Category Archives: Newsletter

Councilmember Roland Winters Newsletter

April 2015 • Newsletter

Greetings to all of my fellow District 1 residents!

I hope each of you had a wonderful Easter or Passover. I certainly hope April finds you healthy and that this new season of spring brings a continued optimistic outlook for you, your future and the future of our great city called Surprise.

Last month, we had some very exciting news to share! I assume by now that you have heard about the large Japanese company that is going to call our City home, or at least their Western United States Regional Headquarters. Everyone at City Hall is thrilled to have this company here. Did you know they will be building the highest building in Surprise? This new facility represents a $33-$40 million investment, 100 new jobs and $800,000 of new City revenue within the first year of its operation.  IRIS USA’s new 280,000 square foot building will include office, manufacturing and distribution space that will be located on 30 acres within the City’s Southwest Railplex Industrial District. IRIS USA is a consumer products company that sells to retailers throughout North America. They are expected to open in Surprise in December 2015.

The first week of March found the Mayor, myself and several other Council Members in Washington D.C. for the National League of Cities Congressional Conference.  Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperative too much. We found ourselves in the midst of a snowstorm followed by weather plummeting to the single digits. Due to the inclement weather, the Surprise Youth Council (SYC) never arrived in Washington D.C. They were going to attend the Conference for the youth leadership component.  While there, I was honored to meet President Barack Obama and get a tour of the White House, but I was also very happy to return home to our fabulous warm climate.

Winters D.C. Trip
Councilwoman Rachel Villanueva, Rep. Ruben Gallego, Mayor Sharon Wolcott, Blossom Tande, Councilman Todd Tande, Vice Mayor John Williams and me
Winters D.C. trip

 

March was also an intensely busy month for our Economic Development Department. Our wonderful staff invited City Council to attend several events to meet possible new business prospects for our City. We were also provided opportunities to thank our current businesses for their contributions to Surprise.

On March 14, the City experienced another milestone with the groundbreaking of yet another park for our residents. Veramonte Park will soon have additional amenities such as a splash pad, restrooms, a parking lot and much more.  Just think – within one month, Surprise went from having one community park to three community parks.  Surprise Farms Community Park will have the City’s first skate park, and it’s a great design!  I would really like to thank Mark Coronado, Donna Miller and their entire team for such a fantastic job on both of the new parks and for everything they do for all of our residents throughout the year.

Veramonte Park Groundbreaking Veramonte Park Plan

The City has reached an agreement with WHAM to allow them to continue to occupy the building owned by the City. WHAM is located at Dysart Road & Grand Avenue.  We have had a strong partnership with WHAM, which brings art to our residents and provides art classes to Veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and those with special needs. WHAM’s initiatives represent an amazing organization that is inclusive, not exclusive.

It was a beautiful day for all of our young baseball players on Saturday, March 21.  We celebrated Cal Ripken Day at the Surprise Stadium with over 1,700 players!  Quite impressive!  Cal Ripken baseball is one of the outstanding programs run by our Community and Recreation Services Department.

Cal Ripkin Day

On Tuesday, March 24, I participated in the Celebrity Reading Day at Canyon Ridge Elementary School in District 1.  Dr. Shelley Isai and her team do such a wonderful job at this school and always include me at their events.

Celebrate Reading Day Celebrate Reading Day

The new Human Service and Community Vitality Department hosted an Open House on March 28 at the Surprise Community Center, which is part of the Villanueva Recreation Complex in the Original Town Site.  I have attended numerous meetings there.  We are planning a Heritage District Overlay for this area to preserve our history.  We can move forward in planning the future of Surprise, but we must never forget our rich past and where it all began.

March was a long and productive month.  I will close for now, but as always, be good to yourself and be good to each other!

Best,

Councilman Roland F. Winters Jr.
District 1

March 2015 • Newsletter

Greetings to all of my fellow District 1 residents!

February was an incredibly busy month.  I’ll provide you with a recap of some of my events and meetings.  Despite the busy schedule, I was still able to take time out and attend Second Sundays in the Park.  If you have not been to this event, I strongly urge you to go!  Retirement Rocks was the band that played in February and they were absolutely great!

The Surprise Arts & Cultural Commission hosted the “Art Encounter” at City Hall on the 11th of February.  The event had a nice turn-out with a productive discussion about the placement of public art around the City.

I was honored to be given a tour of the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Plant on February 13th. We were provided a very thorough explanation of the capabilities of the plant to supply us with electricity.  This plant has strict security procedures, especially surrounding their need to protect the reactors.

Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Plant

Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Plant inside

Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Plant inside 2

After the aforementioned tour, I visited the WHAM Art Association to view the newly renovated WHAM West Gallery that is located at 16560 N. Dysart Road.  The exhibit on display features the artistic interpretations of “The Swing” by Robert Louis Stephenson.  This exhibit will be on display through March 28th, 2015.

I held my regular monthly meeting on Friday, February 20 at the Retreat at Arizona Traditions.  Bob Wingenroth, City Manager, was my guest.  The attendance was very impressive!  I hope everyone gets an opportunity to attend one of my monthly meetings.  I’d love to see you there!

On Saturday, February 21st, I was invited to participate in the “Tale of Two Cities” parade and festival at Estrella Mountain Community College.  This event is partnered by the cities of Avondale and Goodyear and it highlights cultures from around the world.  I was able to be part of the parade along with more than 50 other entries.  Personally, I think our City needs a parade too!  It’s such a fantastic way to bring our residents together!

The Annual Cactus League Lunch was held at the Peoria Sports Complex.  This event is held each year and serves as the official start of the Cactus League spring training season in Arizona.

Mayor Wolcott and I attended the Surprise Farms III HOA meeting on February 26th.  We were asked several questions pertaining to the new dog park in Surprise Farms.  We tried to answer all the questions about the amenities that are going into the park.  Unfortunately, some residents do not approve.

The event that I have been waiting for arrived!  On Saturday, February 28th, the City hosted the groundbreaking for Surprise Farms Park!  I have been so excited for the residents of Surprise Farms, as well as all the folks in Surprise for the implementation of this park!  The City has budgeted over $2 million dollars for the park, with plans to include ramadas, a splash pad, restrooms, a dog park, a basketball court and the first skate park in Surprise!  This was certainly a collaborative effort with the entire City Council, Community & Recreation Services Director Mark Coronado and his entire team.  A special thank you to Mr. Coronado and his staff for their valiant efforts to make this possible!

Surprise Farms Park Groundbreaking

CM Winters at SFP Groundbreaking

I have received feedback regarding my newsletter and there seems to be a consensus that my constituents want more details.  There is only so much room in my reports but I am always happy and willing to discuss anything with any one.  You can always call me!  I will close for now.

As always, be good to yourself and be good to each other!

Council Member, Roland Winters, Jr.
District 1

February 2015 • Newsletter

Hello to all of my fellow District 1 residents!

It’s hard to believe that we are in the second month of 2015 already!
As usual, a lot of things happened in January and there’s more to come this month in Surprise.  The folks at City Hall celebrated our City Clerk’s 25th Anniversary with the City of Surprise on January 5.  What a great accomplishment for Sherry Aguilar!  We had a good number of staff and Council Member s gather in the Mayor’s atrium for refreshments to say congratulations to Sherry and thank her for so many years of service to the City.

Mayor congratulating Sherry Aguilar

I attended the Surprise Youth Council induction ceremony on the evening of January 15 in Council Chambers celebrating with many other Surprise residents, including many proud parents, as 25 high school students were welcomed into our newly formed Youth Council.  What a great bunch of youngsters!  Youth Services Administrator Paul Bernardo has done such a good job in this new position.

Mayor nd Council

Surprise Youth Council

I had my Friday Night Chat on the evening of January 11.  As always, everyone is welcome.

On January 21, I attended a meeting at the Surprise Senior Center in the Original Town Site about the improvements planned for the O.T.S. The City planners prepared a fantastic and thorough presentation.  We have such terrific people working for our great City!

I attended an ADOT meeting about the interchange of the 303 and Grand Avenue at Sun City Grand on January 27.  As most of you know, the project is already underway and will take approximately 18 months to complete with the widening of the 303 and new off ramps.  Immediately following that meeting, I travelled to Marley Park for the groundbreaking of a new charter school, Legacy Traditional School.  Several other elected officials were also present.  This will be an elementary school located in District 6.  Our Mayor and Councilman Tande, District 6, participated in the groundbreaking.

CM's Winters and Hall

On the evening of January 28th, I attended a Public Arts meeting with Councilman Hall at the West Valley Arts Council’s Arts HQ in Surprise.  The discussion included how the City can improve the presence of art in Surprise.   Our City Planners led the meeting.

I was invited to attend a tour of APS that included an energy update for elected officials at their office in Deer Valley on January 30.  We even toured the Energy Control Center, which was very interesting and educational.

As always be good to yourself and be good to each other,

Council Member, Roland Winters, Jr.

January 2015 • Newsletter

Hello to all of my fellow District 1 residents!

I am looking forward to 2015.  I just know it is going to be a great year for our City.  There are many exciting economic development possibilities that are considering Surprise, and I am excited and honored to be part of it.

December was another busy month for me, but I did get a few days to relax.  The City Council held our first meeting of the month on December 2.  Mayor Wolcott hosted the Mayor’s Quarterly Business Roundtable on December 3 at the Communiversity.  Meg Saligman was a guest at the Roundtable.  The Philadelphia-based artist is serving as a consulting artist to Surprise as the City leads the discussion with ADOT and MAG to create a legacy public art project in conjunction with the future Bell/Grand intersection improvement project.  Meg Saligman is recognized worldwide for her work on murals.  That day, I also attended the Disability Advisory Commission meeting to witness the presentation of their “Above and Beyond” award to some of the Directors at Happy Trails.  Happy Trails received the award for their hard work installing automatic opening doors on their community building as well as remodeling a few of their restrooms to make them more accessible for disabled residents and visitors.  Congratulations to Happy Trails!

Mayors Quarterly Business Roundtable

On December 5, I attended the annual Surprise Party tree lighting party at the Surprise Stadium.  What a spectacular event it was to see the tree lit and the hot air balloons.  If you have not attended this event in the past, I strongly encourage you to do so in December 2015.  It was a beautiful night and not as cold as last year.

Surprise Party tree lighting

On Saturday, December 6, after attending some more events at the annual Surprise Party, I was off to the community of Royal Ranch for their block party and holiday celebration.  Councilman Todd Tande joined me there, and we were able to meet many wonderful residents.  We had a great time!

I was privileged to be invited to the Senior Center’s annual Holiday Party that was held at Arizona Traditions.  The Mayor asked if I could give the welcome to the attendees, and I was more than happy to oblige!  This luncheon has been held in the ballroom of Arizona Traditions in recent years and as a Board Member of the fine community, I want to extend my personal thanks to our Catering Committee for all of their hard work in serving that delicious lunch to everyone.  The Committee’s time and labor was provided at no cost to the City.  Thank you!

Our City Manager Bob Wingenroth continues to build a great team to lead our City into becoming an independent, sustainable city.  On December 9, we attended a dinner at the Rio Mirage restaurant to meet with Jeanine Jerkovich, the City’s new Economic Development Director.  This position is very critical to the goals of the Council, and we are confident Jeanine will lead us to them.  Welcome, Jeanine!

On Wednesday, December 10, the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce sponsored an event in the beautiful community of Marley Park to introduce residents to our newly elected government officials and current elected officials.  The event was well attended.  I was able to speak to our State Representatives and make sure they are aware of the issues that are important to our City.

The annual Legislative Breakfast Meeting was held on December 11 at the Holiday Inn Express.  Most of our City’s Directors were in attendance.  This meeting was a fantastic opportunity for our State legislators to meet the Council and City staff and discuss the City’s priorities for the next legislative session. One of our newly elected State legislators, Representative Tony  Rivero, is a former Peoria Council Member.  Representative Rivero is a fine young man and a person of integrity.  I was very proud to endorse him during his campaign.

Legislative Breakfast

Legislative Breakfast Image 2

Legislative Breakfast Group

I was honored to be asked to deliver the opening remarks to all the attendees at the Adaptive Recreation and Outreach Tree Party at DreamCatcher Park on Friday, December 12.  Joe Gladieux and his team at our Community Recreation Services Department not only did a great job on the party, but throughout the year with all of the programs they put together that our residents truly enjoy.  These athletes that participate in Adaptive Recreation don’t dwell on what they can’t do; they focus and concentrate on what they can do!

CM Winters at the Adaptive Recreation and Outreach Tree Party

Adaptive Recreation and Outreach Tree Party

I attended the Surprise Farms block party on Sunday, December 14.  Surprise Farms is the largest community in District 1 with 7,000 homes.  I was met with a warm welcome and enjoyed some delicious food.  I was able to distribute artist renditions of the planned amenities that will be built in Surprise Farms Park.  The ground breaking should take place this month, no later than next month.  I’d like to thank Donna Miller and Mark Coronado for those renditions and the information they continue to provide me.  I still have copies, so if you’d like one, please contact me or attend my next monthly meeting on January 16 at 7 p.m. in the Community Center at Arizona Traditions (18250 W. Weatherby Drive).  I want to thank the residents who attended my meeting in December in spite of the approaching holidays.  We had a good turn-out.

A few months ago, I attended the Bell West Ranch block party.  At that time, I was asked to judge homes in their community for the holiday decorations.  Well, I did it, and it was wonderful.  With the help of my wife and daughter, on December 18, we selected a first, second and third place winner.  It wasn’t easy as all of the decorated homes were quite beautiful.  The Board of Directors provided me with gift cards for those winners that I was able to distribute.  My deepest appreciation to Bell West Ranch for allowing me to participate!

Bell West Ranch Holiday Judging 1

Bell West Ranch Holiday Judging 2

Bell West Ranch Holiday Judging 3

On Friday, December 19, I hosted my monthly chat.  I really enjoy hosting these meetings, and I’m hoping to see you at my chat in January.

I want to close this newsletter with a bit of good news for those of you who utilize the Surprise Dial-A-Ride.  The City has temporarily increased the number of daily Dial-A-Ride trips and expanded service hours.  The daily cap for weekday trips will increase from 135 to 140 one-way trips. Saturday service will increase from 20 to 30 one-way trips per day.  The expanded services will run through June 30, 2015.  Additionally, service hours are being extended for all service days. The new service hours will be Monday – Saturday 5 a.m. to 8 p.m.  As a reminder, Dial-A-Ride offers advanced reservations. Certified ADA, seniors and others with disabilities can schedule advance reservations up to 14 days prior to the trip. Same-day booking is available to all other customers based on trip availability. To make an appointment for Dial-A-Ride service, please call 602.266.8723.

At the end of the fiscal year, I will do everything I can to continue the above Dial-A-Ride service within the City’s budget.  We will address this topic when our budget discussion for 2016 begins.  I would like to thank the City staff for making this expanded service possible for now.

Until next time, be good to yourself and be good to each other.

My best,

Councilman Roland F. Winters Jr.
District 1

December 2014 • Newsletter

Greetings to all of my fellow District 1 residents! I’d like to give a big shout-out to all of my fellow District 1 residents.  I certainly hope everyone in Surprise had a great Thanksgiving holiday and that the meaning behind it was not forgotten. November was a busy month! I was able to connect with many residents from District 1 as well as residents throughout the City.

On November 1, I was invited to Desert Oasis for their Fall Fest Celebration.  The event was held at their main community park on another beautiful day in Surprise.  I was given a warm welcome by the wonderful families residing in this HOA upon my arrival. Pulte Homes is beginning to build additional homes within the community as well which means additional families will soon join the Desert Oasis celebrations!

On November 7, I was honored to attend the Canyon Ridge Elementary School for a wonderful Veteran’s Day event.  I was even provided a tour of the school by some of the National Elementary Honor Society students.  I couldn’t be more pleased to have this school located in my District and to personally witness our future leaders grow.  These students are mature beyond their years!

Veterans Day 2014

The City Council hosted a joint meeting with the Planning & Zoning Commission on Saturday, November 8 from 8 am until 2 pm.  The purpose of the meeting was a discussion on the General Plan, our visions for Surprise and future growth.

GP Meeting 1     GP Meeting 2

I attended the Bell West Ranch Block Party on Sunday, November 16.  Even though it was a windy day, a good time was had by all.  I was able to have good conversations with many of the residents in attendance.  A consistent topic amongst those conversations was the status of WINCO.  While I was there, I was asked by the Board at Bell West Ranch to judge the Christmas decorations on their homes on the evening of December 18 (the night prior to my monthly Friday Night Chat).  There will be a first, second and third place winner and I’m looking forward to being a part of the contest.  Lastly, I was very happy to see Jeff Martin from our Neighborhood Services department at the event.  Mr. Martin brings all of the equipment, table and chairs to help make your block parties such a great success!  Jeff even serves as the DJ.  You can also request the presence of any other Department such as the Fire or Police Departments.  If any resident in Surprise wants to plan a block party, the City will bring the party trailer to you at no charge.   If you are interested, please feel free to contact our Neighborhood Services Department at City Hall at 623.222.1000.

The Surprise Fire Medical Department held a promotional ceremony on Monday, November 17.  It’s always an honor to see our men and women who protect our citizens receive hard earned recognition for their daily dedication.  Those promoted were sworn in by Chief Tom Abbott.

FM Dept Awards

I held my monthly Friday Night Chat on Friday, November 21.  Several residents asked questions, raised concerns or just spoke to me on a personal level.  Everyone is invited to attend these chats on the third Friday of every month at 7 pm in the Community Center at the Retreat at Arizona Traditions (18250 W. Weatherby Drive).  When you arrive at the gate, just push the number 0 four times and tell the security guard you are there for my meeting.

The day prior to Thanksgiving, I was honored to give a resident the keys to her recently renovated home in Surprise Farms.  I will not mention her name out of respect for her privacy, but the City was able to use grant funds to make this renovation possible.  We have some exceptional people working for our citizens and often times, they do not get the credit they so deserve.  I am only a City Council Member and I only handed this resident her keys but our staff did the work.  A special and sincere thank you to Chris Boyd, Jeff Martin, Christina Ramirez, Jason Hughes, and Alicia Rubio (and so many others whose names I haven’t included) deserve this credit.  Honestly, this was one of the most rewarding moments I’ve experienced since I was elected to be your Councilman.

CM Williams Home

There have been so many other events and meetings I’ve attended in November.  I just want to leave you with some of them.  December is going to be busy as well but everything I’m doing for this District is very rewarding!

I want to wish each and every resident in Surprise a very Merry Christmas, the happiest of holidays and the healthiest New Year.  Please be good to yourselves and continue to be good to each other!

Warm regards,

Council Roland F. Winters Jr.

November 2014 • Newsletter

Greetings to all of my fellow District 1 residents! I must apologize for being a tad late with my newsletter this month. A trip to California and several meetings led to the unfortunate delay. October was such a busy month for me. I’ll try my best to make sure you are aware of the happenings in the District and the City as a whole.

I continue to receive questions pertaining to WINCO. “What is happening with WINCO?” seems to be the most frequent question. The attorneys who represent the group opposing WINCO issued a halt to the construction for 60 days. Due to legalities, I am unable to share further information but I will be waiting along with you for construction to resume.

October 1st was a great day in Surprise! We had another grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for a new restaurant, Kneader’s Bakery. Kneader’s Bakery is located on Bell Road. Jim Hipp is the operating partner for this location. If you haven’t tried Kneader’s yet, I encourage you to do so. Mr. Hipp and his team are very attentive to their customers and the food is fantastic!

Kneaders Ribbon Cutting

Kneaders

The City hosted our quarterly HOA Summit on October 2nd. The Summit was well attended by residents and HOA Board Members who wanted to learn more about the City. Several City departments were represented including the Surprise Police Department, Water Resource Management, Public Works, Economic Development, Code Enforcement and Neighborhood Services.

HOA Summit 2014

I was honored to attend the Opening Ceremony of the Moving Wall that was hosted in Estrella Mountain Ranch in Goodyear. The Moving Wall is a half-size traveling replica of the Washington D.C. Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The monument was created by Vietnam veterans to share the powerful experience of visiting the memorial with those who may never have the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. I was truly touched to be part of the moving Ceremony as I was also able to see my cousin’s name on the wall, “Cristopher M. Winters”. He was killed by enemy fire in the jungles of Vietnam. I also attended the Closing Ceremony held a few days later on October 6th. Both ceremonies had many dignitaries and patriotic music.

Moving Wall Mayor Lord and Glen Pleus

The Surprise Fiesta Grande was held on October 4th. I was at the event for the entire day. It was such a great event to celebrate the heritage of this incredible City. In addition to the Fiesta festivities, the Roy Villanueva Dedication Ceremony was held earlier that day. City Council approved the renaming of the recreation area in the Original Town Site (OTS) that houses Gaines Park, Surprise Senior Center, Hollyhock Pool, Villanueva Recreation Center and Hollyhock library to the Roy Villanueva Community and Recreation Complex. Roy had done so much for the City of Surprise to make it the great City it is today. Roy served on the City Council for many years as a Councilman, Vice Mayor and Mayor.

Winters at Surprise Fiesta

Roy Villanueva dedication

On the evening of Thursday, October 9th, I attended the GPEC (Greater Phoenix Economic Council) Annual Awards Dinner. The City of Surprise works closely with GPEC to bring economic development to our fine City. Surprise began as a bedroom community, but we want more than that for Surprise. We want to be a sustainable, independent city so that the 90% of residents leaving our City everyday can find work here.

Members of the Surprise Police Department were waiting tables alongside the staff at Red Robin in Surprise to raise money for the Special Olympics during the annual “Tip-A-Cop” event on October 11th. Tips earned from the event were donated to Special Olympics Arizona. This is such a wonderful event! If you’ve ever noticed, our Fire-Medical and Police Departments do not just extinguish fires and issue tickets; they are very engaged in the community they protect. We are lucky to have such charitable staff!

Of course we are still working on Surprise Farms Park and we spent numerous hours on Wednesday, October 15th at a public meeting to gather input from residents on design plans. Surprise youth also participated by meeting with SITE Design Group, Inc. in a skate park workshop. We received invaluable feedback during the meeting from the youth and residents. For anyone who has not seen the artist renditions of the skate park, we have received nothing but positive comments.   I think the kids will love it and it will be a fabulous addition to Surprise Farms Park.

Main Park

On Thursday, October 16th, I attended the first of three Community Conversations with Mayor Wolcott. The Mayor formed these meetings to create open dialogue with Surprise residents. This particular town hall-styled meeting was held at Sun City Grand, Cimarron Center and it was well attended.

I had my regular Friday Night Chat on October 17th at the Retreat Community Center in Arizona Traditions. I have been remiss in extending a thank you to Arizona Traditions for allowing me to hold my meetings at their facility. Thank you! I have my monthly meetings on the third Friday of the month. In November, my meeting will be held at 7 pm on Friday, November 21st at the Retreat Community Center, 18250 W. Weatherby. When you arrive at the gate, press 0 four times and inform the guard you are there to attend my Chat. Everyone is welcome to attend and express their concerns or just chat with me.

The Asante community hosted their HOA block party on Saturday, October 18th. This neighborhood will have 7,000 homes one day but right now, it is fairly small with a bunch of fabulous residents! Many of the faces I seen were familiar since I campaigned in the community in July of last year. I really enjoy attending the block parties since it’s such a great way to meet my constituents. Jeff Martin from Neighborhood Services was also there with our City’s party trailer.

I was invited to speak to the residents at the Desert Oasis HOA Meeting on Monday, October 27th. I was met with a warm reception. I received many questions some of which I was happy to answer and others that I arranged for City staff to answer. The hot button for some was the fact that this community only has one road to utilize to get in and out of their neighborhood, but my hope is that we can rectify this issue soon.

As you can see, October was another busy month for me! I want to leave you with my very best wishes that you and yours have a happy Thanksgiving holiday. Be good to yourself and be good to others!

Best,

Councilman Roland F. Winters Jr.

October 2014 • Newsletter

Greetings to all of my fellow residents in District 1 and in this great city we call Surprise!

The weather is finally cooling a bit and in a few months, the extreme heat we had this summer will be a distant memory.

During the first few weeks of September, I was able to take some time away for a working vacation.  I’d like to extend a special thank you to my colleagues and constituents for their understanding during my time away.  I was able to return to the City in time to attend the Surprise Fire Department’s Charity Golf Outing at Coyote Lakes Golf Course.  The turn-out was really spectacular!  Even recently retired Fire Chief Michael White was present for the event.  It was nice to see him and hear he is enjoying his retirement.  The event raised $5,000 for the Foundation for Burns and Trauma.

Coyote Lakes Golf Course
Coyote Lakes Golf Course
Check Presentation to AZ Burn Foundation
Check Presentation to AZ Burn Foundation

On September 16th, City Council and the Planning and Zoning Commission held a joint meeting to review the General Plan.  We also had a regular City Council meeting that evening to discuss the naming of the recreation area in the Original Town Site (OTS).  The City Council voted unanimously to name the area after the late Roy Villanueva who served as the City’s Mayor, Vice-Mayor and Councilman prior to his passing in July 2013.  The area which consists of Gaines Park, Surprise Senior Center, Hollyhock Pool, Villanueva Recreation Center and Hollyhock Library, will be called the Roy Villanueva Community and Recreation Complex.  The official naming presentation is part of the Surprise Fiesta Grande celebration on October 4th.  Roy was a great supporter of Surprise and a tireless worker to make Surprise the City it is today.

Roy Villanueva
Roy Villanueva

Roy Villanueva I met with Mayor Wolcott on September 17th to discuss our mutual goals and needs for the City.  One of my goals as your City Councilman is to initiate a mass-transit system, not only for Surprise, but for the West Valley so we are connected to cities like Glendale, Goodyear, El Mirage, Youngtown, etc.  While our own Dial-A-Ride system is working to a certain degree, we also need a fixed bus route system.  People need a fixed bus route system that will be effective.

I was privileged to receive an invitation to the American Legion meeting at Happy Trails to recognize three young men from Willow Canyon High School.  The students, Andrew Lataille, Jerry Abah and Williams Costello, were awarded the gift of attending Boys State.  This venue instills the importance of civic engagement in our youth.  I would like to personally thank Post 96 for sponsoring these young men for the program.

Vice Mayor Hall and I at the American Legion Meeting
Vice Mayor Hall and I at the American Legion Meeting

On Friday, September 19th, I attended a luncheon hosted by Benevilla to thank all their generous contributors and to honor Bob Jeckel for all of his help over the years.  Mr. Jeckel donated many numerous hours as a volunteer there.

That same evening, I held my monthly “Friday Night Chat”.  I was delighted to have Mike Gent, Public Works Director, in attendance.  Mike was recently promoted to Public Works Director after serving as our Assistant Public Works Director for one year.  He is a very knowledgeable professional and we are lucky to have him with our City!  Furthermore, we were honored to have Mayor Wolcott in attendance.  Mayor Wolcott spoke to the residents and answered several questions.  It was a very nice event.  My next Friday Night Chat will be held on October 17th at 7 p.m. in the Community Center in Arizona Traditions (18250 W. Weatherby Drive).

The State of Americas Dinner was held on Tuesday, September 23rd.  The keynote speaker was Vincente Fox, former President of Mexico.  The primary focus of the event was discussion on economic development concerning Mexico and Arizona as partners and political allies.  Later in the evening, we were able to listen to a panel discussion with former President Fox and the current former President of Costa Rica, Laura Chinchilla.

On September 24th, I attended a meeting with fellow Council Members and officials from EPCOR explaining the issues they face pertaining to aging infrastructure.  Certain areas of the West Valley have pipes and pumps 40 to 50 years old.

I do have some exciting news for you!  I met with our City Manager, Bob Wingenroth and our Director of Community and Recreational Services, Mark Coronado regarding the improvements at Surprise Farms Park.  These plans are being finalized and requests for proposals will be sent soon.  There will be a large splash pad, ramadas, and bathrooms, walking trails, a dog park and many other features.  A public meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 15th at 6 p.m. in the Community Room of City Hall to update residents on the design and progress and to gather input from residents on the skate park design plans.  I’d like to extend a special thank you to Mark Coronado and his CRS team for all of their hard work!

The latest event at the West Valley Art HQ was a fantastic display of paintings by Bill Patterson.  Mr. Patterson is an artist whose terrific paintings illustrate the Phoenix International Raceway.  I was very excited to see his demonstration on how he paints the winning car at the track as it comes into Victory Lane after the race.

A Brush with Victory Exhibit
A Brush with Victory Exhibit

Later that evening, I made a trip to our neighbor city, El Mirage, to attend their Fiesta at Gentry Park.  It was a great event.  Mayor Lana Mook told me she was pleased with the turn-out.

I will sign off for now and until the next time, be good to yourself and be good to each other!

Councilman Roland F. Winters Jr.
District 1

September 2014 • Newsletter

Greetings, District One!

Hello to all of my District 1 fellow residents! I hope this month’s newsletter finds you well!

I have great news to share with those of you who are planning to attend my meeting on Friday, September 19 at 7 pm in the Retreat Community Center at AZ Traditions. I am hoping that all of the residents in District 1 will attend and I will supply the cookies!

August has been a very busy time for me even though we’re in the middle of summer. We had our City Council Work Session and City Council Meeting on Tuesday evening, August 5.

On Monday, August 11, my wife and I had a tour of Benevilla. Our host was Michelle Dionisio, President and CEO of this wonderful organization! This not-for-profit organization does extraordinary work for the residents of Surprise. Benevilla provides a continuum of care that promotes independence while instilling a sense of dignity and self-empowerment, regardless of the ability to pay. The programs offered addresses the ongoing and changing needs of caregivers and families. However, they also bring the youth and elderly together on a daily basis. Benevilla has established an intergenerational program opportunity for the growing West Valley, including Wirtzie’s Preschool and Child Care as well as Art’s Center for All Ages which provides children from 1 to 5 years old the unique opportunity to share space and experiences with the elderly. We are very lucky to have these resources in our City!

Mayor Sharon Wolcott hosted her third annual Mayor’s Bowling Challenge at Uptown Alley on Friday, August 15. Most of the City Council and many Mayors from the valley were in attendance. Mayor Wolcott’s team came in first place, and the win was credited to the bowling skills of Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. Believe it or not, I had 6 strikes in a row. Just kidding! Many of our City employees joined the fun and a good time was had by all. It is one of the few opportunities we can take advantage of to get together in a casual atmosphere to relax and network.

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City Attorney Misty Leslie, Fire Chief Tom Abbott, Police Chief Michael Frazier and Mayor Wolcott at the 3rd Annual Mayor’s Bowling Challenge.

ADOT hosted a celebration and ribbon cutting in honor of the opening of the I-10 and Loop 303 interchange on Saturday, August 16. I was able to attend this great event and I was also able to speak to Governor Brewer, albeit briefly. The Governor and Mayor Georgia Lord of Goodyear cut the ribbon.

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Gov. Jan Brewer cutting the ribbon at the Loop 303/I-10 Interchange celebration.

Our City Council meeting was changed from Tuesday, August 19 to Monday, August 18 to accommodate the Arizona League of Cities Conference which was held at the Sheraton Downtown Hotel in Phoenix beginning Tuesday, August 19 through Friday, August 22. Special recognition was given to two Surprise youth whose actions helped Surprise Police catch a burglary suspect. A heartfelt thank you to Rosalio Hernandez Garcia and Esperansa Hernandez Garcia for your commendable efforts!

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Two youths recognized for helping police catch a burglary suspect.

This Conference is a fantastic event and of course, with it being my first time attending, I was able to learn a great deal of valuable information. There were many breakout sessions to discuss various issues facing Arizona. Amongst some of the sessions I attended included the discussions of water problems in Arizona, the cooperation between Arizona and Mexico to agree on economic exchange in the US and the developing rural areas. I chose to attend developing rural areas since District 1 has so much land within it to be developed. The evening of Thursday, August 21, was very eventful as every city and town had the opportunity to display a booth at the “Showcase of Cities & Towns”. Surprise had the best booth which included mariachis. Councilwoman Villanueva even sang a song!

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Councilwoman Villanueva singing with the Mariachis at the city’s booth during the 2014 League of Arizona Cities and Town Conference.
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Vice Mayor Hall, Councilmember Winters, Assistant to the Council Tas and City Manager Wingenroth pose for a photo at the conference.

Due to the Conference, I was not physically in Surprise on Tuesday, August 19, when the City had torrential downpours and parts my District were washed away, especially in the northeastern area. We were able to constantly communicate with our wonderful City Manager, Bob Wingenroth, who quickly assessed the situation and worked with the necessary departments to assist residents and remove the danger from the areas hit hardest.

Well, I am off to South Dakota for a relay and business meeting for H.T.C. as I am the current President. I will be back in two weeks; however, you can still contact me via email at roland.winters@surpriseaz.gov or phone. I hope to see you at my meeting on September 18.

Be good to yourself and be good to your neighbors!

Councilman Roland F. Winters Jr.

August 2014 • Newsletter

Greetings, District One!

I hope the month of August is off to a wonderful start for you!  As most of you are aware, Council is back in session after a month long recess in July.  Despite the recess though, we were and continue to be very busy!

I was able to attend the Marley Park Veteran’s Commemorative Plaza (VCP) event in Marley Park on Independence Day.  The VCP is for the community to commemorate those who have served or may currently serve in the armed forces. The event was well attended and Vice Mayor Hall (Army) and Councilman Biundo (Marines) were acknowledged for their military service.

Marley Park VCP Site
Marley Park VCP Site
VCP Dedication Ceremony
VCP Dedication Ceremony

I was fortunate to receive an invitation to the West Valley Gubernatorial Forum and Debate at ASU West on Tuesday, July 22nd along with many other elected officials from around the Valley.

Gubernatorial Candidate, Christine Jones  and Councilman Roland F. Winters, Jr.
Gubernatorial Candidate, Christine Jones and I

On July 24th, Mayor Wolcott and several other Council Members including myself attended the grand opening and ribbon cutting of the West Valley Arts Council in their new facility at the City Center.  The 2,500 square foot gallery will have regularly changing exhibits by local artists.  It is just north of City Hall next to the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce.

West Valley Arts HQ
West Valley Arts HQ
Councilmember Winters at Arts HQ Opening
Councilmember Winters at West Valley Arts HQ Opening

Surprise Farms III held their Annual HOA Meeting at Willow Canyon High School on July 24.  I was grateful for the invitation.  I was able to provide artist renditions of the amenities of the Surprise Farms Park.

The City Council was invited to interview a top candidate for Assistant City Manager on Friday, July 25.  Bob Wingenroth, City Manager, has really taken over the reigns and is in the process of building an excellent leadership team.  We look forward to seeing our beautiful city grow, both in and out of City Hall.

We are excited to announce that the crews working from Fire Station 304 moved into their new facility on June 28th.  We thank them for their patience and welcome them to their new temporary home!

Fire House 304
Fire House 304

Fire House 304

My August schedule is getting quite full.  Below, please find a quick glance at the meetings and events I will be attending:

  • August 5th, 4 pm – City Council Work Session
  • August 5th, 6 pm – City Council Meeting
  • August 11th, 11 am – Tour of Benevilla
  • August 12th, 7 am – Surprise Chamber of Commerce Breakfast
  • August 13th, 7:30 am – Dysart Unified School District Breakfast Meeting
  • August 14th, 6 pm – Surprise Fire Medical Promotion Ceremony
  • August 16th, 9 am – ADOT 303/I-10 Ribbon Cutting
  • August 18th, 4 pm – City Council Work Session
  • August 18th, 6 pm – City Council Meeting
  • August 19th through August 23rd –  Arizona League of Cities Conference
  • August 28th, 3:30 pm – Water Planning Sub-Committee Meeting

Also, please mark your calendar for my next meet and greet will take place on September 19.  Mark your calendars!  I hope to see you there!

Until we meet again, stay cool and be safe,

Councilman Roland F. Winters, Jr.
District 1

July 2014 • Newsletter

Greetings, District One!

Happy warm July to everyone in District 1! I hope this newsletter finds you well.

As you most likely know, last month was my last meet and greet until September 19 (one day before my birthday). We had a fabulous crowd (below) and I was able to inform everyone about the great things happening in District 1 and indeed, the entire City. If you need to speak to me about anything, please feel free to call me or send me an email at roland.winters@surpriseaz.gov.

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We welcomed a new City Manager, Bob Wingenroth! The decision to appoint Mr. Wingenroth was a remarkable decision by the entire City Council. I will be interviewing our new City Manager on Surprise 11 this month so you’ll want to watch it.

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City Manager Bob Wingenroth

WINCO is proceeding with their large discount grocery store on Bell Road after overcoming many hurdles. I recognize there was some opposition to the location of the store but I believe it will be a wonderful addition for District 1, the residents of Surprise and even the residents of the southwest Valley. I have received a number of emails and phone calls with some concerns and one of the last emails discussed concerns about Acacia trees that WINCO wanted to plant along the block wall at the very southern edge of that particular lot. Some of those residents did not want the mess associated with those trees, in particular, the puffy flowers that fall from the trees and blow around. After further investigation and discussions with staff, WINCO agreed to change the trees to Sissoo with root barriers. WINCO is trying to accommodate us and to be a good neighbor!

The City Council held their last meeting, prior to summer recess, on Tuesday, June 17. We will resume our regular schedule on Tuesday, August 5. Although we are not meeting, we do not have July off of work. There is still City work to be done!

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Surprise Mayor and City Council

On Wednesday, June 4, I visited the site of our new Fire Station 304. It won’t be too much longer before the crew will move into the new facility. It will be very nice for them compared to the space they currently occupy! I’d love to cut that ribbon, if they ask me! I’ve received a few phone calls inquiring about the new space. Why is it a temporary building instead of a permanent building? The answer is quite simple. There is a big difference between $400,000 versus $4.5 million and until Asante and the other areas are completely built and the City can collect those impact fees, we will need to wait.

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Fire Station 304

The Committee I chair, the Boards and Commissions Selection Committee, has chosen four new residents to fill vacancies on various commissions. Councilman Jim Biundo of District 2 and Councilwoman Rachel Villanueva of District 4 are also part of the Committee. The City Council unanimously approved all nominees at the City Council meeting on June 17. It is really gratifying to find residents who are willing to donate some of their free time to serve on our Boards and Commissions which serve as a valuable resource for our City Council.

Last month, I also attended the HOA Summit held in the Public Safety Auditorium of the Surprise Police Department. We had a fair turn-out. I strongly encourage all of our HOAs to get involved at these meetings which are held quarterly. Please ask your HOA Boards to be in attendance! This past meeting was held on June 11 and it was very informative. Landscaping was the primary focus of this meeting as well as tips on how we can make our common areas aesthetically pleasing. The lecture was given by Bart Wingard, one of the City’s Planners. Bart knows his subject as he holds a degree in landscape engineering. Great job, Bart!

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Vice Mayor Skip Hall at the HOA Summit

On June 11, I was also invited to attend the Surprise Farms II HOA meeting by their Community Manager, Jeanne Stockard and the Surprise Farms II Board of Directors. I provided a City and District 1 update which included all of the improvements the City will be investing in Surprise Farms Park. Mark Coronado, Director of CRS, was able to provide some artist renditions for that meeting. Thank you, Mark! The residents who were in attendance seemed happy to see the renditions and know the improvements are coming to fruition.

I had the privilege to attend the AZ Entrepreneurial Boot Camp at the AZ TechCelerator on Friday, June 13. Many of our high school youth participated in the boot camp that allowed them to work in four separate groups and develop a business plan for their school. The winner was chosen and that business, Bull Dog Lock-Up received $2,000 to start their business at their school, Arizona Charter Academy. Bull Dog Lock-Up will provide a secure place for students to place their school items during the school day.

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AZ Entrepreneurial Boot Camp at the AZ TechCelerator

On Wednesday, June 18, the CRS Advisory Commission held their monthly meeting at Willow Canyon High School to show and explain what amenities they recommend at Surprise Farms Park. The meeting was very well attended as the CRS Chair indicated it was one of their largest crowds. Four City Council Members were in attendance. All aspects of the improvements were well explained and Mark Coronado, Director of CRS, was there for questions and answers. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Wayne Turner and the CRS Advisory Commission for their hard work, planning and patience developing their plans for this park. Jay Hicks was also present for this meeting. Mr. Hicks was the primary planner for Marley Park and if you have never been to Marley Park or Asante Park, it is worth the trip! We received excellent feedback from this meeting pertaining to the residents’ wants which included a large splash pad, ramadas, bathrooms, parking lot, dog park and much more. We have $1.68 Million to invest at this park. Will we get everything we want? Maybe not, but we are certainly going to do our best with what we have. I am confident that the City Council will approve this project.

On June 23, City Council had an opportunity to meet the candidates for the Community Development Director position. Our new City Manager has a tough decision to make!

The 24th of June found me in our usual once a month Water Planning Subcommittee meeting chaired by Vice Mayor Skip Hall. In approximately 2025, we are going to be forced to make some tough choices regarding our water supply. This Subcommittee has allowed me to work with our Vice Mayor more closely and I can assure you, when our Mayor is out of town for business, the City is in good hands with Vice Mayor Hall at the helm.

Finally, on June 25, I went to my fourth meeting on Interstate 11 which will be located just west of Surprise. It will someday connect Mexico to Canada but it is still early in the planning process.
As you can see, June was a very busy month. I hope you enjoyed my summary. Please remember to watch my Surprise 11 interview with our new City Manager. I wasn’t too nervous this time!
Please don’t forget, we’ve changed our hours to best accommodate our residents!

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Councilman Roland Winters, Jr.