Veterans Bridge Naming Celebration
It is a distinct honor to now call the Grand Avenue/Bell Road bridge, Veterans Bridge. Late last year, Councilman Ken Remley and I met to discuss the renaming of the bridge after communicating with resident Dan Riley. The proposal to rename the bridge was supported by then Senator Debbie Lesko and current State Senator Rick Gray. The name was later approved by the Arizona State Board on Geographic and Historic Names. With a large population of veterans living in Surprise, the West and Northwest Valley, the name of the bridge will honor these heroes. The city hosted a renaming celebration on Friday, April 26. We welcomed Governor Doug Ducey, Congresswoman Debbie Lesko, representatives from Senator Martha McSally’s office, State Senators Rick Gray and Sine Kerr and many other dignitaries to the event with our local veterans.Watch the Veterans Bridge Naming Celebration program
Hands-Free Mobile Device While Driving Legislation Passes
As you may recall, Surprise passed a Distracted Driving Ordinance in 2018, making it illegal to use a mobile device, such as a cell phone, while driving unless it is in hands-free mode.
Last month, Governor Doug Ducey signed HB2318 finalizing a statewide law that bans the use of a mobile device while driving, unless in hands-free mode. While it is effective immediately, it will NOT be enforced by fine until January 1, 2021. However, police statewide do currently have the authority to pull over a driver and issue a warning if they see a violation.
At this time the city’s ordinance remains in effect and will continue to be enforced. The city ordinance differs from the state law, and can be found here: www.surpriseaz.gov/1639/Distracted-Driving.
City Council will hear an agenda item from Police Chief Terry Young on what the new state law means relative to our existing ordinance at their Regular Meeting on May 21, 6 p.m., City Hall Council Chambers. The public is invited to attend.
Events and Meeting
Water Conservation Town Hall
Sun City Grand hosted a Water Conservation Town Hall on the April 25. Residents, Community Managers, and HOAs had the opportunity to ask questions about their water usage. Deputy City Manager and Water Resources Management Director Terry Lowe, along with Jim Kauth, a Certified Landscape Water Manger from Aqua Trac consulting, provided residents insightful information on using water during the different times of year and how an HOA can determine a water budget for their properties.
Meeting with Arizona State Treasurer
We had a successful meeting with Arizona State Treasurer Kimberly Yee at the State Capitol on April 8. We had an informative discussion on the Local Government Investment Pools (LGIP). LGIP is a pooled investment fund that operates like a money market mutual fund for the exclusive benefit of governments within the entity’s jurisidiction. Thank you, Treasurer Yee and your executive team, for your time!
Taste of Surprise
The Taste of Surprise, hosted by the Surprise Rotary Club, is an annual event that benefits local charities. This year, it took place on April 6 at the Surprise Stadium. I joined several of my fellow City Council colleagues in the dunk tank with hopes to raise additional funds for the event. There was plenty of food options offered from several of our local restaurants. The entertainment included live music from Los Gringos and TripWire, a car show, cooking demonstrations, and a kids zone.
On April 15, Carefree Partners hosted an informative discussion with residents from Marley Park on the future physical development of the City of Surprise. Councilmembers Chris Judd and Dave Sanders joined me at the meeting. It was an enthusiastic crowd full of great energy and ideas.Community Meetings
Surprise Fire-Medical Ceremony
The Surprise Fire-Medical Department hosted their Annual Awards Ceremony on April 4. The ceremony was an opportunity to recognize personnel for their outstanding achievements.
Please join me in congratulating these outstanding individuals:
Chief’s Award: Firefighter Roy Michael
Perry Award: Assistant Fire Chief Darrell Johnston
Fire Medal: Firefighter Dave Anderson
Engine Company of the Year: Engine Company 302, A-shift: Engineer (Acting Captain) Steve Gilbert, Engineer Steve Spirlong, Firefighter Tim Penner, Firefighter Donovan Maturan
Paramedic of the Year: Firefighter Sean Cullen
EMT of the Year: Firefighter Mike Naehrbass
Unit of the Year: SFMD Honor Guard
Individual Citations: Engineer Jenesa Dobrinski, Firefighter Mike Meadors, Engineer David Anderson | Volunteers from the Lockbox Program – Gordon & Barbara Birschbach, Barbara Pelligrino, Ray & Ramona Simpson, James Cooper, Ron Ottwell
Crisis Response Rookie Volunteer of the Year: Tim Tait
Crisis Response Volunteers of the Year: Don & Patti Nelson
Administrative Civilian Volunteer of the Year: Esther Gillett
Civilian of the Year: Administrative Technician Dana Smith
It was a pleasure to attend and see the dedicated members of the department receive recognition.
Kingswood Parke Spring Fling
Councilman David Sanders and I attended the Kingswood Parke HOA Spring Fling on April 6. We enjoyed spending time with the residents. The community had inflatables, carnival festivities, a great BBQ, and live entertainment.
We always appreciate the invite and opportunity to engage with our constituents. Thank you for inviting us!
Citizens Patrol Recognition Dinner
The Citizens Patrol held their annual recognition dinner on April 12 in Sun City Grand. Councilmembers Hayden, Judd, Sanders and I were in attendance to honor this important group of individuals in our community. I cannot thank these individuals enough for their contributions to Surprise. The Citizens Patrol was created in 1997 to help ensure a safe environment by providing quality customer service to the people who live and work in Surprise. These volunteers consist of 62 highly trained men and women who donate their time and skills in the furtherance of the Surprise Police Department mission.
April was an exciting month for WHAM. They opened up their one-day Recycle Fashion Show & Art Festival on April 6 with the theme “Where Creativity Goes Green” in connection with Earth Day. They showcased three exhibits: Recycled Art Exhibit, Youth Recycled Art Exhibit, and the Find It, Fix It, & Flip It Exhibit. This fun-filled family event offered great food, informational booths, music, entertainment, arts and crafts, and a fashion show! Make sure to always check out what WHAM has going on at www.wham-art.org.
Councilmembers Patrick Duffy, David Sanders, and myself, along with city officials that included City Manager Mike Frazier, Deputy City Manager Terry Lowe, and Police Chief Terry Young participated in the WHAM fundraiser at Top Golf in Glendale on April 14. We competed against each other in teams to help raise money for an excellent cause. Thank you for having us, WHAM!
3rd Annual Surprise Area Interfaith & Golden Rule Community Breakfast
It was an honor to welcome community, faith, business, and non-profit leaders of the region to Surprise for the 3rd Annual Surprise Area Interfaith & Golden Rule Community Breakfast. This year, the event took place at the Salvation Army, 17420 Avenue of the Arts, on May 1. Leaders throughout the community were able to tell their Golden Rule stories. The Golden Rule allows individuals to build bridges, educate one another, and have an open conversation without conflict.
I’d like to extend my gratitude to the Salvation Army, Area Ministerial Association, and the Arizona Interfaith Movement for joining the city in sponsorship of the breakfast. I would also like to say thank you to Seth Dyson, the city’s Human Services and Community Vitality Director, for setting this great breakfast up.
Sun Health Communities held a grand opening for their new Assisted Living and Memory Support residences at the Colonnade on Thursday, May 2. I was honored to join Sun Health executives at the ribbon cutting. Attendees were able to tour the building and residence suites, meet staff and learn about new services and amenities available to future residents.
The Colonnade is a nonprofit Life Plan Community spanning over 40 acres in the heart of Sun City Grand and Surprise. This expansion adds 26 assisted living residences and 24 memory support suites.
Mark Your Calendar
Movie Night in the Park
Come on down to the Mark Coronado Park (15850 N Bullard Ave) on May 11 for a movie night. Small Foot will be the featured movie! Gates open at 6 p.m., and the movie starts at 7 p.m. This is a free event! Please no outside food or coolers allowed.
Surprise Family Pool-ooza!
The Surprise Police and Fire-Medical Departments will be hosting a free Family Pool-ooza at the Surprise Aquatic Center located at 15831 N. Bullard Avenue on May 18. It will be an open swim, CPR demos, swim assessments, interactive booths & more!
Itty Bitty Beach Party
At the Surprise Aquatic Center, 15831 N. Bullard Avenue, on May 23 from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. bring your swimsuit, towel, and sunscreen for the annual Itty Bitty Beach Party for ages 6 years and younger! There will be games, crafts, prizes, and a special mermaid appearance! Tickets are $5 for residents and can be purchased online at http://surpriserec.surpriseaz.gov under “Special Events”.
City Council Meetings
As a friendly reminder, City Council Meetings will be on May 7 and May 21 this month starting at 6:00 p.m. City Council Work Sessions begins at 4:00 p.m.
Did You Know?
Surprise City Manager Michael Frazier released his recommended FY2020 budget. At the April 16 Work Session, City Manager Frazier released his recommended expenditure budget of $414 million. Mr. Frazier’s focus is on city growth, while maintaining the cities current existing assets. Overall, General Fund revenues are expected to increase seven percent from the FY2019 adopted budget, due to larger population growth and a favorable economy.
In order to address growing Public Safety demands, this budget recommends hiring the following 18 full-time employees: 3 EMT’s, 3 Paramedics, 5 Firefighters, 1 Community Risk professional, 5 sworn Police Officers, and 1 Court Clerk.
In the utility enterprise funds this would allow the city to add 11 employees to address the city growth. Water Resource Management would add 9 full-time employees in water and sewer; while Public Works would add 2 for solid waste services.
The Recommended Budget also includes $106.3 million for Capital Improvement Projects. These funds support new projects such as facilities and roads as well as support asset replacement and maintenance needs to existing infrastructure, including public safety vehicle replacement; road maintenance; information technology, recreation, and utility infrastructure.
What’s next? A public hearing and the Council’s Tentative Budget adoption is scheduled for the Regular Council Meeting on May 7; with a final budget adoption scheduled for the June 4 meeting. If you are a resident, please feel free to come and let us know your thoughts on the budget at any of the public hearings, or please feel free to reach out via email or phone to voice your opinion. The recommended budget is available online at www.surpriseaz.gov/budget.