Category Archives: Newsletters

July 2019 • Newsletter

Thank You!

Thank you for signing up for Council updates. It is my goal to email you a monthly newsletter with information regarding current events and items that may be of interest to you. If there is anything I can do for you, please do not hesitate in contacting me at skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.1313 or 623.451.3975. Also, please feel free to visit my webpage at https://mayor.surpriseaz.gov/. Please follow me on Facebook (facebook.com/SkipHallD5), Twitter (@SkipHall2), and Instagram (@SkipforSurprise).

Proclamations

In June, I issued the following proclamations:

Monsoon Safety Awareness Week: June 9-14, 2019
(www.surpriseaz.gov/monsoonsafety)

Parks and Recreation Month: July 2019
(www.surpriseaz.gov/recreation)

Drowning Impact Awareness Season: June, July, August 2019
(https://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Water-Safety/)

I urge all Surprise residents to join me in participating and recognizing these proclamations. You can get more information about these topics at links above.

Did You Know?

The FY20 Budget Passed

At our regular City Council meeting on June 4, City Council unanimously passed our FY20 budget. The budget continues to focus on our commitment to maintain quality public services and infrastructure, while also addressing the needs of a growing community.

When I was appointed Mayor, one of my seven initiatives for the city was to increase our public safety budget. We did just that. In the FY20 budget, a total of 12 positions will be created for Surprise Fire-Medical Department, which includes; 5 sworn firefighters, 3 ambulance paramedics, 3 ambulance EMTs, and 1 Community Risk Reduction Specialist. The overall budget for the Surprise Fire-Medical is $26,099,300 million – a $2.1 million increase from the previous year’s budget.

For the Surprise Police Department, a total of 5 positions will be created, which will be: 1 police lieutenant and 4 police officers. The overall budget for Surprise Police is $31,700,800 million – a $1.7 million increase from the previous year’s budget.

The utility enterprise funds include 11 new employees to address city growth in water, sewer and sanitation services.

The budget includes $105.8 million for Capital Improvement Projects. These funds support new projects such as facilities and roads as well as support asset replacement and maintenance needs to existing infrastructure, including: public safety vehicle replacement; road maintenance; information technology; recreation; and utility infrastructure.
Overall, the general fund revenues are expected to increase seven percent from the FY2019 adopted budget, due largely to population growth and a favorable economy.

National Indoor RV Center is coming to Surprise

We are excited to welcome a Texas-based company called National Indoor RV Centers (NIRVC) to Surprise! They selected our city for their new expansion! The Surprise business center will grow 65 full-time jobs and will be dedicated to sales, servicing, storage and maintenance of luxury recreational motor coach vehicles. NIRVC brings quality jobs, in addition to a highly select, luxury destination service and product line, which will add tremendous value to our community and to the West Valley.

NIRVC will be located at 13351 West Rioglass Solar Road in Surprise. They are estimating $60 million annually in revenue. Once again, welcome to Surprise!

Events & Meetings

Department of Transportation Meeting

We welcomed members of the Department of Transportation to Surprise on June 3 for a meeting regarding our transportation needs here in Surprise. I was delighted to meet with Mr. Anthony Bedell, Deputy Assistant Secretary. We discussed our needs for additional transportation options in Surprise. We are looking forward to many more productive conversations!

West Valley Women’s 11th Annual Meet the Mayors Luncheon

On June 4, I was honored to attend the 11th Annual Meet the Mayors Luncheon in Peoria. I joined my fellow Mayors from across the West Valley to provide an update on achievements here in Surprise.

I discussed the great Veterans work we are doing in Surprise with our Surprise Resource Center, the Veterans Bridge naming ceremony, and the future Veterans Reflection Circle. We are doing a tremendous amount of work for our Veterans here in Surprise. I also highlighted our great partnership with Ottawa University. They have invested $48 million dollars into our city with their additions of the O’Dell Center for Athletics, a new administration building, student dorms and additions to the football stadium. I was also able to speak on all the great businesses we have coming to Surprise, such as Abrazo, Trimaco, SEACA Packaging, Toll Brothers and Lennar homes. Our city is very fortunate to have the commitment from these great businesses to invest into our city.

I was excited to highlight these latest achievements from Surprise to the rest of the West Valley. The best is yet to come!

United States Army Celebration

Vice Mayor Winters, and Councilmembers Hayden, Remley and I were excited to host recruits for the United States Army on June 14, Flag Day and the 244th birthday of the Army. As an Army Veteran, it was an honor to see these young men’s willingness to serve their country.

Drive, Chip & Putt Tournament

I was excited to attend the Drive, Chip & Putt tournament for boys and girls ages 7-15 on June 7 at Desert Springs Golf Course. This tournament is a joint initiative that began in 2013 by the Masters Tournament, United States Golf Association and The PGA of America. This is a nationwide junior golf development competition aimed at growing the game by focusing on the fundamental skills employed in golf. These young boys and girls are very talented individuals; I was honored to present the winners in the 7-9 categories with their ribbons. Congratulations to all participants!

Veterans Reflection Circle Groundbreaking

The City of Surprise broke ground on the outdoor memorial in honor of late Surprise resident and combat wounded veteran Brian Mancini. Brian spent his life serving our country and helping other wounded veterans find healing.

The groundbreaking for the Veterans Reflection Circle was held on Monday, June 24 at 9 a.m. at the Northwest Regional Library (16089 N. Bullard Ave). We hosted an indoor ceremony in the library classroom followed by an outdoor groundbreaking.

The memorial will be built within Surprise Community Park, next to the fishing lake and will open Veterans Day 2019. It was an honor to see many of you there supporting a national and local hero.

Mayor Hall and Surprise City Councilmembers break ground at the Veteran's Reflection Circle.

Tours

Cobalt Rehabilitation Hospital

On June 6, I toured the Cobalt Rehabilitation Hospital located at 13060 West Bell Road. This facility is absolutely stunning, filled with caring staff. The purpose of Cobalt is to help patients who have had traumatic brain injuries, spinal injuries, strokes, and so much more. They have state of the art equipment to help patients get back on track. Thank you for the tour, Cobalt!

Swire Coca-Cola Factory

I was honored to be given a tour of the Swire Coca-Cola Distribution Factory in Glendale. This is a great facility that employs many Surprise residents. We had great conversations with representatives from the factory, discussing water rights and potential partnerships. Thank you to Joe, Beau, and Charlie for the invitation, and I am looking forward to my next visit!

O’Dell Center for Athletics- OUAZ

I was pleased to tour the new O’Dell Center for Athletics at Ottawa University. This center is truly one of a kind. They have made tremendous progress on not only this facility, but all new facilities that will be coming this fall. Thank you to the University President Dr. Dennis Tyner for the great tour.

Grand Openings

Marley Park’s Meritage Homes

On June 5, Councilmembers Duffy, Remley, Vice Mayor Winters and I attended the Grand Opening of Meritage Homes at Marley Park. They showed off six brand new homes, a state of the art amenity center, a resort style pool, basketball court, and a fitness center. We are excited to have a builder like Meritage investing in Surprise. We cannot wait to welcome new neighbors to Surprise!

Mayor Hall prepares to cut the ribbon at the Marley Park Meritage Homes grand opening.

Hilton Garden Inn

City Council and I were happy to attend the Hilton Garden Inn Grand Opening on June 14. The Hilton Garden Inn offers 124 rooms that will support the city’s tourism market. This hotel will truly benefit our city during our peak tourism season when we have thousands of visitors in town for Spring Training and tennis tournaments. Welcome, Hilton Garden Inn!

Mayor Hall prepared to cut the ribbon with City of Surprise Councilmembers at the Hilton Garden Inn grand opening.

“The Park at Surprise” Independent Living

We welcomed The Park at Surprise on June 27 with a terrific ribbon cutting! The Park at Surprise is an independent living facility that offers the perfect balance of privacy and services! They offer a variety of entertainment, classes, and events! We cannot be more excited to welcome The Park to Surprise!

Coming Up

City Council Meetings

As a friendly reminder, City Council will not meet in July. We look forward to being back in August. Our August meetings will be on the 6 and 20. Regular Work Sessions starts at 4 p.m. and Regular City Council meetings begin at 6 p.m. We hope to see you there in August!

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. The classes consist 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. Registration is required. Please call Fire Admin to schedule at 623.222.5000. Classes will be held at the Public Safety Building Auditorium (14250 West Statler Plaza, Suite 101). There will be two sessions, one in the morning (9 a.m. to 11 a.m.) and afternoon (2 p.m. to 4 p.m.). Classes will be on July 16 and July 18.

June 2019 • Newsletter

Meetings & Events

Sun City Lodge Elks Youth Awards Dinner

On May 6, it was an honor to attend the Elks Youth Awards Dinner hosted by the Sun City Elks. It was a night of celebrating the accomplishments of young students throughout Surprise. I issued a proclamation declaring the first week of May as Elks National Youth Week to support the great work the Sun City Elks and our youth provide. The Sun City Elks have connected with over 10,000 students, parents, and teachers who reside in Peoria, El Mirage, and Surprise. Elk members bring so much to the community with their investment in programs that help children grow up healthy and drug-free, meet the needs of veterans, and improve the quality of life. Thank you to the Sun City Lodge Elks for inviting me!

Sun City Elks Lodge list of student winners

EPCOR Interim Rates

Residents in Surprise who have EPCOR have probably noticed a change in your water rates. On March 28, 2019, the Arizona Corporation Commission approved interim rates to recover changes in operating costs since rates were last set in each district. Current rates remain in effect and will continue to appear on your bill as they do today. Interim rates will appear as a surcharge on your bill, calculated based your individual usage.

The Arizona Corporation Commission ordered EPCOR to file a new rate case by May 1, 2020. To share your perspective on the interim rates, you can contact the ACC and reference Docket #WS-01303A-19-0011. You can call 602.542.4251 or mail to:

Arizona Corporation Commission
Consumer Services Section
1200 West Washington Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85007

Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation

While we didn’t take first place in the National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation, we came in second place! We were part of a national campaign that pledged to save three billion gallons of water. Congratulations to Athens, Georgia for beating us out in the 100k-299k population category.

The challenge took place over the entire month of April and Surprise had nearly 13,500 pledges from our residents committing to conserve a total of 56 million gallons of water. Thank you to everyone who took the pledge, and make sure to keep an eye out in April 2020. We have our eyes on the grand prize!

Memorial Day Weekend

During Memorial Day Weekend, City Council and I attended many events honoring the service of our veterans who are no longer with us. Saturday, May 25, Marine Corps League and the American Legion hosted a wreath laying ceremony at the Northwest Regional Library on the World War II Memorial. Thank you to Mike Elliott for saying a few words and Reverend Bob Can Allen for the opening prayer.

On Monday the 27th, Northwest Valley Veterans Association hosted a moving service at the Sunland Memorial Park. Our very own Councilman Ken Remley was the keynote speaker. He talked about his time in the service and honoring fallen veterans. We are all forever grateful for the service these men provided to our country.

The Nicky D. Bacon VFW Post 285 hosted a wreath laying ceremony at the Nicky Bacon Memorial outside of City Hall. The Surprise Police Department Honor Guard was on hand as well as the family members of Nicky D. Bacon. For those who do not know, Nicky D. Bacon was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his service in the Vietnam War. Nicky was a longtime resident of the West Valley and served as Town Manager for Surprise from 1987-1990. After his passing in 2010, VFW Post 285 did not hesitate to rename their post for him.

Nicky Bacon Memorial outside of City Hall

Sun Village hosted a Memorial Day Service “Honoring our Fallen Heroes” outside Peter’s Bistro. Councilman David Sanders gave the keynote speech. I had the great honor to post the POW Flag. It was a remarkable event, and thank you to the many sponsors who made this wreath laying ceremony possible.

Celebrating Our Military

On May 22, the Surprise Senior Center hosted a Celebration of our Military for the upcoming Memorial Day Weekend. The event hosted Army Sergeant 1st Class Madison and Petty Officer Michael Ferrar. The two discussed the military from then and now with the Surprise Senior Center Members.

The Surprise Senior Center has a variety of activities to participate in; from daily activities, to the fitness center, and a hot lunch program. Membership for residents is $12 per year and $15 for non-residents. For more information about the Surprise Senior Center, please call 623.222.1500.

Arizona Charter Academy Breakfast

On Thursday, May 16, the Arizona Charter Academy hosted their annual volunteer appreciation breakfast. Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman was in attendance to recognize the hard work the students and volunteers put into the Academy. Thank you to the Arizona Charter Academy for the invite! Congratulations to all who were recognized!

Congratulations to the following:
ACA Volunteer of the Year: Karen Cassidy
Community Members of the Year: Gary Smith, Kenny Dobbs, Jacob DiMartino of Bully RAADR and Relentless Athletes
Community Partner of the Year: WHAM

Surprise Police Department Annual Appreciation Celebration

Friday, May 17, the Surprise Police Department hosted their annual appreciation celebration. City Councilmembers Remley, Judd, Duffy, Hayden, Sanders, Vice Mayor Winters, and I were on hand to congratulate the personnel for their outstanding achievements.

Please join me in congratulating these outstanding individuals: Officer of the Year: Corbin Claxton
Detective of the Year: Lucas Jensen
Rookie of the Year: Dillon Bleicher
Civilian Employee of the Year: Erin Rivera
Supervisor of the Year: Michael Robbins
Volunteer of the Year: Barbara Jones
Citizen Patrol Volunteer of the Year: Marylene Cayron

Lifesaving Awards: Officer Gerald Graziosi, Officer Fredrick Cuthbertson, Officer Joshua Bucur, Officer William Bisson, Officer Shawna Ebey, Officer Tyler Johnson, Sergeant Garrick Boxberger

Unit Citation- Traffic Unit: Sergeant Michael Robbins, Leonard Collins, Drew Persha, Richard Malone, Steven Shernicoff

Thank you all for your service. It was a pleasure to attend and see these dedicated members receive the recognition they deserve.

WESTMARC Economic Development Meeting

City officials, members of City Council, and I attended the WESTMARC Economic Development Meeting on May 15 where we had the opportunity to listen to several panels and a keynote speaker – Colonel Robert Sylvester of Luke Air Force Base. The panels had a wide range of discussion topics, including water, transportation, and infrastructure. Colonel Sylvester reflected on his time in the West Valley as he prepares to embark on his next mission.

Veterans Summit Meeting

This past month, our Human Services and Community Vitality Department hosted a Veterans Summit. Local Veteran groups were represented and staff from Senator McSally’s office were also in attendance. Discussions included ways to bring Veterans housing to Surprise and what Veterans are looking for in a Veterans Hall. If you are a Veteran or know a Veteran seeking assistance, please reach out to the Surprise Resource Center located in the AZ TechCelerator building at 12425 W. Bell Road, Suite 124 or by calling 623.222.1600. The Surprise Resource Center hosts Veteran Employment Assistance programs and a Job Club for Veterans.

Grand Openings

LA Fitness

On Saturday May 18, we welcomed LA Fitness to Surprise with a remarkable Grand Opening. We are excited to have a company like LA Fitness represented here in Surprise. The new LA Fitness is located at 16635 W Bell Road.

Surprise City Council attends the LA Fitness grand opening

Lennar-Heritage Homes Groundbreaking

We held the ground breaking ceremony for Lennar homes in the Asante neighborhood. We are thrilled to have such a quality homebuilder investing in Surprise again! Asante is truly a beautiful community and Heritage will live up to its name. Residents will enjoy meeting their neighbors in the Asante Park and at the new Asante library which opens next year.

Mark Your Calendar

Veterans Reflection Circle Groundbreaking

On June 24, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.at the Northwest Regional Library (16089 N. Bullard Avenue) we are breaking ground on an outdoor memorial in honor of the late Surprise resident and combat wounded veteran Brian Mancini, who spent his life serving his country and helping other wounded veterans. We hope to see you there!

Poetry Slam at WHAM

On June 21, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at WHAM (16560 North Dysart Road) there will be a Poetry Slam that features open mic night for poetry, free verse, and storytelling. All are welcome to participate as performers and/or listeners. Any established or original pieces may be read. This is a free event and open to the public. No registration required.

Dive-In Movie: Aquaman

On June 15, 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Surprise Aquatic Center (15831 North Bullard Avenue) residents will have the opportunity to relax in the water or poolside while watching “Aquaman” on the big screen! Concessions will be available to purchase. This movie is rated PG-13, children 12 and under are not permitted without an adult. As always, parents must remain within arm’s reach of all non-swimmers. The cost is $5 for residents and $8 for non-residents.

City Council Meetings

As a friendly reminder, City Council Meetings will be on June 4 and June 18 this month starting at 6:00 p.m. City Council Work sessions beings at 4:00 p.m.

Utility Assistance Application Event

Surprise, in partnership with the city of El Mirage, will host walk-in Utility Assistance Application Events in Surprise during the month of June, to assist eligible households that need support paying gas and electric utility bills. The first-come, first-served event will take place on June 13 from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Surprise Resource Center (12425 W Bell Road, Suite 124). Interviews do not guarantee assistance.

May 2019 • Newsletter

Veterans Bridge Naming Celebration

It is a distinct honor to now call the Grand Avenue/Bell Road bridge, Veterans Bridge. Late last year, Councilman Ken Remley and I met to discuss the renaming of the bridge after communicating with resident Dan Riley. The proposal to rename the bridge was supported by then Senator Debbie Lesko and current State Senator Rick Gray. The name was later approved by the Arizona State Board on Geographic and Historic Names. With a large population of veterans living in Surprise, the West and Northwest Valley, the name of the bridge will honor these heroes. The city hosted a renaming celebration on Friday, April 26. We welcomed Governor Doug Ducey, Congresswoman Debbie Lesko, representatives from Senator Martha McSally’s office, State Senators Rick Gray and Sine Kerr and many other dignitaries to the event with our local veterans.Watch the Veterans Bridge Naming Celebration program

Hands-Free Mobile Device While Driving Legislation Passes

As you may recall, Surprise passed a Distracted Driving Ordinance in 2018, making it illegal to use a mobile device, such as a cell phone, while driving unless it is in hands-free mode.

Last month, Governor Doug Ducey signed HB2318 finalizing a statewide law that bans the use of a mobile device while driving, unless in hands-free mode.  While it is effective immediately, it will NOT be enforced by fine until January 1, 2021. However, police statewide do currently have the authority to pull over a driver and issue a warning if they see a violation.

At this time the city’s ordinance remains in effect and will continue to be enforced. The city ordinance differs from the state law, and can be found here: www.surpriseaz.gov/1639/Distracted-Driving.

City Council will hear an agenda item from Police Chief Terry Young on what the new state law means relative to our existing ordinance at their Regular Meeting on May 21, 6 p.m., City Hall Council Chambers. The public is invited to attend.

Events and Meeting

Water Conservation Town Hall

Sun City Grand hosted a Water Conservation Town Hall on the April 25. Residents, Community Managers, and HOAs had the opportunity to ask questions about their water usage. Deputy City Manager and Water Resources Management Director Terry Lowe, along with Jim Kauth, a Certified Landscape Water Manger from Aqua Trac consulting, provided residents insightful information on using water during the different times of year and how an HOA can determine a water budget for their properties.

Meeting with Arizona State Treasurer

We had a successful meeting with Arizona State Treasurer Kimberly Yee at the State Capitol on April 8. We had an informative discussion on the Local Government Investment Pools (LGIP). LGIP is a pooled investment fund that operates like a money market mutual fund for the exclusive benefit of governments within the entity’s jurisidiction. Thank you, Treasurer Yee and your executive team, for your time!

Arizona State Treasurer Kimberly Yee with City of Surprise staff and Mayor
From left to right: Jodi Tas, Surprise Government Relations Administrator, Mayor Skip Hall, Arizona State Treasurer Kimberly Yee, Surprise City Manager Michael Frazier, Surprise Finance Director Andrea Davis

Taste of Surprise

The Taste of Surprise, hosted by the Surprise Rotary Club, is an annual event that benefits local charities. This year, it took place on April 6 at the Surprise Stadium. I joined several of my fellow City Council colleagues in the dunk tank with hopes to raise additional funds for the event. There was plenty of food options offered from several of our local restaurants. The entertainment included live music from Los Gringos and TripWire, a car show, cooking demonstrations, and a kids zone.

Mayor Skip Hall sitting in dunk tank.

On April 15, Carefree Partners hosted an informative discussion with residents from Marley Park on the future physical development of the City of Surprise. Councilmembers Chris Judd and Dave Sanders joined me at the meeting. It was an enthusiastic crowd full of great energy and ideas.Community Meetings

Surprise Fire-Medical Ceremony

The Surprise Fire-Medical Department hosted their Annual Awards Ceremony on April 4. The ceremony was an opportunity to recognize personnel for their outstanding achievements.

Please join me in congratulating these outstanding individuals:

Chief’s Award: Firefighter Roy Michael
Perry Award: Assistant Fire Chief Darrell Johnston
Fire Medal: Firefighter Dave Anderson
Engine Company of the Year: Engine Company 302, A-shift: Engineer (Acting Captain) Steve Gilbert, Engineer Steve Spirlong, Firefighter Tim Penner, Firefighter Donovan Maturan
Paramedic of the Year: Firefighter Sean Cullen
EMT of the Year: Firefighter Mike Naehrbass
Unit of the Year: SFMD Honor Guard
Individual Citations: Engineer Jenesa Dobrinski, Firefighter Mike Meadors, Engineer David Anderson | Volunteers from the Lockbox Program – Gordon & Barbara Birschbach, Barbara Pelligrino, Ray & Ramona Simpson, James Cooper, Ron Ottwell
Crisis Response Rookie Volunteer of the Year: Tim Tait
Crisis Response Volunteers of the Year: Don & Patti Nelson
Administrative Civilian Volunteer of the Year: Esther Gillett
Civilian of the Year: Administrative Technician Dana Smith

It was a pleasure to attend and see the dedicated members of the department receive recognition.

Kingswood Parke Spring Fling

Councilman David Sanders and I attended the Kingswood Parke HOA Spring Fling on April 6. We enjoyed spending time with the residents. The community had inflatables, carnival festivities, a great BBQ, and live entertainment.

We always appreciate the invite and opportunity to engage with our constituents. Thank you for inviting us!

Citizens Patrol Recognition Dinner

The Citizens Patrol held their annual recognition dinner on April 12 in Sun City Grand. Councilmembers Hayden, Judd, Sanders and I were in attendance to honor this important group of individuals in our community. I cannot thank these individuals enough for their contributions to Surprise. The Citizens Patrol was created in 1997 to help ensure a safe environment by providing quality customer service to the people who live and work in Surprise. These volunteers consist of 62 highly trained men and women who donate their time and skills in the furtherance of the Surprise Police Department mission.

WHAM

Mayor Hall and Councilmember Sanders at WHAM
Councilman David Sanders, WHAM Founder Connie Whitlock, and Mayor Skip Hall

April was an exciting month for WHAM. They opened up their one-day Recycle Fashion Show & Art Festival on April 6 with the theme “Where Creativity Goes Green” in connection with Earth Day. They showcased three exhibits: Recycled Art Exhibit, Youth Recycled Art Exhibit, and the Find It, Fix It, & Flip It Exhibit. This fun-filled family event offered great food, informational booths, music, entertainment, arts and crafts, and a fashion show! Make sure to always check out what WHAM has going on at www.wham-art.org.

Councilmembers Patrick Duffy, David Sanders, and myself, along with city officials that included City Manager Mike Frazier, Deputy City Manager Terry Lowe, and Police Chief Terry Young participated in the WHAM fundraiser at Top Golf in Glendale on April 14. We competed against each other in teams to help raise money for an excellent cause. Thank you for having us, WHAM!

3rd Annual Surprise Area Interfaith & Golden Rule Community Breakfast

It was an honor to welcome community, faith, business, and non-profit leaders of the region to Surprise for the 3rd Annual Surprise Area Interfaith & Golden Rule Community Breakfast. This year, the event took place at the Salvation Army, 17420 Avenue of the Arts, on May 1. Leaders throughout the community were able to tell their Golden Rule stories. The Golden Rule allows individuals to build bridges, educate one another, and have an open conversation without conflict.

I’d like to extend my gratitude to the Salvation Army, Area Ministerial Association, and the Arizona Interfaith Movement for joining the city in sponsorship of the breakfast. I would also like to say thank you to Seth Dyson, the city’s Human Services and Community Vitality Director, for setting this great breakfast up.

Grand Openings

The Colonnade

Sun Health Communities held a grand opening for their new Assisted Living and Memory Support residences at the Colonnade on Thursday, May 2. I was honored to join Sun Health executives at the ribbon cutting. Attendees were able to tour the building and residence suites, meet staff and learn about new services and amenities available to future residents.

The Colonnade is a nonprofit Life Plan Community spanning over 40 acres in the heart of Sun City Grand and Surprise. This expansion adds 26 assisted living residences and 24 memory support suites.

Mark Your Calendar

Movie Night in the Park

Come on down to the Mark Coronado Park (15850 N Bullard Ave) on May 11 for a movie night. Small Foot will be the featured movie! Gates open at 6 p.m., and the movie starts at 7 p.m. This is a free event! Please no outside food or coolers allowed.

Surprise Family Pool-ooza!

The Surprise Police and Fire-Medical Departments will be hosting a free Family Pool-ooza at the Surprise Aquatic Center located at 15831 N. Bullard Avenue on May 18. It will be an open swim, CPR demos, swim assessments, interactive booths & more!

Itty Bitty Beach Party

At the Surprise Aquatic Center, 15831 N. Bullard Avenue, on May 23 from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. bring your swimsuit, towel, and sunscreen for the annual Itty Bitty Beach Party for ages 6 years and younger! There will be games, crafts, prizes, and a special mermaid appearance! Tickets are $5 for residents and can be purchased online at http://surpriserec.surpriseaz.gov under “Special Events”.

City Council Meetings

As a friendly reminder, City Council Meetings will be on May 7 and May 21 this month starting at 6:00 p.m. City Council Work Sessions begins at 4:00 p.m.

Did You Know?

Surprise City Manager Michael Frazier released his recommended FY2020 budget. At the April 16 Work Session, City Manager Frazier released his recommended expenditure budget of $414 million. Mr. Frazier’s focus is on city growth, while maintaining the cities current existing assets. Overall, General Fund revenues are expected to increase seven percent from the FY2019 adopted budget, due to larger population growth and a favorable economy.

In order to address growing Public Safety demands, this budget recommends hiring the following 18 full-time employees: 3 EMT’s, 3 Paramedics, 5 Firefighters, 1 Community Risk professional, 5 sworn Police Officers, and 1 Court Clerk.

In the utility enterprise funds this would allow the city to add 11 employees to address the city growth. Water Resource Management would add 9 full-time employees in water and sewer; while Public Works would add 2 for solid waste services.

The Recommended Budget also includes $106.3 million for Capital Improvement Projects. These funds support new projects such as facilities and roads as well as support asset replacement and maintenance needs to existing infrastructure, including public safety vehicle replacement; road maintenance; information technology, recreation, and utility infrastructure.

What’s next? A public hearing and the Council’s Tentative Budget adoption is scheduled for the Regular Council Meeting on May 7; with a final budget adoption scheduled for the June 4 meeting. If you are a resident, please feel free to come and let us know your thoughts on the budget at any of the public hearings, or please feel free to reach out via email or phone to voice your opinion. The recommended budget is available online at www.surpriseaz.gov/budget.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

April 2019 • Newsletter

State of the City of Surprise

It was a night of celebration on March 28, as I had the opportunity to host the 2019 State of the City video premiere, which highlighted the city’s most shining moments over the past year.

The video captured the city’s incredible commercial and industrial growth, with two new manufacturing facilities and more than 1.3 million square feet of new commercial space added last year.

Viewers learned about the growing partnership between the city and Ottawa University and the opportunity residents will have to use some of the school’s state-of-the-art recreation space that opens this fall.

Future focused, the video highlighted some of the city’s larger building projects, including the Asante Branch Library; Toll Brothers executive housing development; and the advancement of the Decide Surprise bond projects.

The importance of preparation was addressed; planning for water resources and transportation and public safety needs… and how the 2020 Census will play an important part in all of that.

We also paid tribute to the countless volunteers who share their time and expertise in building our community.

After the video premiere, attendees made their way through the first floor of City Hall and the courtyard to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the opening of the current City Hall building. Participants enjoyed great entertainment from our local schools and recreation programs, fantastic food trucks and plenty of fun activities that helped residents get to know more about the city departments that serve them.

Watch the State of the City video and see event photos at www.surpriseaz.gov/SOTC.

Transportation Survey

You can help make a difference concerning transportation in our City by taking this survey. Just ten minutes of your time will tell us about your transportation needs and priorities which will help us decide our region’s transportation priorities and system. Your responses will play a critical role and will be utilized in the aggregate, along with the responses of others just like you, to help shape the region’s future.

MAG Transportation Survey

We understand that everyone leads a busy life and greatly appreciate any time you can give to this research effort. Take the survey.

Events & Meetings

Spring Training

As another Spring Training season concludes, we are grateful to have the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers call Surprise their spring home. We are excited to wish them the best of luck on their quests for a World Series Championship.

Surprise Stadium

Thank you to our grounds crew, Sports and Tourism Department, Surprise Sundancers volunteer organization, fans and so many more for making this another successful Spring Training in Surprise. Once again, thank you to the Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers for their support in our community.

Read Across America

In honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday and Read Across America Week, I had the pleasure of reading to the two classes at Countryside Elementary School. I look forward to sharing my love of reading each year with these students.

Speaking on Civic Engagement

Earlier this month, I was invited to meet with Mrs. Beth Hutchens-Maloney and her class to discuss civic engagement and the importance of using your voice. It is always great to be able to speak to our youth about giving back, paying it forward and using your voice and talents for the greater good.

Surprise Literacy Challenge Winners

My sixth annual Literacy Challenge visit took place this past month, where I visited Mrs. Lovely’s 5th grade class along with Ms. Eby’s 4th grade class. Over 2,500 students in 4th-6th grade from 11 schools participated in this two-month challenge to experience literacy in fun and interesting ways. Participating students are given 29 literacy challenges, like visiting their local public library and engaging with librarians. I look forward to this great tradition every year.

Surprise Literacy Challenge Winner with Mayor Hall

Community Meetings

In March, three community meetings were hosted by Scott Phillips of Carefree Partners throughout the city. The purpose of these meetings was to get community input on city center development. Those meetings were held in Sun Village, Sun City Grand and Larry H. Miller Surprise. Our next public meeting will be Monday, April 15th from 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at the Marley Park Heritage Pool House (15210 West Sweetwater Avenue). I hope to see you there!

Mayor Skip Hall & Scott Phillips of Carefree Partners

Cal Ripken Day at Surprise Stadium

Did you know that Surprise’s Cal Ripken, Babe Ruth and Bambino Buddy Ball players make up the largest league in the entire state of Arizona with more than 2,000 athletes? How about that we’re the second-largest league in the country? It was great to welcome and thank the 450-plus coaches who volunteer their time for these amazing kids! Over 2000 kids play a total of 723 games between March and June on fields across our city. Thank you to the youth athletes and their coaches for your participation!

Cal Ripken Day at Surprise Stadium

Surprise Regional Chamber Breakfast: Meet the Mayors

The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted a breakfast meeting on March 1. Youngtown Mayor Michael LeVault, El Mirage Mayor Alexis Hermosillo and I were asked to provide updates on the current and future plans of our city. It was a well-attended event to let the Chamber and local businesses know our vision for our respective cities.

Surprise Regional Chamber Breakfast: Meet the Mayors

New Businesses

Nothing Bundt Cakes

On March 7, we welcomed Nothing Bundt Cakes to the city of Surprise! Please make sure to check them out! They are located at 15332 West Bell Road.

Nothing Bundt Cakes staff seen with Mayor Hall

Avenir Behavioral Health Center

I had the pleasure of attending and welcoming Avenir Behavioral Health Center to Surprise on March 20. Avenir, a family owned and operated company, has built a state-of-the-art behavioral health facility for people over the age of 65. The health center consists of two separate wings with private and semi-private suites. Welcome to Surprise, Avenir!

Avenir Behavioral Health Center staff cutting ribbon

Mark Your Calendar

Sunday in the Park Food Truck Festival

The next Sunday in the Park Food Truck Festival will be held on April 14th at the Mark Coronado Park (15850 N Bullard Ave) from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. This is a fun, family event with live music provided by the Steven P Project and amazing food!

Spring EGG-stravanganza

Eager hunters, from toddlers to 10 year-olds, are invited to join the search for more than 50,000 candy and toy-filled eggs as part of the Spring EGG-stravaganza! This is a free, family event that will feature face painters, balloon artists, inflatables and, of course, Mr. & Mrs. Bunny! Gates will open at 7:30 a.m. at the Kansas City Royals Practice Fields, 15850 N Bullard Avenue.

Surprise Talent Show

The city of Surprise is looking for its most talented residents! The Surprise Talent Show will take place on April 26th from 6 – 8 p.m. at Valley Vista High School (15550 N. Parkview Place). The categories are singing, performance, instrumental, dance, and theater/comedy. Tickets are $5 at the door.

Household Hazardous Waste

The annual Household Hazardous Waste event is underway. Now through April 12 residents can make an appointment online at www.surpriseaz.gov/hhwevent, through the My Surprise App, or by calling 623.222.1900 for their household hazardous waste to be picked up. Pick up will occur April 8-19. Residents will place their hazardous waste, on the driveway or against the garage, not on the sidewalk or curb. Properly packaged, sealed and labeled items will be picked up between the hours of 6 a.m. – 4 p.m.

City Council Meetings

As a friendly reminder, City Council Meetings will be on April 2 and April 16 this month starting at 6:00 p.m. City Council Work Sessions begin at 4 p.m. The FY20 budget will be discussed at each Work Session through April. We hope to see you there!

Did You Know?

The Surprise Community Outreach Program, a City Council-led initiative to assist community organizations in providing programs and events that benefit City of Surprise residents, is now accepting applications. The purpose of the program is provide funding assistance to organizations within the city of Surprise for programs, events, and activities that enhance the overall lifestyle of the community. Council set aside up to $100,000 for FY2019-2020 for the Surprise Community Outreach Program in an effort to support and grow qualified local programs and events to improve the health and welfare of Surprise residents.

To be considered, applicants must be a 501(c)3 organization or partner with a 501(c)3 verified agency. The maximum award per applicant is $10,000. According to program guidelines, funds are distributed by reimbursement through an invoice process. The application, complete program details, and eligibility requirements are available online at: www.surpriseaz.gov/communityoutreachprogram. Applications will be accepted until Tuesday, April 30, 2019 and should be addressed to:

Human Service & Community Vitality
Attention: Jodi Tas
City of Surprise
16000 N Civic Center Plaza
Surprise, AZ 85374

A pre-application meeting that will include information about the program and the application process will be held Wednesday, April 3, at 11:00 a.m. in the Surprise City Hall Community Room, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza.

For more information, please contact Jodi Tas at 623.222.1330 or Jodi.Tas@surpriseaz.gov

March 2019 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Meeting with Congresswoman Debbie Lesko

Last week, City Council met with Congresswoman Debbie Lesko. We provided her with a city update and made her aware of Council initiatives and city needs which included support of funding for transit and transportation needs, as well as a future home for our veterans. She was able to provide us with updates on her work in Washington, D.C.

Surprise City Council pictured with Congresswoman Debbie Lesko
Surprise City Council pictured with Congresswoman Debbie Lesko

Sanderson Ford College Baseball Classic

The Sanderson Ford College Baseball Classic returned to Surprise, featuring the 2018 College World Series Baseball Champions, the Oregon State Beavers, along with the Nebraska Cornhuskers, Gonzaga Bulldogs, New Mexico Lobos, and the Minnesota Gophers. It was a great turnout, and I enjoyed recognizing the Oregon State Beavers for their great 2018 season.

Mayor Hall pictured with Oregon State Head Coach Pat Bailey
Mayor Hall pictured with Oregon State Head Coach Pat Bailey

Spring Training Welcome Back Luncheon

We welcomed the Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers to Surprise on Friday, February 15. Representatives of the Royals and Rangers gave insight into the season ahead. I wish both teams luck in their upcoming seasons.

City Council pictured at the Welcome Back Luncheon
City Council pictured at the Welcome Back Luncheon

Building Homes for Heroes

City Council had the distinct honor to attend a welcome home ceremony for Staff Sgt. Robles here in Surprise. Building Homes for Heroes and Chase Bank partnered to give this deserving veteran a mortgage free home. Thank you for your service, Staff Sgt. Robles, and welcome to Surprise!

Mayor Hall and Councilmembers Judd, Sanders, Hayden and Winters pictured with Sgt. Robles and members of Building Homes for Heroes and Chase Bank
Mayor Hall and Councilmembers Judd, Sanders, Hayden and Winters pictured with Sgt. Robles and members of Building Homes for Heroes and Chase Bank

New Businesses in Surprise

This month, I had the great opportunity to attend four ribbon cuttings in our city:

On February 1, I was honored to attend the ribbon cutting with Councilmembers Ken Remley, Nancy Hayden, Chris Judd, and David Sanders for My Goodies, located at 15170 West Bell Road.

Mayor Hall, Councilmembers Hayden, Judd, and Sanders pictured with My Goodies owners Jessica and Melissa
Mayor Hall, Councilmembers Hayden, Judd, and Sanders pictured with My Goodies owners Jessica and Melissa

On February 7th, all of City Council attended the Destiny Springs Behavioral Health Hospital ribbon cutting. Destiny Springs is a beautiful, state of the art facility located at 17300 North Dysart Road.

City Council pictured with Destiny Springs owner Dr. Martin Newman and CEO Burton Carriker
City Council pictured with Destiny Springs owner Dr. Martin Newman and CEO Burton Carriker

On February 21st, we welcomed Champs Family Automotive! It was exciting to have Congresswoman Debbie Lesko join us for this event.

Mayor Hall and Councilwoman Hayden pictured with the Champs Family Automotive team and Congresswoman Debbie Lesko
Mayor Hall and Councilwoman Hayden pictured with the Champs Family Automotive team and Congresswoman Debbie Lesko


Mark Your Calendar

State of the City & 10 Year City Hall Celebration

This month, the city is combining the annual State of the City address with a celebration of the 10-year anniversary of the opening of our current City Hall. It’s going to be a fun event for the whole family and an opportunity to learn more about the different ways your city serves you. The event will be held the evening of Thursday, March 28. At 6 p.m., you are invited to the City Council Chambers to watch a State of the City video that will show our accomplishments from this past year and a look forward to what’s coming next. Following the video presentation, from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m., please join us in the outside courtyard of City Hall for food, entertainment, games, a showcase of the city’s programs and services, and more!

This is your opportunity to meet City Council and staff who serve you!

City Center Community Meeting

Please join us on March 7 at 4pm for a Community Meeting at Sun Village to talk about the City Center. The meeting will be held in the Sun Village multi-purpose room located at 17300 North Sun Village Parkway. I hope to see you there. Make sure to keep an eye out for future meetings throughout Surprise.

Household Hazardous Waste

The annual Household Hazardous Waste event will be a little different this year. Starting in 2019, we will be coming to you to pick up your Hazardous Waste. April 1-12 residents can request pickup online at www.surpriseaz.gov/hhwevent, through the My Surprise App, or by calling 623.222.1900. Pickup will occur April 8-19. Residents will place their hazardous waste on the driveway or against the garage, not on the sidewalk or curb. Properly packaged, sealed and labeled items will be picked up between the hours of 6 a.m. – 4 p.m. on the scheduled collection date.

Spring Training Begins

Spring Training is in full swing here in the desert for the Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers! Make sure to visit www.surprisestadium.com for tickets, fan promotions, and fan experiences. On Friday, March 22, Surprise Stadium will even have a special Fireworks Night, presented by Jimmy Johns!

Mayor Hall pictured with Royals special assistant Mike Sweeney
Mayor Hall pictured with Royals special assistant Mike Sweeney

City Council Meetings

As a friendly reminder, City Council Meetings will be on March 5 and March 19 this month starting at 6:00 p.m. City Council Work Sessions begin at 4 p.m. The FY20 budget will be discussed at each future Work Session through April 2. We hope to see you there!


Did You Know?

Utility Rate Study Approved by City Council

City Council approved the Utility Rate Study during the February 19th Regular Council Meeting, effectively adjusting the five-year rate schedule for city serviced solid waste customers at the beginning of fiscal year (FY) 2020 which begins on July 1, 2019. Single-family solid waste customers will pay a monthly base rate of $20.70 starting July 1, 2019 and with another scheduled increase to $23.40 on July 1, 2020. The rate schedule will then increase the rate by $0.10 each fiscal year beginning in 2021, bringing the rate to $23.70 on July 1, 2023. Residential water and wastewater utility rates will remain unchanged in FY 2020-2024. This is the first significant solid waste increase since 2010; a $0.33 rate increase did go into effect in FY 2019. For information regarding the Utility Rate Study, it can be found online at www.surpriseaz.gov/utilityratesinfo.

January 31, 2019 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

New District 5 Councilmember Selected

The Surprise City Council appointed David Sanders to serve as the new District 5 Councilmember at the January 3 City Council Meeting.

Sanders has lived in Surprise for nine years. His professional background is in banking/finance, and he has an MBA in International Business and Finance from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from California State University – San Marcos.

He has served on the city’s Community and Recreation Advisory Commission since 2013 and was a member of the Capital Improvement Funding Exploratory Committee in 2015.

The D5 seat was vacated in November 2018 when I was appointed as the new Mayor.

The term expiration for this appointment will be December 31, 2020, and the remainder of the four-year term will be placed on the next scheduled council election in August 2020 per state statute.

The Surprise City Council appointed David Sanders to serve as the new District 5 Councilmember at the January 3 City Council Meeting

Update on the Hands Free Use of Mobile Devices While Driving Ordinance

During the Jan. 15 City Council Meeting, Police Chief Terry Young presented a traffic safety update on the Hands Free Use of Mobile Devices While Driving Ordinance, which went into effect Sept. 6.

For the first month that the ordinance was in effect, the Police Department focused on education rather than enforcement. During that time, there was an effort to communicate the change to the public through warnings, road signs, media, social media and other communications vehicles.

After the first month, Police transitioned to the enforcement side; a violation of the ordinance is a civil offense that includes a $250 fine. From October through December, there were 201 traffic contacts related to this ordinance. Of those, 125 were issued citations, and 76 were issued warnings. Chief Young pointed out that the most prevalent locations for ordinance violations were Bell Road (46%) and Greenway Road (8%); the remaining of 46% of violations were spread throughout the city. He also took the three months of data and multiplied it by four to provide an estimate of yearly numbers in comparison to other traffic violations. In this comparison, violation of the ordinance was ranked number five amongst traffic enforcement efforts in Surprise, following speeding, no proof of insurance, failure to control speed to avoid a collision, and stop sign violations.

2019 PORA/SCHOA Legislative Meeting

Earlier this month, I joined our Legislators from Districts 21 and 22, Maricopa County Supervisor Clint Hickman, Congresswoman Debbie Lesko’s staff and Youngtown Mayor Michael LeVault at a meeting hosted by Sun City West Property Owners and Residents Association (PORA) and Sun City Home Owners Association (SCHOA). Each elected official provided an update on our respective cities, counties and what is expected this legislative session.

Dysart Unified School District Meeting

I had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Quinn Kellis, Superintendent of Dysart Unified School District, to discuss our continued partnership and determine additional ways we can support our youth in Surprise.

New Businesses in Surprise

I love welcoming new businesses and celebrating ones that are expanding; and I was proud to be part of some grand opening events recently.

On December 5, I attended the ribbon cutting for Café Rio’s new location at 13968 W. Waddell Road.

Surprise City Council at the Cafe Rio grand opening

And then on December 14, I had the honor of helping with the ribbon cutting for the newly remodeled Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona Advantage office on 13985 W Grand Avenue.

Mayor Skip Hall helping with the ribbon cutting for the newly remodeled Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona Advantage office


Mark Your Calendar

State of the City & 10 Year City Hall Celebration

This March, the city is combining the annual State of the City address with a celebration of the 10 year anniversary of the opening of our current City Hall. It’s going to be a really fun event for the whole family and an opportunity to learn more about the different ways your city serves you. The event will be held the evening of Thursday, March 28. At 6 p.m. you are invited to City Council Chambers to watch a State of the City video that will show our accomplishments from this past year and a look forward to what’s coming next. Following the video presentation, from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m., join us in the outside courtyard of City Hall for food, entertainment, games, a showcase of the city’s programs and services, and more!

Spring Training Begins February 23

Spring Training is right around the corner, and we are excited to welcome our Spring Training home teams, the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers, back to town! If you are looking to catch a game, there are a variety of ticket options to choose from – starting at just $8 for lawn seats! Plus, we have great promotional deals for residents, families and veterans. On Friday, March 22, Surprise Stadium will even have a special Fireworks Night, presented by Jimmy John’s! Get information on tickets, game schedule promotions and more at www.surprisestadium.com.

Artisan Treasures Sweet Spring Festival

Join us for a creative market shopping experience at the “Artisan Treasures Sweet Spring & Food Truck Festival” presented by Wood & Me on Saturday, February 16. The festival will take place from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. and will feature over 100 local artists and vendors at Mark Coronado Park, located at 15960 N. Bullard Ave. Parking and admission are free. The first 100 guests will receive a treasure bag full of goodies, courtesy of participating vendors and Wood & Me. For information about the event, visit www.woodnme.com or contact Surprise Stadium at 623.222.2222.


Did You Know?

New Council Conversations Show

I have a new Council Conversations show out, and it has details on some exciting changes in Surprise. I talk with Ottawa University Provost Dennis Tyner about the school’s expanding footprint at City Center, and introduce our new City Manager and first-ever Emergency Manager. Watch the Show.

Council Conversations Show image

Volunteer for a Board or Commission

Volunteering on a board or commission is great way to get involved. The city is currently accepting applications for a vacancy on the Audit Committee, but we also accept applications for all boards and commissions on an open basis and will keep applications on file for four years for future vacancies. Applications are available for pick-up from the City Clerk’s Office at City Hall from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Friday. Applications are also available online at www.surpriseaz.gov/boards.

Surprise Recreation Campus Hosts Tennis and Pickleball Tournaments

January has been a big month for Tennis and Pickleball in Surprise. The city hosted the Tommy Wong Pickleball Tournament and the Southwest Regional Pickleball Championships – with each drawing approximately 600 players and spectators! Plus, USTA hosted two tennis tournaments, the National Level 3 Jr. Classic and 65 and Over National Invitational, which brought in a combined 642 participants.

If you are interested in watching some exciting court play, there are a few more events coming up in February. The USTA 65 and over National Invitational – 7.0 and 9.0 Men and Women is February 1-3, the USTA Pro Circuit is February 11-17, and the Grand Canyon State Games Pickleball Tournament is February 21-26. Get more information at www.surpriseaz.gov/tennis.

Bell Road Bridge Name Change

Earlier this month, the Arizona State Board on Geographic and Historic Names unanimously approved the Veterans’ Bridge name proposal for the Bell Road/Grand Avenue Bridge presented by Senator Rick Gray at the request of Councilman Ken Remley and myself. The approved name will be filed with the Secretary of State, as well as the Clerk of Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.

I am happy that our city continues to find ways to honor our heroes.

November 29, 2018 • Newsletter

Mayor Selection

It is with the most sincere gratitude that I take on a new position after the Surprise City Council unanimously selected me to serve as the city’s next mayor. I will serve in this capacity until December 31, 2020, fulfilling the remaining mayoral term vacated by Sharon Wolcott on November 16, 2018. For those of you who don’t know me, I have served on the city council since 2008 and was most recently re-elected to the District 5 seat in the 2018 Primary Election. I served as Vice Mayor in 2011 and 2014. I also served three years as a city Planning and Zoning Commission member before being elected to the City Council.

Mayor Skip Hall swearn in by City Clerk

It is my hope to accomplish many things with City Council and staff. Some of my goals include: the anticipation of funding through budget priorities for our police and fire to ensure our city remains safe and secure through our next growth cycle; through vigilant budget review and department by department justification, work to insure that our financial strength and sustainability is maintained; and to maximize the education benefit to our youth by encouraging and facilitating, where possible, the cooperation and synergy of our new residential university, Ottawa, as well as West-MEC vocational school, Dysart Unified School District and our several charter schools. I also want us to work with our Economic Development Department to attract private investment to produce an entertainment venue for teens and to attract more entertainment and restaurant operators. We hope to continue to work with City Center landowners and staff on an updated vision that’s unique to Surprise and is adaptable to the market.

Thank you for your continued support and your ongoing trust. I look forward to working with Council, our various partners and serving the residents of this great city.


District 5 Council Vacancy

The city is currently accepting applications for the position of Councilmember for District 5 (Palm) due to my appointment as Mayor earlier this month. All District 5 applicants must reside within District 5 boundaries. The term expiration for the appointment will be December 31, 2020, and the remainder of the four-year term will be placed on the next scheduled Council election in August 20, 2020 per ARS 9-235 (The council shall fill a vacancy that may occur by appointment until the next regularly scheduled council election if the vacancy occurs more than thirty days before the nomination petition deadline. This subsection does not apply to a charter city). The Interview/Selection process is as follows:

Section 2-22 of the Surprise City Code – Council/District Vacancy:

(1) Vacancies in district office will be advertised beginning no later than 14 days from the date the vacancy is created when caused by death, and seven days from the date the vacancy is created in all other cases. The city clerk will advertise all vacancies in at least one newspaper with local circulation, on the city website, and in all designated posting locations during the application acceptance period. (Date of Advertisement – Monday, November 26, 2018).

(2) All eligible persons interested in filling the district vacancy must submit an application to the city clerk’s office prior to the close of the acceptance period. The application acceptance period will end at 5:00 p.m. on the 14th day following the placement of the advertisement as required by subsection (1) of this section. (Monday, December 10th, 2018).

(3) No later than the end of the business day following the close of the application acceptance period, the city clerk will forward to the mayor and council and post on the city website a copy of all applications submitted during the application acceptance period (Tuesday, December 11, 2018).

(4) The council will interview each applicant at a public hearing held no later than ten days following the close of the application acceptance period, followed by a seven-day period during which public comment may be submitted to the city clerk’s office (Interview/Public Hearing – Thursday, December 20, 2018 – 4:00 p.m. & Close of Comments (Thursday, December 27, 2018 – 5:00 p.m.).

(5) No later than the end of the business day following the close of the public comment period, the city clerk will forward to the mayor and council and post on the city website a copy of all comments submitted during the comment period (Friday, December 28, 2018).

(6) A district candidate must be selected no later than the second regularly scheduled council meeting following the public hearing (Thursday, January 3, 2019 or Tuesday, January 15, 2019 – 6:00 p.m.).

Applications are available for pick up the City Clerk’s Office, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, starting on Monday, November 26, 2018 – 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday, and the closing date will be Monday, December 10, 2018 – 5:00 p.m.

Interviews will be scheduled for Thursday, December 20, 2018 at a Special Council Meeting (4:00 p.m.).

Selection of the applicant will take place on Thursday, January 3, 2019 or Tuesday, January 15, 2019, 6:00 p.m. Regular Council Meeting. Applications are also available online @ www.surpriseaz.gov, under City Clerk section. Please submit applications to the City Clerk’s Office.


Did You Know?

Surprise Youth Services College Readiness Summit

The first annual Surprise Youth Services College Readiness Summit was held on Saturday, November 17 at the Ottawa University campus here in Surprise. The 40 attending high school seniors were treated to a variety of workshops focused on helping them gain tools for success in college or trade school next year. Attendees learned about budgeting and how to be money smart in the Financial Literacy workshop facilitated by a financial advisor from Mid-First Bank. They engaged in thoughtful conversation about how they spend their time and learned how to break down big goals into smaller, easy to manage steps in the Time Management and Goal Setting workshop. In the Physical Wellness workshop, facilitated by doctoral students from Mid-Western University, they created a personal wheel of wellness and examined how all of the various parts of life such as nutrition, sleep, stress, finances, and more, work together to contribute to overall wellness. Lastly, in a workshop facilitated by two students who currently attend Northern Arizona University, attendees heard the inside scoop about “Things They Don’t Tell You About Your First Year of College.” They learned the importance of making connections on campus, how to deal with the inevitable homesickness, how to maintain a healthy relationship with family as they work to be independent, resources for first-gen students, and more. Lunch was catered by Lolo’s and Papi’s Tacos, a local mobile taqueria. Attendance at the summit was a qualifying step in the application process for the first ever Surprise Youth Services Scholarship where three winners will share a total of $7,000. Stay tuned as winners will be announced in mid-February!

Surprise Fire Station 305 Holiday Celebration

Residents from the community gathered together at Surprise Fire Station 305 to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday on Monday, November 19. Residents wanted to ensure the firefighters working on the holiday had time to celebrate the holiday in advance. Many thanks to our generous community members who contributed!

residents and members of Surprise Fire Station 305

My Surprise Community Engagement App Now Available

The city has launched a new way for residents to connect with city services and reminders, the My Surprise app! When you download My Surprise, you’ll join our community of vigilant residents who want to help Surprise be one of the cleanest, most well-maintained cities in Arizona.

My Surprise transforms your smart devices into tools that assist with reporting city-maintained service requests such as broken street lights, potholes on city streets, graffiti, flooded roadways and more! The app also provides users a way to connect with City Council members and receive refuse reminders, such as changes to the schedule due to holidays. Plus, My Surprise is easy to use! Reporting a concern is as simple as logging in, typing a brief description of the issue and pressing send; you can even upload video, audio and image files! My Surprise even allows you to pinpoint the exact location of your service request.

My Surprise was designed for a community who cares about the appearance and functionality of city-maintained spaces. Join us, and let’s build a beautiful, safe city we can all enjoy; download the app now and show your love for My Surprise! The My Surprise app is now available for download in the Apple Store and Google Play Store. Learn more about My Surprise at www.surpriseaz.gov/mysurprise.

My Surprise App

Bullard Ave traffic signals at Acoma, Sweetwater intersections active week of Dec 3

The traffic signals at the Acoma Drive and Sweetwater Avenue intersections will be activated on Monday, December 3.

Barring changes to the schedule, signals will flash red for 48 hours through Tuesday, December 4. Motorists are reminded to treat the intersections as four-way stops while the signals are flashing red.

The new traffic signals, featuring flashing yellow arrows on north and south signal pole masts, will be fully operational on Wednesday, December 5. Surprise police officers will assist with traffic control during the signal activation.

Work hours for this week are Monday – Saturday, 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.; traffic barricades along the roadway are scheduled to be removed on Sunday, December 2.

Crews are scheduled to stripe lanes along Bullard Avenue on Monday, December 3 and Tuesday, December 4; thermoplastic striping will be placed late December.

The speed limit in the construction area remains 25 mph except in school zones where the speed limit is 15 mph. Please proceed with caution through the project area and remember to Drive Wise, Surprise!

For project-related questions, contact Suneel Garg at 623.222.6130. To learn more about the Bullard Ave project, visit www.surpriseaz.gov/bullard.


Mark Your Calendar

Annual Surprise Party

Come celebrate with the City of Surprise at the 17th annual Surprise Party on November 30 and December 1 at the Surprise Recreation Campus! This fun-filled event offers a variety of activities and entertainment experiences, and admission is free with a canned food or toy donation benefiting Sanderson Ford Operation Santa Claus. Here’s what you can expect:

Friday, November 30 (5 p.m. – 9 p.m.) will include a traditional tree lighting ceremony, a hot air balloon glow, Arizona Skyhawks Skydivers, great food, live musical performances from “The Chadwicks” and “SMASHED,” fireworks and ice skating. Plus, Santa’s Workshop offers a free opportunity for youth of all ages to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus while enjoying arts and crafts, cookies, and fun! Friday’s event will be held at the Surprise Recreation Campus – Stadium Plaza, located at 15850 N. Bullard Avenue. Fireworks will begin approximately at 8:55 p.m.

Saturday, December 1 (11 a.m. – 5 p.m.) will include an arts and crafts festival, classic car show, interactive games, camel rides, a petting zoo, clowns, face painters, inflatables, gingerbread house contest, ice skating and much more! Throughout the day, enjoy a variety of entertainment, including performances by the City of Surprise dance programs. Concessions will be available for purchase. Saturday’s events will be held at the Surprise Recreation Campus – Mark Coronado Park, north of Surprise Stadium.

For additional event information, please contact the Surprise Community and Recreation Services Department at 623.222.2000 or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/surpriseparty.

Ottawa University Victory Bowl

The OUAZ football team has accepted an invitation from the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) to serve as host and participant in the 2018 NCCAA Victory Bowl Invitational. The Spirit will welcome Olivet Nazarene to Spirit Field on Friday, November 30 at 7 p.m.

The 2018 Victory Bowl will mark the 21st straight year the NCCAA will award a Victory Bowl champion. Fox 10’s Cory McClosky came out today to preview the game, so I hope we will have a big crowd tomorrow night to cheer on our home team! Best of luck to our OUAZ football team and Coach Mike Nesbitt!

Surprise Fire Medical Open Houses

The Surprise Fire-Medical Department is holding a series of open houses at city fire stations. Residents can come out and meet the firefighters, check out the living and eating quarters, walk through the bays and see the fire trucks! Attendees will also get a look at the medical equipment, firefighting gear and tools used on emergency calls.

Dates for the open houses are as follows:

  • Saturday, December 8 – Station 307, 16171 W. Cactus Rd.
  • Saturday, January 5 – Station 302, 18600 N. Reems Rd.
  • Saturday, January 19 – Station 304, 24900 N. 163rd Ave.
  • Saturday, February 2 – Station 305, 15517 N. Parkview Pl.
  • Saturday, February 16 – Station 306, 16645 W. Clearview Blvd.
  • Saturday, March 2 – Station 303, 15440 N. Cotton Ln.

All open houses will be conducted from 9 a.m. to noon. For more information, please call the Surprise Fire-Medical Department administration line at 623.222.5000.

City of Surprise “Deck the Hock” Event

Please join us for the city’s 2nd annual “Deck the Hock” event on December 11, and help set the holiday spirit by bringing an ornament to decorate one of eight themed trees! “Deck the Hock” is a free, family-friendly event that will be held on Tuesday, December 11 from 5 – 7 p.m. at the Surprise Senior Center, 15832 N. Hollyhock Street. It includes performances by local school choirs, hot cocoa, tree decorating and more.

You can also join in on the tree decorating by bringing a new or handmade ornament that fits one of the following tree themes: Candy Canes; Legos; Sports; Patriotic; Animals; Snowflakes; Red; North Pole. In addition, you can also decorate a luminaria bag for the event. Simply pick up a blank luminaria from the Surprise Senior Center, take it home to decorate it, and then return it by 4 p.m. on Friday, December 7 so it can be displayed.

For more information, please contact Joe Gladieux at joe.gladieux@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.1500.


I would like to wish you and your families a wonderful holiday season. Moving forward and as your Mayor, I will be issuing a monthly newsletter beginning in January. I look forward to serving you in this capacity and keeping you updated. Thank you!

November 15, 2018 • Newsletter

Bullard Avenue Update

The Bullard Avenue Improvement Project remains on schedule to be substantially complete this month, weather permitting; full project completion will be achieved in early 2019.

Slurry seal work will move to the north and southbound left lanes; traffic is scheduled to be switched to the lanes adjacent to the protected bike lanes on Monday, November 19. Scheduled work hours for this week are Monday – Wednesday, 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.; crews will not be working on Thursday, November 22 and Friday, November 23 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.

  • Work will continue on the ADA ramps at the Bullard and Acoma intersection.
  • Roadway signage will be installed along the project corridor.
  • The speed limit in the construction area remains 25 mph, except in school zones where the speed limit is 15 mph. Please proceed with caution through the project area and remember to Drive Wise, Surprise!

For project-related questions, contact Suneel Garg at 623.222.6130.To learn more about the Bullard Ave project, visit surpriseaz.gov/bullard.


Events & Meetings

Veterans Day Celebrations

It was my honor to take part in several Veterans Day events throughout the city last week. Solona at the Park hosted a celebration honoring our veterans on Thursday, November 8. Canyon Ridge Elementary School also hosted their annual Veterans Day Commemoration Program on Friday, November 9, as did the community of Sun Village.

The city of Surprise hosted their annual Veterans Day Parade on Monday, November 12. We would like to thank all of you who attended and our parade entries for a great event honoring our nation’s heroes and an even bigger thank you to our veterans! The following were recognized as parade winners:

  • Best Veteran Service Organization Entry – Sons of the American Revolution
  • Best Military Entry – White Tank Mountain Marine Corps League Detachment 1246
  • Best Motorized Entry – Chance Shelter
  • Best Non-Motorized Entry – Painted Promise Ranch
  • Best Musical/Performance Entry – Shadow Ridge High School Marching Band
  • Best Youth Entry – Bling Tour
  • Best Classic Car Entry – Auburn Classic Kit Car

25th Year Work Anniversary

The City Clerk’s office hosted a 25 year anniversary celebration on Thursday, November 8 to acknowledge the time and commitment of Deputy City Clerk Linda Stevens. Congratulations, Linda and thank you for serving the residents of Surprise!

Friends of the Library Volunteer Appreciation Dinner

Surprise Friends of the Library hosted a volunteer appreciation dinner on Thursday, November 8 at Valley Vista High School. The nonprofit organization has been helping Surprise residents, and they have contributed more than $570,000 to the community since their inception. Currently, they have more than 90 volunteers. The volunteers collectively donate more than 800 hours a month to make the organization function successfully.

Pictured above are FOL Board Member Bev Autrey with 2018 Volunteer of the Year Janet Axelrod and volunteers who were recognized for five years of service.

Special thanks to the culinary students at Valley Vista High School who did a fantastic job catering the event and to Surprise Friends of the Library for your community support!

Sun City Grand Fall Festival

I appreciated the opportunity to attend the Sun City Grand Fall Festival on Saturday, November 10. The festival included quality arts and crafts, music, food and fun.

Farewell to City Manager Bob Wingenroth

City staff hosted a farewell open house at City Hall for outgoing City Manager Bob Wingenroth on Tuesday, November 13. Bob served as City Manager since June 2014 and prior as our Chief Financial Officer and Assistant City Manager for a year. Please join me in wishing Bob the best of luck and thanking him for his overwhelming support of City Council, city staff and the city as whole.

Ottawa University Student Housing Groundbreaking

Ottawa University hosted a groundbreaking for their new student housing buildilng on Wednesday, November 14. The construction of the dorms are already underway and scheduled for completion in November 2019. The $19.9 million facility will be four stories and include 312 beds. The building will consist of more than 73,000 square feet.

Ottawa Dooms 2018

 

Chance Shelter Meeting with Sun Village Residents

The city hosted a meeting at Sun Village with Chance Shelter representatives on Wednesday, November 14. Chance Shelter provided an overview of their conceptual proposed shelter. Residents asked several questions pertaining to the project and the location. After listening to the feedback from the residents, city staff will discuss the conversations that took place as well as alternative locations.Thank you to those who attended.


Mark Your Calendar

City Council Meeting

The Surprise City Council will meet on Tuesday, November 20 for our regularly scheduled Work Session and Council meeting, 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., respectively. City Council will vote to select a current City Councilmember to complete the remainder of Mayor Sharon Wolcott’s term at this meeting. The next election for the mayor’s seat would be the primary election in 2020 and the winning candidate would then begin a new four-year term on January 1, 2021. Mayor Wolcott’s last day in office is Friday, November 16.

City Hall Closed for Thanksgiving Holiday

Please note that City Hall will be closed on Thursday, November 22 and Friday, November 23 in observance of Thanksgiving. City of Surprise trash and recycling customers are reminded that trash and recycling collection normally scheduled for Thursday, November 22 will occur on Friday, November 23.

Surprise RideChoice public meeting Nov. 28

Valley Metro will be hosting a public meeting in Surprise on Nov. 28 to discuss its new, enhanced RideChoice transportation service.

Last month, Surprise RideChoice customers were given the option of remaining in the current RideChoice program through Nov. 30 or transitioning to the new program, which fully launches Dec. 1.

Anyone currently enrolled in Surprise RideChoice, or who wants to learn more about the transportation service, is invited to attend the public meeting, which will be held:

Wednesday, November 28
11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Surprise Senior Center
15832 N Hollyhock Street
Surprise, AZ 85378

The redesigned RideChoice program offers more service and more transportation options, including:

  • Single phone number – Whether you are calling to request a trip, change or cancel a trip or check on a requested trip, you will call 602.716.2111. Representatives are available 24 hours per day, every day of the year, including holidays.
  • Expanded provider network – The network will include many of the current taxicab providers, as well as more wheelchair-accessible vehicles. The popular rideshare service Lyft will also be joining RideChoice. This means more vehicles and quicker service.
  • More trips – The monthly RideChoice limit increases from 16 to 20 RideChoice trips per month! AND for those of you who use RideChoice to get to work, school or medical appointments, the monthly limit increases from 40 to 50 trips per month.
  • Simplified fare structure – The RideChoice fare is not changing, but the rules are getting easier. It’s $3 for each trip up to eight-miles long. And if your trip is longer, it’s just $2 for each additional mile.
  • Cashless, cardless system – The RideChoice Fare Card is going away. Instead, you will simply provide a credit card, debit card or checking account routing number when you book your trip, and you are all set. There is no need to carry cash or a credit card when you travel.

View the program information online.

For questions about the RideChoice program, please contact Valley Metro at 602.716.2100.

17th Annual Surprise Party

Celebrate with the City of Surprise at the 17th annual Surprise Party on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at the Surprise Recreation Campus! This fun-filled event offers a variety of activities and entertainment experiences, and admission is free with a canned food or toy donation benefiting Sanderson Ford Operation Santa Claus. Here’s what you can expect:

Friday, November 30 (5 p.m. – 9 p.m.)
Will include a traditional tree lighting ceremony, a hot air balloon glow, Arizona Skyhawks Skydivers, great food, live musical performances from “The Chadwicks” and “SMASHED,” fireworks and ice skating. Plus, Santa’s Workshop offers a free opportunity for youth of all ages to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus while enjoying arts and crafts, cookies, and fun! Friday’s event will be held at the Surprise Recreation Campus – Stadium Plaza, located at 15850 N. Bullard Avenue. Fireworks will begin approximately at 8:55 p.m.

Saturday, December 1 (11 a.m. – 5 p.m.)
Will include an arts and crafts festival, classic car show, interactive games, camel rides, a petting zoo, clowns, face painters, inflatables, gingerbread house contest, ice skating and much more! Throughout the day, enjoy a variety of entertainment, including performances by the City of Surprise dance programs. Concessions will be available for purchase. Saturday’s events will be held at the Surprise Recreation Campus – Mark Coronado Park, north of Surprise Stadium.

For additional event information, please contact the Surprise Community and Recreation Services Department at 623.222.2000 or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents.


Did You Know?

My Surprise Community Engagement App Now Available

The city has launched a new way for residents to connect with city services and reminders, the My Surprise app! When you download My Surprise, you’ll join our community of vigilant residents who want to help Surprise be one of the cleanest, most well-maintained cities in Arizona.

My Surprise transforms your smart devices into tools that assist with reporting city-maintained service requests such as broken street lights, potholes on city streets, graffiti, flooded roadways and more! The app also provides users a way to connect with City Council members and receive refuse reminders, such as changes to the schedule due to holidays. Plus, My Surprise is easy to use! Reporting a concern is as simple as logging in, typing a brief description of the issue and pressing send; you can even upload video, audio and image files! My Surprise even allows you to pinpoint the exact location of your service request.

My Surprise was designed for a community who cares about the appearance and functionality of city-maintained spaces. Join us, and let’s build a beautiful, safe city we can all enjoy; download the app now and show your love for My Surprise! The My Surprise app is now available for download in the Apple Store and Google Play Store. Learn more about My Surprise at surpriseaz.gov/mysurprise.

My Surprise App

 

In Closing

I would like to wish you and your families a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. In the spirit of Thanksgiving and with the sincerest gratitude, I have been proudly serving you for nine years, and I am grateful to each of you for the opportunity you’ve given me. Thank you! Please also note that due to the holiday, I will not be sending out a newsletter next week.