Category Archives: Newsletters

Skip Hall’s Monthly Newsletter

October 18, 2018 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Transportation Projects Update

Earlier this year, City Council requested an update regarding the Right of Way status associated with Dale Lane and adjacent transportation projects. The residents in the northern portion of Surprise have a limited number of roads for entry and exits and during rain accumulation, they experience issues with flooding. The city has acquired multiple Right of Way deeds but there are 20 left to obtain. The city continues to look at other options to allow for improved access into the area.

As part of future planning, improvements will be made to Dynamite Road, Dale Lane, Peak View and Tierro Rico Lanes.

Veteran Focused Commission Discussion

A month ago, at the suggestion of a Surprise resident, I suggested staff research potential frameworks for establishing a veterans-focused commission for Surprise. City staff presented the results of that research and proposed a framework for a new commission serving the residents of Surprise, including veterans and residents experiencing a disability.

A number of Arizona cities have veterans commissions; as well as commissions focused on broader human services and quality of life issues. The goals of these commissions are to bring veterans and residents together with experts and service providers in the areas of housing advocacy, accessible transportation, education, and health to discuss and solve the challenges faced by residents.

The vision for the vity of Surprise is to magnify the voices of individual groups for a larger impact with a proposed Veteran, Accessibility and Human Services Commission. This commission will be responsible for advising the Surprise City Council, assisting with and expanding city and external services offered, and advocating for residents including veterans and those experiencing a disability. The commission will champion education and outreach to residents and coordinate communication and events to connect target groups with service providers. In order to achieve its goals of connecting residents in need to the best services, the commission will include members who are residents active in military service, veterans or family members, and individuals with disabilities, along with representatives from human service, veterans, and disability service organizations in the West Valley. This blend of personal experience and professional expertise, supported by Surprise’s Human Services and Community Vitality Department, will allow the commission to strengthen and expand services for City of Surprise residents in new and exciting ways. The Surprise City Council and staff are enthusiastic about taking the next steps towards the establishment of a Veteran, Accessibility and Human Services Commission.


City Council Meeting

Planning & Zoning Commission Vacancy

City Council unanimously approved the appointment of Scott Krous to fill the vacancy on the Planning & Zoning Commission with a term expiration of June 30, 2020. Thank you, Scott, we appreciate you!

Scott Krous fills the vacancy on the Planning & Zoning Commission

Purchase of Underground Long Term Water Storage Credits

The 2015 Integrated Water Master Plan Water Resources Update identified the need to aggressively seek further acquisition of any available CAP water for future allocation to the city’s portfolio, wherever available. The city has identified an amount of up to 2,000 acre-feet annually of CAP Long Term Storage Credits through a 30-year sale and purchase agreement with the City of Eloy. City Council unanimously approved the approval of the Intergovernmental Agreement with Eloy.

Approval of New Positions

City Manager Bob Wingenroth requested the approval of an amendment to the FY19 budget by reallocating appropriations within the General Fund to add five regular full-time positions. These positions include Internal Auditor and Management Assistant (City Manager’s Office), Senior Administrative Specialist (Economic Development), Construction Inspector (Public Works) and GIS Analyst (Information Technology). The request was approved.

Facility Use Agreement with Ottawa University

As Ottawa University (OUAZ) continues to build its residential college campus in Surprise, City Council, Tuesday night, approved a new shared-use facility agreement with the school that supports the city’s Strategic Plan and the Parks & Recreation Master Plan to expand facilities to meet community needs. This 10.5 year facilities-use agreement will provide the city with 8,000 hours per year of use of Ottawa’s future recreation/fitness center, gymnasium complex and other facilities including the existing outdoor competition field.

Ottawa is constructing $48 million of new facilities for student housing, student union, classrooms, and athletics. The O’Dell Center for Athletics, which will include an 11,000 square foot fitness/rec center and a 32,000 square foot gymnasium complex are the primary facilities in the agreement. Upon completion of the O’Dell Center, the city will make an initial $5 million payment for residents to have access to this and other university facilities up to 8,000 hours annually for five years. In years six through 10 of the agreement, the city will pay $1 million a year for 8,000 annual use-hours. In exchange for the city waiving $300,000 in preconstruction fees, Ottawa will provide 4,000 hours of facilities use to the city for six months in year 11.

Through the agreement residents and city staff will have specified hourly access to:

  • 3 basketball courts
  • 3 studios/classrooms
  • 3,000 square feet of space for cardio/weightlifting
  • Men’s and women’s showers/restrooms
  • Indoor walking track
  • Outdoor Competition Field w/ spectator seating & lights
  • Conference space to host various municipal events

Under the agreement, Ottawa’s athletic coaches will provide instruction in at least 12 different sports at city-organized sports leagues and camps. In addition to the city saving money by not having to construct new facilities and fund the ongoing operations; the construction of the O’Dell Center for Athletics and student housing and student union (breaks ground in November) projects are estimated to generate $1 million in construction tax and fees for the city.

City Council approved a new shared-use facility agreement with Ottawa University


Events & Meetings

Tourism Advisory Commission Meeting

The Tourism Advisory Commission met on Thursday, October 11. Commission members reviewed an update to the Tourism Fund application. Future agenda items include a discussion on the city store currently located in the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce office.

AZ Fry Guy Ribbon Cutting

Vice Mayor Ken Remley, Councilmembers Roland Winters, Todd Tande and Nancy Hayden joined me at the ribbon cutting and grand opening for the AZ Fry Guy. AZ Fry Guy is located at 15226 W. Bell Road. Welcome to Surprise!

AZ Fry Guy ribbon cutting and grand opening


Mark Your Calendar

Poetry Slam at WHAM

The Surprise Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission and WHAM are partnering for another Poetry Slam at WHAM this Friday, October 19 from 6 pm until 9 pm. WHAM is located at 16560 N. Dysart Road. All are welcome to participate as performers or listeners. Any established or original pieces may be read. The event is free and open to the public. No registration is required.

Surprise Super Swap Meet

The city’s popular community-wide garage sale featuring vendors selling new and used goods is scheduled for Saturday, November 10 at the Surprise Aquatic Center. The address is 15831 N. Bullard Avenue. The event will be held from 8 am until 1 pm. Admission and parking is free. For more information, please call 623.222.1500.

Surprise Veterans Day Parade 2018

The City of Surprise 4th Annual Veterans Day Parade honoring the service and sacrifices of our veterans is Monday, November 12. The parade will start at 9:30 am. There will be a pre-parade pancake breakfast from 7 am until 9 am at the Surprise Recreation Center, 15960 N. Bullard Avenue. More details will follow in my newsletter. For more details, you can call our Recreation office at 623.222.2000 or you can also visit www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents.

Following the parade, there will be a Surprise Police and Fire Medical Charity Softball game beginning at 11:30 am at Surprise Stadium. Admission is free. Gates will open at 10:30 am.


Did You Know?

Drive Wise Surprise Reminder

Are you new to the city or returning to your Surprise home to enjoy the fall temperatures and upcoming winter weather? Surprise has a new hands-free device ordinance that you should be aware of. Effective September 6, 2018, motorists who are cited for using a hand-held mobile communications device are subject to a civil penalty of up to $250 plus any other assessments authorized by law. By prohibiting the use of hand-held mobile devices, Surprise is helping to reduce the number of distracted drivers on our roadways.

Drivers are permitted to utilize hand-held devices when in hands-free mode or when communicating to safely operate the vehicle. Public safety personnel operating in their professional capacity are exempt from the ordinance. New Drive Wise, Surprise signs have been posted throughout our Surprise entry points to remind drivers of the new ordinance. You can read the ordinance at http://bit.ly/2MHsDTI

Bullard Ave Improvement Project update; weekend work continues through the month of October

The Bullard Avenue Improvement Project remains on schedule to be substantially complete in mid-November, weather permitting; full project completion will be achieved in early 2019.

Weekend work is scheduled for Saturday, October 20 and Saturday, October 27, weather permitting.

Scheduled work hours for this week are Mondays – Saturdays, 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.; in certain cases, daily work hours may begin earlier to allow crews to work while traffic is minimal.

  • Asphalt removal for modified curbs east of the medians continues; crews are scheduled to begin pouring new curbs on October 22.
  • Traffic signal work at Acoma Drive continues; project crews will be working on all four corners of the intersection for the next three weeks. Sidewalks may be closed intermittently while the work is occurring.
  • Work in the medians, including landscape irrigation, paving and median signage, continues.
  • The speed limit in the construction area remains 25 mph, except in school zones where the speed limit is 15 mph. Please proceed with caution through the project area and remember to Drive Wise, Surprise!

For project-related questions, contact Suneel Garg at 623.222.6130.

To learn more about the Bullard Ave project, visit surpriseaz.gov/bullard.

City Manager Bob Wingenroth Resigns; Council to take action to name Michael Frazier next CM

Earlier this month, City Manager Bob Wingenroth tendered his resignation effective next month. It is with great sadness and much support that he is leaving us. With many thanks to him, he has accomplished many wonderful things for Surprise. Please join me in wishing Bob the best of luck and thanking him for his overwhelming support of City Council, city staff and the city as whole.

The Surprise City Council will consider an employment contract to name Michael Frazier as the Surprise City Manager at the November 6th Regular Meeting.

Frazier has served as the city’s Assistant City Manager since July 2015, with the following departments reporting to him: Police; Fire-Medical; Public Works; Finance; Water Resource Management; and Marketing and Communications.

He first joined the city in 2011 as Police Chief.

Frazier has a long and distinguished career in Arizona law enforcement, which began in September 1975. From October 2007 until accepting the role as the Surprise Police Chief in 2011, Frazier served as the Police Chief for the City of El Mirage. He began his law enforcement career with the Phoenix Police Department, where he served for 32 years, retiring as the Executive Assistant Police Chief after working his way through the ranks and having served in nearly every division of the police department.

The November 6th City Council Regular Meeting is open to the public. The meeting begins at 6 p.m., City Hall – Council Chambers, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. All meetings are carried live at www.surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv and streamed live on the Surprise City Gov Facebook page.

October 11, 2018 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

American Legion Post 96 Meeting

American Legion recognized three young men from Willow Canyon High School at their meeting last month. These three men were sponsored by the Post to attend the American Legion Boys State in Flagstaff this year. Every year, Post 96 selects candidates for Boys State from Willow Canyon High School with the assistance from their guidance counselors.

Finance Officer & Boys State Chairman George Van de Langeryt, Councilman Todd Tande, Commander Andy LaCour, and students Tanner Jensen, Braydon Mathis, Alicia Vitacco and student Roberto Carrillo

Pictured with me above are Finance Officer & Boys State Chairman George Van de Langeryt, Councilman Todd Tande, Commander Andy LaCour, and students Tanner Jensen, Braydon Mathis, Alicia Vitacco and student Roberto Carrillo.

Young Life Meeting

I met with a representative from Young Life on Wednesday, October 3. Young Life helps adolescents grow in their faith. It is composed of a group of caring adults who go where kids are, win the right to be heard and much more.

Sante “La Dolce Vita” 7 Year Anniversary Event

City Council joined staff from Sante for their 7year anniversary event “La Dolce Vita”. Sante of Surprise offers short term and accute rehabilitation for a variety of conditions. They offer a center that focuses on treating the mind, body and spirit so their guests have the best opportunity possible to achieve wellness after hospitalization.


Mark Your Calendar

City Software Update to Limit Cashier/Call Center Services – This Friday

The City Cashier Office at City Hall will be closed this Friday, October 12 from 11:30 am until 1:30 pm due to a scheduled software upgrade. In-person payments can be made that day between the hours of 8 am to 11:30 am and from 1:30 pm until 5 pm.

The Call Center (623.222.1900) will be available the entire business day; however, staff will not be able to perform the following requests during the hours of 11:30 am until 1:30 pm.

  • Move-in and Move-out requests
  • Billing inquiries or customer information updates/Payment arrangements
  • Bulk-trash/Courtesy trash pickup requests
  • Requests for new sanitation bins
  • Phone payments cannot be processed without an account number

Normal business hours will resume at the Cashier Office and Call Center on Monday, October 15, 2018. If you have any questions, please contact the City Cashier Office at 623-222-1836. Thank you in advance for your understanding and patience.

City Council Work Session and Meeting

Surprise City Council meets this Tuesday, October 16. The Work Session begins at 4 pm followed by the Regular City Council Meeting at 6 pm. For information on our agenda, please refer to https://agenda.surpriseaz.gov/.

Surprise Seeking Sponsors and Volunteers for Day of Celebration & Service

Surprise is seeking event sponsors and community service volunteers for its 3rd annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Celebration & Service on Saturday, January 19, 2019. A program celebrating Dr. King’s life will begin at 9 a.m. in the outside courtyard at Surprise City Hall, located at 16000 N Civic Center Plaza. A light breakfast will be served to the first 500 attendees beginning at 8:30 a.m. Following the program, at 9:45 a.m., volunteers will be sent out into the community to complete service projects. Projects will last approximately 1-4 hours.

How to get involved:

  • Sponsorships – If your business or organization would like to help sponsor the event, there are several opportunities. See Sponsorship Options. For more information, please contact Seth Dyson at seth.dyson@surpriseaz.gov.
  • Individuals/Families – Join us for the breakfast, program and day of service! If you can only attend the service project portion of the day, please arrive by 9:45 a.m. to receive an assignment.
  • Groups – If you plan on bringing your group/club/congregation and would like to participate in the service projects, please RSVP your group name and estimated number of people to Ervin Cutwright at ervin.cutwright@surpriseaz.gov.
  • Service Project Ideas – If you would like to suggest service projects to complete, please contact Ervin Cutwright at ervin.cutwright@surpriseaz.gov.

Thank you to our current sponsors: APS, Vision & Sound: An African American Experience, and Surprise Rotary Club. Event details are available online at www.surpriseaz.gov/MLK. For more information, please call 623.222.3241.


Did You Know?

Students take on 6th Annual Surprise Literacy Challenge

The 6th Annual Surprise Literacy Challenge has begun and approximately 2,500 fourth – sixth grade students from 11 schools are participating in this two-month challenge to experience literacy in fun and interesting ways!

Councilman Skip Hall is hosting the challenge with the support of Surprise Youth Services and in partnership with the Northwest Regional Library and Friends of the Surprise Libraries.

Participating students have been given 29 literacy challenges – like visiting their local public library and engaging with the librarians!

At the end of the challenge, students, teachers, and classrooms will have the opportunity to win new books, Kindles and Spring Training tickets. Teachers are also eligible to win classroom book study sets. The top performing 4th and 5th grade classes will receive medals and ice cream or pizza parties. The top 6th grade class will receive medals and will lead the Pledge of Allegiance at a City Council meeting in February.

Thank you to all of the teachers and students participating in this year’s challenge and to all of the parents who are supporting their children as they take on this literacy challenge!

Surprise Receives International Economic Development Award for Retail Survey

The City of Surprise has won an international award for its annual Surprise Retail Survey from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). The project won a “Bronze Excellence in Economic Development Award” in the category of Business Retention and Expansion Program of 3 Years or More. The honor was presented to the city’s Economic Development Director Jeanine Jerkovic at an awards ceremony on October 2, during the IEDC Annual Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

Surprise implemented the annual retail survey in 2015. Residents and visitors were invited to share their thoughts and opinions on the retail needs of the community through an online survey. With more than 2,800 respondents the first year and more than 3,000 respondents in subsequent years, the retail survey continues to be one of the city’s top-performing surveys.

Each year, the community is asked to identify their favorite local retailers and restaurants; and every other year they are also asked which retailers and restaurants they most desire to open in Surprise. The city’s Economic Development team has been able to utilize the survey results to assist with both business attraction and retention efforts. Each year, businesses identified as a “Local Favorite” receive a congratulatory letter from the mayor, a certificate, and a window decal to proudly display their designation. The businesses are also invited to a hosted MLB Spring Training game at Surprise Stadium, allowing city staff to maintain or develop relationships with the business owners.

You can find the 2018 Retail Survey results at www.surpriseaz.gov/retailsurvey.

Bullard Ave Improvement Project update; overnight work to stripe crosswalks scheduled for Oct 17

The Bullard Avenue Improvement Project remains on schedule to be substantially complete in mid-November, weather permitting; full project completion will be achieved in early 2019.

Work to temporarily stripe crosswalks at Acoma Drive and Sweetwater Avenue will occur overnight on Wednesday, October 17. Crews will begin working in the intersections at 12 a.m.; police officers will be onsite to assist with traffic control. The crosswalks will be permanently striped after the traffic signals are posted.

Weekend work is scheduled for Saturday October 13 and Saturday October 20, weather permitting.

Scheduled work hours for this week are Mondays – Saturdays, 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.; in certain cases, daily work hours may begin earlier to allow crews to work while traffic is minimal.

  • Traffic signal work at Acoma Drive continues; project crews will be working on all four corners of the intersection for the next three weeks. Sidewalks may be closed intermittently while the work is occurring.
  • Work in the medians, including landscape irrigation, paving and median signage, continues.
  • Asphalt removal for modified curbs east of the medians begins.
  • The speed limit in the construction area remains 25 mph, except in school zones where the speed limit is 15 mph. Please proceed with caution through the project area and remember to Drive Wise, Surprise!

For project-related questions, contact Suneel Garg at 623.222.6130.

To learn more about the Bullard Ave project, visit surpriseaz.gov/bullard.


Contact Me

Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975
Email: skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov

Ask a Question

October 4, 2018 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Valley Metro Transit Services Contract

City Council received a detailed outline of the new RideChoice program being offered by Valley Metro. The new program began in Surprise on October 1 and will be implemented in other cities that participate in the program on December 1, 2018. The new program has additional service options, such as Lyft, and additional wheelchair carriers. From now until December 1, those currently utilizing the system who wish to remain on the old program can do so, but after November 30, everyone will use the new program.

Some benefits to the new program are:

  1. Lyft (Faster response time)
  2. Additional trips 20 regular users/50 for medical and work
  3. Cashless and cardless system
  4. One call center for booking, cancellations and checking on arrival times

If you have not already received your letter and flyer regarding the new program, you can access the City’s website for additional information at www.surpriseaz.gov/transportation

City Partnership with Chance Shelter

Surprise owns and operates about a half dozen outdoor kennels that are used by our Animal Care and Control team. To address the needs of our growing community, it would be helpful to obtain a properly-sized, indoor air conditioned facility. City Manager Bob Wingenroth provided an overview of a partnership proposal with local non-profit Chance Shelter of Surprise, which operates a robust and successful volunteer “foster shelter” program.

The City could enter into a low-cost, long-term lease of two or three acres of City-owned land suitable for the construction of a shelter facility and pay the basic ongoing utility costs. Under the proposed partnership, Chance Shelter would construct a 12,000-15,000 square foot shelter that would include kennels and office space for Surprise Animal Care and Control operations. Chance Shelter would operate the shelter and provide all the care and services associated with a modern, no-kill animal shelter. Currently, there is land available north of Bell Road, west of Litchfield Road, south of Grand Avenue that would be suitable for this purpose near the current Police evidence facility.


City Council Meeting

Fiscal Year 2018 Financial Status Report

A presentation pertaining to the FY2018 Financial Status Report through June 2018 was given. FY2018 revenue is projected to come in $3.1 M over estimates with the majority being attributed to an increase of residential and commercial development. Expenditures are coming in slightly higher than expected by $0.2 M. Grant expenditures for FY2018 are anticipated to be around $2.7 M for our five grant departments. These figures are unaudited and will be fine-tuned as Finance continues to close Fiscal Year 2018.


Events & Meetings

Surprise Fire-Medical Department Retirement

Former Captain Renee Hamblin
Former Captain Renee Hamblin

The Surprise Fire Medical Department hosted a retirement celebration for Captain Renee Hamblin on Thursday, September 27. Captain Hamblin has worked in a variety of roles for the department and has been involved in many of our successes. She will be greatly missed.

Surprise Regional Chamber Business Convener’s Lunch

The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted their regular Business Convener’s lunch on Wednesday, October 3. The keynote speaker was Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich who discussed what businesses need to know about the work environment in our state.


Mark Your Calendar

Voter Registration Closes on October 9

Residents are reminded that Voter Registration closes on Tuesday, October 9 for the November 6 General Election. Not sure if you are registered? You can verify your registration and access online voter registration at http://maricopa.vote.

If you are on the Permanent Early Voter List, ballots will be mailed out beginning Wednesday, October 10. Your early ballot must be received by 7 p.m. on Election Day. Postmarks do not count. The Maricopa County Recorder’s Office recommends mailing your ballot by October 31.

Early Voting hours at Surprise City Hall are as follows:

Saturday, 10/27 – 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday 10/28 – Closed
Monday, 10/29 thru Friday, 11/2 – 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A ballot drop-off box will also be available at those dates and times. Election Day is Tuesday, November 6. You can find your Polling Location here: Locations.Maricopa.Vote.

October Art Events in Surprise

October is jam-packed with amazing arts and cultural events – from theater performances to poetry

October 13, 6:30 p.m. Sunset Theater – Shawnte Orion:

Contemporary Poetry Widely-published poets Shawnte Orion, who has performed from Portland to Paris, and Rosemarie Dombrowski, who is the current Poet Laureate of Phoenix, present an evening of contemporary poetry.

Arts HQ, 16126 N Civic Center Dr.
Cost: $11.95 | Student ID $5.00
Buy Tickets: https://westvalleyarts.org/product/shawnte-orion-contemporary-poetry-101318/

October 17, 9 a.m. – Noon Public Art Bus Tour

Hop aboard the bus, and enjoy fun-filled stops that showcase our local arts scene. You’ll be able to take in some great public art and visit local art galleries! Bus leaves from Surprise City Hall, 16000 N Civic Center Plaza. Registration required and the event is free. To register, call 623.214.7537.

October 19, 6 – 8 p.m. Poetry Slam at WHAM

Participants are invited to read their own Halloween-themed poetry or read works by Edgar Allan Poe at this open mic event. The event is free.

WHAM, 16560 N Dysart Rd

October 20, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Technology & Art: A Tinker Time for All Ages (interactive event)

Come out and experiment with a 3-D printer and coding kits, or explore a new world with Virtual Reality goggles and so much more! All ages welcome! Brought to you in partnership with the Northwest Regional Library. The event is free.

Northwest Regional Library, 16089 N Bullard Ave

October 24, Noon – 1 p.m. Lunchtime Theater – Arizona Broadway Theatre: Titanic

Arizona Broadway Theatre will be performing selections from “Titanic: The Musical.” Welcome aboard the ship of dreams!

Arts HQ, 16126 N Civic Center Dr.
Cost: $11.95
For reservations, call 623.584.2626
Tickets: https://westvalleyarts.org/product/arizona-broadway-theatre-titanic-102418/

Want to see what else is coming up this fall? Arts events are listed online at www.surpriseaz.gov/arts


Did You Know?

Officer Nate Miller Awarded for Work

Surprise Police Officer Nate receives the “Explorer Advisor of the Year” award

Surprise Police Officer Nate Miller recently won a statewide award for his work with teens in the Police Department’s Explorers Program. He received the “Explorer Advisor of the Year” award from the Boy Scouts of America. Congratulations to Officer Miller, and thank you for all you do!

City Manager Announces New Assistant City Manager

Assistant City Manager Mark Schott
Assistant City Manager Mark Schott

After an extremely competitive internal recruitment process, City Manager Bob Wingenroth announced that Human Resource Director Mark Schott has been promoted to Assistant City Manager. Mr. Schott is a West Valley native and began his career in local government with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office in 1990. He joined Surprise Police in 1993. In 2012, he joined our Human Resources Department and became our HR Director in 2014. Congratulations, Mark!

Bullard Ave Improvement Project update; traffic pattern change rescheduled to Oct 10

Due to the weather delay earlier this week, the Bullard Avenue traffic reconfiguration has been rescheduled for Wednesday, October 10.

Overnight work to move vehicle traffic to lanes on the west side of the medians begins at 7 p.m., Tuesday, October 9.

Weekend work will occur on Saturday October 6 and Saturday October 13, weather permitting, to keep the project on schedule. Scheduled work hours for this week are Mondays – Saturdays, 4 a.m. to 2 p.m.; in certain cases, daily work hours may begin earlier to allow crews to work while traffic is minimal.

The following traffic control change will be in place Wednesday, October 10 through mid-November.

  • Beginning at the Bullard Avenue and Cholla Street intersection, motorists traveling northbound will proceed through the intersection and follow barricades which will transition traffic to the temporary northbound travel lane on the west side of the median. Signage will also be in place to assist with the traffic control change.
  • The same traffic formation will be in place at the Waddell and Cactus roads intersections.
  • Motorists traveling southbound on Bullard, Greenway Road to Peoria Avenue, will use the designated southbound lane adjacent to the protected bike lane curb.
  • Left and right turn movements will be maintained at all intersections on Bullard Avenue.
  • The speed limit in the construction area remains 25 mph, except in school zones where the speed limit is 15 mph. Please proceed with caution through the project area and remember to Drive Wise, Surprise!
  • Sidewalks will remain open on both sides of the roadway.

For project-related questions, contact Suneel Garg at 623.222.6130.

To learn more about the Bullard Ave project, visit www.surpriseaz.gov/bullard.

Contact Me

Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975
Email: skip.hall@www.surpriseaz.gov

Ask a Question

September 27, 2018 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Sonoran Institute Discussion on Water

On Wednesday, September 19, Surprise Water Resource Management Director Terry Lowe and I met with Ian Dowdy of the Sonoran Institute to discuss water issues in the West Valley, and specifically Surprise. We talked about ways the Sonoran Institute could help with water conservation education and ideas for increasing our water resources.

RideChoice Transportation Meeting & Open House

On Thursday, September 20, city staff and I met with members of ALC’s management team. ALC is the transportation company that will be the new Surprise RideChoice provider when the enhanced program launches October 1. I also attended the RideChoice open house at City Hall this week. It was the last of three open houses that the city and Valley Metro co-hosted to answer questions about the upcoming changes to the RideChoice program. If you missed the open houses, you can learn more about the new RideChoice here: https://www.surpriseaz.gov/Archive.aspx?ADID=9366

Additionally, Valley Metro will be giving a presentation at the City Council Work Session on October 2 at 4 p.m. in City Council Chambers at Surprise City Hall.

Paradise Honors Elementary School Meeting

On Friday, September 21, I met with the Executive Director of Paradise Schools, Dr. Schrader, and toured the school. We plan to meet again to discuss ways to promote literacy, including the “Read On Greater Surprise” program.

Boy Scout Troop Q&A

On Monday, September 24, I had the opportunity to spend some time with local Boy Scout Troop #921. I was part of a Q&A session on City Government & Civic Engagement and received a lot of great questions! Thank you to the troop leader, Shawn Palmer, for his hospitality and introduction.

Chamber Breakfast – Downtown Discussion

On Tuesday, September 25, I attended the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce breakfast at the West-MEC Northwest Campus in Surprise. The discussion surrounded the vision for downtown Surprise and included an interactive workshop, which was facilitated by Scott Phillips with Carefree Partners Investors. This was the first in a series of planned workshops to seek public input on creating a dynamic and vibrant city center. Dates of future workshops will be announced when they become available.

Councilman Skip Hall attending the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Breakfast


Mark Your Calendar

Movie Night at Surprise Stadium Featuring Disney Pixar’s Cars 3 Sept. 29

Come watch a free showing of Disney Pixar’s Cars 3 on the Surprise Stadium jumbotron!

Join us Saturday, September 29 at Surprise Stadium, located at 15850 N Bullard Ave. Gates will open at 6 p.m., and the movie will begin at 7 p.m. Bring a lawn blanket and watch the movie from the stadium field. The stadium food and beverage policy is in effect; concessions will be available for purchase. Ice chests and lawn chairs are not permitted.

For event information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents or contact the Community & Recreation Services Office at 623.222.2000.

Food & Beverage Policy

Surprise Stadium allows food to be brought into the stadium. The food must be presented in a clear, sealed plastic bag (factory, Ziploc, etc) and must be able to fit under a standard stadium seat. One clear, sealed one (1) liter plastic water bottle or empty plastic water/sports bottles will be allowed, as will single serving juice boxes, baby food and formula. No beverages, other than water or boxed juices will be allowed.

Surprise Fiesta Grande Celebration Oct. 13

Celebrate our city’s cultural heritage with good food, music and fun at the fifth annual Surprise Fiesta Grande!

This street-style celebration, presented by the City of Surprise Community and Recreation Services Department in partnership with 101.9 FM Radio La Campesina, will be held Saturday, October 13 from 5 – 10 p.m. in the Original Town Site, located on Hollyhock Street, north of Grand Avenue. Event admission and parking are free!

Attractions and activities include a classic car show, authentic Mexican food, flavorful food trucks, festive beverages, free play zone for kids, piñata plaza and a vendor village, organized by local contributing organizations and sponsors.

The Surprise Fiesta Grande entertainment lineup will include live Latin musical performances at the listed times:

Main Stage:

  • 5:15-6 p.m. Tradiciones Dance Company*
    *Featuring a performance by Surprise Youth Folklorico Class
  • 6:15-7 p.m. Banda La Llegadora – “Cumbia Show”
  • 7:15-8 p.m. Grupo Caribe
  • 8:15-9 p.m. Soul Persuasion
  • 9:15-10 p.m. Str8up

Community Stage:

  • 5:15-7 p.m. Mariachi Fuego de Phoenix

Schedule is subject to change.

For parking, event location and additional information, please contact the Community and Recreation Services Special Events Division at 623.222.2000 or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/fiestagrande.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection set for Oct. 13

If you’ve been holding on to unwanted paint, electronics and other hazardous waste, mark your calendar for the City’s next Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event on Saturday, October 13.

This event is free and for Surprise residents only. Please bring a driver’s license or utility bill to show proof of a Surprise home address.

Drop-off is at the Public Works Maintenance Yard, 13433 W. Foxfire Drive (from Bell Road, turn north on Dysart and follow signs to the entrance off Foxfire), from 8 a.m. – Noon.

Acceptable items list:

  • Antifreeze, car batteries, motor oil, gasoline, diesel and fuel additives
  • Brake-transmission-power steering fluid, degreasers
  • Pool chemicals, fire extinguishers and gas cylinders
  • Compact fluorescent light bulbs
  • Stain, varnish, turpentine, cleaners, adhesives
  • Paint, paint thinners, solvents, cleaners, adhesives
  • Pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers and other lawn chemicals
  • Freezers, refrigerators (no RV refrigerators with ammonia)
  • TVs, electronics, cell phones, computers, stereos
  • Up to 5 auto tires (no rims and no truck tires )
  • Washers, dryers, water heaters, stoves, dishwashers and evaporative coolers

The following items will NOT be accepted:

  • Regular refuse and bulk trash
  • Bio-medical waste
  • Commercial waste
  • Ammunition or explosives
  • RV refrigerators that contain ammonia
  • Radioactive material

For more information, check out www.surpriseaz.gov/HHWevent or call 623.222.1900.


Did You Know?

Community Outreach Program Funding Awarded

On Tuesday, September 18, Surprise City Council took action to grant funding to 23 organizations through the Surprise Community Outreach Program. The program is a City Council led initiative to assist non-profit 501(c)3 organizations in providing programs and events that benefit City of Surprise residents. Council set aside $100,000 for the FY2018-2019 Surprise Community Outreach Program. To see the list of organizations, programs, and events that received funding, please visit: surpriseaz.gov/communityoutreachprogram.

Bullard Ave Improvement Project update; new traffic pattern in place Oct 4

The Bullard Avenue Improvement Project remains on schedule to be substantially complete in mid-November, weather permitting; full project completion will be achieved in early 2019.

Weekend work will occur on Saturday, September 29 and Saturday October 6, weather permitting, to keep the project on schedule. Scheduled work hours for this week are Mondays – Saturdays, 4 a.m. to 2 p.m.; in certain cases, daily work hours may begin earlier to allow crews to work while traffic is minimal.

Overnight work to move vehicle traffic to lanes on the west side of the medians begins at 7 p.m., Wednesday, October 3.

The following traffic control change will be in place Thursday, October 4 through mid-November.

  • Beginning at the Bullard and Peoria avenues intersection, motorists traveling northbound will proceed through the intersection and follow barricades which will transition traffic to the temporary northbound travel lane on the west side of the median. Signage will also be in place to assist with the traffic control change.
    • The same traffic formation will be in place at the Waddell and Cactus roads intersections.
  • Motorists traveling southbound on Bullard, Greenway Road to Peoria venue, will use the designated southbound lane adjacent to the protected bike lane curb.
  • Left and right turn movements will be maintained at all intersections on Bullard Avenue. The speed limit in the construction area remains 25 mph, except in school zones where the speed limit is 15 mph. Please proceed with caution through the project area and remember to Drive Wise, Surprise!
  • Sidewalks will remain open on both sides of the roadway.

For project-related questions, contact Suneel Garg at 623.222.6130.

To learn more about the Bullard Ave project, visit surpriseaz.gov/bullard.

Parent & Tot Tennis class open for registration

The City of Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex is now registering for its Parent & Tot Tennis class!

This introductory 45-minute tennis class is for children ages 2-4 and a parent. Registration is open for the October and November sessions that meet on Tuesdays from 9 – 9:45 a.m. Class will focus on FUN interaction between parent and child. It’s a perfect way to spend quality time together and meet new friends!

Register at the Tennis & Racquet Complex located at 14469 W. Paradise Lane or online at https://bit.ly/2xumMaL.

For more information, please call 623.222.2400.

City partners to offer entrepreneurship training program for veterans & their spouses

Surprise is partnering with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide a business boot camp program for veterans and their spouses interested in owning a small business.

Boots to Business | Reboot is a two-step entrepreneurial program offered by the SBA through the Arizona Veterans Business Outreach Center with the goal of helping veterans navigate the process of becoming business owners.

Step one of the program is an introduction to entrepreneurship led by SBA advisors and partners. Step two is a series of online courses, instructed by professors in the SBA Network.

Reboot participants will receive an overview of what it means to be a small business owner, training on developing and writing a business plan, opportunity recognition and information regarding available resources.

If you’re ready to make the transition from boots to business, plan to attend the Reboot:

  • October 10-11, 2018
  • 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • AZ TechCelerator
  • 12425 W Bell Rd, Building D
  • Surprise, AZ 85378

Space is limited to the first 40 registrants; register online to reserve your seat.

For more information, email mevangelesta@turnanewleaf.org or call 480.322.4634.

All SBA or co-sponsored programs are extended to the public on a non-discriminatory basis. Reasonable arrangements for persons with disabilities will be made if requested in advance. Contact SBA at 602-745-7200.

September 20, 2018 • Newsletter

Transportation Updates

There are several ongoing and future transportation projects that I would like to include in my newsletters moving forward when updates are provided. I reached out to Maricopa County last week and inquired about two of those projects, Williams Drive and Northern Parkway, both of which would provide our residents with additional east/west routes.

Deer Valley Road, including Williams Drive from El Mirage to 109th Avenue is scheduled to begin construction in September 2019. The County discovered native artifacts which have delayed the start time from early 2019.

Northern Parkway, from Dysart Road to 11th Avenue, has advertised for construction. Funds are available, and the Northern Parkway partners which include Glendale, El Mirage, Peoria, and Maricopa County are contributing annually. The County expects construction to begin December 2018 with a 13-month construction duration.

The Bullard Avenue Improvement Project remains on schedule to be substantially complete in mid-November, weather permitting; full project completion will be achieved in early 2019.

Project crews will be onsite Saturday, September 29 to keep the project on schedule.

Work hours for the week of September 24 are Monday – Saturday, 4:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., weather permitting; in certain cases, daily work hours may begin earlier to allow crews to work while traffic is minimal.

Traffic signal foundation construction continues at the Bullard and Sweetwater intersection. Project crews will be working on all four corners of the intersection for the next three weeks; sidewalks may be closed intermittently while the work is occurring.

Looking ahead, a traffic switch is tentatively scheduled to occur overnight on October 4. Information about the upcoming change will be shared in next week’s project update.

  • Median work progresses; landscape irrigation, backfill and paving along the medians will continue.
  • Asphalt removal for modified curbs continues; crews will begin to pour new curbs for protected bike lanes this week.
  • The speed limit in the construction area remains 25 mph, except in school zones where the speed limit is 15 mph. Please proceed with caution through the project area and remember to Drive Wise, Surprise!

For project-related questions, contact Suneel Garg at 623.222.6130.

Learn more about the project at surpriseaz.gov/bullard.


City Council Work Session

WESTMARC Update

WESTMARC, the Western Maricopa Coalition, is a non-profit organization created in 1990 to promote and advocate for the key issues that raise the West Valley profile and promote the region for economic viability. WESTMARC is public-private partnership of all 15 West Valley communities and the education and business sectors. The organization focuses on three key priorities: promote the West Valley, enhance economic development and increase member value; therefore, increasing the West Valley’s quality of life, growing amenities and skilled workforce.

Sintra Hoffman, President and CEO of WESTMARC, provided an update on their workforce development strategy. The West Valley has seen significant growth in recent years, and we expect even more population growth by 2030. Approximately 40% of Phoenix residents live west of I-17 and approximately 62% of the West Valley population is workforce age. The average income of the West Valley population is $64,634.


City Council Meeting

Friends of the Library Donation

Nonprofit organization Friends of the Surprise Libraries has graciously donated $15,000 to the City of Surprise, which will be utilized to continue Saturday hours (11 a.m. – 5 p.m.) at Hollyhock Library. In September 2017, the organization donated $15,000 to support the Saturday hours. The extended hours have been well received by the community, with a 50% increase in participation since they were implemented last fall. Friends of the Surprise Libraries has spent just over $220,000 on Surprise Libraries since 2003.

The City currently has a contract with Maricopa County Library District (MLCD) to operate the library. The donation will be utilized to pay the additional expense to MLCD for the extra hours. The City of Surprise thanks the Friends of the Surprise Libraries for their partnership and continued support.

Surprise Community Outreach Grant Program

The Surprise Community Outreach Grant program was established by City Council to provide a supplemental funding source to non-profit organizations providing direct services to our residents. For FY19, the Committee on Community Outreach, Partnerships and Grants recommended a total award of $100,000, an increase from the $65,000 granted in FY18, which was approved by the full City Council unanimously. There is also $10,000 in additional funds for the Neighborhood Grant Program.

City Council awarded funding to 23 non-profits. To see the full list of organizations, programs, and events please visit: www.surpriseaz.gov/communityoutreachprogram.

City of Surprise Transit Study

As part of the City of Surprise’s goal to grow into a vibrant community, it finds itself needing to provide a greater range of mobility services. These service are essential to ensuring its reputation as an attractive place in which to live, work, and visit. The Surprise Transit Feasibility Study is part of this effort to develop a comprehensive understanding of the City’s current and future transit needs.

To ensure that these needs and desires have been gathered from its residents, the City and its consultant team have made a concerted effort to reach out to the public over the full course of the study. As part of the concluding efforts of the study, the City held a final Transit Feasibility Study public workshop hosted at Surprise City Hall. The study team members reviewed recommendations with workshop attendees, had various transit busses on site to view and ride, and sought feedback on funding sources through a survey conducted both in person and online.

Notable information gathered during the entire public outreach period included:

  • Major Grid Routes service improvements
  • Neighborhood Routes-connect neighborhoods to destinations within Surprise
  • Express Route service enhancements through additional midday trips

Recommendations from the study provide a phase approach that will allow flexibility in the future to move service types forward or back, and increase service to implemented routes as needed; all through a combination of neighborhood route, major grid route, and express route services. Every service recommendation will be in conjunction with the already established ADA and senior services that are provided through the City’s Paratransit services. Each phase has been designed to provide both local and regional circulation options to meet the City’s diverse needs.

The Surprise Transit Feasibility Study is just the first step in the City’s effort to provide alternative modes of transportation to its residents and visitors. Once the City accepts the study and its findings, additional steps will have to be taken to create a service plan that will help establish future budget needs and possible funding sources and transit partners.

For additional project information, please contact the study team at: transitstudy@surpriseaz.gov or visit the City’s website at www.surpriseaz.gov/transitstudy.

Events & Meetings

Valley Metro Audit and Finance Committee Meeting

The Valley Metro Audit and Finance Committee met on Thursday, September 13. We discussed the performance of the Chief Finance Officer and the Internal Auditor.

Surprise Industrial Job Fair

The Surprise Industrial Job Fair was held on Friday, September 14 at West-MEC Northwest Campus in Surprise. The fair went incredibly well! We had 13 employers participate, not including staffing agencies who represented a handful of additional companies. Our Economic Development Department reported that 20% of the job seekers in attendance have either been hired or offered positions! Many thanks to those of you who attended, spread the word and to our Economic Development team for their efforts!

The Surprise Industrial Job Fair at West-MEC Northwest Campus

Surprise Police Department Bike Rodeo

Our Surprise Police Department hosted a bike rodeo in the parking lot of Target on Saturday, September 15. There were 30 participants in the bike rodeo and 22 participants in the car seat installation and inspection. Build A Bike has ordered a new bicycle for our raffle winner as well!

Surprise Police Officer Nathaniel Miller securing a helmet during the SPD Bike Rodeo

Special Joint Planning Meeting

Members of the Planning and Zoning, Tourism Advisory, Community and Recreation Services Advisory and Arts and Cultural Advisory Commissions met on Monday, September 17. Discussion surrounded ways to identify common areas of interest between the Commissions. In addition, Communications Director Diane Arthur provided a presentation on the city’s promotional efforts, communication resources and branding for the city.


Mark Your Calendar

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 www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents.

RideChoice Update: Choice to enroll in new program or keep existing program thru Nov.

On October 1, Valley Metro will launch an enhanced RideChoice service for qualified participants in Surprise.

Currently, RideChoice offers qualified seniors and people with disabilities in Surprise up to forty taxi trips per month. The participant pays $3 for up to a $21 trip.

The redesigned RideChoice program will offer more service and more transportation options, including additional wheelchair-accessible vehicle providers and the popular rideshare service Lyft. At the outset, taxicab providers will not be available, but they will be added beginning in December. Eligible participants will receive up to fifty trips per month, with each trip costing $3 for up to eight miles and $2 for each mile above that.

According to a letter sent to current RideChoice customers in Surprise earlier this month, customers will be able to choose to remain in the current RideChoice program through November 30 or join the new program, beginning October 1. This approach will help ensure a smooth transition, and it will enable current customers to use the taxicab companies who are part of the current RideChoice program until it sunsets on November 30. At that time, any customers remaining in the old RideChoice program will be automatically transitioned to the new program. In addition, current RideChoice providers will have the opportunity to operate service for the new program.

Highlights of the New Program

As touted in the letter and brochure sent to Surprise RideChoice customers earlier this month, Valley Metro’s new RideChoice program will feature:

  • Single phone number – Whether you are calling to request a trip, change or cancel a trip or check on a requested trip, you will call 602.716.2111. Representatives are available 24 hours per day, every day of the year, including holidays.
  • Expanded provider network – The network will include many of the current taxicab providers, as well as more wheelchair-accessible vehicles. The popular rideshare service Lyft will also be joining the RideChoice program. This means more vehicles and quicker service.
  • More trips – The monthly RideChoice limit increases from 16 to 20 RideChoice trips per month! AND for those of you who use RideChoice to get to work, school or medical appointments, the monthly limit increases from 40 to 50 trips per month.
  • Simplified fare structure – The RideChoice fare is not changing, but the rules are getting easier. It’s $3 for each trip that is up to eight-miles long. And if your trip is longer, it’s just $2 for each additional mile.
  • Cashless, cardless system – The RideChoice Fare Card is going away. Instead, you will simply provide a credit card, debit card or check account and routing number when you book your trip, and you are all set. There is no need to carry cash or a credit card when you travel.

The Choice – Enrolling in the New Program or Waiting

Beginning October 1, current RideChoice customers who reside in Surprise can either remain in the current RideChoice program through November or enroll in the new program by calling Valley Metro at 602.716.2100. Once a customer is enrolled in the new program, Valley Metro will close the rider’s account in the old program, and will return any unexpended funds in the customer’s old RideChoice account.

Learn more about the service enhancements in Surprise from Valley Metro and city staff at one of the following open houses:

  • September 25:
    Benevilla, 16752 N Greasewood St., 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • September 26:
    Surprise City Hall – Community Room. 16000 N Civic Center Plaza, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Additional information about the service model changes will be shared at surpriseaz.gov/transportation as it becomes available.

For questions about the RideChoice program, please contact Valley Metro at 602.716.2100.


Did You Know?

ADOT Loop 303 Pavement Preservation Project

The Arizona Department of Transportation is preparing for a pavement-preservation project on the Loop 303 (Bob Stump Memorial Parkway) in the cities of Goodyear, Glendale, Peoria, and Surprise in Maricopa County. Work will occur on the Loop 303 between the Interstate 10 and west Happy Valley Parkway traffic interchanges and will impact travel in both directions, and all the on-and off-ramps in this work zone.

The project is scheduled to begin late Friday, Sept. 21, and is scheduled for completion by 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22.

What to expect:

  • Northbound and southbound Loop 303 will be closed between I-10 and the west Happy Valley Parkway interchange – including on- and off-ramps in the work zone – beginning at 10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21. Rolling openings will occur as work is completed, with all closures lifted by 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22.
  • The traffic interchanges at I-10 and Loop 303 and the southbound traffic interchange at Loop 303 and Happy Valley Parkway will be closed while work is underway.

Drivers should plan for heavy traffic and delays and plan to use alternate routes.

Alternate Routes for Non-Commercial Vehicles:

  • Northbound local traffic between I-10 and U.S. 60 (Grand Avenue) will be routed to Sarival Road.
  • Southbound local traffic between U.S. 60 and I-10 will be routed to Cotton Lane.
  • Northbound local traffic between U.S. 60 and west Happy Valley Parkway will be routed to 99th Avenue

Attention Commercial Vehicles:

  • Heavy commercial vehicles must use Loop 101 (Agua Fria Freeway) or Interstate 17 as alternate routes.

See Project Map.

Stay Informed:

For questions or comments, call the ADOT Project Information Line at 855.712.8530 or email Projects@azdot.gov.

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 https://recorder.maricopa.gov/electionresults/.

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 www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents.


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
Email: skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov

Ask a Question

September 6, 2018 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Surprise Transit Study Update

Last fall, the city awarded a contract to HDR to perform a transit study and implementation plan. As part of the study, the city emphasized public participation and involvement as a key component to the project. The goal was to inform and develop an early knowledge base from those who might utilize a future transit system, what would be required to promote ridership as well as key origins and destinations to service those users.

City of Surprise Transportation Planning Manager Martin Lucero provided an overview of previous studies, as well as existing condition and survey highlights. There were 1,743 surveys completed and 81% of those who completed the survey were Surprise residents. The majority of those stated they had a fair or even better chance to use transit if it were offered. The feedback received pointed to many wanting a major grid service followed by a centralized/local service and an express service, especially for those wanting to connect to Phoenix for employment.

As part of this study, there will be one final Transit Study Public Workshop on Tuesday, September 18 from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. in the Community Room at City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. Based on the public responses from the study and Wikimap surveys conducted earlier this year, staff has compiled recommendations for various types of transit and transit routes that would best serve residents. Operational costs associated with the recommendations and possible financing options will also be discussed at this workshop. I encourage you to attend!

Surprise Stormwater Utility

On Tuesday, September 4th, Water Resource Management Director Terry Lowe presented to Council the history of the development of the City’s Stormwater Utility that was unanimously adopted by Council in November of 2016. This new service utility is dedicated to the management of the City’s stormwater-related activities.

In a developing community, the management of stormwater runoff is an often forgotten necessity that is realized during and after heavy rains that leave flooded streets throughout the City. In fact, the management of stormwater runoff takes many forms; most of which must occur whether or not it rains at all. In most developed areas throughout the country, an underground storm sewer system was constructed to convey stormwater runoff from streets, parking lots, sidewalks, and rooftops to natural outfall locations such as lakes, rivers, and streams.

However, in the Phoenix metro area, centralized storm sewer systems are rare, leaving the responsibility of stormwater management to be shared by the development community and local municipality. Also similar to many valley communities, anyone who develops a parcel of land is responsible for retaining an average amount of water, usually an amount equal to runoff generated from a 100 year / 2 hour storm event. Volumes that exceed the 100 year / 2 hour event enter the municipal conveyance system. For Surprise, this system consists primarily of the curb and gutter portion of city streets, manmade channels, and natural washes. In some cases, minimal underground piping is also installed to convey runoff to natural outfalls or to other systems in adjoining municipalities.

Mr. Lowe explained that prior to Surprise City Council’s adoption of the Stormwater Utility, the City of Surprise experienced many storms that caused significant flooding around the City. City Council asked staff to investigate ways to mitigate the flooding. It was soon realized that the rapid growth of the City had caused gaps in the storm system’s infrastructure and that the burden of Stormwater management was shared by many divisions and funding sources. To safeguard that Stormwater management activities remained constant, the formation of a new Utility was recommended. The Utility would generate a dedicated and reliable funding source to ensure consistent maintenance of existing infrastructure and committed funding source for the development of capital improvement projects to close the gaps. The Utility would also centralize the citywide stormwater regulatory responsibilities, adhering to the guidelines mandated by the Federal Clean Water Act, the State of Arizona, and Maricopa County.

Affordable Housing Development Update

In support of expanding affordable housing options in Surprise, the Housing Authority of Maricopa County is proposing the development of 100 multifamily units in the Heritage District (Original Town Site) in Surprise. The proposed development would bring a multi-million dollar investment into the Heritage District while providing Surprise and West Valley residents with affordable housing options. The proposed site is the current youth baseball field at Gaines Park. The field would be relocated across the street utilizing secured grant funding.

City Council Meeting

New Volunteer Members for Boards and Commissions

City Clerk Sherry Agular administered the Oath of Office to three new volunteers who will fill vacancies on a few of our Boards and Commissions. Congratulations to Rhiannon Miett (Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission with a term expiring June 30, 2020), Jacob Thomas (Disability Advisory Commission with a term expiring June 30, 2020) and Benjamin Boedecker (Personnel Appeals Board with a term expiring June 30, 2019). Thank you for your commitment to Surprise!

Amendment to Confinement of Animals Ordinance

Earlier this spring, I asked Surprise Police Chief Terry Young to research opportunities to expand upon our Confining Animals Ordinance (Chapter 10, Article II, Division 2, Section 10-82). This ordinance penalizes unsafe and unhealthy practices and highlights conditions such as temperature, access to food and water, and tethering, which impact animal health and safety. The ordinance includes provisions for severability, to establish an effective date and to repeal conflicting ordinances.

This approved amendment now provides better guidance for our residents as they pursue the safe and healthy confinement of animals and discourage conduct and actions that do not lead to a safe and healthy result. In addition, it provides guidance to assist our police department personnel as they provide guidance and perform enforcement.

Surprise Marketplace and Surprise Town Center Comprehensive Sign Program

After several meetings, including City Council Work Sessions, City Council approved the application for a major amendment to the Surprise Marketplace and Surprise Town Center Comprehensive Sign Program. The request is the result of signage that was lost due to the Bell Road bridge project which improved traffic operations and safety in the immediate vicinity of both shopping centers.

The city enacted the Bell Road temporary sign policy in March 2016 to assist businesses during the construction of the Bell and Grand bridge project. The project was completed in November 2016. We have since received numerous inquiries for permanent monument signage to replace signs which were removed due to the right-of-way expansion and utilities easement relocations along Bell Road. Originally, the sign program approved by the city allowed for signage along Bell Road to be at a maximum of 15 feet in height. Due to the topography of the road, amongst several other issues, the owners and operators of the shopping centers requested the maximum height of the signs increase to 45 feet and 36 feet, in addition to electronic messaging at the bottom of two of the signs.

Christopher Todd Community on Mountain View

City Council unanimously approved the Christopher Todd Community on Mountain View rezone from a Planned Area Development (PAD), Residential Ranch (RR), and Community Commercial (CC) to Residential High (RH-15) with a PUD (Planned Area Development) Overlay limiting the density to 11.15 dwelling units an acre and a final plat that abandon unimproved city right of way that will allow a site plan for approximately 223 single story rental units to develop while also providing a public access easement through this site and maintaining the pedestrian connection to the commercial center for the resident to the south of the development. The site plan is scheduled to be heard by the Planning and Zoning Commission on September 20, 2018.

Unlike the typical vertical apartment complexes that are two or more stories, horizontal communities are single story, and in the case of this particular community, are small luxury homes that are for rent. Buildings are grouped to create intimate courtyards, anchored by shade trees to support healthy neighborhood interaction.


Mark Your Calendar

Distracted Driving Law in Effect Beginning Today

Driving and using mobile devices that are not operating in a hands-free mode, is illegal within Surprise city limits effective today. The ordinance, which Council approved last month, penalizes driving and using a mobile communications device unless usage is in hands-free mode or if the driver is communicating an emergency situation to emergency personnel.

Ordinance violators will be subject to a civil penalty of up to $250 plus any other assessments authorized by law. Public safety personnel operating in their professional capacity are exempt from the ordinance. Drivers can continue to use two-way radio communication as long as they continue to safely operate the vehicle.

To read the ordinance, please visit: http://bit.ly/2MHsDTI. This ordinance is another tool in the city’s Drive Wise, Surprise campaign to encourage safe driving habits.

Surprise Fall Cleanup Event

The City receives many calls for this popular event each year! Fall is the perfect time to prune your landscape, clean out your garage and take advantage of the Fall Cleanup Event on Saturday, September 8. The event allows Surprise residents to drop off up to 2,000 pounds of residential waste free-of-charge at the Northwest Regional Landfill, 19401 W. Deer Valley Road, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Items that will be accepted include lawn waste and other typical household refuse. Participants will be required to show proof of Surprise residency, via a driver’s license and electric bill showing the same home address.

NOTE: Hazardous waste items will not be accepted during this event.

For more information about either event, please call the City of Surprise Customer Service Line at 623.222.1900, or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/sanitation.

Surprise Industrial Job Fair

Mark your calendar for the Surprise Industrial Job Fair on Friday, September 14 from 9 a.m. until noon. The fair will be held at West-MEC Northwest Campus in the Lightbox, 13201 W. Grand Avenue. Several Surprise employers will be there! For more information, please contact Andrew Witzel at 623.222.1630.

Surprise Industrial Job Fair flyer


Did You Know?

RideChoice Transportation Program Enhancements

Surprise customers of Valley Metro’s RideChoice transportation program will soon see simplified ride booking and payment experiences, increased trip allowances, and an expanded provider network – including a new partnership with Lyft. RideChoice provides transportation at a deeply discounted rate to qualified seniors and people with disabilities, and Valley Metro has chosen Surprise as an early rollout partner for their new, enhanced program.

Beginning October 1, the following RideChoice changes will go into effect for qualified residents of Surprise:

  • Single phone number – Whether you are calling to request a trip, change or cancel a trip or check on a requested trip, you will call 602.716.2111. Representatives are available 24 hours per day, every day of the year, including holidays.
  • Expanded provider network – The network will include many of the current taxicab providers, as well as more wheelchair-accessible vehicles. The popular rideshare service Lyft will also be joining the RideChoice program. This means more vehicles and quicker service.
  • More trips – The monthly RideChoice limit increases from 16 to 20 RideChoice trips per month! AND for those of you who use RideChoice to get to work, school or medical appointments, the monthly limit increases from 40 to 50 trips per month.
  • Simplified fare structure – The RideChoice fare is not changing, but the rules are getting easier. It’s $3 for each trip that is up to eight-miles long. And if your trip is longer, it’s just $2 for each additional mile.
  • Cashless, cardless system – The RideChoice Fare Card is going away. Instead, you will simply provide a credit card, debit card or check routing number when you book your trip, and you are all set. There is no need to carry cash or a credit card when you travel.

These program enhancements come in response to customer feedback, and the city is excited to work with Valley Metro to deliver on what our residents told us was important to them and to move forward on an expedited timeline.

2019 Surprise Spring Training Schedule

Major League Baseball, in conjunction with the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers, announced the 31-game 2019 Surprise Stadium Spring Training schedule. The City of Surprise will begin its 17th season of Cactus League Spring Training on Saturday, February 23 with the Royals taking on the Rangers.

The 2019 schedule features games every day from February 23 through March 24, with a double header on March 11. The Kansas City Royals will face each Cactus League team at home except the Oakland Athletics; and the Texas Rangers will face each team except the Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners. The Surprise Stadium schedule also features multiple visits from the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, and Colorado Rockies. Game times, theme nights, promotions, and television coverage will be announced in the coming months.

Online tickets sales open Saturday, October 20 for season tickets, mini plans, and specialty ticket packages. Online sales for individual game tickets begin Saturday, November 17. All online tickets will be available for purchase at SurpriseSpringTraining.com. Group packages will be available beginning October 20 and can be purchased by calling the City of Surprise Sports & Tourism Department at 623.222.2222.

The Surprise Stadium Box Office will open for walk-up sales beginning Saturday, January 5.

2019 Surprise Stadium Spring Training Schedule

Feb. 23 Texas Rangers vs. Kansas City Royals
Feb. 24 Milwaukee Brewers vs. Texas Rangers
Feb. 25 Colorado Rockies vs. Kansas City Royals
Feb. 26 Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Kansas City Royals
Feb. 27 Chicago Cubs vs. Texas Rangers
Feb. 28 San Diego Padres vs. Kansas City Royals
Mar. 1 Chicago White Sox vs. Texas Rangers
Mar. 2 Seattle Mariners vs. Kansas City Royals
Mar. 3 San Diego Padres vs. Texas Rangers
Mar. 4 Colorado Rockies vs. Texas Rangers
Mar. 5 Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Kansas City
Mar. 6 San Francisco Giants vs. Texas Rangers
Mar. 7 Los Angeles Angels vs. Kansas City Royals
Mar. 8 Cincinnati Reds vs. Kansas City Royals
Mar. 9 Chicago White Sox vs. Texas Rangers
Mar. 10 San Diego Padres vs. Kansas City Royals
Mar. 11 Los Angeles Angels vs. Texas Rangers
Kansas City Royals vs. Texas Rangers (Sundancers Charity Game)
Mar. 12 Chicago White Sox vs. Kansas City Royals
Mar. 13 Cleveland Indians vs. Kansas City Royals
Mar. 14 Texas Rangers vs. Kansas City Royals
Mar. 15 Cleveland Indians vs. Texas Rangers
Mar. 16 Milwaukee Brewers vs. Kansas City Royals
Mar. 17 Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Texas Rangers
Mar. 18 Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Texas Rangers
Mar. 19 Chicago Cubs vs. Kansas City Royals
Mar. 20 Cincinnati Reds vs. Texas Rangers
Mar. 21 Cleveland Indians vs. Texas Rangers
Mar. 22 San Francisco Giants vs. Kansas City Royals
Mar. 23 Milwaukee Brewers vs. Texas Rangers
Mar. 24 Kansas City Royals vs. Texas Rangers

Keep updated on Surprise Spring Training news and ticket information by following @SurpriseStadium on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or by visiting www.SurpriseSpringTraining.com.

August 30, 2018 • Newsletter

2018 Local Primary Election Results

The early unofficial city election results released Tuesday, August 29 by the Maricopa County Elections Department are listed below. The County is still processing Election Day ballots. For the latest results, visit https://recorder.maricopa.gov/electionresults/. (*denotes incumbent):

District 1:

  • James Cunningham 973 votes (38%)
  • Raymond Grim 646 votes (25%)
  • *Roland F. Winters Jr. 926 votes (36%)

District 2:

  • Alyson Cline 1,362 votes (23%)
  • Wendell V. Fountain 1,565 votes (27%)
  • *Nancy Hayden 2,961 votes (50%)

District 3:

  • *Patrick Duffy 1,239 votes (51%)
  • Gisele Norberg 1196 votes (49%)

District 5:

  • *Skip Hall 1,655 votes (74%)
  • Leo Mankiewicz 593 votes (26%)

District 6:

  • Eric Cultum 273 votes (13%)
  • Chris Judd 1136 votes (54%)
  • *Todd Tande 697 votes (33%)

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). If a winner isn’t determined in the Primary, candidates 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.

Not less than six days nor more than 20 days after a primary or general election, the governing body of the city or town will meet to canvass the votes. If the returns from any polling place are missing at the time of the meeting of the governing body, the canvass will be postponed on a day-to-day basis until all returns are received by the city or town council. Six days or six postponements is the maximum allowable under Arizona law. For the results to all County and State ballot issues, please visit https://recorder.maricopa.gov/electionresults/.

Events & Meetings

BBQ with the Blue

The Surprise Police Department hosted “BBQ with the Blue” on Saturday, August 18. Police Chief Terry Young, several officers from our Surprise Police Department and community members came together in an informal setting to discuss issues, build relationships and enjoy local food together.

Smallcakes of Surprise “Student of the Month” Program

I was honored to attend the plaque presentation for yearly winners of the Student of the Month program sponsored by Smallcakes of Surprise, located in District 5, on Sunday, August 19. The program allows teachers to nominate students based on any criteria they feel would make that student a great student. Smallcakes of Surprise then selects the student. Once the student is chosen, they meet with the baker and create and name a cupcake of their choice. The cupcake is then replicated by Smallcakes, and it is offered for four weeks. After four weeks, two additional students are chosen. The store keeps track of who sells the most cupcakes so that at the end of the school year, the store will host a party for whoever sells the most and a plaque is hung in their honor.

Congratulations to Elise and Kylie, both from Imagine Prep, on their wins. Thank you to Smallcakes of Surprise for your engagement in our community and your support of our youngest residents!

Ottawa University Inaugural Football Game

Ottawa University hosted their inaugural football game on Saturday, August 25 at the new Spirit Field in Surprise! Playing in front of a standing room only crowd, OUAZ beat Cetys Universidad, 51-19. Congratulations on your win!

The season just began, and there are several more games to attend! For information on tickets, please visit http://ouazspirit.com/tickets.

First Things First Early Childhood Summit 2018

I attended the 2018 First Things First Early Childhood Summit on Monday, August 27 in Phoenix. The Summit brings together professionals, stakeholders and supporters of early childhood education and health to share innovative strategies, research and best practices that help our youngest prepare for school. Speakers included Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, a New York Times bestselling author and expert in early literacy; as well as Dr. Susan Hopkins, Executive Director for the MEHRIT Centre (TMC); and several other experts and advocates for early literacy.


Mark Your Calendar

City Offices Closed

City of Surprise administrative offices will be closed Monday, September 3 in honor of Labor 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 September 3-7. 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. For questions about the trash and recycling schedule, please call 623.222.1900.

City Council Meeting

City Council will meet on Tuesday, September 4 at 4 pm for Work Session and at 6 pm for our City Council meeting. Agendas are posted at least 24 hours in advance at https://agenda.surpriseaz.gov/.

Surprise Fall Cleanup Event

The City receives many calls for this popular event each year! Fall is the perfect time to prune your landscape, clean out your garage and take advantage of the Fall Cleanup Event on Saturday, September 8. The event allows Surprise residents to drop off up to 2,000 pounds of residential waste free-of-charge at the Northwest Regional Landfill, 19401 W. Deer Valley Road, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Items that will be accepted include lawn waste and other typical household refuse. Participants will be required to show proof of Surprise residency, via a driver’s license and electric bill showing the same home address.

NOTE: Hazardous waste items will not be accepted during this event.

For more information about either event, please call the City of Surprise Customer Service Line at 623.222.1900, or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/sanitation.


Did You Know?

Neighborhood Grant Program

The Surprise City Council approved funding to support the Neighborhood Grant Program that provides eligible neighborhoods with small grants to fund neighborhood events, functions, or community improvements. Recognizing an opportunity to encourage community engagement and further build strong relationships with communities in Surprise, the city designated $10,000 to support the grant program for FY19.

To be considered, projects must meet the following program criteria:

  • Provide a public benefit
  • Result in a product, which benefits a neighborhood or the larger Surprise Community
  • Be feasible for completion by June 2019
  • Involve the benefiting neighborhood in project identification, planning and execution
  • Emphasize neighborhood self-help; or be educational, community-building, or a public physical improvement
  • Nonprofit 501(c)3 organizations are ineligible

Additionally, a minimum of 5 neighbors within the residential area must sign the application and support the idea; neighborhoods governed by a homeowner association (HOA) must have HOA approval.

Interested communities should deliver the complete Neighborhood Grant Program application to City Hall, attention Jodi Tas, by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, November 9. An information session will be held September 12, 2018 at 4:00 pm at Surprise City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, in the Council Overflow Room.

For more information about the grant, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/ngp or contact Jodi Tas, 623.222.1330.

Bullard Ave Improvement Project update; new traffic pattern in place Sept. 4

In observance of the Labor Day holiday, project crews will not be onsite during daytime hours on Monday, September 3.

Overnight work to move vehicle traffic to lanes on the east side of the medians begins at 7 p.m., Monday, September 3.

The following traffic control change will be in place Tuesday, September 4 through early October.

  • Beginning at the Bullard Avenue and Greenway Road intersection, motorists traveling southbound will proceed through the intersection and follow barricades which will transition traffic to the southbound travel lane on the east side of the median. Signage will also be in place to assist with the traffic control change.
    • The same traffic formation will be in place at the Waddell and Cactus roads intersections.
  • Motorists traveling northbound on Bullard, Peoria Avenue to Greenway Road, will continue to use the former bicycle and golf cart lanes.
  • Left and right turn movements will be maintained at all intersections on Bullard Avenue.
  • The speed limit in the construction area remains 25 mph, except in school zones where the speed limit is 15 mph. Please proceed with caution through the project area and remember to Drive Wise, Surprise!
  • Sidewalks will remain open on both sides of the roadway.

Scheduled project hours continue to be Mondays – Saturdays, 5 a.m. to 2 p.m., weather permitting, through the first few weeks of September. Weekend and evening work will be added as needed to keep the project on schedule.

For project-related questions, contact Suneel Garg at 623.222.6130.

About the Bullard Avenue Improvement Project

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), in partnership with the city of Surprise, is currently constructing the Bullard Avenue Improvement Project, a multi-modal roadway (Greenway-Peoria) featuring two vehicle lanes in each direction, protected bike lanes, new traffic signals (Acoma and Sweetwater intersections) and raised, landscaped medians.

The project is scheduled to be complete in early 2019, weather permitting.

Per the ADOT contract, the contractor must have a majority of the project complete in early November 2018 (approximately 120 days from construction start, weather permitting). They will have an additional 45 days (early 2019) to finalize any landscape maintenance issues and/or other punch-list items that may occur. There should be minimal traffic disruptions in the area after early November 2018.

To learn more about the Bullard Ave project, visit surpriseaz.gov/bullard.


Contact Me

Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975
Email: skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov

Ask a Question

August 16, 2018 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Mountain Vista Ranch HOA

Mountain Vista Ranch HOA Manager Wendi Shepard and I have been communicating regarding the damage in the community from the previous week’s storm damage.

City Council Meeting

Due to the League of Arizona Cities and Towns Conference next week, there will be no City Council meeting on Tuesday, August 21. The next City Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 4 at 6 pm.


Mark Your Calendar

Primary Election – August 28

The primary election is less than two weeks away. There are five Council seats; three seats with 4-year terms for Districts 1, District 5 and District 6 with terms to expire in 2022; one Council seat with a 2-year term to expire December 2020 for District 3 to fill the remainder of a term left vacant due to a resignation in 2017; and one Council seat with a 2-year term to expire December 2020 for District 2 to fill the remainder of a term left vacant due to the passing of Jim Hayden in 2017.

Early In-Person Voting: Early voting will be held at the Surprise City Hall (Community Room) starting on Saturday, August 18 through Friday, August 24, 2018. No voting will take place on Sunday, August 19 or Monday, August 27.

Election Day voting: To vote on Election Day, August 28, you will need to go to your designated polling location provided to you on your ballot. All polls will be open on this day from 6:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. If you are unsure of your designated polling location, please visit http://maricopa.vote or call the Maricopa County Elections Department at 602.506.1511.

Will a winner be determined in the Primary? 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). If a winner isn’t determined in the Primary, the top two candidates will square off in the November 6 General Election.

Surprise Fall Cleanup Event

The City receives many calls for this popular event each year! Fall is the perfect time to prune your landscape, clean out your garage and take advantage of the Fall Cleanup Event on Saturday, September 8. The event allows Surprise residents to drop off up to 2,000 pounds of residential waste free-of-charge at the Northwest Regional Landfill, 19401 W. Deer Valley Road, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Items that will be accepted include lawn waste and other typical household refuse. Participants will be required to show proof of Surprise residency, via a driver’s license and electric bill showing the same home address.

NOTE: Hazardous waste items will not be accepted during this event.

For more information about either event, please call the City of Surprise Customer Service Line at 623.222.1900, or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/sanitation.

Surprise HOA Academy Registration Academy Now Open

Registration is open for the popular Surprise HOA Academy! The goal of the Academy is to provide expert information for HOA residents, board members and managers. Topics include contracts, fiduciary duty, CC&R enforcement and code compliance.

Academy Class Dates:

  • Monday, October 29
  • Monday, November 5
  • Monday, November 12
  • Monday, November 19
  • Monday, November 26

Time:

  • 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Location:

  • Public Safety Building Auditorium
    14250 W. Statler Plaza

Download the HOA Academy registration form online at www.surpriseaz.gov/HOAacademy. Registration closes on October 22, 2018. Please register early since seating is limited. For more information, please contact Ruby Sitea at 623.222.3242 or ruby.sitea@surpriseaz.gov.


Did You Know?

Neighborhood Grant Program

The Surprise City Council approved funding to support the Neighborhood Grant Program that provides eligible neighborhoods with small grants to fund neighborhood events, functions, or community improvements. Recognizing an opportunity to encourage community engagement and further build strong relationships with communities in Surprise, the city designated $10,000 to support the grant program for FY19.

To be considered, projects must meet the following program criteria:

  • Provide a public benefit
  • Result in a product, which benefits a neighborhood or the larger Surprise Community
  • Be feasible for completion by June 2019
  • Involve the benefiting neighborhood in project identification, planning and execution
  • Emphasize neighborhood self-help; or be educational, community-building, or a public physical improvement
  • Nonprofit 501(c)3 organizations are ineligible

Additionally, a minimum of 5 neighbors within the residential area must sign the application and support the idea; neighborhoods governed by a homeowner association (HOA) must have HOA approval.

Interested communities should deliver the complete Neighborhood Grant Program application to City Hall, attention Jodi Tas, by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, November 9. An information session will be held September 12, 2018 at 4:00 pm at Surprise City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, in the Council Overflow Room.

For more information about the grant, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/ngp or contact Jodi Tas, 623.222.1330.

League of Arizona Cities and Towns Conference

Each year, the League of Arizona Cities and Towns hosts a conference for elected officials across the State. The conference will be held next week so there will not be a newsletter for the week of August 21.

August 9, 2018 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Surprise Fire-Medical Fee Updates

The Surprise Fire-Medical Department (SFMD) has five categories of fee updates that were presented to the City Council for review. After this review, the updates will be presented for publication pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) 9-499.15. Once the required publication period is met, SFMD will present the same fees to City Council for adoption at the City Council meeting scheduled for October 16, 2018. Some of the fees include CPR Training Class fees, Fire Suppression fees, Treat No Transport/Treat and Refer fee, updated Ground Ambulance Transport fees and updated medical supply and pharmaceutical fees.

City Council Grant Program Updates

The City Council designates $75,000 each fiscal year for community outreach programs; the Surprise Community Outreach Grant Program ($65,000) and the Neighborhood Grant Program ($10,000). In FY18, a total of 28 local non-profits and neighborhood groups were supported through these programs. Human Service and Community Vitality Director Seth Dyson provided an overview of what each awardee has been able to achieve through this outlet of funding. At a future meeting, City Council will consider increasing the Community Outreach Grant Program by an additional $35,000 to meet growing community needs.

City of Surprise Lobbying Ordinance

Earlier this spring, City Attorney Robert Wingo was asked to bring forth a proposed Lobbying Ordinance for City Council consideration. This requested ordinance is primarily designed to further transparency. Upon review of other Arizona municipal ordinances and state law pertaining to lobbying, Mr. Wingo presented a similar ordinance based on the same. This ordinance would require lobbyists to register with the City Clerk’s Office prior to, or within five days of engaging in lobbying city officials. The lobbyist(s) would then be required to annually disclose expenditures related to lobbying activity or quarterly when it pertains to donations to the campaigns of city officials. Furthermore, this ordinance would prohibit certain activities pertaining to gifts and also defines the penalties for violation – the first two violations being civil offenses with monetary penalties and suspensions of lobbying rights and the third violation being a misdemeanor criminal offense.


City Council Meeting

Distracted Driving Ordinance Approved

Earlier this spring, I asked our Surprise Police Department to investigate a primary distracted driving ordinance that our city could consider. I am happy to report, driving and using your mobile devices, which are not operating in a hands-free mode, is now illegal within Surprise city limits. City Council unanimously approved the Distracted Driving Ordinance at their Regular Meeting, Tuesday night.

The ordinance penalizes driving and using a mobile communications devise unless usage is in hands-free mode or if the driver is communicating an emergency situation to emergency personnel. Ordinance violators will be subject to a civil penalty of up to $250 plus any other assessments. Public safety personnel operating in their professional capacity are exempt from the ordinance. Drivers can continue to use two-way radio communication as long as they continue to safely operate the vehicle.

The Distracted Driving Ordinance goes into effect 30 calendar days following Council’s approval, which will be in the first week of September.

Councilmember Skip Hall interviewed by ABC 15 in regards of the distracted driving ordinance approval


Events & Meetings

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Meeting

The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted their Community Convener’s breakfast meeting on Wednesday, August 8, at the WestMEC Northwest Campus in Surprise. Congresswoman Debbie Lesko was the keynote speaker providing an opportunity for guests to get to know her and to provide an update on legislation.

Dysart Unified School District Meet the Teacher Nights

Dysart Unified School District hosted an evening of “Meet the Teacher” events on Tuesday, July 31. I was able to attend the elementary schools located in District 5 and speak to the principals on their plans for this school year and how I can help them in my capacity.

Dysart Unified School District Meet the Teacher Nights

Surprise Pickleball Association Scholarship Presentation

Each year, the Surprise Pickleball Association (SPA) awards a $2,000 scholarship to three high school seniors in Surprise. This year, there was a tie for second place so the SPA executive board members voted to award three $2,000 scholarships. All of the scholarship recipients attended Shadow Ridge High School; the highest application score went to Kai Nicole Sanford. Torrie Strand and Margaret Nicoli tied for the second scholarship award. Thank you to SPA for recognizing the talent of our students. Congratulations ladies, we wish you much success in your studies and chosen college majors.

Highland Prep Ribbon Cutting

Highland Prep celebrated the opening of their 36,000 square foot, state-of-the-art educational building with 20 classrooms, a gymnasium and athletic field on Thursday, July 19. Highland Prep is a tuition-free STEM, college preparatory high school with a rigorous academic program.

Highland Prep Ribbon Cutting

Council Recess Update

Although City Council was in recess in July, it remained a very busy month. I met with several of my constituents, attended meetings with local agencies working to benefit Surprise as well as our Public Outreach meeting on July 24. I also took part in a few interviews pertaining to the Distracted Driving Ordinance. In addition, we celebrated new businesses including Codobe, located at 12211 W. Bell Road, Suite 107 and MagQU, located in the AZ TechCelerator. Welcome to Surprise!

I was also honored to participate in the Fill the Bus/Back to School backpack event with Surprise Youth Foundation and Walmart which benefited Parkview Elementary School this year. Thank you to our generous residents who donated school items to our students and to WalMart for their partnership.

Councilmember Skip Hall participated in the Fill the Bus/Back to School backpack event with Surprise Youth Foundation and Walmart


Mark Your Calendar

West Valley Arts HQ Upcoming Performances

The Surprise Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission is excited to announce some upcoming arts performances at West Valley Arts HQ!

NEW! Sunset Series

August 11, 6:30 p.m.
Stuck Moving Up (condensed version)
Performed by Holly Theater
West Valley Arts HQ – 16126 N Civic Center Dr. Surprise
Cost: $11.95

This is the first-ever Sunset Series performance at Arts HQ! Stuck Moving Up is about an unemployed, divorcing, 30-something named Heather. She has high hopes of life looking up as she steps into a Manhattan elevator. Too bad the universe has other plans!

Lunchtime Theater

September 20, noon
Chamber Music Concert
Performed by Mill Ave. Players
West Valley Arts HQ – 16126 N Civic Center Dr. Surprise
Cost: $11.95

This performance opens the fourth season of Lunchtime Theater and features the critically-acclaimed Mill Ave. Players!

Attendees are welcome to bring their lunch, or they can pre-order one from Sunsational Coffee. To place a lunch order, please contact Sunsational Coffee at 623.544.8979. Lunch orders are delivered to West Valley Arts HQ before the performance.

Seating is limited, so make sure to reserve your spot for these performances. To make a reservation, please call 623.584.2626. To learn more about West Valley Arts and West Valley Arts HQ, please visit www.westvalleyarts.org.


Did You Know?

WHAM Neighbors Photography Exhibit

Larger-than-life photographs of Surprise residents and others from across the country are on display in an outdoor art exhibit in the city’s Original Town Site (OTS), through October 31. The exhibit, titled “Neighbors”, is the work of artist John Raymond Mireles. Over the past several years, Mireles has traveled to heritage areas in every state to photograph the people who live there. He is working to create an inclusive, expansive visual document of America through its people – one that captures a diverse range of individuals. The artist’s hope is that the exhibit will encourage viewers to relate to and empathize with their fellow “neighbors” across the country – helping each other feel welcome, safe and recognized.

Mireles was invited to do this exhibit by the local WHAM Art Association, with support from the Surprise Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission. The artist came to Surprise earlier this year to capture the faces of residents in the OTS. The 4′ X 5′ photos are hung on fencing near the Surprise Senior Center.

If you go:

Neighbors Exhibit
August 1 – October 31
Near the Surprise Senior Center, 15832 N Hollyhock St.

Don’t miss these bonus opportunities!

Indoor Exhibit: The artist will showcase smaller versions of select photos at WHAM West Gallery August 1 – 31; open Tues. thru Sat. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Spring Training

Spring Training brings generates revenue and brings people to Arizona and as a proud Cactus League city, Surprise is feeling the benefits! According to research released last month by the Cactus League, the 2018 Cactus League season generated $373 million in the state’s Gross Domestic Product, resulting in a total economic impact of more than $644 million, once you add in jobs, sales taxes and indirect support. That’s an 11% increase from the last study conducted in 2015.

The study conducted by the L. William Seidman Research Institute at Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business also found that the Cactus League created 6,439 annual jobs!

Nearly 1.8 million people attended a Cactus League game this past season- more than 190,000 fans visited Surprise Stadium!

Looking a little closer into Surprise Stadium specific data, 61% of visitors to Surprise Stadium this season were from outside of Arizona. That’s a 5% increase from 2015. We also saw a 23% increase in the number of first-time visitors to Surprise Stadium since the last survey!

Surprise fans spent an average of $3,400 per trip and 66% of visitors paid for accommodations during their visit with a median stay of three nights and attended three games. Nearly 93% of fans shared that Spring Training was a factor for visiting the area.

The USA Today ranked Surprise Stadium as the No. 1 Spring Training stadium in the Cactus League this year and the park also topped all 23 Arizona and Florida spring training facilities in the categories of facility and fan-experience!