District 1 Councilmember and Vice Mayor Roland F. Winters Jr. speaks with Sue Larkin of Altrusa International of the West Valley about Read On Arizona and their partnership with the Friends of Surprise Libraries, and with Donna Miller, City of Surprise Parks and Recreation Director, on the new Asante Library.
A big shout out to all the residents of this great city of Surprise. Our population is quickly growing, and I believe we will easily reach 150,000 in 2020. June was a pretty busy month.
On June 4, we had our City Council Work Session at 4:00 p.m., followed by our City Council meeting at 6:00 p.m. There was a lot going on, not the least of which was the annexation of over a thousand acres in the northwest part of my district. There were many residents at the meeting who were opposed to it, and I can certainly see some of their issues.
Wednesday, June 5, I was at the ribbon cutting of a new phase of Marley Park. This is a great development with large houses, huge pool, nice community center and a basketball court. There is also a number of models to choose from.
Thursday, June 6, found me at the Boards and Commissions Selection Committee meeting at 5:00 p.m. This meeting was held to choose a candidate for a newly opened seat on the Veterans, Disability and Human Services Commission. I serve on this committee, alongside Councilmembers Remley and Sanders. The committee made their selection, and Council approved Larry Brown to fill the seat.
On Saturday, June 8, there was a great event for Jo Jo Collins, who is the daughter of a constituent, Charles Collins. Jo Jo has a rare disease called PURA Syndrome. She is in a wheelchair and is non-verbal. The event was set up to raise awareness for the special needs community, as well as to pull together the resources that are available in our city that connect special needs groups. If you are interested in being involved, please contact Charles at email@example.com.
On Thursday, June 13, I was at a ribbon cutting with Councilmember Judd. We welcomed a new dental office, Breez Dental, which is located at 15331 W. Bell Road. The grand opening had a number of people in attendance. Welcome to Surprise, Dr. Whitney Sebree.
Friday, June 14 at 10:00 a.m. found me in the Friends of the Surprise Libraries meeting where I gave a presentation on the progress of the new Asante Library. This library is going to be a beautiful building located in the northwest area of my district. I am looking forward to seeing the finished product.
As long as we are talking about new buildings going up in District 1, how about our new Abrazo Community Health Center which will be located next to Winco? This small micro-hospital will offer a 24-hour emergency department as well as minor surgery, imaging, labs, pharmacy and other outpatient services. It is scheduled to open in spring of 2020.
We had another great ribbon cutting in the afternoon of Friday, June 14 with the opening of the Hilton Garden Inn on Young Street. The entire City Council attended. This is our first full service hotel in Surprise, and it is a good option for dinner. Needless to say, there was plenty of food at this event.
On Monday, June 17, I had the honor to be in Goodyear for the swearing in ceremony of their newly elected councilmember, as well as returning councilmembers. Goodyear is a nice city, just a short distance to the south of us, and they seem to attract large companies to join their ranks.
Tuesday, June 18, was the afternoon of our City Council Work Session and evening of our City Council meeting, where action is taken.
Thursday, June 20, found me in the Valley Metro Board of Directors meeting at 101 N. 1st Street in Phoenix. This board is made up of a number of Mayors, Vice Mayors and Councilmembers from various cities and towns throughout Maricopa County. One agenda item was the election of officers. Councilman Jon Edwards, from Peoria, was appointed treasurer.
Monday, June 24, was another great ground breaking ceremony at Surprise Regional Library for the Veterans Reflection Circle in honor of Brian Mancini. We had a ceremony inside, and it had a large turn out with comments from those who knew Brian, companies that volunteered their service to build the memorial, and comments from Mayor Hall. There are going to be over 30 companies or individuals donating time, effort, and skills to accomplish this project. Following the ceremony, we all went outside to the actual groundbreaking. The committee that planned the memorial, Honor House, wanted it by the lake because Brian liked fishing and loved the outdoors. It will also have a garden and benches so anyone can come relax and reflect.
On June 25th at 9 a.m., I was at Red Mountain Active Adult Center in Mesa to listen to a presentation from Valley Metro. They want to start a Ride Choice System similar to the system we have in Surprise. While this is commendable, and I support this program, I only hope it will be more effective than ours has been.
That same day, I attended a celebration at the café in City Hall, to celebrate Dr. Dennis Tyner on his newly accepted role as President of OUAZ. He really works hard for that school, and deserves the promotion. I look forward to the future of Ottawa University and congratulate Dr. Tyner.
I found myself at another ribbon cutting on June 27 at the Office Max store on Bell Road. Office Max and Office Depot (same company), formed a partnership with Lenovo California Computer Company, and they had a display right in the front part of the store. Councilmembers Nancy Hayden and Ken Remley were also present. Mayor Hall had a conflict in his schedule, so I welcomed Lenovo to Surprise. I think the Mayor would have done a better job. This arrangement is called a store within a store; there is only one other like it in Florida.
On the same afternoon, I was at yet another ribbon cutting at the Park at Surprise, which is a large independent living facility on Parkwood Drive. A crowd was there with plenty of food for all.
Friday June 18, I had a great tour of the O’Dell Athletic Center at Ottawa University, along with Councilmembers Judd and Hayden, and Mayor Hall. Thanks to Haydon Construction and Patrick (our tour guide) for the opportunity to see the interior of the athletic center before it is completed. From the outside, it does not look very large, but inside, it is huge – with a fitness center, and basketball courts with concert lighting and a stage that can transform the space for events. Thanks to Ottawa University for transforming the City of Surprise.
My next meeting will be on July 12 at 7:00 p.m. in the Community Center at Arizona Traditions, 18250 W Weatherby Drive. Please press 0000 and tell the guard you are going to my meeting, and he will open the gate.
My August meeting will be on August 9 at the same location and same time. It is an opportunity to give feedback on what you would like to see in our new downtown. Scott Phillips, the Vice-President of the Property Owners Consortium, will be there to guide us through the process and answer questions you may have.
One last thought I will leave you with, and that is thanks to the citizens of Surprise for allowing me the honor of being your Vice Mayor. Be good to yourself and be good to each other.
Roland Winters Jr.