I’d like to send a big shout out to all of my District 1 residents. I hope this month’s newsletter finds you well.
One of our most noteworthy updates for District 1 is the start of construction for our new fire station #304 on 163rd Avenue. Our fire crews are finally getting a new facility after all this time in their small single-wide structure. The new fire station is temporary until a permanent brick and mortar building is constructed next door. The new double-wide station will be larger with additional amenities such as air conditioning, which the former station did not have. I have received a few phone inquiries about the status of construction and the project itself. Construction will begin this month with hopes of completion by the end of May or early June at the latest. There will not be an interruption in service during construction (for those of you who reside in the northeast section of District 1). Please feel assured that our wonderful fire department in Surprise will respond rapidly to any emergencies.
While I am on the subject of fire, I am sure most of you know by now that our beloved Fire Chief, Michael White, is retiring at the end of April. There will be a retirement ceremony for him as well as Assistant Chief Clint Mills and Batalion Chief Jackson Bearden in Council Chambers at City Hall on April 30th at 2 pm. Please feel free to stop by and wish them the best on their retirement. Chief White is leaving Surprise with a career spanning 41 years. He has given so much to the City over the years!
I’ve received some emails and phone calls about the maintenance of 163rd Avenue. The responsibility of the maintenance of 163rd Avenue depends on the location. It could be Surprise or it could be Maricopa County. If you would like to know the answer, please provide me with the exact location so I can provide you with accurate information.
I’d like to provide you with a recap of events in District 1 and the City in last month. On March 1st, I attended a work session Saturday, March 1st, put on by the City Attorney’s office covering all things related to the General Plan and development in Surprise. The work session touched on how existing and future zoning, development agreements, infrastructure and platting relate to the General, Strategic and Specific Plans of the city and how the role of the City Council, Planning and Zoning Commission, Board of Adjustment and the Development Team help to establish these plans. It was a very informative session.
On March 3rd, I was very fortunate to meet Russell Wilson, the Superbowl winning quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks. Some of you were able to watch him working out with the Texas Ranger. The Texas Rangers acquired the rights to him in the recent Rule 5 draft. Immediately following the work out and spring training game, Mr. Wilson gave a press conference to several media outlets and the City Council regarding his career and future desires.
On March 11th, Councilman Jim Biundo and I hosted a meet and greet at the Neighborhood Center in Arizona Traditions at 10 am. Since we both represent a part of Traditions, we both participate in the chats the second Tuesday of each month. Everyone is welcome to attend.
The Surprise Police Department hosted their annual picnic on Saturday, March 15th at Heritage Park. Some of our brave officers received a few well deserved awards. The awards given included Officer of the Year (Officer Joseph Kopronica), Rookie of the Year (Officer John Wiehn), Supervisor of the Year (Sergeant Mark Filler), Detective of the Year (Detective Michael Forbrook), and the Civilian Employee of the Year (Records Tech Rebecca Leszcynski). Additionally, a Unit Citation was given to the Support Services Unit. Members of the Unit include Sergeant Jeremy Robertson, Officer Severin Hall, Officer Morgan Bastien, Officer Richard Malone, Officer Steven Shernicoff, Officer Tim Murel, Officer Guadalupe Garcia, Officer Jakob Wagemann, Transport Officer John Jones, Transport Officer Jennifer Daniels, Park Ranger Ron Gottsponer and Animal Control Officers King Campbell, Michael Wilster and Melissa Robbins. The City of Surprise is one of the safest cities in the Valley thanks to our officers who are led by Police Chief Michael Frazier.
Fire Chief Candidate interviews were held on Monday, March 17th. After a full day of interviews by 4 panels, the 5 candidates were able to participate in a meet and greet with residents of Surprise in the Mayor’s Atrium. We were quite pleased with the turn out! One of the candidates was selected as our new Fire Chief. Please join me in welcoming Mr. Tom Abbott from the Tempe Police Department to the City. Mr. Abbott will begin his employment with us on May 1st.
The CTCA PowerShares Classic was held on March 21st. The event featured tennis champs Jim Courier, Michael Chang and Todd Martin. The Surprise Tennis Championships continued on Saturday, March 22nd, during the Sanderson Ford and Lincoln Classic, and highlighted an exclusive Mixed Doubles match with Anna Kournikova, Tracy Austin, Jim Courier, and Todd Martin. I was excited to meet Anna Kournikova. She is still a fantastic tennis player and a very nice young lady.
We had a nice event at the Surprise Stadium for all of the volunteer members of our various Boards & Commissions. Each and every one of them is a valuable asset to our City. They were treated a catered lunch and the game as it was the least we could do for them since they donate so much of their time to make Surprise a great place to live.
There was a meeting on March 27th at the Paradise RV Park. City Council and members of the public were provided with a solution to the Coyote Lakes and 115th Avenue flooding. The cities of Surprise, Peoria and the Flood Control District have teamed up to build storm drains and channels to direct the storm water to the Aqua Fria river bed.
Please don’t forget about the Swap meet at the Aquatic Center April 12; the Community Day at 11:00 AM also on April 12 at 12420 W. Paradise Lane, a Public Hearing before the City Council on Impact Fees on April 15th at City Hall, Art Show at City Hall on April 23rd at 5pm, and many more events happening in Surprise. For more information, please call the City Council office at 623.222.1300 or look at our website at www.surpriseaz.gov.
I will sign off for now! Stay positive and keep smiling!