Tag Archives: Surprise Literacy Challenge

January 2022 • Newsletter

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 mayor.surpriseaz.gov. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Surprise Fine Art & Wine Festival

The 10th Annual Surprise Fine Art & Wine Festival, presented by Thunderbird Artists and City of Surprise, returns January 7-9, 2022. The event will take place 10 a.m.-5 p.m. each day at Mark Coronado Park, 15960 N. Bullard Ave. Admission is $3 and is cash only.

This world-class fine art event features the works of artist Kenneth Ferguson, along with other juried fine artists. The festival allows patrons to view artwork up close and discuss pieces firsthand with creators. Subject matters range from southwest and traditional to contemporary and abstract, including figurative, floral, wildlife, European, African, Native American and more.

Live music and a variety of food trucks will add to the atmosphere of the art arena. In addition to tasty meals, there will be plenty of goodies to satisfy your sweet tooth, including kettle corn, caramels and ice cream.

For more information about the Surprise Fine Art & Wine Festival, please contact Thunderbird Artists at 480.837.5637 or visit thunderbirdartists.com.

Surprise Offers Christmas Tree Drop-off Sites

The City of Surprise offers four Christmas tree drop-off locations for residents’ convenience. The lots are open now through January 18, 2022, at the following locations:

Christmas tree disposal graphic
  • Bi-Centennial Park 16705 N. Nash St. (south end of the parking lot)
  • Surprise Recreation Campus / Youth Baseball Complex 15795 N. Parkview Pl. (across from Valley Vista High School)
  • Dick McComb Softball Park 17894 Westpark Blvd. (parking lot on corner of 180th Ave & Westpark Blvd.)
  • Asante Community Park 16763 W. Vereda Solana Dr. (parking lot at the north end of the park)

Please remove all decorations and place the trees in the designated areas only. There is a limit of two trees per household. For more information, please call 623.222.1900.

Two Martin Luther King, Jr. Events

The City of Surprise is excited to gather with the community to honor the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at our 6th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Celebration & Service on Saturday, January 15.

The public is also invited to join us for an evening of MLK Musical Celebration & Reflections the Wednesday before, on January 12.

Event details:

MLK Musical Celebration & Reflections
Wednesday, January 12, 6 – 8 p.m.
Willow Canyon High School Auditorium – 17901 W. Lundberg St.

Enjoy community speakers, performing artists and groups like Canyon Ridge Elementary School and Gideon Church Choir. Reverend Powell of Gideon Church and others will share reflections on the impact Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had on their lives and the inclusive work that is needed to continue his vision.

MLK Day of Celebration & Service
Saturday, January 15
8:30 a.m. Music & Breakfast, 9 a.m. Program
Surprise City Hall Courtyard – 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza.

Light breakfast will be served to the first 500 guests, starting at 8:30 a.m. The event, starting at 9 a.m., will include Keynote Speaker, Col. Wanda Wright, recognition of the art contest winners, and performances by American Idol Finalist LaKisha Jones, Valley Vista High School, Ashton Ranch Middle School, Gideon Baptist Choir, Arizona Redeemed Choir, Brooklyn Ball and more!

A to Z Polish Market has officially opened!

A-Z Polish Market store front

Located at 17221 N. Litchfield Rd., A to Z Polish market is now open. I want to thank the entire community and Economic Development team for the amazing support and top-notch communication guiding this business through the process at every step. They were so excited to open their doors, so I hope you’ll have the chance to stop by and enjoy a pierogi or two! More info: atozpolishmarket.com

Redistricting Update

The City has already contracted with a consultant for this process, however, due to state law, which does not allow the redistricting process to occur within 6 months of an election, the formal process is anticipated to begin in January of 2023. The IRC issued final state legislative and congressional district maps during the week of December 21. I encourage everyone to visit irc.az.gov to become familiar with the new districts.

2045 General Plan Timeline

The City’s General Plan serves as a comprehensive guide to our future growth and development, and state law requires that all municipalities update the General Plan every 10 years through a public vote of the people.

The City is actively going through the Request for Proposal (RFP) process to solicit a consultant to update the City’s General Plan, with an anticipated contract award in February 2022. The project is anticipated to start in April.

From April 2022 through the end of the year, there will be public outreach, various engagements, data gathering, and analysis. That will help to create a draft General Plan document, which is anticipated by December 2022. You can check out our current General Plan 2035 at surpriseaz.gov/generalplan.

Budget Kick-off

FY2023 Tentative Budget timeline graphic

The City of Surprise FY2023 budget building process has begun. The Finance Department will give a series of presentations to City Council over the next few months. The City Manager will release his Recommended Budget in April, which will be followed by public review and then final adoption of a balanced budget in June. Please stay tuned to the upcoming Council Meetings for the overall development of the budget and upcoming annual process.


Fire Stations 304 & 308 Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Fire Stations 304 & 308 Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

December 14 was a great day to celebrate a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for two fire stations built in 2021 – Fire Station 304 in our northern area and Fire Station 308 in southeast Surprise! Thank you to everyone who came out for the event and to all Surprise voters who made these projects possible.

Surprise Party

Surprise Party Tree Lighting

Surprise Party brings smiles, laughs and joy every year, and this year was no exception! Residents enjoyed live music, food, crafts, hot air balloons and more. Thank you to the community for coming out to enjoy yet another successful holiday celebration and to our Parks and Recreation team for all they do to make this event so great every year.

5th Annual Deck the Hock

Thank you to all the residents and Senior Center staff for making Deck the Hock an enjoyable evening. This night brought residents to the Surprise Senior Center for hot cocoa, sweet treats, tree decorating, holiday crafts and even snow. I appreciate these community events and love bringing holiday cheer to Surprise families.

Senior Center Holiday Party
On December 17, I attended the annual City of Surprise Senior Center Holiday Party at The Colonnade, along with a few other council members. This annual event included a delicious lunch and raffles for all to enjoy. Thank you to the Surprise Senior Center and Human Service and Community Vitality Department staff for hosting such a terrific event!

Surprise Literacy Challenge

Mayor Hall and school students

Participation in the Surprise Literacy Challenge has continued to grow in our schools over the past few years. This year, I am pleased to recognize Mrs. Mitton’s 4th-grade class from Luke Elementary and Mrs. Fallon’s 1st-grade class from Countryside Elementary as our top performers! Reading is so important to our students, and I am proud to see the growth this program has brought to the community. Congratulations to the winning classrooms, and thank you to all who participated.

Coming Up

Mayor’s Breakfast with the Pastors
This year, the Mayor’s Breakfast with the Pastors is scheduled for Friday, January 28, 2022. The event is a great opportunity for local elected officials to meet with the pastors of the community and other local leaders.

2022 State of the City
Join me for a video premiere of 2022 State of the City, followed by an outdoor event with a variety of performances and a showcase of City programs and services.

March 31, 2022, 6 p.m.
Surprise City Hall Outdoor Courtyard
16000 N. Civic Center Plz., Surprise, AZ
More details to come!
Watch the 2021 State of the City

Sanderson Ford College Baseball Classic

2022 college baseball logo

The City of Surprise is excited to announce the College Baseball Classic will return to Surprise Stadium as a two-part series event on February 18 – 20 and 24 – 26.Dates, times, and opponents are subject to change. The game times listed are MST. Additional stadium policies, fan safety and health information and policies are available at SurpriseStadium.com.

Plan ahead and book your stay in Surprise! Trip planning is easy when all the resources are at your fingertips! Visit exploresurprise.com for a list of local hotel accommodations, travel itineraries and ideas for your visit! For more information on the tournament, tickets, and additional events, please visit SurpriseStadium.com or contact the Surprise Stadium Box Office at 623.222.2222.

Spring Training Tickets
2022 Spring Training tickets are on sale now at SurpriseStadium.com!

Grab single-game tickets or bundle with season ticket and mini-plan packages for unique perks, savings over the individual game ticket price, choice of the best available seating locations and exclusive access to special season ticket plan holder events and pre-sale opportunities.

For questions or more information, visit surprisestadium.com or call 623.222.2222.

City Council Meetings
As a friendly reminder, upcoming City Council Meetings will be held on Tuesday, January 18 and Tuesday, February 1. City Council Work sessions begin at 4 p.m. while City Council Meetings follow at 6 p.m. We hope to see you there.

April 2019 • Newsletter

State of the City of Surprise

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Transportation Survey

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

MAG Transportation Survey

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

Events & Meetings

Spring Training

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

Surprise Stadium

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

Read Across America

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

Speaking on Civic Engagement

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

Surprise Literacy Challenge Winners

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

Surprise Literacy Challenge Winner with Mayor Hall

Community Meetings

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

Mayor Skip Hall & Scott Phillips of Carefree Partners

Cal Ripken Day at Surprise Stadium

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

Cal Ripken Day at Surprise Stadium

Surprise Regional Chamber Breakfast: Meet the Mayors

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

Surprise Regional Chamber Breakfast: Meet the Mayors

New Businesses

Nothing Bundt Cakes

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

Nothing Bundt Cakes staff seen with Mayor Hall

Avenir Behavioral Health Center

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

Avenir Behavioral Health Center staff cutting ribbon

Mark Your Calendar

Sunday in the Park Food Truck Festival

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

Spring EGG-stravanganza

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

Surprise Talent Show

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

Household Hazardous Waste

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

City Council Meetings

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

Did You Know?

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

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

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

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

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