A big shout out to all my fellow neighbors in District 1 and to all the residents of this beautiful City that we call home! It is already November, and the holidays will be quickly approaching. October was a busy month for me with so many exciting things happening in Surprise.
I attended the GAIN Night at 8 Acre Park on Friday, October 2 with hundreds of my fellow Surprise residents! I’d like to thank all the folks who work for the City for being there with all their equipment they work with every day, especially our Surprise Police, Fire and Public Works Departments as well as all the rest of our wonderful city employees that make Surprise such a great place in which to live. Everyone had a very enjoyable evening.
On October 8, I attended the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) dinner at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix. The City of Surprise has an important partnership with GPEC. GPEC helps us find companies to come to Surprise and provide jobs for our citizens so we can become a sustainable city. We would like our residents to live, play and work in Surprise.
The first Farmer’s Market in Surprise occurred on Saturday, October 10 at the totally remodeled AZ TechCelerator (12425 W. Bell Road), and we had a good crowd with music by John Yaeger and his band.
The Surprise Farms V block party was on October 11, and Muriel Gutierrez (one of our staff members) was there with the Surprise block party trailer. The residents at Surprise Farms V were fantastic. I greatly appreciated their hospitality. The event was well organized and well attended.
On Saturday, October 18, we all gathered at the Roy Villanueva Recreation Complex to honor former Mayor & City Councilman Villanueva. In memory of him, a bronze plaque was unveiled in his name. The remainder of the day was spent enjoying the second annual Surprise Fiesta Grande in the Original Town Site (OTS) with fantastic music, a car show and a lot of fantastic food. If you have never attended the Fiesta you should try to attend next year to enjoy the City’s wonderful heritage.
My wife and I attended the Surprise Farms II block party on Sunday, October 18. The block party trailer was in full swing. This is such an asset to our City, and it is no charge to our residents!
Surprise Police Officer Jim Reznik retired from the Surprise Police Department on October 22. Councilman Skip Hall, Councilwoman Rachel Villanueva and I attended his retirement ceremony hosted by Surprise Police Chief Terry Young. Officer Reznik began his employment with the Surprise Marshal’s Office in September 1987. Throughout his career, Jim was assigned to the Field Operations Division, the Criminal Investigations Division and the DEA Task Force. Chief Young did a fantastic job showing his and his department’s appreciation for not only Officer Reznik, but all of the men and women who put their lives on the line on a daily basis to serve and protect the residents of Surprise. I would like to Congratulate Officer Reznik on his retirement and thank him for his service!
The same evening, I was invited to say a few words at the city’s HOA Academy. It was great to see so many of our residents who want to increase their knowledge of our city and their respective communities.
On Thursday, October 22, City Manager Bob Wingenroth had an Employee Appreciation Day and all the employees were invited for lunch on the lawn of City Hall. It was an incredible event! It was so nice to see the many awards given to employees for going above and beyond!
If you weren’t aware, the City received a prestigious Emmy® award in the Public Service Announcement category at the 2015 Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards on October 17. The winning video, titled Hot Cars Can Kill, was part of a life-saving multi-media campaign created to remind everyone to check their cars for children and pets before exiting a vehicle to prevent overheating deaths. This video also received an award from National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) during their Government Programming Awards in September. The video took second place in the Public Service Announcement Category behind another City of Surprise video, Shop Surprise, Shape Surprise, which encourages people to shop local businesses to keep their tax dollars at home and supporting public safety, and street and park maintenance.
I also attended the Desert Oasis annual HOA meeting on October 22 to provide an update on things happening in this great city. The meeting was well attended, and I learned that 150 additional homes were sold in that community. The biggest concerned raised at the meeting is the lack of access; there is one way in and one way out of the community (163rd). The city is aware of the problem.
Benevilla hosted their annual Harvest Festival on October 23. There were plenty of people in attendance enjoying the pumpkin patch, music, food and much more. It was a beautiful evening to mingle with the residents. A special thank you to Benevilla for this event!
I attended the Parkview Elementary School PTA block party on Saturday, October 24 as part of their efforts to raise money for school supplies.
Rio Salado College Lifelong Learning Center hosted an event highlighting the international experiences of 10-15 of their adult students who have relocated from a foreign country to Surprise. They explained how they came to the United States, the hardships they endured and the hurdles they continue to climb here.
I was invited to attend the Surprise Farms V HOA meeting last month. It was only their second HOA Board meeting since they are a new community. They have the tools to be a very successful HOA.