|Title:||Mayor of Surprise, Arizona|
|Term:||January 1, 2017 – December 31, 2021|
|Address:||16000 N. Civic Center Plaza Surprise, AZ 85374|
I am honored to serve as the Mayor of Surprise. I was first elected as Mayor in November 2011 and re-elected in August of 2016. Prior to my service as Mayor, I was a member of the Surprise City Council. Throughout my time as an elected leader in Surprise, I have been a champion for fiscal accountability and transparency in municipal government and setting a course for Surprise’s long-term economic success.
I invite you to read a record of what I have fought so hard for to grow our community and set a vision for the future of Surprise…..
Demanding Fiscal Responsibility and Accountability
Under Mayor Wolcott’s leadership, Surprise made a major turn-around to fiscal stability, adopting new financial policies, ordering sweeping reviews of financial records, and cutting budgets to address serious shortfalls without raising taxes. Essential services were not affected and the city’s bond ratings were re-established. She has ensured public safety needs are addressed in annual budgeting, by adding police officers, firefighters and other related personnel to meet the needs of our growing community and keeping response times low.
Attracting Jobs and Economic Opportunities
Since Mayor Wolcott was first sworn into office, the City of Surprise has contributed more than $50 million in sales and use taxes to the state’s economy. In all, more than 300 new businesses and more than 1,000 jobs were added. The AZ TechCelerator, the city’s business incubator, has a track record of over 200 jobs graduated, and the only Google corporate office presence in the State of Arizona. She continues to promote the city’s Foreign Trade Zone, which has attracted exciting new businesses such as IRIS USA, Rioglass Solar and Gestamp Solar Steel to Surprise.
Supporting Quality Education
Mayor Wolcott believes that education is a major economic development driver; as companies want to locate where the workforce is skilled. Her focus on attracting a four-year residential university to Surprise was realized in February 2017, when Ottawa University announced expansion plans at City Center. West-MEC’s Career and Technical Education campus opens in Surprise in the summer of 2017, offering jobs and career training for students and adults. Mayor Wolcott is a champion of the local education system through both the A-rated Dysart Unified School District schools and charter schools in Surprise. She also encourages development of youth leadership initiatives to include involvement with the City Council and summer employment at the city.
Mayor Wolcott is a strong advocate for a broad transportation vision at the state and national level advocating for increased connectivity and multimodal infrastructure to include corridors linking power, telecommunications, trade, rail and vehicular transportation options. She’s also taken on a leadership role on efforts to redevelop Grand Avenue by involving regional leaders from all communities along its length. Her never-ending support of Bell Road-Grand Avenue improvements resulted in safety enhancements as the Bell Bridge now carries traffic over the railroad tracks and allows Grand Avenue traffic to continue through the area without having to stop, improving traffic flows. She is a strong supporter of building the I-11 – a congressionally authorized freeway linking Phoenix and Las Vegas and recognizes the need for it to be built in a corridor that maximizes the benefits to west valley cities’ economic profile and enhances regional connectivity.
Protecting Surprise’s Quality of Life
As a regional leader, Mayor Wolcott recognizes the importance of preserving our desert and open space. She was part of the decision for Surprise to join the White Tank Conservancy, which aims to preserve the mountain range and wildlife corridors in a responsible manner by involving a myriad of key stakeholders, including various municipalities, the county, state and developers. Wolcott continues to support the arts to help fuel community and economic development. In 2016, she supported a council-initiative to create a one-and-one-third percent arts funding mechanism on all future capital improvement projects built in Surprise.
Over the years, Mayor Wolcott has served on a variety of regional boards and commissions including the Arizona League of Cities & Towns Executive Committee, Greater Phoenix Economic Council Board of Directors (through June 2017), I-11 Coalition Board of Directors, Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG)- Regional Council; and Transportation Policy Committee, and Westmarc’s Executive Committee (through May 2017) & Board of Directors.
Prior service also included her representation on MAG’s Economic Development Committee.
Mayor Wolcott has more than 25 years of experience in three states as an elected official, serving at both the state and local levels. As a mother of two and a grandmother of three, she brings a well-balanced perspective to her passion for public service and for making Surprise a great place to live and work.