Tag Archives: Dysart Unified School District

January 31, 2019 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

New District 5 Councilmember Selected

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2019 PORA/SCHOA Legislative Meeting

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

Dysart Unified School District Meeting

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

New Businesses in Surprise

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

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

Surprise City Council at the Cafe Rio grand opening

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

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


Mark Your Calendar

State of the City & 10 Year City Hall Celebration

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

Spring Training Begins February 23

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

Artisan Treasures Sweet Spring Festival

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


Did You Know?

New Council Conversations Show

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

Council Conversations Show image

Volunteer for a Board or Commission

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

Surprise Recreation Campus Hosts Tennis and Pickleball Tournaments

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

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

Bell Road Bridge Name Change

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

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

Mayor Wolcott encourages residents to participate in city’s Back to School Supply Drive

With the month of August rapidly approaching, the first day of school for many Surprise youth is right around the corner.

Each year, City of Surprise employees coordinate a back-to-school drive among city workers to help students in the Dysart Unified School District.

But, after shopping for school supplies for the employee drive this past weekend, Mayor Sharon Wolcott is also encouraging residents to participate.

Mayor Wolcott donating items to the back to school drive

“I’m sure all of us have fond memories of our first day of school while growing up,” said Wolcott. “Starting a new school year was always a special time when we were eager to meet new teachers and reacquaint ourselves with classmates as well as learn and share ideas.”

“So we want to do all we can to make sure students begin the new school year on equal footing and have the basic supplies needed to foster learning.”

The city’s Employee Appreciation and Activities Committee liked the idea of opening the school supply drive up to residents. As a result, residents can now drop off supplies at two locations inside Surprise City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza.

There are drop-off collection boxes located at the welcome center on the first floor as well as a collection box outside the Council Chambers.

School supplies that can be donated include crayons, color washable markers (boxes of eight), pocket folders (solid colors), glue sticks, composition books, spiral notebooks (1- or 3-subject), pencils (No. 2), rulers, pencil boxes, handheld erasures and large boxes of facial tissues.

Download the Dysart School Supply List.

The City’s Back to School Supply Drive runs through Thursday, August 13. The donated supplies will be distributed to students attending elementary school.

For more information, contact Stephen Chang, chairman of the City’s Employee Community Services Subcommittee, at 623.222.3136 and stephen.chang@surpriseaz.gov.

Council ok’s formation of committee to vet potential bond projects

The Surprise City Council voted to form the Capital Improvement Funding Exploratory Committee to provide recommendations regarding the use of general obligation bonds in funding capital improvement projects.

The council elected to merge the Planning and Zoning Commission and Community and Recreation Advisory Commission, with two members from the Dysart Unified School District, one Nadaburg School District delegate and a member of the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce to serve on the ad-hoc bond committee.

This 17-member committee will meet over the next several months and review the benefits of funding 11 capital improvement projects; welcome public input; identify appropriate communication methods for educating residents and voters; and provide City Council with a written report of their findings no later than May 31.

City Council will consider its position relative to a bond program in June 2015.

Specific projects are included in three categories, that were evaluated by the city staff.

Widening of portions of Greenway, Litchfield, and Happy Valley roads, a new fire station, police property and evidence facility, court accessibility and safety items, a regional multi-generational recreation center, aquatic center, and 8 Acres Park improvements are currently on the list to be evaluated by the committee.

Should all three proposed bond packages go before and be passed by voters the property tax on the average $150,000 home would increase by $99 per year, or $133 increase for a home valued at $200,000.

Additional details about committee meetings will be publicly noticed and promoted to engage resident input. Meeting dates, times, and locations will be posted online at www.surpriseaz.gov.