Hello to everyone who calls this beautiful city home. Well, it’s March already and time just keeps on flying by. At my first meeting of the month, a couple of folks from a billboard company attended to discuss potential billboard signage in Surprise. I would just like to take an informal survey among our citizens. How do you feel about billboards along Loop 303 or Grand Avenue? I would like to get some feedback from the folks I represent at the table; just call or email me your opinion.
On the evening of Saturday, February, 3, I was at the Wigwam for a Benevilla fundraiser. Benevilla does some great work for our elderly and day care for our young families so our hardworking parents can go to work and put food on the table. It was a very successful event.
Tuesday morning, February 6, found me at my once a month meeting in Phoenix for my Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) Economic Development Committee meeting. This Committee is made up of elected officials, business leaders, and others from across the valley.
Then that same afternoon, City Council held their Work Session at 4 pm, followed by the City Council meeting at 6 pm. The meeting is where the action is taken.
On Wednesday morning, February 7, Willow Canyon High School hosted a town hall meeting in the auditorium with former Canadian Prime Minister, John Turner. Mr. Turner was visiting Surprise to support the idea of having Canadians come to Surprise during the winter months to have their medical procedures done rather than tough out the snow and cold in Canada, especially when they might have a possibility of slipping on the ice after a knee or hip replacement.
February 9 was my regular 2nd Friday night meeting at 7pm in the Community Center in Arizona Traditions. We had a large crowd (it must have been the cookies). Discussion included questions about the widening of Greenway Road, and if there was going to be a traffic light at the intersection of Greenway and Northwest Ranch Parkway. As I understand, the answer is yes.
Ottawa University Arizona broke ground on the O’Dell Center for Athletics on Friday, February 16 at the University’s newest residential campus here in Surprise; it was made possible by a $6 million donation from alumni Jim and Jeanne O’Dell. The 35,000 square foot, three-story O’Dell Center for Athletics will be designed to house locker rooms, training facilities, coaches’ offices and student support services. The center will be immediately adjacent to the new Spirit multi-sport athletic field, near the Surprise Civic Center and Recreation Campus, and will include a new press box and entertainment area. Officials expect construction on the O’Dell Center for Athletics to be finished in the fall 2018.
The city is currently conducting a transit study. Please go to www.surpriseaz.gov/transitstudy and let us know your thoughts because, as you know, this city has no transit system for a population of almost 140,000 people. For those of you who do use the transportation system we have to offer, you know it is spotty at best. In the city’s last National Citizen Survey in 2015, residents identified mobility as top priority for Surprise, along with safety and the economy. I hope you will also take a few minutes to fill out the 2018 National Citizens Survey, which is open through March 19. It is available at http://bit.ly/surprise2018.
Wednesday, February 21 found me at Surprise Stadium for Mayor Wolcott’s Welcome Back Luncheon for our Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers. Yes, it’s Spring Training time again, so get your tickets now and enjoy the games. In the afternoon, I had a meeting with some of our Surprise Youth Council and they are a bunch of sharp kids with great questions.
On Thursday, February 22, I attended the Northwest Valley Connect Advisory Committee meeting. We received some good news that Northwest Valley Connect clients were happy with the service that they are getting. If you ever need a ride and can’t get one, call Kathy Chandler at NWC, maybe she can help. There is no charge for service. NWC will call two days before the ride to let you know if they have a driver because all of their drivers are volunteers. I have had good reports from my constituents on their service. They ask for donations, so just mail them a check for whatever you want. Mail any donations to Kathy Chandler, Northwest Valley Connect, 9445 N 99th Ave Peoria, Arizona 85345. You can call (623)282-9304 for a ride. Please let me know about your experience if you try it.
Later that same afternoon, I met with Kendra Pettis, our city’s first Sports and Tourism Director. The new Sports and Tourism Department was launched last fall. I believe this was a really good idea by our City Manager, Bob Wingenroth. The mission of the department is to make Surprise a destination city and not just another city people go through to get to Las Vegas.
I believe I have mentioned previously that I have been working on getting the Vietnam Wall to Surprise, and I finally got a date. It will be here July 5 – July 9. I am hoping to have an opening ceremony with some guest speakers, but we are still putting this all together. We will need some volunteers to build the base for it. I would be remiss if I did not thank Jodi Tas for all the work she has put into this project. I want to thank Donna Miller and the CRS team, and all the folks that have helped from the city. I have used my contingency funds to help pay for the Wall, and I would like to thank Councilmember Hall and Councilmember Duffy for donating some of their contingency funds for this project as well.
Just a reminder to vote! We have Congressional District 8 seat election on April 24. There’s a Special Election on May 15 seeking authorization to purchase a water company. You can get all the details on that election at www.surpriseaz.gov/waterelection. Plus, we have a local election on August 28. The voter registration deadline for the August primary election is July 20. This election will not be a mail ballot only election, but 80 percent of our residents receive mail in ballots now.
Well until next month so long and be good to yourself and be good to others.
Roland F. Winters Jr.
District 1 Councilmember