Tag Archives: Taste of Surprise

March 15, 2018 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Tourism Advisory Commission Meeting

The Tourism Advisory Commission met on Thursday, March 8. Commission Member Mario Rano was selected as the Vice Chair of the Commission. Staff provided suggestions on the Strategic Plan with a focus on four key areas, which included events and entertainment, marketing, partnership and facility development and funding. In addition, staff discussed the goals for each key area. Commission members and attendees were provided an overview of the most recent sales tax report for FY18. Staff from the Arizona Office of Tourism were also in attendance and provided a presentation.

Hall of Fame Induction for Jim Mallon

Jim Mallon Prior to the spring training game on the evening of Monday, March 12, Jim Mallon was inducted into the Surprise Recreation Campus Hall of Fame. Mr. Mallon served as the Surprise Stadium Operations Division Manager from July 2001 until his retirement in 2014. He is currently the only Operations Manager to have opened and managed two different Cactus League facilities. His enthusiastic personality and dedication to success helped shape Surprise Stadium into the world class facility it is today. Thank you, Jim!

Surprise Friends of the Library Meeting

I attended the Surprise Friends of the Library meeting on Friday, March 9. Amongst many agenda item discussions was the approval of a more than $2,300 donation to Marley Park Elementary School for books and special education curriculum and $247 to Desert Oasis Elementary School for books for a classroom teacher.

Spring Training Event

Several Councilmembers and I joined Economic Development staff to welcome members of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) to a spring training game suite on Friday, March 9. The game provided us an opportunity to learn about economic development prospects for Surprise and the Valley.

Benevilla Annual Donor Appreciation Brunch

Benevilla held their 2018 Annual Donor Appreciation Brunch on Tuesday, March 13 at Briarwood Country Club. West Valley Lutheran Thrift Shop received a Business Leadership Award for their generosity to many non-profits, including Benevilla. Mr. Larry Vering, a Surprise resident, received the Bill Wolfrey Community Service Award for his dedication and service to Benevilla and several other non-profits. Congratulations, Larry!

Mr. Larry Vering and Benevilla staff

Mark Your Calendar

Free Educational Series Teaches How to Raise a Reader

Surprise has partnered with Southwest Human Development and First Things First to host a free eight-week Raising a Reader program that utilizes proven skills to educate parents about the importance of early literacy and provides tools to help their children learn to read.

Using an evidence-based model that focuses on developmental milestones and brain development, literacy specialists will model how to engage children with the use of books. Families will also learn the significance of singing, dancing and playing as a way to build their child’s vocabulary and prepare them for school.

All members of the family are invited to participate! Plus, at the end of each week participating families will take home a bag filled with award-winning children’s books and a certificate of completion.

Courses will be taught from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. on consecutive Tuesdays beginning March 27 through May 15, at the Surprise Resource Center, 12425 W. Bell Rd, Bldg. A, Suite #124.

To enroll in the eight week Raising a Reader series, contact Muriel Gutierrez at 623.222.1672.

Taste of Surprise

Mark your calendars for a fantastic event! Showcasing some of the West Valley’s best restaurants and eateries, the Taste of Surprise is a fundraising event organized by the Rotary Club of Surprise Community Foundation to support projects and charitable services in the local community. The Taste of Surprise features dozens of food, beer, wine and spirit vendors, including local culinary talents from award-winning restaurants and local emerging chefs.

The event will be held on Saturday, April 7 from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. at Surprise Stadium, 15930 N. Bullard Avenue. Tickets are available at www.tasteofsurprise.com or at the door. I hope to see you there!

Did You Know?

National Citizens Survey Is Online Through Monday, March 19

If you did not receive a National Citizens Survey (NCS) by mail, you can take the survey online! You can visit http://bit.ly/surprise2018 and share your thoughts on Surprise as a place to live and work. We want your feedback on transportation, public safety, youth services and so much more! The NCS is conducted by the National Research Center of Boulder, Colorado. Survey results are anonymous. The city only receives the aggregate results.

Your feedback helps the city to identify services in which we are performing well and lets us know the areas in which we have the opportunity to improve. It also helps to identify priority projects for Surprise and indicates where limited city funding should go in order to provide the services you most desire.

For those households that did receive a paper survey by mail, please complete the paper version and mail back using the postage-paid envelope.

Vote on Surprise’s Water Future

Surprise voters will decide whether or not to authorize the purchase of a water service company in a Special Election on May 15. To help voters learn more about the ballot measure, we have added new tools and information to the water election website and invite residents to one of our upcoming public meetings.

The city is seeking authorization to purchase Circle City Water Company (CCW), a small water service company in the northern part of Surprise’s planning area and future water service area. This acquisition would provide Surprise with the company’s existing water infrastructure and grow the city’s allocation of Colorado River water by more than 38 percent, helping to plan for future growth. The purchase of CCW would be offset through the sale of current and future water portfolio assets.

The water election website, www.surpriseaz.gov/waterelection, now includes a short informational video, downloadable fact sheet, frequently asked questions, important election dates, voter information and public meeting dates and locations.

We are holding public meetings on the following dates:

April 4, 6 p.m.
Desert Oasis Elementary Cafeteria/Multipurpose Room, 17161 W Bajada Road

April 12, 5 p.m.
Surprise City Hall – City Council Chambers, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza

April 18, 4 p.m.
Sun City Grand, Sonoran Plaza – Palms Room, 19789 N Remington Drive

April 19, 6 p.m.
Sierra Montana Recreation Center, 14861 N Spring Lane

The voter registration deadline for this election is April 16. To register, please visit http://maricopa.vote/. The Surprise City Clerk’s Office also offers in-person registration.

All registered households in Surprise will receive a mail ballot. Ballots will be mailed April 25. Election Day is May 15. For more information, please contact the Surprise Water Resource Management Department at wrm@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.7100.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

May 11, 2017 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

National Day of Prayer

The National Day of Prayer is an annual observance held on the first Thursday of May inviting all faiths to pray for our nation and elected officials. Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Member Raymond Grim hosted a morning event May 4 in honor of National Day of Prayer on the front lawn of our public safety building. The event included pastors, business leaders, residents and elected officials.

Taste of Surprise Celebration Dinner

The Rotary Club of Surprise hosted the Taste of Surprise Celebration Dinner on Tuesday, May 9 at City Hall, to recognize those involved with the very successful Taste of Surprise Charity Event, held on April 8 at Surprise Stadium. This was the first year the event was held at this location, and it turned out to be even more successful than originally anticipated. The restaurant line-up was very impressive, and the entertainment was equally as good! Proceeds from the event benefitted five local non-profits including One Step Beyond, the Surprise Youth Foundation, Benevilla, A New Leaf, and the Rotary Club of Surprise Community Foundation.

The dinner was an opportunity to thank the vendors, restaurants, sponsors and the city for their support. During Tuesday’s dinner, the aforementioned non-profits were each given a check in the amount of $8,000. Congratulations to the Rotary for a fruitful event!

Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Seeks Public Input on Libraries

How can we improve or transform the libraries in the city of Surprise? Share your thoughts at a public meeting and through our online survey. The city currently has two libraries, Northwest Regional Library and Hollyhock Library. The city hired Orcutt Winslow, an architecture and planning firm, to conduct a library feasibility study that will help guide future library operations, library renovation projects and potential new libraries.

Resident input is key to the process. Please join us for a community meeting on Thursday, May 11, at 7 p.m., in the Surprise Community Room of the Northwest Regional Library, located at 16089 N Bullard Avenue.

Residents are also encouraged to take an online survey available at www.surpriseaz.gov/librarysurvey.

The results of the study will be completed in August and will be presented at a City Council meeting late August or early September. For questions or more information, call the Community and Recreation Services office at 623.222.2000.

Surprise Veteran Job Club Anniversary Open House

The Surprise Veteran Job Club will be hosting a One Year Anniversary Open House on Thursday, May 18 from 6 – 7:30 p.m. The Open House will take place at the Surprise Resource Center which is located at the AZ TechCelerator campus, 12425 W. Bell Road, Building A, Suite 124.

Free Chest Compression Only CPR Classes

The Surprise Fire-Medical Department will be offering free Continuous Chest Compression Only-CPR (CCC-CPR) classes this summer. CCC-CPR consists of continuous aggressive chest compressions to keep the victim’s blood circulating through their brain and heart, which has been proven to increase survival rates. And, because it does not require mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, it reduces the risk of spreading viruses or other kinds of disease between the life-saver and victim.

A morning and afternoon class will be held on each of the following dates:

  • June 7
  • July 19
  • August 1

The morning class will run from 9-11 a.m., and the afternoon class will run from 2-4 p.m.; both will be held in the Public Safety Building Auditorium, located at 14250 W. Statler Plaza.

To register for a class, please email crfire@surpriseaz.gov or call 623.222.5400.

Did You Know?

City Seeking Applications for Voluntary Commissions

The City of Surprise is currently accepting applications for the following Commissions. All Board/Commission positions are voluntary.

Disability Advisory Commission – 1 vacancy
Judicial Selection Advisory Commission (JSAC) – 1 vacancy
Board of Trustees – 1 vacancy

Applications for the above mentioned commission are available for pick-up immediately and can be picked up from the City Clerk’s Office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Friday. The City Clerk’s Office is located at Surprise City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. Applications are also available online at www.surpriseaz.gov/boards.

Please submit applications to the City Clerk’s Office in person or by e-mail to clerk@surpriseaz.gov. Applications are always available for all boards and commissions and will be kept on file for future vacancies.

For more information, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at 623.222.1200.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

April 13, 2017 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Valley Vista High School – Local Government Presentations

Government and U.S. History teacher John Hastings invited me to speak to Valley Vista students on local government on Thursday, April 6. There were four sessions totaling a few hundred students who learned about the duties of our Surprise City Council and our city departments and how we work with various state, regional and local agencies. The students were impressively engaged and asked several questions afterwards.

Surprise Citizens Patrol 20th Anniversary Recognition Dinner

The Surprise Citizens Patrol held their 20th Anniversary Recognition Dinner on Friday, April 7. Sergeant Curtis James, the founder of the Citizens Patrol in 1997, was a guest speaker along with Jim Joye, the first “President,” as the Commander was called in the early days. Since the program’s inception, Citizens Patrol volunteers have contributed more than 323,303 hours at a cost savings to the city of more than $8 million.

Chief Terry Young expressed his heartfelt thanks for the volunteers’ hard work and dedication to the Police Department and to the city. In addition to celebrating this milestone achievement, 2016 service awards and individual achievement awards were presented. Those receiving awards were:

Others that received awards included: Wayne Gebhart, Squad A Person of the Year; John McMahon, Squad B Person of the Year; Charles Ivey, Squad C Person of the Year and Mike Dolce, Squad D Person of the Year.

Taste of Surprise

The Rotary Club of Surprise hosted their Annual Taste of Surprise event on Saturday, April 8 at Surprise Stadium. There were 43 local restaurants represented and 13 different entertainers providing live music during the event. There were 1,063 tickets sold. All proceeds will benefit five local charities including One Step Beyond Inc, Benevilla, Surprise Youth Foundation, a New Leaf, and Rotary Club of Surprise Community Foundation.

A special thank you to Chris Judd and Amanda Sanchez for their hard work and dedication to this event as well as all the Rotarians for their countless hours of preparing and volunteering for the event.

Tourism Advisory Commission

As spring comes to a close, the Tourism Advisory Commission continues to work hard towards the expansion of tourism in Surprise as discussed at the quarterly meeting on April 11. Agenda items included a detailed overview of the Tourism fund; a history of events recommended by the commission; an overview of the Tourism fund application process; and the Sports Tourism Strategic Plan for which the commission has organized a workshop session to take place Thursday, May 18 to strengthen its current goals.

Additionally, commission members had the opportunity to review recommended projects proposed for state-issued Prop 302 tourism funding for fiscal year 2018. Items included college baseball tournaments, youth baseball tournaments, Spring Training, and Surprise Regional Chamber projects, including the visitor’s guide, website and city map. Recommended items are scheduled to be submitted by June 2017.

Friends of the Libraries Board Meeting

Friends of the Library held their monthly Board meeting on Wednesday, April 12. I have been participating with the non-profit as a liaison to the City of Surprise since February. Friends of the Libraries support local public and school libraries, teachers, and reading and literacy programs. Since 2003, they have donated $506,278.87 to our community. Agenda items for the meeting included, but were not limited to, the Luke Air Force Base outreach program and discussion of a strategic plan with Dysart Unified School District.

Friends of the Libraries recently partnered with us for the Surprise Literacy Program and donated books to the winning class. Below is a picture of Cimarron Springs Elementary School Fifth Grade Teacher Ms. Bethany Mihaupt accepting one of the books.

Councilman Skip Hall with Cimarron Springs Elementary School Fifth Grade Teacher Ms. Bethany Mihaupt
Councilman Skip Hall with Cimarron Springs Elementary School Fifth Grade Teacher Ms. Bethany Mihaupt

Mark Your Calendar

Spring Egg-stravaganza this Saturday

Join the search for more than 50,000 candy and toy-filled plastic eggs as part of the Surprise Spring Egg-stravaganza on Saturday, April 15. The celebration is being held on the Kansas City Practice Fields, located at 15850 N. Bullard Avenue, just west of the Surprise Stadium.

The event runs from 7:30 – 10 a.m. The first egg hunt begins at 8 a.m. with the 2 years and under age group. New hunts will follow approximately every 20 minutes by age group with an open hunt at the end for those who missed their age group. Children participating in the hunt should bring baskets or bags to hold their treats and eggs.

For more information about the Spring Egg-stravaganza, including the egg hunt schedule, please call 623.222.2000 or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents.

Poetry Slam at WHAM

Mark your calendars and join your neighbors at the Poetry Slam at WHAM on Friday, April 21 from 6 pm until 8 pm at WHAM, 16560 N. Dysart Road. This free event features open mic night for poetry, free verse and storytelling.

Registration is not required. All are welcome to participate as performers and/or listeners. For more information, please contact Surprise Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Vice Chair Margaret Lieu at 623.334.5271.

Public Art Bus Tour

The Surprise Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission is offering a free public art bus tour to the Desert Caballeros Museum in Wickenburg to see the Cowgirl Up exhibit on Saturday, April 22 from 1 – 4:30 p.m. You will start and end at WHAM, 16560 N. Dysart Road, where you can stay to enjoy their Recycle Arts Festival.

Parking is available just south of the WHAM facility in the rear lot of the post office. There will be a museum entry fee of $9 per person.

WHAM Recycle Arts Festival

WHAM Art Association is hosting their Recycle Arts Fest: Exhibit & Fashion Show on Saturday, April 22 at WHAM Community Art Center, 16560 N. Dysart Road. The free neighborhood event is scheduled from 4 – 9 p.m. and will include a Recycle Arts Exhibit and the Eco Styles Fashion Show, a creative art display that underscores the possibilities of working with reusable post-consumer materials.

Artists of all ages and talents are invited to participate. Enjoy food, music, free activities for kids and the spirit of community and collaboration at the Recycle Arts Fest– where creative expression goes green! If you are interested in becoming involved with the 2017 Recycle Arts Fest send an email to whamartassociation@wham-art.org.

Did You Know?

Surprise Resource Center Partners to expand Veteran Assistance Services

The City of Surprise has partnered with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Arizona@Work Department of Economic Security to expand the assistance services available to veterans and their families through the Surprise Resource Center.

The following services are available every Tuesday at the Resource Center:

  • Employment Assistance: Meet one-on-one with a workforce development expert to go over career opportunities, resume assistance, interview tips and more
  • Homeless Veterans Assistance: Veterans can connect to resources through the VA Community Resource and Referral Center, which offers assistance to Veterans who are homeless and at risk of homelessness by providing connections to permanent housing, health and mental health care, career development and VA benefits

The city also has a Surprise Veteran Job Club that meets on the first and third Thursdays of the month at 6 p.m. at the Surprise Resource Center. The center is located at on the AZ TechCelerator campus at 12425 W. Bell Rd, Bldg. A, Ste. #124 in Surprise.

All programs and services are available to the public at no-cost. For more information, please visit the website at www.surpriseaz.gov/resourcecenter or call 623.222.1600.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

March 13, 2015 • Newsletter

Meetings & Events

Communiversity Meeting
Councilman Jim Biundo and I met with Greg Pereira.  Mr. Pereira recently assumed the title of Director at the Communiversity at Surprise and The Lifelong Learning Center at Rio Salado College.  The focus of our discussion was building a stronger partnership between the City and Rio Salado.  We believe it would benefit the City Council, City staff and the residents if frequent reports were provided at City Council meetings that would elaborate on new courses and programs.  Overall, we agreed that both parties need to do a better job of assessing the City’s needs and desires with regards to higher education.

Council Conversations
I had the opportunity to interview Community Development Director Eric Fitzer on Tuesday, March 10.  Eric began his career with us last year with years of impressive public and private sector experience.  Code Enforcement, Planning, Development Services and Transportation Planning fall under Mr. Fitzer’s purview and many of the questions in my interview with him had an emphasis on these areas. You can watch the program on Surprise 11 or via http://bit.ly/CCHall-NewCDDirector.

CM Hall Council Conversation with new ED Director Eric Fitzer

Public Input Meetings for Bell/Grand Avenue Overpass Artwork Project
The City hosted three public input meetings for the Bell/Grand Avenue public art project this past week.  Meg Saligman, an award-winning artist known for her large-scale, site-specific work, was present for all meetings and provided examples of her previous work.

Bell-Grande art project meeting

Surprise Police Department Retirement
On Tuesday, I joined staff from the Surprise Police Department to honor Lieutenant Penny Riherd.  Lieutenant Penny Riherd has been with the Surprise Police Department for the past 20 years.  She joined the Department in 1995 as an officer, and was promoted to Sergeant in 2000 and to Lieutenant in 2006.   Thank you, Lt. Riherd for your years of service and best of luck to you in your retirement!

Lieutenant Penny Riherd retirement

Visit with International Start-Up Tech Cos
This week Mayor Wolcott and I joined the Surprise Economic Development team in welcoming a delegation representing three start-up technology companies from Canada and Romania to Surprise. The introduction to the companies originated as a result of regular sales missions to Canada, which has connected Surprise to more than 50 business relationships in the Toronto market. Because Toronto, Canada is one of the most international regions in the world, Surprise has benefitted by connecting with several global entrepreneurs exploring the North American market. The Canadian-Romanian delegation, which extended their mission to Surprise after visiting Toronto represent energy and medical technologies. Prior to our meeting with them, the group participated in one-on-one meetings and toured Surprise city assets such as the AZ TechCelerator, the Southwest Railplex and the Surprise City Center and Spring Training Complex. Additional business missions are planned in the coming months with several other companies with the goal of establishing Surprise as a gateway to the US market.

Boys & Girls Club Steering Committee Meeting
The Boys & Girls Club Steering Committee met on Wednesday, March 11.  The Steering Committee, led by Mike Boyle, continues to move forward.  Most subcommittees were able to provide a summary.  The next meeting will occur next month.

Development Committee
I attended the Development Committee meeting on Wednesday, March 11 with Mayor Wolcott and Councilman Tande.  The committee discussed multiple projects which are in different phases of development that included:  the Rancho Mercado Planned Area Development Preliminary Plat, the Sun West Credit Union Site Plan, the Series2K Office Site Plan, the OTS custom home reviews and requirements, the future Public Works yard; and the pending Verdugo Planned Area Development Zoning Amendment.

Taste of Surprise
On Wednesday, March 11, I attended the Taste of Surprise at Riverboat Bingo Hall.  Many of our restaurants were showcased.  Over 600 people were in attendance.  A special thank you to Frank Dias and the Surprise Rotary Club for their hard work putting it together!

Mark Your Calendars

Veramonte Park Groundbreaking
The Veramonte Neighborhood Park Improvements groundbreaking ceremony will be held on Saturday, March 14, at 10 a.m.  The park is located at 12741 N. 140th Avenue.  I encourage you to come out! The park will feature restrooms, a splash pad, a parking lot and other park amenities.

Residential Waste Clean-up Event – March 14
The spring clean-up event is Saturday, March 14, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Northwest Regional Landfill, 19401 W. Deer Valley Rd. As a service to residents, the city provides the opportunity to dispose of a single load of residential waste (no hazardous waste) that weighs up to 2,000 pounds at no cost. One load per household is allowed. The event is open to Surprise residents only with proof of residency. Please bring a driver’s license and a utility bill to show proof of a Surprise home address. Questions? Call 623.222.6000

Voter Participation
The League of Women Voters of Northwest Maricopa County is hosting an “Election Protection:  Creative Solutions for Increasing and Sustaining Voter Participation” forum.  This event will be held on Thursday, March 26, from 9:30 am – 11 am at the Dysart Education Center Main Board Room, 15802 N. Parkview Place.  For more information, you can contact Carol Mattoon, Program Coordinator, at 623.815.1019 or email  suncityarizona@yahoo.com.

Bike Rodeo
Surprise Police are hosting a bicycle skills event at the Christ’s Church of the Valley (CCV) on March 28.  The event will take place from 8 a.m. – Noon in the main church parking lot, 14787 W. Cholla Street.  The “Bike Rodeo” is designed to teach skills needed to ride safely while helping people enjoy the sport of biking and reducing their chances of injury.  The funding of this event was provided by a grant from the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.

Did Your Know?

Surprise Swap Meet
There is another Surprise Swap Meet scheduled for Saturday, April 18.  This very popular community-wide garage sale, sponsored by the Surprise Senior Center Site Council, will be held in the Surprise Aquatic Center parking lot at 15831 N. Bullard Avenue from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question