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March 2018 • Newsletter

Hello to everyone who calls this beautiful city home. Well, it’s March already and time just keeps on flying by. At my first meeting of the month, a couple of folks from a billboard company attended to discuss potential billboard signage in Surprise. I would just like to take an informal survey among our citizens. How do you feel about billboards along Loop 303 or Grand Avenue? I would like to get some feedback from the folks I represent at the table; just call or email me your opinion.

On the evening of Saturday, February, 3, I was at the Wigwam for a Benevilla fundraiser. Benevilla does some great work for our elderly and day care for our young families so our hardworking parents can go to work and put food on the table. It was a very successful event.

Tuesday morning, February 6, found me at my once a month meeting in Phoenix for my Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) Economic Development Committee meeting. This Committee is made up of elected officials, business leaders, and others from across the valley.

Then that same afternoon, City Council held their Work Session at 4 pm, followed by the City Council meeting at 6 pm. The meeting is where the action is taken.

On Wednesday morning, February 7, Willow Canyon High School hosted a town hall meeting in the auditorium with former Canadian Prime Minister, John Turner. Mr. Turner was visiting Surprise to support the idea of having Canadians come to Surprise during the winter months to have their medical procedures done rather than tough out the snow and cold in Canada, especially when they might have a possibility of slipping on the ice after a knee or hip replacement.

Former Canadian Prime Minister, John Turner and panel members for the February 7, 2018 Town Hall Meeting.

February 9 was my regular 2nd Friday night meeting at 7pm in the Community Center in Arizona Traditions. We had a large crowd (it must have been the cookies). Discussion included questions about the widening of Greenway Road, and if there was going to be a traffic light at the intersection of Greenway and Northwest Ranch Parkway. As I understand, the answer is yes.

Ottawa University Arizona broke ground on the O’Dell Center for Athletics on Friday, February 16 at the University’s newest residential campus here in Surprise; it was made possible by a $6 million donation from alumni Jim and Jeanne O’Dell. The 35,000 square foot, three-story O’Dell Center for Athletics will be designed to house locker rooms, training facilities, coaches’ offices and student support services. The center will be immediately adjacent to the new Spirit multi-sport athletic field, near the Surprise Civic Center and Recreation Campus, and will include a new press box and entertainment area. Officials expect construction on the O’Dell Center for Athletics to be finished in the fall 2018.

The city is currently conducting a transit study. Please go to and let us know your thoughts because, as you know, this city has no transit system for a population of almost 140,000 people. For those of you who do use the transportation system we have to offer, you know it is spotty at best. In the city’s last National Citizen Survey in 2015, residents identified mobility as top priority for Surprise, along with safety and the economy. I hope you will also take a few minutes to fill out the 2018 National Citizens Survey, which is open through March 19. It is available at

Wednesday, February 21 found me at Surprise Stadium for Mayor Wolcott’s Welcome Back Luncheon for our Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers. Yes, it’s Spring Training time again, so get your tickets now and enjoy the games. In the afternoon, I had a meeting with some of our Surprise Youth Council and they are a bunch of sharp kids with great questions.

Surprise Stadium event - Mayor Wolcott’s Welcome Back Luncheon for the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers.

On Thursday, February 22, I attended the Northwest Valley Connect Advisory Committee meeting. We received some good news that Northwest Valley Connect clients were happy with the service that they are getting. If you ever need a ride and can’t get one, call Kathy Chandler at NWC, maybe she can help. There is no charge for service. NWC will call two days before the ride to let you know if they have a driver because all of their drivers are volunteers. I have had good reports from my constituents on their service. They ask for donations, so just mail them a check for whatever you want. Mail any donations to Kathy Chandler, Northwest Valley Connect, 9445 N 99th Ave Peoria, Arizona 85345. You can call (623)282-9304 for a ride. Please let me know about your experience if you try it.

Later that same afternoon, I met with Kendra Pettis, our city’s first Sports and Tourism Director. The new Sports and Tourism Department was launched last fall. I believe this was a really good idea by our City Manager, Bob Wingenroth. The mission of the department is to make Surprise a destination city and not just another city people go through to get to Las Vegas.

I believe I have mentioned previously that I have been working on getting the Vietnam Wall to Surprise, and I finally got a date. It will be here July 5 – July 9. I am hoping to have an opening ceremony with some guest speakers, but we are still putting this all together. We will need some volunteers to build the base for it. I would be remiss if I did not thank Jodi Tas for all the work she has put into this project. I want to thank Donna Miller and the CRS team, and all the folks that have helped from the city. I have used my contingency funds to help pay for the Wall, and I would like to thank Councilmember Hall and Councilmember Duffy for donating some of their contingency funds for this project as well.

Just a reminder to vote! We have Congressional District 8 seat election on April 24. There’s a Special Election on May 15 seeking authorization to purchase a water company. You can get all the details on that election at Plus, we have a local election on August 28. The voter registration deadline for the August primary election is July 20. This election will not be a mail ballot only election, but 80 percent of our residents receive mail in ballots now.

Well until next month so long and be good to yourself and be good to others.

Roland F. Winters Jr.
District 1 Councilmember

City begins FY19 budget discussions

The City of Surprise Fiscal Year 2019 budget-building process kicked off at the City Council’s Work Session, 4 p.m., Tuesday, February 6.

This was the first in a series of presentations regarding the overall development of the budget. The first presentation provided a general overview of the city’s budget, including revenue sources, city funds and expenditures.

The presentation also highlighted outside issues that influence the outcomes of the budget process. View presentation.

Future Council Work Sessions and Regular Meetings will include additional presentations related to budget development, including topics on Capital Improvement Projects and continued operating budget discussions. The Recommended Budget is scheduled for release in April, followed by months of Council and public review that will result in the adoption of a balanced FY2019 budget in June. FY2019 begins July 1, 2018.

Council agendas are posted online at at least two business days before the meeting. City Council meets the first and third Tuesdays of each month. Work Sessions are at 4 p.m. and Regular Meetings begin at 6 p.m. All meetings are carried live on Surprise TV for cable customers and streamed online at

February 2018 • Newsletter

A big shout out to all my neighbors in District 1 and to all in Surprise! Happy February! This will be an exciting six to seven months with some of our projects gearing up and five council seats due for election or re-election, including District 1. Election Day will be held on August 28 so get registered and get on the list to receive a mail-in ballot.

The Council canceled our first meeting in January until January 16 since the second was right after New Year’s Day, but January 9 found me at the first MAG Economic Development Committee meeting of the new year up in Phoenix and things were busy all month. On January 10, I attended the Governor’s State of the State address that was hosted by WESTMARC. I was encouraged to hear he is going to increase education spending in his budget. Thursday, January 11 found me at a meeting at Sundown Elementary School for a citizen outreach meeting to inform residents of a new development going up in the northwest area of District 1. Friday night, the 12th, was my regular 2nd Friday Night Chat at the Community Center in the Retreat at Arizona Traditions. I want to take this opportunity to thank Neal Nassano and his team for letting me use that venue.

Councilmember Roland Williams with Governor Doug Ducey at the Governor’s State of the State

Saturday, January 13, was a great day of celebration and service as the city rallied hundreds of residents to the City Hall commons with entertainers and speakers to acknowledge Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and all he did peacefully to change our nation. As he said, “Anybody can be great because anybody can serve.” This was our second celebration and service event and it only gets better thanks to the volunteers!

Councilman Winters attending the 2018 MLK Celebration at the City Hall

Tuesday, January 16 found me at our Council Workshop at 4 pm followed by our Regular City Council meeting. We also had a Special City Council meeting on January 23 to hear from the six people who want to be appointed to the District 2 seat through the end of this calendar year. Council is scheduled to vote on the appointment at our February 6 meeting. For the remainder of the District 2 term, this seat will be up for the August 28th election.

I was in a meeting at the new memory care facility on Parkview called “Surprise Memory Care”, very nicely done building and interiors.

I had the pleasure to attend the Northwest Ranch HOA meeting on Thursday, January 18 to present the Board with a check to replace some trees that were breaking up the sidewalks in that community. The city has a grant process where any citizen can apply for a grant to improve their neighborhood. If anyone is interested in applying, please contact Jodi Tas at 623.222.1330. I also brought with me Public Works Assistant Director Karl Zook to discuss Fire Station 304 for District 1 that passed with the bond.

On the date of Sunday, January 21, we had the sad duty to say goodbye to Councilman Jim Hayden who died after a short illness on December 20, 2017. His celebration of life was held at the Kiva Ballroom at Sun City Grand. The ballroom was filled to capacity with many speakers from all different parts of Jim’s many experiences from the Air Force, Glendale Fire Department, Glendale Community College and Surprise City government. Jim was well liked and received many accolades. His wife Nancy received two flags, one from a grateful nation given by Luke Air Force Base and the other from Glendale Fire Department. My warmest regards to Nancy and the entire Hayden family.

Wednesday evening, January 24 found me at the Asante HOA meeting with Public Works Assistant Director Karl Zook for another Fire Station 304 update for the folks up there who are happy they will finally get a permanent fully-staffed fire station, thanks to the voter-approved General Obligation Bond Election last November. I also asked Water Resource Management Director Terry Lowe to educate the residents on the ballot measure and special election this May to request permission of the voters to purchase the Circle City Water Company by selling existing water assets. This initiative ensures the city’s ability to provide water services now and into the future, by growing our water supply by nearly 40%.

Thursday, January 25 found me at the Northwest Valley Connect Advisory Committee meeting. We heard a very interesting presentation about autonomous vehicles from MAG Transportation Director Eric Anderson. I guess they are on their way and, ready or not, it looks like about five years according to Mr. Anderson. The hope is that the accident rates will decline since there won’t be any human error and insurance rates will drop.

We had a great groundbreaking at the Colonnade for their new assisted living/memory support facility on Friday, January 26. The Colonnade is located at 19116 Colonnade Way. The assisted living facility will have 26 apartments (24 one-bedroom and 2 two-bedroom), while the memory support facility will have 24 studio apartments. The buildings will be connected by a common entry and a shared kitchen. The building should be complete in December 2018. After the event, everyone went to a nice lunch on the lawn area of the Colonnade. It was a very nice event!

Sunday, January 28, I took the day off and went to hear the Surprise POPS Band at Valley Vista High School, and they are always great. That day was the music of big bands, the thirties and forties, Glen Miller, Louie Armstrong, etc. If you have not been there to enjoy their music, it is absolutely worth your time and the price is just canned food donations for the food bank.

Before I close this newsletter, I just want to bring you up to date on the Vietnam Moving Wall that I’ve been working to bring to Surprise. I want to personally thank Jodi Tas for all of her help in getting this wall here. I also want to thank Donna Miller, Paul Frie, the CRS team and all the others behind the scenes. Don’t miss your chance to see it July 5 – 9 in Surprise. Look for specific location details closer to the event dates.

Be good to yourselves and be good to each other!

January 2018 • Newsletter

Well we have gone through another year, and a whole new year lies in front of us. I want to wish the folks in District 1 and all the residents in this beautiful city of Surprise a happy and prosperous 2018.

Of course, one of the sad events last month was the death of one of our Councilmembers and friend, Jim Hayden. He had a good heart and was always willing and able to discuss the issues that faced the Council and this city. Jim’s memorial service will be held on January 21 in the Kiva Ballroom in Sun City Grand beginning at 11 a.m. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife Nancy and the entire Hayden family.

There will be a lot of things happening this year in Surprise with the passing of the bond. Streets will be improved, two new fire stations, new Public Works buildings, and the police will finally get a new evidence building. I am excited about the new fire station on 163rd Avenue, in the northwest area of my district. The new station will be moved a little further south of the intersection of 163rd Avenue and Happy Valley Road, which will be a very busy intersection someday. I am also glad that we will be improving Greenway Road at Northwest Ranch Parkway and the alignment of Sarival. The intersection will include a traffic light, so folks will have an easier time entering and leaving the Northwest Ranch community.

I am thankful we finally got around to repaving 163rd Avenue, north of Jomax, for my friends in the northwest part of District 1. In March, the final top coat will be applied.

This new year will also include an election. There will be five seats on the Council as part of the election which will include my District Council seat, as well as Districts 2, 3, 5, and 6. The primary election will take place in August. If you are on the permanent early voting list, you will receive a ballot in the mail.

On Friday, December 1, I was at the groundbreaking ceremony for the next phase of the Desert Diamond Casino in Glendale. The construction is part of the permanent casino being built on the property. When the project is completed, there will not only be a full service casino, but also a resort and hotel.

That same evening, I attended our city’s annual Surprise Party which included the tree lighting ceremony outside the Surprise Stadium on Bullard Avenue and a great holiday party that continued that whole weekend. The celebration gets larger every year, and the residents really enjoy it.

Council Members at the 2017 Surprise Tree Lighting Ceremony

On Saturday, December 2, I joined Councilmembers Skip Hall, Ken Remley and Patrick Duffy at the ribbon cutting for the Port of Subs restaurant. They are located at 14557 W. Grand Avenue. The sub sandwiches are great!

Councilmembers Skip Hall, Patrick Duffy and Roland Winters at the ribbon cutting for the Port of Subs restaurant

Later that same day, I was off to Fire Station 303 on Cotton Lane to check in on their open house which had many visitors. If you have not visited one of our fire stations, it is well worth your time. After that, I stopped back in to Surprise Party at 8-Acre Park to enjoy the sights and events, especially the car show.

Councilmember Winters at the Fire Station 303 Open House

I attended an EPCOR meeting in the ballroom of Sun City Grand. This meeting was part of a series of Community Outreach meetings EPCOR is hosting to explain their plan to apply the costs of repairing their infrastructure over all their service areas, so as to keep the cost down for the rate payers. This meeting took place on December 4, but I don’t know how many more they are going to have before they go before the ACC (Arizona Corporation Commission) for approval. That evening, I was at City Hall for a new art exhibit opening, featuring youth artists.

Tuesday, December 5, I was off to my Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) Economic Development Committee meeting in Phoenix. The committee is made up of Mayors, Councilmembers and business owners, working to bring new commercial and businesses opportunities to Maricopa County. I got back just in time for the City Council Work Session at 4 p.m. and then the City Council meeting.

The evening of Wednesday, December 6, my wife and I were at a holiday party put on by Gammage Law firm in Phoenix. We ran into Alan Jones of Lennar Homes. He was telling me how great the staff in Surprise are and what a pleasure it is to work with them. I also had the honor to talk to Grady Gammage for a few minutes. We talked about how many opportunities are opening up in the West Valley.

On Thursday, December 7, I attended the holiday celebration at our TechCelerator on Bell Road where we give startup companies a chance to succeed with reduced rent, advice, etc. Julie Neal is doing a great job over there. One of our startup businesses was bought by Google.

I went to a ribbon cutting on Friday, December 8 for our newest restaurant in Surprise – Raising Cane’s. What a celebration they had with marching bands, choirs, free chicken and much more. It is good to finally see something going up on that property on the corner of Sun Village Parkway and Bell Road… and coming soon is In-N-Out Burger!

Raising Canes Grand Openeing

I was at my Northwest Valley Connect Advisory Committee meeting on Wednesday, December 13. We are working on building a consortium of business people, office holders and others interested in getting a reliable source of mass transit in the West Valley, which is underserved to say the least. With the leadership of Kathy Chandler and Bonnie Boyce Wilson, I can see it really happening. We were joined by Representative Kevin Payne who applauded our efforts.

On December 14, I attended the annual holiday party that the city gives to all of our loyal workers at lunchtime. It is great to see the employees relax and enjoy themselves once a year and all the directors served up the food provided by Birt’s Bistro.

I attended the holiday party of our seniors that go to the Senior Center for different programs every day. The celebration took place on December 15 at the Colonnade which is a new venue for the event. What is neat about this party every year is that neither the city nor the taxpayer pays for this. The bill is covered by the money earned through the rental of vendor booths at the city’s Surprise Super Swap Meet, held bi-annually at the Surprise Aquatic Center parking lot.

Senior Center Holiday Party at the Colonnade

On Saturday, December 16, the long-awaited new pickleball courts opened up. The date was chosen so the most people could be there, and they were there in force. Jeff Stone, the Surprise President of the Pickleball Association, joined the Council Members in cutting the ribbon. Thanks Jeff for all your hard work in getting this done. It was my pleasure to be there.

Vice Mayor Tande, Councilmembers Hall, Duffy, Remley & Winters at the new Pickleball Courts Grand Opening

On the morning of Monday, December 18, Public Works Director Mike Gent and I took a ride to survey the work done on some of the roads in District 1. As I previously mentioned, 163rd Avenue was repaved. Other roads recently given a layer of asphalt were: Sarival between Bell and Greenway roads; Bell Pointe Road; and some roads in Surprise Farms V. Plus, paved for the first time a number of months ago, was Jomax, east of 163rd Avenue. Then of course, these roads were re-striped. Thanks to Mike and his team for all their hard work.

On Wednesday, December 20, I did a taping of a new Council Conversation show with the city’s Transportation Manager, David Kohlbeck and Public Works Director Mike Gent. If you get a chance to tune into Surprise TV and see it, please let me know what you think. The show is mostly about our transportation systems, such as they are, and the roads in and around District 1.

Many of you know about the other tragedy that took place in our neighboring city of El Mirage, and that was the death of Police Officer Paul Lazinsky who sadly died December 12 in the line of duty. I went to his viewing on December 20 at the Surprise Funeral Care on Bell Road and his funeral service the next day at Radiant Church. There was a 21-gun salute, bag pipes and many other honors and accolades. Officer Lazinsky was buried at Arlington National Cemetery with honors.

Mark your calendars as the Vietnam Moving Wall is coming to Surprise from July 5 through July 9. I have been working with staff for the last year to get this accomplished. We will need many volunteers to help make this a success. If you are interested, please contact Paul Frie at 623.222.2240. More details will follow!

I would like to relate to you a story before I close my January newsletter. Over the last four or five weeks or so, someone who visited me must have noticed my tattered American flag hanging from the front of my home. Well, Christmas morning I woke up rather early and went out in front of my house and someone had left a brand new American Flag on a pole wrapped in plastic standing against the front door. There was a no note or card so I just want to thank you so very much to whoever left it. What a nice Christmas gift and what a nice gesture!

So until next month, I will say goodbye for now. Be good to yourself and be good to each other. To whoever gave me that American flag…thank you!

Roland F. Winters Jr.

Council Conversations – Paratransit/Public Works

Council Conversations with District 1 Council Member Roland F. Winters, Jr. In this episode he speaks with David Kohlbeck with the City of Surprise Public Works Department for an update about the Northwest Valley Paratransit services. In the second part, the Councilmember speaks with City of Surprise Public Works Director Mike Gent about the Public Works projects occurring in District 1.

December 2017 • Newsletter

A big shout out to everyone in District 1 and to all of our residents in Surprise! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and had a chance to reflect on what you are thankful for. You are probably like me and ate too much, but that’s okay. Once in a while we can splurge!

The month of November began with a meeting with our Water Resource Management Director Terry Lowe to discuss the possible acquisition of a water service company. City Council discussed the possible acquisition at our regularly scheduled meeting on November 7 and approved sending the question to ballot election. Now, Surprise voters will decide whether or not to authorize the purchase of the company in a May 15 special election. Circle City Water Company (CCW) is a small water service company in the northern part of Surprise’s planning area and future water service area. This acquisition will provide Surprise with the company’s existing water infrastructure and grow the city’s allocation of Colorado River water by more than 38 percent. Colorado River water is currently the only renewable surface supply available to Surprise. Having a right to more surface water will help meet future demands and shortfalls. This purchase would be funded through the sale of current and future water portfolio assets; the cost to acquire CCW will not be borne by the City of Surprise water customers or taxpayers. Educational public meetings will be held prior to the special election and an information pamphlet will be mailed in April to all registered households in Surprise. Meeting dates will be posted to the city website when they are confirmed. Additionally, Director Lowe will be attending one of my monthly meetings to brief you on the acquisition and answer any questions you may have.

On the evening of November 2, I attended WESTMARC’s Annual Best of the West Awards at the University of Phoenix Stadium. The Bell-Grand Bridge-to-Business Program was named a finalist in the West Valley Economic Engine Award category. This community-wide campaign supported the nearly 300 businesses impacted by the eight-month full closure of Bell Road during the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) bridge construction project. The success of this multi-level campaign is attributed to the collaboration of hundreds of West Valley businesses, thousands of West Valley residents, ADOT, the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce, multiple contractors and city departments. Economic Development Manager Mike Hoover was awarded WESTMARC’s President’s Choice Award for his leadership and contribution to the WESTMARC Issue Committee. Congratulations Mike!

I was honored to attend the ribbon cutting for another school in Surprise, as West-MEC opened their latest campus in Surprise, Friday, November 3. The Northwest Campus is located on the southwest corner of Dysart Road and Grand Avenue in Surprise. This campus is focused on automotive, computer technology, construction, health and beauty, and medical industries. West-MEC provides a great opportunity for our young folks, that are not interested in attending a four-year college, to learn skills and obtain a good career.

The Surprise Fire-Medical Department hosted an open house at Fire Station 306 on Saturday, November 4. My family and I had a wonderful time visiting with the staff. If you get a chance to visit one of our great men or women in their houses, you should make the time and meet them for a tour!

The Surprise Police Department held a promotion ceremony in the City Council Chamber on Monday, November 6, honoring the promotions of Commander Philip Johnson, and Sergeants Joseph Kopronica and Jesus Galaz. I appreciate the opportunity to attend these events as it is a great opportunity to see our wonderful men and women get the promotions they dearly deserve.

I attended my monthly Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) Economic Development Committee meeting in Phoenix on Tuesday, November 7. We heard some very interesting presentations about the current economy in Arizona.

Canyon Ridge Elementary School in District 1 hosted such a great Veterans Day Commemoration and Reception on Thursday, November 9. I was honored to be there. All of their staff and students were involved. The keynote speaker was Dennis Grau.

The city hosted the 3rd Annual Surprise Veterans Day Parade on Saturday, November 11. And what an excellent Veterans Day it was! I was pleased to be able to greet our residents along the parade route. I hope you made it out for this patriotic event to help show gratitude to those past veterans and present military personnel.

On Monday, November 13, I took part in a meeting with Canadian executives and our Economic Development team to discuss a plan to provide better, more innovative healthcare options for Canadians in the future. A panel discussion followed the next morning. The Surprise Economic Development Department is leading an initiative to bring Canadian medical services and medical practitioners to the market. Surprise is aiming to be a medical destination for services where rehabilitation and recovery is most desirable in a warm climate. The Cross-Border Healthcare Taskforce, formed earlier this year, includes members from Canada and the city, working hard to deliver a feasibility report on the issue in early 2018.

Recognizing that the City of Surprise rests on the shoulders of great women and men who invested a precious part of themselves to the benefit of our city; the Surprise City Council has adopted a policy to create an Ad-Hoc “Honoring an Exceptional Leader Task Force” within the City of Surprise. The task force hosted their first meeting on Tuesday, November 14, in the Community Room of City Hall. I attended the meeting to suggest what we as a city could do to honor the legacy of the late Community and Recreation Services Director Mark A. Coronado. Mr. Coronado led the department from 2000 until his death this past June. Under Mark’s leadership the department grew to manage all recreational programming, city parks, aquatics, library services, community/sports tourism special events, recreational facility development, Spring Training operations and national/international tennis events. During his tenure with the city, Mark also held the roles of Interim City Manager, Acting Economic Development Director, Acting Public Works Director and Acting Communications Director. The Task Force’s second meeting is scheduled for Thursday, December 14, 6 p.m., in the City Hall- Community Room, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. The public is encouraged to attend. Here is the council-approved protocol for the Honoring an Exceptional Leader Task Force’s next steps:

  1. Within 30 days of the first meeting (Nov. 14), conduct second public meeting to select at least two options to be vetted by city staff. Staff will, at a minimum; explore costs, legal environment, consistency, pros & cons, potential opportunity costs, etc.
  2. Within 30 days of the second meeting, Special Task Force will hold third public meeting to weigh all the information presented by city staff, and select the best two/three options. Again, the Special Task Force will use all avenues available, market the meeting in a way that encourages Surprise residents to attend and submit ideas and discuss pros and cons of each idea.
  3. Special Task Force will present its recommendations to the City Council at the next regularly scheduled City Council Workshop. City Council will either recommend that the action item be brought forward at the next City Council Meeting, or ask that the Special Task Force perform additional work.

The Special Task Force will be dismissed after City Council action. Councilman Ken Remley hosted his monthly District 4 Community Meeting on Wednesday, November 15, at the Roy Villanueva Gym. The focus of the agenda and conversation was an update on the improvements for the Original Town Site. The meeting was well attended. Councilman Skip Hall and I also attended.

I attended the ribbon cutting of a new business in Surprise, Fast Signs, on November 16. The business is located on 15332 W. Bell Road. Fast Signs provides a variety of different signage options, displays and promotional items.

On Saturday, November 18, I attended another open house at Fire Station 301 in the Original Town Site. This station is very busy. I enjoyed my time to talk to the great bunch of guys there!

The City of Surprise is currently performing pavement preservation work on 163rd Avenue between Jomax Road and Dixileta Drive. This section of roadway is not a full depth engineered roadway, but instead is a more typical rural road made up of an asphalt layer over native soil, leaving the road surface very vulnerable to deterioration. The first steps in this current pavement preservation process is to install asphalt repairs, where appropriate, combined with full pulverization and asphalt recycling of the worst sections of the roadway. The next step, which will be completed in December, is installing a new chip seal surface on top of the repaired asphalt below. Temporary striping will also be installed at this time. In early Spring 2018, the city will install a second Chip Seal layer to this entire section of roadway, followed by installing long-lasting thermoplastic striping. Our City Council prioritizes and has demonstrated a strong commitment to maintaining city roads and ensuring traffic in Surprise moves safely and efficiently.

Well, until next year, I hope you enjoy the last month of 2017. Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous new year. To my Jewish friends, Happy Hanukkah!

Roland F. Winters Jr.

November 2017 • Newsletter

Greetings to all of my friends in District 1 and to all of the residents in this beautiful city we call home. It’s hard to believe this is November and Thanksgiving and Christmas are close at hand.

Hillview Baptist Church invited me to their grand opening service on Sunday, October 1. Thank you to Dysart Unified School District for allowing them to utilize the auditorium at Cimarron Springs Elementary School located at 17032 W. Surprise Farms Loop South in Surprise. New churches are very difficult to start up and grow so I am grateful the church has this opportunity. I was honored to attend and I wish the church much success there.

I have been appointed to the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) Economic Development Council (EDC). They meet once a month in Phoenix. The first meeting after my appointment was October 3. Agenda items included updates from the Greater Phoenix Economic Council and the Arizona Commerce Authority. We also received reports on the integration of health service providers in the Arizona-Sonoran region and the Phoenix International Raceway project which includes major changes and renovations with investment of $178 million.

The role of the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) Economic Development Committee (EDC) is to develop opportunity-specific and action-oriented initiatives that fosters and advances infrastructure in the MAG region, especially transportation infrastructure that would further economic development opportunities. The committee is led by Chair and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. I am honored to have been selected over a number of other candidates for this position. The Mayor submitted a nice letter of recommendation for me as well.

Sante of Surprise hosted their 6 year anniversary party on Friday, October 6 with a rustic fall harvest celebration. Sante of Surprise offers short term and acute rehabilitation for a variety of conditions. They are located at 14775 W Yorkshire Drive.

Sante of Surprise 6 year anniversary party

It was a great day on Saturday, October 7 with the opening of the additional almost 10 acres of recreational open space at Dick McComb City Park on West Park Boulevard. I am so pleased that we finally disposed of the horrible green fence and I’m sure the residents in Surprise Farms are also happy. The eyesore of a fence was there for approximately 10 years. We now have a great collaboration between the city, the Surprise Farms III HOA Board and the residents in that beautiful community. Additionally, we installed the shade structures throughout the park including the dog park so needless to say, this park has come a long way. The project was finished on time and under budget so we installed sod rather than grass seed.

Later the same afternoon, I attended the Northwest Ranch block party in their newly renovated park with brand new playground equipment. The block party was graciously paid for by the community’s new neighbor, Fellowship Square, to show their gratitude during extended construction of their new facility. What a fantastic neighbor! It was so nice to talk to the residents, and see the Community Manager, Melanie Veach, Kelly Hall and the remainder of the HOA Board Members!

I kicked off the bond presentation at Arizona Traditions on Tuesday, October 10. Staff educated the attendees on all three bond questions and later provided answers to the questions of the attendees.

As a member of MAG EDC, I was honored to attend a welcoming event at the Phoenician in Phoenix along with Phoenix City Council, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and CEO and Founder of Canada Arizona Business Council (CABC) Glenn Williamson to welcome Air Canada’s Senior Vice President, Regional Markets and Government Relations, Kevin Howlett, in celebration of the new Phoenix-Montreal non-stop service.

Mariposa Point, an assisted living and memory care facility, hosted a grand opening on Thursday, October 12. Mariposa Point prides itself with taking a holistic approach to care and service. This facility is large with a varied menu and with several residents residing there.

I hosted my monthly meeting on Friday, October 13 at the Community Center at the Retreat in Arizona Traditions, 18250 W. Weatherby Drive. We had a good crowd and some productive conversation. I hope to see you at a future meeting. Please remember when you arrive at the gate, tell the guard you are there for my meeting. Everyone is welcome!

Councilmember Willams at the Fire Station 305 Open House
Pictured: Captain Sean Cahill (left) and Battalion Chief Autry Cheatham (right)

Surprise Fire Medical hosted an open house Fire Station 305 on Saturday, October 14. We were able to look at all the equipment and talk to the firefighters on duty. What a great gang of men and women!I attended the West Valley Arts HQ Annual Block Party and new exhibit on Thursday, October 19. A great time was had by all. Immediately following the event, I attended the Northwest Ranch HOA meeting to introduce staff and educate residents on the bond.

Several members of our Surprise Youth Council and I met on Monday, October 30. I met with Tatumn Anderson, Daryian Matthews and Isabelle Hunsaker. They provided an update on the things that SYC is working on. After speaking to these young folks, the future looks brighter!

Well that concludes my schedule for October and November has proven to be even busier. I would like to take this moment to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving. Let us all be thankful for our health, for our families and the freedom to worship how we like. I will close for now so be good to yourself and be good to each other!

Take Care,

Roland F. Winters Jr.

October 2017 • Newsletter

A big shout out to my friends in District 1 and to all of the Surprise residents. September started off with a bang and found me at our local Wal-Mart store on Bell Road at 7:30 a.m. for a great need, and that is to help our public schools with donations because they are underfunded. The program that is done every year is called “Fill the Bus.” A school in Surprise is chosen to be the recipient. The Surprise Youth Foundation was there to help with its President Jim Conner and Vice President Ken Johanson. Surprise City Manager Bob Wingenroth was also there. David Hamiam is the manager of that Wal-Mart which donated a lot of school supplies, including a computer. Also present, was the Principal of Kingswood Park School, Jeremy St. Jermain. This school was chosen to receive the school supplies this year. I would be remiss if I did not thank the Wal-Mart customers who donated many school supplies. There were 10-15 baskets filled before we were finished. Thanks to all who made this possible. See you next year!

Tuesday, September 5 was the first Tuesday of the month, so there was the City Council Work Session at 4 p.m. followed by our Council Meeting at 6 p.m., where we take action.

Friday night, September 8, found me at my regular second Friday of the month meeting for my constituents to visit, ask questions, or just chat. It is very informal, and we have good cookies. My next meeting will be October 13 at 7 p.m. in The Retreat Community Center at Arizona Traditions, 18250 W. Weatherby Drive. At the gate, just press “0” four times and tell the guard you are there for my meeting.

There was a meeting and tour of Central Arizona Project’s (CAP) headquarters in North Phoenix on September 13, and it was amazing to see the way water is brought out to Arizona from the Colorado River. The control room shows the entire process as the water rolls down the canal, through the pumps, to get here, Tucson and beyond.

Thursday, September 14 found me in a meeting with our staff and some residents who live north of Jomax Road, where our roads are in a miserable state, and I understand their frustration. The problem in that area is that it has a lot of private land owners, and it is very difficult to get right-of-way to put good roads in and to maintain the roads that are there. Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) has a grant program that I am trying to get some money from, but unless, and until, some of the folks up there give the right-of-way to the city, we can’t do much. We have to obtain a number of right-of-ways, and there are a few hold outs, so if you are one of these owners who has not given the city right-of-way yet, please reconsider. Your property will increase in value with those roads there.

I visited Fire Station 305 on Saturday, September 16, to say hi to our great first responders. Each fire house is hosting an open house this fall, and there are a couple left to attend; so take some time and visit your local fire house, and say hi to these men and women who protect your life and property. Here is the schedule:

Later that same day, I attended the picnic at the Senior Center to enjoy hamburgers and hot dogs. That event was put on by Councilman Ken Remley whose district it is in. Thanks Ken! It was a great time.

I met with staff and the folks who wrote our Library Study, so in the future we might see a remodeled library on Bullard Ave and a new branch library in the Northwest area of my district.

On Thursday, September 21, I was honored to be at the Veterans of Foreign War Post 96 meeting. The post sent seven young men from Willow Canyon High School to Boys State, where they learn about civic engagement and go through scenarios in civic government. These classes are held at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. These seven high school students were very polite and very grateful to post 96 for the opportunity.

CM Winters, CM Hall & Vice Mayor TandeVeterans of Foreign War Post 96 meeting

Wednesday, September 27 found me at a ribbon cutting for Sycamore Farms at Cactus Road and the 303. Richmond is the builder and had three models on display that looked really nice.

On September 28, I had a meeting at Benevilla since I am on the Northwest Valley Connect Advisory Committee. This 501(c)3 organization finds rides for folks to doctor appointments, dental appointments, etc. who cannot get a ride for whatever reason. This organization is headed up by Cathy Chandler.

Friday, September 29, I was at the award luncheon for the people who volunteer to work for Benevilla to help in every way they can, like bringing lunch and dinner to the elderly and infirmed, volunteering at Benevilla, and driving people if they need a ride. It was a chance to thank all these folks who give their valuable time.

Benevilla awards luncheon

It was a great day in Surprise on Saturday, September 30 when we dedicated the park in Surprise Farms as “Dick McComb City Park” in honor of all the work that Dick McComb did for this city in the ten years that he was city manager. I want to thank my fellow council members; the vote was unanimous. I also want to thank our Community and Recreation Services team, including Director Donna Miller and Assistant Director Paul Frie, for their work; and I want to thank Public Works Director Mike Gent and his crew. It was great to see all of the support from our great staff in Surprise. Now, we also have some shade structures up which will make it more pleasant for kids to play in the park.

CM Winters addessing the crowd at Dick McComb Park
Speaking to the event attendees

Before I close this month, how about our 8-Acre Park on Bullard Avenue? The fence is going up, and I think it looks great! It is almost finished. All these improvements are a matter of quality of life for our residents. We had a little money left over last year, and the Council said: what better way to use it, if not for the betterment of our neighborhoods.

Until next month, be good to yourselves, and be good to each other.

Roland F. Winters Jr.

September 2017 • Newsletter

A big shout out to all the residents in District 1 and to all the residents in Surprise! I hope you are staying cool during the remaining month of summer. Thankfully, fall is right around the corner and so are cooler temperatures!

The month of August began immediately with a City Council Work Session and City Council Meeting since we host these meetings the first and third Tuesday of the month. We returned from a recess in July and started business!

Monday, August 7 found me in a meeting with staff to try and work through this disaster called paratransit offered by Valley Metro and delivered by TransDev which is headquartered in Mesa. I continue to receive emails and phone calls from residents – some not even in my District, but that’s ok. I will continue to help anyone who contacts me. I have talked to residents who can’t get a ride to a doctor’s appointment, physical therapy or medical procedures because they are told by TransDev that there aren’t any rides left, and that is ridiculous! When someone calls for a ride on August 28 requesting transportation to a doctor’s appointment in September, and is told by the people at TransDev “all of September is booked”, there is something wrong with the system (that’s no surprise). Upon further investigation, we found many riders on TransDev are starting their ride and ending their ride in Surprise, so if that is the case, they should be using Ride Choice with Discount Cab or Yellow Cab. TransDev Paratransit rides are for regional trips (outside of the Surprise area) only for medical and work trips. We are directing TransDev to tell riders who travel within Surprise to use Ride Choice which they should have been doing all along. Paratransit rides were set-up at 34 rides a day for Surprise residents, so the city has added 21 more rides a day for the next two weeks to try to help the overflow for a total of 46 rides a day for the next two weeks. I am asking all of my Surprise residents to use Ride Choice for your rides within Surprise, making these changes should get TransDev back on an acceptable schedule, maybe. The new contract started on July 1, and we were promised it would be a better system and on time, so much for that prophecy. This system is costing the taxpayer $800,000 each Fiscal Year. I want to thank David Kohlbeck and Mike Gent for all of their help trying to resolve this issue.

I had my monthly meeting on Friday, August 11 at 7 pm and I had a good crowd. A few residents expressed their disgust on the paratransit system.

I attended the summer employee appreciation event in the City Council Chamber on Thursday, August 17. This event was started years ago by city management as an opportunity to show appreciation to our employees. Some are recognized for going above and beyond while they have lunch with their fellow peers and friends. It also provides me with an opportunity to get to know our staff. The taxpayers should be proud of the people who work for the city – from the people working in the ditches, to those on the roads, to the folks in City Hall, from the Directors to all the office workers and more.

Of course one of the big surprises in August was the resignation of District 3 Councilman John Williams who served this city tirelessly for almost ten years. I had a meeting with John on Monday, August 14, and he submitted his resignation letter the following morning. He never said a word about it. John will be missed.

On the afternoon of August 17, the Committee on Community Outreach, Partnerships and Grants met. As a member of this Committee, we make the funding recommendations to the full City Council from the presentations of the grant seekers. This particular meeting concerned the Surprise Community Outreach Grant Program which is offered to local 501(c)3 non-profits that serve Surprise residents. There were 32 applicants requesting total funding of more than $261,000. The Committee listened to 32 presentations – one for each non-profit organization – to arrive at our decision as to which non-profits to fund and at what dollar amount. My hat (cowboy) is off to Jodi Tas for all of her hard work preparing the applications and books required for this meeting. We met for over four hours then made the difficult decisions regarding funding.

On Friday, August 18, I took part in the Boards and Commissions Selection Committee which is another committee I sit on. It is the Committee’s duty to appoint residents to various boards and commissions that help the City Council. On this particular day, we had to choose two folks from six to serve on the Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission. It was a difficult decision because everyone was so qualified.

On Tuesday, August 22, most of the City Council arrived in Oro Valley for the Annual League of Arizona Cities and Towns Conference. This conference provides break-out sessions and networking opportunities with our fellow elected colleagues. I also joined a bus tour to see the public art in Oro Valley to determine how they manage that program. Our public arts program is in its infancy but our Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission is doing a great job placing public art around City Hall. I encourage you to visit and view some of the pieces on our campus if you get a chance.

I attended Ottawa University’s (OUAZ) convocation for their first class on Wednesday, August 30 at Christ Church of the Valley (CCV) in Surprise. The ceremony, led by President of Ottawa Dr. Kevin Eichner and Vice President and Provost Dr. Dennis Tyner, was very inspirational with some powerful speeches. Mayor Sharon Wolcott made a good speech and welcomed the students to Surprise. Approximately 450 students attended, and they were all very polite and respectful. Every Wednesday, their curriculum at OUAZ will consist of a personal character building day. It looks like Ottawa has the cream of the crop for their first class. When I left, I felt that the city, State and the nation is in good hands after all for the future of mankind.

On Thursday, August 31, I attended the groundbreaking of Ottawa University Surprise competition fields. The fields will be utilized for football and soccer. There was a good crowd and, of course, more speeches. Just think of that, Surprise will now have college football and soccer teams to cheer on. How cool is that!

City Council and Ottawa Staff breaking ground at school's new Practice Fields

I have been honored with an appointment to the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) Economic Development Council. This seat was formerly occupied by Mayor Wolcott and after she resigned, she wrote the Council a letter of recommendation for me. I was chosen from a number of applicants. Surprise needs to have a seat at the table when decisions are made, not only for Surprise, but for the entire West Valley as well.

Just a few things before I close for this month, and maybe most of you are already aware we are getting the #1 requested restaurant from our Economic Development Survey, In-N-Out Burger, on the corner of Bell Road and Civic Center Drive in addition to a Raising Cane and Starbucks. Surprise is also getting a Hilton hotel with a full service restaurant near Surprise Stadium.

image of former Surprise City Manager Dick McCombMark your calendars! Following City Council’s direction to honor the city’s longest-tenured City Manager Dick McComb (1990 – 2000), the city will officially rename Surprise Farms Community Park, to Dick McComb City Park, at a public ceremony, Saturday, September 30, at 9 a.m. The event takes place at the southeast corner of 175th Avenue and Surprise Farms Loop South. Mr. McComb began his city government career in 1976 and became City Manager for the City of Surprise in 1990. During McComb’s tenure, the city’s population grew from 7,122 people to nearly 31,000. This was a period of commercial growth for Surprise with Surprise Towne Center then under development and the Target opened at Surprise Marketplace. In addition, Mr. McComb served in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War. Following his retirement, McComb remained an engaged Surprise resident and then became the community manager for Sun Village. He passed away in 2016 at the age of 81.

City Council also approved an additional 10 acres of open space park area at the aforementioned park, which is now turfed. Once the green fence is removed, after the turf has been established, we will be having another celebratory event. We anticipate this event will occur in early October. For more information on these events, please call Community and Recreation Services at 623.222.2000.

In other recreation news, 8 Acre Park fencing is under construction. Construction began last month and should conclude by the end of this month. This project includes 2300 feet of 8 foot tall decorative fencing with pillars to match the aesthetics of our Surprise Stadium fencing.

Eight new pickle ball courts with LED lighting are also under construction. Construction began on August 23, and the anticipated completion, pending weather delays, is the end of November. This project also includes the relocation of our volleyball courts.

Well, be good to yourself and be good to each other!

Roland F. Winters Jr.

City to honor Dick McComb in park renaming event

Following City Council’s direction to honor the city’s longest-tenured City Manager Dick McComb (1990 – 2000), the city will officially rename Surprise Farms Community Park, to Dick McComb City Park, at a public ceremony, Saturday, September 30, at 9 a.m.

The event takes place at the southeast corner of 175th Avenue and Surprise Farms Loop South.  The park features a playground, splash pad, basketball court, skate park, restrooms and other park amenities.

McComb began his city government career in 1976 and became City Manager for the City of Surprise in 1990. During McComb’s tenure the city’s population grew from 7,122 people to nearly 31,000. This was a period of commercial growth for Surprise with Surprise Towne Center then under development and the Target opened at Surprise Marketplace.

Another big change was the evolution of policing in Surprise under McComb’s leadership. The Surprise Marshal’s Office evolved into the Surprise Police Department in November 1991, following McComb’s 1990 hiring of Garvin Arrell as the new Police Chief.

McComb served in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War.

Following his retirement McComb remained an engaged Surprise resident. He passed away in 2016 at the age of 81.

For more information on the event please call Community and Recreation Services at 623.222.2000.