District 5 Councilmember David Sanders speaks with Surprise Parks & Recreation Director Donna Miller about upcoming events and parks and recreation amenity improvements. He also chats with Economic Development Manager Mike Hoover about business attraction efforts and the changing face of our City Center.
Thank you for signing up to receive my Council newsletter. It is my goal to email you a monthly newsletter with information regarding current events and items that may be of interest to you. In addition, you can find me on Facebook for updates. Each month, I will be doing a Facebook Live interview that focuses on different businesses in District 5. You can always reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 623.222.1325. Also, please feel free to visit my webpage at http://d5.surpriseaz.gov. As always, it is my distinct honor to serve you.
Advanced Meter Infrastructure (AMI) Replacement Project
The City of Surprise has begun the process of replacing approximately 16,000 residential, commercial, and irrigation mechanical water meters with new automated meters. These new water meters will allow customers to monitor their water usage in real time, allowing them to set usage alerts and detect possible leaks. The new meters are completely funded by the City of Surprise water fund and will not impact customer rates. For more information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/watermeter.
Arizona League of Cities & Towns Conference
I had the opportunity to attend, and represent Surprise at the annual Arizona League of Cities & Towns Conference, held in Tucson. While there, I was able to meet numerous representatives from across the state of Arizona while sharing ideas and best-practices on issues facing several cities across the state. We were also able to discuss similarities and differences between our individual cities and gain a broader perspective on a range of topics.
Recycling in Surprise
The City of Surprise has temporarily suspended its recycling program, due to soaring operational costs. Effective August 19, 2019, the city began diverting all materials to the landfill while staff continues to search for cost-effective solutions. In the meantime, the city encourages residents to continue their usual recycling habits, and would like to remind everyone that only bagged trash may go in the black container. If you choose to place recyclable materials in the black container, please continue to follow state regulation, and bag all the contents. For more information and a list of frequently asked questions, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov.
The City of Surprise hosts an HOA Academy annually to give residents the opportunity to learn more about living in an HOA community or serving on a board. It also provides information on the laws that govern HOAs. Classes will be held Wednesday, October 16, 23, and 30, and November 6 and 13 from 6:00-8:30 p.m. in the Public Safety Building Auditorium. Space is limited, so reserve your spot today by calling 623-222-3242.
Hazardous Household Waste Collection
Following the success of the spring Household Hazardous Waste event, the city will continue with the scheduled appointment format. Residents will be able to book an appointment beginning September 9. Please keep in mind this is not a bulk trash appointment. For more information, as well as a list of acceptable items, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/hhwevent.
Surprise Day of Service
The City of Surprise is looking for over 200 volunteers to participate in the Fall Day of Service on October 19. There are several indoor and outdoor community projects throughout the city. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Ervin Cutwright at 623-222-3241. This is a great opportunity and all who participate are encouraged to attend an Island Party afterwards which will include food, music, games and more.
Be sure to check out my Facebook Live videos on my Facebook page @district5councilmansanders. I am touring the city and interviewing the owners of local shops, restaurants and other places of interest. So far, I have interviewed the owners of Nothing Bundt Cakes, Firehouse Subs and My Goodies. I have also toured the new Ottawa Athletic Facility and interviewed a star football player. This month, I look forward to meeting new people in the community. If you know of a local place you would like to see, please feel free to contact me.
Sundays in the Park Food Truck Festivals are back! I hope you all take the opportunity to come to Mark Coronado Park on September 15 from 4:00-8:00 p.m. to enjoy the festivities. Sundays in the Park bring residents together to enjoy live music and delicious food from local food trucks that line the park.
Teens, gather your friends and form a team for a fun, competitive night of Bubble Soccer. This tournament will be held at Mark Coronado Park on Saturday, September 21 from 5:00-9:00 p.m. Games begin at 6 p.m. Residents are $10 each. More info: 623.222.2000.
The first movie night of the season will be held on Saturday, September 28 at 7:00 p.m. at Mark Coronado Park. Enjoy “Wonder Park” on the big screen with free admission. Food and drink will be available for purchase.
The West Valley Arts HQ will be hosting their newest exhibit from August 30 until October 4. Come out to the Arts HQ Gallery for Painting with Light; A Photography Exhibit.
Thank you for signing up to receive my Council newsletter. It is my goal to email you a monthly newsletter with information regarding current events and items that may be of interest to you. In addition, you can find me on Facebook for updates. Each month, I’ll be doing a Facebook Live interview that focuses on different businesses in District 5. You can always reach me at email@example.com or 623.222.1325. Also, please feel free to visit my webpage at http://d5.surpriseaz.gov. As always, it is my distinct honor to serve you.
City Center Master Plan Community Meeting
Please mark your calendar for Thursday, August 8 at 6:00 p.m. as Mayor Hall and I will be hosting the first Surprise City Center Master Plan feedback session in the City Council Chambers at Surprise City Hall, 16000 N Civic Center Plaza. This meeting will allow representatives from the Surprise Center Development Company (SCDC) to present and discuss the City Center Draft Master Plan based on feedback provided by residents earlier this year. The plan includes concepts for possible land use, landscaping, water features, walkability and open spaces, themes, designs and much more. I hope to see you there!
Surprise Dog Park
The city’s Parks & Recreation staff has been working on improving the conditions at the Surprise Dog Park. Staff is currently in the process of developing and implementing a turf maintenance program which will be dedicated to improving the conditions over time. This will include top dressing, fertilizing and aerating the soil to relieve the compaction and provide oxygen to the existing plant below. It will no longer require over seeding the turf with winter rye.
City Council takes great pride in our parks, and we will continue to work with City management and staff to remedy the conditions and deliver the best possible dog park for our residents. I assure you that staff is working on these long term solutions.
I had the privilege to attend “Lemonade with a Cop” hosted by Raising Cane’s on July 9. This event was an opportunity for residents to meet and talk to representatives from the Surprise Police Department.
Thank you to the entire Surprise Police Department for all they do to protect and serve our community. Thank you, Raising Cane’s, for organizing this family fun event.
West Valley Arts Headquarters
West Valley Arts HQ held a great family event on Friday, July 12 for the opening of their newest exhibit, Bugs & Blooms, which is on view until August 22, 2019. West Valley Arts HQ is located at 16126 N. Civic Center Plaza. For more information, you can visit www.westvalleyarts.org.
Growth and Development
Ottawa University’s O’Dell Center for Athletics is well underway. This indoor activity center is almost 100,000 square feet which includes a 30,000 square foot gym. It will also be the home of student lab classrooms and athletic department offices. The City of Surprise is looking forward to the opportunities this facility will bring to the community.
Texas Rangers Housing Complex
The Texas Rangers are developing a new player housing and development center across from the Surprise Stadium. The new facility will house players and team staff year round. Completion is scheduled to be prior to Spring Training 2020.
Mucho Burrito Grand Opening
Mucho Burrito, a fresh Mexican grill, hosted a ribbon cutting on July 11. They are located at 14345 W. Bell Road. Welcome to Surprise!
Oscars Taco Shop
Oscars Taco Shop has completed the permit phase and is looking to open their new shop at 16811 N. Litchfield Road.
Growing Minds Preschool
Growing Minds Preschool hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house on Monday, July 8. The preschool, located at 17999 W. Surprise Farms Loop S, is welcoming children aged 2-5, and it will focus on core academic areas as well as the arts and athletics. Creative expression and physical play will be part of all the activities utilized to create a fun, hands-on learning environment. For more information on registration and tuition, please visit www.GrowingMindsPreschool.com.
Driving around the city can be a little frustrating while we diligently work to make our roads safer and more efficient. Waddell Road from Bullard Avenue to Litchfield Road is being widened, as well as Peoria Avenue from Cotton Lane to 175th Avenue. These projects are scheduled to be completed mid-September. A new traffic signal will be in place, by the end of the month, at the intersection of Cactus and Sarival.
Please keep in mind that utility companies have planned projects throughout the city during the upcoming months. The city works closely with these contractors to minimize traffic issues.
The Surprise Aquatic Center will host its last Dive-In Movie on Saturday, August 17. Gates will open at 6:00 p.m. with resident pricing of $5 per ticket. Come relax in the water and enjoy watching Dumbo on the big screen. Concessions are available for purchase and, as always, children must be supervised.
Sunday in the Park Food Truck Festivals are coming back! Beginning next month, residents will be able to hear live music and enjoy an array of food trucks at Mark Coronado Park. The first Sunday in the Park will be held on September 15 from 4:00-8:00 p.m.
Monthly Community Meetings
I am launching monthly community meetings to create additional opportunities to meet with you and answer your questions. These meetings will be held on the last Saturday of each month at various times and locations. This month, I hope you will join me Saturday, August 31 at 8 a.m. at the Starbucks located at 14369 W Bell Road.
Councilmember David Sanders July Newsletter
July 1, 2019
For my very first business spotlight, I interviewed Robert Kelly of Nothing Bundt Cakes, a local business in Surprise. This is a great, local bakery we have right in our backyard here in District 5. Robert Kelly and I had a great discussion on a variety of topics. Following are the highlights of our discussion:
Q: What drove you to start your business in Surprise?
A: We had wanted to start our business in Surprise since 2014 and had started our search at that time. However, we felt that the community wasn’t ready for our brand at that time. There was a lot of turmoil with the Highway 60 overpass under construction, and we couldn’t find the right consumer energy. When Prop 206 was passed by the voters in 2016, this delayed things as we had to find out how guests were going to handle the increase in costs and resultant prices. So we waited until we felt the time was right and then started our location search again early last year. We feel the Surprise market is now a diverse and growing community and we look forward to many years of bringing smiles to our many guests.
Q: What helped your passion of owning a bakery?
A: My wife, my sister-in-law and I have all had long careers in the health care industry. In fact, my wife just recently retired from her “real job” as a nurse at Mayo Clinic. We’ve always been in a career focused on the public benefit, but let’s face it, health care is a challenging environment and can be very stressful and takes an emotional toll. At the same time, all three of us have always been “foodies”, the girls are both fabulous and often experimental cooks… and I love to eat good food. So when Donna and I were finally burned out on our health care careers, we started looking for a business opportunity in the food industry where we could combine our passion for good food while making people (our guests) happy. There is also a funny “circle of life” story to this for me personally as the first job I ever had as a young teenager growing up in Northern Ontario, Canada was baking bread in my mother’s kitchen and selling it locally to make some money. Baking was my first career and will be my last.
Q: What is your professional or personal motto? Why this particular motto?
A: I don’t have any specific catchphrase or documented motto per se, but I would say, if pushed to put my beliefs or ideals into words that goal is to help make the lives of our employees better and help make our communities a better place to live through excellence of the service and products we provide. We believe if we do this, our personal success will be automatic. “Sharing happiness and success, one cake at a time.”
Q: How has the growth been since opening here in Surprise?
A: Simply put, we have been blessed. We opened in mid-February with certain expectations based on the openings of our other two locations in the West Valley. We immediately realized, we needed to hire more team members because the Surprise location was markedly busier that either of the other two locations first years. Since that readjustment of expectations, we have had steady growth. Of course, like pretty much all retail businesses in the Phoenix Valley in the summer, sales have dropped off after Father’s Day as the snowbirds have left and school is out so families start leaving for summer vacations. We expect this and know that come late August into early October, it starts ramping up again. We always use the summer for implementing new programs for operations or training or renovations/repairs as needed.
Q: Where do you see Nothing Bundt Cakes in one year? Five years?
A: As a brand, we continue to grow, dramatically expanding all over the country and that growth hasn’t slowed down at all. This is significant to local owners like us because it creates greater and greater awareness and, in our case, trust due to the very high standards we demand in our products and service. Combined with our local efforts in marketing and our community involvement, we expect to have grown by 20% next year and 80% by 5 years.
Q: What are you looking forward to seeing in Surprise as a small business owner?
A: For many years, the West Valley communities, especially in the northwest part of the valley, have been seen only as retirement communities. Such a community can become stagnant in growth and diversity. We currently see, and hope to continue to see, much more diversification in our Northwest Valley…. More primary industry and employment which leads to greater diversification in our demographics which leads to greater business employment and opportunities, which leads to better tax revenues for our cities, which leads to better community services, planning and development…etc. We feel that Surprise, and the surrounding area is finally on this positive feedback loop and as a small business owner, this is fabulous.
Q: How many employees do you have here?
A: Including full-time and part-time team members, our roster is currently at just 13 for the summer. As we move into the fall and with our continued growth, we will be back in hiring mode again and by November we should we at about 17.
Q: What’s your favorite baked good here?
A: For me, a huge part of eating enjoyment is texture. I love food that has different textures that you can enjoy with your teeth. For this reason, my favorite flavors of our cakes are our Pecan Praline Cake and our Carrot Cake. The pecan cake is loaded with a praline mixture we make of chopped pecans, brown sugar and spices while having a crown of chopped pecans such that every bite should have some bit of crunch. We don’t put nuts or raisins in our carrot cake but the crushed pineapple and julienned carrots give great texture.
Q: Tell us why people should get a bundt cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes?
A: In a word… happiness. Whether it is for personal indulgence or as I like to say, sharing the love, our bundt cakes make people happy. At the very least… how can you not say “bundt” without a smirk or grin?
If you missed my Facebook Live interview with Robert, please see it here.
I want to thank Robert for the time he gave me so I could learn more about him and his business. We are fortunate that they call Surprise home.
If you have a recommendation for where I should go next, please call me or my staff at 623-222-1300 or email Brandon Hiller at Brandon.Hiller@surpriseaz.gov. I look forward to your input.
City Manager’s Budget
At the beginning of June, City Council adopted the FY2020 Budget. This budget addressed city growth, while maintaining our existing assets. We voted to approve $412.7 million for Fiscal Year 2020. This budget focuses on Council’s commitment to maintain quality public services and infrastructure, while addressing the needs of a growing community.
The recommended budget includes $105.8 million for Capital Improvement Projects. These funds support new projects such as facilities and roads as well as support asset replacement and maintenance needs to existing infrastructure, including public safety vehicle replacement; road maintenance; information technology, recreation and utility infrastructure.
The overall general fund revenues are expected to increase seven percent from the FY2019 adopted budget, due largely to population growth and a favorable economy.
Youth Entrepreneurship Boot Camp
On June 7, Councilmember Duffy and I were honored to judge the AZ TechCelerator’s 6th Annual Surprise Youth Entrepreneurship Boot Camp. This was a fun event where our youth got to display their talent and ideas.
Thirteen students from Paradise Honors, Willow Canyon, and Valley Vista high schools and several home-schooled teens participated. The teens worked at the city’s AZ Techcelerator business incubator to identify a community need and develop a product or service to address that need.
The winning team of this year’s Youth Entrepreneurship Boot Camp created and pitched a concept for a peer-to-peer tutoring service, TutorFLY, which connects students to peers who can assist them with achieving academic excellence.
Please join me in congratulating the winners:
Dylan Tluczek, homeschooled
Bryan Main, homeschooled
Prince Alino, Paradise Honors High School
Gabby Roberts, Valley Vista High School
Hilton Garden Inn
I was honored to attend the ribbon cutting for the Hilton Garden Inn, located at 16601 North Stadium Way, on June 14. This is located right here in D5! This hotel will truly fit into our community and assist with the countless tournaments and Spring Training games being held at Surprise Stadium.
The Hilton Garden Inn offers 124 rooms to assist with our growing tourism market. We are grateful that the Hilton Garden Inn is able to call Surprise home! We are excited to continue to build a great relationship with them! Welcome to Surprise, Hilton Garden Inn!
Veterans Reflection Circle
On June 24, we hosted a touching groundbreaking ceremony for our new Veterans Reflection Circle that will be built in honor of our late Surprise resident and combat wounded veteran, Brian Mancini.
The Veterans Reflection Circle is being built within the Surprise Community Park, next to the fishing lake. It will open on Veterans Day 2019. This site was selected for a special reason, Brian loved nature, fishing and quiet self-reflection. These are things Brian hoped would inspire countless other veterans.
The thoughtful project design will be completed at no cost to the city. Everything will be generously donated. We are honored to have partners who will be honoring our veterans. For more information on the Veterans Reflection Circle please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/vrc.
This past month, I met with the Mountain Vista Ranch Home Owner’s Association and listened to the latest happenings in the neighborhood and shared about things going on in the city. If you or your HOA would like to know more, please reach out to me, and I will be happy to set up a meeting.
Every month, I look forward to meeting with residents. If I have not yet attended your meeting, please contact me at 623.222.1325. I always enjoy spending time with residents and listening to their concerns.
4th of July Celebration
The City of Surprise will be hosting its 36th Annual 4th of July Celebration on Thursday at the Mark Coronado Park, 15850 N. Bullard Ave, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The event admission is FREE! There will also be live music from Steven P and Diversity Jukebox, food trucks, yard games, and contests, and much more. Gates will open at 5:30 p.m. The city’s Independence Day fireworks display will start at 8:40 p.m.
There is also an option to hang out by the pool for 4th of July; Parks and Recreation is hosting a pool party at the Surprise Aquatic Center, 15831 N. Bullard Ave, from 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. This event is limited to the first 400 Surprise Residents. Admission fee is $6, which includes games, activities, and poolside view of the city’s annual firework show. Reminder, this event is for Surprise Residents only.
This past month, I met with the Orchards HOA and listened to the latest happenings in the neighborhood. I was able to get our water resource portfolio management team to schedule a meeting with the board to see how the Orchards can save money on their water bill with regards to landscape. If you or your HOA would like to know more, please reach out to me. and I will be happy to set up a meeting.
Every month, I look forward to meeting with residents. If I have not yet attended your meeting, please contact me at 623.222.1325. I always enjoy spending time with residents and listening to their concerns.
District Meet & Greets
Thank you to everyone who attended our District 5 & 6 Meet and Greet on May 20 at Panera Bread in the City Center. This was an informative meeting where residents had the opportunity to ask questions, and give their comments and concerns. We provided the residents an update on what is happening around the city, such as new businesses that are coming to the community and city work being done. Please keep an eye out for future meet & greets with other councilmembers.
Surprise Police Department Appreciation Dinner
My fellow City Council colleagues and myself attended the Surprise Police Department Appreciation Dinner on May 17. We had the honor to see the heroes in our community awarded for the great efforts. Please join me in congratulating:
Officer of the Year: Corbin Claxton
Detective of the Year: Lucas Jensen
Rookie of the Year: Dillon Bleicher
Civilian Employee of the Year: Erin Rivera
Supervisor of the Year: Michael Robbins
Volunteer of the Year: Barbara Jones
Citizen Patrol Volunteer of the Year: Marylene Cayro
Lifesaving Awards: Officer Gerald Graziosi, Officer Fredrick Cuthbertson, Officer Joshua Bucur, Officer William Bisson, Officer Shawna Ebey, Officer Tyler Johnson, Sergeant Garrick Boxberger | Unit Citation- Traffic Unit: Sergeant Michael Robbins, Leonard Collins, Drew Persha, Richard Malone, Steven Shernicoff
Congratulations to these outstanding individuals, and thank you to the first responders of our city!
Surprise Chamber of Commerce
On Tuesday, May 28, I attended the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Chamber Convener and Stakeholder Event. The main topic of this event was Arizona’s New Water Policy Landscape: Sustainable Water Solutions and How they Impact Businesses and Communities.
The State of Arizona just ratified a new Drought Contingency Plan with the other users of the Colorado River which will impact water policy for the state’s foreseeable future. This new plan will play a role in how well Arizona is positioned for future growth and a healthy business environment.
This event featured two speakers active in shaping Arizona’s water future; Lisa Atkins, President of the Board for the Central Arizona Project (CAP), and Rory Van Pouke, a water policy expert and General Manager at Apache Sun Golf Club in San Tan Valley.
In a panel discussion format, Ms. Atkins and Mr. Van Pouke provided an overview of their backgrounds in water and the current state of water from their perspectives. Rory explained that the perception that golf courses were a waste of water could not be further from the truth. Golf courses generate a significant amount of tourism revenue for Arizona and account for nearly 42,000 golf related jobs, 18,000 of those jobs are directly related to golf courses. From a water perspective, nearly all golf courses are watered with reclaimed water reducing the burden on water resources.
Lisa has over 43 years of public policy experience, the majority of which has been fighting for Arizona’s rights to its share of the region’s water supplies. From her perspective, Arizona has been a leader in innovative water uses, water conservation, and water storage. She believes there is plenty of water for Arizona; where it will ultimately come from and how it will be used and managed in the future is the challenge.
LA Fitness Grand Opening
My fellow City Council members and I attended the Grand Opening of LA Fitness (16635 W Bell Road) on May 18. The General Manager, Steve Mallory, provided us with a great tour of the facility. The Surprise community is fortunate to have a company like LA Fitness here. We are looking forward to the strength they will provide to our community. Welcome to Surprise, LA Fitness!
Memorial Day Weekend Events
Annual Memorial Ceremony at the World War II Monument
On Saturday May 25, at the World War II Memorial at the Regional Library, the annual wreath laying ceremony took place. The monument honors all those airmen who trained at Luke Auxiliary Field #3, known as Fighter Field. The American Legion Post 96 and the White Tank Mountain Detachment #1246 of the Marine Corps League laid a wreath at the monument. George Van de Langeryt did a wonderful job of hosting the ceremony. Post 96 Commander Mike Elliott was a fantastic guest speaker. Numerous groups were also represented, including the Rosie the Riveters, and members of the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame.
Sun Village Memorial Day 2019
I had the great privilege of speaking at Sun Village Memorial Day Ceremony “Honoring our Fallen Heroes”. Thank you to the incredible sponsors who made this event possible and thank you to Tomas Garcia for organizing this remarkable event. A bigger thank you to the Veterans in attendance for your service. Our country is truly great for having men and women like you surrounding us in our everyday life.
The city hosted a celebration for the renaming of the Grand Ave/Bell Road overpass to Veterans Bridge on Friday, April 26. The Arizona State Board on Geographic and Historic Names approved the naming at their January meeting. The name change was lead by Senator Rick Gray after a discussion with Mayor Skip Hall and Councilman Ken Remley. It was an honor to welcome dignitaries from all over the state, especially Governor Doug Ducey and Congresswoman Debbie Lesko. The renaming of Veterans Bridge is truly special for our city with so many veterans residing in Surprise, the West and Northwest Valley.
If you are a Veteran seeking assistance, please contact the city’s Human Services and Community Vitatlity Department (623.222.1500), as they offer programs targeted at assisting veterans with finding employment and connections to housing and health and mental health care.
I taped my first Council Conversation this month. I sat down with Ottawa University’s Vice President and Provost Dr. Dennis Tyner and Head Football Coach Mike Nesbitt. We discussed the new buildings on the campus, and what kind of work the football team and the Surprise Fire-Medical Department are doing together. I also interviewed Scott Phillips of Carefree Partners and the city’s Economic Development Manager Mike Hoover. We discussed the results of public input from the local community outreach meetings and what to expect in the future City Center. You can watch the show here: https://surprisetv.surpriseaz.gov/watch?v=R62BZzWBofU
City Manager Recommended Budget
At our City Council meeting on April 16, City Manager Michael Frazier released his FY2020 recommended budget. The recommended expenditure budget for FY2020 is $414 million and includes $106.3 million voter approved General Obligation Bond projects in the areas of Public Safety, Traffic Congestion, Mitigation, and Pavement Preservation.
As your Councilman, I am diligently working with staff on having a balanced budget for our city. I want to make sure residents are aware of how their tax dollars are being spent. A public hearing and Council’s Tentative Budget adoption is scheduled for the Regular Council Meeting on May 7; with final budget adoption scheduled for the June 4 meeting. Both of these meetings will be held at 6 pm in the City Council Chambers. This is an opportunity for residents to let the City Council know their thoughts on the budget in a public hearing. As always, you can contact me anytime and send your thoughts on the budget.
Surprise Fire-Medical Department Awards & Promotion Ceremony
I joined some of my City Council colleagues at the Surprise Fire-Medical Awards & Promotion Ceremony on April 4.
Please join me in congratulating these outstanding individuals that Chief Tom Abbott recognized that evening:
Chief’s Award: Firefighter Roy Michael
Perry Award: Assistant Fire Chief Darrell Johnston
Fire Medal: Firefighter Dave Anderson
Engine Company of the Year: Engine Company 302, A-shift: Engineer (Acting Captain) Steve Gilbert Engineer Steve Spirlong Firefighter Tim Penner Firefighter Donovan Maturan
Paramedic of the Year: Firefighter Sean Cullen
EMT of the Year: Firefighter Mike Naehrbass
Unit of the Year: SFMD Honor Guard
Individual Citations: Engineer Jenesa Dobrinski Firefighter Mike Meadors Engineer David Anderson, Volunteers from the Lockbox Program – Gordon & Barbara Birschbach, Barbara Pelligrino, Ray & Ramona Simpson, James Cooper, Ron Ottwell
Crisis Response Rookie Volunteer of the Year: Tim Tait
Crisis Response Volunteers of the Year: Don & Patti Nelson
Administrative Civilian Volunteer of the Year: Esther Gillett
Civilian of the Year: Administrative Technician Dana Smith
Thank you for your service Surprise Fire-Medical!
WHAM 6th Annual Recycle Fashion Show & Art Festival
WHAM hosted the 6th Annual Recycle Fashion Show and Arts Festival on April 6. The theme of the event was “Where Creativity Goes Green”. I enjoyed attending this event which showcased the innovation and design of these artists. This year, they showcased three exhibits which included the Recycled Arts Exhibit, the Youth Recycle Arts Exhibit, and the Find It, Fix It, & Flip It Exhibit.
The festival enlightens and educates families on the importance of recycling and reusing what normally is cast-off as trash while learning fun and innovated ways of keeping Earth clean. Be sure to keep an eye out for next year’s annual festival.
Kingswood Parke Spring Fling
I attended the Kingswood Parke Spring Fling on April 6. I enjoyed spending time with residents and getting to know more about them. The community did a great job of putting together a family fun BBQ and carnival that appealed to all ages. They also had local country western band for the live music. Thank you, Kingswood Parke for hosting a fantastic Spring Fling!
Taste of Surprise
The Rotary Club of Surprise showcased another great Taste of Surprise at the Surprise Stadium on April 6. The Taste of Surprise benefits local charities, while providing great live entertainment, a beer garden, and a car show. My fellow City Council colleagues and I even got into the dunk tank, where residents got the chance to show off their pitcher’s arm. Thank you to the Rotary Club of Surprise for your hard work and dedication to this truly great event.
14th Annual Golden Rule Awards Banquet
The Arizona Interfaith Movement hosted the 14th Annual Golden Rule Awards Banquet on April 11 at the Mesa Convention Center. I attended the event with Councilwoman Nancy Hayden and city staff. The Arizona Interfaith Movement’s mission is to build bridges of understanding, respect, and support among diverse people of faith through education, dialogue, service, and the implementation of the Golden Rule.
Citizens Patrol Recognition Dinner
On April 12, City Council attended the Surprise Citizens Patrol Dinner. Members of the patrol were recognized for their dedicated efforts to our city. The Citizens Patrol have saved our city just under $10 million since their installation. It is remarkable what they do for our city, and it was an honor to be able to recognize them.
WHAM held a local fundraiser on April 14 at Top Golf in Glendale. City of Surprise officials, along with Mayor Hall, Councilmember Duffy and myself had the chance to compete against each other. Councilmember Patrick Duffy, Deputy City Manager Terry Lowe, and myself, along with my family, competed against Mayor Skip Hall, Police Chief Terry Young, City Manager Michael Frazier, and Mike Hoover from Surprise Economic Development. While we did not win, we finished ahead of Mayor Hall and his team.
Marley Park Community Outreach Meeting
Carefree Partners hosted a community meeting in Marley Park on April 15. Approximately 25 residents attended the meeting and provided input on the development of the future downtown Surprise. I encourage all residents to keep an eye out for future meetings.
HOA Board Meetings
I met with Sun Village & Sun Village Condos HOA Board Members as well as the Orchards HOA last month to provide mutual updates in their communities and the city.
Surprise’s Spring EGG-Stravaganza
Eager egg hunters, from toddlers to 10 year-olds participated in a fun, family event on April 20. The fields were covered in over 50,000 eggs for children to collect. The event included inflatables and a surprise appearance by the Easter Bunny himself. It was a great, family fun filled event.
Surprise Youth Council “We Are” Art Installation
The Surprise Youth Council unveiled their “We Are” art installation on April 23. The art encourages unity within Surprise through a visual art piece. It is designed to bring people together as a celebration of our community’s unique identities and the power we have when we stand together as one. It was an honor to attend and support the Surprise Youth Council.
March was another busy and productive month for Surprise. I was able to attend two of my district’s HOA meetings. Thank you to Mountain Vista Ranch and the Orchards for inviting me.
The City Center Community Meeting that was held on March 7 provided positive input from residents on ideas and desires for designing the new downtown. Since then, there have been two additional meetings in different districts. Keep an eye out for additional meeting notifications if you’d like to contribute or please feel free to message me your ideas so I can relay them as part of the City Center Master Plan.
State of the City
The State of the City and City Hall 10-year Anniversary Celebration took place on Thursday, March 28. The city courtyard was lit with string lights and music filled the air. Residents mingled and spoke to the different departments about city updates. The Council Chambers were filled with excited residents and elected officials from across the Valley. City staff did a terrific job preparing for the event and producing the video production that gave detailed insight into the future of Surprise. If you missed it and would like to view it, please visit https://www.surpriseaz.gov/SOTC.
Read Across America
In honor of Dr. Seuss week, I had the opportunity to read to a 2nd grade class at Countryside Elementary School. It was a privilege to be included in this event. Thank you to Ms. Axeness’ class for hosting me.
Meeting with Surprise Youth Council
I met with five members of the Surprise Youth Council on Monday, March 13. They discussed what projects they are working on in our city. It was my pleasure to get to know these young individuals. I was truly impressed, and I know they have bright futures ahead of them.
Primerica Financial Ribbon Cutting
The city of Surprise celebrated the grand opening and ribbon cutting of Primerica Financial Services on Wednesday, March 27. They now have 38 offices in Arizona with the newest one located at 12213 West Bell Road.
Household Hazardous Waste Event
The annual Household Hazardous Waste event is now underway. Residents can make an appointment before April 12 by visiting https://www.surpriseaz.gov/hhwevent, or by calling 623.222.1900. Pickups will be scheduled between April 8-19. Residents are asked to place their items on the driveway or in front of the garage. Items must be properly packaged, sealed and labeled.
Surprise Day of Service
Show your community pride by volunteering for the Surprise Day of Service. Volunteers will participate in a number of community service projects including painting, gravel spreading, yard cleaning and more. It is your chance to help the city. This event will focus on the Surprise Original Town Site. Volunteers will meet at the Surprise Senior Center, 15832 N. Hollyhock Street, at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday April 6. This event will end at noon. Breakfast and lunch will be served!
Sunday in the Park- Food Truck Festival
The next Sunday in the Park festival will be held on April 14 at the Mark Coronado Park,15850 N Bullard Ave, from 4 p.m.- 8 p.m. This is a free, fun family event with live music provided by the Steven P Project and amazing food!
On Saturday, April 20, head out to the Kansas City Royals practice field, located at 15850 N Bullard Ave, for the Spring EGG-stravanganza. This free, family event will welcome face painters and balloon artists. Toddlers to children 10 years old are invited to participate in the search for more than 50,000 candy and toy filled eggs. Mr. & Mrs. Bunny will also make an appearance. The gates will open at 7:30 a.m.
Thank you to Surprise Sundancers
To all 750 Surprise Sundancers, I cannot begin to thank you enough for the fantastic job you all do year in and year out for the city of Surprise. With Spring Training such an integral part of the makeup of Surprise, it is very important to have a reliable group to help support it. The hard work, dedication, and pride you take in your work to help pull off Spring Training for the Rangers and Royals is truly admirable.
I had the pleasure of attending the Surprise Sundancers Reception with Mayor Hall on March 24 following the final game against the Royals and Rangers and was able to meet several of you. The one common trait that you all share is that you enjoy what you do. You enjoy volunteering, each other, the city of Surprise, and the Rangers and Royals!
You all have been an integral part of the stadium since its opening 16 years ago. With an average of 200 Sundancers volunteering each Spring Training game, you provide Surprise with significant economic savings of approximately $890,000 a year. That is very impressive! Equally as impressive is knowing that to-date, you have donated nearly $1,150,000 — with $800,000 in scholarships awarded and $250,000 donated to Dreamcatcher Park.
So, thank you again Sundancers for all you do for Surprise. I look forward to seeing you again next season. I am sure you look forward to next season as well. Your hard work and energy are infectious! You all make this city a better place.
Utility Rate Study Approved by City Council
City Council approved the Utility Rate Study during the February 19th Regular Council Meeting, effectively adjusting the five-year rate schedule for city serviced solid waste customers at the beginning of fiscal year (FY) 2020 which begins on July 1, 2019.
Single-family solid waste customers will pay a monthly base rate of $20.70 starting July 1. 2019 and with another scheduled increase to $23.40 on July 1, 2020. The rate schedule will then increase the rate by $0.10 each fiscal year beginning in 2021, bringing the rate to $23.70 on July 1, 2023. Residential water and wastewater utility rates will remain unchanged in FY 2020-2024. This is the first significant solid waste increase since 2010; a $0.33 rate increase did go into effect in FY 2019. For information regarding the Utility Rate Study, it can be found online at www.surpriseaz.gov/utilityratesinfo.
Destiny Springs Behavioral Health Hospital
I had the opportunity to attend the ribbon cutting for the Destiny Springs Behavioral Health Hospital at the beginning of the month and to see what this state of the art facility has in store for our community
Surprise Fire-Medical Station 305 Open House
It was great to attend the open house for Fire Station 305 and meet our first responders. Here is some information regarding an upcoming open house for Fire Station 303:
March 2nd – Station 303,15440 N.
Cotton Lane Open house is from 9 a.m. – noon.
Come out and meet the firefighters, check out the living quarters, walk through the bays and see the fire trucks! Individuals that attend will even get to look at the medical equipment, firefighting gear, and tools used on emergency calls!
Valley Partnership February Breakfast
I attended the Valley Partnership Breakfast where I had the chance to listen to a panel of real estate, financing, and development executives. This panel discussed the Arizona economy and what they expect it to look like in 2019 and beyond.
Spring Training Welcome Back Luncheon
To kickoff Spring Training here in Surprise, I attended the Spring Training Welcome Back Luncheon where I had the opportunity to listen to representatives from the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers talk about their eagerness to start their season off right here in Surprise. Be sure to check out them out this season at the Surprise Stadium. Tickets are available at www.surprisestadium.com.
Building Home for Heroes
The City Council and I attended a great event here in the community where non-profit organization Building Homes for Heroes and Chase Bank partnered to donate a mortgage-free home to a veteran in our community. It was a special event to attend and see how these organizations teamed up to serve our community.
City Center Community Meeting
On March 7th from 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. there will be a Community Meeting at Sun Village in the multi-purpose room to discuss the development of City Center. Residents are encouraged to attend. Sun Village is located at 17300 North Sun Village Parkway
State of the City & City Hall Celebration
On March 28th from 6-8 p.m., our city will be hosting its annual State of the City. This year, we will also be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the opening of our City Hall. The festivities will start in the council chambers of City Hall, where Mayor Hall will kick the event off with a State of the City video presentation. Then, the community is invited to the celebration in in the courtyard and first floor of City Hall with food, entertainment and more! This will be a great event for residents to interact with their city government. I look forward to seeing you all there.
Surprise Youth Council is Recruiting
The city is recruiting new members for the Surprise Youth Council. Youth Council members serve the community by collaborating with local leaders, including the Mayor and City Council, to give youth a voice in city issues and to help solve youth issues through awareness campaigns, service projects, and community-building events.
Students who are currently in grades 7-11 may apply, as long as they are attending a middle or high school within the Surprise City limits, attending a Dysart Unified School District, or reside within Surprise city limits.
Applications are being accepted now through March 24. The application consists of a video submission, no longer than 1 minute and 30 seconds and should include the following information:
- Your Name, grade, school you attend
- Why you want to be on SYC
- If you could bring one thing to this city or change one thing, what would it be? What can you and a group like SYC do about it?
- Briefly tell us about a time you were fearless, creative, or hardworking
Videos can be submitted to Lord Garcillano by uploading your application video from your Google Drive and sharing it with firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applicants must also have a parent or guardian complete and return a Parent Acknowledgment Form.
Spring Training is in full swing here in Surprise. Make sure you take the time to check out the awesome fan experiences and ticket promotions we have going on at Surprise Stadium. Visit www.surprisestadium.com for tickets and promotions. I hope to see you out at the ballpark!
Household Hazardous Waste Event
You no longer have to wait in line to drop off your household hazardous waste. Instead, we will be coming to you. Starting April 1-12, Surprise residents will now be able to schedule appointments to have their household hazardous waste picked up directly from their homes. Scheduled pick up will occur April 8-19. For more information, visit www.surpriseaz.gov/hhwevent.
District 5 Appointment
I am humbled and honored to have been appointed District 5 Councilman for the City of Surprise. Having lived in Surprise for the past nine years, I am proud to call Surprise home.
My professional background is in International Business and Finance from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from California State University- San Marcos. I have served on the city’s Community and Recreation Advisory Commission since 2013 and was a member of the Capital Improvement Funding Exploratory Committee in 2015.
The term expiration for this appointment will be December 31, 2020, and the remainder of the four-year term will be placed on the next scheduled council election in August 2020 per Arizona statute.
Events & Meetings Attended
Surprise Martin Luther King Celebration
In honor of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the city of Surprise hosted a day of celebration and service on Saturday, January 19th. It was truly a great opportunity to be a part of this celebration.
Seventh Annual Surprise Fine Art & Wine Festival
I also had the opportunity to attend The Seventh Annual Surprise Fine Art & Wine Festival, presented by Thunderbird Artists and the City of Surprise, which was held January 11-13. It was a great atmosphere to be around with live music and a variety of food trucks.
Meeting with Sun Village
Mayor Skip Hall and I met with the Sun Village community manager to discuss the community and its needs.
Meeting with Surprise Center Development Company
I had a great meeting with the officials from the Surprise Center Development Company (SCDC). We discussed potential development plans for the city center. It is important that we start building a good working relationship with the land owners to help kick start the development in the heart of the city. Bringing in new businesses and venues generates the engine of economic growth for our city.
Surprise Fire-Medical Station 304 Open House
It was great to attend the open house for Fire Station 304 and meet our first responders. Here is some information regarding upcoming open houses for Fire Stations 305 & 306
February 2nd- Station 305 – 15517 N. Parkview Place Surprise, AZ
February 16th- Station 306 – 16645 W. Clearview Blvd Surprise, AZ
Both open houses are 9 a.m. – noon. Come out and meet the firefighters, check out the living quarters, walk through the bays and see the fire trucks! Individuals that attend will even get to look at the medical equipment, firefighting gear, and tools used on emergency calls!
Surprise Spring Training
Spring Training is right around the corner here in Surprise, especially right here in our own District 5! The road to the World Series starts February 23rd! Come check out the Texas Rangers and the Kansas City Royals! For tickets and game promotions, visit https://www.surprisestadium.com.
The Surprise City Council appointed David Sanders to serve as the new District 5 (D5) Councilmember.
He was immediately sworn into office and joined the council at Tuesday night’s Regular Meeting.
Sanders has lived in Surprise for nine years. His professional background is in banking/finance and he has an MBA in International Business and Finance from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from California State University- San Marcos.
He has served on the city’s Community and Recreation Advisory Commission since 2013 and was a member of the Capital Improvement Funding Exploratory Committee in 2015.
The D5 seat was vacated in November 2018 when Skip Hall was appointed as the new Mayor.
The term expiration for this appointment will be December 31, 2020, and the remainder of the four-year term will be placed on the next scheduled council election in August 2020 per state statute.