Thank you for signing up to receive my Council newsletter. It is my goal to email you a monthly newsletter with information regarding current events and items that may be of interest to you. In addition, you can find me on Facebook for updates. Each month, I will be doing a Facebook Live interview that focuses on different businesses in District 5. You can always reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 623.222.1325. Also, please feel free to visit my webpage at http://d5.surpriseaz.gov. As always, it is my distinct honor to serve you.
Advanced Meter Infrastructure (AMI) Replacement Project
The City of Surprise has begun the process of replacing approximately 16,000 residential, commercial, and irrigation mechanical water meters with new automated meters. These new water meters will allow customers to monitor their water usage in real time, allowing them to set usage alerts and detect possible leaks. The new meters are completely funded by the City of Surprise water fund and will not impact customer rates. For more information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/watermeter.
Arizona League of Cities & Towns Conference
I had the opportunity to attend, and represent Surprise at the annual Arizona League of Cities & Towns Conference, held in Tucson. While there, I was able to meet numerous representatives from across the state of Arizona while sharing ideas and best-practices on issues facing several cities across the state. We were also able to discuss similarities and differences between our individual cities and gain a broader perspective on a range of topics.
Recycling in Surprise
The City of Surprise has temporarily suspended its recycling program, due to soaring operational costs. Effective August 19, 2019, the city began diverting all materials to the landfill while staff continues to search for cost-effective solutions. In the meantime, the city encourages residents to continue their usual recycling habits, and would like to remind everyone that only bagged trash may go in the black container. If you choose to place recyclable materials in the black container, please continue to follow state regulation, and bag all the contents. For more information and a list of frequently asked questions, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov.
The City of Surprise hosts an HOA Academy annually to give residents the opportunity to learn more about living in an HOA community or serving on a board. It also provides information on the laws that govern HOAs. Classes will be held Wednesday, October 16, 23, and 30, and November 6 and 13 from 6:00-8:30 p.m. in the Public Safety Building Auditorium. Space is limited, so reserve your spot today by calling 623-222-3242.
Hazardous Household Waste Collection
Following the success of the spring Household Hazardous Waste event, the city will continue with the scheduled appointment format. Residents will be able to book an appointment beginning September 9. Please keep in mind this is not a bulk trash appointment. For more information, as well as a list of acceptable items, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/hhwevent.
Surprise Day of Service
The City of Surprise is looking for over 200 volunteers to participate in the Fall Day of Service on October 19. There are several indoor and outdoor community projects throughout the city. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Ervin Cutwright at 623-222-3241. This is a great opportunity and all who participate are encouraged to attend an Island Party afterwards which will include food, music, games and more.
Be sure to check out my Facebook Live videos on my Facebook page @district5councilmansanders. I am touring the city and interviewing the owners of local shops, restaurants and other places of interest. So far, I have interviewed the owners of Nothing Bundt Cakes, Firehouse Subs and My Goodies. I have also toured the new Ottawa Athletic Facility and interviewed a star football player. This month, I look forward to meeting new people in the community. If you know of a local place you would like to see, please feel free to contact me.
Sundays in the Park Food Truck Festivals are back! I hope you all take the opportunity to come to Mark Coronado Park on September 15 from 4:00-8:00 p.m. to enjoy the festivities. Sundays in the Park bring residents together to enjoy live music and delicious food from local food trucks that line the park.
Teens, gather your friends and form a team for a fun, competitive night of Bubble Soccer. This tournament will be held at Mark Coronado Park on Saturday, September 21 from 5:00-9:00 p.m. Games begin at 6 p.m. Residents are $10 each. More info: 623.222.2000.
The first movie night of the season will be held on Saturday, September 28 at 7:00 p.m. at Mark Coronado Park. Enjoy “Wonder Park” on the big screen with free admission. Food and drink will be available for purchase.
The West Valley Arts HQ will be hosting their newest exhibit from August 30 until October 4. Come out to the Arts HQ Gallery for Painting with Light; A Photography Exhibit.
Councilmember David Sanders July Newsletter July 1, 2019
For my very first business spotlight, I interviewed Robert Kelly of Nothing Bundt Cakes, a local business in Surprise. This is a great, local bakery we have right in our backyard here in District 5. Robert Kelly and I had a great discussion on a variety of topics. Following are the highlights of our discussion:
Q: What drove you to start your business in Surprise?
A: We had wanted to start our business in Surprise since 2014 and had started our search at that time. However, we felt that the community wasn’t ready for our brand at that time. There was a lot of turmoil with the Highway 60 overpass under construction, and we couldn’t find the right consumer energy. When Prop 206 was passed by the voters in 2016, this delayed things as we had to find out how guests were going to handle the increase in costs and resultant prices. So we waited until we felt the time was right and then started our location search again early last year. We feel the Surprise market is now a diverse and growing community and we look forward to many years of bringing smiles to our many guests.
Q: What helped your passion of owning a bakery?
A: My wife, my sister-in-law and I have all had long careers in the health care industry. In fact, my wife just recently retired from her “real job” as a nurse at Mayo Clinic. We’ve always been in a career focused on the public benefit, but let’s face it, health care is a challenging environment and can be very stressful and takes an emotional toll. At the same time, all three of us have always been “foodies”, the girls are both fabulous and often experimental cooks… and I love to eat good food. So when Donna and I were finally burned out on our health care careers, we started looking for a business opportunity in the food industry where we could combine our passion for good food while making people (our guests) happy. There is also a funny “circle of life” story to this for me personally as the first job I ever had as a young teenager growing up in Northern Ontario, Canada was baking bread in my mother’s kitchen and selling it locally to make some money. Baking was my first career and will be my last.
Q: What is your professional or personal motto? Why this particular motto?
A: I don’t have any specific catchphrase or documented motto per se, but I would say, if pushed to put my beliefs or ideals into words that goal is to help make the lives of our employees better and help make our communities a better place to live through excellence of the service and products we provide. We believe if we do this, our personal success will be automatic. “Sharing happiness and success, one cake at a time.”
Q: How has the growth been since opening here in Surprise?
A: Simply put, we have been blessed. We opened in mid-February with certain expectations based on the openings of our other two locations in the West Valley. We immediately realized, we needed to hire more team members because the Surprise location was markedly busier that either of the other two locations first years. Since that readjustment of expectations, we have had steady growth. Of course, like pretty much all retail businesses in the Phoenix Valley in the summer, sales have dropped off after Father’s Day as the snowbirds have left and school is out so families start leaving for summer vacations. We expect this and know that come late August into early October, it starts ramping up again. We always use the summer for implementing new programs for operations or training or renovations/repairs as needed.
Q: Where do you see Nothing Bundt Cakes in one year? Five years?
A: As a brand, we continue to grow, dramatically expanding all over the country and that growth hasn’t slowed down at all. This is significant to local owners like us because it creates greater and greater awareness and, in our case, trust due to the very high standards we demand in our products and service. Combined with our local efforts in marketing and our community involvement, we expect to have grown by 20% next year and 80% by 5 years.
Q: What are you looking forward to seeing in Surprise as a small business owner?
A: For many years, the West Valley communities, especially in the northwest part of the valley, have been seen only as retirement communities. Such a community can become stagnant in growth and diversity. We currently see, and hope to continue to see, much more diversification in our Northwest Valley…. More primary industry and employment which leads to greater diversification in our demographics which leads to greater business employment and opportunities, which leads to better tax revenues for our cities, which leads to better community services, planning and development…etc. We feel that Surprise, and the surrounding area is finally on this positive feedback loop and as a small business owner, this is fabulous.
Q: How many employees do you have here?
A: Including full-time and part-time team members, our roster is currently at just 13 for the summer. As we move into the fall and with our continued growth, we will be back in hiring mode again and by November we should we at about 17.
Q: What’s your favorite baked good here?
A: For me, a huge part of eating enjoyment is texture. I love food that has different textures that you can enjoy with your teeth. For this reason, my favorite flavors of our cakes are our Pecan Praline Cake and our Carrot Cake. The pecan cake is loaded with a praline mixture we make of chopped pecans, brown sugar and spices while having a crown of chopped pecans such that every bite should have some bit of crunch. We don’t put nuts or raisins in our carrot cake but the crushed pineapple and julienned carrots give great texture.
Q: Tell us why people should get a bundt cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes?
A: In a word… happiness. Whether it is for personal indulgence or as I like to say, sharing the love, our bundt cakes make people happy. At the very least… how can you not say “bundt” without a smirk or grin?
If you missed my Facebook Live interview with Robert, please see it here.
I want to thank Robert for the time he gave me so I could learn more about him and his business. We are fortunate that they call Surprise home.
If you have a recommendation for where I should go next, please call me or my staff at 623-222-1300 or email Brandon Hiller at Brandon.Hiller@surpriseaz.gov. I look forward to your input.
City Manager’s Budget
At the beginning of June, City Council adopted the FY2020 Budget. This budget addressed city growth, while maintaining our existing assets. We voted to approve $412.7 million for Fiscal Year 2020. This budget focuses on Council’s commitment to maintain quality public services and infrastructure, while addressing the needs of a growing community.
The recommended budget includes $105.8 million for Capital Improvement Projects. These funds support new projects such as facilities and roads as well as support asset replacement and maintenance needs to existing infrastructure, including public safety vehicle replacement; road maintenance; information technology, recreation and utility infrastructure.
The overall general fund revenues are expected to increase seven percent from the FY2019 adopted budget, due largely to population growth and a favorable economy.
Youth Entrepreneurship Boot Camp
On June 7, Councilmember Duffy and I were honored to judge the AZ TechCelerator’s 6th Annual Surprise Youth Entrepreneurship Boot Camp. This was a fun event where our youth got to display their talent and ideas.
Thirteen students from Paradise Honors, Willow Canyon, and Valley Vista high schools and several home-schooled teens participated. The teens worked at the city’s AZ Techcelerator business incubator to identify a community need and develop a product or service to address that need.
The winning team of this year’s Youth Entrepreneurship Boot Camp created and pitched a concept for a peer-to-peer tutoring service, TutorFLY, which connects students to peers who can assist them with achieving academic excellence.
Please join me in congratulating the winners: Dylan Tluczek, homeschooled Bryan Main, homeschooled Prince Alino, Paradise Honors High School Gabby Roberts, Valley Vista High School
Hilton Garden Inn
I was honored to attend the ribbon cutting for the Hilton Garden Inn, located at 16601 North Stadium Way, on June 14. This is located right here in D5! This hotel will truly fit into our community and assist with the countless tournaments and Spring Training games being held at Surprise Stadium.
The Hilton Garden Inn offers 124 rooms to assist with our growing tourism market. We are grateful that the Hilton Garden Inn is able to call Surprise home! We are excited to continue to build a great relationship with them! Welcome to Surprise, Hilton Garden Inn!
Veterans Reflection Circle
On June 24, we hosted a touching groundbreaking ceremony for our new Veterans Reflection Circle that will be built in honor of our late Surprise resident and combat wounded veteran, Brian Mancini.
The Veterans Reflection Circle is being built within the Surprise Community Park, next to the fishing lake. It will open on Veterans Day 2019. This site was selected for a special reason, Brian loved nature, fishing and quiet self-reflection. These are things Brian hoped would inspire countless other veterans.
The thoughtful project design will be completed at no cost to the city. Everything will be generously donated. We are honored to have partners who will be honoring our veterans. For more information on the Veterans Reflection Circle please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/vrc.
This past month, I met with the Mountain Vista Ranch Home Owner’s Association and listened to the latest happenings in the neighborhood and shared about things going on in the city. If you or your HOA would like to know more, please reach out to me, and I will be happy to set up a meeting.
Every month, I look forward to meeting with residents. If I have not yet attended your meeting, please contact me at 623.222.1325. I always enjoy spending time with residents and listening to their concerns.
4th of July Celebration
The City of Surprise will be hosting its 36th Annual 4th of July Celebration on Thursday at the Mark Coronado Park, 15850 N. Bullard Ave, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The event admission is FREE! There will also be live music from Steven P and Diversity Jukebox, food trucks, yard games, and contests, and much more. Gates will open at 5:30 p.m. The city’s Independence Day fireworks display will start at 8:40 p.m.
There is also an option to hang out by the pool for 4th of July; Parks and Recreation is hosting a pool party at the Surprise Aquatic Center, 15831 N. Bullard Ave, from 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. This event is limited to the first 400 Surprise Residents. Admission fee is $6, which includes games, activities, and poolside view of the city’s annual firework show. Reminder, this event is for Surprise Residents only.
This past month, I met with the Orchards HOA and listened to the latest happenings in the neighborhood. I was able to get our water resource portfolio management team to schedule a meeting with the board to see how the Orchards can save money on their water bill with regards to landscape. If you or your HOA would like to know more, please reach out to me. and I will be happy to set up a meeting.
Every month, I look forward to meeting with residents. If I have not yet attended your meeting, please contact me at 623.222.1325. I always enjoy spending time with residents and listening to their concerns.
District Meet & Greets
Thank you to everyone who attended our District 5 & 6 Meet and Greet on May 20 at Panera Bread in the City Center. This was an informative meeting where residents had the opportunity to ask questions, and give their comments and concerns. We provided the residents an update on what is happening around the city, such as new businesses that are coming to the community and city work being done. Please keep an eye out for future meet & greets with other councilmembers.
Surprise Police Department Appreciation Dinner
My fellow City Council colleagues and myself attended the Surprise Police Department Appreciation Dinner on May 17. We had the honor to see the heroes in our community awarded for the great efforts. Please join me in congratulating:
Officer of the Year: Corbin Claxton Detective of the Year: Lucas Jensen Rookie of the Year: Dillon Bleicher Civilian Employee of the Year: Erin Rivera Supervisor of the Year: Michael Robbins Volunteer of the Year: Barbara Jones Citizen Patrol Volunteer of the Year: Marylene Cayro
Lifesaving Awards: Officer Gerald Graziosi, Officer Fredrick Cuthbertson, Officer Joshua Bucur, Officer William Bisson, Officer Shawna Ebey, Officer Tyler Johnson, Sergeant Garrick Boxberger | Unit Citation- Traffic Unit: Sergeant Michael Robbins, Leonard Collins, Drew Persha, Richard Malone, Steven Shernicoff
Congratulations to these outstanding individuals, and thank you to the first responders of our city!
Surprise Chamber of Commerce
On Tuesday, May 28, I attended the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Chamber Convener and Stakeholder Event. The main topic of this event was Arizona’s New Water Policy Landscape: Sustainable Water Solutions and How they Impact Businesses and Communities.
The State of Arizona just ratified a new Drought Contingency Plan with the other users of the Colorado River which will impact water policy for the state’s foreseeable future. This new plan will play a role in how well Arizona is positioned for future growth and a healthy business environment.
This event featured two speakers active in shaping Arizona’s water future; Lisa Atkins, President of the Board for the Central Arizona Project (CAP), and Rory Van Pouke, a water policy expert and General Manager at Apache Sun Golf Club in San Tan Valley.
In a panel discussion format, Ms. Atkins and Mr. Van Pouke provided an overview of their backgrounds in water and the current state of water from their perspectives. Rory explained that the perception that golf courses were a waste of water could not be further from the truth. Golf courses generate a significant amount of tourism revenue for Arizona and account for nearly 42,000 golf related jobs, 18,000 of those jobs are directly related to golf courses. From a water perspective, nearly all golf courses are watered with reclaimed water reducing the burden on water resources.
Lisa has over 43 years of public policy experience, the majority of which has been fighting for Arizona’s rights to its share of the region’s water supplies. From her perspective, Arizona has been a leader in innovative water uses, water conservation, and water storage. She believes there is plenty of water for Arizona; where it will ultimately come from and how it will be used and managed in the future is the challenge.
LA Fitness Grand Opening
My fellow City Council members and I attended the Grand Opening of LA Fitness (16635 W Bell Road) on May 18. The General Manager, Steve Mallory, provided us with a great tour of the facility. The Surprise community is fortunate to have a company like LA Fitness here. We are looking forward to the strength they will provide to our community. Welcome to Surprise, LA Fitness!
Memorial Day Weekend Events
Annual Memorial Ceremony at the World War II Monument
On Saturday May 25, at the World War II Memorial at the Regional Library, the annual wreath laying ceremony took place. The monument honors all those airmen who trained at Luke Auxiliary Field #3, known as Fighter Field. The American Legion Post 96 and the White Tank Mountain Detachment #1246 of the Marine Corps League laid a wreath at the monument. George Van de Langeryt did a wonderful job of hosting the ceremony. Post 96 Commander Mike Elliott was a fantastic guest speaker. Numerous groups were also represented, including the Rosie the Riveters, and members of the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame.
Sun Village Memorial Day 2019
I had the great privilege of speaking at Sun Village Memorial Day Ceremony “Honoring our Fallen Heroes”. Thank you to the incredible sponsors who made this event possible and thank you to Tomas Garcia for organizing this remarkable event. A bigger thank you to the Veterans in attendance for your service. Our country is truly great for having men and women like you surrounding us in our everyday life.