Well hello to all my friends in District 1 and to all the folks in this great city we call Surprise. The month of November has certainly been a busy one, and a month with some major changes, starting with my own re-election. I want to thank all those voters in District 1 who voted for me and for those folks who did not vote for me, I will work harder the next four years to earn your trust. The other news (as I am sure most of you know), is that Mayor Sharon Wolcott resigned the evening of November 6 and the City Council appointed Skip Hall as the new Mayor of Surprise with a unanimous “yes” vote, which I appreciate. Skip will be a good mayor who has the experience, skill, integrity and compassion for this city. Now, the Council must appoint someone to replace Mayor Hall for his District, District 5, so if you are interested, please go see our City Clerk Sherry Aguilar and pick up an application.
As you probably also know, we lost a great City Manager in Bob Wingenroth in November. Bob has taken Surprise on a great journey these last four years. He was the lead person to bring the developers and the City together and was resolute to get the court case dismissed so we can progress in the development of our 500 acres around City Hall. I personally was very saddened to see Bob leave, but I wish him well. My last meeting with Bob was November 1.
Saturday, November 3 found me at the Sam’s Club parking lot at 9 a.m. for the Surprise Police Department Bike Rodeo. The event shows our little ones how to ride their bikes safely in Surprise. Our great Police Department puts this event on every year, and this year, it was in District 1. I want to thank our sponsors, Build A Bike, which is located in the Kohl’s shopping center in Surprise at 13980 W Bell Road and Phoenix Children’s Hospital. I also want to thank Sergeant Tim Klarkowski and his team for all their hard work. There was a raffle held there, and a 7-year-old girl, Raelyn, was the winner! So on Wednesday, November 14, I met Raelyn, her mom and some of Surprise’s finest at Build A Bike so I could donate a bike to her. Congratulations, Raelyn!
At our first City Council meeting in November, November 6, I had some mixed feelings about being there because it was election night, but I had to be there for city business instead of waiting on the election results. I think if an election falls on a City Council meeting night, we should have the meeting on an alternative night.
Thursday, November 8 found me at Solana at the Park on Parkview. It is an assisted living facility where we were treated to a great veterans celebration leading up to Veterans Day. The program was from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. with Glenn Stark, Army Chief Warrant Officer, retired; the posting of colors by the Surprise Police Department Explorers led by Officer Nate Miller; and Vice Mayor Ken Remley. I want to thank Paige for the photos.
That same night at 6 p.m., I was at a meeting at Sundown Mountain School up in Asante about the Saddlehorn Ranch project up there. By the way, that school will be going back to the Dysart School District because Dysart needs more school space up in that part of my district.
On Friday, November 9, I attended the Veterans Day celebration at Canyon Ridge Elementary School on N. Surprise Farms Loop. I was impressed that all the little ones were so good and followed all the requests of the teachers. I want to thank Dysart Unified School District’s Ryan McGinley for the photos.
We had our Veterans Day Parade on Monday, November 12, and what a great parade it was! Thanks to Donna Miller, Paul Frie, and the entire CRS department for doing such a great job that day. I think next year we should increase the route because of the many more entries being added on the parade.
We had another ground breaking on Wednesday, November 14 where Ottawa University will build a large dormitory for their students, so they will be known as a growing, residential university. I personally am amazed at how Ottawa University is growing, and they are such good neighbors. In their 1st year of competitive play, their football team also went to the Victory Bowl.
I had a meeting with our newest department on Thursday, November 15. The Tourism Department is developing plans to make Surprise a destination city rather than a city you go through on your way to Las Vegas.
That same night we went to the WESTMARC Best of the West awards at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, formerly known as University of Phoenix Stadium. It was a sold-out crowd, and Surprise got 1st place in the Excellence in Innovation category for the Global Concierge program that’s run out of the AZ TechCelerator. We also took second in the Economic Engine award category for our Southwest Railplex. That’s the way guys. Good job!
Friday, November 16 found me at the Autumn Festival at Benevilla on Greasewood St. in the Original Town Site. There were many games and activities for all the kids, including bobbing for apples; and the apples were great. Plus, everyone got a pumpkin. The weather man cooperated with a beautiful day.
I was invited to the Surprise Farms I HOA meeting on Monday, November 19 at 7 p.m., and we had a good attendance of residents. I want to thank Renee Nelson and the rest of the Board for inviting me. It is nice that the Cross Church lets the residents use their facilities to meet.
On Tuesday, November 20, I met with APS in my office before the Council meeting concerning the site lines for the 69K electric lines that are going to be hung in the northwest part of my district. They will be just outside of the city limits, but within the city’s planning area. Then, of course, I had the City Council work session and regular meeting.
On Wednesday, November 21, I had a meeting with Tim Keenan who wants to annex and develop some acreage in the northwest part of District 1.
On Saturday, November 24, we were at the Toyota dealership on Waddell for the Chance Shelter Furry Festival to raise funds to build their shelter. Audra and her team did a great job getting that event together, and I want to thank our Toyota dealership for all their support for the Chance Shelter.
Tuesday evening, November 27, I attended the APS outreach meeting about their new power lines at Desert Oasis Grammar School that did not get much of a turn out. APS had many staff members there to explain the different site plans.
Wednesday morning, November 28, found me at a meeting at the Senior Center to discuss our new Ride Choice program that will start Saturday, December 1. Under the new program, Lyft has joined the providers, Ride Choice cards are no longer needed, and there’s only one number to call – (602)716-2111. Plus, you may choose the provider you want. Let’s hope it works well. Please let me know of your experience with it.
On Thursday, November 29, I was at the North West Valley Connect meeting. This organization will get you a needed ride when you are unable to get a ride from other sources. We are now going to try and change the mindset with Valley Metro and get some transit for the West Valley. It is a fact, where public transit is available, businesses thrive. That same evening was the West Valley Arts Council opening show at the Arts HQ. Bernadette and her team did a great job for the opening.
To start the holiday season off, on Friday night November 30, the Council lit the Christmas tree at Surprise Stadium, and the city’s annual Surprise Party kept going all the next day.
This message is for my friend Barbara up in Desert Oasis. I asked you to send me an e-mail, but I have not received it yet.
A request I received from one of my constituents was to display a reminder of our new code about talking on the phone while driving in Surprise, so I will try getting that up there. The actual citations are $250.00 and our police have started to give them out now.
I want to wish all our residents a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a healthy New Year. Be good to yourselves and be good to each other.
Roland F. Winters Jr.
District 1 Councilmember