The city hosted a celebration for the renaming of the Grand Ave/Bell Road overpass to Veterans Bridge on Friday, April 26. The Arizona State Board on Geographic and Historic Names approved the naming at their January meeting. The name change was lead by Senator Rick Gray after a discussion with Mayor Skip Hall and Councilman Ken Remley. It was an honor to welcome dignitaries from all over the state, especially Governor Doug Ducey and Congresswoman Debbie Lesko. The renaming of Veterans Bridge is truly special for our city with so many veterans residing in Surprise, the West and Northwest Valley.
If you are a Veteran seeking assistance, please contact the city’s Human Services and Community Vitatlity Department (623.222.1500), as they offer programs targeted at assisting veterans with finding employment and connections to housing and health and mental health care.
I taped my first Council Conversation this month. I sat down with Ottawa University’s Vice President and Provost Dr. Dennis Tyner and Head Football Coach Mike Nesbitt. We discussed the new buildings on the campus, and what kind of work the football team and the Surprise Fire-Medical Department are doing together. I also interviewed Scott Phillips of Carefree Partners and the city’s Economic Development Manager Mike Hoover. We discussed the results of public input from the local community outreach meetings and what to expect in the future City Center. You can watch the show here: https://surprisetv.surpriseaz.gov/watch?v=R62BZzWBofU
City Manager Recommended Budget
At our City Council meeting on April 16, City Manager Michael Frazier released his FY2020 recommended budget. The recommended expenditure budget for FY2020 is $414 million and includes $106.3 million voter approved General Obligation Bond projects in the areas of Public Safety, Traffic Congestion, Mitigation, and Pavement Preservation.
As your Councilman, I am diligently working with staff on having a balanced budget for our city. I want to make sure residents are aware of how their tax dollars are being spent. A public hearing and Council’s Tentative Budget adoption is scheduled for the Regular Council Meeting on May 7; with final budget adoption scheduled for the June 4 meeting. Both of these meetings will be held at 6 pm in the City Council Chambers. This is an opportunity for residents to let the City Council know their thoughts on the budget in a public hearing. As always, you can contact me anytime and send your thoughts on the budget.
Surprise Fire-Medical Department Awards & Promotion Ceremony
I joined some of my City Council colleagues at the Surprise Fire-Medical Awards & Promotion Ceremony on April 4.
Please join me in congratulating these outstanding individuals that Chief Tom Abbott recognized that evening:
Chief’s Award: Firefighter Roy Michael
Perry Award: Assistant Fire Chief Darrell Johnston
Fire Medal: Firefighter Dave Anderson
Engine Company of the Year: Engine Company 302, A-shift: Engineer (Acting Captain) Steve Gilbert Engineer Steve Spirlong Firefighter Tim Penner Firefighter Donovan Maturan
Paramedic of the Year: Firefighter Sean Cullen
EMT of the Year: Firefighter Mike Naehrbass
Unit of the Year: SFMD Honor Guard
Individual Citations: Engineer Jenesa Dobrinski Firefighter Mike Meadors Engineer David Anderson, Volunteers from the Lockbox Program – Gordon & Barbara Birschbach, Barbara Pelligrino, Ray & Ramona Simpson, James Cooper, Ron Ottwell
Crisis Response Rookie Volunteer of the Year: Tim Tait
Crisis Response Volunteers of the Year: Don & Patti Nelson
Administrative Civilian Volunteer of the Year: Esther Gillett
Civilian of the Year: Administrative Technician Dana Smith
Thank you for your service Surprise Fire-Medical!
WHAM 6th Annual Recycle Fashion Show & Art Festival
WHAM hosted the 6th Annual Recycle Fashion Show and Arts Festival on April 6. The theme of the event was “Where Creativity Goes Green”. I enjoyed attending this event which showcased the innovation and design of these artists. This year, they showcased three exhibits which included the Recycled Arts Exhibit, the Youth Recycle Arts Exhibit, and the Find It, Fix It, & Flip It Exhibit.
The festival enlightens and educates families on the importance of recycling and reusing what normally is cast-off as trash while learning fun and innovated ways of keeping Earth clean. Be sure to keep an eye out for next year’s annual festival.
Kingswood Parke Spring Fling
I attended the Kingswood Parke Spring Fling on April 6. I enjoyed spending time with residents and getting to know more about them. The community did a great job of putting together a family fun BBQ and carnival that appealed to all ages. They also had local country western band for the live music. Thank you, Kingswood Parke for hosting a fantastic Spring Fling!
Taste of Surprise
The Rotary Club of Surprise showcased another great Taste of Surprise at the Surprise Stadium on April 6. The Taste of Surprise benefits local charities, while providing great live entertainment, a beer garden, and a car show. My fellow City Council colleagues and I even got into the dunk tank, where residents got the chance to show off their pitcher’s arm. Thank you to the Rotary Club of Surprise for your hard work and dedication to this truly great event.
14th Annual Golden Rule Awards Banquet
The Arizona Interfaith Movement hosted the 14th Annual Golden Rule Awards Banquet on April 11 at the Mesa Convention Center. I attended the event with Councilwoman Nancy Hayden and city staff. The Arizona Interfaith Movement’s mission is to build bridges of understanding, respect, and support among diverse people of faith through education, dialogue, service, and the implementation of the Golden Rule.
Citizens Patrol Recognition Dinner
On April 12, City Council attended the Surprise Citizens Patrol Dinner. Members of the patrol were recognized for their dedicated efforts to our city. The Citizens Patrol have saved our city just under $10 million since their installation. It is remarkable what they do for our city, and it was an honor to be able to recognize them.
WHAM held a local fundraiser on April 14 at Top Golf in Glendale. City of Surprise officials, along with Mayor Hall, Councilmember Duffy and myself had the chance to compete against each other. Councilmember Patrick Duffy, Deputy City Manager Terry Lowe, and myself, along with my family, competed against Mayor Skip Hall, Police Chief Terry Young, City Manager Michael Frazier, and Mike Hoover from Surprise Economic Development. While we did not win, we finished ahead of Mayor Hall and his team.
Marley Park Community Outreach Meeting
Carefree Partners hosted a community meeting in Marley Park on April 15. Approximately 25 residents attended the meeting and provided input on the development of the future downtown Surprise. I encourage all residents to keep an eye out for future meetings.
HOA Board Meetings
I met with Sun Village & Sun Village Condos HOA Board Members as well as the Orchards HOA last month to provide mutual updates in their communities and the city.
Surprise’s Spring EGG-Stravaganza
Eager egg hunters, from toddlers to 10 year-olds participated in a fun, family event on April 20. The fields were covered in over 50,000 eggs for children to collect. The event included inflatables and a surprise appearance by the Easter Bunny himself. It was a great, family fun filled event.
Surprise Youth Council “We Are” Art Installation
The Surprise Youth Council unveiled their “We Are” art installation on April 23. The art encourages unity within Surprise through a visual art piece. It is designed to bring people together as a celebration of our community’s unique identities and the power we have when we stand together as one. It was an honor to attend and support the Surprise Youth Council.