Tag Archives: City Council

September 21, 2017 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) issued a project improvement announcement for the Bell Road Bridge and Grand Avenue earlier this month. The on- and off-ramps at the Bell Road Bridge over Grand Avenue (US 60) have been closed this past week for roadway improvements both on and near the overpass.

The Bell/Grand ramps are scheduled to re-open at 5 p.m. on Sunday (Sept. 24), according to the Arizona Department of Transportation. Drivers can use detour routes along Dysart and Litchfield roads to make connections between Bell Road and Grand Avenue. Bell Road will remain open for traffic traveling over the bridge.

Please expect restrictions along westbound Grand Avenue near Bell Grande Drive and near the Bell Road overpass.

City Council Work Session

Valley Metro Update Regarding Paratransit and RideChoice Programs

Valley Metro completely changed its transit service models on July 1, 2017. The previous model under the NW Dial-a-Ride contract ended and three new services were introduced to the city. The first service is the senior bus which falls under the Valley Metro Transdev operations. The second program is Regional ADA Paratransit also operated by Valley Metro and Transdev. The third service is similar to the old NW Dial-a-Ride program called RideChoice, operated by various cab companies and contracted directly by the resident once they are enrolled in the RideChoice program.

Residents who have utilized the service models since July have encountered various problems; most notably, no-show or late pick-ups on all services and trouble booking longer Regional ADA medical and work trips. Valley Metro is working with their contractors to resolve the issues. Recent changes by Transdev, staging buses on the west side at 99th Ave. and Peoria, will help on-time performance for Regional ADA service. The contractor for RideChoice will be hiring a staff position and locating them at Valley Metro’s mobility center for quicker response on RideChoice issues with the various cab companies. Residents that have been using Regional service for Surprise and shorter trips are being moved to RideChoice. Valley Metro is working with the city’s Human Service and Community Vitality Department staff to ensure next day service manifests are correct, and that there are two dedicated buses each day for senior service. Items that still need to be addressed are: driver retention; dispatch communication with all calls for service; enhanced cab company dedication to the Northwest Valley; on-time service; and improvement of subscription trip bookings for medical and work.

To assist Valley Metro, there are several things that you as a resident can do:

  1. Contact Valley Metro Customer Service anytime you have an issue with any of the services provided. This allows Valley Metro to document all complaints. That number is 602-253-5000 or email at csr@valleymetro.org.
  2. Familiarize yourself with your service needs:
    • if you are taking short trips within or nearby Surprise, use RideChoice. It’s cheaper for you and allows you the flexibility to self-book your trips with a cab company of your choice in the RideChoice system. Sign up by calling 602-716-2100. It will take 7 – 10 business days to receive a card and packet in the mail.
    • If you are in need of longer Regional trips for medical or work that are within Valley Metro’s ADA service area, use the Transdev Regional ADA. That number is 602-716-2200.
    • If you are going to the Senior Center on a regular basis, 3-5 times per week, contact the Surprise Human Service and Community Vitality Department to get signed up for the Senior Bus. That number is 623.222.1500.
  3. The City and Valley Metro will be developing a survey that will be mailed to Surprise residents who are signed up for either Regional ADA or RideChoice. Please complete the survey and return it so we can improve the service to you.

City Council Meeting

Asante Planned Area Development

Three Public Hearings were held as part of the City Council meeting on Tuesday pertaining to the Asante Planned Area Development (PAD). Asante North Major PAD Amendment is a project that requires rezoning of approximately 149.1 acres to allow for the development of a 369.2-acre private active adult community. Asante Major PAD Amendment also required the rezoning of approximately 220.1 acres to allow for the same aforementioned private active adult community. Lastly, the Asante Paradiso PAD is an overlay district that will establish specific development standards, design guidelines and permitted uses for the proposed 369.2 acres.

The three items passed unanimously.

District 3 Vacancy Appointment

City Council approved the appointment of Patrick Duffy to represent the residents of District 3 at their Tuesday night Regular Council Meeting. Mr. Duffy replaces John Williams, who resigned from Council on August 15, 2017.

Mr. Duffy is a Financial Advisor for Merrill Lynch and for the past 9 years has worked part-time as a City of Surprise Recreation Leader 3. He has lived in Surprise for eight years, two of them in the district he will now represent – District 3. In addition, he was a member of the Surprise Municipal Property Corporation Board since April 2017 and through his employment with the city, he has been part of numerous Community and Recreation Services events including Spring Training support, Relay for Life events and Cal Ripken All-Star games. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Arizona State University.

Mr. Duffy will be ceremonially sworn into office at the next Council meeting on October 3. The term expiration for the appointment will be December 31, 2018; and the remainder of the four-year term will be placed on the next scheduled Council election in August 2018.

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Vacancy Appointments

City Council approved the appointments of two applicants to fill vacancies for the Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission. Doug Tolf was approved for a term which expires on June 30, 2020, and John “Jack” Hasting with a term expiration of June 30, 2019.

New Citywide Shop Local Program

During the Bell Road bridge construction, the city partnered with the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce to implement a digital marketing campaign to assist and retain the 277 local businesses located within the vicinity of the closure. Due to the success of the campaign, City Council asked staff to partner again and explore a citywide Shop Local campaign, leveraging the best practices learned.

The first year start-up costs are estimated at $55,000, and the campaign will be launched in November in conjunction with National Small Business Month and in support of the holiday shopping season. City Council unanimously voted to approve a budget amendment which will transfer the funding from the Economic Development Contingency Fun to the General Service Fund.

Adoption of New City Council Policy to Honor Exceptional Leaders

The City of Surprise has a storied history and limitless future. All of us sit on the shoulders of great people who invested a precious part of themselves to the benefit us. From time to time, residents have asked City Council to honor an exceptional leader by holding a special event or naming a city asset after this special individual. City Manager Bob Wingenroth has proposed a Council Office policy for honoring such individuals.

The aforementioned policy outlines a balanced, inclusive approach to provide the Surprise City Council with the information needed to take action in order to properly honor exceptional contributions to Surprise. This policy also includes the establishment of a task force that would include the Chair of three Council Commissions (Planning & Zoning, Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission and Community Recreation Advisory Commission), an Assistant City Manager, the City Attorney or designee and the Public Works Director.

Events & Meetings

Constitution Day at Willow Canyon High School

I was invited to participate on a Constitution Day panel at Willow Canyon High School on Friday, September 15. Sharing their experiences also included Human Service and Community Vitality Director Seth Dyson, Associate Judge Catherine Gaudreau, and Attorney Laura Robertson. Thank you to Willow Canyon for the invite and to the students and administration for their hospitality!

Council Hall and Panel members setted at tables

Mark Your Calendar

City and Education Partners Hosting Voter Registration Drive

Dysart Unified School District and Ottawa University (OUAZ) in Surprise and the city are joining thousands of groups across the country in hosting voter registration drives on National Voter Registration Day, Tuesday, September 26! The City of Surprise will have a Special Election on November 7 in which voters will be asked to decide three separate General Obligation Bond Questions to fund 10 projects in the areas of Public Safety, Traffic Congestion Mitigation and Pavement Preservation. (Learn more about the projects, costs and tax impacts at www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise).

2017 GO Bond voter registration reminder

ALL REGISTERED VOTERS WILL RECEIVE A BALLOT BY MAIL BEGINNING OCTOBER 11. The registration deadline to participate in this election is October 10. Below are the voter registration events planned on September 26:

Surprise City Hall- Community Room (16000 N. Civic Center Plaza): Voter registration tables and computers will be set up for eligible residents of Maricopa County to register to vote or ask questions about the process from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. A General Bond Obligation Public Meeting is also planned in the Council Chambers this date beginning at 6 p.m. for those interested in learning more about the bond questions and the projects. This meeting will be carried on Surprise TV, streamed at www.surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv and Facebook Live at Surprise City Gov.

Dysart High Schools: The cafeterias will include voter registration tables with laptop access during each of the four high school’s lunch hours for students ages 18 and older, or school staff to register to vote or to receive information about how to register.

Ottawa University- Surprise: Voter registration tables with laptop access will be set up on campus for students ages 18 and older, or school staff to register to vote or to receive information about how to register, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

City staff and volunteers will be on hand at all locations to accept completed voter registration print forms or answer questions. Anyone who registers that day will receive an “I Registered to Vote Today” sticker!

The voter registration drives are made possible thanks to the Surprise City Clerk’s Office and generous volunteers from the League of Women Voters; Surprise Youth Council, the Surprise Chapter of Women Leading Government and students at Ottawa University.

You can learn more at: https://nationalvoterregistrationday.org/ or contact the Surprise City Clerk’s Office at 623.222.1200 or clerk@surpriseaz.gov. Have you moved or need to change party affiliation since the last election cycle? You will need to update your voter registration information either in person or by visiting www.maricopa.vote. A reminder that the City Clerk’s Office remains open for voter registration through 5 p.m., Tuesday, October 10. Office hours are Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Surprise Fire-Medical Hosting Open Houses

The Surprise Fire-Medical Department is holding a series of open houses at city fire stations. Residents can come out and meet the firefighters, tour their living and eating quarters, walk through the bays and see the fire trucks! Attendees will also get a look at the medical equipment, firefighting gear and tools used on emergency calls.

Dates for the open houses are as follows:

Saturday, September 30 – Station 304, 24900 N. 163rd Ave.
Saturday, October 14 – Station 305, 15517 N. Parkview Pl.
Saturday, November 4 – Station 306, 16645 W. Clearview Blvd.
Saturday, November 18 – Station 301, 16750 N. Village Dr East
Saturday, December 2 – Station 303, 15440 N. Cotton Ln.
Saturday, December 16 – Station 307, 16171 W. Cactus Rd.

All open houses will be conducted from 9 a.m. to noon.

For more information, please call the Surprise Fire-Medical Department administration line at 623.222.5000.

Did You Know?

Civic Center Drive is Open!

I am excited to announce Civic Center Drive, from Bell Road to Paradise Lane, is now open! The expansion of this road provides a new route to city events, public meetings, recreation amenities and the Surprise Stadium. The roadway consists of one lane in each direction and has a speed limit of 25 MPH. As development occurs adjacent to the roadway, there are plans to fully build Civic Center Drive to two lanes in each direction with a center median and sidewalks.

Volunteer Opportunities

If you are looking for meaningful ways to utilize your gifts to make a difference, Experience Matters is hosting a free information session on September 27. Experience Matters is an organization that connects talented, experienced people with non-profits. The session will be held on Wednesday, September 27 from 10 -11:30 a.m. at Surprise City Hall (Conference Room 150), 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. For more information or to register, please contact Ruby Sitea at 623.222.3242 or ruby@sitea@surpriseaz.gov.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

June 1, 2017 • Newsletter

City Updates

Truth in Taxation Notice

Many of you have been inquiring about the recent press release pertaining the Truth in Taxation Hearing Notice that was distributed on Friday, May 26 (See Press Release). The city is required by state law to post annually a Truth in Taxation Notice. The verbiage is very specific and may lead to confusion. To clarify, the city is not raising property taxes. The City Council can only set the property tax rate, which we have agreed will remain at $0.7591 per $100 of assessed limited property value for the upcoming year.

The Truth in Taxation statement is showing the results of applying the same rate to the latest assessed limited property values for the city. The average assessed limited property value, as determined by the Maricopa County Assessor, increased by 3.7%. Applying this same rate to the new assessed limited property values results in the 3.7% increase in the amount referred to the aforementioned statement. While the rate is not increasing, the assessed property values are.

You are invited to attend and speak at the June 6 Regular City Council Meeting, 6 p.m. at Surprise City Hall, should you have any comments on this topic. At that meeting, Council will vote on our intention to levy primary property taxes in the amount of $0.7591 per $100 of assessed valuation and set the property tax levy adoption for the June 20 Council Meeting.

City Development

I have also been receiving inquiries about the construction occurring at Bell Road and Civic Center Drive. The property is known as Thompson Thrift which consists of a 9-acre small retail center that will include Raising Canes and In & Out Burger.

Civic Center Drive Expansion

Road construction to extend Civic Center Drive to one lane in each direction between Paradise Lane and Bell Road is scheduled to begin next month. When complete in September 2017, the much anticipated roadway will provide direct connection to Surprise City Hall from Bell Road. As development occurs adjacent to the roadway, there are plans to fully build Civic Center Drive to two lanes in each direction with a center median and sidewalks.

Events & Meetings

Memorial Day Activities

Last weekend, I was honored to participate in multiple Memorial Day events including the following:

  • Wreath laying ceremony at the WWII Memorial outside the Northwest Regional Library coordinated by the City of Surprise Community and Recreation Services Department in partnership with American Legion Post 96 and the Marine Corps League White Tank Mountain Detachment #1246
  • Wreath laying ceremony at the Nick Bacon Memorial located at City Hall that was hosted by VFW Post 285 led by Commander Glen Stark
  • The Sun Village Memorial Day Remembrance led by resident Tomas Garcia and a host of volunteers
  • 6th Annual Memorial Day Ceremony at Radiant Church organized and coordinated by the Veterans Memorial Hall Committee led by Larry Brown and George Van de Langeryt. This particular ceremony included a tribute to Bill Lipscomb who was instrumental in the planning of ceremonies in years past.

Review of Appointed Officials’ Goals

Councilman John Williams and I met to review and discuss the FY18 goals of the City Manager, City Clerk and City Attorney. The final edition of said goals will be forwarded to the rest of City Council for review and discussion in Executive Session at the City Council meeting scheduled for Tuesday, June 6.

Surprise Police Department Celebration of Gail Kuhn

image of Officer Gail Kuhn
Community Services Officer (CSO) Gail Kuhn

The Surprise Police Department hosted a retirement celebration honoring Community Services Officer (CSO) Gail Kuhn on Wednesday, May 31. CSO Kuhn began employment with the Surprise Fire Department in January 2005 and joined the Surprise Police Department in June 2009. CSO Kuhn received many commendations throughout her employment and also received the Police Department “Civilian of the Year” award in 2012.

Mark Your Calendar

Valley Metro to Host Dial-a-Ride Transition Public Meeting

The city of Surprise, in partnership with Valley Metro, will host a public outreach meeting on Wednesday, June 14 to provide current Northwest Valley Dial-a-Ride passengers an opportunity to learn about the new transportation service models prior to the July 1 transition of Dial-a-Ride to RideChoice and Valley Metro Paratransit.

Information about the shared route Senior Bus will also be presented at the meeting. Following the presentation, city and Valley Metro representatives will be available to answer questions about the transportation services.

Individuals needing reasonable accommodations should contact the ADA coordinator at 623.222.3531 (Voice); or 623.222.3503 (TTY) at least three (3) business days prior to the meeting so arrangements can be made.

The outreach meeting will be held in the Surprise City Hall Community Room, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, on June 14 from 4:00-5:30 p.m. A brief presentation will begin at 4 p.m. Customers unable to attend the meeting can stay informed about the Dial-a-Ride service changes by visiting www.surpriseaz.gov/transportation.

Share Your Thoughts on Arts & Culture Master Plan

The city in the process of developing an Arts and Culture Master Plan that will set the standard and strategic direction for how we continue to implement and enjoy arts and culture. We are asking for your help in shaping that plan, and there are several opportunities to do that!

Please take our online survey, available at www.surpriseartsplan.com/survey, and join us for one of the following roundtable discussions:

Tuesday, June 6
1:30-3:30 p.m.
Marley Park Heritage Club, 15210 W Sweetwater Avenue

Tuesday, June 6
5:30-7:30 p.m.
Surprise City Hall – Community Room, 16000 N Civic Center Plaza

Wednesday, June 7
1:30-3:30 p.m.
Sonoran Plaza at Sun City Grand – Palms Room, 19753 N Remington Drive

Thursday, June 8
2:30-4:30 p.m.
Surprise City Hall – Community Room, 16000 N Civic Center Plaza

The survey results and public input meetings will help us create a draft Arts and Culture Master Plan that will be presented to the community, the Surprise Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission and the Surprise City Council for review and feedback.

For more information on the plan, process and timeline, please visit our Arts and Culture Master Plan webpage at www.surpriseaz.gov/artsplan. For questions, please contact Joshua Mike at joshua.mike@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.3134.

Did You Know?

Surprise Joins Heat Relief Network

The city of Surprise is a Heat Relief Network partner, providing hydration and refuge stations for those in need of a place to cool off during the hot summer months. The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) coordinates mapping of the Heat Relief Network – a network of service providers, faith-based groups, municipalities, businesses, and caring citizens mobilizing to provide hydration and heat refuge for people in need. The ultimate goal of the Heat Relief Network is to help prevent heat-related deaths. The Heat Relief Network will run from May through September.

Designated hydration stations in Surprise include the Surprise Resource Center, 12425 W Bell Road Building A Suite 124, and Surprise Fire-Medical Station #301 (FS 301), 16750 N Village Drive East. FS 301 is also a place of refuge to cool off during the day. You can help those in need of relief by donating water bottles, sun screen, sun glasses and hats at either of the heat relief locations.

City Seeking Donations for Homeless

Surprise has partnered with the Valley of the Sun United Way, the Salvation Army and Rio Salado Community College to bring Project Connect to Surprise on Wednesday, July 26 and we need your help to make this humanitarian event a success! Project Connect works with organizations to provide a broad range of vital health and human services such as applying for birth certificates, getting social security cards, haircuts, bicycle repair, and meals, in a single accessible location.

You can help by donating items listed below in one of the designated boxes at City Hall, 16000 N Civic Center Plaza; Surprise Police Department or Surprise Fire-Medical Department, 14250 W Statler Plaza; or at the Surprise Senior Center, 15832 N Hollyhock Street, by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 25.

Here are the requested donations:

  • New underwear & new socks
  • Shirts
  • Pants/shorts
  • Granola bars
  • Water bottles
  • Dog food
  • General hygiene products (toothpaste, toothbrush, combs, brushes, soap, deodorant)

Are you interested in volunteering at this deserving event? Volunteers will serve as Guest Guides and will be partnered with homeless individuals and families to lead them to and from each service professional. View the United Way Project Connect Volunteer Overview video to learn more about being a volunteer.

Guest Guides must be at least 18 years old. Morning, afternoon or full-day shifts are available; volunteers will be asked to report to the Salvation Army, 17420 Ave of the Arts, Surprise. Select a shift and sign up on the United Way Project Connect Surprise event page. Please contact Jason Hughes, jason.hughes@surpriseaz.gov if you have questions about the event.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

April 6, 2017 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Surprise Youth Council Update

Members of the Surprise Youth Council (SYC) provided an update on their recent activities. Some of their recent activities include:

  • Delivering a 7-part peer-to-peer workshop on healthy relationships and dating violence at local high schools
  • Hosting a free SAT prep class
  • Building community partnerships to provide greater mental and emotional health resources at local high schools
  • Conducting a hydration drive for people experiencing homelessness in and around the Surprise area
  • Developed a youth blog, and hosted a signature teen party on the 4th floor of the City Hall parking garage, with more than 225 high school student attendees.

SYC Kids walking parade route

The SYC is now wrapping up their most recent recruitment period and expects to add nearly a dozen new members with new ideas and a passion for community engagement. The Council will continue to prioritize projects and initiatives that have the potential for impact reaching far beyond its own membership. Council members hope that these efforts will raise the quality of life for local youth and solidify Surprise’s reputation as a truly innovative City.

City of Surprise Utility Billing Update

Assistance Finance Director Andrea Davis provided a utility billing update. Last spring, City Council unanimously voted to take over utility billing. In doing so, a new Customer Service/Utility Billing division was created within the Finance Department that generated 16 new full-time positions and utilized 6 current positions. Since November 1, when utility billing in the city began, call volumes have significantly decreased, as have average call wait times. Resolved utility billings issues have created and increase of $141,000 in monthly revenue for an annual increase of $1.7 million.

Non-residential Stormwater customers will be receiving their annual bill for the stormwater utility program that commenced in November 2016. Approximately 1,100 bills for the period November 2016 through June 2016 will be sent out in April generating $1 million in stormwater utility revenue.

City Council Meeting

Recognition of Valley Vista High School Girls Basketball Champions

City Council recognized the Valley Vista High School Girls 6A State Champion Basketball team at our Tuesday meeting. The team is led by coach Rachel Matakas who was named 6A Coach of the Year! Teammates told us that they won because they worked hard on building a true team, one that was committed to each other and understanding of each other- on and off the court. Congratulations to the team on a 26-6 winning year and a state title!

Approval of New Commission Members

City Council unanimously approved the appointments of Patrick Duffy to fill a vacancy on the Municipal Property Corporation with a term expiration of June 30, 2021 and Sally Wilson-Johnson to fill a vacancy on the Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission to complete the remainder of a term ending on June 30, 2019 due to resignation.

Central Arizona Project (CAP) and Water in Arizona

The Colorado River system has experienced drought conditions for nearly 16 years, resulting in the water level of Lake Mead to continue to be at historic lows. Water levels in Lake Mead determine how much Colorado River water Arizona receives on an annual basis. A large portion of Surprise’s renewable water supply is from the Colorado River, delivered by the Central Arizona Project (CAP) system. The Colorado River supply is of the upmost importance and it has a direct impact on the City’s water portfolio and future.

CAP Board President Lisa Atkins provided Council an update on the state of the Colorado River System, including Lake Mead and CAP. She provided a synopsis of the CAP system and the importance the CAP has on the state’s economy. A 2014 Arizona State University study found that the CAP system is responsible for 1.6 million jobs and over $1 trillion of Arizona’s gross state product. Ms. Atkins addressed the probability of water shortages on the Colorado River now and into the near future. She also identified programs that CAP, the state, and others have partnered on to ensure water levels in Lake Mead remain above shortage triggers. There is a 34% probability that a water shortage could be declared in 2018, with a similar likelihood one could occur in 2019. Shortages on the Colorado River will not affect Surprise’s water supply, but they will have direct effect on the cost to deliver water to Surprise.

Events & Meetings

Investiture of Associate Judge Catherine A. Gaudreau

I was honored to attend the investiture of Associate Judge Catherine A. Gaudreau on Wednesday, March 29 in the City Council Chambers. Judge Gaudreau was publicly sworn in by Judge Louis F. Dominguez and honored by her former colleagues prior to a reception in her honor.

Associate Judge Catherine Gaudreau with Judge Louis F. Dominguez
Associate Judge Catherine Gaudreau with Judge Louis F. Dominguez

The Park @ Surprise Groundbreaking

Vice Mayor Todd Tande, Councilman Ken Remley and I joined an excited crowd on Thursday, March 30 at the groundbreaking of The Park @ Surprise which will be located on Parkwood Drive. The Park will produce 40 new jobs and consist of 135 apartments and 20 casitas spread out over 8.5 acres with a bistro, movie theater and much more on the property.

Special City Council Meeting

City Council held a special meeting on Monday, April 3 at the Heritage Club at Marley Park. Discussion included a five-year financial forecast, possible future general obligation bond election, and consideration of our gateway and key asset areas. This was a no-vote meeting, discussion only about possible future items and issues facing our city.

Rancho Mercado Groundbreaking

William Lyon Homes hosted a groundbreaking on Tuesday, April 4. The development is located in a six square-mile area along Happy Valley Road (in the area of 147th Avenue & Jomax). The development plans to provide a variety of affordable housing options including single-family and multi-family residential, as well as retail and commercial services and much more. Rancho Mercado’s projected population is more than 12,000 residents at build out.

Mark Your Calendar

Household Hazardous Waste Collection

The city’s next Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event is 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. 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!

Event 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.

Second Sundays in the Park – This Sunday!

The City of Surprise continues the “Second Sundays in the Park” concert series on Sunday, April 9 with blues and R&B music performed by “Notes from Neptune” from 2-4 p.m. in the center of the Surprise Community Park.

The entertainment is free. Families are encouraged to bring a picnic or purchase food from the onsite vendors and enjoy the live entertainment. Surprise Community Park is located at 15953 N. Bullard Avenue. For more information, please contact the Community & Recreation Services Office at 623.222.2000 or online at www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents.

Did You Know?

2017 Surprise Retail Survey

There is still time to complete our 2017 Surprise Retail Survey! Please complete the survey to tell us what establishments you want in Surprise and to vote for your local favorites! The survey is open through April 9 and is available online at www.surpriseaz.gov/retailsurvey.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

December 22, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) continues to issue project updates for the Bell Road/Grand Avenue bridge project. Please note that the project has entered the third and final stage through late February 2017.

Work continues on the following:

  • Reconstructing eastbound Grand Avenue
  • Installing curb and sidewalk along eastbound Grand Avenue
  • Spreading landscape rock along westbound Grand Avenue
  • Paving Grand Avenue ramps

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

For more information or if you have questions:
ADOT’s project hotline: (855) 712-8530, press option #1 or the Project email: bellandgrandinfo@azdot.gov

City Council Meeting

New Associate Judge Takes Oath of Office

City Clerk Sherry Aguilar administered the Oath of Office to Catherine A. Gaudreau who was recently appointed as Associate Judge for the Surprise City Court. Ms. Gaudreau has served as an Assistant Prosecutor II with the City of Scottsdale since 2006 and was an Assistant District Attorney with the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office from 1991 to 2002. She holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Miami School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts, Political Science from Florida International University.

Associate Judge Catherine A. Gaudreau

Safe Driving Campaign

The Surprise Police Department in partnership with other city departments will kick-off a comprehensive safe driving campaign, Drive Wise, Surprise, later next month. The purpose of the campaign is to encourage and promote a culture of safe driving in Surprise; hence, the intention is an on-going and sustainable campaign.

Thompson Thrift at Surprise Center Final Plat

Community Development staff recommended the approval of a Final Plat of approximately 151.51 acres of land to allow for an 8.13 acre commercial center located at the southwestern corner of West Bell Road and North Civic Center Drive within the Surprise Center Planned Area Development (PAD). The plat consists of seven lots.

Thompson Ranch Plat map

The popular food service chain, Raising Cane’s, recently submitted a site plan review for a spot at the commercial center. After a lengthy discussion, the City Council unanimously approved the final plat.

Public Hearing Regarding Desert Oasis at Surprise PAD

City staff presented a Major Amendment to the Desert Oasis at Surprise Planned Area Development (PAD) to change the land use designation of approximately 8.08 acres of Parcel L8 from Commercial to Medium Density Residential. This proposed PAD Amendment will provide the mechanism needed to allow the applicant to combine two parcels to develop a 106 lot medium density residential subdivision.

After no public comments, City Council voted unanimously to approve the Major Amendment to the PAD.

Council Approves New Water Facility Agreement

City Council has adopted a new Special Planning Area (SPA) within the Surprise Foothills Water Supply Facility Agreement, under the condition that the developments install the infrastructure needed to support their community. The city will operate the facility immediately. The developers will reimburse the city for operational expenses incurred during the initial of development which equals the first 200 homes built. The developers recognize the importance of proper effluent management which will be addressed with the future expansion of the SPA3 Water Reclamation facility which was constructed by the developers in 2009.

Events and Meetings

Surprise Senior Services Holiday Party

The city’s Human Service and Community Vitality Department hosted a fantastic Senior Services holiday party at the ballroom of Arizona Traditions on Wednesday, December 14. Councilmembers Todd Tande, Jim Hayden and I attended the event with staff and our Senior Services patrons.

Valley Metro Meeting

The Valley Metro Board met on Thursday, December 15. During the meeting, Paul Hodgins, the interim Chief Financial Officer was named the permanent CFO. He is responsible for budget and operations, financial controls, financial reporting, ridership reporting, general accounting and revenue generation.

Mark Your Calendar

Christmas Tree Drop-off Sites

The city offers four Christmas tree drop-off locations for residents’ convenience. The lots will be open from December 26 – January 14 at the following locations:

Gaines Park
15837 N. Nash St. (north end of the parking lot)

Surprise Recreation Campus
15795 N. Parkview Pl. (across from Valley Vista High School)

Surprise Farms Softball Park
17894 Westpark Blvd. (parking lot on corner of N. Willow Canyon Rd. & W. Surprise Loop Dr. South)

Asante Community Park
16763 W. Vereda Solana Dr. (parking lot at the north end of the park)

You are asked to please remove all decorations and place the trees in the designated areas only. There is a limit of two trees per household. The city also reminds residents that not all holiday wrappings and decorations are accepted in the city’s curbside recycling program.

Holiday items acceptable for curb-side recycling:

  • Non-metallic wrapping paper / paper cardboard rolls
  • Greeting cards without shiny embellishments
  • Shopping catalogs
  • Gift boxes / shipping boxes

Holiday items which are NOT acceptable for curb-side recycling:

  • Tape and tape dispensers
  • Christmas trees
  • Christmas tree ornaments; lights; tinsel; fake snow
  • Popcorn peanuts from boxes

Sierra Verde Self Storage Citizen Outreach Meeting

City staff will host a Citizen Outreach Meeting regarding the proposed Sierra Verde Self Storage at Residence Inn (16418 N. Bullard Avenue) on Wednesday, December 28 at 6 p.m. If you’d like to see the proposed facility or have questions for our planners, this would be your chance to provide your input. Sierra Verde Self Storage is looking to build on 5.24 acres north of the Fry’s development along Litchfield Road.

Sierra Verde Storage Site Map

Veteran Job Club

The next meeting of the Veteran Job Club is scheduled for January 12, 2017 at the Surprise Resource Center located at the AZ TechCelerator, 12425 W. Bell Road, Suite 124. The Veteran Job Club provides veterans, active military and their family members with industry and career pathway knowledge to help them gain the skills they need for job employment or to pursue a new career.

Did You Know?

Free Wellness Class

Health and wellness are important for a thriving community, and the City of Surprise is hosting a series of free wellness classes to help keep residents educated and informed on a variety of topics. Coming up in the series:

Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention of Concussion – January 17, 6-7:30 p.m.

This class, taught by Dr. Nicole Oberdorf, physical therapist with Banner Health and the Banner Concussion Center, will cover common concussion symptoms, how school and life affect a patient following concussion, appropriate management of people with concussion and concussion prevention.

The class will be held in the auditorium of the Surprise Public Safety Building, located at 14250 W. Statler Plaza. For information or to register, contact Ruby Sitea at 623.222.3242 or ruby.sitea@surpriseaz.gov. Please register early since space is limited.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

October 20, 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.

Full closure scheduled on Grand Avenue next week:

  • US 60 (Grand Avenue) closed in both directions between Dysart and Litchfield roads from 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28, to 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, to paint and install pedestrian fence on the Bell Road bridge. Traffic will be detoured at Dysart and Litchfield roads.

Work continues this week on the following:

  • Installation of barrier on new bridge.
  • Reconstruction of Eastbound Grand Avenue.
  • Construction of the 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.

City Council Meeting

Disability Employment Awareness Month

Mayor Sharon Wolcott presented a proclamation recognizing October as Disability Employment Awareness month in Surprise to representatives from One Step Beyond, Benevilla and the City of Surprise Human Service & Community Vitality Department. All three are champions for people with disabilities.

Mayor Wolcott and members of Benevilla

As a country, we have made great strides since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. With that being said, the unemployment rate is more than twice as high for individuals with disabilities. I couldn’t be more proud of organizations such as Benevilla and One Step Beyond for expanding training, resources and advancing employment for people with disabilities.

District 2 Appointment

City Council unanimously approved the appointment of Jim Hayden to the vacant District 2 Council seat. Councilman Hayden took the Oath of Office immediately following the vote. He won the District 2 seat in the August Primary and will serve a four year term that will begin on January 1, 2017.

Councilmember Jim Hayden

Councilmember Hayden is a retired firefighter and served 20 years in the United States Air Force. He currently serves as Chairman of the Surprise Public Safety Retirement Board. He has been a resident of Surprise for 12 years.

Planning & Zoning Appointments

Two new appointments for the Planning & Zoning Commission were considered and approved. Dennis Bash and Gisele Norbert were unanimously appointed to fill two vacancies on the Commission with a term expiration of June 30, 2019. Congratulations and thank you for your commitment to Surprise!

FY2017 Surprise Fine Art and Wine Festival

CRS requested approval of funding, not to exceed $30,000, to the Thunderbird Artists for the Surprise Fine Art and Wine Festival. The 2016 event had 72 artists booths, 14 food/commercial booths, 6 wineries, 1 micro-brew, 1 distillery and 2 musicians. Thunderbird Artists requested Tourism Funds exclusively for marketing the Festival utilizing national publications for a 5th year event. On August 9, 2016, the Tourism Advisory Commission approved to recommend this event to Council in an amount not to exceed $30,000. The council voted to approve the funding request. The event would be held February 17-19, 2017.

Events & Meetings

Economic Development News

Caliber Collision hosted a ribbon cutting on Wednesday, October 12. The event began with a tour of their new state-of-the-art facility followed by the ribbon cutting to celebrate their opening. Welcome to Surprise, Caliber!

Retirement Ceremony for Sgt. Enemecio Felix

Sergeant Enemecio Felix was honored at a retirement ceremony in the Public Safety Auditorium on Wednesday, October 12, 2016. Sergeant Felix joined the Surprise Police Department in 2004 and retired on September 29, 2016. During his time with the Department, Enemecio served in the Field Operations Division, Criminal Investigations Division, the SWAT Team, and on special assignment with the DEA Task Force.

Sgt. Enemecio Felix and Surprise Police Chief Terry Young
Sgt. Enemecio Felix and Surprise Police Chief Terry Young

Lunchtime Theater – Noises Off

The city, in partnership with the West Valley Arts Council, Theater Works, West Valley Symphony and Phoenix Opera, kicked off the 2016-17 Lunchtime Theater season on Thursday, October 13 with two sold-out performances of “Noises Off.” The show is one of the most popular stage comedies of the last two decades.

The next Lunchtime Theater, Love is Here to Stay, is scheduled for November 10. Check the calendar at www.surpriseaz.gov for details.

Surprise Fiesta Grande

The heart of Surprise was alive on Saturday, October 15 in the city’s Original Town Site (OTS) for the annual Surprise Fiesta Grande. Residents were able to enjoy authentic Mexican food, music and a classic car show. The musical line-up included performances from Mariachi Mexico Nuevo, Mariachi Rubor, Banda La Llegadora, Group Caribe and Barrio Latino. A special thank you to our Community and Recreation Services Department for their hard work and dedication preparing for this fantastic event!

Surprise Honda Dealership Grand Opening

Council Members Todd Tande, Roland Winters and I attended the Surprise Honda dealership grand opening on Monday, October 17. The dealership opened its doors to the community in late August. The new dealership is modern and offers nice amenities including a putting green and virtual golf near their service area for those waiting for services. Welcome to Surprise! We are happy to have you here!

Honda Dealer owners cutting opening ribbon

Mom’s Fixins Grand Opening

Mom’s Fixins hosted their grand opening and ribbon cutting on Wednesday, October 19. Mom’s Fixins is located at 15226 W. Bell Road, Suite 100. The restaurant’s menu offers a wide variety of southern style meals. Welcome to Surprise!

Mom’s Fixins Grand Opening

Mark Your Calendar

City to Host Free Workshops & Career Fair

As the ramp-up for holiday sales start, the holiday hiring begins. The City of Surprise, in partnership with Arizona@Work Maricopa County and Skillful, will host three free events at the Communiversity @ Surprise, 15950 N Civic Center Plaza, to help job seekers and employers get ready for the upcoming holiday season.

  • Employment Workshop – October 31 (9am- Noon)
    • Looking for a job? Job seekers will learn tips in updating resumes, interviewing skills, social media and live networking, tools and resources to grow your skills and working a job fair.
  • Employer Workshop on Skills-based hiring – November 1 (9am-Noon)
    • Hiring? Employers will learn about innovative tools and materials available that can help with skills-based hiring, job posting techniques and workforce support.
  • Career Fair – November 2 (9am-Noon)
    • Employers and job-seekers are invited to participate in a free City of Surprise career fair! On Wednesday, November 2, local employers will be onsite to recruit new talent and promote any upcoming positions.

The employers scheduled to attend the career fair represent a variety of industries, including healthcare, education, retail and more. Representatives from Dysart Unified School District and City of Surprise Fire-Medical will be onsite too! To see the full list of employers, visit www.surpriseaz.gov/communityjobs and click on the “Job Seekers” button.

Neighborhood Grant Program Extended

The application deadline for the FY17 Neighborhood Grant Program that provides eligible neighborhoods with small grants to fund neighborhood events, functions or even some community improvements, has been extended to November 30, 2016.

City Council designated $10,000 to support the grant program to encourage community engagement and further build strong relationships with communities in Surprise.

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 2, 2017
  • Involve the benefiting neighborhood in project identification, planning and execution
  • Emphasize neighborhood self-help; or be educational, community-building, or a public physical improvement
    • Final report to due and presentation to the Sub-Committee on Community Outreach, Partnerships and Grants on June 15, 2017

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 Wednesday, November 30, 2016.

For more information about the grant, visit Neighborhood Grant Program or contact Jodi Tas, 623.222.1330.

Did You Know?

Award-Winning Comic Artist Coming to Surprise This Weekend

Local, award-winning comic magazine artist and illustrator, Steve Rude, will be at Northwest Regional Library in Surprise on October 22. This free event, presented by the library in partnership with Surprise Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission, will feature a drawing contest with prizes! Rude has drawn hundreds of comic’s greatest iconic heroes over the past two decades, and his work can be seen in much of the comic world — including Marvel Comics and DC Comics. Steve is also the co-creator of Nexus. The event will be held October 22 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Northwest Regional Library, located at 16089 N. Bullard Ave. For more information, please call the Northwest Regional Library at 602.652.3000.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

Google-acquired AZ TechCelerator client recognized

During the April 21 City Council Meeting, City Manager Bob Wingenroth and the Surprise City Council recognized Athena Wireless, the city’s first AZ Techcelerator client, for its success! The company, which develops high capacity wireless connectivity systems, was acquired by Google Inc. this year.

Athena Wireless with Mayor and Council
Athena Wireless with Mayor and Council

Council receives FY16 City Manager Recommended Budget

City Council received the $294.7 million Fiscal Year 2016 City Manager Recommended Budget, Tuesday night, which was crafted to shore up immediate operational needs, continue service increases and prepare for the future.


The recommended budget includes funding for the following:


  • Pavement Preservation
  • Maintaining mid-year Dial-A-Ride service expansion
  • Mid-decade census
  • 18 new full time positions (Public Safety, Utility Operations, general government operations)
  • Surprise Regional Library operations (as required by previous agreement with the county)
  • Continues Express Route 571
  • Vehicle replacement
  • Asset replacement


It also includes policy recommendations to increase fund balance reserves. As a result, the General Fund balance reserve will increase by over 14% from the prior fiscal year to $17 million.


“The budget focuses on shoring up operational areas in need; pursuing higher levels of maintenance and replacement of vehicles, equipment and buildings; and continuing the service level increases and capital improvement plans outlined by City Council over the last fiscal year,” says City Manager Bob Wingenroth.


Council is scheduled to take action on a tentative budget May 5, with a final budget vote on June 2.  FY16 begins on July 1, 2015.

The complete FY16 City Manager Recommended Budget is available on the homepage of www.surpriseaz.gov.

April 10, 2015 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Community Development Block Grant Update
The City of Surprise receives a yearly allotment of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The City has the ability to designate up to 85% of the grant award to fund-eligible administrative, housing and public improvement services with the intent of serving low to moderate income residents.

The Consolidated Plan is mandated, per the grant guidelines, by HUD.  This identifies funding for CDBG and other programs. It includes a five year strategic plan consisting of priorities and needs. We will be entering year one of the plan (Annual Action Plan 2015-16) beginning July 1st with our new fiscal year. The Annual Action Plan will contain specific projects. To qualify, 51% of the residents in the area must be in the low to moderate income brackets. The only area in Surprise that qualifies based on this requirement is the Original Town Site (OTS).

Last fall, surveys were conducted and those survey findings were shared with the Planning & Zoning Commission in December 2014. Priorities included youth/senior/veteran services, recreation programs, improved lighting, neighborhood clean-up and job training. Non-profit organization applications to receive funding were due in January 2015 and Planning & Zoning Commission hearings were held in February and March 2015. With City Council’s approval, the recommendations will be submitted to HUD by May 15, 2015.

Public Service Awardee recommendations included summer youth employment ($16,897), ABIL- Arizona Bridge to Independent Living ($15,580), Arizona Charter Academy ($12,539), St. Mary’s Food Bank ($11,480), Benevilla ($10,000), Tumble Weed ($8,200), Central AZ Shelter Services ($5,000) and Aid to Adoption of Special Kids ($3,000).

Water Funding Policy
Water Resource Management Director Terry Lowe presented the fourth strategic water policy, the Water Funding Policy, for review and comment. This policy brings together the first three policies, focusing the City’s position on how Surprise will invest in its water future. This specific policy identifies the different investments the City will make in water, including the expansion of its CAP allocations, the acquisition of physical water and water systems, and the purchasing of water credits. The policy then identifies who the benefiting parties of these investments are, such as Surprise residents as a whole or the Surprise water service area customers. Furthermore, the policy identifies possible funding options that would be the best match for the City to utilize in order to acquire these investments given the benefited areas. All four strategic water policies (Conservation, Use of Reclaimed, Acquisition, and Funding) will be brought before the Surprise City Council for approval at the City Council meeting scheduled for May 6.

Zoning Text Amendment – Donation Bins
Due to citizen concerns about the increasing number of donation bins located within the City and the lack of any regulations concerning said bins, City staff proposed a zoning text amendment to regulate bins for the entire City. The proposed amendment will allow for regulations. This amendment will require these facilities to register the bins with Temporary Use Permits (TUP) that would require a notarized signature of the property owner or designated representative and it would have to be applied for annually.  The bins are limited to commercial, business park, industrial, and public facility zoning districts. The amendment would also regulate the location, size, maintenance, and identification of the bins. These parameters are determined by the size of the property or commercial center. A Citizen Review Meeting has been held.  Council will vote on the amendment at the next Council meeting.

FY2016 Budget Discussion
The fiscal year 2016 budget process continued with an update of ongoing revenues and expenses, and discussion on budget recommendations regarding staffing, asset and vehicle replacement, pavement preservation, and fund balance reserve policy.  While the ongoing surplus estimate for FY2015 of $3.5 million remains unchanged from previous discussions, the projected ongoing surplus for FY2016 increased by $0.5 million to $1.3 million.

A plan was discussed to utilize this surplus to maintain transit and library services as well as shore up public safety and other general government services. There was also discussion about increasing funding levels to maintain the City’s infrastructure.  Vehicle replacement funding will nearly double to $1.9 million; critical maintenance and replacement needs across City facilities will be funded at $1.7 million, and pavement preservation funding will increase 50% to $3.0 million. A plan to increase the fund balance reserve by $1.2 million was also discussed. Much of this serves as a sneak preview of the Recommended Budget that will be presented by the City manager at the City Council Meeting on April 21.

City Council Meeting

Surprise Literacy Challenge Awards
On behalf of Vice Mayor John Williams and I, I was able to acknowledge the 4th and 5th grade winning classes of the Surprise Literacy Challenge at the Council Meeting. The top overall 4th grade classroom from Rancho Gabriela Elementary School, taught by Mrs. Wendy Housari, received their trophy as well as the top overall 5th grade class from Parkview Elementary School, taught by Ms. Marcia Guest. Congratulations!

4th grade winners
4th grade winners
5th grade winners
5th grade winners


Communiversity Update
Greg Pereira, Director at the Communiversity at Surprise and the Lifelong Learning Center at Rio Salado College, provided an update on the Communiversity. The Communiversity consists of six academic partners including the Glendale Community College, Northern Arizona University, Phoenix College, Ottawa University, The College of St. Scholastica and Rio Salado College. Over 130 courses are provided each year. Over 5,000 students have been served since 2009. The Communiversity offers certificate programs as well as Associate to Master’s Degrees.

AZ TechCelerator
The City Council approved a $500,000 renovation for the AZ TechCelerator which will help enhance the space, allow for the creation of two business programs and attract a new pipeline of start-up innovation companies. Renovation funding will come from the operating contingency within the general fund.

Since its launch in 2010, the TechCelerator has occupied the former City Hall space on Bell Road. The four campus building, owned and operated by the City, has been successful in providing innovative start-up companies with affordable space, tools and resources needed to grow their businesses. Following the upgrades, the Economic Development team will launch two new start-up business programs at this campus. The first program, Beehive, will provide home-based businesses the opportunity to operate in a professional setting for a low monthly cost. The second initiative is a soft-landing program for international businesses that would also offer affordable office space, as well as assistance navigating issues like international patents, work visas and other issues that are unique to foreign companies.

Mid-Decade Census
The City of Surprise receives approximately $36 million annually in state shared revenues. This revenue is distributed to all cities in Arizona based on population which is set based on the federal census that is completed every decade. Cities have the option to update the population with a mid-decade census that is completed by the Census Bureau and paid for by each individual city. Five cities, Buckeye, Gilbert, Goodyear, Peoria, and Queen Creek, have entered into agreements with the Census Bureau to undertake a mid-decade census on their behalf. A sixth city, Chandler, has also expressed interest in completing a mid-decade census. The City would stand to lose approximately $0.7 million per year of its portion of state shared revenues if these six cities were to complete a mid-decade census without Surprise.  If Surprise were to join these cities, its portion of state shared revenues would increase by $1.1 million per year, a net difference of $1.8 million. The results of the mid-decade census would be in effect for 5 years for a total net impact of $9.0 million. The City has received an estimate from the Census Bureau that it will cost $2.7 million to complete a mid-decade census.  That investment would be re-paid in 1.5 years and result in a total net gain of $6.3 million over a five year period. For these reasons, the City of Surprise will be going forward with a mid-decade census that is set to begin on October 1st of the calendar year.

Zoning Text Amendment pertaining to Assisted Living Facilities
Planner II Robert Kuhfuss requested Council approval on the proposed Zoning Text Amendment pertaining to Assisted living Facility (ORD 2015-07). After much review of the industry standards and the HOA Concerns expressed through the stakeholder process, he reiterated the Planning & Zoning Commission’s recommendations to delete the 120-day rule and other questions posed by City Council during a past work session. The Council unanimously voted to approve the amendment.

Events & Meetings

Surprise Citizen Corp
On April 2, I attended the newly revised Surprise Citizens Corps Council (SCCC).  CJ Anderson, who has 37 years of risk management experience, attended the meeting and spoke to the SCCC to provide guidance on how to establish goals for the coming year so the SCCC can actively offer disaster preparedness programs to benefit the community. She is currently the President of the Arizona Regional Citizens Corp and President/CEO of Empty Bowl Pet Food Pantry Disaster Service, and she has offered to help guide the SCCC as we move forward toward initiating our own City organization.

The SCCC is looking for active community volunteers who want to help work with government organizations like FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and ready.gov which offers emergency preparedness guidance from the US Department of Homeland Security. For more information, please contact Fire Captain Renee Hamblin at 623.222.5000.

CRS Spring Eggstravaganza
The Annual Spring Eggstravaganza this year was another fantastic success thanks to the efforts of the families that attended, the volunteers that helped and our wonderful team of employees at CRS. Community and Recreation Services Director Mark Coronado estimates there were over 14,000 people in attendance. The Easter egg hunters were treated to 250 pounds of eggs and candy. The event was held on Saturday, April 4. It is always a pleasure to attend.

Eggstravaganza 2015

Service Anniversary
Linda Rodriguez, Surprise City Court Administrator, celebrated her 25 years of service with the City on Tuesday, April 7. Congratulations, Linda, for all you’ve done and all you continue to do for our City!

Linda Rodriguez with Judge Louis Dominguez
Linda Rodriguez with Judge Louis Dominguez
City Manager Bob Wingenroth with Council Members Villanueva, Winters and me
City Manager Bob Wingenroth with Council Members Villanueva, Winters and me


Celebrate Arizona Northwest Valley
Councilman Jim Biundo, Councilman Roland Winters and I attended the “Celebrate Arizona Northwest Valley” event on Wednesday, April 8.  Several business, civic and community leaders were there, as well as other elected officials from Glendale, Peoria, Sun City, Sun City West, Youngtown, El Mirage and Wickenburg. This event began three years ago as a way to continue dialogue to find new ways to work together to make Arizona a better place to live and work.

Did You Know?

Your Input is Requested
Residents can now provide online input regarding potential capital improvement projects that are currently under review by the City’s Capital Improvement Funding Exploratory Committee. This Committee is charged, in part, with determining which projects should be included if the City considers a future bond initiative as a funding source. They have asked for you to get involved by sharing your thoughts on what matters most to you.

This Committee is looking at potential project lists during this process. You can review the same lists online at www.surpriseaz.gov/cife and provide comments. All comments will be shared by the Committee. Additionally, please feel free to attend the meetings or watch them live on Surprise 11 or at www.surpriseaz.gov/surprise11. Future meeting dates will be posted on the City’s online calendar.

Surprise Police join Nextdoor.com
Last week, the Surprise Police Department joined Nextdoor.com. Nextdoor.com is a free, private social network specifically designed for neighborhoods to build stronger and safer communities. It also allows for police to communicate online with the neighborhoods they serve. Currently, there are 58 local neighborhoods involved with over 3,000 registered members in Surprise. If you haven’t joined yet, you may want to consider it!

Mark your Calendars

Household Hazardous Waste Collection
The next household hazardous waste collection event will take place on Saturday, April 11. This event is free and for Surprise residents only. Proof of residency is required. The drop-off location is the Public Works Maintenance Yard at 13433 W. Foxfire Drive (from Bell Road, turn north on Dysart and follow signs to the entrance off Foxfire). The hours of drop-off are 8 a.m. until 12 noon.

For more information or a list of acceptable items, please visit our calendar section of www.surpriseaz.gov or call 623.222.6000.

Movie Night
The City of Surprise presents Movie Night at the Surprise Stadium on Saturday, April 11, featuring “The Boxtrolls” (rated PG). This event is sponsored by Coulter Nissan and the admission is free. Gates open at 6 p.m. and the movie will begin at 6:30 pm. Ice chests and lawn chairs are not permitted so bring your blankets!

Movie Night April 2015

Second Sunday in the Park
Come out and join the music at the next Second Sunday in the Park this Sunday, April 12. The free event will occur at the Surprise Community Park, 15953 N. Bullard Avenue, from 2 until 4 pm.

Surprise Swap Meet
The Surprise Swap meet is next Saturday, April 18 from 8 am until 1 pm at the Surprise Aquatic Center Parking Lot!

Contact Me

Shop Surprise

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

Ask a Question

January 23, 2015 • Newsletter

City Council Meeting

City Council Work Session
Staff discussed the progress and future plans of a Boys & Girls Club to serve the children of our community.  Youth Services Administrator Paul Bernardo provided a history of the Boys & Girls Club organization and discussed the measurable value it has created over its 150 year national history.  This organization prides itself on the comprehensive programs it offers and the success it has had on millions of children’s lives.

City Manager Bob Wingenroth and CRS Director Mark Coronado discussed the proposed location of the Club, which is the Villanueva Recreation Center.  Mike Boyle, Boys & Girls Club Steering Committee Chair, further elaborated on the Steering Committee, the members of the Committee and the purpose of the Committee.

City Council Meeting
It was exciting to recognize the first graduate from the city’s business incubator at the January 20 City Council Meeting.  MD24 House Call moved into our AZ TechCelerator in 2010 with just three employees and the idea of providing people with comprehensive at-home health care options. Today, the business has more than 100 employees and has moved into a 10,000 sq. ft. corporate office space within the city. This is a great example of why the AZ TechCelerator was started and how it can help to foster success!

MD24 House Call

Water Resource Management Director Terry Lowe presented on the Central Arizona Water Conservation District (CAWD) 4 cent property tax extension.  CAP (Central Arizona Project) is a regional and renewable solution for water to central Arizona and most municipalities have taken advantage of CAP in some form.  Right now, every property owner pays a 4 cent tax per $100 of assessed value.  This is used for operating and managing the CAP facility, federal debt repayment and storage of unused Colorado River waters.  If the tax is extended, there will be no effect on the consumer or property owner.

Events & Meetings

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce
The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce held their monthly breakfast meeting on Tuesday, January 20 at the Colonnade.  Sintra Hoffman with the Arizona Department of Transportation provided the attendees with a presentation, “Advancing Arizona’s Economy – Transportation is the Road to Prosperity.” ADOT has initiated a 20 year plan for the key corridors, which include I-10, I-17 and I-11.  With regards to the Bell Road/Grand Avenue corridor project, RFQ’s (request for qualifications) are due in February and construction is expected to begin in December 2015.  The project should be completed in 2017.

Planning Meeting for Development Subcommittee
Mayor Wolcott, Councilman Todd Tande and I met with staff to discuss the role and goals of the Development Subcommittee this year.

Heritage District Overlay Meeting
The City hosted a public meeting to discuss the Heritage District Overlay on Wednesday, January 21 at the Surprise Senior Center. We asked for public input to help identify opportunities to make the Original Town Site a vibrant place to live, work and visit. The City would like to preserve the OTS history and culture while encouraging new economic growth.

This meeting was very well attended and City staff and the City Council received robust feedback.  If you missed the meeting, there is still an opportunity to share your thoughts. By completing an online survey, you can help determine the types of facilities, services and elements you would like to have in the OTS. The survey is open through February 2, 2015 and is available here: www.surpriseaz.gov/heritageoverlay.

Mountain Vista HOA Meeting
I attended the Mountain Vista HOA quarterly meeting on Wednesday, January 21, 2015.  There were 15 residents in attendance.  Some of the subjects discussed included a drainage improvement project, pre-emergent application, a program to rejuvenate and cut-back bushes, and a tree trimming schedule.  A few city concerns were expressed to me, so I will follow-up with those residents to determine what corrective action can be taken.  The spring party is scheduled for February 28.

Valley Metro RPTA Meeting
I attended the Valley Metro RPTA meeting on Thursday, January 22. The Valley Metro board approved a $572,349 budget amendment to help fund Northwest Valley Dial-A-Ride, which services the residents of Surprise, Youngtown, El Mirage, Sun City and Sun City West. A portion of those funds will help subsidize our recent increase in Dial-A-Ride daily trip caps. You can get more information about the city’s Dial-A-Ride program at www.surpriseaz.gov/dialaride.

Did You Know?

ADOT Open House
ADOT will host an Open House at Sun City Grand regarding the 303/Grand Avenue traffic interchange on Tuesday, January 27 in the Sonoran Plaza-Sage Brush Room at 19753 N. Remington Drive from 9 am until 11 am.

Citizen Patrol
The Surprise Police Department will be hosting a Citizens Patrol volunteer recruitment meeting on January 28 for anyone interested in learning more about the program or for any adult resident who may be interested in joining.  The meeting will occur from 6 until 9 pm in the Public Safety Auditorium, 14250 W. Statler Plaza.  Following the presentation, there will be a tour of the police facility and a demonstration by the Surprise Police Department SWAT team.  For more information, please contact the Surprise Citizens Patrol at 623.222.4277.

Amuse Bouche
Great Food Good Neighbors (GFGN) has launched its first official season as a 30 minute TV show featuring local restaurants throughout Arizona.  Surprise restaurant Amuse Bouche will be shown on an upcoming episode as filming occurred on January 14.  The show airs on AZTV Channel 7 (Cox Cable 13) on Saturdays at 11:30 am.

Amuse Bouch

Trends show use of public transportation is up
At the Valley Metro meeting on January 22, I received an interesting trend report that shows transit boarding in Maricopa County increased 35 percent between 2003 and 2012, compared to a 14 percent increase in our peer regions (which includes Denver, Portland, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, Dallas, Minneapolis, San Diego and Houston) during that same time. Check out the chart below for additional insights:

ValleyMetro National Peer Region Trends 2003-2012

Contact Me

Vice Mayor Skip Hall
Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975
Email: skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov

Ask a Question

January 9, 2015 • Newsletter

City Council Meeting

We held our first regular City Council meeting of the New Year on Tuesday, January 6.  City Council appointed District 3 Councilmember John Williams as Vice Mayor.  Vice Mayor Williams has served District 3 since 2008, and he previously served as Vice Mayor in 2012.  Vice Mayor Williams is a teacher, parent, husband and public servant who brings community perspective and passion to his commitment to serve as a voice for all residents.  It will be a pleasure to work with him in this capacity.  Per City code, City Council must select a new Vice Mayor to serve on an annual basis no later than January 30 each year. It was my honor and pleasure to serve all the residents in Surprise during my Vice Mayor appointment last year.

In support of the City’s focus on water resources and the complexities of appropriate water management, along with the support of the Water Planning Subcommittee, Director of Water Resource Management Terry Lowe recommended a new position.  The new position will be devoted to management of the City’s water portfolio as a Water Resource Portfolio Manager.  It will be funded from the Water and Waste Water Enterprise funds.  Sustainable management of the City’s water resources is vital to the growth and vitality of Surprise.  City Council unanimously approved the position.

Events & Meetings

Police Retirement
Councilman Todd Tande and I attended the retirement gathering for Surprise Police Officer Jacob Wagemann on December 30.  Officer Wagemann served our City for over 7 years.  Please join me in wishing Officer Wagemann a healthy and successful retirement.  We are grateful for his service to Surprise!

Chief Frazier with Officer Wagemann
Chief Frazier with Officer Wagemann

City Clerk Celebrates 25 Year Anniversary
A small gathering was held in the Mayor’s Atrium at City Hall on January 5, 2015 to celebrate Sherry Aguilar’s 25 year work anniversary.  City Council was present to congratulate Sherry and present her with an engraved sculpture to commemorate her years of service.  Sherry began her career with the City in 1990 as a receptionist.  She served as the Personnel Director from 1992 until 1996 then as the City Clerk from 1996 until now.  Thank you, Sherry, for your hard work and dedication to the City!

City Council with City Clerk Aguilar
City Council with City Clerk Aguilar

Boys & Girls Club Meetings
Councilman Jim Biundo and I continue to meet with possible donors for the Surprise Boys & Girls Club. City staff will provide City Council with a briefing of the Boys & Girls Club status at the next City Council Work Session on Tuesday, January 20, 2015 at 4 p.m.

Campaign to End Childhood Hunger
I was honored to be asked by Arizona Fair Share Education Fund to acknowledge a volunteer, Les Glascoe, as he received a “Community Hero Award.”  Mr. Glascoe is a resident of our city and he has been volunteering at the Kid’s Café of St. Mary’s Food Bank since 2011.  He has worked tirelessly for this organization in several different areas, and he is very passionate about his role to help alleviate childhood hunger.

Councilman Hall with Les Glascoe and others
Councilman Hall with Les Glascoe and others


AZ Charter Academy Spelling Bee
Arizona Charter Academy held a spelling bee on Thursday, January 8.  I was asked to judge the spelling bee, and the talent was quite impressive!

AZ Charter Academy spelling bee judges
AZ Charter Academy spelling bee judges


Mark Your Calendars

National Anthem Performers
The City is looking for experienced vocalists and musicians to perform the National Anthem at Surprise Stadium for the 2015 Cactus League Spring Training games beginning March 4 through April 1.  To be considered, performers must submit audio recordings via DVD or audio CD to the Community and Recreation Services office, located at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue, or by mp3 or YouTube link to Cecilia.covarrubio@surpriseaz.gov by January 12, 2015.  All submissions must include the performer’s name, address, phone number and email address, along with their rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.

Spring Training
The City of Surprise welcomes you to a series of celebrations at the Surprise Recreation Campus during the 2015 Spring Sports Festival.   To kick off one of sport entertainment’s biggest weekends, the Surprise Stadium will play host to the 14th Annual Celebrity Flag Football Challenge® Saturday, January 31. This event will feature an all-star lineup guaranteed to bring out the ultimate football fan in everyone.

February brings collegiate baseball’s finest to Surprise Stadium for the Spring Training Baseball Classic Feb. 13-16 hosting Oregon State, Northwestern University, Michigan State and University of New Mexico; the BIG 12 – PAC 12 Spring Training Baseball Challenge follows Feb. 19-22 hosting Oregon State, Oklahoma State, Utah, Kansas, Kansas State and Washington State. It’s a showcase preview to the NCAA Collegiate baseball pre-season right here in Surprise, Arizona.

Join Mayor Wolcott and the Surprise City Council on Monday, February 23 at the 13th Annual Mayor’s Welcome Back Luncheon, where guests will have an exclusive opportunity to hear about the upcoming Spring Training season directly from team staff and members of both organizations.  Tickets for this event are now available for purchase at the Surprise Community and Recreation Services Office located at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue, Monday-Friday 8:00a.m.-5:00p.m. The Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals will be taking take the field for the 2015 Spring Training season here in Surprise. The season will begin Wednesday, March 4 with the 13th Annual Surprise Sundancer Charity Game featuring the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers. The Surprise Stadium will continue to celebrate the American League Champions as they prepare and work their way back into the 2015 MLB Post-Season through a series of promotional events: Saturday, March 7th- Kansas City Royals American League Championship Day Celebration, Sundays- Military Appreciation Day and Mondays- Senior Day at the Ball Park.

Be a part of the 2015 Spring Sports Festival and purchase your tickets at the Surprise Stadium Box Office – now open Monday-Friday 10:00a.m-5:00p.m., Saturdays 10:00a.m.-2p.m. and Sundays, beginning Jan. 25, 10a.m.-2p.m. For more information regarding events and ticket promotions, please visit www.surprisespringtraining.com or contact the box office at 623-222-2222.

Did You Know?

Dial-A-Ride The City has temporarily increased the number of daily Dial-A-Ride trips and expanded service hours.  The daily cap for weekday trips will increase from 135 to 140 one-way trips.  Saturday service will increase from 20 to 30 one-way trips per day.  This expanded service will run through June 30, 2015.  Additionally, service hours will be extended for all service days.  The new service hours will be Monday through Saturday from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Spring Training – Senior Days This season, we will have Senior Days on Mondays (March 9, 16, 23, 30).  Stop by the box office for 2-for-1 tickets sponsored by AARP!  We hope to see you there!  Senior Days tickets will be available beginning February 1, 2015.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question