The City of Surprise Fiscal Year 2019 budget-building process kicked off at the City Council’s Work Session, 4 p.m., Tuesday, February 6.
This was the first in a series of presentations regarding the overall development of the budget. The first presentation provided a general overview of the city’s budget, including revenue sources, city funds and expenditures.
The presentation also highlighted outside issues that influence the outcomes of the budget process. View presentation.
Future Council Work Sessions and Regular Meetings will include additional presentations related to budget development, including topics on Capital Improvement Projects and continued operating budget discussions. The Recommended Budget is scheduled for release in April, followed by months of Council and public review that will result in the adoption of a balanced FY2019 budget in June. FY2019 begins July 1, 2018.
Council agendas are posted online at http://agenda.surpriseaz.gov at least two business days before the meeting. City Council meets the first and third Tuesdays of each month. Work Sessions are at 4 p.m. and Regular Meetings begin at 6 p.m. All meetings are carried live on Surprise TV for cable customers and streamed online at www.surpriseaz.gov/surpriseTV.
A big shout out to all my neighbors in District 1 and to all in Surprise! Happy February! This will be an exciting six to seven months with some of our projects gearing up and five council seats due for election or re-election, including District 1. Election Day will be held on August 28 so get registered and get on the list to receive a mail-in ballot.
The Council canceled our first meeting in January until January 16 since the second was right after New Year’s Day, but January 9 found me at the first MAG Economic Development Committee meeting of the new year up in Phoenix and things were busy all month. On January 10, I attended the Governor’s State of the State address that was hosted by WESTMARC. I was encouraged to hear he is going to increase education spending in his budget. Thursday, January 11 found me at a meeting at Sundown Elementary School for a citizen outreach meeting to inform residents of a new development going up in the northwest area of District 1. Friday night, the 12th, was my regular 2nd Friday Night Chat at the Community Center in the Retreat at Arizona Traditions. I want to take this opportunity to thank Neal Nassano and his team for letting me use that venue.
Saturday, January 13, was a great day of celebration and service as the city rallied hundreds of residents to the City Hall commons with entertainers and speakers to acknowledge Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and all he did peacefully to change our nation. As he said, “Anybody can be great because anybody can serve.” This was our second celebration and service event and it only gets better thanks to the volunteers!
Tuesday, January 16 found me at our Council Workshop at 4 pm followed by our Regular City Council meeting. We also had a Special City Council meeting on January 23 to hear from the six people who want to be appointed to the District 2 seat through the end of this calendar year. Council is scheduled to vote on the appointment at our February 6 meeting. For the remainder of the District 2 term, this seat will be up for the August 28th election.
I was in a meeting at the new memory care facility on Parkview called “Surprise Memory Care”, very nicely done building and interiors.
I had the pleasure to attend the Northwest Ranch HOA meeting on Thursday, January 18 to present the Board with a check to replace some trees that were breaking up the sidewalks in that community. The city has a grant process where any citizen can apply for a grant to improve their neighborhood. If anyone is interested in applying, please contact Jodi Tas at 623.222.1330. I also brought with me Public Works Assistant Director Karl Zook to discuss Fire Station 304 for District 1 that passed with the bond.
On the date of Sunday, January 21, we had the sad duty to say goodbye to Councilman Jim Hayden who died after a short illness on December 20, 2017. His celebration of life was held at the Kiva Ballroom at Sun City Grand. The ballroom was filled to capacity with many speakers from all different parts of Jim’s many experiences from the Air Force, Glendale Fire Department, Glendale Community College and Surprise City government. Jim was well liked and received many accolades. His wife Nancy received two flags, one from a grateful nation given by Luke Air Force Base and the other from Glendale Fire Department. My warmest regards to Nancy and the entire Hayden family.
Wednesday evening, January 24 found me at the Asante HOA meeting with Public Works Assistant Director Karl Zook for another Fire Station 304 update for the folks up there who are happy they will finally get a permanent fully-staffed fire station, thanks to the voter-approved General Obligation Bond Election last November. I also asked Water Resource Management Director Terry Lowe to educate the residents on the ballot measure and special election this May to request permission of the voters to purchase the Circle City Water Company by selling existing water assets. This initiative ensures the city’s ability to provide water services now and into the future, by growing our water supply by nearly 40%.
Thursday, January 25 found me at the Northwest Valley Connect Advisory Committee meeting. We heard a very interesting presentation about autonomous vehicles from MAG Transportation Director Eric Anderson. I guess they are on their way and, ready or not, it looks like about five years according to Mr. Anderson. The hope is that the accident rates will decline since there won’t be any human error and insurance rates will drop.
We had a great groundbreaking at the Colonnade for their new assisted living/memory support facility on Friday, January 26. The Colonnade is located at 19116 Colonnade Way. The assisted living facility will have 26 apartments (24 one-bedroom and 2 two-bedroom), while the memory support facility will have 24 studio apartments. The buildings will be connected by a common entry and a shared kitchen. The building should be complete in December 2018. After the event, everyone went to a nice lunch on the lawn area of the Colonnade. It was a very nice event!
Sunday, January 28, I took the day off and went to hear the Surprise POPS Band at Valley Vista High School, and they are always great. That day was the music of big bands, the thirties and forties, Glen Miller, Louie Armstrong, etc. If you have not been there to enjoy their music, it is absolutely worth your time and the price is just canned food donations for the food bank.
Before I close this newsletter, I just want to bring you up to date on the Vietnam Moving Wall that I’ve been working to bring to Surprise. I want to personally thank Jodi Tas for all of her help in getting this wall here. I also want to thank Donna Miller, Paul Frie, the CRS team and all the others behind the scenes. Don’t miss your chance to see it July 5 – 9 in Surprise. Look for specific location details closer to the event dates.