Well hello to everyone in District One, and indeed to all the residents in this great city where we have the privilege to live. Well, here we are at the beginning of a new year; and ready or not, here it comes. In retrospect, 2018 was definitely a year of change, the mayor resigned, we got a new mayor, new city manager, new assistant city manager, two deputy city managers, and a new council member was elected to District 6. Then, to kick off 2019, Council appointed David Sanders to the District 5 council seat, which was vacated after Skip Hall was appointed Mayor. Sanders’ term expires December 31, 2020, and the remainder of the four-year term will be placed on the next scheduled council election in August 2020.
December started off with a bang, with our annual celebration of the holiday season, and what a great party it was. There were record crowds despite the cold temperatures. I still miss the elephants. This was also the first time our new mayor got to light the beautiful Christmas tree, and he did a great job.
December 4th found me in the council work shop at 4pm and the council meeting at 6pm. On December 5th, most of the council attended a ribbon cutting at Café Rio, at 13968 W. Waddell Road. The food was excellent and the service was great, so now we have the choice of another restaurant. On December 8th, there was a great Christmas party at the AZ TechCelerator for the public. Everyone had a good time.
On Monday, December 10th, we had a meeting with some members of our Arts Advisory Commission in our conference room to explore a new art project that the commission wants to pursue.
Tuesday, December 11th, you found me at a North West Valley Connect Meeting at the old City Hall. The group is made up of many West Valley leaders who have formed a grass roots collation to try and solve the constituent problem of the lack of public transportation. The coalition was awarded a federal grant to do a study for a connectivity solution for the West Valley.
The Colonnade was the venue this year for our annual Senior Center Christmas Party, and what a good time they had. The nice thing is that the cost of this party is paid for by the folks who buy vendor spots at the Surprise Super Swap Meet each spring.
Every year, the city puts on a Christmas Party for the employees who work for the city, and everyone has a great time with entertainment, games, and awards given out. I believe it is a great morale booster. After the party, I had my monthly meeting with the City Manager.
On Friday December 14th, I attended the Christmas Party held every year at Dream Catcher Park for the developmentally and physically disabled athletes who don’t dwell on what they can’t do, but work on what they can do. Most of the disabled kids who were there go to the Dysart School District. Everyone had a great time.
Later that same day, I was at the ribbon cutting for the opening of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Local office at 13985 W Grand Avenue. They remodeled the existing building, so we have one less empty building in Surprise. Later that day, I had my meeting at Arizona Traditions with a number of people in attendance.
On December 18th, we had a meeting with Valley Metro staff to try and iron out problems with our new Ride Choice program. It is getting better, it will just take some time.
Wednesday December 19th, I was able to set up a meeting between some of the constituents in the Northwest part of my district and city staff members to try and find a solution for repairing the roads in that area. We agreed not to pave Dynamite Road, but concentrate on getting the right of ways for Dale Lane to get that road fixed. The city is going to do the surveying for anyone on Dale Lane that may want it at no charge with no strings attached.
Well I will close my newsletter for this month, but before I do, I just want to say I am very optimistic for 2019, and the work this new council will get done along with our staff. I hope all of our citizens in Surprise have a great New Year and a healthy New Year.
Be good to yourself and be good to each other.
Roland F. Winters Jr.
District 1 Councilmember