Tag Archives: newsletter

March 2017 • Newsletter

Wow! It is hard to believe that March is already here, and the 15th Annual Spring Training season is underway. I attended the Opening Day game between the Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers at the beautiful Surprise Stadium along with Councilmembers Skip Hall and Jim Hayden. The spectacular Surprise Sundancers, the official Spring Training volunteer organization, are geared up for another successful season. I’m grateful that we have this organization to help our spring training visitors at the complex.

I attended the graduation ceremony of our newest firefighters, after they successfully passed their rigorous training program at the Firefighter Academy. The ceremony took place at Orangewood Church in Phoenix on Friday, February 3. It’s always inspiring to watch these men and women become full-fledged firefighters who are willing to make sacrifices for our safety. The ceremony included the pinning of the badge for each graduate by someone they personally selected. We even had our own Fire Captain Julie Moore and her husband, Brian Moore, a Fire Captain with Phoenix Fire, pin a badge on their son Michael who will be a Surprise firefighter. Congratulations to the Moore family and to all the graduates.

Councilman Winters

The annual Tale of Two Cities Parade took place on February 4 at Estrella Mountain Community College. I was honored to be part of it. This community multi-cultural event celebrates the cities of Avondale and Goodyear. The day was beautiful and the turn-out by the residents was fantastic. That same evening, my wife and I attended a fundraiser at the Wig Wam Resort for Benevilla. Benevilla is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that provides several services for Surprise and surrounding neighboring residents in need.

I hosted my monthly meeting on Friday, February 10 at the Retreat Community Center in Arizona Traditions. Much of the conversation concerned the new development (Bell Point II) that will be located immediately outside of the Arizona Traditions community. Bell Pointe II is comprised of two parcels, North and South. The current proposal is for 141 single family detached residential lots.

Bell Pointe II North is planned for 38 single family detached residential lots with a minimum size of 45’ x 110’. A tot lot is planned to be installed within a turf area around the amenity. The remaining tract areas will be planted with low water use landscaping appropriate for the Sonoran Desert. Bell Pointe II North will also provide an emergency access easement connecting to Arizona Traditions to the east for public safety.

Bell Pointe II South is planned as 103 single family detached residential lots with a minimum size of 45’ x 110’. A tot lot and ramada are planned to be installed within a turf area around the amenity area. The remaining tract areas will be planted with low water use landscaping appropriate for the Sonoran Desert.

I was an early riser the following morning, February 11, so I could attend the ribbon cutting of the 99 Cent Store on Bell Road and Greasewood. This store has been there but they just completed a major remodel and celebrated with the ribbon cutting event. The first nine shoppers received a 36 inch tv for 99 cents.

Ottawa University made an exciting announcement on February 17. Surprise will be the home of a four-year residential university. What an excellent opportunity for our high school students to continue their education right here in Surprise! Ottawa University will be opening this fall, expanding upon the university’s 40-year presence in Arizona. At the dedication event, Ottawa University President Kevin Eichner announced the university aims to enroll 250 students for its first year of classes at the new campus, with a target of up to 3,000 residential students over 10 years, adding to its current 8,300 alumni in the Valley.

The future 35-acre OUAZ campus will be embedded within the Surprise City Center, integrating with the existing 250-acre City of Surprise Civic Center and Recreation campus. The school will also launch out of existing space within the Civic Center (the former Communiversity), allowing students to avail themselves of the surrounding city amenities, including the Surprise Aquatic Center, Dream Catcher Park, the Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex, and Surprise Stadium, as well as robust shopping and dining amenities.

Expansion plans for the Surprise campus include development of residential housing, an indoor activity center, dining and conference space, and new athletic fields, including a stadium with artificial turf for football and soccer.

I don’t usually mention our City Council meetings in my newsletter despite the fact that is where we do the bulk of our work, but I requested an agenda item for discussion and possible action for the February 21 meeting due to the amount of frustration I heard from my constituents. The item I requested was the removal of the green fence located near Surprise Community Park in Surprise Farms. I was delighted with the resident turn-out at this meeting as well as the help of Mark Beaudry and the remainder of the Surprise Farms III Board. This issue has been very important to many District 1 residents. I will say, as I said at the meeting, I am grateful to each of my colleagues for their vote to dispose of this eyesore. The experience just enforces when we all stay engaged on what is important in Surprise, we can make things better.

Another item I was pleased unanimously passed was the shade structures for our parks around the city. It is very difficult for our youngest residents to play in the park on hot sunny days without shade.

The Mayor hosted her State of the City Address on February 22. The event was well attended. The event provided an opportunity for the public to discover what we have accomplished as a city this past year. Everyone is ecstatic about Ottawa University’s announcement as the plans to bring a university to Surprise has been a goal for almost a decade. Mayor Wolcott also encouraged residents to become more engaged with the city and reminded all that their City Council is here to help and assist as we grow Surprise.

State of the City guests

While it is difficult to mention all that was accomplished in Surprise last year, there is one thing I would like to highlight. In September 2016, classes began at the Surprise-Gateway Training Center (SGTC). The classes, and the facility in which they are housed, are the result of a partnership that was forged between the City of Surprise and GateWay Community College in 2015. The Center is located on the City’s SPA1 Water Campus which includes the City’s largest Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) and largest Water Supply Facility (WSF). GateWay Community College is one of the 10 Maricopa County Community Colleges, but is the only school with a Water Technology program. This program teaches students the many facets of water and wastewater treatment and operations.

Design of the SGTC began in mid-2015 and construction was completed in August 2016. The multi-purpose facility is approximately 13,000 square feet and provides space for students to learn and work alongside industry professionals. The SGTC is home to the Water Resource Management (WRM) Department’s mission critical laboratories, several training rooms, traditional classrooms, and education laboratories. For many years, WRM has had an internship program that hired GateWay students each semester. With the addition of the SGTC, the Water Campus has transformed into a teaching facility where the water industry’s next generation of professionals have an opportunity to learn in a real world environment. Classes began with the focus on certificate programs to prepare students for the state license exams. It is GateWay’s intent to also teach degree program classes from the SGTC in the near future. Director Terry Lowe and his team did an amazing job forming a partnership with Gateway Community College to make this possible.

The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted their Annual Legacy Awards Banquet at the Colonnade on Friday, February 24. As a member of the Northwest Valley Connect Advisory Board, I was thrilled that they received the award for Small Non-Profit of the Year. Congratulations to Kathy Chandler and her team!

Kathy Chandler and team

For Dial-A-Ride users, starting July 1, 2017, there will be a new provider and it will operate on a shared ride system. I will be receiving more information in the near future, and I will be sure to pass it along.

The Assistant to the Council, Jodi Tas, informed me that there are more than 200 subscribers to my newsletter, so thank you for your interest. Until next time, please be good to yourself and be good to each other!

Best,

Roland F. Winters Jr.

November 2016 • Newsletter

Greetings to all of my District 1 friends, neighbors and to all of the residents who have the privilege of living in this beautiful city we call Surprise. On November 8, you will have the opportunity to participate in the democratic process of voting for your favorite candidates. You’ll also have the chance to vote on a $63 million General Obligation Bond measure for our city that, if approved by voters, will fund nine capital improvement projects.

I began the month of October with the ribbon cutting of Caliber Collision, an auto body repair company located on Bell Road just east of Grand Avenue. The facility is state-of-the-art, clean and exceptionally organized. We were provided with a tour that included their new paint process that eliminates fumes. Welcome to Surprise, Caliber!

The city hosted a Surprise Forward outreach meeting at Arizona Traditions on October 12. The meeting was led by City Manager Bob Wingenroth and included a thorough presentation on the bond initiative on the General Election ballot.

The Committee on Community Outreach, Partnerships and Grants met on Thursday, October 13 to review grant applications for the Neighborhood Grant Program. The program provides eligible neighborhoods with small grants to fund neighborhood events, functions and even community improvements that would encourage community engagement and further build strong relationships within the communities in Surprise. The Committee is compromised of Councilwoman and Chair Rachel Villanueva, Councilman John Williams and myself. The two applicants were awarded $3,000 each for their respective projects. With that being said, the program application deadline was extended to November 30, 2016. For more information, please visit Neighborhood Grant Program or contact Jodi Tas at 623.222.1330.

I hosted my regular monthly meeting at the Retreat Community Center in Arizona Traditions on Friday, October 14. I provided a city update to the attendees.

Surprise Honda hosted their official grand opening and ribbon cutting on Monday, October 17. Councilman Skip Hall and I attended the event and toured the large operation and beautiful facility that includes virtual golf for those waiting for service. Surprise Honda has been a welcome addition to the Prasada Auto Mall since their soft opening in mid-August.

ribbon cutting

I was invited to attend the Northwest Ranch HOA meeting on Thursday, October 20 to discuss the bond as well as other issues the residents of the fine community requested. Several city staff members accompanied me. I wanted to personally thank Community Manager Melanie Veach, Kelly Hall and the remainder of the Northwest Ranch HOA Board for the invitation as well as the city staff which included Deputy City Manager Nicole Lance, Assistant City Manager Mike Frazier, Police Chief Terry Young, Public Works Director Mike Gent, Assistant Fire Chief Brenden Espie, Police Sergeant Tim Klarkowski, Police Officer Jennifer Booth, Assistant Director of CRS Donna Miller, and Assistant Finance Director Jared Askelson.

My family and I attended the open house at Fire Station #304 the morning of October 22. I enjoyed speaking to many of my constituents from District 1 including residents from Asante, Desert Oasis and many more. Thank you to the firefighters for hosting such a great community event!

Later that day, I attended the Surprise Farms V block party with HOA Board President Les Phillips and residents of this fairly new community. We were greeted with warm hospitality and good food!

Additionally, we attended the Tip-A-Cop event held at Red Robin on October 20. This event is a great opportunity to raise money for Special Olympics. Representatives from Surprise Police Department waited on customers and collected tips for the fundraiser.

CM Winters with Surprise PD members

I closed the evening of October 20 with a block party at Arizona Traditions at the Retreat where I continued to mingle with residents and share productive conversations with my neighbors.

Desert Oasis HOA hosted their annual meeting on October 24. We were asked to provide an overview of the bond initiative. I’d like to thank the staff that accompanied me that evening – Deputy City Manager Nicole Lance, Fire Chief Tom Abbott, Police Chief Terry Young, Finance Director Lindsey Duncan, Public Works Director Mike Gent and CRS Manager Paul Frie.

City leaders and GateWay Community College administrators gathered at the Surprise-GateWay Training Center on October 26 to officially cut the ribbon on the new 13,100 square foot facility. The observation-centric training facility provides individuals interested in pursuing careers in the water and wastewater professions new opportunities for hands-on learning in the West Valley. In addition to training space, the center provides mission critical labs and assembly facilities for city water professionals. The center is located on the grounds of the South Plant (SPA1) Water Reclamation Facility; a facility that currently processes over 8 million gallons of water per day making it a logical location for practical learning.

As a reminder, please don’t forget that Bell Road will be opening on Tuesday, November 22. The city is currently planning an appreciation event tentatively scheduled for Monday, November 21 to thank the businesses, residents and partners for their patience during the closure. I hope to see you there! More information will soon follow.

Until next month, please be good to yourself and be good to others.

Best,

Councilman Roland F. Winters Jr.

September 2016 • Newsletter

Greetings to all of my fellow District 1 residents and to all the residents that live in the beautiful city of Surprise. So much has happened since my last newsletter – the local elections took place; new businesses have opened or will soon be opening; and my new Council Conversation taping was completed.

August was a full month following the City Council recess in July. I started the month with the grand opening and ribbon cutting of Sun West Credit Union at 14865 W. Bell Road, which is located in Councilman Skip Hall’s District 5. He and I were joined by Councilman Todd Tande as we welcomed this new business to Surprise!

Councilmembers Hall, Tande and Winters at grand opening of Sun West Credit Union

I recorded a new Council Conversations show on August 9 that features an interview with Friends of the Surprise Library. Alyson and Gary Cline have done a fantastic job supporting literacy and programs in Surprise at the Northwest Regional and Hollyhock Branch libraries. Friends of the Library is a local non-profit organization that accepts gently-used books and magazines, so if you have any that you would like to donate, please do so. You can bring them to the Northwest Regional Library at 16089 N. Bullard Avenue. For more information on this wonderful organization, you can visit www.friendsofthesurpriselibraries.org.

Roland Winters Council Conversations Show

The Maricopa Association of Governments hosted an “On the Move Early Phase Open House” on August 11. The Early Phase Input Opportunity was an opportunity to speak to regional planners about projects that are important to us. I wanted to ensure they knew Surprise is still here and that we NEED reliable and established transit!

I hosted my regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Friday, August 12. A few items were brought to my attention, including trees on the north side of Bell Road near Happy Trails. Public Works Director Mike Gent, Assistant Director of Community Development Chris Boyd and I worked together to get the issue expeditiously resolved. A big thank you also needs to go to the staff that did the dirty work of cutting and grinding the trees. This is just a little example of teamwork and the high caliber of folks working for our residents!

The Audit Committee met on August 17 at City Hall. Councilman Skip Hall and I sit on the Committee. I want to remind everyone that the Audit Committee meetings are open to the public, and you are welcome to attend! The next meeting is scheduled for November 16 at 2:30 p.m. in the City Council Chamber Overflow Room at City Hall.

The Committee on Community Outreach, Partnerships and Grants met on August 18 to review grant applications for this year’s Surprise Community Outreach Program(SCOP). Councilwoman and Chair Rachel Villanueva, Councilman John Williams and I have seats on the Committee. Staff received 22 applications this year with grant requests slightly exceeding $188,000. Applicants were asked to present their requests to us. The background to their requests were heartwarming and, in some cases, heartbreaking. After listening to the requests, the Committee discussed the funding recommendations which were brought forth to the full City Council. The decision was difficult as the budget for SCOP was $65,000, but we managed to make funding recommendations for almost every applicant. Several factors were considered in our decision process, including how many residents would be impacted by the funds if the grant was approved for each organization. The city is so fortunate to have so many non-profit organizations that help our citizens who are in need, and I consider myself fortunate to be part of this Committee. This is the part of my job I really enjoy, the ability to help so many people and truly make a difference!

The Annual Arizona League of Cities and Towns Conference was held from August 23 – August 26 in Scottsdale. The Conference is a great opportunity to network with fellow elected officials at the local and State level. I attended several break-out sessions and meetings held during my time there. Overall, this was a very successful conference.

On August 29, I attended the Boards & Commissions Selection Committee meeting. The Committee interviewed impressive candidates for several openings on our Boards & Commissions. We really have some enthusiastic residents who want to serve their time and talent to Surprise! As Chair of the Committee, I want to thank Council Members Skip Hall and Rachel Villanueva for all their time and assistance during the interview process.

I joined Councilman Skip Hall at the grand opening and ribbon cutting celebration of Desert Premier Home Realty on Tuesday, August 30. Desert Home Premier is a real estate agency that focuses on homes for sale in the West and Northwest Valley.

Please remember that I will continue to host my monthly meetings on the second Friday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Retreat Community Center in Arizona Traditions, 18250 W. Weatherby Drive. This is your opportunity to voice your concerns, compliments or just to chat. I hope to see you then.

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

Best Regards,

Roland F. Winters Jr.
Councilman, District 1

August 2016 • Newsletter

Greetings to all of my fellow District 1 residents and everyone residing in the beautiful city of Surprise.  I’d like to begin this edition with a reminder – the Primary Election is this month!  With less than three candidates running for each of our open Council seats, the Primary will decide your representation.  Independent voters will not automatically be mailed a ballot since the ballot is consolidated to include state and county issues as well.  It is YOUR right to vote for whomever you think would best represent you at all levels – local, state and federal, so choose wisely!

As most of you are aware, City Council was on recess in July, but there were many things happening in our great city that continued to keep us busy!  The city hosted the 33rd Annual 4th of July celebration at the beautiful Surprise Recreation Campus.  The annual celebration is always free with a canned food donation for our needy families.  The event would not be possible with the hard work and dedication of Community and Recreation Services Director Mark Coronado and his amazing team.  Thank you all for everything you do!

Nick’s Diner II hosted a ribbon cutting to celebrate their new location on July 7.  The restaurant recently moved from the northwest corner of Litchfield and Waddell roads to 13765 N. Litchfield Road (southeast area of Litchfield and Waddell Road), near the movie theater.

I attended the Bell Road/Grand Avenue Business Stakeholders meeting on Tuesday, July 12 at City Hall.  These meetings are held monthly to keep the businesses informed of the progress of the bridge construction and to address any of their concerns.  The construction has most definitely affected the businesses so I strongly encourage you to ShopSurprise and patronize them.  We are half-way done!

Speaking of ShopSurprise, important changes have been made to enhance the ShopSurprise digital marketing campaign. With more than 2,000 subscribers and nearly 123,000 messages and deals announced, you are doing your part to support our Bell-Grand area businesses during the Bell Road bridge construction!

The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce text message service provider, Dex media, has scheduled a service upgrade to keep this successful campaign running.  A new feature, coupons sent directly to your email, is now part of the upgrade so you no longer have to click a link. This change will require a new text opt-in number, which will be 85100.

For those already enrolled, you will receive a text from Dex media, over the next couple of weeks, inviting you to re-enroll in the program by texting ShopSurprise to 85100.

Here are all the ways you can check out the daily deals:

  • Text ‘ShopSurprise’ (one word) to 85100 to have daily deals sent to your phone;
  • Visit shopsurpriseaz.com to view the daily deals online;
  • Like the Shop Surprise, Arizona Facebook page and have the deals appear in your timeline; or
  • Follow @ShopSurpriseAZ on Twitter to have deals tweeted to you daily.

A Construction Business Access Map is also available online to help you find the best ways to enter the shopping, dining and service centers to claim your deals. This updated map reflects the traffic switch on Grand Avenue, which occurred on Friday, July 29.

The Bell & Grand ShopSurprise daily deals are only available during the Bell Road full closure. The Chamber will consider a more comprehensive, citywide campaign in the future. For more information about the campaign, please contact the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce at 623.583.0692.

The biggest event for me last month as District 1 Councilman was the groundbreaking of Fellowship Square on Wednesday, July 13.  Councilman Skip Hall and Council Assistant Jodi Tas were also in attendance. Fellowship Square will be located near the southwest corner of Bell Road and Sarival.  They will have 313 apartment homes on 14+ acres in a fully gated community.  They will also offer independent and assisted living options.  The independent living will consist of 255 apartment homes with 1 and 2 bedroom floorplans.  The assisted living section will consist of 42 apartment homes plus 16 suites for memory care. Fellowship Square will employ 80 full-time and 20 part-time employees.  They are expected to open in October 2017.

The parent company of Fellowship Square is Christian Care, and John Norris is the Chief Executive Officer.  Christian Care has grown to five campuses throughout Arizona making it the largest not-for-profit provider of senior housing and services in the state.  I was honored to present Mr. Norris with a Surprise historical book as part of welcoming them home!

I had the privilege of attending a key ceremony for a newly constructed 1,300 square foot home in the Original Town Site on Thursday, July 14.  Councilmembers Skip Hall and Rachel Villanueva, Habitat For Humanity CEO Jason Barlow and city staff were also present when the keys were given to Mary Ann Ramirez and her family.  This home was built as part of the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, an income-based grant that assists families with rehabilitation activities.

On a personal note, I took my wife to Birt’s Bistro on July 16.  We enjoyed some delicious food while listening to some great music from True Memories.  If you haven’t been to Birt’s yet, you should consider it.  Chef Jeff Amperse is an amazing chef.  In addition, every purchase at Birt’s helps to fund Benevilla’s programs and services, providing care for older adults, disabled adults, children and the families that care for them.

The Surprise Police Department hosted a retirement celebration for Sergeant Mike Ferrara on Thursday, July 21.  Sgt. Ferrara served our city and protected our residents for 36 years!  That dates back to when our city was mostly cotton fields!  I enjoyed listening to stories of his career.  Thank you, Mike, for all that you have done for Surprise!

Northwest Valley Connect held their Board of Directors meeting at Benevilla.  Mobility Services Program Supervisor with Valley Metro RPTA, Arleen Schenck, outlined some of the changes in service contracts for Surprise and the surrounding municipalities.  One of the positive changes is customers of Dial A Ride (DAR) no longer need to transfer vehicles when traveling outside the area.  If you are ADA certified, the cost is $2.00 for trips within Surprise and $4.00 for trips outside of Surprise.  The cost to travel outside of Surprise has increased nearly 220%.  I have asked the City Manager for a DAR update at an upcoming City Council Meeting scheduled for September.

Northwest Valley Connect is moving to Sun City in the next few months as it requires larger space but it will continue to serve residents in Surprise.

I attended an HOA meeting at the request of Councilman John Williams on Thursday, July 28.  City staff was available to address questions pertaining to traffic – mostly traffic flow concerns on both Greenway and Waddell roads west of Loop 303.  Questions also transpired regarding Surprise Farms Park.  Two Board Members from Surprise Farms II were present.  The city was thanked for the installation of cameras at the park but the credit needs to be extended to City Manager Bob Wingenroth, Community and Recreations Services Director Mark Coronado and Finance Director Lindsey Duncan.  These cameras now have a direct feed to the Surprise Police Department.

The month ended with a retirement celebration for Fire Engineer Roman Morales and Firefighter Jim Smaltz on July 29.  Both served the city with distinction as proven by the abundance of attendees in the packed City Council Chamber.  Thank you for your service, and I wish you both the best of luck and health on your retirement.

I have some fantastic news to share with my District 1 friends, especially my constituents who reside in the northeast portion of my district.  Jomax Road has finally been paved!  There is finally another way out of that particular area for these residents in Desert Oasis, Asante, Saguaro View, etc.  Many thanks to Public Works Director Mike Gent and his team who worked so diligently to make this happen!

One last thing before I close… Surprise Farms Community Park has been named a 2016 Public Works Project of the Year by the AWPA Reporter, the official magazine of the American Public Works Association.  What an honor to receive this recognition!  Anyone familiar with the park knows what a long road it was to finally realize the dream.

The park, located on the southeast corner of 175th Avenue and Surprise Farms Loop South, won in the category of Structures that cost less than $5 Million and was featured in the July 2016 issue of the magazine.

The recognition is for Phase II of the park, which transformed the existing park to include city’s first skate park; a splash pad; playgrounds with benches (2-5 year and 5-12 years); basketball court; shade structures with tables and BBQ grills; multi-purpose lawn areas; restrooms; parking; landscape; and security lighting. It was completed in November 2015.

The magazine article states, “The park’s inward and outward design is one that instills community pride, encourages environmental stewardship, and exhibits a commitment to valuing each visitor.” I am so proud of the men and women who made this park possible and I’m grateful for the small role I played in it.

As a reminder, I am resuming my Friday Night Chats this month but moving forward, I will be hosting them on the second Friday of each month rather than the third Friday of each month at the Retreat at Arizona Traditions (18250 W. Weatherby Drive).  Meetings will begin at 7 pm and conclude at 8:30 pm.  I hope to see you there.

I will close for now.  Please remember to be good to yourself and be good to each other!

Roland F. Winters Jr.

July 2016 • Newsletter

Greetings to my fellow District 1 residents! I hope that you have managed to stay cool thus far this summer! Thankfully, the city has options to help with that like the two Surprise pools and splash pads at a few parks. As a friendly reminder, City Council is on recess in July so there are no City Council meetings or Workshops scheduled this month. With that being said though, I will still be attending other meetings, and I will have more time dedicated to my constituents.

The Surprise Farms Picnic that was scheduled for Saturday, June 4 was cancelled so I missed seeing and speaking to my friends there! I look forward to seeing you when it gets rescheduled.

I attended the Audit Committee meeting on June 14. The Audit Committee meetings are open to the public. I would like to extend an invitation for you to attend our next meeting which will be held on August 17 at 2:30 PM in the Council Overflow Room which is located on the 1st floor at City Hall. As most of you are likely aware, a former employee is accused of stealing city funds over a seven year period. Following a two-year long criminal investigation by the Surprise Police Department, a Maricopa County Grand Jury has handed down a 15 count indictment against her. The new Audit Committee was formed to ensure you that this will not happen again.

Our last council meeting was held on Tuesday, June 21. With a 3-3 vote, the motion to increase property taxes for fiscal year 2017 failed. It was my position that additional funding to hire public safety should be found within the current city resources and not funded by a property tax increase. City Manager Bob Wingenroth assured us that he would find financial sources and the public safety positions would be funded.

At the same meeting, City Council approved sending a $63 million General Obligation Bond initiative to the voters in November 2016. Following public input and weighing community needs, Council approved the following nine projects, which if voter-approved, would be included in the bond:

  • Two fire stations
  • Police evidence storage facility
  • Land purchase for a future southwest Surprise Fire Station/Police Substation/Park
  • Public Works maintenance facility (frees up existing city locations to meet Police and Fire-Medical storage needs)
  • Road improvements to portions of Greenway and Litchfield Roads
  • Aquatic Center Expansion
  • Land purchase for regional rec complex (sport fields, playgrounds, future rec center)

General Obligation Bonds are sold to investors who are repaid with interest. The repayment comes from a secondary property tax, which Surprise does not currently have. If approved, the secondary property tax could be up to $0.50 per $100 of limited property value, which on a home with an assessed value of $200,000 would be a yearly maximum increase of $100, or $8.33 per month.

If the bond is approved, the constituents of my district will receive a permanent fire station at 163rd Avenue and Happy Valley Rd. The great firefighters at Station 304 will get the long-overdue permanent home that they deserve and also the fire station the residents deserve. We are in dire need of a permanent fire station because of the increasing construction occurring in this area.

Additional educational public meetings will be scheduled ahead of the November 8 General Election. I encourage you to attend. Meeting dates and locations will be posted at www.surpriseaz.gov/surpriseforward. You may also visit the website for a complete list of projects, renderings, financial impact information and public survey results.

We are proud to announce that a new emergency room recently opened in our city! The Dignity Health facility, located at 14267 W. Bell Road, hosted their ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, June 23. This free standing emergency room is fully staffed with necessary technology.

Members of Dignity Health and Surprise City Council at new ER facility for ribbon cutting

On Friday June 24, I attended the Northwest Valley Connect Advisory Board Meeting, of which I am a member. I saw a fantastic presentation by Jeffrey Tourdot, from Maricopa County Senior and Adult Services, demonstrating how they help the seniors and the disabled by providing meals, health care and transportation.

Police Commander John Poorte
Police Commander John Poorte

The Surprise Police Department hosted a retirement ceremony for Police Commander John Poorte on Thursday, June 30. Commander Poorte is retiring after almost 24 years of service to our city. Best wishes for a happy and healthy retirement, John!

ADOT reports that work to install girders for the Bell Road overpass at Grand Avenue resumed Tuesday, July 5.

The installation had been on hold since June 9, when a large, steel-reinforced concrete girder fell moments after it had been lifted into place by cranes. An employee of a contractor working on the project was seriously injured but is recovering.

While the Arizona Department of Transportation and the project contractor have investigated, a precise reason for the accident has not been determined.

The 29 girders in place as of June 9, as well as the remaining girders to be installed, have been found to be structurally sound. A replacement girder was manufactured. ADOT has found no evidence that materials used to manufacture the girder that fell contributed to the accident.

In all, the overpass will have 89 steel-reinforced concrete girders ranging from 67 to 158 feet in length and weighing up to 90,000 pounds each.

The project team plans to complete this stage of girder installation by Sunday, July 10. Grand Avenue will be narrowed to one lane in each direction between Dysart and Litchfield roads from 8 p.m. Thursday, July 7, to 5 a.m. Friday, July 8, and again from 8 p.m. Friday, July 8, to noon Sunday, July 10, when girder placement is taking place on the bridge span closest to the roadway.

The Bell Road overpass, traveling over both Grand Avenue and the nearby BNSF Railway tracks, is scheduled to open to traffic by November. For project information, visit www.azdot.gov/BellAndGrand.

Bell & Grand Construction progress images

Lastly, the night of my monthly meeting has been changed to the second Friday night of the month. My meetings will be held from 7 pm until 8:30 pm at the Retreat at Arizona Traditions, 18250 W. Weatherby Drive. At the gate, dial 0000 to speak with the guard. Please come and voice your concerns or ask questions about what is going on in our city.

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

Regards,

Roland F. Winters Jr.

April 2016 • Newsletter

Greetings to my fellow District 1 residents and everyone in this beautiful city we call Surprise!

I can’t believe it is already April and our winter visitors are leaving us again for their summer homes. The month of March began with a City Council meeting the very first day, and opening day at our spectacular stadium the following day. Spring Training started with the World Series Champion Kansas City Royals and American League West Division Champion, Texas Rangers, playing each other. March is a great month – the weather is perfect, Spring Training is here and many of our meetings were held at the stadium, mainly to entertain and inform many of our economic leads.

As promised last month, I will give you an update on my trip to Washington D.C. and what we tried to accomplish on that trip. Deputy City Manager Nicole Lance and I attended three meetings with three different generals at the Pentagon. Conversations included topics such as Luke Air Force Base (AFB), the budget for the A-10, and the importance of collaboration between the City of Surprise and Luke AFB for the good of the whole West Valley. The economic impact is $653 million from Luke, not to mention the indirect economic drivers.

Councilmember Winters and Deputy City Manager Nicole Lance

During the trip, we met with the Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James while at the Pentagon. She is relatively new to the job having not yet visited Luke AFB. Additionally, we had a meeting with Senator John McCain and Senator Jeff Flake, and also went to Lockheed Martin where some parts of the F-35 are made. All together we had four full days of productive meetings and constructive learning!

Upon my return to Arizona, I attended Valley Metro’s Northwest Light Rail Extension ADA training tour at the 19th Avenue and Dunlap Park-and-Ride. The $327 million dollar project broke ground on January 12, 2013. Valley Metro did a fantastic job with the rail!

On Monday March 14, I was invited to the Surprise City Academy, and if you have not attended the series of programs, it is well worth your time to learn all about the inner workings of our city and get insight from the Mayor and City Council Members, City Manager, City Attorney, and many of our Department Directors. This program is free to the public. I want to thank everyone involved in that event for all their hard work! Thank you to the city staff who volunteered their time to provide their respective department’s overview.

I held my monthly meeting on March 18. As a reminder, I have my meeting on the third Friday of every month at the Community Center in the Retreat area of Arizona Traditions, 18250 W. Weatherby Drive. Everyone is welcome to come to my meetings. Please note I will not have a meeting in June or July.

Cal Ripken Day at the Surprise Stadium was held on Saturday, March 19. There was an impressive turn out! It is great to see all those boys and girls invested in playing baseball. I was happy to be on the field and greet them all. I want to personally thank all those men and women who give up their time to coach these great kids.

Councilman Winters with players at Cal Ripken Day

I serve on the Advisory Committee for North West Valley Connect Organization, and we had our meeting on Friday March 25th at Benevilla. Northwest Valley Connect helps people find rides when they cannot get a ride through their usual channels. Northwest Valley Connect is led by Kathy Chandler as CEO.

I spent most of the day Saturday March 26th at the Ability 360 Center Transportation Conference in Phoenix with the folks from Valley Metro Transportation discussing the difficulties in transit in the West Valley and the East Valley. Surprise has a unique problem in that we have no transit system and the cost to initiate one is astronomical. We do have a fairly reliable Dial-a-Ride system which the City of Surprise subsidizes. We are always working on improving that service.

We had the grand opening of the City Café Express and John W. Clark art show at City Hall on March 30th and if you have not seen it yet, I think it would be worth your time. Most of the paintings are aircrafts as a way for Mr. Clark, who is a Surprise resident, to celebrate his many years in the United States Air Force.

Before I close my newsletter this month, I would like to have your feedback about a very important decision the City Council must make in the next couple of months. If you have been following the budget conversations at our City Council meetings, you know we are about to raise taxes to pay for more police and firefighters for our city. We are behind most cities with regards to the amount of first responders per resident. The proposed FY2017 budget will fund an additional 13 police officers, 7 firefighters and 1 emergency manager position. These positions must be funded with new tax revenue. No one likes the hikes, but sometimes it is just necessary, and in this case I feel we need this increase in protection. My first and foremost duty as a City Council Member is to protect our citizens. Now, the only question remaining is which tax or taxes do we raise? I have been agonizing over this question and the choices are a raise in property tax, a raise in sales tax, or we institute a food tax, or a possible combination of all three. I need your thoughts on this issue. I can’t support a tax on food, it is a regressive tax; it hits the people who don’t have resources first. I can see an increase in property tax, or even a slight increase in sales tax. If you have some ideas or complaints, email me or call me. Until next month, be good to yourself and be good to each other.

Roland F. Winters Jr.

March 2016 • Newsletter

Greetings to my District 1 residents and to all the folks in Surprise! I apologize for the delay of my newsletter this month. I recently returned from the National League of Cities Congressional Conference in Washington DC which I will elaborate on next month.

I kicked-off February with a meeting with APS representatives to discuss the construction of the Sun Valley to Morgan 500/250kV power line just outside the city limits in the northern area of District 1. This new line was first announced in 2008. It will connect the Sun Valley Substation near Sun Valley Parkway in Buckeye to the Morgan Substation located near SR74 in Peoria.

The city hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the Surprise-Gateway Training Center on Thursday, February 11, at the South Plant (SPA1) Water Reclamation Facility. City Council, representatives from the city’s Water Resources Management Department and Gateway Community College celebrated this great day and our future 13,100 square foot training facility together! Surprise and Gateway Community College have partnered to provide students interested in water and wastewater careers to train at this West Valley facility where they are able to learn adjacent to the city’s professional staff in an environment that allows them to experience the complete life cycle of water in Arizona.

I was honored to be a guest at the Lennar’s grand opening in Asante on February 13. Asante is located in the northeast area of my district. Allen Jones and Tom Watkins were very proud to show me their product; as well they should be! I was particularly impressed with the Next Gen “Home within a Home” models. The Next Gen home is an excellent option for those looking for an in-law unit or a home for adult children returning home. It’s quite a concept!

Councilman Winters at Asante Grand Opening

Councilwoman Villanueva and I attended the Cactus League Legislative Day luncheon at the State Capitol on Wednesday, February 17. This event occurs annually to celebrate the return of spring training in our state. Spring training is such a great economic driver for our city, especially this season as the World Series Champion Kansas City Royals return home to Surprise. Ticket sales for the season have increased and I look forward to seeing the economic impact it is having once spring training concludes!

Councilman Winters and guests of the Cactus League Luncheon

On February 18, I participated in the Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission’s Public Art Bus tour. This event was part of a partnership with Benevilla and their Creative Aging Program and the Advisory Commission. Over 50 people took part in the tour so the Commission has organized a second tour on Tuesday, March 22. The bus will depart from Surprise City Hall at 8:30 am and return at 12 noon. If you are interested, please contact Susan de Jong at 623.214.7537. A special thank you to Ms. De Jong for organizing both events!

As part of CTE (Career & Technical Education) month, I attended an Open House at Willow Canyon High School on February 19. I was absolutely astounded at the many opportunities available there for students, particularly those students who are interested in careers in the broadcasting field. I was impressed with the students’ ability to articulate their accomplishments and their plans for the future. Education has certainly changed since I was in school!

I was invited to participate in the annual Tale of Two Cities Parade at Estrella Mountain Community College on Saturday, February 20. The award winning multi-cultural event is a collaboration between the cities of Avondale, Goodyear and Estrella Mountain College that attracts thousands of people from all over the Valley. It is important to me that we support our surrounding neighboring cities so we can partner to collectively improve the West Valley! This event also gave me an opportunity to continue to network and engage with our state legislators.

That same evening, my wife and I attended the 2016 56th Fighter Wing Annual Awards Banquet at the Wigwam Resort. I was honored to attend the banquet and honor those men and women who put their lives at risk for us.

On February 22, I attended a ribbon cutting for Simply Cremation. The ribbon cutting was held to commemorate their first year in business in Surprise. Simply Cremation is located on Bell Road, directly behind the new restaurant, Oregano’s, that is being built.

Arizona Department of Transportation Assistant Communications Director Brock Barnhart, city staff and I attended the Happy Trails HOA meeting on February 23. An update on the Bell Road/Grand Avenue intersection project was provided.

I attended the 40th Annual Cactus League lunch at our beautiful Surprise Stadium on February 24. Community and Recreation Services (CRS) Director and Cactus League President Mark Coronado welcomed guests and made key introductions. Former MLB catcher Jim Sundberg served as emcee and interviewed several former players including Fergie Jenkins and George Brett. Coaches and managers from the Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers spoke to the 600-plus attendees. I’d like to thank Mark Coronado and the CRS staff for the hosting this extraordinary event!

As a member of the Advisory Board for Northwest Valley Connect, I attended the February 26th board meeting at Benevilla. Kathy Chandler serves as the Executive Director of the organization. Northwest Valley Connect improves coordination and awareness of transportation resources and assures that adequate transportation options are available to meet the community’s needs. If you ever find yourself needing this resource, please contact them at 623.282.9300.

I also attended the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Legacy Awards luncheon at the Grandview Terrace on February 26. The annual awards program celebrates many important businesses, community leaders and the extraordinary impact they have in our community. Winners included the Surprise Rotary Club (Small Non-Profit), Sun Health (Large Non-profit), Burns Dentistry (Small Business), Mutual of Omaha Bank (Mid-Level Business), and FirstBank (Large Business). Raymond Grim won an award for Volunteer of the Year. Congratulations to all of the winners and thank you for your contribution to our community!

February was a full month! Please don’t forget about my monthly meetings. The next meeting is scheduled for Friday, March 18 at the Community Center at the Retreat in Arizona Traditions (18250 Weatherby Drive) at 7 pm. Until next month, please be good to yourself and be good to each other!

Best Regards,

Councilman Roland F. Winters Jr.

December 2015 • Newsletter

Greetings to all of my District 1 residents and all of the fine citizens of this beautiful city we live in called Surprise. November was busy for me and the entire city as we welcomed new businesses and amenities.

I attended WESTMARC’s Best of the West awards at the WigWam Resort on November 5. It was a pleasure to see one of our city’s not-for-profit organizations, Benevilla, win WestMARC’s Best of the West Award for Quality of Life Enhancement. Personally, I have always been amazed at the way Benevilla brings multiple generations together under one roof. We are extremely lucky to have this organization in Surprise as it serves so many of our residents and many surrounding areas. Michelle Dionisio, President and CEO of Benevilla, is an exceptional leader who advocates for our residents and strives to build stronger partnerships with our city.

The Surprise Fraternal Order of Eagles held a ribbon cutting at their new 5,000 square foot location at the AZ TechCelerator. With nearly 300 members from throughout the Northwest Valley, this location provides more than adequate space including a meeting room, a kitchen, an area for live music and dancing and a large social area. Many members of the Eagles assisted with the work needed to get the facility ready for the opening. A big thank you to all of them for their hard work! The Eagles Club is a 501(c)3 organization that supports many charities.

Eagles Ribbon Cutting 2015

I also attended the Surprise Farms III movie night for the residents. It was an enjoyable, well-attended evening, especially for the young ones who watched the age appropriate movie complete with popcorn.

Councilman Skip Hall and I attended Camino del Sol Funeral Chapel’s United States Marine Corp 240th Birthday and Veterans Day Celebration on Tuesday, November 10. Mr. George Van de Langeryt served as Host Marine for the event. Marine Luke Koerner was the guest speaker.

Surprise Fire-Medical Department held a promotional ceremony for our brave firefighters in the City Council Chambers on Tuesday, November 10. I am proud to say so many received well deserved promotions – 18 in total. Fire Chief Tom Abbott also took the opportunity to introduce our new service employees. As you know, the City now has its own ambulance to serve our residents. We want our residents to have first class service from our first class fire department!

Engineer Jason LeBoeuf, Eng. Robert Jenkins & Eng. David Hackett with Chief Abbott & Asst. Chief Johnston.
Engineer Jason LeBoeuf, Eng. Robert Jenkins & Eng. David Hackett with Chief Abbott & Asst. Chief Johnston.
Chief Tom Abbott & Asst. Chief Darrell Johnston with newly promoted Asst. Chief Brenden Espie
Chief Tom Abbott & Asst. Chief Darrell Johnston with newly promoted Asst. Chief Brenden Espie

I must mention our city’s very first Veterans Day Parade which occurred on November 11. This event was fantastic, and we will continue to build on it for years to come. There were approximately 70 entries and 4,500 attendees. Staff has already talked about extending the parade route because the front of the parade overlapped with the back end at Bullard Avenue and Paradise. Kudos to Mark Coronado, Community & Recreation Services Director, and his amazing team for a job well done! We could not do it without you!

Veterans Day Parade 2015

CM Winters at Veterans Parade 2015

I’d like to thank Susan DeJong, Chair of the Arts & Cultural Commission, and the Commission members for their hard work putting together the Art Encounter at City Hall the evening of November 12. Not only did residents get a chance to look at the variety of art work at City Hall, they also were given a tour of our building. I was there to give the residents a tour of the Council Members’ offices on the fourth floor, which not many residents get to see. If my constituents are ever interested in a tour, please let me know. The beautiful building belongs to the residents, and you are always welcome to get a tour if you’d like.

I know one of the events that I have been patiently waiting for was the opening of Veramonte and Surprise Farms Parks. The ribbon cutting, attended by the entire City Council, occurred on Saturday, November 14. What a great step in the right direction for Surprise! We know we are behind most cities in the West Valley with regards to parks and open space, but we will get there gradually! It certainly was a historic day in our city as we officially opened our first skate park! I have been a bit disappointed, however, because I’ve noticed litter in the around the park. Please be considerate, and put trash in the provided trash cans.

The community of Desert Oasis hosted a block party on the afternoon of November 14. I am always thrilled to visit with the residents of this wonderful community. A good time was had by all!

Several City Council Members and I joined staff on Wednesday, November 18 for our first annual Safety Appreciation Day. This celebratory luncheon emphasized safety in the work place. We have an excellent safety record with all of our Departments! Congratulations!

The entire City Council attended the ribbon cutting and open house for one of Surprise’s newest businesses, Cobalt Rehabilitation Hospital, on Thursday, November 19. This hospital will be a game changer for our city! The hospital will focus on traumatic head injuries that regular hospitals may not be able to assist with. Recently, Cobalt partnered with Abrazo Community Health Network because of its depth and strong presence in the West Valley and throughout Phoenix. We are very excited to welcome Cobalt to Surprise and wish them the best of success!

The same evening, I attended the Surprise Farms III HOA meeting. I was able to share the latest news with them. They love the new addition – the Surprise Farms Park!

I hosted my monthly Friday Night Chat on November 20. I had a fair amount of attendees, and we were able to have a lively discussion. All are invited to attend my meetings the 3rd Friday of every month at the Community Center in Arizona Traditions at the Retreat.

Before I close my newsletter this month, I want to discuss 163rd Avenue. We all know that the only way into our communities in the northern area of District 1 is this road. I have been exchanging emails with some constituents, and I know this is a very sensitive issue; hence, I would like to elaborate a bit more. The City is aware of our residents’ concerns, but we need developers to continue to build so we can collect impact fees to add infrastructure and roads. A new development, Rancho Mercado, will make some progress towards our goal by contributing funds to construct an exit to the east and ultimately join Happy Valley Road. I know some of you have mentioned Jomax (to the west), but that would go through County land. If anyone would like to discuss further, please let me know.

That is all for this month. I hope you enjoy the upcoming holiday season. Please be good to yourself and be good to each other.

Best Regards,

Roland F. Winters Jr.
Councilman, District 1

October 2015 • Newsletter

Greetings, District 1 residents! This month, in lieu of my regular monthly newsletter, I would like to update you on some upcoming meetings and events. I will return to my regular newsletter format in November.


Here’s a look at what’s happening in Surprise:

October 21 – Free Class: Tips for Preventing Identity Theft

A free class that will include tips on how to deter and detect identity theft, resources for getting help and more. Registration is required. To register, please contact Ruby Sitea at ruby.sitea@surpriseaz.gov.

Where: Surprise City Hall – Room 150, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza
When: 10-11:30 a.m.

More Information

October 23 – Itty Bitty Monster Bash

Dress up & join the fun at our Itty Bitty Monster Bash featuring music, dancing, games, snacks, crafts & fun! All ages welcome!

Where: Countryside Recreation Center, 15038 N Parkview Place
When: 10 a.m. – noon
Cost: Adults -FREE; Residents – $10; Non-Residents – $15

More Information

October 23 – Harvest Festival in the Surprise Community Garden

This free event will feature Pumpkin Decorating, Art Show & Art Sale, Snow White Reading Spooky Stories, Live Music, Trunk-or-Treating, petting zoo, face painting and free pumpkins. Halloween Costumes are Encouraged. Food and drinks will be available for purchase.

Where: Surprise Community Garden, 16752 N. Greasewood St., Surprise
When: 5-7 p.m.

More Information

October 24 – Free Class: Watering for Healthy Plants & Low Water Bills – Oct. 24

Winter is an excellent time to fine tune your irrigation system. Learn how to have healthier plants, save money on water bills, and conserve precious water resources without having to replace your existing irrigation system. The class is free, but registration is required.

To register, please visit https://surpriserec.surpriseaz.com/Start/Start.asp. Click on “Register for Programs,” then select “Special Interest Classes – Adult Programs.” Indicate which class you wish to attend, and fill out your name, address, and phone number.

Where: Surprise Public Safety Auditorium, 14250 W. Statler Plaza
When: 9-11 a.m.

More Information

October 29 – Arts Luncheon Theatre Performance of “Almost, Almost Maine”

Theater Works presents a whimsical story of the joys and perils of romance.

Where: Arts HQ, 16126 N. Civic Center Plaza
When: Noon. (Performance will be 45-50 minutes long.)
Cost: Tickets are $9. Purchased lunch is $9.85, or bring your own lunch.

To order tickets, please call the West Valley Arts Council at 623.935.6384 or Susan de Jong at 623.214.7537.

October 29-31 – Haunted Maze at Sierra Montana Recreation Center

The city’s Sierra Montana Recreation Center will transform into a scary Haunted Maze, October 29 – 31! See if you can find your way through the maze without screaming. All ages are welcome; however children under the age of 11 must be accompanied by an adult.

Where: Sierra Montana Recreation Center, 14861 N. Spring Lane When: 6 -9 p.m.
Cost: $5 entry fee

More Information: 623.222.2000

October 30 – Early Voting Ends at City Hall

Early voting for the Nov. 3 election ends October 30 at the City Clerk’s Office, Surprise City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. City Hall is NOT able to receive ballots on Election Day, Nov. 3, as voters are required to vote at their designated polling location on that day. Residents can visit www.surpriseaz.gov/electionnews for the most current information related to elections and voting in Surprise.

November 7 – America’s Mighty Warrior Challenge Fundraiser

623Strong and City of Surprise are hosting a CrossFit-style fundraiser to honor the sacrifices of our troops and to support families of fallen military members. The challenge will include five levels of participation featuring different activities such as 5K races, swimming and other CrossFit activities.

Where: Surprise Recreation Campus
When: 6 a.m.

More Information

November 11 – Veterans Day Parade

Parade entries are due by Oct. 28.

Where: Bullard Ave. near Surprise Recreation Campus
When: Parade begins at 9:30 a.m.

More Information

November 14 – Surprise Super Swap Meet

A community-wide garage sale that benefits the city’s senior programs.

Where: Surprise Aquatic Center Parking Lot, 15831 N. Bullard Ave.
When: 8 a.m. – 1 pm.
Cost: Free admission and parking

More Information


Thanks for staying engaged and informed! Until next time, always be good to yourself and be good to each other.

September 2015 • Newsletter

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

I am anxiously anticipating the cooler temperatures and the return of our snowbird residents. August was another busy month especially returning from our Council recess in July.

City Council only conducted one meeting in August due to the League of Arizona Cities & Towns Conference in Tucson. Our meeting was held on August 4. Regular meetings are still scheduled to occur twice a month, on the first and third Tuesday, beginning this month.

Councilman Hall and I attended a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, August 11 at the Palm Vista Baptist Church on Bell Road. The church significantly expanded their church by adding a beautiful new worship building. I’d like to thank Debra with Palm Vista for the invitation and her hospitality.

CM Hall and Winters at the Palm Visita Ribbon Cutting

City staff held a public meeting pertaining to the Bullard Avenue traffic pattern changes on Monday, August 17 at Marley Park Elementary School. There were almost 100 residents present and over 50 residents spoke, most of their discontent with the changes; however, most residents seemed content with the speed limit reduction to 35 mph from 45 mph. I personally understand both sides of the issue. The City’s priority with the change was first and foremost safety.

Each member of City Council attended the League of Arizona Cities and Towns Conference in Tucson from Tuesday, August 18 through Friday, August 21. Members of our Surprise Youth Council were also in attendance as they were panelists for one of our sessions led by Vice Mayor John Williams.

City Council at the League of Arizona Cities and Towns Conference in Tucson

Being a member of the Northwest Valley Connect Advisory Committee, I attended the meeting on Monday, August 24 at Benevilla. The meeting was chaired by Kathy Chandler, Executive Director of Northwest Valley Connect. This organization is only two years old and it has already made a huge impact in our city and surrounding areas. Their goal is to service anyone needs transportation, especially for lifestyle purposes. There are numerous volunteers who drive their own vehicles and provide rides to requestors at no cost. In summary, this organization is a great resource to connect residents with a ride who wouldn’t normally have transportation. Next month, I will interview Kathy Chandler during my new Council Conversation. Watch out for it!

Public Works Director Mike Gent and I attended the Saguaro View HOA meeting at the Hampton Inn on Wednesday, August 26. Our conversation focused on the city beginning trash pick-up for the residents who reside in Saguaro View.

On Thursday, August 27, I attended the Water Resource Planning Subcommittee meeting chaired by Councilman Skip Hall. Both Vice Mayor John Williams and I are also members of the Subcommittee. Water Resource Management Director Terry Lowe briefed us on our water portfolio as we continue to work to ensure there is enough water for the growth of our city in the future.

Please remember my Friday Night Chats begin again on Friday, October 16 at 7 pm at the Retreat Community Center at Arizona Traditions. The address is 18250 W. Weatherby. (If you plan to attend, please hit 0000 and tell the guard you are there to attend my Chat). I hope to see you there. In the meantime, always be good to yourself and be good to each other.