Tag Archives: Ribbon Cutting

July 2017 • Newsletter

I hope the residents in District 1 and all the folks in our beautiful city are managing to tolerate the heat and stay cool and hydrated. Thankfully, we will cool down in a few months! June was a very eventful month.

On Sunday, June 4, I spent three hours at Happy Trails learning how to perform CPR, in particular using the Automatic Electronic Defibrillator (AED). The AED is a great device that can help keep a person alive until the EMTs arrive. If you have a chance to take those classes, I would strongly encourage you to do so.

I hosted my monthly meeting at Arizona Traditions Retreat Community Center on the evening of Friday, June 9 with a good crowd and a lot of conversations about new construction in the western part of Surprise, especially along Bell Pointe and outside the gate to Arizona Traditions on parcel 14. This development is called Bell Pointe II. It will fill the empty areas of the original Bell Pointe.

Goodyear City Council hosted an inaugural ceremony on Monday, June 12. I attended the ceremony along with relatives, friends and residents of Goodyear and watched the wonderful celebration as three incumbents and one new City Council Member took their Oath of Office. Mayor Georgia Lord, Council Members Wally Campbell and Joe Pizzillo were reelected in January and new City Council Member Brannon Hampton won his first term in a May run-off election.

The Community and Recreation Services Department (CRS) completed the last step of the accreditation process through the Commission of Accreditation of Parks and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA). The department had been working towards the accreditation for the past year. Council Members and staff were invited to meet the CAPRA evaluators on Tuesday, June 13 at the Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex.

CAPRA accreditation is a five-year cycle that includes three phases: development of the agency self-assessment report, the on-site visitation, and the Commission’s review and decision. The on-site visitation follows the agency’s development of its self-assessment report. If accreditation is granted by the Commission at its meeting following the on-site visit, the agency will develop a new self-assessment report and be revisited every five years. Within each of the four years between on-site visits, the agency will submit an annual report that addresses its continued compliance with the accreditation standards.

On Wednesday, June 14, I attended a very large meeting at City Hall about Valley Metro’s new paratransit and Ride Choice programs. Surprise residents that will be using the program for rides to the doctor, friends, and more filled the room. The folks from Valley Metro who made the presentation were 45 minutes late so that’s not a good sign for a new program. I will have more to say about the new program later in the newsletter.

The same night, I attended a Citizen Outreach meeting at Sundown Mountain School regarding a new residential development known as Bonita Ranch in District 1.

It was my pleasure to attend a ribbon cutting at Desert Oasis for KB Homes on Thursday, June 15. KB Homes will soon build four new models. The models will be located at 17198 W Setlock Trail.

I attended the AZ League of Cities Transportation Committee meeting at their Phoenix office on Friday, June 16. I am a member of this committee and the purpose of the meeting was to discuss important topics we plan to discuss at the League of Cities Conference that will be held in August.

I was a guest at the fire academy graduation on Friday, June 16. The large graduating class filled the Orangewood Church on 27th Avenue in Phoenix. This particular graduation class produced eight recruits for Surprise. Fire fighters have a very close brotherhood and that is tangible attending these events.

Surprise Fire-Medical fire academy graduates

I hope our fathers in Surprise had a great Father’s Day on June 18. You all deserve it for your hard work, making a living for your family and caring for your children. I had a relaxing day by taking the day off. My wife and two daughters treated me with dinner at one of our great restaurants right here in Surprise.

Highland Prep hosted a ground breaking event for their new Charter School in Surprise on 15600 W. Hearn Rd. The school is a tuition free public charter preparatory stem high school. Coming in fall 2017, they will open their doors in a temporary facility to a freshman class of 125 students. The school will open its new building in the fall of 2018 that will host freshman and sophomore classes. Each year, they will add another freshman class.

Highland Prep Facility Render

Those of you who utilize the Valley Metro transit system should have received your Ride Choice cards on June 27. I wish the best of luck to all our residents using the program. There are a number of things to keep in mind while you’re trying to navigate that system. First, the system takes you to MJM (the company that is administering this program) which is located in Baltimore, Maryland. Their number is in the brochure that everyone received with their Ride Choice card. However, it’s above the Valley Metro address leading you to believe you are contacting Valley Metro. Personally, I believe this is ludacris to have a company in Baltimore, Maryland overseeing transportation for the residents of Surprise, Arizona. If you called that number in Baltimore on June 28, you would’ve been told that you couldn’t put the funding on your card with a credit card. The alternative is to mail them a check which, by their own admission, takes ten days which means you wouldn’t have funding by the time the program started on July 1. I spoke to six different people between June 27 and Saturday, July 1 and received six different answers. The cab company AAA had no idea about the program until July 1 and had no machine to swipe your Ride Choice card in their cabs. This program allows no specific window of time to pick up a rider once the cab company has been notified of the time for the rider to be picked up at the destination. Be prepared to wait fifteen to forty-five minutes! I’d like to make note that Discount Cab has the card swiper, is well aware of the program and has been providing the service.

The Ride Choice part of the program was not the only part that didn’t go as planned during the transition from Dial-A-Ride. The Trans Dev portion was also deficient. They were supposed to have two vans to pick up our senior citizens and transport them to the Senior Center on Hollyhock. However, on Monday July 3, only one van showed up.

The entire effort was terrible, and the roll out should’ve been delayed at least three to four weeks. I know it’s really easy to be a Monday morning quarterback, but there should’ve been more thought and planning in this process on Valley Metro’s behalf. Let’s just hope the problems are worked out soon. Our seniors are our most vulnerable citizens of Surprise and we should be more responsive to their needs.

Former CRS Director Mark Coronado
Former CRS Director Mark Coronado

In June, we lost a valued friend and employee of Surprise. Community and Recreation Services Director Mark Coronado died at the age of 59. Although his life was cut short, his legacy will live on in Surprise for many generations to come. As the front page of our newspaper said, “He was a visionary,” and his footprints are on our Stadium, Dream Catcher Park, the Northwest Regional Library, many parks in Surprise, the tennis complex, and the list goes on. I worked with Mark on Surprise Farms park my first year on City Council. He was a tireless worker on that project as he was with all of the projects. He had many outreach meetings with the residents who lived in the surrounding area of Surprise Farms Park, and he listened to the input from everyone. We even adjusted our plans for the dog park and moved it further to the west even though the plans were already completed and we were days away from breaking ground. Yet, we chose that area of the park to be left for open play.

While I am on the topic of parks, I’d like to provide you with an update on the area with the green fence. This is an update to my friends at Surprise Farms III and the surrounding area. As you have probably noticed, we are diligently working on that 8 acres and the good news is that the project came in under budget. Needless to say, we have some extra money to utilize for sod instead of grass seeds. Tom McCullough, the Project Manager, and his team are doing a great job on the project and we are looking for completion at the end of August, weather permitting.

On the evening of June 28, I attended the Maricopa Associations of Government (MAG) meeting at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix. The focus of this meeting was discussion regarding wrong way drivers on our interstates and freeways. There is a plan to prevent drivers from entering the exit ramps on the roads. Harris County has been using technology for a couple of years, and it seems to be working, but it’ll cost $4 million which isn’t cheap. However, what’s a human life worth? As Glendale’s Mayor Jerry Weirs said, “We cannot sit by, we must do something.” The project was passed with an overwhelming majority.

After the meeting, we celebrated MAG’s 50th anniversary and passing of the gavel that honored outgoing MAG Regional Chair Mayor Greg Stanton and welcomed new Chair Mayor Jackie Meck from Buckeye. Congratulations to Mayor Meck!

Desert Diamond Casino provided a West Valley update on Thursday, June 29 at the Renaissance Hotel in Glendale. They are finally getting their gambling and liquor license after a long standoff with both the city and state. I was honored to meet Chair Emanuel of Tohono O’odham Nation.

Well I guess I will close for now, and I apologize for the length of this newsletter, but a lot of things happened this month. I will not host my monthly meeting this month, but I will be available if you need me.

My next meeting will be held on Friday, August 11 at 7 pm at the Community Center at Arizona Traditions in the Retreat.

I just want to thank Neal and his team for the use of this meeting space.

So Be Good To Yourself And Be Good To Each Other,

Roland 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.

October 2016 • Newsletter

Greetings to all of my fellow District 1 residents and to all the wonderful people living in this beautiful city of Surprise. Let’s begin this newsletter with some exciting news – Arizona Department of Transportation has announced the reopening of Bell Road is targeted for November 22!

My monthly chat was held on Friday, September 9 at Community Center at Arizona Traditions. Several residents attended, and productive conversations took place.

I attended a wonderful 9/11 memorial at Beth Emeth Congregation of the West Valley in Sun City West on Sunday, September 11. A large crowd gathered for the touching ceremony and listened to someone recall the events that took place while they were in New York City that fateful day.

The Helping Partners Program, run by local nonprofit Benevilla, moved into a space at City Hall last month. To welcome the program, a grand opening ceremony took place on Monday, September 12, followed by a tour of the office space. Councilmembers Rachel Villanueva, Skip Hall, Todd Tande and I joined city staff and Benevilla representatives, including CEO Michelle Dionisio and program participants. The Helping Partners Life Enrichment Program was designed for adults with intellectual or development challenges. The program provides volunteer and employment opportunities that enable members to contribute in their respective communities.

City Council and Benevilla City Council and Benevilla

The City and ADOT hosted a monthly Business Stakeholders Outreach meeting on Tuesday, September 13. Councilmembers Rachel Villanueva, Skip Hall, Todd Tande and I attended along with staff and business representatives. Economic Development provided an update on outreach and education initiatives and ADOT provided a project update.

ADOT’s Assistant Communication Director Brock Barnhart introduced Phase 3C (see map below) of the project where Bell Rd reopens; a specific target date of November 22, 2016 was later presented at the September 20 City Council meeting. The goal is to open all six lanes of Bell Rd in late November.

Due to continued work on tie-ins, there may be occasional curb lane restrictions and overnight work on Bell Rd after the reopening. The project team will work hard to ensure that at least two lanes in each direction remain open on Bell Rd during daytime work.

When Bell Rd reopens, Grand Ave will be inaccessible from the Bell Rd bridge and vice versa. The signal at the Bell Rd and Grand Ave intersection will be inactive until the ramps open in early 2017. A signal at the intersection of 134th Ave and Bell Rd will be up and operational.

Reconfiguration of the designated detour route to reflect the opening of Bell Road is under review. East-west through movements will resume on Bell Road, however drivers will need to use Bell-Reems/ Bell-Dysart to access Grand Ave. Signage along the designated detour route will be changed so drivers are aware they no longer need to use Greenway Road. Lane striping and signals will be modified at the Bell-Litchfield and Bell-Dysart intersections.

Work continues on eastbound Grand Ave lanes through early 2017.

Later the morning of September 13, I met with representatives from Lennar Homes. Lennar Homes is building homes in Asante. Great news was shared – the home product(s) are selling well and a new product is forthcoming!

On Wednesday, September 14, the Water Resource Management Department held its Annual New Fiscal Year (FY) Kick-off All Hands Lunch for staff. The intent of the lunch is to give staff an opportunity to reflect on FY16 accomplishments through presentations made by division managers that recognize outstanding performers and provide staff with a look at what the department will be doing in FY17. Director Terry Lowe thanked everyone for coming and reminded his staff about the keys to a successful business: People… Processes… Product. This philosophy has led to the completion of the new Gateway Training Center and the successful coordination and teamwork in the commencement and completion of nearly a dozen other major projects. The training center, which will have its ribbon cutting on October 26, is the place where staff will broaden its knowledge and understanding of their careers and assist the department in better serving the community. The department’s division managers: Lee Lambert, Water; Warren Dancer, Wastewater; Christine Nunez, Environmental Compliance; Paul Mohr, Business Process; and Fred Stevens, Resource Portfolio, each gave those in attendance a little deeper look into the work they do, their teams, and their initiatives for next year.

I was honored to attend the American Legion Post 96 meeting. The men and woman of this Post sponsor deserving youth to attend Boys State every year to learn about civic responsibility. This year, Rodney Ross, a senior at Willow Canyon High School was the recipient. I also had the honor of speaking to him about his experience, and I was quite impressed by how polite and articulate this young man is.

Councilmembers Skip Hall, Rachel Villanueva and I attended Benevilla’s Ninth Annual Professional Friends Luncheon at Rio Salado College on Friday, September 16. This event is held annually to thank everyone who supports Benevilla. Benevilla announced the appointment of Joanne Thomson as their new President and CEO. She will assume responsibilities for that role on October 29, 2016 after current President and CEO Michelle Dionisio retires after more than 25 years with the organization. I wish much luck and happiness to Michelle on her next journey and extend my congratulations to Joanne!

I have heard from many of you loud and clear about the increased cost for a ride from Surprise to Sun City and Sun City West and how it negatively impacts your budget. A new contract with Valley Metro went into effect July 2016 which included a fare increase from $1.25 to $4 per ride to these cities from Surprise. I asked staff to bring forth this issue for further discussion at a City Council meeting last month. At the meeting, I proposed a fare reduction for the aforementioned rides to $2.25 each way and the proposal was unanimously supported by my colleagues on the Council. I am very grateful! Effective October 1, the fare reduction to $2.50 will be in place but please note that rides within in the city of Surprise will remain $2 as originally presented in July. Visit www.surpriseaz.gov/dialaride for more information.

KB Homes hosted a ribbon cutting on September 22 at their new development in Sycamore Farms which is located in District 3. There are multiple home plans to choose from with convenient access to Loop 303. Welcome to Surprise, KB Homes!

Later that evening, I attended a public meeting at Desert Oasis Elementary School to observe comments of my constituents and the plans of a developer that is planning to build homes near Desert Oasis. Residents who attended the meeting that live near the proposed development appeared to approve.

Northwest Valley Connect hosted their monthly meeting on September 23. Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) presented on rail in the Valley.

The Surprise Fire Medical Department is hosting several open houses at fire stations throughout the city in the following weeks. I hope you find time to attend. I too attended an open house held on Saturday, September 24 at Fire Station 306 in in Sun City Grand. See upcoming open houses here: http://bit.ly/2cofigc.

I attended the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce monthly breakfast meeting at the Colonnade on Tuesday, September 27 with Councilman Skip Hall. Five candidates running for three seats on the Arizona Corporation Commission participated in a forum. You will see these candidates’ names on the November 8 General Election ballot.

On Thursday, September 29, Councilmembers Skip Hall and Rachel Villanueva and I interviewed seven candidates for two openings on the Planning and Zoning Commission. Our recommendations will be presented to the full City Council for discussion and approval at a City Council meeting this month.

Our seasonal residents are returning, so please join me by welcoming them back to Surprise! Until next time, please be good to yourself and be good to each other!

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.

Celebrating Art in Surprise

CouncilMember Winters at Arts HQA new arts space moved into the Surprise City Center this summer. Arts HQ offers 2,500 square feet of gallery space, plus an outdoor courtyard that’s connected by a covered breezeway.

I joined Mayor Wolcott and several other Council Members at the grand opening and ribbon cutting. It was a great success, with hundreds of art enthusiasts in attendance. It’s clear that developing the arts in Surprise is something that the community wants and building our city into an arts hot spot is something I am proud to support.

Check out http://www.westvalleyarts.org for more information on arts in the West Valley.