Category Archives: Newsletters

August 2020 • Newsletter

We began our new fiscal year on July 1, with Council on recess and many families on road trips, etc., so it seems fitting to kick-off my August newsletter by saying “welcome back!” I am honored to represent Surprise, and I want to reiterate my commitment to serving you. I am confident that we have a united and talented team of staff and leadership in place to continue to move this city forward.

Primary Election Results

Earlier this week, Arizona held its primary election. Surprise voted on candidates for Mayor and City Council Districts 2, 3 and 4 with terms ending December 31, 2024. Voters choose a District 5 Councilmember for a 2-year term ending December 31, 2022. The winners will assume office the first meeting in January 2021 after receiving the official oath of office. Below are the preliminary election results as of August 5:

Mayor:

Skip Hall, 24,784 Votes (96.92%)

Cheryl Packham (Write-in Candidate), 407 Votes (1.59%)

District 2:

Alyson “Aly” Cline, 4,772 Votes (63.77%)

Wendell Fountain, 2,683 (35.85%)

District 3:

Patrick Duffy (Incumbent Councilmember), 2,891 Votes (68.31%)

Greg Norberg, 1,316 Votes (31.1%)

District 4:

Ken Remley (Incumbent Councilmember), 2,499 Votes (98.62%)

District 5:

Jack Hastings, 2,063 Votes (59.15%)

David Sanders (Incumbent Councilmember), 1,331 Votes (38.16%)

Kawika Henderson (Write-in Candidate), 71 Votes (2.04%)

All results are preliminary until all of the ballots dropped off at City Hall on Election Day and all Provisional Ballots are counted. A final ballot tally is expected by August 24, if not sooner, from the Maricopa County Elections Department.

Amazon Building in Surprise

Amazon recently closed escrow in Surprise! They are locating a brand new 150,000 square foot “last mile delivery station” at the Surprise Rail Plex, just south of the entertainment center near Uptown Alley on Litchfield Road. Initial estimates are that this will bring a minimum of 300 new jobs. The new operation will serve the northwest Greater Phoenix market and will bring tremendous employment, capital investment and revenues to the community! Construction is expected to begin this first week of August.

Virtual Ribbon Cutting Contest Finale

Over the last 5 weeks, 101 Surprise businesses have been featured for their virtual ribbon cuttings! Each week, the community voted for their favorite virtual ribbon cutting video. The top five businesses are going head to head this week, and the winner will be announced the week of August 8th. Please visit the Economic Development webpage to see the winner: https://www.surpriseaz.gov/988/Economic-Development

The finalists are:

1:12 Nutrition – 13833 W. Bell Rd
Barro’s Pizza – 15403 W. Greenway Rd
Joe Streckfuss Plumbing – 11340 W. Bell Rd
Spencer’s Place – 15431 W. Waddell Rd
TEAM 4 Kids – 13601 N. Litchfield Rd

Surprise Community Outreach Program

Applications are now being accepted for a City Council-led initiative that assists community organizations in providing programs and events that benefit Surprise residents. The Community Outreach Program offers funding assistance to organizations for programs, events, and activities that enhance the overall lifestyle of our community. Council set aside up to $100,000 for FY2020-2021 in an effort to support and grow qualified local programs and events that 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. For more information including the application, complete program details, and eligibility requirements, visit surpriseaz.gov/communityoutreachprogram or please contact Jodi Tas at 623.222.1330. Applications will be accepted through Monday, August 31, 2020.

Water Resource Management Director Named

Surprise City Manager Mike Frazier has announced that Lee Lambert will serve as the city’s new Water Resource Management Director.

Lee has served as Acting Director of the Water Resource Management (WRM) Department since February, stepping in from his role as Assistant WRM Director.

Lee has worked for the City of Surprise since 2005, starting in project management roles that included work on multiple Capital Improvement Projects. Lee was named Water Manager in 2013 and was promoted to WRM Assistant Director in January of 2019. Previous to the city of Surprise, Lee held positions with the Maricopa County Planning Department and Arizona Department of Water Resources.

Lee was selected as the permanent WRM Director after a very competitive process that included candidates from around the country.

Water Resource Management Director Lee Lambert

Planning & Zoning Commission Vacancy

Are you looking to volunteer for the city? The city is currently accepting applications for the Planning and Zoning Commission. This particular vacancy will serve the remainder of the current term set to expire on June 20, 2023. Applications are available for pick-up at the City Clerk’s office from 8 am through 5 pm, Monday through Friday at City Hall (16000 N. Civic Center Plaza). Applications are also available online at www.surpriseaz.gov/boards. Please submit the applications in person or via email to clerk@surpriseaz.gov.

COVID-19 Update

Given the pandemic, we continue to face challenges in all aspects of our lives, but I am confident that we will overcome these setbacks. We will return economically stronger and with much hope as a closer and tighter community. None of us could have predicted what 2020 was going to bring. COVID-19 demanded swift action at every level of government; action that I know was appreciated by many in our community. I have made it my highest priority to ensure we get through these uncertain times and keep our community safe. I’ve worked in consultation with the Governor’s office, Maricopa County, public health experts, hospital administrators, our City Council, City Manager and City Attorney to make some tough decisions. We have a moral obligation to protect public health and avoid transmissions that would cost residents their health and put extra demands on medical resources.

July 2020 • Newsletter

The city just ended FY20 and embarked on FY21 on July 1. As we begin our new fiscal year and reflect on the last six months of 2020, I have no doubt that we are all thinking “what a year” it has been. It could not have been more unpredictable. As we continue to grapple with this pandemic that is challenging our country, communities and local economies, no matter where you stand on this situation, I think we can agree that there are demands facing us and we need to work together to address them head on. We can agree to disagree, but do so respectfully. There has been so much uncertainty with the virus, and information seems to change on a daily basis. Please understand as elected officials, we are doing our best with the information provided to us to protect everyone.

The Surprise City Council mourns the tragic loss of Surprise resident and Peoria Police Officer Jason Judd. Officer Judd was a 20 year veteran with Peoria Police Department as well as a U.S. Air Force veteran. He was a husband, father, and friend to many. Our hearts are with his family and the entire law enforcement community during this difficult time.

The 2020 Census is currently underway! Surprise residents should have received an invitation to complete the 2020 Census. I am happy to see that just over 66% of our households have already responded. This is the first time in Census history that residents can respond online at my2020census.gov. You can also respond via phone at 844.330.2020. The questionnaire is available in English and 59 other languages. Please take a moment to complete it. A complete count is critical to our future. The information collected guides the distribution of more than $675 billion to states annually and helps us plan critical infrastructure like roads and water, etc. It should take no more than 10 minutes of your time to complete. All responses are confidential and protected by federal law. The deadline to submit (August 14, 2020) your information was extended due to COVID-19. For more information, please visit surpriseaz.gov/census2020.

The primary election will be held on Tuesday, August 4. The ballot will include five local City Council seats. The local seats to be filled are Mayor, District 2 (Cottonwood), District 3 (Mesquite), District 4 (Mulberry) and District 5 (Palm). All of the aforementioned terms, with the exception of District 5, will end December 2024. The District 5 seat will end December 2022. The first day to cast early ballots was July 8. The last day to request a ballot via mail is July 24, with the last day to mail your ballot being July 29.

Surprise City Hall is a designated voting center. The City Hall Community Room is open for voting now through August 4 for any Maricopa County resident to cast a ballot in person. To access the Community Room, please enter through the north or south entrance of City Hall at the Mayor’s Atrium (eastern end of the building). All other entrances are closed at this time due to COVID-19. Additionally, for the primary election, Maricopa County voters can choose any Voting Center that works for them to cast a ballot in-person. Please visit Locations.Maricopa.Vote for all locations.

The city resumed drop-off recycling on July 7. Residents can bring acceptable materials to the Public Works North Yard, 17274 N. Litchfield Road, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8 am until 11 am and 1 pm until 3 pm. Proof of residency will be required. This is our first step to resuming our recycling program, which was temporarily suspended last August due to rising program operations costs and decreasing value of recyclables. We continue to actively research cost-effective and sustainable solutions for processing recycling curbside. For more information, including FAQs about the drop-off program, please visit surpriseaz.gov.

I wanted to thank our entire City Council and City Management team for their outstanding work this past year. Despite the stress and unknowns of the current crisis, the city has had many successes. We’ve worked together to accomplish so much that would not have been possible if we didn’t work as a team. Thank you to our residents for their continued support and outreach to us. We represent you, and it’s important we hear from you. I can assure you that your City Council listens to you and represents you at the dais. I am extremely happy with the direction of the city. There will be some upcoming announcements concerning economic development soon that I’m sure will please you. We’ve been actively working with the businesses in Surprise to see how we can support them. We’ve lobbied Maricopa County and requested additional grant possibilities through their CARES Act funding. We have talked to our US Senators and advocated for our businesses and residents during this crisis. We are here for you!

On a personal note, I wanted to let you know that I am fully recovered from COVID-19, having thankfully had a mild case, and have been out of quarantine for a week. I appreciated the outpouring of prayers, support and emails I received while I was recovering.

As a friendly reminder, our first City Council meeting of the new fiscal year is Tuesday, August 18 at 6 pm.

May 2020 • Newsletter

Governor Doug Ducey announced a new Executive Order amending the Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected order. In short, the Governor plans to continue to put public health first and proceed with a step-by-step approach to reenergize our economy guided by facts and health officials. Some of the key provisions of Executive Order 2020-33 – Returning Stronger include extending a revised “Stay Home, Stay Healthy Stay Connected Order” until May 15, 2020; retail businesses opened following specific guidance in the order:

  • Offer the sale of goods curbside, walk-up, and/or in-store by appointment only starting Monday, May 4
  • Offer in-store sale of goods after establishing and implementing protocols and best practices to address COVID-19 beginning Friday, May 8.

For more details, please see the Governor’s press release: https://azgovernor.gov/governor/news/2020/04/updated-guidance-arizonans-businesses

On May 4, following continued positive data trends, Governor Doug Ducey issued an Executive Order allowing cosmetologists and barber shops to resume appointment-based services this Friday, May 8 and restaurants and coffee shops to resume dine-in services with physical distancing measures on Monday, May 11. The Governor’s Office also released additional guidelines to keep customers and employees safe.

For more details, please see the Governor’s press release: https://azgovernor.gov/governor/news/2020/05/governor-ducey-issues-updated-guidance-restaurants-coffee-shops-barbers-and

In anticipation of Governor Doug Ducey’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected” Executive Order expiring May 15, the city is preparing to reopen select recreational amenities that allow for appropriate physical distancing, including tennis courts, pickleball courts and dog parks.

  • Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex will reopen May 15. This is for open play only and by reservation only. Residents may call 48 hours in advance to reserve a court and non-residents 24 hours in advance. Classes and programs continue to be canceled until further notice. To make a reservation, please call 623.222.2400. Hours are 7-11 a.m. and 5-9 p.m. Monday – Friday and 7-11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Retail and concession areas will remain closed. Please follow posted signage at the facility, continue to follow all CDC guidelines and practice physical distancing. Check our website at surpriseaz.gov/tennis for more information and USTA recommendations on play.
  • Pickleball courts at Surprise Community Park will reopen May 15. Park hours are 6 a.m. – 10 p.m. Please follow posted signage, continue to follow all CDC guidelines and practice physical distancing. Check our website at www.surpriseaz.gov/229/Parks-Facilities for more information and USAPA recommendations on play.
  • Dog parks will reopen May 15. Park hours are 6 a.m. – 10 p.m. Please follow posted signage, continue to follow all CDC guidelines and practice physical distancing.

The city is maintaining all other facility and amenity closures and program cancelations until further notice for health and safety reasons, as well as to mitigate the financial impacts of COVID-19 to the city’s budget.

See the full press release, here: https://bit.ly/35Qn5Nn

Budget FY21 built with flexibility in mind

The Fiscal Year 2021 (FY2021) City Manager Recommended Budget, with a focus on flexibility amid the to-be-determined economic impacts of COVID-19, is available online for public viewing.

The Finance Department presented the budget to City Council at their April 21st Work Session.

The FY2021 recommended expenditure budget is $388.3 million, with transfers of $40.7 million, for total use $429 million. This amount sets the ceiling for how much the city has the authority to spend.

The city will continue to monitor future COVID-19 related financial impacts and adjust the budget as needed to deliver a balanced budget, as required by state statute.

The recommended budget includes $111.2 million for planned Capital Improvement Projects. This includes $40.7 million to begin voter-approved 2017 GO Bond projects including, Greenway Road; Fire Station 308; and the Public Safety Evidence and Readiness Center. $31.2 million will fund critical water and sewer projects.

The budget also includes three full-time employees to support water reclamation and collections services and 1.5 employees to support fleet operations. These positions have no new impacts to the General Fund.

The budget process kicked off in October 2019 and a budget retreat was held on March 27, 2020. The FY2021 budget forecast developed between October and February was revised as a result of the Presidential National Emergency Declaration issued on March 13, 2020. Learn more about this in the story below.

A public hearing and Council’s Tentative Budget adoption was held at the May 5 Regular Council Meeting; with final budget adoption scheduled for the June 2 meeting. These public meetings begin at 6 p.m. They are carried live on Surprise TV and online at www.surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv. You can also follow the budget process and see the City Manager’s Recommended Budget at www.surpriseaz.gov/budget.

City prepares for COVID-19 financial impacts in current budget

While revenues have exceeded budget estimates for the first eight months of current Fiscal Year 2020, the tax data for March through June are months away from being released by the state.

These are the months we expect to be among the most impacted by COVID-19 business closures, event cancelations and service reductions. Our Finance Department will monitor the numbers closely to keep our budget balanced through the remainder of the fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2020.

The City Manager has already authorized some cost-controlling measures. They include:

  • A hiring freeze on non-critical vacant positions;
  • Reduced city department operating budgets;
  • Furlough of some part-time seasonal and part-time temporary employees

With the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and its impacts to public assembly and our budget, all recreation programming and events are suspended or closed until further notice. This includes summer camps, youth and adult sports leagues and camps, swim lessons, swim teams, open swim and large gatherings such as 4th of July.

All recreation centers, parks and recreation office, and aquatics facilities remain closed to the public until further notice. The city’s libraries, operated by Maricopa County Library District, also remain closed. They do offer online eMedia options and a new curbside pick-up program at Northwest Regional Library. Learn more at https://mcldaz.org.

Surprise parks, walking paths and open space remain open to the public; and fishing is allowed at the Surprise Community Park Lake. Physical distancing guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control apply in these areas.

Some playground amenities remain closed until further notice: playground equipment, splash pads, restrooms, basketball courts, and skate park.

Our budget strategy will allow us, if needed, to identify future service reductions, and additional furloughs for those employees whose daily work will be significantly impacted by additional program suspensions.

We also have the flexibility in place to re-open some amenities, if the negative impacts to the budget are less than anticipated and public health guidelines allow.

Veterans Reflection Circle wins national and state awards

The city of Surprise Veterans Reflection Circle has been selected as an American Public Works Association (APWA) Public Works Project of the Year for 2020, as well as the APWA Arizona Chapter Project of the Year, in the category of Structures that cost less than $5 Million.

The Veterans Refection Circle is an outdoor garden and reflection space that was dedicated on November 11, 2019 in honor of late Surprise resident and combat wounded veteran Brian Mancini.

Mancini spent his life serving his country and helping other wounded veterans find healing. The Veterans Reflection Circle is located in the Surprise Community Park (next to the fishing lake) at 16089 N. Bullard Ave. The site was selected as a tribute to Mancini’s love of nature, fishing and quiet self-reflection. These were important components to the non-medicinal healing philosophy he shared at his nonprofit Honor House – a place where wounded veterans can go for therapy and counseling. The space pays tribute to Mancini and his legacy by telling his story and providing a place for veterans to reflect, find healing and feel the community’s deep appreciation for their service and sacrifice.

The design for the Veterans Reflection Circle was completed at no cost to the city by local design companies Logan Simpson and WERK. The generosity and heart of these firms inspired the idea to invite members of the construction and landscape communities to become partners in honoring our veterans by donating products and services to help bring this incredible project to life.

The city shares these awards with the following partners who contributed to the project:

82 Bravo Land Survey & Mapping, Ace Sandblasting, Airpark Signs, Allstate Rent-a-Fence, Arizona Wholesale, Atwater Construction, Castle Steel, Cox Cactus Farms, DBA Construction, EarthScapes, Elite Waste Services, Evergreen Turf, Ewing Irrigation, Excel Screen Printing, Felix Construction, Granite Express, Hawkeye Electric, Haydon Building Corp., Honor House, Hauser Engineering Group, Kilauea Crushers, Lowe’s, Mountain States Wholesale Nursery, Natina Products, Nesbitt Construction Contracting, Outdoor Systems Management, Premier Irrigation, RC Lurie, Rummel Construction, Straight Arrow Construction, Sunrise Nursery, Triton Boulder Supply, Weinberger Waste Disposal, Wright Engineering.

For more information about the Veterans Reflection Circle project and Brian Mancini, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/vrc.

The City’s Water Resource Management department receives multiple 2020 AZ Water Association Awards

The AZ Water Association awards recognize members, facilities and projects that have excelled throughout the year.

Surprise Lead Water Operator Ryan Hime has been recognized as the 2020 Water Operator of the Year-Large System. Recipients in the operation leader category are awarded based on their significant contributions to the water/wastewater industry and to AZ Water.

Maris Adams, SCADA Systems Supervisor, is the recipient of the Technology Professional of the Year – Large Systems. This award recognizes an individual for their notable service to the AZ Water Association in the categories pertaining to water, wastewater, collections and distribution.

The city also received safety awards for the following water resource facilities:

  • Mountain Vista PWS (2 awards)
  • Surprise WRF – SPA1
  • Surprise SPA 2 WRF5

April 2020 • Newsletter

Fellow Residents of Surprise,

We have seen a lot of change in the past few weeks. We went from handshakes and high fives, sports games and festivals, to maintaining six feet of social distancing, cancellations of events and programs, and the closure of schools and many city buildings. I know that all of this COVID-19-related change, on top of concerns about your health, can be very stressful. I want to assure you that the city is mindful of the impact on our residents and our businesses, and we are working tirelessly to ensure that city services are maintained and our community is cared for.

Public health and safety continue to be our top priority, and communication is key in that. That’s why the city has developed a one-stop resource for COVID-19 information on our Surpriseaz.gov website. If you haven’t visited it already, please take a moment to see what information is available to you. There are updates on changes to city business processes, contacts to connect with city services and links to trusted information on the COVID-19 virus.

Community vitality and economic security are also significant priorities, and we have assembled a team to work on support resources for our residents and businesses. The city’s Economic Development department has created a COVID-19 Business and Workforce Resources webpage to provide a comprehensive, one-stop spot for residents and businesses to receive information.

The page can be accessed off the city’s COVID-19 webpage and includes recommendations on how consumers can continue to support local businesses; a list of restaurants in Surprise providing takeout and delivery services; links to financial support for businesses through organizations like the Small Business Association and Arizona Commerce Authority; connections for job seekers, and more.

We have also developed a webpage dedicated to human service needs during this difficult time – whether you are in need of assistance or looking to serve your community. This COVID-19 Community Care webpage includes information about free meals for seniors and access to free essentials like food and diapers. It also provides details on opportunities to donate needed supplies, help our seniors with grocery shopping, or be a phone pal during this time of isolation.

I am already so encouraged by the stories I’m hearing of volunteerism and human kindness; the ways the community has come together. There is joy to be found in the gratitude I see pouring out of people for first responders, doctors, nurses, grocery store clerks and others who are working overtime to provide the essential services we need. Recently, a home in Marley Park decorated their trash bins with colorful, handmade posters to thank their sanitation truck driver. It was a simple, but beautiful gesture of appreciation. While this is a time to be serious about stopping the spread of COVID-19, it’s also a time to get serious about spreading love to our neighbors – and you are really shining at that, Surprise.

On April 15, I invite you to tune into a video premiere of our State of the City at 6 p.m. We’ll take a look at significant achievements that have transformed our city and celebrate the progress we have made over the past six decades – as Surprise turns 60 this year!

The State of the City video premiere will be carried live on Surprise TV, online at www.surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv, and via Facebook LIVE on the City of Surprise Facebook page. If you are unable to tune into the premiere, the video will be rebroadcast on Surprise TV and will be available for viewing on the Surprise TV website.

This live video premiere replaces the State of the City Celebration that was planned for March 26 at City Hall, but canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.

As our community faces unprecedented challenges during this time, I feel it is important to deliver this message of where we’ve been and who we are – united, strong and resilient.

I am proud to be your mayor, and I am here for you if you have any questions or concerns. You can reach me at mayor@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.1300.

We will get through this together!

Sincerely,

Mayor Skip Hall

March 2020 • Newsletter

Thank You!

Thank you for signing up for Mayor 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).

Census 2020 Starts This Month

Census 2020 is here and for the first time in the history of the U.S. Census you will be able to respond online!

Between March 12-20, you will receive a letter in the mail with a website address and Census ID number explaining how to respond online. The letter will also offer a toll free number for phone response and describe the process for receiving a paper survey.

The information you provide on the Census counts for jobs, new roads, emergency services and more! Learn additional reasons why you should take the Census and view commonly asked questions at surpriseaz.gov/Census2020.

Dedication of Ottawa University’s New Buildings

February 21 was a special day in Surprise as City Council helped dedicate three new OUAZ buildings – the O’Dell Center, OUAZ Student Union and Scholars Hall! The new buildings and amenities, coupled with OUAZ’s world-class education, are sure to bring more vitality and award-winning talent to Surprise City Center.

Texas Rangers Player Housing Ribbon Cutting

Rangers Village in Surprise City Center is officially open! Surprise City Council joined the Texas Rangers for the official ribbon cutting on Friday, February 21. The 68,280 square foot facility provides year-round housing for up to 180 Texas Rangers organizational players and staff. Thanks to the Rangers for their continued commitment to Surprise!

Surprise City Council, Rick Davis and Texas Rangers staff hold scissors in preparation of the ribbon cutting.

Spring Training Welcome Back Luncheon

We welcomed Spring Training back to Surprise during the Spring Training Welcome Back Luncheon on February 14. We spent a wonderful afternoon at Surprise Stadium learning about what’s in store for the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals ball clubs this season.

If you haven’t been to a Spring Training game at Surprise Stadium, then you are striking out! Surprise Stadium has several promotions on tickets, food and drinks for families, military, and residents of Surprise, Sun City, Sun City West, Youngtown, El Mirage and Waddell.

Tickets are available online and in person by visiting the Surprise Stadium Box Office. For a complete list of scheduled games, special events and ticket options, please visit www.SurpriseStadium.com.

Surprise Retail Survey

Have you taken the Surprise Retail Survey yet? Your input helps the city identify retail strengths within the community, as well as opportunities to bring additional amenities closer to home. Every response helps the Surprise Economic Development Department better reach the retailers you want the most.

It’s important to us that we attract businesses you want, because the money you spend here, stays here. In fact, local sales tax makes up nearly 40 percent of our city’s General Fund revenues which support public safety, clean parks and street maintenance.

The Surprise Retail Survey runs through March 15 and is available online at surpriseaz.gov/retailsurvey.

Surprise Retail Survey Banner

Surprise Youth Council Accepting Applications

The city of Surprise is recruiting new members for the Surprise Youth Council (SYC) – a group of impactful teens who are making a difference in their community!

SYC members serve the community by collaborating with local leaders, including the Mayor and City Council, to give youth a voice in city issues and to help solve youth issues through awareness campaigns, service projects, and community-building events.

Students who are currently in grades 7-11 may apply, as long as they are attending a middle school or high school within the Surprise city limits, attending a Dysart Unified School District high school, or reside within Surprise city limits.

For questions or more information, please contact Lord Garcillano at 623.222.1035 or lord.garcillano@surpriseaz.gov or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/syc.

Budget Talks

The City of Surprise FY2021 budget building process is underway. A series of presentations to Council will take place over the next few months. The recommended budget is scheduled for release in April, followed by public review and a final adoption in June. Please stay tuned to the upcoming Council Meetings for the overall development of the budget and upcoming annual process. You can watch previous preservations at www.surpriseaz.gov/budget.

Babe Ruth League registration open; volunteer coaches needed

Surprise is now offering registration for the West Valley Babe Ruth Baseball League! Both individual and team registration is available; league play begins in late April.

Resident and non-resident registration will be held through March 20 at the Parks & Recreation Office, located at 15960 N Bullard Ave. Registration is also available online at www.surpriseaz.gov/recreation.

We are in need of volunteer coaches for the 13-15 Babe Ruth Division! If you are interested, stop by the Parks & Recreation Office to complete a volunteer application. For more information, please contact Jason Bond at 623.222.2238 or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/recreation.

Highlights

Expanded Surprise Resource Center Hours

The city’s one-stop-shop for social services has expanded its evening hours. The Surprise Resource Center has extended its closing hours from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays. The new hours are: Monday & Tuesday: 8 a.m – 5 p.m.; Wednesday & Thursday: – 8 a.m – 7 p.m.; Friday: 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Through strategic partnerships with a growing number of community-based organizations and government agencies, the center offers Surprise and Northwest Valley residents connections to human services that include everything from rent and utility assistance to employment support to food and nutrition resources.

The Surprise Resource Center is located within the city’s AZ TechCelerator campus at 12425 W Bell Road, Bldg. A, Ste. 124. For more information about the Surprise Resource Center, including a list of programs and partners, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/ResourceCenter.

Fire-Medical Assistant Chief Johnston Retires

Surprise Fire-Medical Assistant Chief Darrell Johnston retired in February after 30 years of fire service. It was my honor to present him with an Employee Appreciation Proclamation at our February 18 Regular Council Meeting. Thank you Chief Johnston for your dedication, leadership and service!

Mayor Hall stands with Surprise Fire-Medical Assistant Chief Darrell Johnston in the council chambers.

Coming Up

State of the City

The Surprise City Council invites you to attend the 2020 State of the City video presentation and 60th Anniversary Celebration on March 26 from 6-8 p.m.! We’ll take a look at significant achievements that have transformed our city and celebrate the progress we have made over the past 60 years.

Following the video presentation, city council will reveal a new history wall that tells the story of Surprise from founding day to modern day. This artistic mix of story and photograph is a must-see art piece.

After the reveal, we invite you to stroll the courtyard and city hall for a showcase of the city’s programs and services, including police and fire vehicle displays! We also have live entertainment planned, with performers from some of our local schools and city-run specialty classes. Plus, we’ll have free desserts and finger foods.

Get more information at www.surpriseaz.gov/SOTC. We hope to see you there!

Mayor Hall speaks at the 2019 State of the City event.

Baseball Art & Collectables Exhibit

If you love baseball memorabilia, you’ll want to swing by city hall for the “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” art reception! The Surprise Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission has a collection of baseball art and collectibles on display, as well as a few fun pieces from other sports.

The exhibit is in the Surprise City Hall art gallery and Mayor’s Atrium, 16000 Civic Center Dr., and runs through April 23. A free reception will be held Thursday, March 12 from 5 to 7 p.m. Come enjoy sports-themed artwork; historic, autographed Sports Illustrated covers; replica jackets; historic artifacts; and light refreshments.

Residential Waste Cleanup Event on March 14

Now is the time to prune your landscape and clean out your garage! The city’s annual Spring Cleanup Event is on Saturday, March 14.

Surprise residents are permitted to drop off up to 2,000 pounds of non-hazardous residential waste free-of-charge at the Northwest Regional Landfill, 19401 W. Deer Valley Road, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. There is a limit of one load per household.

Acceptable items include lawn waste and other household refuse.

Remember, you will be required to show proof of Surprise residency, via a driver’s license and utility bill showing the same home address.

For more information about the Spring Cleanup Event, call the Surprise Customer Service Line at 623.222.1900, or visit surpriseaz.gov/sanitation.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event

Surprise offers Household Hazardous Waste Collection events to help protect the environment by properly disposing items which may contain harmful chemicals. Scheduling will begin on March 9. Residents are able to request an appointment through the My Surprise app, or by calling Customer Service at 623.222.1920. For a complete list of acceptable items, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/hhwevent. I encourage you to take advantage of this free collection service!

Teen College Tours

Surprise Parks and Recreation has scheduled field trips to several Arizona universities for teens ages 13-18. Teens can sign up to tour the campuses of the University of Arizona (March 16), Arizona State University (March 17), Grand Canyon University (March 20) and Northern Arizona University (April 24). Spots are limited. Learn more at surpriseaz.gov/recreation.

Sunday in the Park Food Truck Festival

Spend an afternoon enjoying delicious food and listening to live music at the March 29 Sunday in the Park Food Truck Festival! Southbound will perform (Country/Southern Rock) while you enjoy a variety of delicious food trucks, as well as an assortment of beer and wine. This family-friendly event will also have various yard games, inflatables and face painting. Event admission is free; food and drink will be available for purchase. Don’t forget a blanket or lawn chair! Dogs are welcome as long as they are leashed.

A woman places an order at a Sunday in the Park food truck.

Public Art Bus Tour

Join us on April 18 for a Public Art Bus Tour to view the “Cowgirl Up!” Exhibition at Desert Caballeros Museum in Wickenburg! The bus departs from City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, at 11 a.m. and returns at approximately 3 p.m. The bus ride is free; participants must pay the $9 museum entrance fee. Reserve your seat by calling 623.214.7537

Festival of the Arts at Valley Vista High School

On March 28, the Dysart Unified School District will be holding the second annual Dysart Festival of the Arts. The festival will take place from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Valley Vista High School. This event will showcase the visual and performing arts programs from all twenty elementary schools and four high schools in the Dysart Unified School District.

The Dysart Arts Festival will be a day jam packed with performances on multiple stages to include various dance troops, theatre troops, choirs and bands. The elementary and high school visual arts programs will be hosting two showcases to include both 2D and 3D pieces. Learn more about the Festival of the Arts.

Egg-Stravaganza

The City of Surprise invites interested outreach organizations, promotional vendors and local businesses to participate in the Spring Egg-stravaganza! The event will take place Saturday, April 11, from 7:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. at the Surprise Recreation Campus located at 15850 N. Bullard Avenue.

Spring Egg-stravaganza is a free event featuring fun for the whole family. The event will feature inflatables, face painting, a special appearance by Mr. and Mrs. Bunny and a series of egg hunts filled with fun toys and treats.

For more information, please contact Special Events at 623.222.2000 or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents to download the vendor application.

City Council Meetings

As a friendly reminder, upcoming City Council Meetings will be held on Tuesday, March 17, as well as Tuesday, April 7. City Council Work sessions begin at 4 p.m. while City Council Meetings follow at 6 p.m. We hope to see you there.

February 2020 • Newsletter

Thank You!

Thank you for signing up for Mayor 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).

New Vice Mayor

District 6 Councilmember Chris Judd was voted the city’s newest Vice Mayor during the Regular City Council Meeting on January 21, 2020. Vice Mayor Judd was elected to City Council in the August 2018 Primary Election to serve a four-year term beginning January 1, 2019. Congratulations, Vice Mayor Judd on your newest role!

Councilmember Chris Judd swears in as Vice Mayor.

Spring Training

The 18th Annual Surprise Spring Training season will kick off on Friday, February 21, at the Surprise Stadium, 15850 N. Bullard Ave. The first game of the season will feature Surprise’s home teams, the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals. Tickets are available online and in person by visiting the Surprise Stadium Box Office. For a complete list of scheduled games, special events and ticket options, please visit www.SurpriseStadium.com.

Asante Library Grand Opening

The City of Surprise and Maricopa County Library District are pleased to announce the grand opening of the Asante Library, 16755 W. Vereda Solana Drive. The Asante Library is the city’s third library and brings services closer to the northern area of Surprise. This 10,000 square foot space offers beautiful views of Asante Community Park and the White Tank Mountains. The library features self-check kiosks, a multipurpose room, public access to computers and much more. The normal operating hours will be Monday through Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Budget Kick off

The City of Surprise FY2021 budget building process has begun. A series of presentations to Council will take place over the next few months. The recommended budget is scheduled for release in April, followed by public review and a final adoption in June. Please stay tuned to the upcoming Council Meetings for the overall development of the budget and upcoming annual process.

Police Promotions

The Surprise Police Department held a promotion ceremony to recognize three individuals who have excelled in their positions and demonstrate daily what our PD stands for. Sergeant Timothy Klarkowski has been promoted to Lieutenant after serving on the department since 2007. Officers John Wiehn and Joshua Waldeck have both been promoted to Sergeant. Sgt. Wiehn joined the department in 2012, while Sgt. Waldeck began his career in 2007. Congratulations to all! A special thank you to all of our public safety employees for keeping our city safe!

Sterling Grove Tour

I had the privilege to be interviewed by Fox 10’s Troy Hayden while Senior Vice President of Toll Brothers, Kevin Rosinski, gave us a tour of the beautiful Sterling Grove model homes and golf course. Thank you to Troy Hayden for visiting Surprise. I look forward to the growth that Sterling Grove will bring to our city.

State of the State

I was honored to attend Opening Session at the State Capitol, followed by the Governor’s State of the State address in the House Chamber on Monday, January 13, with Councilmember Chris Judd. Thank you to Senator Rick Gray for the invitation and your hospitality.

West Valley Mayors joined other elected officials and community leaders at Governor Doug Ducey’s West Valley State of the State Luncheon January 15.

Free Tax Preparation

The Human Services and Community Vitality Department has partnered with A New Leaf to offer free tax preparation services to benefit individuals and families with low to moderate income. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) offers IRS trained and certified volunteers to assist households that make less than $56,000 annually. VITA sites offer free tax preparation and assist taxpayers to apply for benefits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit. Tax preparation assistance will be available until April 14 at the Surprise Resource Center, 12425 W. Bell Road, Suite 124, on Mondays and Tuesdays from 4-8 p.m. and Thursdays from 9 a.m. -1 p.m. No appointment is necessary. If you have any questions or would like more information, please call 623-222-1600.

Highlights

MLK Day of Service and Celebration

The City of Surprise hosted its 4th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Celebration and Service. The program kicked off with a celebration of Dr. King’s life which included a variety of local musicians, performers and keynote speaker, Kenja Hassan, Director of Cultural Relations in ASU’s Office of Government and Community Engagement. I would like to thank Lisa Gray for attending on behalf of Congresswoman Lesko’s Office, Arizona State Senator and Majority Leader Rick Gray and State Representative Kevin Payne for joining us. Following the celebration, hundreds of residents volunteered and participated in service projects. I am humbled by the city pride that was displayed as we all joined together to benefit the community.

ACA Spelling Bee

I was a judge for the spelling bee at Arizona Charter Academy. For the last few years, I have been asked to participate with some fellow leaders from Surprise. Spending time with the students and administrators is something I look forward to every January. Thank you for inviting me, and congratulations to the winning students!

Mayor Hall and Arizona Charter Academy spelling bee winners: Jaedyn Hardy, Anais Burgher and Evalina Valencia.
(Pictured left to right: Jaedyn Hardy-2nd place, Anais Burgher-3rd place, Evalina Valencia-1st place)

Toll Brother Ribbon Cutting

Toll Brothers opened the gates to their newest development, Sterling Grove. This picturesque community covers almost 800 acres and will offer 13 model homes to choose from. There will be three pools, tennis and pickleball courts, lakes, an 18-hole golf course, clubhouse and much more. Sterling Grove is located on Cactus Road, just west of Cotton Lane.

Surprise City Council and Toll Brothers developers cut a grand opening ribbon.

Coming Up

Surprise City Academy

The Surprise City Academy is an eight-session academy that offers the opportunity to learn about the city directly from the Mayor, Councilmembers, City Manager and more. You will also learn about local partners, including Ottawa University and West-MEC. The Surprise City Academy begins on February 24 and will meet weekly through April 6. It is free to participate, however, space is limited! Registration is due no later than February 17. For the online application and more information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/cityacademy.

Surprise Spring Training 5K

The 3rd Annual Spring Training 5K/1K will be held on Friday, March 6 at 7 p.m. This evening fun run will take you on a scenic city route before heading to the ballpark. All runners will receive a Jimmy John’s Spring Training Race shirt, finisher medal and a buy one get one free coupon for select sections of the Kansas City Royals vs. Cincinnati Reds game on March 7. Early registration is now open and offers discounted rates. Please visit www.SurpriseStadium.com/events for more information and registration forms.

2020 College Baseball Classic

The Sanderson Ford College Baseball Classic will take place at the Surprise Stadium, 15850 N. Bullard Ave, from February 14-17. Residents will have the opportunity to watch featured teams battle over the course of three days. Please visit https://www.surprisestadium.com/events/college-baseball for a complete schedule, ticket pricing and special offers.

Senior Sweetheart Dance

The Surprise Senior Center, 15832 N. Hollyhock Street, is hosting a Sweetheart Dance on Friday, February 14. Seniors are invited to enjoy lunch, live music and dancing from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Admission is $5 for members and $7 for non-members. If you have any questions, please call 623-222-1500.

Artisan Treasures Food Truck & Handmade Market

Wood & Me Custom Creations will be hosting an artisan fair on Saturday, February 15 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at Mark Coronado Park, 15960 N. Bullard Ave. This event will feature over 150 local artists and vendors! Admission is free with a donation of three non-perishable food items. If you would like a sneak peek at some of the items that will be featured, please visit www.woodnme.com.

Teen Rec Night

The Sierra Montana Recreation Center, 14861 N. Spring Lane, will be holding Sports Night Rec Nights for teens in grades 6-8 on Friday, February 21, from 7-10 p.m. This is a great opportunity for youth to bring their friends to hang out while listening to the hottest new music, laser light show, games and more. Admission is $5 per person and concessions will be available for purchase. For more information, please visit https://www.surpriseaz.gov/2442/Events-Activities.

Chiles and Chocolate

AZ Humanities Speaker Series presents Chiles and Chocolate on Tuesday, February 25, from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers. Come by to listen to the rich and savory history of chiles and chocolate while exploring how early people used them and helped spread them to all corners of the world.

Lunch & Learn

The AZ TechCelerator, 12425 W. Bell Road Building D, is offering a Lunch & Learn session on getting the most out of Facebook. Facebook can get complicated with constant updates, new options, format changes and more. Join residents on Thursday, February 27, from 12-1 p.m. for this information packed session on the latest trends, when/how often you should be posting, how to tap into your existing followers and much more. Registration is required by visiting https://www.aztechcelerator.com/events/event-details?occurrenceID=85.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event

The City of Surprise offers Household Hazardous Waste Collection events to help protect the environment by properly disposing items which may contain harmful chemicals. Scheduling will begin on March 9. Residents are able to request an appointment through the My Surprise app, or call Customer Service at 623-222-1920. For a complete list of acceptable items, please visit https://www.surpriseaz.gov/3399/Household-Hazardous-Waste. I encourage you to take advantage of this free collection service!

City Council Meetings

As a friendly reminder, upcoming City Council Meetings will be held on Tuesday, February 18, as well as Tuesday, March 3. City Council Work sessions begin at 4 p.m. while City Council Meetings follow at 6 p.m. We hope to see you there.

January 2020 • Newsletter

Thank You!

Thank you for signing up for Mayor 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).

Speed Limit Change

The speed limit on Grand Avenue has been updated and is designed to reduce variations in vehicle speeds along specified sections. ADOT waited until the completion of recent construction before evaluating traffic speeds and other factors to determine if speed limits needed to be raised. The speed limit changes are based on safety considerations that occur when most traffic is traveling at nearly the same speed. The speed limit along Grand Avenue, between Thunderbird and Reems Roads, has been raised from 45 to 50 mph. The speed limit along the rest of the section of US 60, between Reems Road and R.H. Johnson Boulevard, has been raised from 45 to 55 mph. Please note these changes and as always, Drive Wise Surprise.

City Awarded Grant

The City of Surprise was awarded a $50,000 grant from the Tohono O’odham Nation to advance community initiatives. This grant will help to support several of the Human Service and Community Vitality (HSCV) Department programs and initiatives to include the Crisis Assistance Fund, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, expanded After School & Summer Programming and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Celebration. These programs bring our community together and assist many residents in a time of need. If you would like any information on these programs, please call HSCV at 623-222-1500.

National Anthem Performers Needed

The city is looking for experienced vocalists, musicians and Color Guards to perform the National Anthem for the upcoming Cactus League Spring Training Games. Interested National Anthem performers may attend open auditions on Saturday, January 11, from 10:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m. at the Surprise Stadium, 15850 N. Bullard Ave. Performers will need to enter through the third base gate nearest the parking lot. Pre-registration is not required, and tryouts will be done on a first-come first-served basis. Interested parties may also submit a video or audio recording to Zachary.Regan@surpriseaz.gov no later than January 11. If your organization is interested in presenting the colors during the Spring Training Games, please contact Zachary Regan for a list of criteria and registration instructions.

Tax Preparation Volunteers

As we welcome in the new year, we welcome a new tax season. Volunteers are needed to provide free tax return preparation for low-to-moderate income individuals and families through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. There is no prior tax preparation experience needed, as training will be provided. Volunteers are asked to commit a minimum of 25 hours at a VITA site during tax season, January through April 15. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please contact Puja Sachan at psachan@TurnaNewLeaf.org.

Draft Land Development Ordinances

The city’s effort to simplify and modernize its development and design standards continues with new drafts of the Land Development Ordinances (LDO) online for public review and comment. The LDO’s regulate housing density, commercial and industrial use, building types, heights, landscaping and more. If you are interested in viewing the drafts or submitting your comments, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/developnext.

Surprise Youth Council Meeting

I had the privilege to sit down and meet with five of our Surprise Youth Council Members. These young adults are active in our community as they participate in service projects, focus groups, events and youth forums. They connect with policy makers and work towards solving problems. These students work with local leaders, non-profits and school administrators to make a difference in Surprise. Thank you for your dedication to our city.

Mayor Hall and the Surprise Youth Council.

EPCOR Tour

EPCOR owns and operates a water treatment facility off of Cactus Road at the White Tank Mountains. I was privileged to be able to tour the facility and get a first-hand look at water filtering. This facility services approximately 1/3 of Surprise, as well as several surrounding cities. They are one of the only facilities in the country to utilize the latest magnetite technology to assist in water purification. During the late summer months, this facility alone will filter 21 million gallons of water a day! I would like to thank the staff of EPCOR for inviting me to take this very informative tour.

Fire Station Open Houses

The City of Surprise Fire-Medical Department (SFMD) is continuing its series of fire station open houses. Residents are invited to meet the firefighters, check out the living 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. Upcoming open houses include, FS 302 (18600 N. Reems Road) on January 4, FS 307 (16171 W. Cactus Road) on January 11, FS 301 (16750 N. Village Drive) on January 25, FS 305 (16750 N. Village Dr.) on February 1 and the final open house will be on February 22, FS 304 (24900 N. 163rd Ave). All open houses are held from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. For more information or any questions, please contact the SFMD at 623-222-5000.

Highlights

Happy Trails

The staff and residents of Happy Trails welcomed me at their recent Town Hall Meeting. I was able to give valuable city updates and answer questions. I was overwhelmed by the number of residents in attendance as well as the audience engagement. I know your time is valuable, and I appreciate you allowing me the opportunity to speak.

Mayor Hall speaks to residents at Happy Trails.

Surprise Party

The Annual Surprise Party is something to look forward to every year! This year, residents enjoyed the live music, a snow hill, crafts, hot air balloons and much more. I was honored to be able to lead the crowd in the countdown of the tree lighting. Thank you to our Parks and Recreation staff for their dedication to ensuring this event is a success every year.

Deck the Hock

Thank you to all the residents and staff for making Deck the Hock a successful event. This night brought residents to the Surprise Senior Center for crafts, carols and even snow. These community events are very enjoyable.

Tech the Halls

The Tech the Halls event offered sci-tech exhibits combined with holiday cheer. Our Economic Development Department did an outstanding job of combining educational exhibits with family fun. There were many activities and prizes that kept residents busy as they explored the AZ TechCelerator.

Adaptive Winter Party

Thank you to the Parks and Recreation team for their continued support and dedication to hosting the Adaptive Winter Party. This was the 13th Annual Celebration which brought students and adults to DreamCatcher Park for the opportunity to enjoy crafts, games, music and tree decorating.

Angry Crab Shack Ribbon Cutting

The City of Surprise welcomes our newest addition to the Bel Mar complex. Located at 11340 W. Bell Road, this new seafood restaurant offers a family friendly environment with an appetizing menu. Welcome to Surprise, and we wish you much success.

Coming Up

Shred-A-Thon & Prescription Drug Take-Back

The Surprise Police Department, 14250 W. Statler Plaza, will be hosting a Shred-A-Thon and Prescription Drug Take-Back Event on Saturday, January 11 from 7:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. This free event will allow residents to shred up to five boxes per vehicle! They will also be accepting unused prescriptions and over the counter medication for disposal. Please note that no sharps or inhalers will be allowed. Residents are encouraged to arrive early as the hours are subject to change due to truck capacity.

Fine Art and Wine Festival

The 8th Annual Thunderbird Artists Fine Art and Wine Festival is scheduled for Friday, January 10 through Sunday, January 12 at Mark Coronado Park, 15960 N. Bullard Ave. This festival brings residents up close and personal with over 80 artists and their work. The subject matter and designs have a wide range and offer something for everyone. Admission is $3.00 per person or $10.00 per person for the wine tasting ticket. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.thunderbirdartists.com.

MLK Day of Celebration & Service

In honor of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the city will host a day of celebration and service on Saturday, January 18, in the City Hall Courtyard, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. The day will begin with a light breakfast and musical performances at 8:30 a.m. The service projects will kick off at 9:45 a.m. This annual celebration brings residents from throughout our city together to work as a community and show pride in our city. I hope to see you there!

Classic Dog Show

The Kachina Kennel Club is the first kennel club in the West Valley and was formed in 1975. They held their first breed show in 1978 and are now bringing the Copper Classic Dog Show to Mark Coronado Park on Friday, January 24 – Sunday, January 26. This show will bring visitors from across the state for a chance to be awarded the grand prize. Please be sure to watch my Facebook for updates on exact times and shows.

Surprise Spring Training 5K

The 3rd Annual Spring Training 5K/1K will be held on Friday, March 6 at 7:00 p.m. This evening fun run will take you on a scenic city route before heading to the ballpark. All runners will receive a Jimmy John’s Spring Training Race shirt, finisher medal and a buy one get one free coupon for select sections of the Kansas City Royals vs. Cincinnati Reds game on March 7. Early registration is now open and offers discounted rates. Please visit www.SurpriseStadium.com/events for more information and registration forms.

City Council Meetings

As a friendly reminder, City Council Meetings will be held on Tuesday, January 7 and Tuesday, January 21 this month. City Council Work sessions begin at 4:00 p.m. while City Council Meetings follow at 6:00 p.m. We hope to see you there.

December 2019 • Newsletter

Thank You!

Thank you for signing up for Mayor 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).

Shared Active Transportation Vehicles (SATV)

The SATV (E-Scooter) pilot program has begun and the city is looking for your feedback. The SATV survey will be available during the SATV Pilot Program, November 1 until April 28. The purpose of the SATV Pilot Program is to gather and evaluate information pertaining to the use and deployment of SATVs as a transportation option in Surprise. Your opinion is important to the city and will help shape the future city codes related to the SATVs. The survey is located online by visiting http://surpriseaz.gov/satv.

Home Modifications

The City of Surprise Neighborhood Services Division has now partnered with Ability 360 to assist low to moderate income people with disabilities, or senior citizens, to get modifications to their home which would improve accessibility and safety. Typical modifications would include ramps, widened doorways, grab bars, modified sinks and toilets and more. Ability 360 is a non-profit corporation that promotes programs to continue independent lifestyles. If you would like more information on this program, please contact Neighborhood Services at 623-222-1550.

Fire Station Open Houses

The City of Surprise Fire-Medical Department (SFMD) is opening its doors for a series of fire station open houses. Residents are invited to meet the firefighters, check out the living 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. Open houses in January include, FS 302 (18600 N. Reems Road) on January 4, FS 307 (16171 W. Cactus Road) on January 11 and FS 301 (16750 N. Village Drive) on January 25. All open houses are held from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.. For more information or any questions please contact the SFMD at 623-222-5000.

Surprise Spring Training 5K

The 3rd Annual Spring Training 5K/1K will be held on Friday, March 6 at 7:00 p.m. This evening fun run will take you on a scenic city route before heading to the ballpark. All runners will receive a Jimmy John’s Spring Training Race shirt, finisher medal and a buy one get one free coupon for select sections of the Kansas City Royals vs. Cincinnati Reds game on March 7. Early registration is now open and offers discounted rates. Please visit SurpriseStadium.com/events for more information and registration forms.

MLK Day of Service

The City of Surprise is seeking event sponsors and community service volunteers for its 4th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Celebration and Service on Saturday, January 18, 2020. The Day of Service is the perfect time for you to gather your groups, teams, clubs and families to join with other residents in taking on service projects to help our community. This annual program celebrates the life of Dr. King with a light breakfast and musical performances at 8:30a.m. and a ceremony at 9:00 a.m. in the City Hall courtyard. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Seth Dyson at seth.dyson@surpriseaz.gov.

National Guard

The Arizona National Guard made a special trip to Surprise to conduct a workshop with students from Ottawa University’s School of Business. This partnership helps to support a growing community and a positive outreach for staff, students and military members.

Mayor Hall, Surprise City Managers, Ottawa University students and the Arizona National Guard.

Highlights

DUSD Veterans Celebrations

Dysart Unified School District hosted many events to recognize Veterans as part of their Veterans Appreciation Celebration. I was honored to be invited to speak at two of the events. Kingswood Elementary started off the celebrations by welcoming residents to their amphitheater where all Veterans in attendance were recognized. West Point Elementary hosted a Tribute to Our Veterans which featured their band, choir, students and guest speakers. These events bring our community together and allow the youth to have an opportunity to thank the men and women of our military. I thank Dysart Unified School District students and staff for their outstanding display of patriotism.

Veteran Recognition Event

Solana at the Park hosted the 2nd Annual Veterans Celebration that welcomed many guest speakers who gave emotional tributes to their military experiences. Retired United States Army Chief Warrant Officer Glenn Stark was the Master of Ceremony and guest speakers Debbie Lee, Alysse Jackson, Jessica Roza, and Jaime Wasden-Ryum gave powerful presentations on their lives with the military. Thank you to all who came out to support this event and honor the ones who have served to keep our country free.

Veterans Day Ceremony

Veterans Day began with a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Veterans Reflection Circle, an outdoor memorial built through donated products and services, in honor of late Surprise resident and wounded combat war veteran Brian Mancini. Special guests in attendance were Congresswoman Debbie Lesko, AZ State Senators Rick Gray and David Livingston, as well as State Representatives Joanne Osborne and Frank Carroll. Following the ceremony, our annual Veterans Day parade took place and many residents gathered along Bullard Ave waiting to express their gratitude for our veterans. I would like to thank everyone who participated and all the staff who dedicated so much time into making these events a success.

Congratulations to the following Veterans Day Parade participants for winning in their respective categories:

  • Best Veteran Service Organization Entry: VFW Post 285
  • Best Military Entry: Vietnam Veterans of America West Valley Chapter #1043
  • Best Motorized Entry: Rotary Club of Surprise, honorable mention Surprise Police Department Citizens Patrol
  • Best Non-Motorized Entry: Ottawa University
  • Best Musical/Performance Entry: Valley Vista High School Marching Band
  • Best Youth Entry: Girl Scouts Cactus La Promesa
  • Best Classic Car Entry: Psychedelic Rolls Royce

Ribbon Cuttings

Bonfire

Bonfire Craft Kitchen and Taphouse has opened its doors in Surprise. This family friendly restaurant brings re-inspired American classics to Brookside Village, just north of Bell Road and east of Reems. I welcome you to Surprise and wish you much success.

Vein Envy

Vein Envy is a medical facility that specializes in many different vein disorders. They are located throughout the valley and now here in Surprise off of Grand Avenue. I welcome the Vein Envy team to our city and wish them continued growth.

Ugly Tuna

Located in the SE corner complex of Bell and Reems Roads, Ugly Tuna Sushi has opened its doors to allow residents a fresh new dining experience. This family owned business offers a family atmosphere with a new spin on traditional sushi. Thank you for choosing Surprise as your home and I look forward to your success.

Surprise Health and Rehab

Surprise Health and Rehabilitation offers several types of care for a wide range of needs. They have a full time in house therapy team that offers customizable programs as well as certified therapists in specialty areas of practice. Surprise Health and Rehab also has return home programs. They offer integrated cognitive programs as well as speech and language therapy. Welcome to Surprise!

Richi’s Diner II

Richi’s Diner became a huge success in Surprise and now Richi’s Diner II has found its home. This second location in Surprise offers a wide variety of meals, live music and a full bar. They have every day favorites like hamburgers and traditional American dinners to Greek favorites like gyros, kabobs and more. Thank you for allowing Council to be a part of your newest location!

Coming Up

Surprise Party

There is no better way to get in the holiday spirit than our annual Surprise Party! Mark your calendars for Friday, December 6 and Saturday, December 7 and head to the Surprise Recreation Campus, located at 15960 N. Bullard Ave, for musical performances, skydivers, Santa’s workshop and much more. Gates will open at 5:00 p.m. on December 6 with our tree lighting ceremony at 7:00 p.m. On December 7, the party runs from 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. This festival is a great way to kick off the holiday season as admission is free with your donation of a canned food item or a toy for the Sanderson Ford Operation Santa.

Deck the Hock

Deck the Hock is a family friendly event that features themed Christmas tree decorations, choir performances, crafts, treats and more. Bring the family to the Surprise Senior Center, 15832 N. Hollyhock Street, on December 10 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. and let get yourself into the Christmas spirit.

Tech the Halls

Join residents and staff at the AZ TechCelerator, 12425 W. Bell Road, on Thursday, December 12 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. for our 4th Annual Tech the Halls event. This family fun event will have tech exhibits, entertainments, games, refreshments, prizes and more.

West Valley Symphony

The West Valley Symphony presents a collection from the Nutcracker Suite, Festive Lights of Hanukkah and holiday selections with the West Valley Youth Orchestra on December 22 at 3:00 p.m. Head over to the Valley Vista Performing Arts Center, 15550 N. Parkview Place, to hear a variety of holiday music.

City Council Meetings

As a friendly reminder, City Council Meetings will be held on Tuesday, December 3 and Tuesday, December 17 this month. City Council Work sessions begin at 4:00 p.m. while City Council Meetings follow at 6:00 p.m. We hope to see you there.

December Office Closure Dates

All City offices will be closed on Wednesday, December 25 in observance of Christmas Day. Offices will resume regular business hours on Thursday, December 26.

November 2019 • Newsletter

Thank You!

Thank you for signing up for Mayor 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).

Surprise Fire-Medical Department

A new federally funded grant awarded eight new firefighters to the Surprise Fire-Medical Department. This grant pays for the majority of training and salaries for the first two years with a little under half paid in the third year. In addition to the eight federally funded firefighters, five new firefighters were funded through the city’s current budget. All 13 new firefighters will graduate the academy and complete training by June of 2020, making them potentially available to staff Engine 305 at Greenway and Parkview. Twelve of these new positions will eventually be assigned to Fire Station 308 once construction is completed in late 2021 or early 2022. Further discussion regarding the full-time operation of Engine 305 will be part of the FY2021 budget process.

Toll Brothers Tour

Toll Brothers is bringing luxury resort-style living to Surprise! This gated community, Sterling Grove, is almost 800 acres and will feature 13 model homes with up to 31 different floor plans. The amenities will include an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus golf course, 3 pools, clubhouses, spas, tennis courts and much more. The models are scheduled to open in January 2020.

Many thanks to Aaron Insco, Director of Land Development, as well as Senior Project Managers Dan Rhea and Devin Hobbs for the tour. We greatly appreciate your time, and we look forward to the grand opening of Sterling Grove.

Surprise Fiesta Grande

The 6th Annual Fiesta Grande brought residents and elected officials together in this celebration of Surprise’s heritage. We were honored to host Barry Wong, Executive Director at Governor Ducey’s Office of Equal Opportunity, who presented a Hispanic Heritage Month Proclamation; as well as special guest Consul Deputy General of Mexico Armando Esparza. Thank you to our Parks and Recreation team for all of their hard work and dedication in putting on this event.

Mayor Hall holds the proclamation presented by Barry Wong at Surprise Fiesta Grande.

The Stable

Shadow Ridge DECA Club hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony for their student run school store, the Stable, on October 1. The DECA program is a non-profit career and technical student organization that prepares youth in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe. I was honored to be a part of this celebration and personally thank the staff and students of Shadow Ridge High School for their forward thinking initiative.

Highlights

Valley Vista Homecoming Parade

Valley Vista High School invited me to participate in their Annual Homecoming Parade. I was honored to ride alongside Superintendent Dr. Quinn Kellis as we made our way through the neighborhood. Families were lined up on the road as their children waited for the candy to be thrown. Thank you to Dysart Unified School District Board, administration, students and staff who continue to make events like this successful.

Mayor Hall alongside Superintendent Dr. Quinn Kellisin in the Valley Vista High School Annual Homecoming Parade.

Auviana Groundbreaking

Auviana Medical Development held a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate their new Surprise medical and professional offices. This 52,000 square foot project will be complete in 2020 and contain five single-story buildings and one two-story building. They are located just off of Mountain View Boulevard. Welcome to Surprise, Auviana!

G.A.I.N. Night

G.A.I.N. Night is the annual public safety event that allows our residents to gather for a night of fun! The Surprise Public Safety Department hosted hands-on activities, displays and information booths as well trick or treating, music and much more. Thank you to the Public Safety Departments as well as our Parks and Recreation team for making this event successful.

AZ TechCelerator Cyber Warfare Range

The City of Surprise welcomed the AZ Cyber Warfare Range (AZCWR) to the AZ TechCelerator with a ribbon cutting ceremony. AZCWR, in collaboration with the City of Surprise, is working to help solve the cybersecurity skills gap by producing competent cybersecurity talent. AZCWR offers training in a hands-on environment that is mentor-led utilizing volunteers from the local cybersecurity community. This initiative focuses on supporting the local veteran community to aid in their transition from service to their country in the armed services to serve their country in the private sector.

Mayor Hall and Arizona Cyber Warfare Range cut the ribbon for their ribbon ceremony at AZ TechCelerator.

City Council Special Recognition

In August, Surprise resident Larry Brown was awarded the 4th Annual Congressional Veterans of Distinction Award by US Senator Martha McSally. City Council wanted to recognize Mr. Brown in front of his peers and Surprise residents so we did so at our City Council meeting on October 15. I would like to thank Veteran Outreach Manager Keith Forte, from Senator McSally’s office, for presenting Larry Brown with the certificate for his outstanding community service in Arizona. Mr. Brown, I thank you for your service and dedication to this country as well as your continued service to our community.

Surprise resident Larry Brown displays his award with Surprise City Councilmembers.

Coming Up

Dysart Veterans Appreciation Kick Off

Dysart Unified School District will host a Veterans Appreciation Kickoff Celebration at Kingswood Elementary School on November 4 at 4:00 p.m. Veterans from across the city are invited to attend and be recognized by DUSD Superintendent Dr. Quinn Kellis as well as students from Valley Vista High School and Kingswood Elementary.

Veterans Reflection Circle Dedication Ceremony

On November 11 at 8 a.m., the City will hold a dedication ceremony marking the opening of the Veterans Reflection Circle, which is being constructed near the north entrance of the Northwest Regional Library in Surprise.

The Veterans Reflection Circle is an outdoor memorial in honor of late Surprise resident and combat wounded veteran Brian Mancini, who spent his life serving his country and helping other wounded veterans find healing. Dozens of construction and landscape companies have donated their time and resources to honor our veterans and bring this incredible project to life.

Prior to the celebration, the city will host a pancake breakfast at the Surprise Stadium, which will run from 7:30-9:30 a.m. Following the dedication ceremony, the Veterans Day Parade will begin promptly at 10:00 a.m. This annual celebration brings veterans from across the city to honor and celebrate the freedoms they have provided us.

Veterans Reflection Circle event map.

West Valley Symphony

The West Valley Symphony will be holding a concert at 3:00 p.m. on November 17 at the Valley Vista Performing Arts Center, 15550 N. Parkview Place. This performance will feature the works of Respighi, Debussy, Rimsky-Korsakov and Strauss. For ticket details, please call 623.707.8844, Option 1.

Surprise Party

There is no better way to get in the holiday spirit than our annual Surprise Party! Mark your calendars for Friday, December 6 and Saturday, December 7 and head to the Surprise Recreation Campus, located at 15850 N. Bullard Ave, for musical performances, skydivers, Santa’s workshop and much more. Gates will open at 5:00 p.m. on December 6 with our tree lighting ceremony at 6:00 p.m. On December 7, the party runs from 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. This festival is a great way to kick off the holiday season as admission is free with your donation of a canned food item or a toy for the Sanderson Ford Operation Santa.

City Council Meetings

As a friendly reminder, City Council Meetings will be held on Tuesday, November 5 and Tuesday, November 19 this month. City Council Work sessions begin at 4:00 p.m. while City Council Meetings follow at 6:00 p.m. We hope to see you there.

November Office Closure Dates

All City offices will be closed on Monday, November 11 in honor of Veterans Day. Offices will also be closed on Thursday and Friday, November 28-29, in celebration of the Thanksgiving Holiday.

October 2019 • Newsletter

Thank You!

Thank you for signing up for Mayor 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).

Ottawa University Football

Ottawa University Spirit hosted the Western New Mexico Mustangs for their first home game of the season on Saturday, September 7. The stands were packed with cheering fans as the Spirit made their way onto the field. I was honored to participate in the coin toss and shake hands with several of the players before they made their way to the sidelines. At half time the score was tied, but the Spirit held strong and broke the tie with a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Fire Station 304 Groundbreaking

To meet the growth of the Surprise’s northern region, a permanent Fire Station 304 is being built along 163rd Avenue at San Ysidro Road. The Surprise Fire-Medical Department (SFMD) has been operating out of a temporary facility for approximately 17 years.

The new Fire Station will allow the SFMD to increase service levels to maintain adequate response times. This 18,000 square foot permanent station will be designed with multiple bays to accommodate an engine, ladder company, ambulance and a Battalion Chief. The completion date is scheduled for Fall 2020.

Ribbon Cuttings

SeaCa Plastic Packaging

City Council and staff attended the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for SeaCa Plastic Packaging on September 25. SeaCa Plastic Packaging has been a family owned and operated business for over 125 years. They specialize in recyclable plastic packaging for agriculture needs. Their newest location will bring over 60 new jobs to the area. We welcome them to Surprise and look forward to future success.

Trimaco

Trimaco also hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony and Council welcomed them to their new home on September 27. Trimaco is a 276,000 square foot manufacturing plant and distribution center. They manufacture paint accessories and professional floor protection products for paint retail, auto body and construction industries, both domestically and internationally. Trimaco was established 15 years ago as a result of the merger of Tri-Paper (Phoenix), DC May (Durham, NC) and Tufco Technologies (Green Bay, WI).

Highlights

EoS Fitness Grand Opening

EoS Fitness is now open to the public! This 54,000 square foot facility offers group fitness, personal training, boxing, an indoor pool, cycling and much more. They are located at 16750 W. Bell Road.

EOS Fitness.

The Colonnade

Sun Health Communities held their monthly meeting at The Colonnade where over 150 residents attended. I attended to give city updates as well as answer questions and concerns. I thank all the residents who were there.

Eve’s Place Drive for Survivors

Eve’s Place, a non-profit organization, is a proud Arizona leader in developing programs that provide needed assistance to victims of domestic, sexual and teen dating abuse. I was honored to participate in the Drive for Survivors fundraising event, along with Councilmembers David Sanders and Chris Judd.

Mayor Hall and Councilmembers Judd and Sanders at the Drive for Survivors fundraising event.

Constitution Day

Canyon Ridge Elementary School hosted Freedom: A History of the United States Traveling Exhibit in honor of Constitution Day. They also welcomed patriotic presenters from Arizona Sons of the American Revolution, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Daughters of the American Revolution. Students in costumes performed in the “Meeting the Founders” activity which included learning stations, displays and more.

Mayor’s SciTech Roundtable

The SciTech Institute hosted the Arizona STEM & Innovation Summit in Scottsdale last month. The Summit attracted 1200 educators, innovators and business leaders from around the state. I was honored to be part of the Mayor’s SciTech Roundtable discussion where I was able to talk about our recent success stories including: the launch of a Taiwanese company in the early Alzheimer’s research space called MagQu; working with an autonomous vehicle company called Udelv; and a few other wins that helped our existing base of innovations grow more than 500 West Valley jobs. Many thanks to this group for giving me the opportunity to showcase Surprise.

Mayor Hall and other participants of the Mayor's SciTech Roundtable at the Arizona STEM & Innovation Summit.

American Legion Post 96

Thank you, American Legion Post 96, for presenting me with an honorary lifetime membership. I am truly humbled by this gesture.

Congratulations to the four young men (Ethan Holman, Giovanni Miranda, Sebastian Nassif, Joshua Tunac) who were awarded the privilege to attend Boys State. Thank you for sharing your experiences, and I wish you all the best.

Freedom Traditional Academy

DUSD hosted a Dedication Ceremony for their newest school, Freedom Traditional Academy. Dysart’s Freedom Traditional Academy offers an education model that recognizes character building is as important as the academics, when it comes to transitioning our young people into productive adult citizens. The back-to-basic curriculum emphasizes teaching in a traditional manner while focusing on character.

Hometown Heroes Award Luncheon

Surprise Independent and Fellowship Square hosted the Hometown Heroes Luncheon where many Surprise residents were recognized and celebrated for their daily efforts to improve the lives of others.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Chuck Strange.

Community Hero winners include Heather Casey (Educator), Connie Whitlock (Arts Innovator), Officer Matthew Barker, on behalf of the SWAT team (Emergency Responder), Kent Guyer (Mentor), Chaplain Dan Brookey (Spiritual), Glenn Stark (Veteran) and Sharon Beard (Volunteer).

The Business Hero winners include Ottawa University’s Dr. Dennis Tyner (Education), Julie Neal from the AZTechcelerator (Entrepreneur), Leo Mendez of Adelante Healthcare (Healthcare), the Surprise Youth Foundation (Nonprofit organization), Tammy Fraser of Gifts to Go (Small Business), Jennifer Powell of Amtrust Bank (Large Business) and Scott Boettcher of Veteran Tinting and Blinds (Veteran-Owned Business).

Coming Up

Fiesta Grande

The City of Surprise will be hosting the 6th Annual Fiesta Grande on Saturday, October 12 from 5:00-10:00 p.m. outside the Villanueva Recreation Complex. Join residents for authentic Mexican food, classic car shows, music, games and much more as our city celebrates its cultural heritage. The street festival recognizes the significance of the Original Town Site (OTS) and the importance of the Grand Avenue Corridor to the City of Surprise and the West Valley. For more information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/fiestagrande.

Day of Service

The city is seeking over 200 volunteers to participate in the Fall Day of Service on Saturday, October 19. This event helps to promote community pride and engagement. There will be several indoor and outdoor service projects to include painting, sorting, yard work and other services.

Following the community service project completion, an island party will be held with BBQ, live music, games and fun! For more information, or to register, please email Ervin.Cutwright@surpriseaz.gov. Groups of 10 or more must RSVP with a group name.

Public Safety G.A.I.N. Night

Public Safety G.A.I.N. Night will be held on Saturday, October 26 from 5:00-9:00 p.m. You can head out to Mark Coronado Park for a free family event that will offer trick-or-treating, gaming trailer, dinosaurs and much more. Please remember to bring two cans of food for the Salvation Army donation and receive a raffle ticket for a chance to win a prize.

Veterans Day Parade

The City of Surprise is accepting parade entries from clubs, organizations, groups and residents who want to show their patriotic spirit and honor those who bravely served our country. The parade will be held on Monday, November 11. Entry forms are available online at www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents or at the Parks and Recreation Office, 15960 N. Bullard Avenue. Entries are due by October 27.

Veterans Reflection Circle Dedication Ceremony

On November 11 at 8 a.m., the city will hold a dedication ceremony marking the opening of the Veterans Reflection Circle, which is being constructed near the north entrance of the Northwest Regional Library in Surprise.

The Veterans Reflection Circle is an outdoor memorial in honor of late Surprise resident and combat wounded veteran Brian Mancini, who spent his life serving his country and helping other wounded veterans find healing. Dozens of construction and landscape companies have donated their time and resources to honor our veterans and bring this incredible project to life.

City Council Meetings

As a friendly reminder, City Council Meetings will be held on Tuesday, October 1 and Tuesday, October 15 this month. City Council Work sessions begin at 4:00 p.m. while City Council Meetings follow at 6:00 p.m. We hope to see you there.