All posts by admin

June 2021 • Newsletter

Well, hello to all my friends in District 1, indeed to everyone in the great city we call Surprise. May started great with an invitation from Beth to speak with residents who live in my newest HOA, Rancho Mercardo, in the northwest part of this city, right up against Peoria. So the Mayor and I spent a pleasant afternoon with those folks from all over the United States. The first phase of Rancho Mercado, called Al Meria, is almost finished.

Monday, May 3rd, you could find me at AZProSuites for their ribbon cutting. They are located at 15331 W. Bell Road, Suite 312. They have office space to rent out to start-up businesses. It was an excellent ribbon cutting, and it is good to be back to live ribbon cuttings instead of looking at a computer.

That same day we met to congratulate Donna Miller on her retirement at a gathering attended by many Surprise employees who were there to see her off. Donna was our Director of Parks and Recreation for many years. Happy travels, Donna.

Surprise City Council presents Donna Miller with an award.

That same evening I was in the school at Asante to hear some new details on Enclave Point, which is being developed in the northwest area of my district and is being annexed into Surprise. I also had a tour of Fire Station 304 on 163rd Avenue, so I had a busy day.

On May 4th, we had our workshop at 4:30 pm and the City Council Meeting at 6 pm and a pretty full agenda. Then on Wednesday, May 5th, the Council Members were in the community room interviewing potential police chief candidates to replace Terry Young, who is now the Assistant City Manager. Benny Pina from the Peoria Police Department got the job of Police Chief with the City of Surprise Police Department.

On May 7th, the Mayor and I had lunch in a Japanese restaurant called Sakura, in District 1, and it is a lovely place to relax and have a meal. The Mayor meets with each Council Member at a restaurant in their district to catch up on what is happening across the City of Surprise. Anyway, Sakura is located at 16433 W. Bell Road, so go check it out.

May 12th at 6 pm found me back at the preparatory school at 23251 N. 166th Drive in Asante to discuss the erection of billboards along the Loop 303, so I would like to have an unofficial survey as to your feelings about billboards along the 303.

My Valley Metro meeting was on Thursday, May 13th, but we are still doing them via Zoom, so I had to go into City Hall for that meeting, but I guess that’s better than going to Phoenix.

Friday, May 14th, found me at California Pools and Landscape at 15240 N. Cotton Lane at 9 am for a ribbon-cutting. What beautiful pools they build. They had tons of photos showing their work.

That evening I started up my meetings after 13 months of the pandemic and had great attendance, mostly folks from the 163rd Avenue and Jomax Road area. We mainly talked about the traffic up there, but when most of the building is finished, we will have 163rd Avenue going through to State Route 74, Happy Valley Road going toward the Loop 303, and right now to Jomax Road, then north on 145th Avenue to Peoria.

On Saturday, May 15th, we had a ribbon cutting ceremony at the beautiful new Gaines Park at 15837 N. Nash Street to honor Floyd Gaines, an early city councilmember. He built the first baseball field in Surprise for all the kids to play baseball. We even had some of Floyd’s relatives, like his son and daughter, in attendance.

Floyd Gaines Park baseball and sign

May 17th found me at another outreach meeting at the Asante School 23251 N. 166th Drive. On Tuesday, May 18th, we all had to arrive at City Hall at 2:30 pm to get a group photo of the entire 2021 Council. Then, of course, we had our Council Meeting with another full schedule.

Surprise City Council

Thursday, May 20th, was my Valley Metro meeting. We had a meeting already this month, but that was to approve the budget, and we are still using Zoom. These meetings usually go on for two to three hours, but they have important information, and the City of Surprise needs to have a seat at the table.

On Monday, May 24th, I had two meetings, one about transportation and the other meeting was about our development strategy. Tuesday at 5 pm, we had our Boards and Commissions Nominations Committee meeting with Councilmember Remley and Councilmember Cline joining me. This committee interviews the folks who want to be part of one of our many commissions and boards in Surprise.

I received a phone call from Mike, who lives out in the Sun Valley Parkway area. He wanted to meet with me about the requirements of our municipal property code. We met at City Hall with 15-20 neighbors from “the country” Sun Valley Parkway, and we continued that conversation into my meeting and the workshop meeting on June 15th. I think after that meeting, most residents felt better about the codes. Should anyone have any questions or concerns, please call Tiffany Copp at 623.222.3000.

Saturday, May 29th, found me at the World War ll memorial next to the library to honor those soldiers who gave their all. We had a pretty good bunch of veterans and civilians.

So as you can see, we are getting busy and back to order. I’ll sign off for now, so be good to yourself and be good to each other.

Take care,

Roland F. Winters Jr.

May 2021 • Newsletter

I want to give a big shout-out to all the great folks here in the City of Surprise. Let me start with my apologies to all of you who read my newsletter for being a little late this month. We are slowly getting back to normal, and things are getting busier. I hope you are all safe and healthy and, like me, happy to be coming out of this terrible pandemic.

Tuesday, April 6, you would find me in our council meeting, and it was nice seeing an audience instead of empty chairs. On April 13, the City of Surprise debuted the State of the City video. What a great job our staff did on that. The State of the City video will continue to be replayed on Cox Cable Channel 11 and online at surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv for a while.

As of April 19, passport services have returned to Surprise City Hall by appointment only. Regular business hours for passports are Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the City Clerk’s Office. City staff can accept applications for first-time passport books and passport cards and review paperwork for renewals. They do not offer passport photos, so be sure to have your photos with you at your appointment. CVS is one location that does offer passport photos should you need to get them before your appointment. To make an appointment or for questions, please visit surpriseaz.gov/passport or call the City Clerk’s Office at 623.222.1200.

I attended my Valley Metro meeting on April 22. They are still using Zoom for our meetings, but I guess that’s better than going to Phoenix, and Valley Metro still has the mask mandate.

As of April 26, the Maricopa County Library District libraries are open for full browsing. Customers can stop by the library during Pop-In Pick-Up hours to browse every shelf and all selections, rather than a limited collection. Asante Library, located at 16763 W. Vereda Solana Dr., has Pop-In Pick-Up hours Monday – Wednesday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., and Thursday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. The library is closed on Sunday. For more information, please visit surpriseaz.gov/library.

To my friends at the Dick McComb Dog Park, I called a meeting on April 27 with the appropriate people that take care of that park. We had some residents in attendance at this meeting to discuss the condition of the park, so look to see some improvements to the dog park.

On April 29, I went back to Dick McComb Park near the splash pad. The Surprise Rotary Club donated a tree to the park, which just so happened to be on Arbor Day. Thanks, Rotary Club, for the beautiful tree. It is right next to the splash pad.

Surprise City Council and Rotary Club of Surprise hold a plaque in front of a newly planted tree.

Well, I will close for now, so be good to yourself and be good to each other.

Take care,

Roland F. Winters Jr.

April 2021 • Newsletter

Hi out there to the residents of District 1 and all the citizens of Surprise. As I sit here on a beautiful Easter Sunday morning, writing my umpteenth newsletter to all my friends, I can’t help but be hopeful. Hopeful because I think we are getting this COVID-19 under control, we are all getting a chance to obtain our vaccine, and we are slowly opening things up, but we still need to be on our guard for a while longer.

March was a little busier for me, but still had those virtual meetings. March started right off with a City Council Meeting on the 2nd, which had a pretty good-sized agenda. On March 4, I had a meeting with the new Vice President at Ottawa University, Todd Simpson. The University has done such a great job since coming to the City of Surprise, and it’s wonderful that we have such a good partnership with them.

Monday, March 8, I attended the class the City puts on about the workings of the City. City Academy is a free class for the residents of Surprise. The Mayor, myself and the rest of the council members happened to be on the other side of the questions on what we do, our backgrounds, and biographies. If you have not taken this class, you should sign up for the next one at surpriseaz.gov/cityacademy.

On Wednesday, March 10 at 1 p.m., I helped Suzanne Smith celebrate her store’s first anniversary. Pure Water Nutrition is located at 16630 W. Greenway Road, Suite 314. Pure Water Nutrition provides reverse osmosis and alkaline water. The store also sells some excellent ice cream. It’s located just around the corner from North West Ranch, so visit her and check out the photos below.

Thursday, March 11, I was at City Hall to discuss the new Fry’s going up on the corner of Pat Tillman and 163rd. It was a virtual meeting for all the stakeholders to receive their overall consensus. The general feeling was that they wanted the project. I’m very excited for my friends in the northwest part of my district. It has been a long time coming – about 11 years.

On Saturday afternoon, most of the Council were at Surprise Stadium to meet some of our Legislative District 22 State Representatives such as Frank Carroll and Senator Rick Gray, to name a few; all great people. It was a very windy day.

Of course, on Tuesday, March 16, we had our City Council Meeting with a reasonably short agenda. Then on Wednesday, March 17, I was in the Surprise TV studio to tape some footage for our State of the City video presentation which will be aired on Tuesday, April 13 on Cox Channel 11 at 6 p.m. and will be repeated from time to time and also shown online at surpriseaz.gov/SurpriseTV and posted on social media.

On Thursday, March 18, I attended my Valley Metro meeting virtually from my office at City Hall with some discussion about trying to get back to normal as we get out of this pandemic. I returned to City Hall at 5:30 p.m. that day to be present for another virtual meeting with Kelly Hall and the rest of the Board members of North West Ranch HOA. I was invited to their meeting to discuss what to do about making Sarival Ave. safer to drive on because the road curves and people speed on it. There are more than the usual number of accidents on that road. We will do something to mitigate that dangerous road, and we have been actively having meetings and talking about the problem.

On March 24, I was back at City Hall to have yet another virtual meeting from my office at 6 p.m. about the storage unit going in on the access easement parallel to Grand Ave. and near the intersection of 163rd Ave. I was impressed with the architecture of the building. It does not look like a storage place. The storage unit will be another addition for my friends in the northwest part of my district. It was great to have a few residents attend that meeting.

A map of the access easement parallel to Grand Ave. and near the intersection of 163rd Ave.

Friday afternoon on March 26, you would have found me at our stadium with the Mayor and Council for an award to our great volunteers, the Sundancers. It was a congressional award presented by Congresswoman Debbie Lesko for all the hard work our Sundancers do taking care of our guests who attend the spring training games. The city also inducted into our baseball hall of fame, Charlie Pride, Buck O’Neil and others. Thanks, Debbie!

The last day of March was a long day for me, starting with a 4-hour training class for FEMA at City Hall – virtual, of course. Then, off to a lunch meeting with the Mayor to catch up with each other. Then a 2 p.m. meeting back at City Hall to discuss how many parks we can build in future years, where to build them, how big, etc. We know we are behind in parks and recreation space, but we are taking steps to correct that in future years. My last meeting that day was about our budget and keeping from overspending our income. Thankfully, we did not get hit as hard as we thought financially by the pandemic due to our entire Finance Department’s skill and professionalism.

So you can see we are picking up in this great City we call Surprise, and we are getting a handle on this virus. I am starting up my monthly meetings on May 14, 2021, and I believe it is safe to do so. They will be on the second Friday of the month at the community center in Arizona Traditions beginning at 7 p.m. and usually go until 8:30 p.m. We will follow the social distancing encouraged by the CDC, and face masks will be optional. The address of the community center is 18250 W. Weatherby Drive. Your GPS will get you to my gate. On the phone box, push “0” four times. When the guard answers, tell them you are here to attend my meeting. The Community Center is on your left. Well, I will close for now, so be good to yourself and be good to each other.

Take care,

Roland F. Winters Jr.

March 2021 • Newsletter

Well, hello, my fellow Surprise residents. Here it is already March, and we have finally got the COVID-19 on the run with another serum to help us. The numbers are going in the right direction, but we must still be viligent, it is not the time to let your guard down.

On February 2nd, we started off with our city council meeting. We also started the construction on Greenway Road. This will make it easier for my friends in North West Ranch to get in and out of their community. So let us be patient, and before you know it, we will have a brand new road. Greenway Road is closed through March 14th between North West Ranch Parkway and Legacy Park Boulevard.

The City is requesting public comment on the draft Property Maintenance Ordinance that was presented to us at our last Council meeting. The Property Maintenance Ordinance is the document that establishes the minimum standards for all property throughout the city. This includes residential and commercial. The goal is to keep the city safe, healthy, and blight-free. Two virtual public meetings are scheduled for Tuesday, March 30 at 4 p.m. and Tuesday, April 13 at 6 p.m. Links to the public meeting, along with an online comment box, can be found at surpriseaz.gov/PMO.

Spring Training is back, but attendance has been cut back and the stadium is using a cashless system at the concession stands.

Recently, the City completed some work at our Community Park including removing some trees that were dying and some others that were blocking out the sun, which caused the grass to die.

On March 13 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. the city is having a Residential Waste Cleanup event. Surprise residents can drop off up to 2,000 pounds of non-hazardous residential waste free of charge at the Northwest Regional Landfill, located at 19401 W. Deer Valley Road. Please bring your drivers license and a utility bill showing the same home address.

The City is also hosting two Days of Service in March. Volunteers can help with a neighborhood cleanup on March 20, or help out at the St. Mary’s Food Bank on March 31. If you would like to volunteer, please call Larry Garcia at 623.222.1522, or you can email him at larry.garcia@surpriseaz.gov.

On Thursday February 25th, the Boards and Commissions Nominations Committee met to choose some residents for seats on our various commissions. We interviewed 16 people. We finally finished up at 7 p.m.

I received an email from one of my constituents from the Northwest part of my district (163rd area) concerned about the landscaping on the median of 163rd and the surrounding area. I want to assure everyone in Asante, Desert Oasis, and the rest of the area up there, that it is the obligation of the builders to replace all the landscaping.

I will close for now, so be safe, be good to yourself and be good to each other.

Roland F. Winters Jr.

February 2021 • Newsletter

Hello to all my friends in Surprise, and I hope you are all well and safe. Things seem to be getting a little better. Folks are starting to get their vaccines. I will be getting my booster shot next week, but we must keep our guard up; we can’t relax just yet. I can’t believe that we have been fighting this pandemic for a full year.

City Hall is still closed to the general public, most of the Council are working from our home offices, and most meetings continue to be on Zoom.

Councilmember Winters receiving a COVID-19 vaccination shot.On Wednesday, January 13th, I received my first vaccine shot to help fight COVID-19 at Banner Sun City West. Everything went very well, and the staff was very organized.

I attended my Valley Metro meeting on the 21st of January and again online from City Hall.

I know we have some Whataburger fans in Surprise. Well, I have some good news. The City of Surprise Economic Development Department tells us that Whataburger is building next to Costco, so get ready for a burger.

The Greenway Road improvement project is underway. Utility work for this project is requiring the closure of Sarival Avenue from Custer Lane to Greenway Road until March 1, 2021. The Greenway Road improvement project will add two travel lanes and eliminate areas where the roadway merged into one lane. The project is scheduled to be complete in November 2021, weather permitting.

We do have some openings on our Commissions and Boards, so the Boards and Commissions Nominations Committee will be meeting in early February to fill those seats. If you have an interest, you can call our City Clerk’s office at 623-222-1200.

Upcoming Events:

  • Surprise Day of Service February 20 and March 20 beginning at 8 a.m. Volunteer to help out with various projects, including landscaping, painting, trimming of shurbs, debris removal and more. To volunteer, please contact Larry Garcia at larry.garcia@surpriseaz.gov. For more information, please visit Surprise-Day-of-Service.
  • Tax assistance program – The City of Surprise has partnered again with A New Leaf who facilitates the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. The program will begin on Feb 8th at the Surprise Resource Center and Feb 10th at Riverboat Bingo. To make an appointment call the Surprise Resource Center at 623-222-1600. For additional information, click here.

  • Community Legal Services – Is proud to offer Lunchtime Law Lessons every Friday on a variety of topics. Every session is a Zoom Virtual Workshop. Click here to register and join Legal Staff for live No-Cost workshops!
    February 12 – Male Victims of Abuse
    February 19 – TBD
    February 26 – Social Security Denials and Appeals
    March 5 – Consumer Law and Federal Student Loan updates
  • National Community Survey coming soon – What do you love about living in Surprise? The National Community Survey will be mailed to select households this month and offered online to the community at large beginning in mid-March. Details will be provided at www.surpriseaz.gov when they become available.
  • Surprise Progress Magazine – Free. Click on the link below to check out what is happening in Surprise!
    Progress Magazine Winter 2021 (surpriseaz.gov)

I will close for now, so be good to yourselves and be good to each other.

Roland F. Winters Jr.

January 2021 • Newsletter

Well a big shout out to my constituents in District One, and indeed every resident in this great city in which we are lucky to live in, and a happy and safe New Year to all.

This year, of course, will be remembered by everyone for the challenging times, the pandemic, people being laid off, economic down turn, and of course the terrible loss of many lives.

In spite of all we have been through, District One has opened a library, finally got a traffic light at 163rd and Jomax Road, we have a new fire station at 163rd Avenue, and started making all the necessary improvements on Greenway Road, including a needed traffic light at Northwest Ranch Parkway and Greenway Road.

The City of Surprise as a whole managed to get Costco, an Amazon Distribution Warehouse, soon to be condominiums in City Center, and all of the road improvements have been accomplished thanks to the residents voting for our Bond three years ago.

I am excited for my friends in the northwest part of my district. As I said last month, not only is a Fry’s going in at 163rd Avenue and Pat Tillman Boulevard, but also a little shopping area. A QT gas station is also going in at 163rd Avenue and Grand Avenue.

On Saturday, December 5th, the council took part in Shop with a Cop at Kohl’s Department Store, sponsored by the Mavericks, to give needy children a chance to shop for themselves or others. This was our first time participating and it went really well. We hope to do this effort every year with the Mavericks. Much thanks for our men and woman in blue for helping the kids that day.

On Tuesday, December 8th, the Boards and Commissions Nomination Committee met to fill some openings on our various commissions. We did find some folks to fill these chairs and the meeting was over by 7 p.m.

On December 16th, one of my constituents wanted to donate some money to the police toy drive for the kids, so I met him at the Police Station and Chuck Collins gave them a check. That was very nice of him to make a joyous Christmas for so many deserving kids.

There are going to be some big changes in January in our leadership in Surprise. Mark Schott, our Assistant City Manager, is retiring and our police chief, Terry Young, is being moved to the fourth floor at City Hall to be our new Assistant City Manager. Geoffrey Leggett (our Assistant Police Chief) will be the Interim Police Chief, pending a recruitment process. On top of all of that, we had a new councilmember start on January 5th, District 2 Councilmember Aly Cline.

I am very optimistic about 2021. We will finally get a handle on this terrible pandemic now that we finally have the vaccine. We just need a plan to get it into people’s arms, and then the economy will follow. Take care my friends

Be good to yourselves and be good to each other.

Roland Winters Jr.

December 2020 • Newsletter

A big shout out to the residents of this great city we live in. Not much really new, except for a few things this month. As you know, we are still shut down at City Hall for public access. Beginning with our December 1 Work Session and Council meeting, no members of the public will be allowed in the Council Chambers, however, the meeting can be seen live on Channel 11 if you have Cox, or on your computer at www.surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv or the city’s Facebook page. This will hold true until further notice.

It looks like we may have a vaccine for this terrible virus by this month. We are all very happy to see this, I am sure. We all need to keep doing what we have been doing, and hang in there with the face masks, washing our hands often, and the social distancing, so we can all be here to get vaccinated.

As has been happening for the last nine months, I have been attending most of my meetings via Zoom and telephone, and like most of you, I am getting COVID-19 fatigue.

We had our meeting of the Board and Commission Nominations Committee, of which I am the Chair, on Monday, November 9th. We do have some vacancies on the Arts Commission, Veterans, Disability, and Human Services Commission, and the Audit Committee to name a few, so if you have some extra time and would like to help the city, you can apply to volunteer for one of the commissions by calling the City Clerk’s Office at 623.222.1200 or visiting surpriseaz.gov/boards.

We changed the date of our first Council meeting in November to the 2nd because of Election Day. In spite of these challenging times, we in the Surprise City Government, are pushing forward with many permits for development, including commercial.

I am so proud of our Economic Development Department, headed up by Jeanine Jerkovic. Jeanine and her team do a great job getting all kinds of commercial construction in Surprise.

To all my friends in the northwest part of my District (District 1) I want you to keep an eye on the corner of 163rd and Grand Avenue. I can’t say too much about it because it is still under development review. I am doing all I can to get more commercial development in your neck of the woods.

A note to the folks in Northwest Ranch. We are finally getting to improving Greenway Road, so there will be construction in the area, and yes, some dust; but when the widening of Greenway Road is finished, you will have a fully functioning traffic light at Greenway Road and North West Ranch Parkway as well as straightening of Greenway Road near the 303. So, hang in there, and I ask for your patience during the construction.

The best news this month is that a grocery store is finally coming to my friends in the northwest part of my district. It’s official, the new Fry’s Asante Site Plan has been submitted for review at the Northwest corner of 163rd Avenue and Pat Tillman Boulevard. Plans for this new shopping center show a large Fry’s store with a pharmacy, gas station and some retail stores so our hard work and prayers paid off.

I want to take a minute here and thank all the citizens of Surprise for voting for the G.O. Bond in 2017. We are reaping the benefits with all of these beautiful new roads and repairs for some.

On Thursday, November 19th, I was in attendance at my monthly Valley Metro Meeting. I have been representing Surprise on the Board for two years now. When the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) and Valley Metro decide to start moving toward Surprise with some transit, someone must be at the table.

On Monday, November 30th, the Council was at the Christmas Tree in front of the stadium to light our tree as part of this year’s virtual Surprise Party. Our Communications Department is making a video to be shown, starting December 4th at 7 p.m., and replayed throughout the holidays. You can view it at surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv and see all of the Surprise Party details at surpriseaz.gov/surpriseparty. Because of COVID-19, this Christmas Season will be a little bit different.

Well, I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and happy holidays, and remember, be good to yourself and be good to each other.

Roland F. Winters, Jr.

November 2020 • Newsletter

Hi, to all of the residents in this great city we call Surprise. City Hall is still closed to day-to-day visitors, but business is going on with emails, phone, and virtual meetings. At our council meeting, we did have a fair amount of folks there because we are now allowing about 50 people, spread throughout the council chambers, to follow CDC recommendations.

Of course, it remains very tragic times, and to add to everything else, we now must wait so long for the results of the election, so I think 2020 will be remembered for a long time.

On Monday, October 19th, we had a meeting of the Rules Committee of which I am a member, we are working on updating our rules and regulations under which the council must work and abide by.

I feel bad we did not have the Veterans Day Parade this year because of the virus, but our Communications department worked on a video that was shown on Veterans Day on Surprise TV and on the Surprise City Gov Facebook page. The council had a small part in that. I want to take this time to thank all our veterans and their families. I hope you had a happy and healthy Veterans Day.

I still have not started up my second Friday night meetings yet; I am still waiting for Arizona Traditions to open the community buildings. I will let you all know when we get started.

Have a great Thanksgiving and stay safe,

Roland F. Winters, Jr.

October 2020 • Newsletter

Well hello again to all the residents in District one and, indeed, to every citizen of this great city we are all blessed to live in.

September started off with a work session, and City Council Meeting on the 1st. Our Council books are getting very lengthy, so in spite of COVID-19 we have not slowed down much in the growth of Surprise. Speaking of the Coronavirus, I hope all of you are staying safe, keeping those masks on, and practicing social distancing (6 feet). I know it has been difficult for everyone, including me and my family; but hang in there, this too will pass. I feel badly that we have been canceling all the events our residents enjoy, but this can’t go on forever.

On Saturday, September 5th, Senator Martha McSally came to visit Surprise, and the full Council was there.

The Board and Commissions Nominations Committee, of which I am the Chair, held a meeting on September 8th to choose some folks for our many openings on our Boards and Commissions. We had a great turnout of many citizens who wish to help the Council. We did not finish until 6:30 p.m.

On our second Council meeting in September, it was our first opening up of our Council meeting to a live audience, but with some restrictions, such as, people being spread out, no more than 50 people, and masks required when entering and exiting the chambers.

Most of my meetings this month have been virtual meetings, like my Valley Metro Board Meeting. I am not a great fan of these types of meetings, but I guess it is better than going into Phoenix.

For my friends in the Northwest area of District 1, there is a new development going up between the Dollar Store and 163rd Avenue, along Jomax Road. It is Sunrise Ranch; I got a phone call from a constituent asking that question.

Sorry my newsletter is a little late this month. Be good to yourself and be good to each other.

Roland F. Winters, Jr.

September 2020 • Newsletter

Hello again to all the great folks in district one and indeed in the City of Surprise, and I hope everyone is doing ok considering these special trying times. I do want to start off on a positive note in that Costco will be having their grand opening on Thursday, September 24th at 8 am. Something we have all been waiting for. Be at 13614 N. Sarival and welcome Costco to Surprise, AZ.

I know this virus is getting old, and it certainly has worn out its welcome a long time ago, but let’s hang in there and keep doing what you have been doing to get through this pandemic together.

I am still waiting for Arizona Traditions to open up their buildings, so I can start my meetings again, but I don’t know when that will be. Keep checking the surpriseaz.gov website.

I am also looking forward to the opening of our doors at the Council Chambers so anyone who wishes to be at our council meetings can be there. I miss all of those happy faces, and engaged residents of Surprise as we used to do.

Beginning September 15, meetings of the Surprise City Council will reopen to limited in-person public participation; while maintaining a call-in option for those wishing to participate remotely. In-person participants will be limited to 50 and will be required to wear a facial covering when entering or exiting the chambers. If they so choose, they may remove them while seated. Seating will be marked to ensure physical distancing of at least six feet of separation from those in attendance. You can get all the details and information on when other public meetings are reopening at surpriseaz.gov.

Let’s all say a prayer that our scientists find a vaccine.

To my friends in North-West Ranch, this is the month you’ve been waiting for. Construction starts on Greenway, widening from 303 eastbound to Reems Rd. Also, on the corner of Greenway and North-West Ranch Parkway will be a fully functioning traffic signal. Which means left and right hand turns coming out of North-West Ranch Parkway will be made easier for you.

Thanks to you, the residents, for voting for the G.O. Bond and making this improvement possible.

I recently attend a retirement celebration for Dave Kohlbeck, who has worked for the City of Surprise since 2001! Dave has raised the profile of the City of Surprise around the region and state, through his involvement with Maricopa Association of Governments and Valley Metro, as well as being actively involved in multiple professional organizations including the Government Finance Officers Association of Arizona, Arizona Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the American Public Works Association. He also served his fellow colleagues for many years on the 457 Deferred Compensation Advisory Group providing strategic investment oversight, as well as chairing the employee project team that helped the city evaluate and move to a self-funded health care program. He has earned multiple recognitions during this time including the City Manager’s Service Award for his outstanding customer service in leading the City’s transit program, communicating and resolving rider issues, and improving the transit services offered in our community. I wish him congratulations on his retirement!

Vice Mayor Judd, David Kohlbeck, Councilmember Winters and Mayor Hall.