Tag Archives: Legacy Traditional School

December 18, 2015 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

West Valley Pops Band Sponsorship/Name Change

The West Valley Pops band performs free concerts in Surprise, throughout the West Valley and at Valley Vista Performing Arts Center. At their concerts, they collect canned food items which are distributed by West Valley food banks to those in need.

Staff has had a preliminary discussion with the West Valley Pops Band regarding a potential sponsorship opportunity. If approved, the West Valley Pops Band will change their name to the Surprise Pops Band. The annual sponsorship is estimated at $1,500 and would be managed through the City Manager’s budget via general funds.

General Plan 2035 – Open Space Character/Wildlife Corridor Discussion

Staff discussed the proposed Major Amendment to the Surprise General Plan 2035. The City Council was presented with further information related to the Wildlife Corridors, the Open Space Character Area, and the difference between the original staff recommendation and the Planning and Zoning Commission’s recommendation to City Council. The Council invited the public to speak, and City Council engaged in questions and discussions.

The City Council then held a Public Hearing to further engage discussion and listen to members of the public that elected to speak. As the discussion progressed, City Council voted to continue this item to a special meeting on Saturday December 19 at 9 a.m.


City Council Meeting

Verdugo

Verdugo Land Development, LLC requested a Minor General Plan Amendment and a Rezone/Major Amendment to the Verdugo PAD, together with a Preliminary Plat for a property located generally east of 163rd Avenue and south of the San Ysidro Road alignment.

The Surprise General Plan 2035 shows the area in question as Suburban Residential with a density range of between one and three dwelling units per acre (1-3 DU/Ac). At 29.64 acres, this would generate between 29 and 88 dwelling units. The proposed Minor Amendment to the General Plan, however, would generate between 148 and 237 dwelling units for the same land mass, which falls within the parameters of a Minor Amendment. The subject property lies within the currently approved Verdugo PAD, which calls for Suburban Residential, Commercial and Employment for this specific property, the latter two being contrary to the General Plan as currently approved. The related Major PAD Amendment seeks to change the zoning for a significant portion of the Verdugo project, which includes the transfer of approximately 15 acres of Medium Density Residential, and the deletion of approximately 12 acres of High Density Residential, in lieu of the approximately 29 acres of Medium Density Residential proposed for the subject site. If the related PAD Amendment is approved, there will be a net decrease of 12 dwelling units for the overall Verdugo PAD. The subject Minor General Plan Amendment will allow the Rezone/Major PAD Amendment to proceed.

Staff believes the proposed rezone, in conjunction with the related Preliminary Plat, is an overall improvement to the PAD and advances the goals and policies as established in both the currently approved General Plan as well as the proposed update to the Land Use Element of the General Plan. The Minor General Plan Amendment and the Rezone/PAD Amendment passed unanimously.

New Appointments for Boards & Commissions

City Council unanimously approved the appointment of Andrew Orlikoff to fill a vacancy on the Board of Trustees with a term expiration of June 30, 2017 and the appointment of Merrill Edelstein to fill a vacancy on the Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission with a term expiration of June 30, 2019. City Clerk Sherry Aguilar issued the Oath of Office. Congratulations, Andrew and Merrill!

Surprise Parks & Recreation Master Plan

Community and Recreation Services (CRS) and Community Development staff collaborated with Jay Hicks, Master Plan Consultant to prepare an update to the Parks and Recreation Master Plan. The consultant prepared current facility and program inventory, benchmarking locally and nationally, summarized potential deficiencies according to planning area and projected populations, identified potential construction costs for our current 20 year CIP plan and conducted a public survey. Staff reviewed progress, survey results and resulting conceptual themes in January 2015. Several workshops were held with the CRS Advisory Commission that included goals, policy and objective development, as well as general design guidelines and principles.

The goals of the Master Plan include improving the residential quality of life by reinvesting in our existing parks; promoting active recreation, sports and sports tourism; providing a connected park experience and pursuing opportunities to create and acquire new parks and open space. The goal, by 2030, is to have a total of 1,200 acres of new public parks which includes one new 200-acre city park, six new 25-acre community parks and 847 acres of open space. The final draft was approved by CRS Advisory Commission on November 23, 2015. This update to the plan aligns with the General Plan update. City Council unanimously approved the Surprise Parks & Recreation Master Plan Update.


Events & Meetings

Adaptive Holiday Party

Councilman Todd Tande, Councilman Roland Winters and I attended the Adaptive Holiday Party at DreamCatcher Park and provided a welcome for the guests on Friday, December 11.

Second Saturday – December 2015

I volunteered at Radiant Church’s Second Saturday on Saturday, December 12. The event took place on the Radiant Church campus on Reems Road. Over 600 volunteers helped serve more than 2,500 kids gifts they can enjoy this Christmas season. I am grateful to be part of this life changing event for children and their families in our community each year. The generosity of the Radiant community was very touching and embodies what life is really about. Thank you!

Committee on Water Resource Planning Meeting

The Committee on Water Resource Planning, on which I serve as Chair, met on Monday, December 14. Due to technical difficulties, the Committee elected to defer the water portfolio update discussion to our next meeting. The Water Resource Management Director made a presentation to the Committee on the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority (WIFA) of Arizona. The Committee elected to move this item forward to City Council in January for recommendation to begin the WIFA process in order to utilize this funding vehicle for water related projects. Water Resource Management staff provided an update to the committee on proposed conservation programs and capital improvement projects which will be placed in the proposed FY17 budget for Council review.

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Meeting

Councilman Jim Biundo, Councilman Todd Tande and I attended the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce monthly breakfast meeting. Our very own Community Development Director Eric Fitzer was the guest speaker. Mr. Fitzer elaborated on our sign code as the City of Surprise has begun the process to amend the City of Surprise Sign Code.

Over the next few months, staff will be conducting stakeholder meetings and work sessions with the City Council. City staff has broken these work sessions into three signage types: Wall and Window Signage; Monument Signs and the Comprehensive Sign Program; and Temporary and Off-Site Signs. Staff has been able to reach out to 28 stakeholders who compose the sign industry, Surprise Regional Chamber, and the real estate and development communities’ interests and welcomes the opportunity to add additional stakeholders to the list. The sign code is a set of requirements, standards and guidelines to help govern outdoor advertising and signage within the City of Surprise and as such, they are very important to the aesthetic nature of the community as well as businesses and residents.

The Surprise Chamber announced a new Chamber program, a business-exclusive leads group. This new group will meet every Wednesday morning at 7:15 a.m. in the Chamber conference room, located at the Chamber Conference Center at 16126 N. Civic Center in Surprise.

Reception for City Attorney

Surprise City Manager Bob Wingenroth hosted a reception on Tuesday, December 15 in honor of Robert Wingo who recently accepted the permanent position of City Attorney. Wingo joined Surprise in December 2013 as the Deputy City Attorney and became Chief Deputy in April 2014. He most recently served as the Interim City Attorney, following the resignation of the previous City Attorney in late October 2015.

“Robert is an outstanding attorney, but more importantly, an outstanding person. He has a heart of service and great strength of character,” says City Manager Wingenroth. “He is a humble leader, and a strong advocate for democracy, transparency, and the law.”

Wingo has 11 years of legal experience including prior service as the City Attorney for Page, Arizona (March 2012 – December 2013). He served as Page’s Assistant City Attorney five years prior to being named City Attorney for that community.

He holds a B.A. summa cum laude in Anthropology from Northern Arizona University and received his law degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Law.

The City Attorney is the chief legal adviser to the Council and City departments and represents the Surprise in all legal proceedings. The attorney also administers the City’s legal department, which includes city prosecutors and a civil division.

Legacy Traditional School Spelling Bee

I was asked to judge a spelling bee for Legacy Traditional School in Surprise on Thursday, December 17. Congratulations to the winners on their success in the first ever Legacy Traditional School Surprise Campus Spelling Bee! The winners were: First Place- Skylar D. and Runner Up- Parker K. Congrats to all 25 finalists from 3rd-8th grade!

Spelling bee winners recieveing their awards

Valley Metro RPTA Meeting

The Valley Metro RPTA Board met on Thursday, December 17. Several items were discussed and decided upon including the approval of Eric Anderson as the short-term Interim CEO until January 31, 2016. A longer-term Interim CEO is being considered from interested applicants.

All travel will be approved by the CEO and a report will be provided to the Board on a monthly basis. Furthermore, the General Counsel and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) will report directly to the Board.

Employee Appreciation Holiday Luncheon

The Employee Appreciation Committee hosted a luncheon for all employees on Thursday, December 17. City Manager Bob Wingenroth acknowledged several deserving employees for going above and beyond, and City Directors served food to the staff.

Surprise Police and Fire Chief


Mark Your Calendar

Cactus Road Sidewalk Ramp Project

A project to replace sidewalk ramps at 19 locations along Cactus Road will begin on Monday, December 21. There will be daytime lane restrictions between 7 am and 4 pm through January 5 as crews work from east to west along Cactus Road from 141st Avenue to 151st Avenue, including locations at the Bullard and Cactus intersections.

Lunchtime Theater in Surprise Continues

Lunchtime Theater continues in Surprise in 2016 with three more shows! Lunchtime theatre is presented through a collaboration between the City of Surprise, the West Valley Arts Council, Theater Works and the West Valley Symphony. The remaining three lunchtime performances will be held in the beautiful 2,500 square foot Arts HQ gallery. Performances include:

  • January 13, 2016: “Jam Session with Maestro Kellogg and Friends” – West Valley Symphony. View event
  • January 28, 2016: “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” – Theater Works presents a musical about the contemporary conundrum of “the relationship”. View event
  • March 3, 2016: “City of Angels” – Theater Works presents a musical homage to the classic film. View event

All performances begin at Noon at the Arts HQ, 16126 N. Civic Center Plaza, Surprise, AZ. Tickets are $9 for each performance. To order tickets, please call the West Valley Arts Council at 623.935.6384 or Susan de Jong at 623.214.7537. Each performance will be 45-50 minutes long.

Attendees are welcome to bring a lunch or pre-order from the City Café @ Surprise. To place a lunch order, please contact the City Café @ Surprise at 623.222.8900. Lunch orders from the City Café @ Surprise will be delivered to the Arts HQ before the performance.

World Series Day

Surprise Stadium will be recognizing the Kansas City Royals for the 2015 World Series win at the 1:05 pm game scheduled for Saturday, March 5!


Did You Know?

Surprise City Manager Receives Patriot Award

Surprise City Manager Bob Wingenroth was presented with a U.S. Department of Defense award Tuesday evening for his efforts to support veteran initiatives. Wingenroth received the Patriot Award from the Department’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) office. This award recognizes supervisors and bosses nominated by a Guardsman or Reservist employee for support of military services. The nomination was submitted by Staff Sergeant Timothy Suan, A U.S. Air Force Reservist and City of Surprise Intern. Congratulations Bob!

Staff Sergeant Tim Suan, Bob Wingenroth & Patrick McDermott
Staff Sergeant Tim Suan, Bob Wingenroth & Patrick McDermott

Major Rehab Funds Available

The City is currently accepting applications from income-qualified resident homeowners to participate in the Major Housing Rehabilitation Program. Eligible repairs include plumbing, mechanical, electrical, heating, cooling and accessibility. The program is funded through the federal HOME Investment and Partnerships Grant (HOME).

Projects are selected on a first-come, first-served basis, with special consideration given to projects that address health and safety issues. Funds are limited. For more information, please contact Jason Hughes at 623.222.3239.

Fall Tennis Tournaments

Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex has had a very busy fall hosting several tournaments over the last few months. Approximately 1,800 players from various USTA leagues participated. For more information on future tournaments, you can visit our website or USTA’s website at www.usta.com.

Work to improve Greenway & Dysart intersection begins Sunday

Work to improve the intersection of Dysart and Greenway Roads will begin Sunday, Dec. 20. The project will improve ride quality in the east and west directions and enhance pedestrian accessibility.

Work is expected to be completed by Jan. 24, 2016, pending there are no weather-related delays.

There will be phased lane restrictions during the project. There is a planned full closure of the intersection starting the evening of Friday, Jan. 15 and running through the evening of Sunday, Jan. 17 to complete the paving phase of the project. Detour routes will be posted to assist in navigating around the closure.

If you have any questions regarding this project, please call the Public Works Department at 623.222.6000.

Daytime road closures scheduled Dec. 21 & 22

Asphalt repairs in Surprise, west of the Loop 303, will occur on December 21 and 22; the daytime road closures will impact the following roadways:

  • Southbound Verde Vista Drive, south of Greenway Road, will be closed December 21 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Southbound 175th Avenue, south of Bell Road, will be closed December 22 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Motorists are encouraged to plan ahead and consider alternate routes during the closures.

Happy Holidays – From My Family to Yours!

At this time of year, I reflect upon how extremely grateful I am to work with truly wonderful people like you, the residents of Surprise, and my colleagues at City Hall including my fellow Council Members. I sincerely wish you a season of health, happiness and prosperity as you embark upon the new year. Best wishes to all of you in 2016, and God bless!

Office Closing

Please be advised that City Hall will be closed on Friday, December 25 and Friday, January 1 in honor of the upcoming holidays.

This will be the last newsletter for 2015. My newsletter will resume the week of January 4, 2016. Thank you!

Social Media

You can now follow me on Facebook and on Twitter @skiphall2! I look forward to hearing from you!


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

November 20, 2015 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Parks & Recreation Master Plan Update

The City of Surprise has a unique and largely undeveloped planning area full of potential for recreation amenities such as open space, trails and new facilities. With the assistance of Community & Recreation Services (CRS) and Community Development staff, a consultant prepared current facility and program inventory, while benchmarking locally and nationally, and summarized potential deficiencies according to planning area and projected populations.

In 2014, a public survey was completed, and over the past few months our CRS Department held several workshops with the CRS Advisory Commission led by chairman Wayne Turner. Workshops included setting master plan goals, and establishing standards as well as general design guidelines and principals. Some of the goals of the Master Plan include improving the residential quality of life by reinvesting in our existing parks, promoting active recreation, sports and sports tourism and pursuing opportunities to create and acquire new parks and open space. The goal, by 2030, is to have a total of 1,200 acres of new public parks which would include one new 200-acre city park, six new 25-acre community parks and 847 acres of open space.

A draft plan has been reviewed by the Planning & Zoning Commission (October 2015) as well as stakeholders such as the Arizona Game & Fish Department. The goal is to update the plan and align with the General Plan update for approval in December 2015.

We are committed to providing quality parks and recreation programs and facilities while contributing to the economic well-being of the city.


City Council Meeting

Legacy Traditional School Recognition

The newest school in our community led the Pledge of Allegiance on Tuesday evening, Legacy Traditional School. Four students – Samantha Morris, Arianna Diaz, Jason Miller and Sasha Soto – who are part of their National Junior Honor Society were able to discuss the school for a few minutes.

Legacy Traditional School began in 2007 with the first campus in Maricopa, AZ. It was formed from a simple concept of education excellence and patriotism. Today, all Legacy campuses are “A” rated by the Arizona Department of Education and in 2015, Legacy was voted the #1 charter school by Ranking Arizona. Congratulations to Legacy for their successes, and best wishes for many more!

FY2016 Budget Status

Finance Director Lindsey Duncan provided an update on our financial status through September for fiscal year (FY) 2016. The actual collections for our General Fund revenue budget through September totaled $12.1 million which is a positive variance of 7% above the budgeted amount of $11.3 million. Local sales tax collections are currently continuing the trend that FY2015 ended on, with actuals exceeding the budget by $0.2 million (FY16 budget is $3.1 million compared to $3.3 million actual). Construction sales tax is up 57% over budget and all other local sales taxes are up 3.5% over budget. State shared revenue actuals exceed budget by $0.1 million which is slightly better than expected, as is the vehicle license tax revenue. Actuals for charges for services have exceeded the budget as well, as FY16 budget is $1.9 million compared to FY16 actuals of $2.4 million. General Fund uses are tracking $4.1 million below budget, but most of that variance is due to timing of payments rather than actual savings. Though too early to modify year end estimates, the General Fund is performing better than budgeted through the end of the first quarter.

FY2016 Budget Amendment for Dial-A-Ride Cap Increases

The City currently contracts with Valley Metro for our Dial-a-Ride service. The current cap for weekday one-way trips is 140. By increasing the cap, the City will have the ability to provide more demand service for transit to ADA, seniors, and others with disabilities.

The annual impact of increasing the weekday cap for one-way trips is $116,000 which will support an additional 5,040 one-way trips for ADA, seniors, and others with disabilities, as well as the general public. The $68,900 increase approved by this item will support an additional 3,000 one-way trips through the end of FY2016.

The City Council unanimously approved the budget amendment of $68,900 from the General Fund Contingency (one-time) to the General Fund Transit contract services. The annual increase will be submitted as part of the FY2017 budget process.

Intergovernmental Agreement with Maricopa Water District (MWD)

Director of Water Resource Management Terry Lowe requested consideration and action authorizing the City Manager to execute an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with the Maricopa Water District (MWD) for use of MWD’s Groundwater Savings Facility (GSF) to store Surprise’s Central Arizona Project (CAP) water.

By entering into this agreement with MWD, the City would avoid annual CAP underground storage charges of approximately $10 per acre foot for 2016 for water delivered to MWD’s GSF. In addition to the expected savings from annual CAP storage charges, MWD also pays for waters delivered to their service area to offset their groundwater usage. The actual amount of savings and revenue generated is dependent on the amount of power MWD saves by not having to pump groundwater. The agreement was unanimously approved.


Events & Meetings

New Park Dedications

The Surprise City Council attended the ribbon cutting celebrations for Surprise Farms and Veramonte Community Parks on Saturday, November 14. Veramonte Community Park is located at 12741 N. 140th Avenue and this park now features restrooms, a splash pad, a parking lot and several other park amenities. The Surprise Farms Community Park is located on the southeast corner of 175th Avenue and Surprise Farms Loop South and features a playground, splash pad, basketball court, skate park, restrooms and other park amenities.

I’d like extend my appreciation to Mark Coronado, Donna Miller and the remainder of the CRS team and CRS Advisory Commission for all of their efforts planning and building these parks for our residents.

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Monthly Meeting

Councilman Jim Biundo and I attended the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting on Tuesday, November 17. Veterans were the focus of this meeting and the key-note speaker was Lieutenant Colonel Gregory Frana who is the Commander of the 62nd Fighter Squadron with Luke Air Force Base.

Mountain Vista Ranch HOA Meeting

On Wednesday, November 18, I attended the Mountain Vista Ranch HOA meeting with Seth Dyson, the Director of Human Service and Community Vitality, and Christina Ramirez, Neighborhood Services Manager. The City team focused on the Neighborhood Services programs such as the Surprise Academies, HOA Continuing Education, the Mediation Program, the Block Party Trailer Program, and the Summer Youth Employment Program. City sponsored events such as Community Pride Day were also discussed.

Additional conversation pertained to income-qualified programs offered by the City for painting of the exterior of houses.


Mark Your Calendar

Stormwater Public Hearings

We have begun hosting a series of public meetings to inform you, the residents, about the proposed Stormwater Utility and to gather input on stormwater management. If adopted, a utility designated for stormwater management would enable the city to cover the costs of public health and safety concerns often caused by stormwater such as flooding, which causes polluted standing water that attracts disease-bearing pests and transportation issues, such as sinkholes and premature pavement loss.

Additionally, the implementation of a Stormwater Utility will allow the city to better comply with the Clean Water Act of 1972 and the National Pollutant Discharge Systems Permit which is administered by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.

Currently, all stormwater activities, including regulatory compliance, asset management, and capital improvement, are funded by the wastewater fund, general fund and the Highway User Revenue Fund (HURF). A designated Stormwater Utility will relieve burden from those funds and will be responsible for revenue generation, operational costs and Capital Improvement Project development and management.

Residents are encouraged to attend the following public meetings to learn more about the proposed Stormwater Utility and rate structure. For the residential customer, the proposed rate would be an approximate $2 line item added to your monthly utility bill.

The next meetings will take place on December 2 from 6-7:30 pm at the Community Room at City Hall and on December 3 from 6-7:30 pm at the Villanueva Recreation Center (15660 N. Hollyhock Street). The Water Resource Management Department intends to bring this before Council in the 1st quarter of next year for action.

General Plan Amendment Meeting

The City of Surprise is considering a major amendment to the Surprise General Plan 2035 and invites the public to share their thoughts at an upcoming public hearing. The Major Amendment focuses on providing a new approach to the city’s land use goals and policies by adding a Character Area planning approach and removing the Village Plan requirements that are included in the current General Plan. The draft Element documents can be found online at www.surpriseaz.gov/GPupdate.

The public is invited to attend and provide comment relative to the proposed update at the following Planning and Zoning Commission meeting:

December 3 at 6 p.m.
Surprise City Hall
16000 N Civic Center Plaza
Surprise, AZ 85374

Written comments may also be submitted any time prior to the public hearing. All written comments regarding this petition will be made part of the public records of the City.

The meeting agenda will be available at least 24 hours prior to the Public Hearing at Surprise City Hall or on the City’s website at www.surpriseaz.gov. For questions or to submit a written comment, please contact Joshua Mike at joshua.mike@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.3134.

General Plan Summit

The Surprise City Council and Surprise Planning and Zoning Commission will host the 2015 Annual General Plan Summit, Friday, December 4, at City Hall.

Staff will present the city’s progress toward achieving the Surprise General Plan 2035 goals and policies, discuss the Economic Development Strategic Plan, provide an update to the OTS Heritage District and have a conversation about City Monument Gateways.

The group will also discuss recommendations regarding future initiatives to support the General Plan and Council Strategic Plan objectives.

John Lenio, of commercial real estate firm CBRE, will serve as a guest speaker providing a private sector point of view to Economic Development.

The summit, which is open to the public, is scheduled for 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., in the Community Room at City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza.

14th Annual Surprise Party

The City will host our 14th Annual Surprise Party on Friday, December 4 and Saturday, December 5. Please join us welcome the holiday season with a tree lighting ceremony, live music, balloon glow, skydivers and fireworks on Friday, December 4 from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. at the Surprise Recreation Campus, 8 Acre Park – 15850 N. Bullard Avenue. The party will continue on Saturday, December 5 from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Admission is free with a canned food donation.


Did You Know?

Department of Human Service & Community Vitality – New Director

Seth Dyson was recently hired as the new Director for the Department of Human Service and Community Vitality. This Department hosts the Neighborhood Services, Senior Services and Grant Administration divisions with the overall goal of building partnerships to improve the overall quality of life for all of our Surprise residents.

Mr. Dyson holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Recreation Management from Arizona State University and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Utah. Before joining the City, Seth served as the Community Partnerships & Workforce Development Director for the Maricopa County Community College District. He is an Arizona native and now lives in Surprise with his family.

Seth Dyson, Director of Human Service & Community Vitality
Seth Dyson, Director of Human Service & Community Vitality

Please join me in wishing Seth the best of luck with his new career endeavor!

Newsletter Update/Office Closing

In honor of the Thanksgiving holiday, City Hall will be closed on Thursday, November 26 and Friday, November 27. I will not distribute a newsletter next week.

I am truly grateful for each and every one of you and your continued support. I wish you a wonderful holiday. Happy Thanksgiving!

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter the words, but to live them.” JFK


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

August 7, 2015 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Youth Strategic Plan for 2015-2016

Several members of the Surprise Youth Council presented their Youth Strategic Plan for the new fiscal year to the City Council. Their strategic priorities include representing the City’s youth voice, understanding issues, helping to solve problems and bringing the entire community together. Some of their goals include helping teens improve self-esteem and working with the arts community on a mural to promote positivity.

SYC Members Samantha Salazar and Jada Henderson at council meeting
SYC Members Samantha Salazar and Jada Henderson

Surprise Retail Market

Economic Development Director Jeanine Jerkovich discussed the 2015 retail survey results. The survey launched in May and garnered nearly 3,000 responses. In addition to the results, staff considered retail gap analysis as well. Locally-owned businesses are clearly preferred by our residents. Some of the top ten local favorite restaurants include Nick’s Diner I & II, Jim’s Burgers and Eggs, Vogue Bistro, Saigon Kitchen, Amuse Bouche, and Archie’s Deli. By tenfold, Costco was the most desired retailer, and the top desired restaurants were In-N-Out Burger, Sweet Tomatoes, Portillos, Cheesecake Factory and Texas Roadhouse.

The next steps include an outreach campaign to the top ten most wanted retailers and restaurants, a specialized campaign for Costco and a local recognition for top ten local favorites.

Thank you to all of our engaged residents who completed this survey. The data collected truly helped ideyntify our City’s retail strengths as well as opportunities to bring your favorite amenities to Surprise. If you would like more information on the survey results, you can view them at www.surpriseaz.gov/retailsurvey.


City Council Meeting

Surprise Summer Youth Employment Program Participants Recognized

The Surprise Summer Youth Employment Program participants were honored at our City Council meeting on Tuesday evening. For ten weeks this summer, 21 teens from our City worked alongside staff and select partner organizations through a paid internship program. They helped with a variety of tasks in mostly all of our departments, and they also participated in a weekly life skills training class. I am so proud of our youth, and I want to thank them for their hard work all summer!

City Council Intern Rose Aranas
City Council Intern Rose Aranas
Summer Youth Employment Program Interns with Mayor Wolcott & Bob Wingenroth
Summer Youth Employment Program Interns with Mayor Wolcott & Bob Wingenroth

Appointment of New Members for City’s Boards & Commissions

After three days of interviews with the Selections Committee consisting of Councilman Roland Winters, Councilwoman Rachel Villanueva and me, a recommendation to approve new Board/Commissions members was brought before the City Council. The City Council unanimously approved the recommendations as follows: Althea Whitehead for the Arts & Cultural Commission; Monique Hernandez for the Community & Recreation Services Commission; George de Langeryt for the Disability Advisory Commission; Robert Ferrago and Gwen Skorpuan for the Board of Trustees, both with a term expiration of June 30, 2018; James Connor for the Personnel Appeals Board; Jim Ferguson and Shari Martin for the Planning & Zoning Commission; and James Penberthy for the Tourism Commission. The new members’ terms will expire on June 30, 2019 unless otherwise noted. The City is honored to have so many residents willing to donate their time, knowledge and talent. Thank you to everyone who interviewed!

New Members for City's Boards & Commissions

City Code Amendment regarding City Attorney

The City Council voted to authorize the City Attorney’s office to draft an ordinance that would change the city code to have the City Attorney report to the City Manager. That position is currently appointed by the City Council. Once the ordinance is written by outside legal counsel, to avoid any conflict of interest, that ordinance will be brought before the City Council for a vote. The discussion and vote will most likely occur in September. If approved, the reporting structure change would go into effect 30 days following adoption.

Greenway Road Preservation Projects

The City Council unanimously voted to approve a budget amendment in the amount of $4.5 million to establish Greenway Road improvement projects (from Litchfield Road to Bullard Avenue) by reallocating appropriations of $2.7 million from the General Fund Mid-Decade Census Project and contingencies from the Sewer Fund and Water Resource Development. The improvements include the following:

Segment 1 Improvements
Greenway Rd. will be widened between Litchfield Rd. and Bullard Ave. These widening improvements will include: two additional travel lanes, turning movement lanes, raised median with landscaping, sidewalks on the north and south side, drainage improvements, sewer line, reclaimed water line, signing and striping, lighting and improvements to the existing asphalt. The intersections at Bullard Ave. and Litchfield Rd. will be re-profiled to improve the drainage and remove the dips. The design is currently underway and will be completed in October of this year. Following the construction contractor bidding process, construction will begin in November and will be completed by March 2016.

Segment 2 Improvements
The intersection of Greenway Rd. and Dysart Rd. will be re-profiled to improve the eastbound and westbound dips. These intersection improvements will improve traffic flow but more importantly improve the safety of this intersection. Construction is scheduled to begin in November and last through January 2016.

Surprise Transient Lodging Tax Public Hearing

Community & Recreation Services Director Mark Coronado discussed the increase of the Surprise Transient Lodging Tax (Bed Tax) by 2%. This increase required an ordinance amendment which was unanimously approved by City Council. The current bed tax rate is 2.52%. The Surprise General Fund receives 1% of the tax and the other 1.52% is put into the Tourism Fund. The increase brings the current tax rate to 11.99% which is still significantly lower than other Valley cities such as Glendale, Scottsdale, Mesa and Tempe.


Events & Meetings

Surprise Announces New Police Chief in July

City Manager Bob Wingenroth announced key organizational leadership changes earlier last month. After a 40-year career in law enforcement, Surprise Police Chief Michael Frazier accepted the position of Assistant City Manager. Mr. Frazier replaced the retiring April Reynolds. Mr. Frazier now oversees the following departments: Police, Fire-Medical, Public Works and Communications.

Terry Young, the former Surprise Assistant Police Chief, was named the new Chief of Police. Chief Young joined the Surprise Police Department in 2010, after retiring from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office as Deputy Chief. During his career, he oversaw a variety of divisions including Patrol Operations, Investigations and Personnel Management.

New ACM and Police Chief seen with City Council

City council during New ACM introduction

Dedication for New Home

On July 10, I was honored to attend the dedication of a new home in the Original Town site (OTS) along with Councilwoman Villanueva and City Manager Bob Wingenroth. The Human Service and Community Vitality Department handed over the keys of a newly constructed, 1,300 square foot home to a local family. The three bedroom, two bathroom Habitat for Humanity constructed home was built as part of the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, an income-based grant that assists families with rehabilitation activities.

The new Habitat for Humanity Home
The new Habitat for Humanity Home
Homeowner with Councilwoman Villanueva, City Manager Wingenroth and me
Homeowner with Councilwoman Villanueva, City Manager Wingenroth and me

Additional grant programs available through Neighborhood Services include the Homebuyer’s Assistant Program, Emergency Housing Rehabilitation Program and the Major Rehabilitation Program. If you’d like to learn more about these grants and housing programs in our City, please contact Jason Hughes at 623.222.3239.

Legacy Traditional School Ribbon Cutting

Mayor Wolcott, Councilmembers Tande, Winters and Biundo and I attended the Legacy Traditional School-Surprise Campus ribbon cutting on Friday, July 31. The charter school welcomed 1,200 students in grades kindergarten through eighth grade this week. The 68,000 square foot school has 40 classrooms and a curriculum that focuses on academics, athletics, performing arts and citizenship.


Mark Your Calendar

Bell Road Sidewalk Project

Pedestrians will soon see paved sidewalks on the south side of Bell Road as part of the City’s Bell Road sidewalk project. The project, which began this week and will conclude in October 2015, will construct a sidewalk that extends from the Park and Ride located near Grand Avenue, east to the Avenue of the Arts.

One-half to one mile curb lane eastbound restriction will be required with this project and will move as the project progresses. Motorists should expect delays and be mindful of construction crews working in the area. Local business access and access to the Surprise Park and Ride will be maintained throughout the project.

For more information on the traffic restrictions, please visit http://surpriseaz.gov/index.aspx?NID=100.

Surprise Veteran’s Day Parade

The City is looking for patriotic themed parade entries for our inaugural Veteran’s Day Parade, which will be held on Wednesday, November 11 at the Surprise Recreation Campus. This parade, which will honor the men and women in uniform who have selflessly served our country, will run along Bullard Avenue and begin at 11 a.m.

If you are interested in participating in the parade, please visit our Community & Recreation Services offices at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue, or you can call 623.222.2000. Entries are due by October 28.


Did You Know?

Surprise MVD to Re-open

The Surprise Motor Vehicle Division office will reopen on August 10 after the completion of interior renovations. The remodeling project has increased the capacity in the customer waiting area, offering more efficient and comfortable service.

Residents wanting access to select MVD services, including registration renewal, duplicate vehicle registration, duplicate driver license, change of address and temporary vehicle permits will still be able to utilize the MVD kiosk located inside the Surprise City Court, 16081 N. Civic Center Plaza, Suite 105.

Northwest Regional Library Hours Change

The City of Surprise and the Maricopa County Library District will be modifying the hours for the Northwest Regional Library effective August 31, 2015. The library will now be open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. and will have extended hours on Sundays, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. There are no changes to the Friday and Saturday hours which are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Programming will remain the same with the ever popular baby story time for crawlers, various teen book discussions, and much more. For more information, please call the Northwest Valley Regional Library at 602.656.3400.


Contact Me

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

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