CM Skip Hall at Willow Canyon HS

September 13, 2018 • Newsletter

Special City Council Meeting

The Surprise City Council met for a Special City Council meeting on Tuesday, September 11 to canvass the votes of the recent primary election. The election results passed unanimously. Incumbent Councilmembers Nancy Hayden, Patrick Duffy and I, Districts 2, 3 and 5 respectively, won the election in the primary. Chris Judd won the election in the primary for District 6.

In order to determine a winner in the Primary, a candidate must receive a majority of the votes cast to be elected to a seat (50% plus one vote). Per state law, a “majority of votes cast” is calculated by first determining the total number of actual votes cast for candidates whose names were lawfully on the ballot for the office, dividing that sum by the number of seats to be filled for that office, and finally dividing that sum by two and rounding up to the highest whole number.

In the case of the District 1 race, no candidate received 50% plus one vote, so the top-two candidates, Jim Cunningham and Roland F. Winters Jr., will square off in the November 6 General Election.

Districts 1, 5 and 6 carry a four-year term, expiring December 31, 2022. District 3 carries a 2-year term to expire December 31, 2020. This election fills the remainder of the term left vacant due to a 2017 resignation. District 2 carries a 2-year term to expire December 31, 2020. This election fills the remainder of the term left vacant due to the passing of Jim Hayden in 2017.

For the results to all County and State ballot issues please visit

Events & Meetings

Willow Canyon High School Military Appreciation Ceremony

Before the Willow Canyon High School and Shadow Ridge High School football game at Willow Canyon, both schools honored area veterans and military personnel as part of their Military Appreciation Night on Friday, September 7. I was honored to be recognized for my service to the country, along with so many local heroes. I would like to extend a special thank you to the administration of both schools, including Assistant Principal John Williams.

West Valley Cities and Towns CAP Dinner

Central Arizona Project (CAP) President Lisa Atkins and General Manager Ted Cooke, along with several other CAP Board Members, hosted a dinner meeting on Wednesday, September 12 in Glendale for West Valley elected officials. Vice Mayor Ken Remley and Councilmembers Todd Tande, Nancy Hayden, Roland Winters and I joined our colleagues to get an update on the water issues facing our state. Given the information shared, I have asked staff to provide details at an upcoming City Council Work Session.

Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Police Department Bike Rodeo

Are you looking for a fun event this weekend? Would you like to make sure your child knows what they need to know on bicycle safety? Then please join your Surprise Police Department on Saturday, September 15 for a bike rodeo. Children 4 years old and up are encouraged to participate.

The event includes a helmet fitting, bicycle inspection, safety instructions and a fun-filled safety course. Children are encouraged to bring a bike or they may borrow one from us, although our supply may be limited. We also highly recommend that all children wear helmets for the event and any time they are riding their bicycle.

The event will be held in the parking lot of Target, located at 13731 W. Bell Road, from 4 pm until 8 pm. I have contributed funding for one lucky child to win a new bike too! If you have questions about the event, please call 623.222.4422.

Sunday in the Park Food Truck Festival Series is Back!

The City of Surprise, in coordination with State 48 Brewery and Food Truck Friday West, kicks off the fall 2018 Sunday in the Park Food Truck Festival series on September 23! The event takes place at Mark Coronado Park, 15960 N. Bullard Avenue from 4 pm until 8 pm.

Catch live music performed by the Sugar Thieves, and choose from a variety of delicious food trucks, as well as an assortment of craft beers and wines provided by State 48 Brewery. This family-friendly event will also feature various yard games, inflatables and face painting.

Event admission is free; food and drink will be available for purchase. Don’t forget a blanket or lawn chair! Dogs must be on leashes. Plus, mark your calendar for all of the festival dates:

  • Sunday, October 21 – The Jan Petrie Band, 4-8 p.m., Mark Coronado Park
  • Sunday November 18 – Flashback, 4-8 p.m., Surprise Stadium
  • Sunday, December 16 – Dirt Road Kings, 12-4 p.m., Mark Coronado Park

For more information, please visit

Did You Know?

Surprise Ranked a Top 10 “Best For Vets Places to Live”

Surprise was ranked a Top 10 “Best for Vets Places to Live” by the Military Times in the medium cities category! Maybe that’s why 13% of adults in Surprise are veterans! The ranking was based on veteran culture & services, economic indicators & livability.

Honoring an Exceptional Leader Task Force Recommendation

The City’s Honoring an Exceptional Leader Task Force was presented with first-draft concepts to honor the late Brian Mancini, at their meeting on September 11. The following options were based on input received at the June 28th meeting, in which family and friends described Mancini as a selfless person who enjoyed helping fellow veterans and loved fishing and spending time in nature.

  • Establish a Veterans Reflection Circle, in honor of Brian Mancini, next to the Northwest Regional Library. The circular area is just west of Surprise Lake, an area that Mancini visited often to fish and relax. A plaque telling his story and the “Pity” poem that he wrote would be located on site, along with a tranquil water feature.
  • Name the Surprise Resource Center’s conference room after Mancini and showcase posters telling his story and self-authored “Pity” poem in the room. The center houses various veteran employment programs including the Surprise Veteran Job Club and weekly veteran employment assistance from the Veterans Administration and the state’s Disabled Veteran Outreach Program.

City staff will also review additional input received at the September 11 meeting, including other potential memorial locations within the city; new water feature and plaque designs.

Mr. Mancini was a medically retired Sergeant First Class, Combat Wounded Veteran who served as a Combat Medic with two tours in Baghdad, Iraq. He served over 12 years in the United States Army. He was the recipient of two Purple Hearts, the Combat Action Badge, Combat Medical Badge, Air Assault Badge and Flight Medic Badge. In 2007, Mancini suffered life-threatening injuries from a roadside bomb attack in Iraq. Following years of surgeries and rehabilitation, the Surprise resident founded Honor House, a place where wounded veterans could go for therapy and counseling. Suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Mancini ended his life at the age of 38 in 2017.

The Task Force will meet again to review cost estimates and finalize concepts on Tuesday, October 9, 6 p.m., in the Community Room of City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. The public is encouraged to attend.

Here is the remainder of their business process following the October 9th meeting:

  • Special Task Force will present its recommendations to the City Council at the next regularly scheduled City Council Work Session. City Council will either recommend that the item be brought forward at the next City Council Meeting for action, or ask that the Task Force perform additional work.
  • The Task Force will be dismissed after final City Council Action.

Contact Me

Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975

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