Thank you for signing up to receive my monthly newsletters! I am honored to serve you as your Surprise District 5 Councilman. One of my goals is to provide you with important city updates and information. I am always available to speak with you at email@example.com, or by calling 623-222-1325. Please also follow me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/councilmemberhastings.
Player 1 Arcade, located at 17239 N. Litchfield, had its Grand Opening on February 19! Player 1 Arcade specializes in retro arcade games from the 80’s and 90’s, and has a wide selection of pinball machines. You can check them out at www.p1arcade.com.
District 5 Ribbon Cuttings
Berkshire Diamonds and Design
Mayor Hall and I had the privilege of attending the One Year Anniversary Ribbon Cutting for Berkshire Diamonds & Design, located at 15609 W. Bell Road. Thank you for inviting us to be a part of your celebration!
Zona Wyyered, an Arizona-based company that provides high-speed internet and telephone services, just opened at 14273 W. Grand Avenue. Thank you for inviting Mayor Hall and me to your Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting. Welcome to Surprise!
Please take a moment to watch my new Council Conversations show for an update on recycling. I interview Deputy City Manager & Public Works Director Mike Gent about the current recycling climate and how Surprise is working to find a fiscally responsible and environmentally sustainable solution. You can find the video on my website at d5.surpriseaz.gov.
Surprise residents can drop-off clean/dry acceptable recyclable materials in District 5 at the Public Works Yard, located at 17274 N. Litchfield Road on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, from 8-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m.
Accepted materials are:
- Plastic bottles #1 and #2 (including milk gallons, soda bottles, condiment bottles, water bottles, shampoo bottles, and detergent containers)
Please be sure to screw all lids on the bottles or remove them completely
- Aluminum and tin cans
A city staff member will be available to help sort recyclable materials and ensure that the recyclables are not contaminated.
Tickets for Spring Training are now on sale! The game schedule has been modified from what was previously released and can be found at www.surprisestadium.com. The following health and safety protocols are in place to provide fans with additional safety:
- Limited seating capacity of under 2,000 fans per game
- Physically-distancing seating pods
- Required face coverings, unless eating/drinking
- Reduced touchpoints (contactless ticketing, cashless transactions)
- New intensified cleaning protocols.
Fans can purchase tickets online through SurpriseStadium.com, by phone at 623.222.2222, and in-person at the Surprise Stadium Box Office, located at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue. Please note that box office transactions will be cashless. Accepted forms of payment at the box office include Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover.
The kicked off the Fiscal Year 2022 budget building process on February 2. At the February 16 Council Work Session, Council received an overview on Budget Revenues. The chart below shows Citywide revenues and the percentages that they make up out of the whole budget.
One area of this revenue pie chart that is often talked about is property tax. The City of Surprise has a Primary Property tax rate of $0.7591 (per $100 Assessed LPV), which is a tax levy used for general government operations and a Secondary Property Tax rate of $0.3880, which is a voter-approved tax levy limited to pay for General Obligation (GO) bonds. It is also important to note that the majority of the primary property tax rate that is collected by the County goes to entities other than the City of Surprise. Below is a graphic that represents the property tax distribution.
Future Council Work Sessions and Regular Meetings will include presentations related to expenses and department operation budget development. The Recommended Budget is scheduled for release in April, followed by Council and public review. The final budget adoption is scheduled for June 1. Fiscal Year 2022 begins July 1, 2021.
For the complete presentation that was shared at the February 16 Council Work Session, please visit Surpriseaz.gov/budget.
Chef Peter’s Bistro, located at 17300 N. Sun Village Pkwy, is providing drive-thru meal service on Wednesday nights from 4:30 p.m.- 6 p.m. I will be helping to hand out meals the first Wednesday of each month. Stop by and say hi!
I recently had the opportunity to tour the Surprise Police Department and participate in a training simulation used by our officers. The simulation allows officers to practice in a virtual environment, with controls that allow them to see where they can improve and where they have done well. Officers are required to participate in these trainings on an annual basis.
Council Committee Assignments
Mayor Hall has assigned Councilmembers to subcommittees for 2021. I have been assigned to two committees:
- Tourism Fund Subcommittee, which is responsible for reviewing applications that request Tourism Fund allocations to attract eligible tourism activities within the City of Surprise.
- Subcommittee on Community Outreach, Partnerships, and Grants, which works to identify grant opportunities, prioritization, and coordination with community outreach opportunities to facilitate and promote council objectives and policies.
I look forward to serving on these committees and will keep you updated on my work with each.
The City of Surprise works closely with The Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC), which provides education and networking opportunities to its members. By participating in the educational webinars offered, I have earned Ambassador status. The GPEC Ambassador events provide business development forums and workshops that feature industry experts.
Mayor’s Breakfast with the Pastors
In January, I attended the Mayor’s Breakfast with the Pastors and had the opportunity to fellowship and pray with other community leaders. Local pastors host this event, and Mayor Hall was a guest speaker.
Surprise Youth Council
Members of the Surprise Youth Council (SYC) have been interviewing Councilmembers as a part of their civic engagement process. I participated in an interview in February and answered questions regarding my job as a City Councilperson and the role of youth in Surprise.
The City of Surprise is currently recruiting new members for the SYC. Make a difference for youth in your community! The Surprise Youth Council meets on the 2nd & 4th Wednesday of each month from 5:30-7:00 p.m.; meetings are currently virtual. The SYC is open to those in grades 7-11 who attend a school within the City of Surprise or a Dysart Unified School District school or reside in Surprise. For additional information, or to find out how to apply, please visit surpriseaz.gov/SYC.
The Maricopa County Department of Health reports that as of 2/23/2021, over 633,000, or over 18% of Maricopa County adult residents have been vaccinated with at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and that almost 260,000 Maricopa County residents have been fully vaccinated with two doses of the vaccine. It further states that about half of those vaccinated in Maricopa County are 65 years or older, and 61% of those who are aged 75 or older have been vaccinated. This information is available and updated frequently on the Maricopa County website at https://www.maricopa.gov/5671/Public-Vaccine-Data.
The graph below, also from the Maricopa County Department of Health website, shows the current case counts of those diagnosed with COVID-19.
Vaccinations are open to those in group 1B, which includes individuals age 65 and older. The Arizona Department of Health Services website has information on finding a vaccination site and registering for a vaccination. Please visit ADHS – Highlighted Infectious Diseases for Arizona – Coronavirus Disease 2019 – Find Vaccine (azdhs.gov).
Covid-19 Testing Locations (AZ Department of Health Services) – https://www.azdhs.gov/preparedness/epidemiology-disease-control/infectious-disease-epidemiology/index.php#novel-coronavirus-testing
Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event
From March 16-26, Surprise residents can schedule an appointment to have their household hazardous waste picked up from their homes. Pick-ups will occur March 29-April 9. To schedule a pick-up, you can request an appointment through the My Surprise App or call Customer Service at 623.222.1920. The following is a list of accepted items:
- Antifreeze, motor oil, gasoline, diesel, and fuel additives (5 gallon limit per household)
- Brake-transmission-power steering fluid, degreasers (5 gallon limit per household)
- Pool chemicals, fire extinguishers, and gas cylinders
- Car and household batteries
- Compact fluorescent light bulbs
- Stain, varnish, turpentine, cleaners, adhesives
- Oil-based paint, paint thinners, solvents, cleaners, adhesives (10 gallon limit per household)
- Pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, and other lawn chemicals
- TVs, electronics, cell phones, computers, stereos
Surprise Day of Service
Surprise is looking for volunteers for its Day of Service, on Saturday, March 20. If you would like to volunteer to help with projects throughout the city, please contact Larry Garcia at 623.222.1522 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The City of Surprise often hosts a Day of Service each month. If you are not able to participate this time, please visit surpriseaz.gov for information on other opportunities.
Meet and Greet
Please join me for my Monthly Meet and Greet on March 13, at 9 a.m. at Chef Peter’s Bistro, 17300 N Sun Village Pkwy. I look forward to discussing the latest City issues and answering any questions you might have.
City Council Meetings
The next regularly scheduled Council meetings are March 2 and 16 at 6 p.m. Please note that Council meetings have been closed to in-person participation. Please tune in on www.surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv, the Surprise City Gov Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cityofsurprise, or on Cox channel 11 and Century Link channel 8513 to watch the meetings live. Instructions for virtual public comment will be available on the meeting agendas at www.surpriseaz.gov/agendas.