Greetings to all of my fellow District 1 residents! I must apologize for being a tad late with my newsletter this month. A trip to California and several meetings led to the unfortunate delay. October was such a busy month for me. I’ll try my best to make sure you are aware of the happenings in the District and the City as a whole.
I continue to receive questions pertaining to WINCO. “What is happening with WINCO?” seems to be the most frequent question. The attorneys who represent the group opposing WINCO issued a halt to the construction for 60 days. Due to legalities, I am unable to share further information but I will be waiting along with you for construction to resume.
October 1st was a great day in Surprise! We had another grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for a new restaurant, Kneader’s Bakery. Kneader’s Bakery is located on Bell Road. Jim Hipp is the operating partner for this location. If you haven’t tried Kneader’s yet, I encourage you to do so. Mr. Hipp and his team are very attentive to their customers and the food is fantastic!
The City hosted our quarterly HOA Summit on October 2nd. The Summit was well attended by residents and HOA Board Members who wanted to learn more about the City. Several City departments were represented including the Surprise Police Department, Water Resource Management, Public Works, Economic Development, Code Enforcement and Neighborhood Services.
I was honored to attend the Opening Ceremony of the Moving Wall that was hosted in Estrella Mountain Ranch in Goodyear. The Moving Wall is a half-size traveling replica of the Washington D.C. Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The monument was created by Vietnam veterans to share the powerful experience of visiting the memorial with those who may never have the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. I was truly touched to be part of the moving Ceremony as I was also able to see my cousin’s name on the wall, “Cristopher M. Winters”. He was killed by enemy fire in the jungles of Vietnam. I also attended the Closing Ceremony held a few days later on October 6th. Both ceremonies had many dignitaries and patriotic music.
The Surprise Fiesta Grande was held on October 4th. I was at the event for the entire day. It was such a great event to celebrate the heritage of this incredible City. In addition to the Fiesta festivities, the Roy Villanueva Dedication Ceremony was held earlier that day. City Council approved the renaming of the recreation area in the Original Town Site (OTS) that houses Gaines Park, Surprise Senior Center, Hollyhock Pool, Villanueva Recreation Center and Hollyhock library to the Roy Villanueva Community and Recreation Complex. Roy had done so much for the City of Surprise to make it the great City it is today. Roy served on the City Council for many years as a Councilman, Vice Mayor and Mayor.
On the evening of Thursday, October 9th, I attended the GPEC (Greater Phoenix Economic Council) Annual Awards Dinner. The City of Surprise works closely with GPEC to bring economic development to our fine City. Surprise began as a bedroom community, but we want more than that for Surprise. We want to be a sustainable, independent city so that the 90% of residents leaving our City everyday can find work here.
Members of the Surprise Police Department were waiting tables alongside the staff at Red Robin in Surprise to raise money for the Special Olympics during the annual “Tip-A-Cop” event on October 11th. Tips earned from the event were donated to Special Olympics Arizona. This is such a wonderful event! If you’ve ever noticed, our Fire-Medical and Police Departments do not just extinguish fires and issue tickets; they are very engaged in the community they protect. We are lucky to have such charitable staff!
Of course we are still working on Surprise Farms Park and we spent numerous hours on Wednesday, October 15th at a public meeting to gather input from residents on design plans. Surprise youth also participated by meeting with SITE Design Group, Inc. in a skate park workshop. We received invaluable feedback during the meeting from the youth and residents. For anyone who has not seen the artist renditions of the skate park, we have received nothing but positive comments. I think the kids will love it and it will be a fabulous addition to Surprise Farms Park.
On Thursday, October 16th, I attended the first of three Community Conversations with Mayor Wolcott. The Mayor formed these meetings to create open dialogue with Surprise residents. This particular town hall-styled meeting was held at Sun City Grand, Cimarron Center and it was well attended.
I had my regular Friday Night Chat on October 17th at the Retreat Community Center in Arizona Traditions. I have been remiss in extending a thank you to Arizona Traditions for allowing me to hold my meetings at their facility. Thank you! I have my monthly meetings on the third Friday of the month. In November, my meeting will be held at 7 pm on Friday, November 21st at the Retreat Community Center, 18250 W. Weatherby. When you arrive at the gate, press 0 four times and inform the guard you are there to attend my Chat. Everyone is welcome to attend and express their concerns or just chat with me.
The Asante community hosted their HOA block party on Saturday, October 18th. This neighborhood will have 7,000 homes one day but right now, it is fairly small with a bunch of fabulous residents! Many of the faces I seen were familiar since I campaigned in the community in July of last year. I really enjoy attending the block parties since it’s such a great way to meet my constituents. Jeff Martin from Neighborhood Services was also there with our City’s party trailer.
I was invited to speak to the residents at the Desert Oasis HOA Meeting on Monday, October 27th. I was met with a warm reception. I received many questions some of which I was happy to answer and others that I arranged for City staff to answer. The hot button for some was the fact that this community only has one road to utilize to get in and out of their neighborhood, but my hope is that we can rectify this issue soon.
As you can see, October was another busy month for me! I want to leave you with my very best wishes that you and yours have a happy Thanksgiving holiday. Be good to yourself and be good to others!
Councilman Roland F. Winters Jr.