A big shout out to all the citizens who live in this great city we call Surprise, and a happy September to you all (it’s getting cooler). August 6 at 4 p.m., you found me in the Council Work Session and then Council Meeting at 6 p.m. Surprise has had so much going on the last couple of years, I wanted to show you the size of the book that Councilmembers have to read, study, and comprehend for the Council Meetings (this fork is for scale).
On August 8 at 6 p.m., I was back at City Hall to sit in on a presentation that Scott Phillips made. Scott is the Vice-President of Care Free Partners, which is the company who is working on our city center development. What a presentation it was.
The next day, August 9, I was in the Friends of the Library meeting back at City Hall, and I am always amazed at the great work they do for our school aged children, especially the younger ones.
I had a good meeting on my regular second Friday meeting of the month, and Scott Phillips was a guest speaker. He did a great job again talking about our soon to be downtown. We had a good crowd with approximately 30 people in attendance, and a big thank you to all you folks who took time out of your busy schedules to be there.
I have been getting many emails and phone calls to come out and look at the beautiful dog park at Dick McComb Park, and what a difference it is now that all the lights have been installed. I went over there Saturday, August 10 to see the lights and also visit with the people who go there with their pups. Everyone was so happy with how it turned out, so thank you to Donna Miller, Paul Frie, and the rest of the city’s Parks & Recreation team for a great job. A special thanks to Jeff Martin (one of our city engineers) for being the project manager on the job. I don’t want to miss Rita for keeping me up to date on the progress over there.
On the evening of Wednesday, August 14, my wife and I went to the Veterans Disability and Human Services Commission meeting, which meets in the City Council Chambers on the second Wednesday of each month. I don’t usually go to the commission meetings, but they had good speakers talking about special needs kids; and they were invited to speak by Chuck Collins, who is the parent of a special needs little girl. He also lives in my district, and I am proud to call him a friend.
On August 14, I was honored to be at an awards luncheon for the people who work for the city of Surprise. This get-together recognizes those employees who have served in an exemplary manner, above and beyond their usual duties. Years of Service pins are also given out. We have some great people who work to keep your city clean, safe, and self-sufficient. Great job folks. It was a wonderful luncheon.
Tuesday, August 20 through Friday, August 23, I was at the League of Cities and Towns Conference with elected officials from the 91 cities and towns across the state. We had many classes to go to, from topics on homelessness to recycling programs and everything in between. So, we didn’t have much free time, but I did get a chance to talk to our Governor, Senator Martha McSally, Senator Kyrsten Sinema, and all the hard working and intelligent elected officials.
Monday, August 26, found me in my monthly meeting with Mayor Skip Hall, who makes the time to talk to every Councilmember to find out what is important to them and their individual districts because each district’s residents have their own concerns and problems. My time in that meeting is about an hour.
The next morning, the Surprise Chamber of Commerce sponsored a visit for Congresswoman Debbie Lesko at 7 a.m. at the WestMEC facility on Grand Avenue and Dysart Road. I have known Debbie since she was a State Representative. She is a nice person, and we were all filled in on what is going on in D.C and the different bills she has presented and/or sponsored. Thanks to the Chamber for bringing Congresswoman Lesko to Surprise. Finally, Debbie is moving her office to Surprise!
The same afternoon, I had a meeting with some staff and the folks in the northwestern part of my district to see how we can help maintain the roads up there. The major problem is there are so many private landowners, and we have a difficult time trying to get right of ways to get up there and work on those roads.
On Wednesday, August 28, I attended Councilmember Remley’s meeting at Rio Salado College, on Smokey Drive in the Original Town Site. Scott Phillips was also the guest speaker there about our downtown development.
On Thursday August 29, I was at my Valley Metro Board Meeting, only that day we needed to get there early because we had a work shop at 10 a.m. to help us become better board members. Our meeting started at noon, and one of the good things we did was to vote for some transit for our folks in the county. So, starting on October 1 of this year, the county will have a Paratransit system much like the City of Surprise system in which people with disabilities can ride to medical appointments or work. This new program will be delivered by Transdev, the same company that Surprise uses. County residents can look for additional details as October 1 draws near. This does not impact the Surprise program.
On Friday, August 30, you found me at Surprise Funeral Care to attend services for a Surprise police officer, Steven Reppert, who was a Detective Sergeant with Surprise for 22 years, and before that in the Air Force for eleven years. It was a sad time for his wife, Terry, his daughter, Victoria, and his son, Brock. Steve also left two grandchildren, Coltin and Dean, and many other relatives and friends. It was also a sad day for the Surprise Police Department and Surprise as a city lost a very good cop. He will be sorely missed. At fifty years old, he was taken much too soon.
Well, until next month, be good to yourself and be good to each other.
Roland F. Winters