were formed earlier this year in both Canada and the City of Surprise, and the taskforces intend to deliver a feasibility report on the issue early 2018.

New Lease on Life Initiative

Christopher Todd Communities recently asked that I participate on a committee to evaluate essays. The company launched a non-profit initiative called “A New Lease on Life” that will give those in need a helping hand, one person or one family at a time. The company has also partnered with Veterans Directory to help identify an honorably discharged veteran transitioning to civilian life. That selected veteran will receive free rent for one year, 50 percent reduced rent the second year and 25 percent reduced rent the third year at their new community in Surprise at Litchfield and Greenway roads. As part of the committee, we reviewed 20 applications and provided the company with our top three choices to receive this gift. For more information regarding this initiative, please visit The Veterans Directory website at You can find the application and program requirements there as well.

Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Super Swap Meet

The Surprise Super Swap Meet will be held on Saturday, November 18 from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. in the parking lot of the Surprise Aquatic Center, 15831 N. Bullard Avenue. Parking and admission are free. There will be more than 60 vendors with new and gently used treasures on display. This event is sponsored by the City of Surprise Human Service and Community Vitality Department and the Surprise Senior Center Site Council. If you would like more information, please call 623.222.1500.

Public Comment Period for North-South Corridor Environmental Study Opens

As the North-South Corridor environmental study progresses with some changes to the proposed corridor alternatives, the Arizona Department of Transportation, in coordination with the Federal Highway Administration, is now seeking comments on the options from the public. There have been several changes to the study since 2014 when the last formal public comment period was held.

The North-South Corridor, spanning more than 40 miles between US 60 and I-10 in Pinal County, includes multiple proposed alternative corridors with segment options throughout. This comment period is open for 30 days, and all comments received by December 14 will be entered into the Corridor Selection Report for this phase of work.

Comments can be sent to the following:

  • Email:
  • ADOT Project Information Line: 1-855-712-8530
  • Mail:
    North-South Corridor Study Team
    c/o ADOT Communications
    1655 W. Jackson St., Mail Drop 126F
    Phoenix, AZ 85007

For more information on the North-South Corridor Study, please visit the website at

Did You Know?

Smallcakes of Surprise

Please join me in welcoming Smallcakes of Surprise to Surprise. Smallcakes recently celebrated their grand opening earlier this month. They are located at 13706 West Bell Road (Suite 14), and they are open seven days a week.

Opioid Addiction Resource Website Has Launched!

It’s no secret that opioid abuse in the United States has become a national crisis, and while many people think it’s only about the use of illegal drugs (heroin), there is an increase in people becoming addicted to opioid-based pain killers (fentanyl and codeine). Everyday people using legally-prescribed pain medications are becoming addicted, and the results are deadly.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that in 2015, 12.5 million people misused prescription opioids and more than 33,000 people died from overdosing on opioids. Since 2012 opioid deaths in Arizona have increased 74 percent, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS).

In support of our nation’s and state’s initiatives to combat this problem, the city has created a website to connect abusers to various local and national resources and support agencies working to end opioid abuse. In addition, following state recommendations, our first responders, both Fire-Medical and Police are trained on the use of naloxone (Narcan) which is utilized to help reverse an opioid overdose. Surprise Fire-Medical has also established partnerships with substance abuse facilities that allow for direct transfer and immediate evaluation of patients as part of the new Treat and Refer program.

The city has a RX Drop-off location in our Police Department lobby (14250 W. Statler Plaza), where you can safely dispose of your unwanted or expired prescription drugs. The website also features videos addressing the crisis and a link to the state’s report on the issue, including legislative recommendations for combating the epidemic.

Contact Me

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Mobile: 623.451.3975

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November 9, 2017 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Library Feasibility Study Update

Earlier this year, the city hired Orcutt / Winslow to complete a library feasibility study. The purpose of the study was to guide future library operations, library renovation projects and new library construction. The process took several months to complete. The consultant conducted interviews with city staff and staff from Maricopa County. Benchmark comparisons were completed with Avondale, Peoria and Tempe. Staff and consultants visited several libraries in order to complete a design comparison. Four community meetings were held, as well as an online survey, in order to gain public input. The consultant also provided detailed information regarding an intergovernmental agreement. A large portion of the study related to future libraries in Surprise, facility options and locations, as well as recommendations to renovate and refresh current libraries and cost models.

The study recommendations included:

  • Continue with Maricopa County Library District
  • Continue to elicit community input
  • Remodel Northwest Regional Library
  • Refresh Hollyhock Library
  • Utilize impact fees for new branch library; Possible location at Asante Park
  • Construct new regional branch when funds are available
  • Adopt policy for locating and determining size of future libraries
  • Explore collecting new fees for future libraries
  • Adopt a memorandum of understanding with Friends of Surprise Libraries

Surprise Public Safety Master Plan

The city granted funding in the FY17 budget for the Police and Fire-Medical Departments to conduct a competitive bid for consultants to develop a comprehensive public safety master plan. This master plan was to include not only an organizational strategy that defines a 15-year goal for Police, Fire-Medical and Emergency Management Departments but also to help each respective department define programmatic goals while maintaining the goals of the city’s 2030 General Plan as well as City Council’s Strategic Plan. The last Master Plan for the Fire-Medical Department was adopted in 2007. The Police Department did not have one.

The city retained Citygate Associates, LLC to perform a Fire Protection and Paramedic Services Master Plan for the Fire-Medical Department. This assessment included reviewing the adequacy of the existing deployment system from the current fire station locations. This master plan includes a Technical Report that includes a Standards of Coverage (deployment) assessment and a fire administration staffing review, as well as a map atlas of deployment coverage measures. Citygate made key findings, and, where appropriate, specific action item recommendations. Overall, there were 34 key findings and 16 specific action item recommendations.

Citygate also prepared a Police Services Master Plan, which included reviewing the adequacy of the existing deployment system, scheduling, and staffing. The methodology utilized in the master plan is part of the Technical Report. Citygate’s master plan includes a detailed analysis of the response time, crime, and call data that drives the recommendations for staffing in Patrol, as well as an assessment of the staffing of the support functions in the department. The emphasis of the master plan is focused on projected growth, particularly as it pertains to facilities, staffing, equipment, and information technology. The department provided the crime and response data for the master plan. Overall, there are 55 key findings and 59 specific action item recommendations.

The findings and recommendations of both plans were presented during the November 7 Work Session.

For more information, please visit

City Council Meeting

Approval of The Colonnade Plat

The Colonnade continues its mission to provide assisted living and memory care with an approval of a rezone and final plat. The rezone provides for a new mixed-use zoning designation for the facility which will allow low intensity uses, such as doctors, small restaurants, and travel agencies, interspersed throughout the development. The rezone will also add 1.5 acres to the facility and an 18 foot sign along Grand Avenue adjacent to the current 4 story structures. City Council voted unanimously on the rezone (mixed use) and the plat.

Water Company Acquisition

Surprise voters will decide whether or not to authorize the purchase and acquisition of a water service company in a Special Mail-Ballot Only Election on May 15, 2018. City Council approved sending the question to the ballot. Circle City Water Company (CCW) is a small water service company in the northern part of Surprise’s planning area and future water service area. This acquisition would provide Surprise with the company’s existing water infrastructure and grow the city’s allocation of Colorado River water by more than 38 percent.

Colorado River water is currently the only renewable surface supply available to Surprise. Having a right to more surface water will help the city meet future demands and shortfalls. The purchase of CCW would be funded through the sale of current and future water portfolio assets; the cost to acquire CCW will not be borne by City of Surprise water customers or taxpayers.

Educational public meetings will be scheduled ahead of the May 15 Special Election. Meeting dates and locations will be posted on Additionally, an Information Pamphlet will be mailed out in April to all registered households in Surprise.

Events & Meetings

Eve’s Place Annual Fall Luncheon

Eve’s Place hosted their Annual Fall Luncheon on Thursday, November 2, at Briarwood Country Club in Sun City. The event provided an opportunity to donate to this incredible non-profit organization that started in Surprise.

For over 10 years, Eve’s Place has provided innovative programs to victims of domestic, sexual and teen dating abuse. Eve’s Place recently introduced the concept of a Mobile Advocacy Program for victims in 10 separate communities in the West Valley. This new program brings services to victims in their own community regardless of their place in the healing process. It is their goal to reach the 75 percent of domestic abuse victims who will never go or call a shelter program for assistance.

Dysart Unified School District CTE Career & College Expo

Dysart Unified School District Career and Technical Education (CTE) hosted their annual Career and College Expo on November 2, at the Dysart District Office. The event was well attended. I was impressed with vendors that included Arizona State University, University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University, Ottawa University and much more. Students of the district’s CTE programs were there including students from the culinary program at Valley Vista High School.

The event was an excellent opportunity for students in grades 6 through 12, and their parents or guardians, to get information on the career pathway classes and programs offered through the district.

West-MEC Northwest Campus Grand Opening

City Council gathered to celebrate the grand opening of the West-MEC Northwest Campus located at 13201 W. Grand Avenue in District 5. This particular campus focuses on vocations for Cosmetology, IT, Security, Law, Public Safety, and Security, Medical Assisting, and Physical Therapy Technician. If you know anyone interested in these programs, West-MEC will be hosting an Open House on November 29, from 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Surprise Police Department Promotion Ceremony

The Surprise Police Department held a promotion ceremony on Monday, November 6, honoring the promotions of Commander Philip Johnson, Sergeant Joseph Kopronica and Sergeant Jesus Galaz (pictured in order below). Congratulations!

West Valley Regional Opioid Action Committee Meeting

Goodyear City Council Member Wally Campbell hosted a West Valley Regional Opioid Action Committee meeting, led by Tempe City Councilman and National League of Cities Opioid Taskforce Member Joel Navarro, on Wednesday, November 8. Several staff members from the West Valley, including Public Safety, also attended. A productive conversation about the current opioid epidemic was had by all. The Committee will consist of elected officials and staff from 24 municipalities. We look forward to additional collaboration. You can also learn more about how the city of Surprise is addressing this national crisis at

Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Veterans Day Events

Please join us in honoring our service men and women at the City of Surprise Veterans Day Parade and pancake breakfast on November 11. The breakfast will be held 7 a.m. – 9 a.m. at Surprise Recreation Campus and will feature pancakes, choice of sausage or bacon, and breakfast refreshments. This year’s event will be catered by the popular local food truck, “The Puffy Taco Shack.” Tickets are $4 per plate.

The parade begins at 9:30 a.m. and will be routed along Bullard Avenue between Paradise Lane and Tierra Buena Lane. It will feature community entries honoring the men and women in uniform who have selflessly served our country. Parking will be available for parade attendees at the Surprise Community Park, located at 15953 N Bullard Ave. Please note in preparation for parade, Paradise Lane between Bullard Avenue and Buck O’Neil way will be closed at 9 a.m. and Bullard Avenue between Paradise Lane and Tierra Buena Lane will be closed at 9 a.m.

Following the parade, join us for the Surprise Police & Fire-Medical Charity Softball Game! This epic showdown between Surprise Police and Fire-Medical will be held at Surprise Stadium, 15930 N. Bullard Avenue. The gates will open after the completion of the Veterans Day Parade at approximately 10:30 a.m., and the game will start at 11:30 a.m. Admission is free. All proceeds from donations and raffles at this event will be donated to the Special Olympics of Arizona, the 100 Club, and the Marine Corps League!

Don’t forget to wear red or blue to support your favorite team. For more information, please contact Community & Recreation Services at 623.222.2000.

Second Sunday in The Park

The City of Surprise invites you to “Second Sundays in the Park” on Sunday, November 12, featuring live country music by “The Jeff Gordon Show.” This free event will take place in the center of the Surprise Community Park from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, blankets and umbrellas for shade as they enjoy the live entertainment. The Surprise Community Park is located at 15953 N. Bullard Avenue.

For more information, please contact the Community & Recreation Services Office at 623.222.2000 or visit

Union Hills & 111th Avenue Intersection Closed – November 13-29

The 111th Avenue and Union Hills Drive intersection will be closed beginning Monday, November 13 at 5 a.m., to install storm drain pipe. The intersection is scheduled to reopen by 6 p.m. on Wednesday, November 29, 2017.

The closure is required to construct a portion of the 115th Avenue and Union Hills Drive project that will intercept flood water from the northeast and carry it south to the Agua Fria River when complete. The project is a partnership between Surprise, the Flood Control District of Maricopa County, the city of Peoria and the Maricopa County Department of Transportation.

Bell Road, Del Webb Boulevard, 107th Avenue and 99th Avenue may be used as alternate routes. Access will be maintained at all times for emergency vehicles. For questions or concerns, call the construction hotline at 602.264.6416.

8-Acre Park Closed For Maintenance

The 8-Acre Park at the Surprise Recreation Campus will be closed now through November 29, for maintenance. The park, located at 15850 N. Bullard Avenue., will be open and available for use starting at 6 a.m. on November 30.

Please contact the Community and Recreation Services Office at 623.222.2000 if you have any questions.

Did You Know?

Surprise Voters Approve Bond Questions

Voters have approved general obligation funding for projects related to Public Safety, Traffic Congestion Mitigation and Pavement Preservation, according to final results released by the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office.

Question #1: Voters in Surprise approved a $34 million public safety bond proposal to: build a Public Safety Evidence & Readiness Center; renovate an existing city facility into a Police Training Facility; acquire Land for Future Fire Station/Police Substation & Park; build a new Fire Station at Cactus and Litchfield roads; build a new Fire Station along 163rd Avenue, south of Happy Valley Road, to replace the current temporary station; and build a Public Works Operations Facility to centralize operations. The annual cost for a homeowner is approximately $26 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).
Vote total: Yes- 12,414 (53%) No- 10,967 (47%)

Question #2: Voters in Surprise approved a $15.5 million street bond proposal to provide funds to plan, design, construct and improve Waddell, Greenway and Litchfield roads. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $12 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).
Vote total: Yes- 13,375 (53%) No- 11,001 (47%)

Question #3: Voters in Surprise approved a $10 million street pavement preservation bond proposal that will pay to plan, design, construct, replace and improve deteriorated street pavement citywide. The annual cost for a homeowner would have been approximately $8 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).
Vote total: Yes- 12,286 (53%) No- 11,072 (47%)

The City Council will meet to canvass the votes at their November 21 Regular Meeting.

Project timelines and costs are available at This website will be updated to include project status and when bond issuances are carried out.

City Offices Closed for Veteran’s Day – Change to Trash and Recycling Schedule

City of Surprise administrative offices will be closed Friday, November 10, in observance of Veterans Day. There will be no change to the trash and recycling pickup schedule for City of Surprise customers.


I’d like to extend my sincere gratitude to those who currently serve or who have served our great country. You are our heroes. You represent the best qualities in this country! Thank you for your courage and your service!

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November 2, 2017 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Harvest Festival

Surprise Community Garden hosted their annual Harvest Festival on Thursday, October 26. Volunteers gathered to provide free pumpkins, face painting and much more to those who attended this free event. Many thanks to Linda Cabrera for her hard work putting it together!

GAIN Night

The Surprise Police Department, in partnership with other city departments and organizations, hosted the 2017 GAIN Night at 8 Acre Park on Saturday, October 28. The event provided plenty of activities for kids, trick-or-treating, great entertainment and much more. Approximately 3,000 attended. Canned food donations were requested at entry which provided 39 boxes of canned food weighing roughly 1,171 pounds for the Salvation Army thanks to the generosity of our attendees. Several of our local merchants provided raffle items for those who donated food. This year was our most attended GAIN Night event to date!

In addition to GAIN Night, our Surprise Community and Recreation Services Department, in partnership with our Surprise Youth Council, hosted the Surprise Spooktakular, at the City Hall Parking Garage. The event was a success with more than 1,000 attendees. Food trucks, music, trunk-or-treating, carnival games, bounce houses and the haunted parking garage were all part of the evening’s events.

STEM Conversation with Thompson Ranch Elementary School

Water Resource Management Director Terry Lowe, Department Manager Warren Dancer and I met with Thompson Ranch Elementary School Assistant Principal Casey Kuhn on Monday, October 30, to discuss opportunities for the city to partner with Thompson Ranch with regards to their STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curriculum.

Champs Family Automotive Citizen Outreach Meeting

Our Community Development Department hosted a Citizen Outreach meeting on Monday, October 30 at Champs Family Automotive, located at 13200 W. Foxfire in Surprise. The business is requesting approval of a Conditional Use Permit to allow for a major automotive repair facility on approximately 1.5 acres located north of Bell Road and east of Dysart Road.

Mountain View Cottages

I met with Community Development staff on Tuesday, October 31, to discuss the Mountain View Cottages proposed development and review the resident feedback pertaining to the project that was obtained at a Citizen Outreach meeting earlier this month.

The applicant is requesting a Major Amendment to the Park Place Planned Area Development (PAD). It will add specific development standards to allow for 112 single-story attached and detached rental units (one, two and three bedrooms) on approximately nine acres located on the southwest corner of Mountain View Boulevard and Carlin Drive. The proposed development would be gated with two entrances/exits; one on Mountain View Boulevard and the other on Carlin Drive, which the developer will cut through to Mountain View Boulevard as part of the development. A pool, pool house, play area and large landscaped retention area are part of the site plan. Rent is expected to range from $1,150 to $1,600 per month.

Mark Your Calendar

Council Joins Planning & Zoning for Joint Meeting

The Surprise City Council and Surprise Planning and Zoning Commission will conduct a joint meeting, Thursday, November 9, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., at Ottawa University’s Community Room. Councilmembers and Commissioners will discuss the city’s vision for a downtown, planned in the area surrounding the Civic Center, from Bell to Greenway roads and Litchfield Road to Bullard Avenue.

Will it be a walkable downtown? What kind of housing do you envision on site? Where do you like to shop, dine and be entertained?

The public is encouraged to attend and share their thoughts. The meeting will also be broadcast live on Surprise TV, and on Facebook Live @cityofsurprise.

This meeting is a next step discussion, following the September 28th Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Idea Accelerator Workshop. City officials, developers, and local business stakeholders participated in this seven-hour workshop to review best methods to address the issues associated with building the future downtown. Details from the workshop will be discussed at the joint meeting.

Ottawa University, 15959 N. Civic Center Plaza, is located just south of Surprise City Hall. Individuals needing reasonable accommodations, such as large print materials or interpreters, should contact the City Clerk’s office at 623.222.1200 (Voice); or 623.222.1002 (TTY) at least 24 hours prior to the event so arrangements can be made.

A Concert for our Veterans

Arizona Charter Academy is set to host “A Concert for our Veterans” on Thursday, November 9. Approximately 50 students will take the stage in the school’s gym to honor our nation’s heroes. The event will begin at 10 am. All veterans are invited to attend. A light breakfast will be served. If you plan on attending, please contact Rachael Crossman at to RSVP.

Veterans Day Events

Please join us in honoring our service men and women at the City of Surprise Veterans Day Parade and pancake breakfast on November 11.

The breakfast will be held 7-9 a.m. at Surprise Recreation Campus and will feature pancakes, choice of sausage or bacon, and breakfast refreshments. This year’s event will be catered by the popular local food truck, “The Puffy Taco Shack.” Tickets for the breakfast are $4 per plate and available for purchase at the Surprise Community and Recreation Services office, located at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

The parade begins at 9:30 a.m. and will be routed along Bullard Avenue between Paradise Lane and Tierra Buena Lane. It will feature community entries honoring the men and women in uniform who have selflessly served our country.

Parking will be available for parade attendees at the Surprise Community Park, located at 15953 N Bullard Avenue. Please note in preparation for parade, Paradise Lane between Bullard Avenue and Buck O’Neil way will be closed at 9 a.m. and Bullard Avenue between Paradise Lane and Tierra Buena Lane will be closed at 9 a.m.

Following the parade, join us for the Surprise Police & Fire-Medical Charity Softball Game! This epic showdown between Surprise Police and Fire-Medical will be held at Surprise Stadium, 15930 N. Bullard Avenue. The gates will open after the completion of the Veterans Day Parade at approximately 10:30 a.m., and the game will start at 11:30 a.m. Admission is free. All proceeds from donations and raffles at this event will be donated to the Special Olympics of Arizona, the 100 Club, and the Marine Corps League!

Did You Know?

Surprise Wins Statewide Economic Development Awards

The City of Surprise Economic Development Department won two Golden Prospector awards at Arizona Association for Economic Development (AAED) fall conference. The AAED Golden Prospector awards encourage and recognize excellence in economic development statewide. Surprise received awards in the following categories:

  • Multimedia Promotion: Surprise Retail Survey. This category recognizes a promotional piece, series of promotional pieces or promotional campaign that contains non-printed elements. The Surprise Retail Survey was recognized as a promotion that truly engaged the community and established a targeted retail strategy for the City of Surprise to effectively reach nationally-branded retailers. The survey shows top local favorites as well as most desired retailers. Now in its third year, the retail survey initiative, which most recently had 3,171 respondents, has become a national case study and has helped Surprise successfully develop discussions with national retailers and attract some most-requested eateries, including Texas Roadhouse and Oregano’s.
  • Special Event: Tech the Halls. This category recognizes a meeting, seminar, marketing tour, event, or trip designed to develop prospects and promote economic development. The first-ever Tech the Halls event at the AZ TechCelerator was launched last year to connect local entrepreneurs with the Surprise community. The event offered a venue to help AZ TechCelerator tenants showcase their innovative companies and celebrate the program’s successes. Interactive activities included product demonstrations, a scavenger hunt, a selfie booth and live musical entertainment. The event will be held again this year on December 7 from 5-7 p.m. at the AZ TechCelerator, located at 12425 West Bell Road, and residents are encouraged to join the fun!

Julie Neal and Kendra Hoffman at the 2017 AAED Awards

Congratulations to the city of Surprise Economic Development team; and thank you to our residents whose participation in these programs helped make them so successful!

ADOT Pavement Improvement Project – Restrictions

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) has begun a two-week project to improve pavement conditions on eastbound Grand Avenue northwest of Loop 303 in Surprise. Drivers should plan for lane restrictions, turn restrictions and lower speed limits between 163rd Avenue and Happy Valley Road during day and overnight hours 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:

  • 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

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Mobile: 623.451.3975

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