Tag Archives: Cal Ripken Day

March 30, 2017 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Surprise Police Department Promotion Ceremony

The Surprise Police Department held a promotional ceremony on March 23, 2017 to recognize the promotions of Lieutenant Norman Owens, Sergeant Michael Jalbert and Property and Evidence Supervisor Sarah Welch.

Lieutenant Norman Owens began his law enforcement career in 1996 with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO). Throughout his service with MCSO, Norm served as a detention officer, patrol deputy, and a narcotics detective with the MCSO Special Investigations Division. Lieutenant Owens joined the Surprise Police Department in 2001 and has served as the Off-Duty/Training Coordinator, Field Training Officer, Detective, Training Unit Officer, Sergeant, Detective Sergeant, and most recently as the Department’s Public Information Officer.

Sergeant Michael Jalbert joined the Surprise Police Department in August of 2005 and has served as a Patrol Officer, Field Training Officer and Detective. Sergeant Jalbert is currently serving as a Field Training Officer and is on the Department’s SWAT team.

Sarah Welch began employment with the Police Department in February 2007 and has been an integral part of the Property and Evidence Unit for the past 9 years. Sarah was instrumental in the implementation of the Department’s gun trade-in program and the electronic barcode evidence tracking system.

Pictured from left to right: Lt. Norman Owens, Sgt. Michael Jalbert, Sarah Welch
Pictured from left to right: Lt. Norman Owens, Sgt. Michael Jalbert, Sarah Welch

Congratulations to all of them on their promotions!

Cal Ripken Day at Surprise Stadium

Surprise Stadium hosted a parade for our city’s Cal Ripken players on Saturday, March 25 prior to the regularly scheduled spring training game. This is one of my favorite events every year as it provides Council an opportunity to welcome the players for another season. This year, there are 140 teams, 1,800 participants and 350 volunteer coaches. Thank you to Paul Frie, Community and Recreation Services Recreation Division Manager and Arizona Cal Ripken Commissioner, and his team for their work each year putting together this successful program!

National League of Cities Debrief

I met with staff on Monday, March 27 for a post-trip debrief on the National League of Cities Conference in Washington D.C. In addition to the sessions attended by staff and Councilmembers, we had a series of highly productive meetings aimed at accomplishing several objectives. Some of those objectives included the request of support from our Congressional representatives for opportunities related to funding the transportation needs of our growing city and collaborating to identify ways to meet transit and transportation needs in Surprise in a fiscally pragmatic manner.

In order to continue the conversation relative to transit and transportation needs in Surprise, Council will consider a request in the FY18 budget discussions to fund a demand study which will identify both transit demands and appropriate solutions to meet those demands. This item will be considered along with the other requests for funding in the coming fiscal year.

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Monthly Breakfast Meeting

Councilmembers Jim Hayden, Ken Remley and I attended the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce monthly breakfast meeting on Tuesday, March 28. Scott Phillips, Vice President of Carefree Partners Investments, provided an update on City Center. The goal of Carefree Partners, in partnership with the City, is to create a downtown, walkable city center from scratch.

A project of this caliber will take patience and perseverance as we try to build the right mix of commerce, culture, recreation, entertainment, ingenuity and energy. Retail trends have changed due to the popularity of online shopping, and we are diligently working on an ever changing model. The future downtown will include major employment, Ottawa University, dense residential living, a multitude of entertainment and food options plus much more. In summary, this is a very unique public private partnership for a project of this size in the state, if not the entire country.

Surprise Literacy Challenge

The Surprise Literacy Challenge this year utilized partnerships with Surprise Friends of the Library and the local branch of the Maricopa County Library District to bring an engaging program to the 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students from Surprise. Through the use of bingo cards with 25 various challenges, students were engaged in literacy in many new and unique ways beyond just reading a book.

Ten schools participated this year with more than 2,200 students taking part of the challenge. I’m happy to report that the winners are Arizona Charter Academy’s 4th grade class led by Mrs. Wernet, Cimarron Springs’ 5th grade class led by Ms. Mohaupt and Kingswood Park Elementary’s 6th grade class led by Ms. Johnson. Congratulations!

Celebrating Expansion in Surprise

Luv 2 Play hosted a grand opening celebration on Wednesday, March 29 with a ribbon cutting ceremony, face painting, balloon artists and much more! Luv 2 Play is an indoor playground and arcade for children ages 0-12. They also have menu options for parents and kids alike! For more information, please visit http://luv2play.com/surprise/.

Christopher Todd Communities broke ground at the future Christopher Todd Communities on Greenway project. The area is located on the southwest corner of Greenway and Litchfield roads. This project will offer 136 one and two-bedroom private rental residences with a gated entry, charming detached homes with front and backyards, optional detached garages, community park with a pet washing station and a community pool. There will be 56 one-bedroom and 80 larger two-bedroom floor plans.


Mark Your Calendar

Household Hazardous Waste Collection

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, April 8.

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 623.222.6000.

Taste of Surprise

The Rotary Club of Surprise will host the Taste of Surprise event at Surprise Stadium on Saturday, April 8 from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. The event will showcase some the West Valley’s best foods and include a beer and wine garden and live entertainment. This event is designed to be fun for the entire family!

The 2017 Taste of Surprise proceeds will benefit five local non-profits including One Step Beyond, Surprise Youth Foundation, Benevilla, A New Leaf, and Rotary Club of Surprise Community Foundation. Tickets can be purchased at the event or online. To purchase tickets online, please visit http://www.tasteofsurprise.com/purchase-tickets.html.


Did You Know?

Greenway Road – Litchfield Road Intersection Improvement Work to Begin

Drivers can expect lane restrictions around the intersection of Litchfield and Greenway roads from March 30 through May 8 as crews perform utility work and correct a dip in the intersection.

A full closure of the intersection is planned for the final weekend of the project. The intersection will close Friday, May 5 at 9 p.m. and reopen Monday, May 8 at 5 a.m.

This work will complete the final phase of the Greenway Road Improvement Project. Last summer, the city completed the widening portion of the Greenway Road project between Litchfield Road and Bullard Avenue; the project also included landscaped medians, drainage improvements and sidewalks.

For more information, please call 623.222.6000.


Contact Me

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

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March 24, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

BELL ROAD CLOSURE IS 8 DAYS AWAY! To accommodate APS utility work, Bell Road will have a single-lane closure in each direction around Grand Avenue on Thursday, March 31 and Friday, April 1, from 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. This is after the conclusion of Spring Training and during non-peak commute hours. Grand Avenue at Bell Road will be restricted to one lane in each direction on March 31 from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. for median removal work, weather permitting.

Beginning at 10 pm on April 1, Bell Road will be closed. This will begin Phase 3A of the project. Please see Illustration below as well as the detour map.

I encourage you to shop the businesses along the Bell Road/Grand Avenue corridor, read my newsletter for updates and monitor the updates on the project website at www.azdot.gov/bellandgrand. In addition, ADOT established a hotline for the project which you can utilize, 1.855.712.8530, press option #1. Please note that ADOT releases their weekly updates on Friday afternoons.


Events & Meetings

Valley Metro RPTA Meeting

I attended the Valley Metro RPTA Board of Directors meeting on Thursday, March 17. Valley Metro opened the Northwest Light Rail Extension on March 19. The project came in ahead of schedule and on budget thanks to the effective partnership of Valley Metro, the city of Phoenix and the construction contractor. The $327 million project broke ground on January 12, 2013. The Northwest Extension includes 3 stations – Dunlap, Northern, Glendale, with a Park and Ride at the southwest corner 19th Avenue and Dunlap. Approximately 7 miles of track were installed.

Board members discussed the proposed refunding of the 2009A tax exempt bond that would provide Valley Metro with an estimated savings of $1.3 million. Recent changes in market conditions have created an opportunity to reduce debt service.

Conversation also took place regarding the Chief Executive Officer recruitment. An electronic survey was created and sent to Valley Metro board members and staff last month. The data and summary of the survey were shared at the March 17 meeting.

The 2015 Origins and Destinations Study was conducted last spring and results of the study were shared. The survey gathered updated passenger travel data from transit users in the Phoenix metropolitan area. The study encompassed all rail and bus fixed route services. The goal was to obtain 15,600 surveys from passengers; however, 21,800 surveys were received (12,450 bus and 9,350 rail passengers). Travel demographics can be found in the profile below:

Valley Metro Rider Profile

I also serve on the Valley Metro Budget & Finance Committee. Valley Metro will be adding a member from Valley Metro Rail Board to sit on the Committee to adequately represent both bus and rail boards.

Cal Ripken Day

Surprise City Council was honored to greet the players in the city’s Cal Ripken League during Cal Ripken Day at Surprise Stadium last Saturday. This year, there were more than 2,100 registrations! Many thanks to our team in Community & Recreation Services (CRS) for their continued hard work and dedication to this program and all the programs that our city offers to residents! We couldn’t do it without you!

Cal Ripken Day 2016

Tour of Grandview Terrace

Bhakti Gosalia, Executive Director of Sun Health Senior Living, gave me a tour of Grandview Terrace on Monday, March 21. Grandview Terrace is a LifeCare community which is part of Sun Health. Sun Health, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization located in Surprise, owns and operates three out of the 14 Life Care communities in Arizona. Sun Health was recognized for their accomplishments during the Legacy Award for Business Excellence late last month. For additional information on Sun Health, please visit www.sunhealth.org.

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Lunch at the Ballpark

Councilman Jim Biundo and I attended the Chamber lunch at the Ballpark on Tuesday, March 22. Representatives from the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers spoke. Raoul Sada, President and CEO of the Chamber, distributed the 2016 Surprise Official Visitors Guide Book. Impressive collateral for our tourists! I encourage you to stop by the Chamber and get a copy for out of town guests!

Economic Development Hosts Brokers at the Ballpark

Economic Development staff, Mayor Wolcott, Councilman Todd Tande and I took part in an opportunity to host brokers and developers at a spring training game on Wednesday, March 23.

Economic Development VIP Event

The city’s Economic Development team hosted an event for City partners, stakeholders and businesses at the Surprise Stadium on Thursday, March 24. Over 180 people attended. This event provided City Council and staff an opportunity to network and thank these groups of dedicated people who work diligently to continue to make Surprise successful!


Mark Your Calendars

Surprise Super Swap Meet

The city’s popular community-wide garage sale, Surprise Super Swap Meet, is scheduled for Saturday, April 16 from 8 am until 1 pm at the Surprise Aquatic Center Parking lot located at 15831 N. Bullard Avenue. Parking and admission are free. Vendor spaces are available to rent. For more information or to receive an application for space, please call 623.222.1500 or email terri.serein@surpriseaz.gov.


Did You Know?

COX Transitioning to Digital Television Service

Between May and September of this year, Cox will convert to an entirely digital platform. When this occurs, only customers with televisions that are directly connected to the cable wall out let will stop receiving Cox’s cable signal. Customers with televisions that currently use a Cox cable box will not be affected by this change. For more information, please contact Cox at 866.961.0416 or you can visit www.cox.com/GoAllDigital.


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Shop Bell and Grand local

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

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March 27, 2015 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings


Kingswood Parke HOA Meeting City Manager Bob Wingenroth, Public Works Director Mike Gent and I attended the Kingswood Parke HOA meeting on Thursday, March 19. Several residents were present. Public Works Director Mike Gent provided a presentation on sidewalks for the HOA. Due to the pedestrian traffic concerns of the residents, a sidewalk on the east side of Parkview, from Bell north to Lea Lane has been requested.

Economic Development at the Ballpark Last week, Economic Development Director Jeanine Jerkovic hosted several organizations and companies in the Economic Development suite at Surprise Stadium.  Some of those groups included GPEC (Greater Phoenix Economic Council) site selectors and California Tech Council. I am always honored to be part of these events to help convey what a fantastic city we live in!

WHAM Recycled Art Project I participated in WHAM’s Recycled Art Project on Saturday, March 21. This project is part of WHAM’s 3rd Annual Community Leader Art Activity fundraiser which helps the organization continue art programs in the West Valley. If you would like to personally view the art pieces or to bid on them, the Recycled Art Silent Auction Fundraiser will be held on March 29 from 4 to 7 pm at WHAM West Gallery (16560 N. Dysart Road).

City Manager - WHAM Recycled Art Project

Councilman Hall - WHAM Recycled Art Project

Cal Ripken Day at the Ballpark The Cal Ripken League kicked off their season with a parade at Surprise Stadium prior to the spring training game on Saturday, March 21. Approximately 1,200 people were in attendance at the event. The entire City Council was also present to welcome our players to the Stadium and wish them luck as they embark on their season. This year, there are 156 teams in the league which consists of 1,900 players and over 400 volunteer coaches. A special thank you to our extraordinary CRS department for putting together not only this program but the many others they offer and to the hundreds of volunteers that help make this possible! Best of luck to all of our players!

Cal Ripken Day at the Ballpark

Veramonte Block Party I attended the Veramonte HOA block party and Community Easter Egg Hunt on Sunday, March 22. There were approximately 100 residents at the event.

Celebrity Reading Day at Canyon Ridge On Tuesday, March 24, I was invited to participate in the Celebrity Reading Day event at Canyon Ridge Elementary School. I was honored to read to two 3rd grade classrooms who anxiously inquired about being a Council Member and local government.

Celebrity Reading Day at Canyon Ridge

GPEC Community Partnership Meeting Mayor Wolcott, Councilman Tande and I attended a meeting on Tuesday, March 24 with GPEC (Greater Phoenix Economic Council) to listen to their strategy for attracting companies throughout the Valley.

Surprise Literacy Challenge I attended a pizza party at Rancho Gabriela Elementary School for the 4th grade class taught by Mrs. Housari that won the Surprise Literacy Challenge, co-sponsored by Vice Mayor John Williams and me.

Samantha Warne, 4th grade student at Rancho Gabriela
Samantha Warne, 4th grade student at Rancho Gabriela who read an impressive 3,000 minutes
Mrs. Guest, teacher of the winning 5th grade class at Parkview
Mrs. Guest, teacher of the winning 5th grade class at Parkview Elementary School
5th grade class at Parkview Elementary School
5th grade class at Parkview Elementary School

League of Women Voters Event Councilman Jim Biundo, Councilwoman Rachel Villanueva and I attended the League of Women Voters event at the Dysart School District office on Thursday, March 26. Guest speakers included Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell, Yavapai County Recorder Leslie Hoffman and our very own City Clerk Sherry Aguilar.  Interesting facts were shared by all speakers.  In the last election, 81% of the voters in Maricopa County voted early. Voter turnout for the 2014 election in Maricopa County was 48%. Voter turnout in Surprise for the last election was only 36%. In Maricopa County, for the 2010 election, 54% of registered voters voted; in 2012, which was a Presidential election, 76% of registered voters voted. Attendees partook in brainstorming ideas that may help facilitate increased voter participation. There were also opportunities for residents to register to vote and/or to sign-up to be on the Permanent Early Voter List. If you are not on the Permanent Early Voter List, you may want to consider it so ballots continue to be sent to you.

League of Women Voters

Mark Your Calendars


Surprise Community Center Open House Residents are invited to attend an Open House hosted by the City’s newly created Human Services and Community Vitality Department on Saturday, March 28 from 10 am until 2 pm at the Surprise Community Center located at 15832 N. Hollyhock Street. Department Director Michael Celaya welcomes you to meet the staff, take a tour of the facility and enjoy the food and beverages offered that day.

In addition to the Open House, City staff will be on hand to assist with voter registration and permanent early voter list sign-up. Furthermore, the four Heritage District Overlay concepts that were recently developed via input from the public will be available for viewing and feedback.

The Human Services and Community Vitality Department was formed in late January to help better engage residents and improve overall quality of life. The Department houses the City’s Neighborhood Services Division, Senior Services Division and Grants Administration.

Bike Rodeo Please join me on Saturday! The Surprise Police are hosting a bicycle skills event at the Christ’s Church of the Valley (CCV) on March 28, 2015. The event will take place from 8 am until 12 noon in the main church parking lot at 14787 W. Cholla Street. The “Bike Rodeo” is designed to teach skills needed to ride safely while helping bicyclists enjoy the sport of biking and reducing their chances of injury. The funding of this event was provided by a grant from the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.

Did You Know?


Grand Avenue Restricted Please note that NW Grand Avenue will be restricted to one lane at Loop 303 on April 4 and April 5.

Grand Avenue

Board/Commission Openings The City of Surprise is currently accepting applications for the following Commissions.

  • Disability Advisory Commission (2 vacancies)
  • Building & Construction Review Board (1vacancy)
  • Health Benefits Trust Fund Board (3 vacancies)
  • Judicial Selection Advisory Commission (1 resident vacancy)
  • Tourism Commission (1 restaurant rep. vacancy)

All Board and/or Commission positions are voluntary. Applications are available at the City Clerk’s office from 8 am until 5 pm, Monday through Friday (16000 N. Civic Center Plaza). You can also download an application at www.surpriseaz.gov.

Students Aiding Community Dysart School District is keeping unwanted fruit produce out of the trash and putting it into the hands of the hungry in Surprise! Dysart students are offered at least one fruit or vegetable at lunch due to the Federal nutritional guidelines. A new program initiated by Dysart Registered Dietician Sarah Cox allows students to donate their unwanted fruit options. Great idea!

Contact Me


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

Ask a Question