Tag Archives: City Manager Bob Wingenroth

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

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 17, 2015 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Ice Cream Social
City staff was treated to an ice cream social which included an awards presentation by City Manager Bob Wingenroth. Mr. Wingenroth honored stand-out employees in several categories including Peer-to-Peer, the City Manager’s Service Award, and the City Manager’s Excellence Award.

Ms. Andrea Villagomez, Finance Department, received the Peer-to-Peer Award for being recognized by her peers for going above and beyond in her duties as an Accounting Technician and David Kohlbeck, Public Works, received the City Manager’s Service Award for his diligent work to help get an alternate bus route implemented by Valley Metro after residents expressed their needs for it.  Lastly, the City Manager’s Excellence Award was received by Police Officers Raymond Johnson, Antonio Martinez and Jason Lewis, Fire Captains Matt Clarke and Wade Rodgers, Fire Engineers Nathan Perkins and Tracy Wright, and Firefighters Ronnie Newman, Michael Naehrbass, Arthur Casillas and David Heiselman.  These Public Safety heroes responded to a call on January 2 where a tractor had overturned in a water-filled ditch and a man was trapped inside the completely submerged vehicle. They were persistent in their efforts to free him, despite difficult circumstances while placing the needs of the victim high above their own.

Andrea Villagomez
City Manager with Andrea Villagomez
David Kohlbeck
City Manager with David Kohlbeck


City Managers Excellence Award winning Public Safety crew
City Managers Excellence Award winning Public Safety crew


Spring Fling @ Kingswood Parke
Kingswood Parke HOA hosted a spring fling on Saturday, April 11. The festivities included free bouncy rides, train rides, face painting, barbeque food and a concert by ABBA FAB. The event was well attended and a good time was had by all!

Spring Fling Kingswood 2015ABBA FAB cover band

Kingswood Parke HOA event

Veteran Initiatives Meeting
Mayor Wolcott and I met with City Manager Bob Wingenroth and Department of Human Service and Community Vitality Director Michael Celaya to discuss the City’s overall approach and strategy to introduce Veteran’s initiatives.

2015 Arizona Youth of the Year Legislative Breakfast
I attended the 2015 Arizona Youth of the Year legislative breakfast with Councilman Todd Tande on Tuesday, April 14. Nine finalists for the 2105 Arizona Youth of the Year award were introduced. Finalists and guests were recognized by Governor Doug Ducey and Attorney General Mark Brnovich.  Several other State Legislators and local elected officials also attended.

Ms. Goel Ellis, 18, is an 11 year member from the Boys & Girls Club of Tucson.  She began her Club journey at the age of 7 and later became President of the Junior Leader program.  Even while dealing with two parents at home, both fighting serious illnesses, Goel remained committed to active leadership in the club’s programs.  Goel has excelled academically, completing her coursework at Southern Arizona Community Academy seven months prior to her expected graduation date.  She plans on attending the University of Arizona as she looks toward a degree in public administration.

WESTMARC Economic Development Summit
WESTMARC held their West Valley 2015 Economic Development Summit – Beyond Shovel Ready, at the Wigwam Resort on Thursday, April 16. The focus of the Summit was mainly the site selection process. The City of Surprise Economic Development Manager Mike Hoover was the moderator on the site selection process panel with Kevin Sullivan, Senior Vice President of the Arizona Commerce Authority and Chris Camacho, President & CEO of Greater Phoenix Economic Council. Mr. Hoover was also moderator for the site selection factors & project example panel with Mr. Valentin Hernandez, VP of Business Attraction at Arizona Commerce Authority and Chris Petroff, Senior VP of Business Development with Greater Phoenix Economic Council.

Kristen Stephenson, Economic Development Administrator with the City of Glendale and Mike Hoover also spoke about site selector tool called, West Valley PRO. This searchable tool would integrate census data and U.S. Department of Labor stats, broken down by occupation, which is quantitative data needed by companies looking to locate in Surprise or the West Valley in general.

WESTMARC ED Summit Panelists, including City of Surprise Economic Development Manager Mike Hoover
WESTMARC ED Summit Panelists, including City of Surprise Economic Development Manager Mike Hoover


Did You Know?

Surprise Police Launch “Hot Cars Can Kill” Campaign
The Surprise Police Department has launched a “Hot Cars Can Kill” campaign to help remind residents of the deadly dangers of leaving kids and pets in the car. According to the National Highway Safety Association, heatstroke is one of the leading causes of death among children. Sadly, 606 children died due to heatstroke between the years of 1998-2013.  Of the 606 deaths, 52% were forgotten in vehicles.

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 MVD Office – Temporarily Closed
As a friendly reminder, the Surprise MVD office has been temporarily closed for interior renovation. The office is anticipated to reopen this summer with nearly three times the interior capacity, therefore tripling the customer waiting area capacity and offering customers more efficient and comfortable service at the office. A self-serve kiosk has been placed in the Surprise City Court building, which will be able to a selection of MVD services. To learn more, visit http://bit.ly/1MAYM9k.

Grand Avenue Restrictions Saturday due to Construction
Grand Avenue (US 60) will be narrowed to one lane in both directions between Loop 303 and 163rd Avenue in Surprise from 3 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 18. Please allow extra travel time and consider alternate routes.

Volunteers for Clean-Up Event
The City is recruiting volunteers to help with a park clean-up event on Saturday, May 2 from 7:30 am until 12 noon. Volunteers will help with trash pick-up and general landscaping at Lizard Run Park which is located directly adjacent to Bicentennial Park, 16705 N. Nash Street.

Registration is not required for this event. Volunteers are asked to meet at the Nash Street entrance of Bicentennial Park, under the ramadas. Gardening tools and gloves will be provided, although in limited quantities, so please feel free to bring your own and help if you can. Breakfast and lunch will be provided to the volunteers.

For more information, please contact Jason Hughes at 623.222.3239.

Mark Your Calendars

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

2015 Recycle Arts & Youth Festival
WHAM Art Association is hosting the second annual Recycle Arts and Youth Festival on Saturday, April 18 from 10 am until 7 pm.  The day’s events include a teen skateboard painting project and the Eco Chic Fashion Show, a creative display that underscores the importance and possibilities of working with reusable material.  Additionally, there will be a recycled art exhibit, food vendors and much more.  The event will be held at WHAM, 16560 N. Dysart Road.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question


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

November 14, 2014 • Newsletter

City Council Meeting

City Council met with Commissioners from the Planning & Zoning Commission on Saturday, November 8th in the Community Room of City Hall for our 2014 Annual Summit.  After a welcome and introductions by City Manager Bob Wingenroth, City Attorney Misty Leslie provided a legal perspective of the Summit and the requirements as stipulated in the Surprise General Plan 2035.

City Council preparing for Summit
City Council preparing for Summit


Attendees at 2014 Annual Summit
Attendees at 2014 Annual Summit

Summit Rick Buss, Assistant City Manager, provided highlights of the General Plan monitoring report which provided updates on the current population in the City (123,682), growth projections, employment and much more.  Additionally, the future of Village Planning was discussed.  Department Directors provided work plan recommendations regarding future year initiatives as it relates to the General Plan.

Events & Meetings

Community Conversations
On Thursday, November 6th, I attended a Community Conversation with Mayor Wolcott at Dysart Unified School District offices.  Approximately 12 residents were in attendance and topics included the Bell/Grand Avenue corridor project, traffic light timing at a few intersections, arts and its role in the City and possibilities for a downtown area.

Canyon Ridge School –  A Veteran’s Day Commemoration Canyon Ridge School hosted a Veteran’s Day Commemoration titled “A Celebration of American Heroes” on Friday, November 7th.  Councilman Todd Tande, Councilman Roland Winters and I attended this special tribute to our nation’s heroes.  The special guest speaker was Dr. Joseph Cuffari, Policy Advisor for Governor Jan Brewer and the guest of honor was Dennis Grau of VFW Post 10695 who was recently inducted into the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame. Thank you to Dr. Shelley Isai, Christopher Raso and Margaret Spiglemore for including the City Council in this event.

Canyon Ridge Elementary School
Decorations at Canyon Ridge
Dennis Grau, AZ Hall of Fame
Dennis Grau, AZ Hall of Fame
Mr. Raso, Social Studies Teacher
Mr. Raso, Social Studies Teacher








United States Marine Corp Birthday Celebration
I was invited to speak at the Camino Del Sol USMC Birthday/Veteran’s Day celebration.  This is an annual event hosted by Karen Darby-Ritz, whose family owns the Camino Del Sol Funeral Home in Sun City West.  The United States Marine Corp celebrated their 239th birthday on November 10th, 2014.

Veterans George Van de Langeryt, Larry Brown and Vice Mayor Skip Hall
Veterans George Van de Langeryt, Larry Brown and I


Karen Darby-Ritzh, George Van de Langeryt and Vice Mayor Skip Hall
Karen Darby-Ritzh, George Van de Langeryt and I

Sun Village Veteran’s Day Parade
The community of Sun Village held their Annual Veteran’s Day Salute and parade on November 11th.  Participants in the parade included Miss Arizona, City Manager Bob Wingenroth, Police Chief Michael Frazier, Fire-Medical Chief Tom Abbott and me.  The band from Willow Canyon High School performed for over 500 people who were in attendance.  Thank you to Tomas Garcia for planning and coordinating the event.
I held the POW Flag at the event.

Vice Mayor Skip Hall held the POW Flag at the Sun Village Veterans Day Parade
I held the POW Flag at the event

Nick Bacon Memorial  Unveiling
Visitors to Surprise City Hall can now enjoy a new memorial in honor of Medal of Honor Recipient Staff Sergeant Nick D. Bacon, who also served as our Surprise Town Manager in the late 1980’s.

Hundreds of people, including the City Council, Congressman Trent Franks, Secretary of State Ken Bennett, Representative Debbie Lesko, Representative Rick Gray and many others, gathered together at sunset on November 11th as the memorial was unveiled by Mayor Wolcott and I.  A special thank you to Larry Brown, Aaron Bacon for their planning efforts with this event and to Chet Chetkauskas for his outstanding job as the emcee.  I’d also like to thank Sherry Aguilar and the City Clerk’s office, the VFW Nick D. Bacon Post 285, the Marine Corps League White Tank Mountain Detachment #1246 of Surprise and the West Valley Pops Band for all of your work to make this touching tribute such a success!

Mayor Wolcott and Vice Mayor Hall at unveiling
Mayor Wolcott and I at unveiling
West Valley Pops Band
West Valley Pops Band
Nick D Bacon Memorial
Nick D Bacon Memorial






Boys & Girls Club Discussions
During the week, I attended several meetings to discuss a Boys & Girls Club in Surprise.  On Wednesday, November 12th, Councilman Jim Biundo, Community and Recreation Services Director Mark Coronado, Youth Services Administrator Paul Bernardo and I met with residents and former Boys & Girls Club affiliates Mike Boyle and Jim Conner.  There are two directions the City can take to start a Boys & Girls Club.  We can either fall under the umbrella of an existing Boys & Girls Club organization or establish a charter club on our own.  Our group is discussing these options as the City continues to consider a Club in the area.

Community Initiatives Meeting
Mayor Wolcott, Councilman Todd Tande, City Manager Bob Wingenroth, Intergovernmental Relations Director Michael Celaya and I discussed the For Our City Initiative and discussed a plan to move forward.  This particular initiative will fall under the Human Services Department and there are plans to get the IT Department and our Webmaster involved.  Veteran’s Services will also fall under this Department.  Staff will be able to assist Veterans by establishing a referral network.  We also discussed a City of Surprise Veteran’s Day Parade.  The Mayor and I plan to present the idea to the Council.

Mark Your Calendars

Surprise Super Swap Meet
The fall Surprise Super Swap Meet will be held on Saturday, November 15th.  This popular community-wide garage sale, sponsored by the Surprise Community and Recreation Services Department and the Surprise Senior Center Council, will be held in the Surprise Aquatic Center parking lot at 15831 N. Bullard Avenue from 8 am until 1 pm.  Parking and admission is free.

Surprise Super Swap Meet

Surprise Health and Wellness Fair
The Surprise Health and Wellness Fair will be held on Saturday, November 15th from 9 am until 12 noon.  The Fair will be held at the Banner Health Center at 13995 W. Statler.  There will be several health screenings, demos, clinics and displays.  This event is free to the public.  We hope to see you there!

Did You Know?

Surprise Citizens Patrol – National Recognition
The Surprise Police Department Citizens Patrol was recently awarded Honorable Mention by the International Association of Chiefs of Police for its outstanding work assisting the Surprise Police Department in ensuring the safety of our citizens and visitors.  This all-volunteer organization has provided more than 255,158 hours of service since its inception in 1997.  In 2013 alone, the members of this organization provided more than 29,709 hours of service and support to our Police Department therefore allowing the sworn personnel more freedom to answer calls for service.

Thank you to all of our Surprise Citizens Patrol on this national recognition.  If you are interested in joining or learning more about this organization, please visit their website at www.surpriseaz.gov/citizenspatrol. You can also call 623.222.4277.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

October 31, 2014 • Newsletter

Events & Meeting

Surprise Employee Fall Fest
The Employee Appreciation Committee (EAC) hosted a fall fest for Surprise employees on Thursday, October 23. The fest included scarecrow, costume and pie eating contests and pizza.  Seven departments participated in the scarecrow contest but the IT team won.  The costume contest consisted of two categories – individual and group.  Barry Hegrenes, Risk Manager, won the individual prize for his Alice Cooper costume and our CRS Department won the group prize dressed as the IT Department.

While the fall fest provided fun and networking, our City Manager Bob Wingenroth utilized the opportunity to recognize several outstanding employees.  He distributed two City Manager’s Excellence Awards.  Police Officer Wendy Klarkowski received an award for her exemplary service to the citizens of Surprise.  As a School Resource Officer for Shadow Ridge High School, she developed and implemented a program that challenges students to make positive life decisions.  She was also recognized for helping an at-risk resident with utility bills so the resident could pay, out of her own pocket, for her much needed medication.  The second award was presented to Victim Advocate and City volunteer, Barbara Jones along with Sergeant Mark Ortega and Communications Technician Amanda Boyer, who were able to take immediate action that likely saved a woman’s life.  Ms. Jones received a call from a distressed female who informed Ms. Jones that her boyfriend was holding her against her will.  Ms. Jones asked the right questions and expeditiously sought Sergeant Ortega.  Sergeant Ortega and Ms. Boyer found that the cell phone was active and stationary in a remote, wooded location.  Because of the relentless investigative follow-up of these three individuals, the woman was safely rescued from a harmful situation and reunited with family and friends.

The City Manager’s Public Safety Service Award was presented to the Surprise Fire Medical Department crew of Engine 302A and Battalion 305A.  Wes Odom, Steve Spirlong, Chris Gouso, Abram Fogelson, Dan Gromer and Donny Martinez went above and beyond after responding to a recent medical emergency.  The crew arrived at a Surprise residence to transport a woman to the hospital.  The patient had fractured her back in the process of moving to the City and she and her daughter were concerned about unloading the remainder of their furniture and returning the rented moving truck.  Without being asked, the crew arranged for an extension on their moving truck and returned to the home to unload all of the boxes and furnishings, including assembling the necessary furniture.  When completed, the crew returned the rental truck and offered the family a number to call them if they needed further assistance (on their own time).

Mr. Wingenroth also presented a Peer to Peer Award.  This Award was given to Tito Solis from Public Works.  Tito was nominated by his peers for his work ethic, commitment, teamwork and dedication.

I am so proud of these individuals who represent our City so well and I’m honored to witness their well-deserved recognitions!  Congratulations to all of them for their awards and thank you for your service to our citizens!

Costume WinnerCostume WinnersAward Winners

Harvest Fest
The Surprise Community Garden, located at 16752 N. Greasewood Street, hosted an October Harvest Fest on Friday, October 24.  The Surprise Community Garden is a Community for All Ages (CFAA) program led by Benevilla in partnership with the City of Surprise and Rio Salado College.  The Fest included pumpkins, music, crafts, gifts and much more. Afterwards, the Jan Petrie Band performed ‘60s and ‘70s rock at Birt’s Bistro.

The Surprise Community Garden
Frank & Rosemary Lieberman

Surprise G.A.I.N. Night
Many people from the community came together for G.A.I.N. Night on Saturday, October 25 at Surprise 8 Acre Park.  The Surprise Police and Fire-Medical Departments were well represented with K-9 demonstrations, a SWAT Team display, a medical helicopter, bicycle safety tips and much more.

Mayor Wolcott and Vice Mayor Hall at G.A.I.N.
Mayor Wolcott and I at G.A.I.N
Medical Helicoper
Medical Helicopter was a hit with attendees!

Community & Recreation Services Commission Meeting
The Community & Recreation Services Commission met on Monday, October 27.  An update on the Surprise Farms and Veramonte Parks was provided.  There was also a presentation by Site Design Group, Inc. on skateboard concepts.  Wayne Turner was elected as Chair of the Commission and Michael Planeta was elected as Vice-Chair, both through June 30, 2015.

Arizona Charter Academy Ribbon Cutting
I attended the Arizona Charter Academy (ACA) ribbon cutting on Wednesday, October 29.  ACA now has a new 26,000 square foot high school building with 13 classrooms, 2 science labs, a dance room, library, video recording studio, front office, 2 conference rooms, office space and many more improvements to the campus.

ACA Ribbon Cutting
ACA Staff at Ribbon Cutting

ACA is a K-12 school in Surprise with more than 700 students.  The school went from a “D” to an “A” rating in only 3 years under the leadership of the elementary school principal, Heather Henderson.  Because of her hard work, leadership and dedication, Ms. Henderson was recently awarded the Transformational Leader of the Year Award by the Arizona Charter Schools Association. Congratulations!

Heather Henderson, ACA Principal
Heather Henderson, ACA Principal

Mark Your Calendars

USTA Tennis Tournaments
The USTA League Tennis National Championships will be held at the Surprise Tennis and Racquetball Complex over the next few weekends.  This upcoming weekend, the 55 and Over 6.0 and 8.0 National Championships will occur.  We are expecting 750 total players, all from out of town and they are expected to utilize at least 400 hotel rooms.  There will be another tennis tournament the weekend of November 7-9 for the 55 and Over National Championships followed by a 40 and Over Mixed Doubles National Championships the weekend of November 14-16.  The last tournament will be held the weekend of November 21-23 for 40 and Over 7.0 and 9.0 Mixed Doubles National Championships.  The USTA National Selection Tournament for Boys and Girls 18’s will be held the weekend of November 28-30.

Veteran’s Day Parade at Sun Village
Sun Village will be hosting an “Annual Veteran’s Day Salute with Parade” on November 11th at the Sun Village Community, 14300 W. Bell Road in Surprise. The Parade will begin at 10 am and the presentation of colors will begin promptly at 11:45 am.  The American Kountry Band will play, followed by Up-Tempo Classic Country, along with some 50’s through 80’s music from 12 noon until 3 pm.  Lunch will be available.  We hope to see you there!

Nick Bacon Memorial Dedication
There will be a memorial dedication for Nick D. Bacon, USA Medal of Honor Recipient and former Surprise Town Manager, on Tuesday, November 11 at sunset in the south courtyard of City Hall.  An orchestra, the West Valley Pops Band, will begin playing patriotic music at 5:15 pm and the candlelight program is scheduled to begin promptly at 5:55 pm.  Parking is available in the City Hall parking garage and City Court parking lot on the northeast side of the complex.  We hope to see you there for this very special and moving event!

SSGT. Nick D. Bacon
Nick D. Bacon
Nick Bacon Memorial
Nick Bacon Memorial








2014 Annual Summit
The 2014 Annual Summit for the City Council will be held on Saturday, November 8 in the City Hall Community Room from 8 am until 2 pm. The purpose of the meeting is to comply with Chapter 6 of the General Plan, which is known as the Implementation Plan.  The Summit presents a summary of the report and acts as a forum to obtain input to the staff from the Council.  This is an open meeting.

Second Sunday in the Park
The band, the Roadrunners will be playing ‘50s and ‘60s rock music at the next Second Sunday in the Park on November 9 from 2 pm until 4 pm at the Surprise Community Park (15953 N. Bullard).  This public event is free.

Surprise Super Swap Meet
The fall Surprise Super Swap Meet will be held on Saturday, November 15th.  This popular community-wide garage sale, sponsored by the Surprise Community and Recreation Services Department and the Surprise Senior Center Council, will be held in the Surprise Aquatic Center parking lot at 15831 N. Bullard Avenue from 8 am until 1 pm.  Parking and admission is free.  Vendor spaces are now available for rent.  If you are interested in space, please contact 623.222.1500.

Surprise Health and Wellness Fair
The Surprise Health and Wellness Fair will be held on Saturday, November 15th from 9 am until 12 noon.  The Fair will be held at the Banner Health Center at 13995 W. Statler.  There will be several health screenings, demos, clinics and displays.  This event is free to the public.

Did You Know?

Upcoming Road Closures
To facilitate the Northern Parkway bridge overpass construction, the Maricopa Department of Transportation (MCDOT) contractor will temporarily close Reems Road overnight beginning at 8 pm on Wednesday, November 5, 2014; and Litchfield Road at 8 pm on Thursday, November 6, 2014.  The roadways will reopen at 5 am the following day.

Litchfield Road will also be temporarily closed beginning 5 am on Monday, November 10, 2014 through 5 pm, Wednesday, November 26, 2014. During the closures, Northern Parkway will remain open. Dysart Road may be utilized as an alternate route.

Election Day
Please remember to vote on Tuesday, November 4.  Polls will be open from 6 am until 7 pm.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question