Category Archives: Surprise News

News and updates on matters impacting Surprise.

Centennial Year for Lions Club International

Mayor Wolcott proclaimed 2017 as the Centennial Year for Lions Club International at the City Council Meeting on March 21. She noted that Lions Club members in Surprise have been active volunteers dedicated to serving those in need in our community in numerous humanitarian and philanthropic projects. Representatives from the local Lion’s Club accepted the proclamation.

Mayor Sworn to Second Term

The first Regular City Council Meeting of the New Year included the swearing-in ceremonies for mayor and three councilmembers, on Tuesday, January 3.

Sharon Wolcott, who was re-elected in the August 2016 Primary Election, was sworn in as Mayor of Surprise for a second term.

Re-elected Councilmember John Williams was sworn into office to serve District 3.

Newly elected Councilmember Ken Remley took the oath of office to serve District 4.

Jim Hayden, who won the District 2 council seat in August 2016 and joined the City Council, last October through a vacancy, was also sworn into office.

City Clerk Sherry Aguilar administered the oath of office to each elected official; each of which is sworn to a four-year term.

For more information about these elected officials visit:

The next regular Council meeting is scheduled for January 17 at 6pm in City Council Chambers. City Council meetings are televised on Surprise TV and streamed live on the internet at

Surprise launches National Citizens Survey

The City of Surprise strives to deliver top-notch services to our residents. To measure our performance, we are conducting a National Citizens Survey (NCS) this fall.

This mailed survey, conducted by the National Research Center of Boulder, Colorado, will examine residents’ responses on topics ranging from traffic flow to public safety to senior and youth services.

The scientific survey sample equals 1,400 surveys that will be mailed to randomly-selected homes throughout the city. All survey results are anonymous. The city does not know which addresses have been selected by the third-party surveyor and only receives the aggregate results.

Beginning this week, a postcard will arrive at the selected addresses advising that the survey is on the way. The survey itself, along with a postage-paid return envelope, will arrive roughly one week later. In order to be sure that selected residents receive their survey, a second survey will be mailed as a follow up. Residents who complete and mail the first survey can simply recycle the second one.

Selected households will also receive instructions for how to complete the 2015 survey online.

The last NCS the city conducted was in 2012, and 93% of residents indicated they would recommend Surprise as a place to live, a rating that is “much above” cities of our size that also conducted the survey. Residents also said we are a clean-looking city and ranked our sanitation services well above our peer cities.

Respondents said we need to work on improving transportation, from more east-west corridors to adding public transit options. Funding has limited major improvements in this area.

A focus of your input was directed to adding more local jobs. Since 2012, IRIS USA has announced a new manufacturing/distribution and US headquarters in Surprise; Cobalt is finalizing construction of a brain injury treatment hospital and MD24, a mobile physician service, graduated from the AZ TechCelerator, growing from three employees to more than 200.

What you tell us in this survey will help to identify priority projects for Surprise and indicate where limited city funding should go in order to provide the services you most desire.

If your household receives a survey, please take the time to complete it and mail it back. By participating, you are helping to make Surprise an even better community!

Results are expected by the end of the year and will be shared online at

Surprise Fiesta Grande, October 17

Join us for authentic Mexican food, classic cars, music and games as we celebrate our city’s cultural heritage at the second annual Surprise Fiesta Grande.

This fun-filled 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.


The event is 2–10 p.m. on Hollyhock Street on the Roy Villanueva Recreation Campus in the OTS.

Visit for more information.

Mayor joins Governor to announce economic impact of AZ Cactus League

Mayor Wolcott joined Governor Doug Ducey on stage at the State Capital September 10 as he announced the incredible impact that the Arizona Cactus League has on the Arizona economy.

A study revealed that the Phoenix-area Cactus League ballparks, including Surprise Stadium, generate an estimated $800 Million for Arizona annually.

“The economic impact is evident in Surprise during Spring Training season,” said Mayor Sharon Wolcott, “but we benefit from our facilities all year long, with tournaments, festivals and other events that generate revenue for our city, as well as the county and the state.”

Staying Engaged: Tonight’s Council Meeting

Staying Engaged: Tonight’s Council Meeting

There are a couple items being discussed at tonight’s City Council meeting and into next week that I want to make you aware of. They are:

  • The Council Members and I will receive a briefing from the city’s Community Development team during tonight’s Council meeting at 6 p.m. regarding their progress on updating the City Code relating to business signs. The purpose of the code update is to potentially increase business exposure through effective signage, while also enhancing traffic safety and minimizing “visual clutter.” The ultimate goal is to provide businesses with clear and consistent signage guidelines. Commercial signs impact the overall visual character of our community, so I encourage you to stay informed and obtain a copy of the draft revised sign guidelines when the document is publicly released in early October.
  • If you live near or regularly drive on Bullard Avenue, there are two upcoming public meetings you may be interested in attending regarding recent traffic changes made to the street. At tonight’s Council meeting at 6 p.m., City Manager Bob Wingenroth and Public Works Director Mike Gent will update the Council on traffic-calming strategies that city staff has taken to improve motorist and pedestrian safety on the roadway.We’ll also be presented with information on how the street has been performing since the changes were implemented as well as the results of a citizen survey recently conducted to obtain resident feedback on the changes. If you can’t attend tonight’s meeting, you can watch live coverage on Surprise 11 (Cox cable) or online at The Bullard Avenue discussion will continue at 6 p.m. Tuesday, September 8 when city staff hosts a second community meeting at Marley Park Elementary School, 15042 W. Sweetwater Ave. The community feedback, as well as next steps, will be discussed at this meeting.
  • The Council will consider the approval of $776,400 during tonight’s Council meeting to continue providing transit services to our residents. This annual funding includes the downtown (Phoenix) express bus and Dial-a-Ride services. Aside from public safety, transportation is one of my top priorities for our city, and it’s an area in which we need to continue developing short- and long-term strategies to move our community forward.

Finally, citizen input and engagement is critical to building a strong Surprise. One way to get involved is by attending Council meetings, which are held at 6 p.m. on the first and third Thursdays of each month. There are two opportunities for you to speak directly to myself and Council members at these meetings.

First, you can speak on matters that are before us, which appear on that evening’s meeting agenda. The second way is during the “Call to the Public” portion of the meeting when residents may address the Council on new or emerging issues or any item that is not on the agenda. You can view tonight’s Council meeting agenda by visiting