Councilmember Skip Hall and the Surprise Police Department present a new bike to the winner of the Bike Rodeo raffle

May 24, 2018 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Retirement Celebration for Dysart Unified School District Superintendent Pletnick

On Wednesday, May 16, I attended a surprise retirement party for Dr. Gail Pletnick, along with Councilmembers Winters and Tande. Dr. Pletnick had served as the Dysart Unified School District (DUSD) Superintendent since 2007, after working previously as assistant superintendent.

Meeting with new Dysart Unified School District Superintendent Kellis

I had the pleasure of meeting the new DUSD Superintendent, Dr. Quinn Kellis, on Tuesday, May 22. I joined City Manager Bob Wingenroth and Councilmember Todd Tande for the meeting.

The Dysart Governing Board selected Dr. Kellis to serve as the district superintendent beginning July 1, 2018. Dr. Kellis was the Superintendent of the Madison School District in Phoenix and had previously served in Dysart as an assistant superintendent.

Surprise Area Interfaith Breakfast

I attended the 2nd Annual Surprise Area Interfaith Breakfast in the City Hall Courtyard on Thursday, May 17, which celebrated Surprise as a ‘Golden Rule Community’.

It was a great turnout with more than 170 people in attendance. The Shadow Ridge High School choir performed and did an outstanding job! Speakers included Rev. Larry Fultz from the Arizona Interfaith Movement who spoke about the golden rule; Surprise Fire Medial Chief Tom Abbott who presented the exceptional work the Crisis Response Team does in supporting the community; and Connie Phillips, CEO of Lutheran Social Services who spoke about how churches can work together to help the homeless.

Additionally, the new 2018 Community Resource Guide, which features social services and programs designed to assist Northwest Valley residents in need was made available at the event.

The guide, which was created in partnership between the cities of Surprise and Peoria, is also available online at

Surprise Rotary Donation to Schools

I serve on the Surprise Rotary, and I was honored to join my Rotary colleagues Chris Judd and Jay Lickus on Thursday, May 17 to drop off donations to two local schools. The Rotary donated 750 wireless mice to Kingswood Elementary and another 750 to Countryside Elementary!

Kingswood Parke HOA Meeting

On the evening of May 17, I attended the Kingswood Parke HOA Meeting, along with Surprise Police Chief Terry Young and Officer Nathaniel Miller. I updated residents on the city’s Economic Development activity, and Chief Young and Officer Miller gave safety tips and shared community crime statistics. One surprising statistic they shared was that 90 percent of the burglaries in that neighborhood were due to unlocked cars. Our Police Department has been working to inform residents of the importance of locking vehicles for years. Visit to learn more about their “Lock it or Lose it” awareness campaign.

Surprise Bike Rodeo

On Saturday, May 12, I attended Surprise Police Department’s Bike Rodeo outside the Kohl’s on Bell Road. The event allowed kids to practice bike handling and traffic safety skills, and offered helmet fittings, bicycle inspections, safety information and more! Participants were also entered into a raffle for a free bike, and the winner was chosen last week. Since I donated the bike, I had the pleasure of presenting it to the raffle winner. Congratulations on your new bike, Kinzlie!

Councilmember Skip Hall and the Surprise Police Department present a new bike to the winner of the Bike Rodeo raffle

Mark Your Calendar

Property Tax Hearing June 5

With Council scheduled to set the Primary Property Tax rate on June 19, there is a public hearing on the topic during the June 5 City Council Meeting, beginning at 6 p.m. in Surprise City Hall City Council Chambers.

During a public budget-building process, Council indicated its wishes to maintain the Primary Property Tax rate at $0.7591 per $100 of assessed valuation in Fiscal Year 2018. While that rate is the same as last year, higher assessed property valuations (as determined by the County Assessor) and new construction impacts will result in higher property tax collections.

Surprise continues to have one of the lowest overall property tax rates amongst Phoenix-Metro cities, as you can see in the chart below. Surprise’s combined rate of $0.7591 Primary Property Tax and FY2019 anticipated $0.42 Secondary Property Tax (passed by voters last year to fund the General Obligation Bond) is $1.1791 per $100 of assessed valuation. The average combined rate of the 12 cities shown in the chart is $1.57.

Property Tax Rate Comparison Chart

City to host urban camping discussion in June

The city will host a public meeting to discuss an amendment to the city code related to urban camping on Wednesday, June 6.

The meeting will be held in the Community Room at City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Dr.; beginning at 5:30 p.m.

The intent of this amendment to Chapter 42 of the Surprise Municipal Code is to add Article III, Urban Camping.

City staff from the Human Service and Community Vitality and Police Departments will be part of the public presentation.

This article is designed to maintain streets, parks and other public/ private areas within the city in a clean, sanitary and accessible condition that protects the health, safety and public welfare of the community.

The intent of the amendment also recognizes that, subject to reasonable conditions, camping facilities associated with special events can be beneficial to the cultural and educational climate within the city.

For questions, please call 623.222.1620.

City Offices Closed for Memorial Day; Trash Recycling Schedule Change

City of Surprise administrative offices will be closed Monday, May 28 for Memorial Day.

Due to the holiday, City of Surprise trash and recycling customers ONLY are reminded that collection will be postponed by one day the week of May 28 – June 1. Monday collection will occur on Tuesday; Tuesday collection will occur on Wednesday; Wednesday collection will occur on Thursday; Thursday collection will occur on Friday.

Please note that not all City of Surprise residents are City of Surprise trash and recycling customers, and as such, may not experience a change in pickup service. Please check with your service provider.

Questions? Please call 623.222.1900.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial ‘The Moving Wall’ coming to Surprise in July

Experience a half-size replica of the Washington, DC Vietnam Veterans Memorial when The Moving Wall comes to Surprise this summer.

The replica wall was created so that people who cannot travel to DC, can still share in this special way of honoring and remembering the sacrifice of our Vietnam service members. The wall is engraved with more than 58,000 names of killed or missing Vietnam service men and women.

The city of Surprise is honored to host The Moving Wall from July 5 – 9 at Mark Coronado Park, located at 15960 N Bullard Ave.

  • July 5, 9:00 a.m.
    The Moving Wall Opens to Public
  • July 6, 6:00 a.m.
    Welcome Ceremony
  • July 9, 6:00 a.m.
    Closing Ceremony
  • July 9, 12:00 p.m.
    The Moving Wall Closes

The Moving Wall will be open 24 hours for viewing from July 5 at 9 a.m. – July 9 at noon. Directory books will be available 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. This event is free to the public.

The city is seeking volunteers (individuals and groups) for assistance with assembly and disassembly of the wall, staffing the information and directory tables and more.

For more information, or to sign up as a volunteer, please contact Steve Castillo at 623.222.2267 or

Did You Know?

City of Surprise Seeking Applications for Voluntary Commission Vacancy

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

  • Audit Committee (Resident Position) – 2 year term – 1 vacancy
  • Judicial Selection Advisory Commission (Resident Position) – 4 year term – 1 vacancy
  • Tourism Commission (Resident Position & Hotel Position) – 2 vacancies

Applications for the above mentioned commission are available for pick-up immediately and can be picked up from the City Clerk’s Office from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday at 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.

Contact Me

Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975

Ask a Question