Category Archives: News Releases

News and updates on matters impacting Surprise.

Luke to serve as Air Force’s new F-35 training center

Luke ForwardKnowing the future of Luke is secured for the foreseeable future is a huge win for Arizona and the West Valley.

Hundreds if not thousands of Surprise residents signed on to the Luke Forward campaign.  They joined me at the public EIS meetings to voice our support for bringing the F-35 to Luke.  I thank everyone who turned out, the elected officials at all levels who united to advocate for Luke, and the men and women of the Department of Defense for listening to Arizona and making a wise decision that is good for our country.

Read the official news release from Luke Forward at

Unanimous approval of FY13 budget

Tuesday night, the City Council unanimously approved a $168.4 million budget for FY13, which begins July 1. The budget includes $4.3 million in expense reductions and puts us firmly in the driver’s seat in getting city finances in shape once and for all.

I am very proud of the unity and diligence shown by the Council.  Under a tight deadline,  we reviewed department budgets line by line and held weeks of public discussion. City Manager Chris Hillman and his staff did an extraordinary job providing us with more data than I have ever seen during a city budget cycle.  Our community can be sure this is the most thoroughly vetted budget Surprise has seen in a long time.

The process was complicated by the results of the FY11 budget audit, which became known in February. Imbalances among internal funds required the City to transfer millions from the general fund, draining our reserves to near zero.  Council set a very ambitious goal for Mr. Hillman:  we want those reserves, which according to our policy represents two months of expenses or roughly $13 million, replenished no later than June 20, 2014.  He crafted an FY13 budget that reduces expenses, including $2.9 million in personnel costs, and is a big first step in meeting our two year goal.

Council also acted responsibly by combining and reducing our discretionary and travel funds for FY13, saving our taxpayers $25,000, a 30% reduction over last year.

It was a rigorous and exciting process which I believe served the citizens of Surprise very well.  Now, I look forward to a very active summer on behalf of our residents!