Surprise advancing agenda, relationships with DC trip

Mayor Sharon Wolcott and City Manager Chris Hillman will be holding meetings in Washington early next week as part of the City’s commitment to advancing regional and Surprise issues at the federal level.

They will meet with several members of the Arizona congressional delegation and top federal agency officials to discuss economic development and transportation priorities.

“At the federal level it is all about building relationships and keeping lines of communication open,” says Mayor Wolcott. “Washington needs to see we are committed to our agenda and ready to be assertive about community needs in face to face settings.”

The Mayor says the group, which includes Valley Metro RPTA CEO Steve Banta and Intergovernmental Relations Director Michael Celaya, will meet with Representative Trent Franks to discuss the work of the COMPAS group of mayors and transportation officials working to improve planning and transportation along the Grand Avenue corridor, a mission Representative Franks openly supports. The COMPAS group is composed of the mayors of Phoenix, Glendale, Youngtown, El Mirage and Surprise as well as Supervisor Max Wilson and state and regional transportation officials. Improvements to the intersection of Grand and Bell and developing commuter rail on the BNSF tracks are among COMPAS priorities.

The Surprise team will also meet with Representatives Jeff Flake and Ed Pastor, as well as Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl. “We look forward to expressing our thanks for the funding of Interstate 11,” said City Manager Chris Hillman “We will focus on its importance to the overall transportation picture that drives economic development in the Northwest Valley.”

A meeting with Assistant Air Force Secretary Terry Yonkers will focus on working more closely with Luke Air Force Base initiatives now that the base has been designated the training home of the F-35 fighter.

The group will depart September 9 and return September 13.

“It is important to show that we are engaged, following Washington developments closely and continually advocating for Surprise,” Wolcott added.