Tag Archives: Benevilla

March 15, 2018 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Tourism Advisory Commission Meeting

The Tourism Advisory Commission met on Thursday, March 8. Commission Member Mario Rano was selected as the Vice Chair of the Commission. Staff provided suggestions on the Strategic Plan with a focus on four key areas, which included events and entertainment, marketing, partnership and facility development and funding. In addition, staff discussed the goals for each key area. Commission members and attendees were provided an overview of the most recent sales tax report for FY18. Staff from the Arizona Office of Tourism were also in attendance and provided a presentation.

Hall of Fame Induction for Jim Mallon

Jim Mallon Prior to the spring training game on the evening of Monday, March 12, Jim Mallon was inducted into the Surprise Recreation Campus Hall of Fame. Mr. Mallon served as the Surprise Stadium Operations Division Manager from July 2001 until his retirement in 2014. He is currently the only Operations Manager to have opened and managed two different Cactus League facilities. His enthusiastic personality and dedication to success helped shape Surprise Stadium into the world class facility it is today. Thank you, Jim!

Surprise Friends of the Library Meeting

I attended the Surprise Friends of the Library meeting on Friday, March 9. Amongst many agenda item discussions was the approval of a more than $2,300 donation to Marley Park Elementary School for books and special education curriculum and $247 to Desert Oasis Elementary School for books for a classroom teacher.

Spring Training Event

Several Councilmembers and I joined Economic Development staff to welcome members of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) to a spring training game suite on Friday, March 9. The game provided us an opportunity to learn about economic development prospects for Surprise and the Valley.

Benevilla Annual Donor Appreciation Brunch

Benevilla held their 2018 Annual Donor Appreciation Brunch on Tuesday, March 13 at Briarwood Country Club. West Valley Lutheran Thrift Shop received a Business Leadership Award for their generosity to many non-profits, including Benevilla. Mr. Larry Vering, a Surprise resident, received the Bill Wolfrey Community Service Award for his dedication and service to Benevilla and several other non-profits. Congratulations, Larry!

Mr. Larry Vering and Benevilla staff

Mark Your Calendar

Free Educational Series Teaches How to Raise a Reader

Surprise has partnered with Southwest Human Development and First Things First to host a free eight-week Raising a Reader program that utilizes proven skills to educate parents about the importance of early literacy and provides tools to help their children learn to read.

Using an evidence-based model that focuses on developmental milestones and brain development, literacy specialists will model how to engage children with the use of books. Families will also learn the significance of singing, dancing and playing as a way to build their child’s vocabulary and prepare them for school.

All members of the family are invited to participate! Plus, at the end of each week participating families will take home a bag filled with award-winning children’s books and a certificate of completion.

Courses will be taught from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. on consecutive Tuesdays beginning March 27 through May 15, at the Surprise Resource Center, 12425 W. Bell Rd, Bldg. A, Suite #124.

To enroll in the eight week Raising a Reader series, contact Muriel Gutierrez at 623.222.1672.

Taste of Surprise

Mark your calendars for a fantastic event! Showcasing some of the West Valley’s best restaurants and eateries, the Taste of Surprise is a fundraising event organized by the Rotary Club of Surprise Community Foundation to support projects and charitable services in the local community. The Taste of Surprise features dozens of food, beer, wine and spirit vendors, including local culinary talents from award-winning restaurants and local emerging chefs.

The event will be held on Saturday, April 7 from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. at Surprise Stadium, 15930 N. Bullard Avenue. Tickets are available at www.tasteofsurprise.com or at the door. I hope to see you there!

Did You Know?

National Citizens Survey Is Online Through Monday, March 19

If you did not receive a National Citizens Survey (NCS) by mail, you can take the survey online! You can visit http://bit.ly/surprise2018 and share your thoughts on Surprise as a place to live and work. We want your feedback on transportation, public safety, youth services and so much more! The NCS is conducted by the National Research Center of Boulder, Colorado. Survey results are anonymous. The city only receives the aggregate results.

Your feedback helps the city to identify services in which we are performing well and lets us know the areas in which we have the opportunity to improve. It also helps to identify priority projects for Surprise and indicates where limited city funding should go in order to provide the services you most desire.

For those households that did receive a paper survey by mail, please complete the paper version and mail back using the postage-paid envelope.

Vote on Surprise’s Water Future

Surprise voters will decide whether or not to authorize the purchase of a water service company in a Special Election on May 15. To help voters learn more about the ballot measure, we have added new tools and information to the water election website and invite residents to one of our upcoming public meetings.

The city is seeking authorization to purchase Circle City Water Company (CCW), a small water service company in the northern part of Surprise’s planning area and future water service area. This acquisition would provide Surprise with the company’s existing water infrastructure and grow the city’s allocation of Colorado River water by more than 38 percent, helping to plan for future growth. The purchase of CCW would be offset through the sale of current and future water portfolio assets.

The water election website, www.surpriseaz.gov/waterelection, now includes a short informational video, downloadable fact sheet, frequently asked questions, important election dates, voter information and public meeting dates and locations.

We are holding public meetings on the following dates:

April 4, 6 p.m.
Desert Oasis Elementary Cafeteria/Multipurpose Room, 17161 W Bajada Road

April 12, 5 p.m.
Surprise City Hall – City Council Chambers, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza

April 18, 4 p.m.
Sun City Grand, Sonoran Plaza – Palms Room, 19789 N Remington Drive

April 19, 6 p.m.
Sierra Montana Recreation Center, 14861 N Spring Lane

The voter registration deadline for this election is April 16. To register, please visit http://maricopa.vote/. The Surprise City Clerk’s Office also offers in-person registration.

All registered households in Surprise will receive a mail ballot. Ballots will be mailed April 25. Election Day is May 15. For more information, please contact the Surprise Water Resource Management Department at wrm@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.7100.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

October 5, 2017 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Public Safety Retirement System Financial Status

Staff presented an update on the status of the Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS). The system was established on July 1, 1968 to provide a uniform, consistent, and equitable statewide retirement program for Arizona’s public safety personnel. Due to several depressions in the economy during the 2000’s the fund went from being fully funded in 2000 to having only half the money needed to pay its obligations in 2010. This led to a number of reforms intended to help ensure PSPRS can and will exist for future generations of public safety employees. This was the first installment in a multi-chapter discussion on the status of the system, future outlook, and action plan for the statewide system and for the city of Surprise.

City Council Meeting

Domestic Violence Awareness Proclamation

Mayor Wolcott officially proclaimed October “Domestic Violence Awareness Month” Tuesday evening. In honor of this issue, purple lights will shine from Surprise City Hall and the city’s public safety building to help raise awareness about domestic violence. Purple is the nationally-recognized color signifying domestic violence awareness. Residents can help raise awareness by joining city of Surprise employees in wearing purple clothing or a purple ribbon throughout the month of October. This year, national wear purple day is Thursday, October 19. Help “Paint Surprise Purple” and show your support via social media using the hashtags #PurpleThursday #PaintSurprisePurple.

Surprise City Hall at night lite with purple light

Millions of men and women are victimized by domestic violence each year. If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, you are encouraged to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE or visit www.TheHotline.org. Additionally, Eve’s Place provides mobile advocacy services for victims of domestic and sexual abuse weekly at the city’s Surprise Resource Center. Individual appointments and support groups are available for adults and teens. The Surprise Resource Center also partners with New Life Center, Sojourner Center, Hope Women’s Center and New Leaf’s Faith House to support victims of domestic violence.

The Surprise Resource Center is located on the city’s AZ TechCelerator campus at 12425 W Bell Rd. Suite 124. For more information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/resourcecenter or call 623.222.1600.

Public Hearing

City Council approved a zone change request for ten acres located at the southeast corner of 175th Avenue and Sweetwater Avenue. The approved zoning will allow up to 50 single-family residential lots with a minimum lot size of 4,000 square feet; however, a separate Preliminary Plat is currently under review, which anticipates 44 lots. The developer of these ten acres will be responsible for completing street improvements along 175th Avenue adjacent to the site, in addition to half-street improvements along Sweetwater adjacent to the site. The city has also received development applications for additional properties located north of Sweetwater, one of which was the subject of a neighborhood meeting being held by the applicant at Paradise Honors High School earlier this week.

FY2017 Financial Status Report

During the FY2018 budget process, estimates of FY2017 expenses and revenues were presented. These FY2017 estimates helped define the available funds for FY2018. The staff presentation gauged the FY2017 estimates against actual financial performance. As the annual financial audit is currently underway, the amounts presented are not yet final for FY2017. Total FY2017 resources were greater than estimated by $1.9M and total expenditures were less than expected by $3.6M which led to an ending balance of $3.3M greater than expected. The balance will be applied to public safety personnel retirement system employee refunds made earlier this fiscal year.

Events & Meetings

Bloomberg Philanthropies “Idea Accelerator” Workshop

Mayor Sharon Wolcott, Vice Mayor Todd Tande and I joined 12 others including two Planning & Zoning Commissioners and the minority partners who own the land outside City Hall (known as SCDC) on Thursday, September 29 as part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies “Idea Accelerator” workshop. Unfortunately, the majority partner was absent due to illness. The purpose of the workshop was to provide city officials, developers, and local business stakeholders with strategies and tools to identify and address issues as related to building the city’s downtown. All present agreed that the current state of land is not delivering.

Benevilla Professional Friends Luncheon

Councilmembers Roland Winters, Ken Remley and I attended Benevilla’s Professional Friends Luncheon on Friday, September 29 at Rio Salado Community College. Together, we honored the awardee, Amber Hughes from Ryley, Carlock & Applewhite, with their esteemed Professional Friends recognition for outstanding work supporting our community. We were also provided with important updates on the fantastic programs and services Benevilla offers.

Dick McComb City Park Ceremony

Most of City Council joined Community and Recreation Services staff and the Community and Recreation Advisory Commission members on Saturday, September 30 when the City officially renamed Surprise Farms Community Park to Dick McComb City Park. Mr. McComb was our city’s longest-tenured City Manager (1990-2000) who played an instrumental role in the success of our city.

Love Our Schools Day

On the morning of Saturday, September 30, the Surprise Youth Council (SYC) led a service initiative for Love Our Schools Day. This annual event, which is dedicated to organizing community volunteers to perform meaningful acts of service at local schools, was a perfect opportunity for our SYC members to show their heart and character. Eleven SYC members and more than a dozen community members recruited by SYC, worked inside and outdoors at Thompson Ranch Elementary School where 80% of the school’s students reside in Surprise. They cleared and repaired an overgrown garden that will now be used by 1st and 2nd graders to grow vegetables and learn about science. They painted large outdoor learning tools for math and reading that teachers can use to teach students outside when they’ve been cooped up indoors for too long during the cooler months. Additionally, they performed much needed maintenance tasks in the school’s classrooms and cafeteria, where they scrubbed tables, desks, and walls. Councilmen Remley and I were on hand to support this initiative, passing out supplies to volunteers and encouraging their commitment to community stewardship. Thompson Ranch Principal Rachel Saunders and Assistant Principal Casey Kuhn offered their own skills to each task and expressed their great appreciation for the impact these services will have on their students.

Councilman Hall, SYC and community members

STEAM Showcase at Thompson Ranch Elementary School

I was invited to participate in the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Mathematics) Program at Thompson Ranch Elementary School on Monday, October 2. Throughout the tour, we visited pre-school through 8th grade classes as the students were learning about these subjects. Thank you to Thompson Ranch administration for hosting us!

STEM Council Meeting at Canyon Ridge Elementary School

Canyon Ridge STEM Council met on Monday, October 2 at Canyon Ridge Elementary School. Discussion items included Canyon Ridge Continuous Improvement Plan, the focus of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) work across grade levels and 2017-2018 STEM projects and initiatives such as iExplore and outdoor classroom.

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Meeting

The city’s Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission met on Monday, October 2. West Valley Arts HQ Director Bernadette Carroll presented on the Arts and Economic Prosperity report. This report is conducted by Americans for the Arts, a non-profit organization aimed at advancing the arts in our country. The report provides evidence that the non-profit arts and culture sector is a significant industry in the West Valley region, one that generates $23 million in total economic activity. Other items of discussion included the Veterans Art Show that will be held in conjunction with the Veterans Day Parade on November 11, the Public Art Bus tour that will be held on October 19 and other events held during Art week (October 14-23).

Mark Your Calendar

Join Us at Art Week Events

From October 14 – 23, the community is invited to participate in ‘Art Week’ – a collection of fun, family-friendly events designed to gather public input on the Surprise Arts & Culture Master Plan. There will be chances to help create a community art piece and win art too! Your input will help set the standard and strategic direction for how we continue to implement and enjoy arts and culture in the city of Surprise.

Find the Arts & Culture Master Plan booth at the following Art Week events, where you can fill out a short survey, collaborate on the community art piece and be entered to win a variety of art pieces donated by WHAM and the West Valley Arts Council:

Surprise Fiesta Grande

October 14, 3-9 p.m.
Villanueva Recreation Complex, 15660 N Hollyhock

Street Street-style festival featuring live music, authentic Mexican food, dancing, car show and kid zone. www.surpriseaz.gov/fiestagrande

Portrait Sessions & Outreach

Event October 16, 6 – 8 p.m.
Asante Community Park, 16763 W Vereda Solana Drive

Professional photographer will be available to take family portraits and provide the digital prints. Plus, other family fun activities will be available while you wait!

Public Art Bus Tour

October 18, 9 a.m. – noon
Meet at City Hall, 1600 Civic Center Plaza

See art galleries and public art installations around Surprise. Reserve your spot by calling Susan deJong at 623.214.7537. www.surpriseaz.gov/arts

West Valley Arts Council Block Party

October 19, 5-9 p.m.
West Valley Arts HQ, 16126 N Civic Center Plaza

Watch artists create art in real time and enjoy live music, a professional art gallery, local food trucks and more. www.westvalleyarts.org

Did You Know?

Greenway Road Improvements

Pavement preservation work on Greenway Road, Reems Road to Sarival Avenue, will begin Friday, October 6 and continue through Tuesday, October 17. Traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction. Left turns will be restricted during work hours, 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This project is part of the city’s annual Pavement Preservation Program which identifies city streets that need treatment to rejuvenate, rehabilitate, and lengthen the life of the roadway. Learn more about the city’s Pavement Preservation Program at www.surpriseaz.gov/ppp.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

October 13, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) continues to issue weekly project updates for the Bell Road/Grand Avenue bridge project. Bell Road will remain closed between 134th Avenue and West Point Parkway until November 22, pending weather conditions and other unforeseen factors that may affect the target date.

Work continues as follows:

  • Installation of new median on Bell Road east of Grand Avenue.
  • Installation of sidewalk and hand railing on new bridge.
  • Reconstruction of eastbound Grand Avenue.
  • Construction of retaining wall panels on the bridge over Grand Avenue.

**City, County, and State law enforcement will be patrolling the area. Please obey all traffic signage and posted speed limits.**

As always, please allow plenty of time and observe all traffic control signs and barricades. Thank you again for your patience during this project. For more information, please visit the project website at www.azdot.gov/bellandgrand or you can contact ADOT’s project hotline at 855.712.8530, press option #1.

Events & Meetings

West-MEC Northwest Campus Groundbreaking

The Western Maricopa Education Center (West-MEC) hosted a groundbreaking for their Northwest Campus located on Grand Avenue and Dysart Road on Thursday, October 6. West-MEC was created to help students find a faster way forward in life through career and technical education. West-MEC serves over 29,000 students within their 46 member district high schools. The graduation rate for students who complete a CTE program was 98% compared to 76% for all students in Arizona.

The Surprise campus will feature adaptable learning environments, global academic collisions, storm water movement, high efficient building systems, diverse programs and a reduction of the carbon footprint. Anticipated programs include cosmetology, IT security, law, public safety and security, medical assisting and additional health, physical therapy technician, automotive and industrial trades.

Project Appreciation

Councilwoman Rachel Villanueva and I donated pizzas to the Bell Road/Grand Avenue construction team on Thursday, October 6 to show our gratitude for their continued hard work as they work diligently to complete the bridge construction so Bell Road can re-open on the anticipated target date of November 22, 2016.

Councilmembers Hall and Villanueva handing out pizza to Bell and Grand construction workers

Kingswood Place – City Update

City staff and I attended a meeting at Kingswood Place, a senior living community in Surprise, to provide a city update which included a summary of the Surprise Forward campaign and an economic development update. Thank you to the staff who attended!

Benevilla Retirement Celebration

Benevilla hosted a retirement celebration for Michelle Dionisio on Thursday, October 6 at Birt’s Bistro. Many business and community leaders from throughout the Valley attended the event including Councilwoman Rachel Villanueva and me. For more than 25 years, President and CEO Michelle Dionisio has served Benevilla and built it into the multigenerational non-profit organization it is today. She is a well-respected leader who has left an indelible mark not only in our city and the valley, but in our state.

Bell Road-Grand Avenue Business Outreach Meeting

City staff and representation from Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) hosted their monthly outreach meeting at City Hall on Tuesday, October 11. Economic Development provided an update on the Bell/Grand community outreach and education initiative. An employment workshop will be held on Monday, October 31 at the Communiversity followed by an employer workshop on Tuesday, November 1 and a career fair on November 2. More information will soon follow.

The Business Education Series will continue. The next event will be held on October 25 at the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce. The topic is “How to grow your business by ensuring your customers are getting the right message.”

ADOT gave an update on the Phase 3C map and project activities. Currently, the project team is putting up street lights on the bride; paving activities on the ramps and bridge center will start this month and continue thru early November.

An overnight closure of Grand Ave between Dysart and Litchfield roads is tentatively scheduled for the first week in November (Friday 11/4 & Saturday 11/5) to place fencing and paint the bridge. Specific dates and activities will be sent in the ADOT project weekly update that precedes the closure.

When Bell Rd reopens on November 22, Grand Ave will be inaccessible from the Bell Rd bridge. The signal at the Bell Rd and Grand Ave intersection will be inactive until the ramps open in early 2017.

The designated detour route that reflects the opening of Bell Rd has been drafted and is under final review. East-west through movements will resume on Bell Rd however drivers will need to use Bell-Reems/ Bell-Dysart to access Grand Ave. Signage along the designated detour route will be changed so drivers are aware they no longer need to use Greenway Road. Lane striping and signals will be modified at the Bell-Litchfield and Bell-Dysart intersections.

Work continues on eastbound Grand Ave lanes through early 2017.

The Business Stakeholder Meeting in November will be postponed to Tuesday, December 13 due to the November 8 Election Day.

Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Fiesta Grande Celebration – This Weekend

The Surprise Fiesta Grande is here! The festivities are scheduled for Saturday, October 15 from 3 pm until 9 pm on Hollyhock Street, north of Grand Avenue. Admission and parking are free.

Fiesta Grande parking map

The line-up is as follows:

  • 3 -3:15 p.m. – DJ/Opening Welcome
  • 3:15-4 p.m. – Mariachi Los Caballeros
  • 4:15-5 p.m. – Ballet Folklorico – Fiesta Mexicana Dance
  • 5:15-6 p.m. – Mariachi Rubor
  • 6:15-7 p.m. – Grupo Caribe
  • 7:15-8 p.m. – Banada La Llegadora
  • 8:15-9 p.m. – Powerdrive

We hope to see you there!

Surprise Veteran Job Club Meeting

The Surprise Veteran Job Club will host their next meeting on October 20 from 6 until 7:30 pm at the Surprise Resource Center located at 12425 W. Bell Road, Suite 124. These meetings are an excellent opportunity to provide veterans, active military and their family members with industry and career pathway knowledge to help them gain the skills they need to pursue a new career or obtain a job.

Did You Know?

Surprise Police Explorer Wins Top Honors

Earlier this month, the Surprise Police Department Explorer Post #2236 competed in the Southern Arizona Law Enforcement Explorer Competition which was held in Marana, Arizona. The post participated in over 15 different events which included: traffic stops, bus assaults, white collar crime investigations, officer down rescue, tactical tracking operations, and an active shooter scenario. They competed against posts from all across Arizona and California.

Explorer Post #2236 represented the Surprise Police Department and City of Surprise exceptionally well. The Explorer Post brought home seven trophies and one medal. The trophies/medal they received were:

  • 3rd place in the team obstacle course (Medal)
  • 2nd place in the use of force scenario
  • 2nd place in white collar crime investigations
  • 1st place in report writing and courtroom testimony
  • 1st place in traffic stops
  • 1st place in bus assaults
  • 1st place overall
  • The Southern Arizona Law Enforcement Explorer Competition Cup for the overall best team at the competition

For more information about the Surprise Police Department Explorer Post #2236 please visit: https://www.surpriseaz.gov/1101/Explorers-Program.

Explorer Post #2236 winners represented the Surprise Police Department
Pictured from left to right: Explorer Peter Phillips, Explorer Davis Wright, Explorer Cesar Chavez, Officer Nate Miller (background), Explorer Mycala Anderson, Officer Jennifer Boothe (background), Explorer Breonna Colon, Explorer Gilber Chavez, Explorer Trey Williams, Explorer Clayton Bailey

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

September 15, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) continues to issue weekly project updates for the Bell Road/Grand Avenue bridge project.

Work continues as follows:

  • Eastbound Grand Avenue is being reconstructed.
  • Construction of the retaining wall panels on the bridge over Grand Avenue will continue for the next few months.

**City, County, and State law enforcement will be patrolling the area. Please obey all traffic signage and posted speed limits.**

As always, please allow plenty of time and observe all traffic control signs and barricades. Thank you again for your patience during this project. For more information, please visit the project website at www.azdot.gov/bellandgrand or you can contact ADOT’s project hotline at 855.712.8530, press option #1.

Bell & Grand Business Stakeholders Outreach Meeting

The City and ADOT hosted a monthly Business Stakeholders Outreach meeting on Tuesday, September 13. Councilmembers Rachel Villanueva, Roland Winters, Todd Tande and I attended along with staff and business representatives. Economic Development provided on update on outreach and education initiatives and ADOT provided a project update.

ADOT’s Assistant Communication Director Brock Barnhart introduced Phase 3C (see map below) of the project where Bell Rd reopens; a specific target date will be presented at the September 20 City Council meeting. The goal is to open all three lanes of Bell Rd in late November.

ADOT Bell & Grand Phase 3C slide

Due to continued work on tie-ins, there may be occasional curb lane restrictions and overnight work on Bell Rd after the reopening. The project team will work hard to ensure that at least two lanes in each direction remain open on Bell Rd during daytime work.

When Bell Rd reopens, Grand Ave will be inaccessible from the Bell Rd bridge and vice versa. The signal at the Bell Rd and Grand Ave intersection will be inactive until the ramps open in early 2017. A signal at the intersection of 134th Ave and Bell Rd will be up and operational.

Reconfiguration of the designated detour route to reflect the opening of Bell Road is under review. East-west through movements will resume on Bell Road, however drivers will still need to use Bell-Litchfield/ Bell-Dysart to access Grand Ave. Signage along the designated detour route will be changed so drivers are aware they no longer need to use Greenway Road. Lane striping and signals will be modified at the Bell-Litchfield and Bell-Dysart intersections.

Work continues on eastbound Grand Ave lanes through early 2017.

Now that deck pours have been completed on the BNSF bridge, ADOT does not anticipate any major Grand Ave closures until mid-October.

ShopSurprise has sent 171,000 messages to date and more than 25 businesses have participated. There has been 3,100 opt-in and 35 email subscribers as well. The Economic Development department plans to develop a direct marketing campaign to draw Sun City consumers back to Surprise. The department recently won the Gold Prospector Award, Multi-media Production at the Arizona Association of Economic Developers for their efforts on the ShopSurprise campaign. Congratulations to our amazing team!

The city hosted a job fair in August with 13 employers present. Approximately 100 job seekers also took advantage of the fair. Another employment workshop is being planned for late October. Additionally, another career fair and business information session will occur in November. More details will soon follow!

Events & Meetings

AZ STEM School Community of Practice Meeting

As part of the team representing our local STEM school, Canyon Ridge, Dr. Shelley Isai and I joined staff from Canyon Ridge and several other representatives from STEM schools at Grand Canyon University on September 8. Maricopa County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Don Covey and Provost for Grand Canyon University Dr. Hank Radda joined us. Breakout topics included discussions on barriers, solutions and commitments schools are facing. Opportunities to meet with representatives from any of the 44 STEM schools participating were available to those who took part in the meeting.

Grand Opening of Benevilla’s Helping Partners Program

The Helping Partners Program, run by local nonprofit Benevilla, has moved into a space at City Hall. To welcome the program, a grand opening ceremony took place on Monday, September 12, followed by a tour of the office space. Councilmembers Rachel Villanueva, Roland Winters, Todd Tande and I joined city staff and Benevilla representatives, including CEO Michelle Dionisio and program participants.

The Helping Partners Life Enrichment Program was designed for adults with intellectual or development challenges. The program provides volunteer and employment opportunities that enable members to contribute in their respective communities.

Councilmembers Hall, Villanueva, Winters & Tande with city staff and Benevilla representatives, including CEO Michelle Dionisio and program participants.

Surprise Tourism Advisory Commission Meeting

I attended the Surprise Tourism Advisory Commission meeting on Tuesday, September 13. Agenda items included an update on sports tourism and future baseball tournaments and a discussion pertaining to the Western Heritage Trail Society. Western Heritage Trail Society is an association striving to develop, promote and showcase events, programs and destinations truly unique to our beautiful State.

Annual Fiscal Year Water Resource Management Meeting

On Wednesday, September 14, the Water Resource Management Department held its Annual New Fiscal Year (FY) Kick-off All Hands Lunch for staff. The intent of the lunch is to give staff an opportunity to reflect on FY16 accomplishments through presentations made by division managers that recognize outstanding performers and provide staff with a look at what the department will be doing in FY17. Director Terry Lowe thanked everyone for coming and reminded his staff about the keys to a successful business: People… Processes… Product. This philosophy has led to the completion of the new Gateway Training Center and the successful coordination and teamwork in the commencement and completion of nearly a dozen other major projects. The training center, which will have its Grand Opening on October 26, is the place where staff will broaden its knowledge and understanding of their careers and assist the department in better serving the community. The department’s division managers: Lee Lambert, Water; Warren Dancer, Wastewater; Christine Nunez, Environmental Compliance; Paul Mohr, Business Process; and Fred Stevens, Resource Portfolio, each gave those in attendance a little deeper look into the work they do, their teams, and their initiatives for next year.

Mark Your Calendar

Movie Night at Surprise Stadium

Movie Night will be held at Surprise Stadium on Saturday, September 17 featuring “Hotel Transylvania 2” (Rated PG). The event is sponsored by Coulter Nissan in Surprise, and admission is free!

Gates open at 6 p.m., and the movie starts at 7 p.m. Bring your blankets and pillows and stretch out on the grass at Surprise Stadium, located at 15850 N Bullard Ave. The stadium food and beverage policy is in effect. Concessions will be available for purchase. Ice chests and lawn chairs are not permitted.

For more information, please contact Community and Recreation Services at 623.222.2000.

CPR Classes Offered

The Surprise Fire-Medical Department will be offering free Continuous Chest Compression Only-CPR (CCC-CPR) classes on Wednesday, September 21.

CCC-CPR consists of continuous aggressive chest compressions to keep the victim’s blood circulating through their brain and heart, which has been proven to increase survival rates. And, because it does not require mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, it reduces the risk of spreading viruses or other kinds of disease between the life-saver and victim.

Two sessions will be held. The morning class will run from 9-11 a.m., and the afternoon class will run from 2-4 p.m.; both will be held in the Public Safety Building Auditorium, located at 14250 W. Statler Plaza. To register for a class, please email crfire@surpriseaz.gov or call 623.222.5400.

Mental Health Advocacy Event

Author and mental health advocate Erin Callinan will take part in an event, “Beautifully Bipolar – From Trauma to Triumph,” at the Communiversity on September 26, 2016 from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. The event will include a panel discussion with Erin’s family, mental health resource tables and a book signing. Erin will share her personal journey of finding hope after her mental illness diagnosis at the age of 17.

Did You Know?

Veteran’s Day Art Show

Are you a veteran with artistic talent? The city is seeking veteran-produced artwork for inclusion in an art show display during its Veterans Day Celebration on November 11. Professional and amateur artists are invited to display at this event. Paintings, photography, sculpture, illustrations or any other medium is welcome; there is no charge to participate. Interested artists should contact Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission Chair, Susan deJong, at 623.214.7537 or sandbapple@msn.com.

The artwork will be on display from 8-11 a.m. in front of Surprise Stadium, located at 15960 N. Bullard Ave. In addition to the art show, the city’s Veterans Day celebration includes a parade that will begin at 9:30 a.m. and run along Bullard Avenue near Surprise Stadium. Both the art show and parade are free to attend.

For $4, you can enjoy a pancake breakfast at the stadium before the parade from 7-9 a.m. Tickets can be purchased in advance from the Community and Recreation Services Office, located at the stadium.

Learn more about the Veterans Day Celebration at www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

May 1, 2015 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Ribbon Cutting
I attended the Farmer’s Insurance-Boyle Agency ribbon cutting at the Gateway to Surprise Business Suites (11503 W. Bell Road) on Monday, April 27. Several residents and members of the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce were present.

Farmers Insurance Boyle Agency
Farmers Insurance Boyle Agency Ribbon Cutting


Committee on Water Resource Planning Meeting
The Committee on Water Resource Planning met on Wednesday, April 29. Director of Water Resource Management Terry Lowe provided an overview of the Water Resource Strategic Vision Policy presentation that he will present to the City Council on May 19, 2015 for consideration and approval of the water policies that were provided to Council over the course of several months. The Committee unanimously agreed to recommend these policies to the entire City Council.

Maricopa Community College East Valley Veterans Center Tour
Mayor Wolcott, Human Service and Community Vitality Director Michael Celaya, City Manager Bob Wingenroth and I toured the Maricopa Community College East Valley Veterans Center on Thursday, April 30. As part of the tour, we discussed partnership development that will help deliver resources to our Veterans.

Did You Know?

Surprise Community Garden is Growing!
Benevilla, a West Valley nonprofit human services agency located in Surprise, announced that Rebuilding Together and DMB are providing new features and accessibility upgrades in the Surprise Community Garden, a Community of All Ages project at Benevilla. Currently, the organic garden has 100 gardeners working on 34 raised-soil beds.

Rebuilding Together, a national nonprofit, and local Valley builder DMB join together once a year to select one Valley community project they would like to support. This year, representatives discovered and selected the Community Garden.

Benevilla was started in the community in 1981. The organization is dedicated to enhancing the lives of West Valley residents by providing care services for older adults, intellectually disabled adults, children and families.

Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Safety Day
Surprise Safety Day will be held from 8 am – 11 am on Saturday, May 2 at the Surprise Aquatic Center, 15831 N. Bullard Avenue. The event will feature free swim lesson assessments, water safety skits, CPR demonstrations, safety vehicle tours by Surprise Police and Fire-Medical Departments, McGruff the Crime Dog, car seat and bike helmet inspections. The Surprise Aquatic staff, Police and Fire will be on-site to answer questions regarding water safety and prevention, as well as vehicle and fire safety.

For more information about Surprise Safety Day, please call 623.222.2000.

Surprise City Hall to host Job Fair
Six companies will be recruiting for open positions on Friday, May 8 at Surprise City Hall (16000 N. Civic Center Plaza). The companies participating in the job fair include Cobalt Medical Development (Surprise location will open in late 2015), Empereon Marketing, Gestamp Solar, Intrepid Tools, Rio Glass Solar and Winco. The job fair will take place from 8 am until 12 noon in the Mayor’s Atrium.

For more information, please contact Economic Development Coordinator Julie Neal at 623.222.3322.

NCAA 2015 Tennis Championships
The City of Surprise will be hosting the 2015 NCAA Tennis Championships May 13 through May 16 at the Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex, 14469 W. Paradise. For more information, please call 623.222.2400 or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/tennis.

Contact Me

Shop Surprise

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

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