Tag Archives: arts and culture

District 5 Newsletter • September 2020

Thank you for signing up to receive my Council newsletter. As always, it is my goal to email you a monthly newsletter with information regarding current events and items that may be of interest to you. In addition, you can find me at www.facebook.com/district5councilmansanders for regular updates. Due to COVID-19, I have not been able to hold my Facebook LIVE events with local businesses for the last few months. However, with the reopening of Surprise and its businesses, I will begin to do those soon. Be on the lookout! You can always reach me at david.sanders@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.1325. Also, please feel free to visit my webpage at http://d5.surpriseaz.gov. As always, it is my distinct honor to serve you.

Small Business Resources

The Surprise City Council voted Tuesday night to disperse $430,000 in funding to address coronavirus-related community and business needs.

More than half of the funding will be allocated to a new Small Business Relief Grant program, with the rest supporting meal programs, water utility assistance, and homeless outreach.

The Small Business Relief Grant program seeks to distribute $250,000 to businesses in Surprise with fewer than 25 employees and less than $2 million in revenues. The businesses must have experienced economic distress and loss of revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic and closures compliant with Governor Doug Ducey’s Executive Orders. The grant dollars are intended to assist for-profit businesses with rent, utilities, payroll expenses and other necessary operating costs. Grant amounts will be determined by business category, ranging from $1,500 in Category 1 to $10,000 in Category 5. Administration of the grant will be facilitated by a third party, so up to an additional $25,000 has been approved for that purpose, for a total program allocation of $275,000. Council may choose to add additional funding to the program, pending demand.

A table with business relief grant information, showing eligibility requirements and amounts.

The city anticipates the accepting of applications to begin on September 14. For more information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/smallbusinessgrant.

The remaining $155,000 in funding will be used in support of the following social service programs:

  • Surprise Senior Center Meal Program – $25,000 to continue free senior meal services at the Surprise Senior Center.
  • Home Delivered Meal Program & Group Supported Workers – $60,000 to a local non-profit delivering meals to homes and employing adults with disabilities.
  • Homeless Outreach – $55,000 to pay for a non-profit homeless services provider to conduct outreach, provide services, and to purchase a van to transport guests.
  • Water Utility Assistance – $15,000 to help qualifying residents pay their water bills. For assistance, please call the Surprise Resource Center HOPE line at 623.222.4673.

AZ CARES money distributed to the city of Surprise provides the ability to offer these programs.

Maricopa County is also offering grants for small businesses and non-profits that are experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For-profit and 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations located in Maricopa County (excluding those located in Phoenix or Mesa) are eligible for grants up to $25,000. Applications for this program will be accepted through October 2, 2020. For additional information, please visit www.azfoundation.org/Grants-Loans/Maricopa-County-Relief-Grants

The City of Surprise’s AZ TechCelerator is here to help your business. Just one of the many ways you can take advantage of their services is by attending free virtual workshops! Upcoming workshop topics will include: What Does the New Norm Look Like for Small Business? And a series on Social Media for Small Business (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter). Keep an eye on the AZ TechCelerator website, www.aztechcelerator.com/, for more details as they become available.

Community Resources

Rental & Utility Assistance Available Now!

A happy family.The Surprise/El Mirage CAP office at the Surprise Resource Center has received a significant amount of federal CARES Act funding to help residents who have been impacted by the pandemic with rent and utilities. We have expanded our capacity to serve individuals and families who are eligible, so call our HOPE line today. 623-222-HOPE (4673). Due to the pandemic, eligibility has expanded to serve families with higher incomes, up to 300% poverty level. (Example – family of 4 is eligible if their gross monthly income is $6,550 or lower). Bilingual staff are ready to help.

Surprise CARES Housing Mortgage Assistance

Surprise CARES Housing Stability ProgramOn July 13th, the Neighborhood Services division launched the Surprise CARES Housing Stability program to assist Surprise residents who have experienced a loss of income directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Residents needing assistance with mortgage payments are encouraged to visit the participant portal on the City’s website to apply. Call the Surprise CARES Housing Hotline for more information: 623.222.1640.


The city is simplifying and modernizing its development and design standards. A draft of the new standards is now available for the general public and community stakeholders to provide comments related to the Land Development Ordinances (LDO) and Planning and Engineering Design Standards (PEDS). You can review and comment on these documents on the city’s website at surpriseaz.gov/developnext. In addition, several meetings will be held to present the changes and gather additional input.

Following is the timeline for those meetings (dates are subject to change):

  • Development Community Stakeholder Meetings – held virtually in August and September
  • Public Outreach Meetings – held virtually September 22 and 29 at 6 p.m. Instructions to participate are available at www.surpriseaz.gov/developnext
  • Planning & Zoning Commission and City Council Presentations – Several presentations in September, October and November
  • Public Hearings – at Planning and Zoning in November, and City Council in December (for final action)

The DevelopNEXT update will allow the city to align ordinance and design standard with the values described in the city’s General Plan 2035, implement new state statutes and federal guidelines, and improve the city’s standards for site, open space, and architectural design. Further, the update will consolidate the city’s design standards guides into one document and simplify and clarify the structure and organization of documents and the rules within them, making them easier to read, administer and enforce.

To learn more about DevelopNEXT, and for additional details on meeting times and dates, please visit surpriseaz.gov/developnext.

Surprise Aquatic Center Mural

The Surprise Aquatic Center has a new mural! “Swimming with a Porpoise” was voted on by Surprise residents, and now covers the wall at the Aquatic Center. Thank you to street artist “BacPac” who painted the mural. I also want to thank all the residents that voted!

A painted mural of swimming dolphins.

City Council Meeting Schedule

Our next regularly scheduled meeting will be Tuesday, September 15th at 6 pm. While our meetings are still not open to the public, you can always watch them live on Surprise TV at www.surpriseaz.gov/surpriseTV.

As always, I am available via david.sanders@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.1325. Please feel free to reach out. I always want to hear from my constituents.

District 5 Newsletter • March 2020

Thank you for signing up to receive my Council newsletter. As always, it is my goal to email you a monthly newsletter with information regarding current events and items that may be of interest to you. In addition, you can find me at www.facebook/district5councilmansanders for regular updates. Each month, I conduct a Facebook Live interview that highlights different businesses, institutions, and people in District 5. Be sure to tune in! You can always reach me at david.sanders@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.1325. Also, please feel free to visit my webpage at http://d5.surpriseaz.gov. As always, it is my distinct honor to serve you.

2020 Surprise Retail Survey

The 2020 Surprise Retail survey is now open until Sunday, March 15. I can assure you that participating in the survey truly makes a difference. Many of our Top 10 most requested restaurants have already opened in Surprise including Oregano’s Pizza Bistro, Texas Roadhouse and In-N-Out Burger. Café Rio, Raising Canes and Popeye’s Louisiana Chicken have all held grand openings since the survey first launched and each one appeared on surveys we received. Furthermore, Costco was consistently at the top of the most desired retailers list on every survey we conducted and thankfully, they are opening soon!

Surprise Retail Survey Banner

Please complete the survey at www.surpriseaz.gov/retailsurvey.

Heritage District Art Hour

Earlier last month, WHAM and Gorman USA hosted a tile painting hour with community leaders and guests. Each attendee painted one mosaic tile that will be utilized in the new art feature at Heritage at Surprise. I look forward to seeing the finished project!

2020 Spring Training Welcome Back Lunch

The City of Surprise hosted the 2020 Spring Training Welcome Back Lunch on Friday, February 14. Representatives from both the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers provided updates on their respective teams. I hope you are able to stop by the award winning Surprise Stadium to catch a game this spring training season!

Ottawa University Campus Ribbon Cutting & Dedication

Ottawa University-Arizona hosted a ribbon cutting and dedication for their three new campus buildings. The O’Dell Center for Athletics is a 97,000 square foot athletic complex adjacent to Spirit Field to the west, just north of Tierra Buena Lane. The complex includes a recreation center, four court gymnasium, locker rooms, an athletic training room, the Spirit Performance Center, five classrooms, and the faculty and athletic department offices. The OUAZ Student Union is a two story, 27,000 square foot building that houses the cafeteria, an outdoor and indoor dining space, the Spirit Fan Shop, campus mailroom, student lounge with an indoor/outdoor fireplace, conference center and designated quiet study spaces. Lastly, there’s Residence Hall, which is 76,000 square foot, four story residence hall to the east of Spirit Field. This 83 room, 332 bed dormitory features fully furnished, four person suites, four student lounges and the campus security office.

Congratulations to OUAZ on their expansion and continued success! I’m elated to have them in District 5!

Rangers Village Ribbon Cutting

City Council joined Texas Rangers owner Ray Davis and Texas Rangers staff to cut the ribbon on Rangers Village on Friday, February 21. Rangers Village is a three-story, 36 suite, 70,000 square foot team housing complex along Bullard Avenue, just north of Greenway Road. It also includes a 13,000 square foot sports-training lab next door for the players.

Surprise City Council, Rick Davis and Texas Rangers staff hold scissors in preparation of the ribbon cutting.

Congratulations to the Texas Rangers on their new housing and training facitilies!

Chamber of Commerce State of the Cities 2020

The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted their Annual State of the Cities on Tuesday, February 25 at West-Mec Northwest Campus. Mayor Skip Hall joined Mayors Michael LeVault, Alexis Hermosillo and County Supervisor and Chair Clint Hickman as each presented their future goals, accomplishments and business updates for their respective cities.

Recent Openings in Surprise

Amigo’s Authentic Mexican Grill and Bar hosted a ribbon cutting on February 3. They are located at 13621 N. Litchfield Road, Suite 131.

De Boa Jiu Jitsu Academy hosted their ribbon cutting on February 26. They are located at 14763 W. Cactus Road.

Community Needs Forum

The City of Surprise’s Human Service and Community Vitality Department hosted another Community Needs Forum at Dysart Unified School District Administration Building on Friday, February 28. Local leaders and representatives from the business, education, non-profit, faith community and government sectors were invited to hear presentations regarding the human service needs assessment that was completed in December.

Economic Development VIP Spring Training Event

Our Economic Development Department hosted more than 200 businesses for our Annual Spring Training Home Run Legends Deck Event on Friday, February 28. Everyone was able to network and talk about Surprise amenities as we watched the San Francisco Giants play the Kansas City Royals.

Mountain Vista Ranch Block Party

Mountain Vista Ranch HOA hosted their annual block party on Saturday, February 29. Mayor Hall and I were able to talk to many residents and engage with the great community!

Homeowner Associations

I have enjoyed meeting so many of you at the community HOA meetings. If you would like me to attend your HOA meeting, please contact the Council Office at 623-222-1300. Representing you is very important to me and attending your meetings provides me with the opportunity to hear your voice and listen to your concerns.

Meet and Greet

My Meet and Greet events are held at Starbucks, 14369 W. Bell Road, from 9 – 10 a.m. on the last Saturday of each month. I hope to see you there!

Upcoming Events

Please make sure to mark your calendars for the State of the City address on March 26, 2020 at 6 p.m. at Surprise City Hall. This special event marks the city’s 60th Anniversary and will include a video presentation, art wall unveiling, live music and entertainment in the Courtyard. For more details, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/SOTC.

District 5 Newsletter • December 2019

Thank you for signing up to receive my Council newsletter. As always, it is my goal to email you a monthly newsletter with information regarding current events and items that may be of interest to you. In addition, you can find me at www.facebook/district5councilmansanders for regular updates. Each month, I conduct a Facebook Live interview that highlights different businesses, institutions, and people in District 5. Be sure to tune in! You can always reach me at david.sanders@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.1325. Also, please feel free to visit my webpage at http://d5.surpriseaz.gov. As always, it is my distinct honor to serve you.


Councilmember Chris Judd and I were fortunate to tour the IRIS USA plant located in Surprise. We were honored to meet with IRIS USA President, Hiroyuki (Doc) Takahashi, and Plant Manager, Tetsushi (Ray) Konoike. This is their third facility in the US. This facility is used to manufacture and distribute various plastic products for storage, organization, home, office, pet and now small appliances. The Surprise location also houses their US headquarters.

Councilmember Judd and Councilmember Sanders shake hands with the President and the Plant Manager of IRIS USA, Hiroyuki (Doc) Takahashi and Tetsushi (Ray) Konoike.

Facebook Live

As part of my continued Facebook Live Series I was able to chat with Chef Tran from Saigon Kitchen and also meet with Dennis Kleidon as he hosted his art show at the WHAM.

Chef Dennis Tran, owner of Saigon Kitchen, gave us a behind the scenes look at what it takes to run a successful restaurant.  Saigon Kitchen is conveniently located at 14071 W. Bell Road and serves up a range of classic contemporary Vietnamese food.  Thank you Chef Tran for allowing me this opportunity to interview you and tour your facility.

WHAM is located at 16560 N. Dysart Road and offers several ways for the community to get involved with the arts. Recently, WHAM hosted the Textures of Taliesin exhibit, and I was privileged to interview the artist behind it all, Dennis Kleidon. Thank you Mr. Kleidon for sharing some insights into the inspiration behind your exhibit.

Sun Village Scam Class

Sun Village hosted a Scam Class to discuss various scams that have been affecting residents. I was asked to present on city topics that relate to different scams that the Surprise Police Departments are currently dealing with. It is important for all residents to remain vigilant and protect themselves from becoming a victim. If you suspect that you have been a target of a scam, please call the Surprise Police Department non-emergency number at 623-222-4000.

Veterans Day

This year, Veterans Day was truly memorable as it began with the dedication of the Veterans Reflection Circle. The city would like to thank the countless individuals and contractors for donating their time and materials to complete the Veterans Reflection Circle. I would also like to thank the many special guests that attended the ceremony. The memorial is located next to the Northwest Regional Library and honors the late Surprise resident and combat wounded war veteran Sergeant First Class Brian Scott Mancini. Following the ceremony, was the annual parade. Residents came from across the city and lined Bullard Avenue to show their respect and gratitude for our local veterans. I was honored to have WWII Veteran Ed Foerster ride with me and my son in the parade. Thank you to the staff who worked so hard to make this event a success and thank you to all the Veterans for your service.

Councilmember David Sanders, his son, and WWII Veteran Ed Foerster in their parade vehicle during the Veterans Day Parade.

Fire Station Open Houses

The Surprise Fire-Medical Department is hosting a series of open houses for the various fire stations around Surprise. You can tour the fire station, meet the firefighters and get a close look at the equipment and fire trucks. Our first responders protect us every day and I cannot thank them enough.

The next open house will be at Fire Station 302, 18600 N. Reems Road, on Saturday, January 4. Fire Station 307, 16171 W. Cactus Road, will be open on January 11 and Fire Station 301, 16750 N. Village Drive, on January 25. All open houses are from 9:00 a.m. to noon. For more information, please call 623-222-5000.

Growth and Development

Brookside Village welcomes Bonfire Craft Kitchen & Tap House! This family friendly restaurant is located at 15332 W. Bell Road. They offer a variety of traditional American favorites and the kids will love the s’mores pit.

Mayor Hall and Surprise City Councilmembers prepare to cut the ribbon at the Bonfire Craft Kitchen & Tap House grand opening.

Vein Envy, located at 13991 W. Grand Avenue, is a highly-rated vein specialist that has opened its doors in Surprise. This is their second location. They offer a wide variety of treatments of many different vein disorders.

Mayor Hall and Surprise City Councilmembers prepare to cut the ribbon at Vein Envy's grand opening event.

Ugly Tuna Sushi is conveniently located in the SE corner of Bell and Reems roads at 15459 W. Bell Road. This new family owned business puts a new look on traditional sushi.

Richi’s Diner II is located at 17221 N Litchfield Road. The restaurant offers a full menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They have a full bar and live music on select nights. They have traditional favorites as well as Greek and Italian cuisine. This is the second Surprise location, and I welcome the continued growth.


While they may have lost their final regular-season home football game to the Lyon’s (14-18), no one can deny that the OUAZ Spirit football team has been amazing to watch. I am truly proud of the OUAZ Spirit, and congratulations on making it to the 2019 NAIA Football Championship Series in only the 2nd year of the program! I wish you all the best and am excited to see what next year holds.

The newly completed Faith Arena will be able to support Ottawa’s winter sports programs with new limits. For more information, tickets and game schedules please visit www.ouazspirit.com.

Homeowner Associations

I continue to meet with HOAs to provide updates. If any HOA would like me to attend, please contact the Council Office at 623-222-1331, and I would be happy to facilitate the request.

Meet and Greet

Please note that my Meet and Greet for December has been cancelled. I will resume this event in January. My Meet and Greet events are held at Starbucks, 14369 W. Bell Road, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on the last Saturday of the month.

Upcoming Events

The 18th Annual Surprise Party kicks off on Friday, December 6 at 5:00 p.m. at the Surprise Recreation Center, 15960 N. Bullard Ave. The night will consist of skydivers, live music, hot air balloons, food and a visit from Santa. The tree lighting ceremony will begin at 7:00 p.m. and the night will conclude with a fireworks display at 8:55 p.m. Admission is free with a canned food donation. On Saturday, December 7, the party continues! Join residents for a day of fun-filled activities, a petting zoo, crafts, bouncy castles and more. The gates will open from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Santa’s workshop will open its doors at the Surprise Stadium Team Shop, 15930 N. Bullard Ave from 5:00-8:00 p.m. on December 11-13. This is an opportunity for children to enjoy cookies and milk with Santa and Mrs. Clause.

The 4th Annual Tech the Halls event will be held from 5:00-7:00 p.m. on December 12 at the AZ TechCelerator, 12425 W. Bell Road. This is a free family fun event that will offer tech exhibits, entertainment, games, prizes and more.

Countryside Recreation Center, 15038 N. Parkview Place, is hosting Cookies and Crafts with Santa on December 14 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. as well as 1:00-3:00 p.m. This event requires registration, and the cost is only $10 for residents. If you would like to register, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/recreation.

Sunday in the Park Food Truck Festival, will be held on Sunday, December 15 from 12:00-4:00 p.m. at Mark Coronado Park. Live rock music will be performed by Blaine Long & Rosas del Rey. There will be yard games, bouncy houses, activities and more for the entire family. Food and drink will be available for purchase, and admission is always free!

The 3rd Annual Surprise Spring Training 5K/1K is scheduled for March 6 at 7:00 p.m. This is an evening fun run that will take participants on a scenic city route before finishing at the ballpark. All runners will receive a Jimmy John’s race shirt, medal and a buy one get one free coupon for selected sections of the Kansas City Royals vs. Cincinnati Reds game on March 7. Be sure you register early to take advantage of the early registration discount. Please visit www.SurpriseStadium.com/events for more information.

Just a friendly reminder that City Hall offices will be closed on December 25 and January 1 in observance of the holidays.