Tag Archives: Surprise Police

April 2018 • Newsletter

Happy April to all of my fellow District 1 residents and to all the folks that call this beautiful city home. March got off to a quick start with the Surprise Police Appreciation Dinner at Christ Church of the Valley (CCV) on the evening of Friday, March 2. Many awards were given to show gratitude to the men and women that get on those streets every day and night to keep us all safe. I would like to take this opportunity to thank CCV for their partnership and all they do for our city. We simply ask, and they are there!

On Monday, March 5, I attended a meeting to discuss how we can help the homeless. It is growing into a more significant problem for our residents and visitors in Surprise. It is a very complex issue, and we have to be sensitive to their needs as well. One of the concerns is that we have no place to host them or feed them in Surprise. Most places that can assist or accommodate them are in Phoenix. Our homeless population does not want to leave our city and feel it is their city too.

I had a phone call from the Maricopa County Community Services Commission regarding my interest to serve on their Commission. I was, of course, honored to be considered. There is a process, so I will wait to see if I am chosen.

Friday, March 9 found me at the Economic Development Spring Training Event at Surprise Stadium. Our Economic Development Department is the greatest! They continue to bring a number of opportunities to Surprise!

Tuesday, March 13, I attended Benevilla’s Annual Donor Appreciation Brunch at Briarwood Country Club. The event honored dedicated community members and supporters of their mission. Benevilla President Joanne Thomson presented two awards. The 2018 Bill Wolfrey Community Service Award was given to Larry Vering and the Business Leadership Award was given to Pat Babcock from the West Valley Lutheran Thrift Shop. Benevilla could not provide all their services without the generous contributions of all their donors.

Benevilla Appreciation award winners

On Friday, March 16, I was at the groundbreaking for our newest company, Trimaco, in the Southwest Railplex area of Surprise. With the growing success of their business nationwide, they have outgrown their current west valley location and will be building a NEW 275,000 SF facility and employing over 110 people in Surprise! Trimaco manufactures paint accessories and professional floor protection products for paint retail, auto body and construction industries worldwide. This project represents more than just the current ground-up development, as the President of Trimaco is a long-term investor in Surprise. Mr. Vito Ancona developed Ancona Professional Plaza off Grand Avenue – and now we are happy to welcome him into our industrial park as well!

Following the groundbreaking, we attended the Economic Development Tent Appreciation Event at Surprise Stadium. This annual event is held to show our appreciation to all of our businesses in surprise. It was very successful. We had over 160 people in attendance! Many thanks to Economic Development Director Jeanine Jerkovic for her exceptional leadership and to the entire Economic Development team for working together to show their gratitude as well as attract new business opportunities to Surprise!

I was so very pleased to be in attendance at the ceremony to honor the late CRS Director Mark Coronado. The event took place on Saturday, March 17 prior to the spring training game at Surprise Stadium. His entire family was in attendance. When the Committee to honor Mark made their recommendations at a City Council meeting earlier this year, we approved all three recommendations. You will now see a Mark Coronado legacy seat in the Stadium, in addition to renaming 8-Acre Park to “Mark Coronado Park” with a memorial plaque at the park’s entry gate. Honorary street signs along Bullard Avenue now read “Mark Coronado Way.” I hope, when someone asks 10 or 15 years from now “Who was Mark Coronado?”, there will be someone there to describe all the fantastic things Mark did for the City of Surprise. I would venture to say if it were not for Mark, there would not be a Major League Baseball team in Surprise let alone two teams. My first year on the Council, I worked closely with Mark to develop Surprise Farms Park, now known as Dick McComb City Park. Oddly enough, it was Dick McComb who hired Mark! Mark was fiercely dedicated to make that park a great place to play for generations to come with a splash pad, and the first skate park in Surprise. He also made sure he added these amenities within his budget. I thank Mark for all he did for Surprise in his 17 years of service to this city. Rest in peace now, Mark!

Mark Coronado's family on Surprise Stadium field to receive his honors

Of course on Tuesday, March 20, we held our second monthly City Council Work Session at 4 pm and our City Council Regular Meeting at 6 pm when we actually vote on the different agenda items. In addition after these two meeting, we sometimes go into Executive Session.

Thursday, March 22 found me at my Northwest Valley Connect (NWC) meeting at Benevilla, and for those of you who do not know what that organization is all about, it is all about transportation and getting people where they need to go. NWC will take you to your medical appointments, even the grocery store if you cannot get a ride. They are a non-profit 501(c)3 and there is no charge for their service but they do take donations in any amount. Their drivers are volunteers and they do have accessible vehicles, so if you are a wheelchair user, it isn’t a problem.

We had a ribbon cutting at the Shops at Elm Street on Friday, March 23. For those of you who don’t know where these new stores are, they are located on the corner of Bell Road and Civic Center Drive, right next to the soon to open In-N-Out Burger which is now hiring and paying $12 an hour! Not all of the shops are open yet, but the majority are open for business.

Thompson Thrift

In March, we had another grand opening. Ono Hawaiian BBQ, located at 13864 W. Bell Road, is a fast-casual dining restaurant with 70 store locations throughout California and Arizona. The owners are very nice and the food is excellent. Welcome to Surprise!

Surprise Councilmembers with staff member of Ono Hawaiian BBQ at grand opening

Tuesday, March 27 found me at Willow Canyon High School for a mock crash scenario to demonstrate what can happen when someone makes the decision to drive under the influence. The demonstration costs about $7,000 to put on, so I hope everyone (students and non-students alike) learned something from it. We were fortunate to get a grant from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. I want to thank our Surprise Fire-Medical Department, Surprise Police Department, Native Air, Dysart Unified School District, Willow Canyon administrators and staff for going above and beyond to help all of us to make the right decisions when it comes to driving under the influence, and not to text while driving. It’s simply not worth it! On a personal note, I think Willow Canyon High School is the best high school in Surprise (because it’s in my District), and I love all the kids there. I don’t want to read in the newspapers that someone was killed or injured in a traffic accident for these reasons. Please be careful out there!

On Thursday, March 29, I attended Arizona Charter Academy’s Community Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon at their school at 16025 N. Dysart Road in Surprise. What a great job Melissa Holdaway and her team do to educate those kids, but that’s not all, the young folks are very polite and respectful. We were also entertained by two different choirs. The lunch was catered by Birt’s Bistro. Great job!

Police Officer Terry Vernon ReppertThat same afternoon, I attended the retirement ceremony for Surprise Police Officer Terry Vernon Reppert who served the city for 25 years. The retirements of our public safety personnel are always bitter sweet. On one hand you are happy they are going to have a great retirement, but they will be greatly missed for all their good work they’ve done for us over the years.

Still later in the afternoon on the 29th, I attended the ribbon cutting at the opening of Pinnacle Vein and Vascular Center, 12361 W. Bola Drive near the Original Town Site. Dr. Bajeet Uppal is a vascular surgeon with years of experience, and we welcome him to Surprise.

The last event I went to was the Spring Eggstravaganza on Saturday, March 31 on the Kansas City Royals practice field. What a crowd turned out, like a county fair! Community and Recreation Services Director Donna Miller, Assistant Director Paul Frie and their team did a great job! Everything was well organized and ran smoothly considering all the little people vying for all the eggs scattered all over that field. What a bunch of cuties! I hope all of you had a good Easter!

I wanted to wish retiring IRIS USA CEO Chet Keizer a great retirement! He announced last month that he was retiring, but I am happy to hear he will be staying in Surprise!

As you can see, March was a very busy month!

Don’t forget my Friday Night Chat at the Traditions Community Center, 18250 Weatherby Drive on Friday, April 13 at 7 pm. Don’t let the date scare you away. We have great cookies. My meetings are the second Friday of each month at 7 pm.

Take care! Be good to yourself and be good to each other!

Roland F. Winters Jr.
District 1 Councilmember

May 2016 • Newsletter

Greetings to all of my District 1 residents and all the residents in this great city we all have the privilege of living in. I hope this newsletter finds you well.

I can’t believe it is already May and this year is almost half way over! Before I go into the ongoings of our city from last month, let me first thank all of you who responded to my request regarding your opinion about the possibility of a tax increase for fiscal year 2017 to fund 23 Public Safety positions. The City Council has been discussing various tax increases for a couple of months; however, a final decision has not been made as of yet. I have a firm position – I am not in support of instituting a food tax. It is regressive. For example, it would make a family of 4 spend a disproportional part of their income on food. Not one of my constituents who responded to my request supported the food tax either which also reinforces my position. No one wants a tax increase of any kind, I understand that. I don’t like to see my taxes increase either but we need to find $2.4 million to fund the positions and continue to keep our city safe. For a city of our size, approximately 125,000, we are understaffed in these areas and we must make sure our first responders can help the citizens of the city when needed.

Bell Road at Grand Avenue closed on April 1. Overall, the detour route has been smooth, and as time progresses, the route continues to run smoothly. The city, in partnership with the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce, kicked off the ShopSurprise campaign earlier this month to help the businesses affected by the construction. I encourage you to please patronize those businesses surrounding the construction corridor. Despite the construction, access to the businesses has been open and will continue to be open throughout the project. There is a sacrifice to prepare for the future and this bridge is needed for the future of our city. We are no longer a small town so we need to be ready as our population grows.

On Saturday, April 2, I attended the 2016 Luke Air Force Base Air Show – 75 Years of Airpower – and what a show it was! Those intelligent men and women, the pilots and the support team, put their lives on the line every day. The show was very well attended, and I know many of you were present as well and also enjoyed the air acrobatics. I would like to thank Brigadier General Scott Pleus for his hospitality.

Another fantastic concert was put on by the Surprise POPS band at Valley Vista Performing Arts Center on Sunday, April 3. If you have not seen a performance by the band, I recommend you do so at the first chance you can. The concerts are free with the donation of a canned food item for the Valley View Community Food Bank.

The Human Service and Community Vitality Department hosted an HOA Summit on Wednesday, April 6. Council Members Skip Hall, Todd Tande and I attended. The summit has been held every year for the last few years for the benefit of residents and homeowner associations in Surprise. We strongly encourage the Community Managers and Board Members to attend so they can absorb all the information we relay pertaining to the operation of our city government. At this particular summit, we had several of our Directors speak about their respective departments, what they are responsible for and what they do on a daily basis. These summits are for anyone who would like to learn more about the city. I was on the Board of my HOA for three years before I ran for City Council, and I learned so much when I attended these meetings!

To my friends at Surprise Farms III, I was delighted to spend time with you on Saturday, April 9 at your fantastic picnic. It was a beautiful day! Thank you so much for your hospitality. My wife and I had a great time, and it gave me a chance to speak to many residents and meet many new families.

I was invited to attend the Surprise Farms II HOA meeting on Wednesday, April 13. I was able to answer questions and introduce key staff – Surprise Police Chief Terry Young, Officer Grayling Jordan, Sergeant Tim Klarkowski, Assistant Public Works Director Karl Zook, Assistant Director of Community Recreation Services Donna Miller, Campus and Parks Maintenance Division Manager Joey Brazil and ADOT Assistant Communications Director Brock Barnhart – who were also there to present on topics such as transportation and the Bell Road closure. I want to take a moment to thank those dedicated employees of Surprise and Mr. Barnhart for attending. We also discussed Surprise Farms Park. I am well aware of the alleged problems at the park, especially the skate park, so I am advocating for cameras to help bring vandalism and other problems to a halt! I am really disappointed that we face some of these issues, and I recognize that we cannot tolerate them!

Earlier this year, City Manager Bob Wingenroth formed an Audit Committee whose goal is to provide advice to the City Council with respect to fulfilling its oversight responsibilities regarding the integrity of the financial statements of the city. The Committee will also assist and advise the Internal Auditor and City Council on matters relating to the city’s compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, systems of internal controls, management of city-wide risk environment and the performance of internal and external auditors. The Committee consists of 7 members appointed by the City Manager. In addition to the City Manager, the Committee members are Councilman Skip Hall and me, Finance Director Lindsey Duncan, IT Director Tammie Hollowell and Surprise citizens Sharon Ward, Melissa Holdaway and Arden Edgmark. I was honored to be selected! The Committee met on April 14, and we will hold our first official meeting on Thursday, May 19 at 2 pm in the Overflow Room of City Hall. The public is welcome to attend!

The Surprise Police Appreciation Bonanza was held on Friday, April 15 at the Surprise Stadium. This event is an opportunity for us to recognize the great men and women who keep our city safe. It was so good to see the department and their families enjoy themselves. After the event, I hosted my monthly chat at the Community Center in the Retreat of Arizona Traditions. I was pleased with the attendance.

As a reminder, I do hold my meetings the third Friday of each month at this location at 7 pm. I will not have a meeting in June or July.

We visited the folks at the Surprise Swap Meet that was held at the Aquatic Center on Saturday, April 16. There were many vendors present. The money earned from selling these spaces is utilized by the city to sponsor a Christmas party for the senior citizens each year.

Several Council Members and I attended the Surprise Fire-Medical Department’s 11th Annual Awards Ceremony on Thursday, April 21 at the Surprise Stadium. The ceremony recognizes members and their achievements over the last year. This year, the award recipients included: Firefighter Mike Meadors (Firefighter of the Year); Firefighter Steven James (EMT of the Year); Captain Forrest Koontz, Engineer Nathan Perkins, Firefighter James Ruff and Firefighter Jeff Thomas (Company of the Year); Firefighter Louis D’Angelo (Paramedic of the Year); Battalion Chief Scott Smith and Senior Financial Analyst Kim Drabik (Chief’s Award); Battalion Chief Autry Cheatham (Perry Award – for epitomizing the department’s values). Several individual citations were also given to deserving staff, and several volunteers were recognized for the valuable time.

2016 SFM Annual Awards Ceremony
Pictured with Fire Chief Tom Abbott are Firefighter of the Year Mike Meadors and members of Engine Co. 301-C Shift

For the third time over the last year, several members of City Council congregated to network and discuss the West Valley at the third West Valley Council to Council Mixer in Avondale on April 21. This event began last year and was initiated by our very own Councilwoman Rachel Villanueva. Attending from Surprise were Council Members Rachel Villanueva, Skip Hall, Todd Tande and me. Overall, six cities were represented. The City of Buckeye is scheduled to host the next event.
The next day, I attended the Northwest Valley Connect Advisory Board meeting. As a member of this Board, we try to make sure everyone who needs transportation has a ride since we don’t have an adequate transit system in Surprise. The lack of transit is a problem for many residents which directly relates to my attendance at the Maricopa Association of Government (MAG) hearing on transit in the Valley on Wednesday, April 27. I testified before the Committee in Phoenix as to the disappointing fact that the West Valley has virtually no transit system, and we are long overdue. The taxpayers in the Valley voted on Proposition 400 for transportation; however, the funds from Prop 400 were never invested in transit for the West Valley. It is very frustrating for me that a city of our size has no transit system!

NWVCAB Meeting

April was a very busy month, as is May. I look forward to speaking to you next month. In the meantime, be good to yourself and be good to each other!

My best to you,

Councilman Roland F. Winters Jr.

May 2015 • Newsletter

Greetings to all of my District 1 residents and hello to everyone who lives in this great City of Surprise!

I began my April with a visit to the Desert Oasis block party on April 4.  What a wonderful bunch of friendly families that live in the northeastern area of District 1.  It was a beautiful day for a block party.  The party featured bounce houses, fantastic food, a nice group of Surprise Police cadets, and of course, our wonderful Surprise Fire-Medical personnel from Fire Station 304 (on 163rd Avenue) who brought fire hats for the children that were present.

Desert Oasis Block Party 2015
CM Winters with Kids at Desert Oasis

 

The City’s Employee Appreciation Committee hosted an ice cream social for our employees on April 9 in the City Council Chambers.  I really enjoy attending these events to acknowledge our extraordinary, hardworking staff.  A number of well-deserved awards were distributed by our City Manager, Bob Wingenroth.  The City is truly lucky to have Mr. Wingenroth; he truly is a servant leader.

Andrea-Villagomez with City Manager
David-Kohlbeck with City Manager

City Manager Award

My wife and I attended the last “Second Sundays in the Park” on Sunday, April 12.  These events will return in the fall when the weather isn’t as hot.  Second Sundays in the Park is always entertaining, and it’s a great way to relax on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.  If you have never been to one of these events, you should consider it.  Different music is played at each event through the season.

On Wednesday, April 16, I attended the WESTMARC Economic Development Summit at the Wigwam Resort.  There was a panel discussion that included another outstanding employee, Mike Hoover.  Not only was Mr. Hoover a panelist, he was also emcee of the event.  He is a knowledgeable young man who was very instrumental in getting IRIS to build their Western Regional office in Surprise.  A big thank you to him for all he does for us!

The Surprise Police Department hosted the Surprise Police Appreciation Bonanza at Surprise Stadium on Friday, April 17.  This event was amazing and such a touching way to show appreciation, not only to the officers who put their lives on the line for us each and every day, but to the families of those officers as well.  Rick D’Amico from Fox 10 News served as the emcee.  Congratulations to all of the Police staff who were also recognized for their hard work and service.

Officer Mulligan
Police Chief Frazier with Office Mulligan
Kim Davies - Civilian of the Year
Police Chief Frazier with Kim Davies
Officer Filler - Supervisor of the Year
Police Chief Frazier with Officer Filler

 

Saturday, April 18, was a busy day for me and the City!  The Surprise Swap Meet was held at the Surprise Aquatic Center.  It was well attended!  Later in the day, WHAM hosted the Recycled Arts & Youth Festival at their headquarters on Dysart Road near Grand Avenue.  The turn-out was huge!  All of the displayed art work was made with recycled material.  Food trucks and classic cars were also on site.  I need to acknowledge Fred and Kathy Shokohi who cleared their vacant lot so those attending the event had a place to park at no charge and WHAM was not charged either.  What a great way to work together for the residents of our City!

WHAM hosted the Recycled Arts and Youth Festival

Councilman Hall, Councilman Tande and I attended a celebration of the completion of the Mountain Vista Ranch Well.  The new well was built in the residential area of Mountain Vista Ranch.  This new well pumps 1,500 gallons a minute.  Director of Water Resource Management Terry Lowe and his team did such a fantastic job on this project.  I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the cooperation of the HOA Board at Mountain Vista Ranch, as well as the Community Manager, Misty Laxson, and residents of the community for their patience during the construction.  Additionally, thank you to those involved with the construction of the well.

Mountain Vista Well Group Photo
Mountain Vista Well

 

City Council was invited to attend a volunteer appreciation lunch at Arizona Charter Academy on Friday, April 24.  Melissa Holdaway, COO, and her team of teachers at ACA do such a wonderful job educating our youth!

On Thursday, April 30, elected officials and staff celebrated the retirement of Shaughna Vaughan, an employee of the City since 2006.  It was a wonderful turnout!  Please join me in wishing Ms. Vaughan a happy and healthy retirement.

Shauna Vaughan

Surprise Farms Park Update: Construction on Surprise Farms Park improvements begin the week of May 11. Residents will first see the installation of temporary construction fencing and the addition of construction trailers. The improvements, including our city’s first skate park, are expected to be complete in later October. Call Project Manager Michael Boule if you have any questions at 623.222.7040.

Lastly, I want to alert you that I will not host a monthly meeting in the months of July, August and September; hence, my last meeting until October will be in June.  My newsletters will continue each month.

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

My Best,

Roland F. Winters Jr.
Councilman for District 1