A big shout out to my friends in District 1 and to all of the Surprise residents. September started off with a bang and found me at our local Wal-Mart store on Bell Road at 7:30 a.m. for a great need, and that is to help our public schools with donations because they are underfunded. The program that is done every year is called “Fill the Bus.” A school in Surprise is chosen to be the recipient. The Surprise Youth Foundation was there to help with its President Jim Conner and Vice President Ken Johanson. Surprise City Manager Bob Wingenroth was also there. David Hamiam is the manager of that Wal-Mart which donated a lot of school supplies, including a computer. Also present, was the Principal of Kingswood Park School, Jeremy St. Jermain. This school was chosen to receive the school supplies this year. I would be remiss if I did not thank the Wal-Mart customers who donated many school supplies. There were 10-15 baskets filled before we were finished. Thanks to all who made this possible. See you next year!
Tuesday, September 5 was the first Tuesday of the month, so there was the City Council Work Session at 4 p.m. followed by our Council Meeting at 6 p.m., where we take action.
Friday night, September 8, found me at my regular second Friday of the month meeting for my constituents to visit, ask questions, or just chat. It is very informal, and we have good cookies. My next meeting will be October 13 at 7 p.m. in The Retreat Community Center at Arizona Traditions, 18250 W. Weatherby Drive. At the gate, just press “0” four times and tell the guard you are there for my meeting.
There was a meeting and tour of Central Arizona Project’s (CAP) headquarters in North Phoenix on September 13, and it was amazing to see the way water is brought out to Arizona from the Colorado River. The control room shows the entire process as the water rolls down the canal, through the pumps, to get here, Tucson and beyond.
Thursday, September 14 found me in a meeting with our staff and some residents who live north of Jomax Road, where our roads are in a miserable state, and I understand their frustration. The problem in that area is that it has a lot of private land owners, and it is very difficult to get right-of-way to put good roads in and to maintain the roads that are there. Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) has a grant program that I am trying to get some money from, but unless, and until, some of the folks up there give the right-of-way to the city, we can’t do much. We have to obtain a number of right-of-ways, and there are a few hold outs, so if you are one of these owners who has not given the city right-of-way yet, please reconsider. Your property will increase in value with those roads there.
I visited Fire Station 305 on Saturday, September 16, to say hi to our great first responders. Each fire house is hosting an open house this fall, and there are a couple left to attend; so take some time and visit your local fire house, and say hi to these men and women who protect your life and property. Here is the schedule: http://bit.ly/2cofigc.
Later that same day, I attended the picnic at the Senior Center to enjoy hamburgers and hot dogs. That event was put on by Councilman Ken Remley whose district it is in. Thanks Ken! It was a great time.
I met with staff and the folks who wrote our Library Study, so in the future we might see a remodeled library on Bullard Ave and a new branch library in the Northwest area of my district.
On Thursday, September 21, I was honored to be at the Veterans of Foreign War Post 96 meeting. The post sent seven young men from Willow Canyon High School to Boys State, where they learn about civic engagement and go through scenarios in civic government. These classes are held at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. These seven high school students were very polite and very grateful to post 96 for the opportunity.
Wednesday, September 27 found me at a ribbon cutting for Sycamore Farms at Cactus Road and the 303. Richmond is the builder and had three models on display that looked really nice.
On September 28, I had a meeting at Benevilla since I am on the Northwest Valley Connect Advisory Committee. This 501(c)3 organization finds rides for folks to doctor appointments, dental appointments, etc. who cannot get a ride for whatever reason. This organization is headed up by Cathy Chandler.
Friday, September 29, I was at the award luncheon for the people who volunteer to work for Benevilla to help in every way they can, like bringing lunch and dinner to the elderly and infirmed, volunteering at Benevilla, and driving people if they need a ride. It was a chance to thank all these folks who give their valuable time.
It was a great day in Surprise on Saturday, September 30 when we dedicated the park in Surprise Farms as “Dick McComb City Park” in honor of all the work that Dick McComb did for this city in the ten years that he was city manager. I want to thank my fellow council members; the vote was unanimous. I also want to thank our Community and Recreation Services team, including Director Donna Miller and Assistant Director Paul Frie, for their work; and I want to thank Public Works Director Mike Gent and his crew. It was great to see all of the support from our great staff in Surprise. Now, we also have some shade structures up which will make it more pleasant for kids to play in the park.
Before I close this month, how about our 8-Acre Park on Bullard Avenue? The fence is going up, and I think it looks great! It is almost finished. All these improvements are a matter of quality of life for our residents. We had a little money left over last year, and the Council said: what better way to use it, if not for the betterment of our neighborhoods.
Until next month, be good to yourselves, and be good to each other.
Roland F. Winters Jr.