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October 2018 • Newsletter

Hi to all the residents in District 1 and to the residents of this great city we are fortunate to live in.

To start off with, let me say this month you can exercise one of the most important rights as Americans, and that is the right to vote. So get out there and vote whether by mail or on November 6th election day. Your vote does make a difference.

On Tuesday, September 4th, we started off with our regular workshop and then at 6pm we held our Council meeting where we take action. As most of you know, the Council voted that mobile devices must be operated in hands-free mode when driving in Surprise.

Friday September 7th you found me at the Central Arizona Project (CAP) celebration at their office in Phoenix; just imagine if the leaders that came before us did not start that canal back in the 70’s to carry water from the Colorado River to Phoenix and beyond. Our commercial and housing development would not be what it is today. The CAP was started by visionaries like Carl Hayden. It is really an engineering marvel how it pumps water out of the river and all the way to Tucson by a series of pumps.

That same evening was a night to honor our military, both current and past service members at Willow Canyon High School. One of our very own was honored. Councilman Skip Hall walked across the football field, along with many other heroes who were honored to wear our country’s uniform. Thank you Willow Canyon for doing that for our veterans.

On Monday, September 11th, the Council had a special meeting in the Chambers to canvas the primary vote. Following that vote, there was new information discovered about the District 1 election. You can learn more here: http://bit.ly/2xQ825H.

On Friday, September 14th, I had my regular meeting at the Community Center at Arizona Traditions, and I will have my October meeting on Friday, October 12th. The address is 18250 W. Weatherby Drive. We usually go from 7 pm-8:30 pm and everyone is welcome. I must thank Arizona Traditions for the use of that space.

Monday morning, September 17th, I attended Constitution Day at Canyon Ridge Elementary School on Surprise Farms Loop N. The seventh graders got all dressed up as important Revolutionary characters. Thanks to Christopher Raso for such a great job and all the learners who did so well being all the great leaders of the time. A big thanks to Jill Hoppe, the principal, for the photos.

Tuesday morning, September 18th, I was at the Senior Center in the Original Town Site hearing about our new RideChoice program. The early rollout of the program for Surprise residents began October 1, with the option of staying on the old program until November 30th. The full program launch is December 1st. Some of the changes include: no more Ride Choice cards are needed; call one number and ask for the carrier you want to use; Lyft will also be one of the choices. Another change will be the use of a credit card to book your ride. I am hopeful that this system will run better than our last. Then, of course, that same night was our workshop and the council meeting that followed.

I joined the celebration of the Desert Diamond Casino in the West Valley. Noting the finishing of the steel structure of that magnificent building. It will be a beautiful casino when finished.

On September 20th, I was invited to talk to the residents of the New Fellowship Square on Sarival Avenue, just off of Bell Rd. Fellowship square is a new independent living, assisted living, and memory care residence here in Surprise near Sam’s Club. Some of the residents lived in Sun City Grand, but sold their homes and are now living there. I met many nice people. After our meeting, I was invited to stay for dinner, and it was very good food. Right after that meeting, I attended the Northwest Ranch HOA meeting and had a great meeting answering questions, mostly about the improvements to Greenway Road. They have a new property manager, named Brad, and the Board President is Kelly Hall.

Sunday, September 23rd, we went to Mark Coronado Park for the Second Sundays in the Park event. There was a good crowd and good music. I talked to many people there. There is something big going to happen in the northwest part of my district, but I cannot talk about the details yet. Well I will close for now. Be good to yourself and be good to each other.

September 2018 • Newsletter

A big shout out to all the folks in District 1 and to all the residents in this great city called Surprise. August started right off with a meeting at City Hall for us to find a company to draw up a master plan for the land around City Hall, and there will be some outreach meetings for the public to give us their ideas. So that meeting was on August 1st, and after our master plan is finished, things should be moving forward quickly.

August 7th was the Council Workshop at 4 pm then the Council Meeting which went way into the night as a result of not having any meetings in July.

Wednesday, August 8th found me at the Surprise Chamber of Commerce meeting with US Congresswoman Debbie Lesko as a special guest, and that evening I attended a community outreach meeting in the Desert Oasis Elementary School for another development in the northwest part of District 1.

I attended the Committee on Community Outreach, Partnerships and Grant meeting on August 16th at the AZ TechCelerator to divide up our grant funds to all the deserving organizations. The ever present problem is there are never enough funds.

I went to the Ottawa University Football game on Saturday Night the 25th and what a great football stadium they have there. The game was also good, but I can see we are going to need more stadium seats according to what a large crowd that was there.

2018-19 OUAZ Football Team celebrating their fist home game win

I paid my respects to Senator John McCain at the Capitol rotunda on Wednesday, August 29th on what would have been his 82nd birthday. We lost a great American and one of Arizona’s favorite folks, someone who served his state and nation for over 30 years and a true American hero. That day, 15,000 people passed by his casket at the Capitol. Even though he was a very busy United States Senator, he always had time for a photo. The Senator is irreplaceable, and will be sorely missed.

Well that’s all to report this month, but things will pick up as fall gets closer. Be good to yourself and be good to each other.

Roland F. Winters Jr.
District 1 Councilmember

August 2018 • Newsletter

Hello to all my neighbors in District 1 and all the residents in the great city we have the pleasure to live in. Even though we did not have any City Council meetings in July, we still managed to stay busy. We started off on Thursday, July 5 with The Moving Wall Vietnam Memorial coming to town. What a great event! If you missed it, you missed something really special. It is called The Moving Wall because it travels around the United States, and it moves you emotionally and spiritually when you see it. We held the sunrise opening ceremony on Friday morning, July 6 with our Vice Mayor, Ken Remley, welcoming the Wall to Surprise and what a great job he did! It takes years to get it here and most of my colleagues gave up their contingency funds to cover the shortfall with the cost to bring it here.

I would be remiss if I did not try and thank our great employees (our staff) that worked tirelessly to make this event the success it was. Several departments were responsible for hosting the wall, including our Community and Recreation Services Department led by Director Donna Miller and Assistant Director Paul Frie and their team (including staff member Steve Castillo); our Public Works Department led by Director Mike Gent, as well as his team; all the volunteers, both veterans and civilians; and many more unsung workers who helped over five hot summer days. Seeing my cousin’s name on the wall again does not let me forget the over 58,000 names on that wall, both male and female, who paid the ultimate price for our freedom. I was especially proud that weekend to be a Councilmember for all residents of Surprise, Arizona!

On July 11, I was in a meeting in Peoria with the Association of Realtors and heard that there is a housing shortage, especially low cost housing because of the good economy.

I had my meeting on Friday night at 7 pm in the Community Center at Arizona Traditions. My meeting is held the second Friday of the month, every month. Everyone is welcome to chat, voice your concerns, and we accept compliments too. For the past eight weekends, I have been on the road visiting with my constituents.

Tuesday, July 17 found me at the Boards and Commissions Selection Committee meeting so we can fill some commission member openings that have occurred on various Boards and Commissions. This is a good way to volunteer to help your City Council.

On Monday night, July 23, I attended my Maricopa County Social Services meeting in Phoenix. As one of the elected officials on this County Commission, we have the responsibility to spread the grant money to the most deserving folks. Of course, there is never enough funds.

I was invited and attended the HOA meeting for Surprise Farms III in the library of Willow Canyon High School. We have a bunch of good people there. I answered most of their questions they asked me; and of course, one of the most-asked questions I get many times is “What is going on at City Center?” We are now working on getting our master plan done, which has been lacking for a long time. I am confident, once we get that master plan finished, things will move forward with a little more speed. Our last meeting on this project was August 1.

Well now that August is here and elections are on the horizon, please vote for the person you think will do the best job for you and take advantage of your right in a free society and vote. Election Day is August 28.

Be good to yourself and be good to each other.

Roland F. Winters Jr.
District 1 Councilmember

July 2018 • Newsletter

Hi to all our friends in District One and all of Surprise. June is the last month of the fiscal year, and July is the usual month the council has no meetings, but I am not off. I have other meetings to go to and City business.

Monday, June 4th found me at a Police Promotion Ceremony where we saw three new sergeants and one lieutenant get promoted. These ceremonies are good because it shows our police officers that as council members, we are there to support them.

Surprise Police Promotion Ceremony June 2018

I was at my Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) meeting on Tuesday, June 5th in Phoenix, and we have a new director of MAG. Eric Anderson took over for the retiring Dennis Smith who put 30 years in with MAG. Then back to Surprise for a Surprise Community Outreach Program grant meeting. The program helps to fund qualified local programs and events to improve the health and welfare of Surprise residents. Then, we had our Council workshop at 4 p.m. and of course our regular City Council Meeting at 6 p.m.

On Wednesday, June 6th we did have a meeting about our property around City Hall and the idea to get a Master Plan so we can move forward. That same evening, I attended the opening of the In-N-Out Burger on the corner of Bell Road and Civic Center Plaza.

On Monday, June 11th, I was at my Board and Commission Selection Committee Meeting. This committee nominates candidates that want to be appointed to our various boards and commissions, but the full council makes the final decision from the nominees presented.

Wednesday, June 13th was our outreach meeting for our transportation survey at City Hall. People attending the event could outline the bus route that they thought would service them well.

On Tuesday, June 19th I had a meeting in my office with the new reporter for The Arizona Republic. Jen Fifield who they brought in from D.C. to cover Surprise and Peoria. I wish her all the best. Then, of course, to the Council workshop and regular meeting to finish off my day.

On Monday evening, June 25th, I attended the Maricopa County Human Services Commission Meeting in Phoenix at 6 p.m. I was appointed to this commission, and this was my first meeting. Of course, I was a little nervous, and I want to do a good job and be effective in this position. So, I will do the best job I can.

We had a special City Council meeting on Tuesday, June 26th to discuss the Prasada development.

On Wednesday evening, June 29th, I went to the Desert Peaks awards that MAG puts on every year, and it was a great event. Their companies were all rewarded for their economic advancement and their innovation. The City of Surprise was recognized for the part we played in enabling those who are hearing impaired to now text 911 instead of having to speak over the phone to the operator.

Thursday June 28th found me at the North West Valley Connect Meeting. This organization is growing by leaps and bounds and is now transporting many people who cannot otherwise get a ride to their doctors appointment, to get their medication, or to a job.

There was a tour of construction on the Destiny Springs Behavioral Hospital, which is going up on Dysart Road in Surprise, so we are getting a second hospital in our town.

Destiny Springs Behavioral Hospital

On Saturday June 30th, there was an event in Surprise Farms III that I was very proud to be a part of. Mr. and Mrs. Collins have a 10-year-old daughter that has seizures when loud noises are present. The celebration was that the Surprise HOA gave the Collins permission to put up a sign on their street which says ‘Please keep the noise down, special needs child present.’ The American Legion Post 96 and the Legion Riders gave the Collins great support with 21 riders and veterans there, and brought many toys for JoJo. The chair of the Disability Advisory Commission was there and the state director of ARC, Jon Meyers, was there also. Mr. Collins would like to talk to and support other parents that have special needs children, so if you would like to talk to him, I will give you his contact info.

Councilmember Winters celebrates with the Collins Family and supporters for the Noise Zone signs.

So I will close now, be good to yourself and be good to each other.

Roland F. Winters Jr.
District 1 Councilmember

June 2018 • Newsletter

A big shout out to my friends in District 1, and all the folks in Surprise. I must start out this month’s newsletter with a serious issue, and that is there are some petty thieves in the Surprise Farms communities, especially Surprise Farms III. There have been reports of unlocked vehicles being broken in to, and this morning I received a phone call from a constituent in Surprise Farms III who had his license plate stolen off his car, so this is getting ridiculous. I had a conversation with Police Chief Terry Young to inquire about maybe giving this area of Surprise special attention, especially in the overnight hours, but in the meantime keep your eyes peeled for strangers in your neighborhood, lock your vehicle, and try to keep your car in the garage. I don’t think Surprise Farms III has a neighborhood watch program, but maybe it is time to start one. You can receive a lot of help from Officer Chris Tovar and the rest of the police department to set that up. I set up a neighborhood watch program in Parcel 14 at Arizona Traditions a number of years ago, and even though we are a gated community, it helps to have one more deterrent to the low life’s, so keep your eyes open and be alert.

Well May started off very busy with my MAG Economic Development Committee meeting in Phoenix on the 1st at 11a.m., a Workshop meeting back at city hall, and then our Regular Council meeting where the council takes action, so it was a long day.

On Wednesday, May 2, I attended the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Candidate Forum with the two candidates who ran for Congress (Trent Franks seat), Debbie Lesko and Hiral Tipirneni at the Light box at West-MEC vocational school, on Grand and Dysart. What a great venue that is. That same morning, I met with Audra Colson of Chance Shelter. Surprise does not currently have a no-kill shelter for all of the unfortunate pets who get displaced for whatever reasons. Chance Shelter now has many foster parents to care for these animals until their forever homes are found. Audra was on ABC news last week on ABC’s Pay It Forward and received $500.00 towards the building of the Chance Shelter. Audra has a warm heart, and the city hopes her dream of an animal shelter in Surprise comes true.

May 3 found me at Desert Oasis Elementary School to meet and discuss the APS power lines going through right where District 1 meets Peoria, however they will not actually be in Surprise. It was a very informative outreach meeting for the public in the northwest area of my district.

On Friday, May 4, I was at the Fellowship Square Job Fair and they had lots of jobs for local residents. We got a quick tour; it is huge with independent living, assisted living, and memory care services, all within a gated community. The evening of the same day, I attended a get together at our main park to meet the Board of Directors for Chance Shelter. These are all a bunch of dedicated people.

Saturday, May 5 found me at the Aquatic Center on Bullard for safety day. One of the busiest areas was the demonstration of how to install a child car seat in your vehicle correctly. Other presentations were water and fire safety. I was there a little early and saw the helicopter land which was neat.

On Monday, May 7, I had a follow-up meeting in my office with the APS folks just to clarify and discuss the placement of the high voltage lines near the northwest area of District 1, even though they will be in the city of Peoria.

On Tuesday, May 8, I attended the WESTMARC Economic Development Summit at the Renaissance Hotel in Glendale. WESTMARC does a good job at bringing jobs into the West Valley and encouraging businesses to locate or relocate out here.

Friday, May 11 at 7 p.m. was my monthly meeting. Not too many residents showed up; maybe it is vacation time. On the second Friday of every month I have my meeting to talk to residents and everyone is welcome. The meetings are held at the Community Center in Parcel 14 of Arizona Traditions.

Monday evening, May 14, the City Council hosted a joint meeting with the Planning and Zoning Commission. This does not happen often. There were two topics discussed which included our revenue income to the city and the new state statute that makes it easier for developers to set up CFD’s (Community Financing Districts) when building a new development. This makes it possible for individual HOA’s to have an increase in their community property tax in addition to the ordinary property tax for certain amenities to that community such as Marley Park has done in Surprise.

Of course on Tuesday, May 15 at 5 p.m. was our workshop and council meeting at 6 p.m. The afternoon of May 16, I attended the retirement party for Dr. Gail Pletnick. It was a surprise party at the Dysart District Office, and she was surprised. Have a great, long, and happy retirement, Gail!

On Thursday, May 17, there was a large interfaith breakfast in the courtyard at city hall to celebrate all the efforts of Surprise, Peoria, and interfaith communities to help those who are less fortunate than the rest of us. Just an FYI, Surprise has a count now of how many homeless are in our community and it is 39, so let us all show a little compassion for these folks.

On Monday, May 21, I was at Surprise TV and taped my Council Conversation, which many of you have seen on our channel by now. My guests were Donna Miller (Director of Community and Recreation Services) and Paul Frie (Assistant Director) who stepped in and took charge of the moving Vietnam Wall memorial coming to Surprise and have done such a great job putting it all together. If you have not gotten the word by now, the half size model of the Vietnam Memorial Wall located in Washington D.C. will be coming to Surprise on July 5th and the following morning we will have a ceremony, (click this link to see the flyer). I am so excited about the wall being in Surprise for 5 days after trying for over 2 years. I want to thank all the people who work for our great city, without their efforts and hard work this would not be possible. If anyone would like to volunteer to help make this a great event, please call Steve Castillo at (623)-222-2267.

I was in the Boards and Commission Selection Committee meeting on Tuesday, May 22. This is a committee made up of three councilmembers who choose and nominate future commissioners for the city’s various commissions, and in turn the full council votes on those individuals to fill these positions on those commissions. We do have some openings and if you are interested in serving your city, call our City Clerk Sherry at (623)-222-1200.

That same afternoon we had a Special City Council meeting to “bless” the vote on whether or not to approve the purchase of the Circle City Water Company, and 80% of you said yes, which I agree with because that means we’ll be getting 35%-40% increase in the Colorado River water supply allotment added to our water supply for the city. I hope the remaining 20% of the voters will realize in time that economic development depends on a sure supply of water that is needed in large quantities for manufacturing.

The morning of May 25, I was in my Northwest Valley Connect Advisory Meeting. This is a 501C3 that deals in transit in Surprise and the surrounding area to find and/or deliver rides for folks who cannot find transportation to doctors’ offices, dental appointments, and other appointments.

On Friday, May 25, we had a great event at Canyon Ridge Elementary School in my district when the Rotary Club of Surprise came by with 1,008 wireless mice with batteries for the children’s computers at that school. The Principal, Jill Hoppe, and Assistant Principal Andrew Griesel, were there to accept the donation and were so grateful to the Rotary Club. The Rotary Club members present were President August Heiss, Chris Judd and Jay Lickus. The other big event the Rotary Club does every year is called the Taste of Surprise held at the stadium and all money is donated to various local charities.

Rotary Club of Surprise donated wireless mics to Canyon Ridge Elementary School

We had a really nice ceremony on Saturday, May 26 at the World War II Memorial near the main library on Bullard for the Memorial Day Wreath Laying event. The emcee was George Van de Langeryt, a retired marine and Larry Brown was the keynote speaker. A decorated Vietnam Combat Veteran with a number of Purple Hearts and a Silver Star with a very compelling narrative of his combat experience in Vietnam also participated.

We had another great ceremony on Memorial Day on Monday, May 28 at the Nick Bacon Memorial that is in the courtyard at city hall. Many family members were there including John Bacon, from Surprise Police Department (Nick’s nephew), and another nephew, Norman, who is on the Peoria Police Department and lives in my district, as well as Nick’s brother. Thanks to all that took time out of their busy schedules to be there.

On May 30 at 5 p.m., I attended the West-MEC 2018 recognition ceremony for the students graduating from all the West-MEC schools in the area, and even some from our own West-MEC school right here in Surprise. The ceremony was held at the Christ’s Church of the Valley (CCV); what a huge venue at 7007 W. Happy Valley Road, Peoria. There were almost 500 students getting their certificates of completion in so many different disciplines, and they were all so happy and felt a sense of satisfaction as well they should. I heard a number of hardship stories from these kids while they were trying to get through their classes. After that ceremony, I felt better about this state’s future! Good luck to all you graduates.

Well I will close for now. As you can see May was a busy month. Please don’t forget my meeting on Friday, June 8th at Arizona Traditions Parcel 14 Community Center, 18250 W. Weatherby Drive at 7 p.m. I want to thank Neal at Arizona Traditions for letting me use that venue.

Roland F. Winters Jr.
District 1 Councilmember

Voters ok city water election

Voters have approved the May 15th Water Election, authorizing City Council to complete negotiations with the Circle City Water Company (CCW) for the possible acquisition of the utility.

According to preliminary results released by the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office tonight 80% (14,676) of registered voters voted yes; 20% (3,615) voted no.

CCW is a small water service company in the northern part of Surprise’s planning area and future water service area. This acquisition, which would require City Council approval, would provide Surprise with the company’s existing water infrastructure and grow the city’s allocation of Colorado River water by more than 38 percent.

Colorado River water is currently the only renewable surface supply available to Surprise. Having a right to more surface water will help the city meet future demands and shortfalls.

The purchase of CCW would be funded through the sale of current and future water portfolio assets.

Official final results are expected from the county by Friday, May 18.

The City Council will meet to canvass the votes at a Special Council Meeting, on Tuesday, May 22.  This meeting will begin at 4:30 p.m., and will be held in the Community Room of City Hall, as Council Chambers will be closed for pre-scheduled equipment upgrade work.

May 2018 • Newsletter

A big shout out to all of my neighbors in District one and everyone in Surprise. A happy May to all! Well, April began with my monthly meeting of the MAG Economic Development Committee in Phoenix and the announcement that Dennis Smith, CEO of MAG is retiring. Eric Anderson will be taking over that position. Congratulations, Eric! I am sure you will do a great job for us in Maricopa County.

That same afternoon and evening on Tuesday, April 3, I attended the City Council Work Session and Regular Meeting.

On Saturday, April 7, I was invited to Surprise Farms III HOA picnic at one of their pocket parks. I attended with my wife and we had a good time. There were over one hundred people there, and I had a chance to talk to many of them. Everyone seems really happy to live in that beautiful community, and it is well kept with no trash around. Mark Beaudry and the rest of the HOA Board along with the Community Manager, Santos, do a great job!

Tuesday evening, April 10, found me at Babbo’s Restaurant on Bell Road attending the retirement celebration for Chet Keizer, the former CEO of IRIS USA. We are all sorry to see Chet leave IRIS, but the good news is that he is staying in Surprise! Chet loves Surprise! It is our hope to get him on some Boards and Commissions to take advantage of his knowledge and talents. Congratulations, Chet, on your retirement. I hope it is a long and happy one.

Chet Keizer retirement party

On Wednesday, April 11, I attended an Arizona History and Culture speaker series event on the History of Country Music, and what a great program it was with a bigger crowd in Council Chambers than some City Council meetings. I want to send out a big ‘thank you’ to Susan deJong for lining up all of these educational programs about the history of the west. That was the last one of the season, but I am looking forward to next year. Ms. deJong is the Chair of the Surprise Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission.

I attended the Surprise Regional Chamber breakfast meeting at West-MEC Northwest Campus on Thursday, April 12. Both the republican and democratic candidate for Congressional District 8 were in attendance and were asked a series of questions by Garrick Taylor with the Arizona Chamber of Commerce. The Lightbox at West-MEC is a great venue for a number of events.

Human Service and Community Vitality Director Seth Dyson and I traveled to Avondale on Friday, April 13 to look at the Madison Heights apartment community. A similar complex is under consideration in the Original Town Site area of Surprise. The nice apartments are well-built and affordable.

Of course, Friday night was my meeting at Arizona Traditions Community Center which is open to anyone with concerns, complaints. We even accept compliments. We had a very special guest that evening, Water Resource Management Director Terry Lowe. Terry presented information on the Circle City Water Company acquisition that includes all of their assets including their allocation of water. I urge you to vote on Tuesday, May 15, or you may have already returned your mail-in ballot. If the voters agree to buy the water company, that would increase our Colorado River supply by over 38%, which helps to meet our future renewable water needs. The city intends to use current and future water assets to fund the purchase. It is not the City’s intent to place the costs of this acquisition on the tax payers or into the Surprise Water utility rates.

Saturday, April 14, I was at the WHAM Annual Recycled Arts Festival. WHAM is located at 16560 N. Dysart Road. WHAM Director Connie Whitlock and her team do such a great job on that show every year. There was a lot of art work on display and some great music with Councilman Skip Hall addressing the crowd!

WHAM Annual Recycled Arts Festival

Later that evening, I attended the Arizona Traditions Block Party in Parcel 14 with my wife. We had a great time, especially since these folks are my neighbors. We had a food truck to order dinner and music played by Harold. It was nice to relax and socialize with the folks in my HOA since I am usually tied up. I want to thank Mona Tom, Sue Rocks and Trudy Slater for pulling all that together. Everyone had fun!

Councilmember Winters with residences of Arizona Traditions

Sunday, April 15th, we spent the afternoon at the Valley Vista Performing Arts Center enjoying the Surprise POPS Band. This was the last performance until next year.

Surprise Pops Band

Monday night, April 16, was the State of the City address in the Lightbox at West-MEC on Grand Avenue. As I have said previously, it is a great venue and there was a good crowd.

Tuesday night, April 17, was our City Council Work Session and Regular Meeting with a conversation about our City Center; however, no one can decide what to build on it as yet.

Wednesday, April 18 found me in a budget meeting with the City Manager, two other City Councilmembers and our Department directors. This was a half day get-together for the directors to inform the council about what the various departments were requesting in next fiscal year’s budget in an effort to address the demands for services as the city grows and to ensure the city provides extraordinary service to all our customers. The council will be voting on the Fiscal Year 2019 budget in June.

The same afternoon, I was in the Community Outreach, Partnership & Grants Committee meeting in which we decide who will receive our yearly neighborhood grants and Surprise Community grants. The process has just started, so if you are interested in getting a grant for either of these purposes, please contact Jodi Tas at 623.222.1330, and she will provide you with the details.

On Thursday, April 19 at 2 pm, I was in my bimonthly meeting with the City Manager Bob Wingenroth talking about what has been happening in and with the city and what may lie in the future of Surprise. Of course, this gives me a chance to speak one-on-one with Bob and let him know what my constituents are telling me and how we can improve the city for them. We are lucky to have a City Manager such as Bob Wingenroth who works very hard for the people who live in this great city.

On Thursday, April 26, I attended my JPAC (Joint Planning Advisory Council) meeting at the Wild Horse Pass in Chandler. This Council is part of MAG (Maricopa Association of Government). They help businesses export their products and services. At the meeting, a small business in Surprise and District 1, Rapha Revivifi System, received the Emerging Exporter of the Year award. They will soon export natural hair and cosmetic products. Congratulations to them!

On Friday, April 27, I was in a meeting with a guest speaker from the city of Tempe who was telling us that the city of Tempe has promised every child age 3 and 4 will go to preschool; and if the parents can’t afford it, the city will pay for it. Pretty interesting concept. It is a proven fact that children who attend preschool have an advantage when entering kindergarten. Senator Rick Gray and Councilmembers Hall and Duffy were also present.

Well, I will close for now. Don’t forget to vote in the Circle City Water Company election on May 15, and it can be done by mail.

Reminder that my meeting is on Friday, May 11 at the Retreat Center in Arizona Traditions, 18250 W. Weatherby. Everyone is welcome!

So until next month, be good to yourselves and be good to each other!

Roland F. Winters Jr.
District 1 Councilmember

April 2018 • Newsletter

Happy April to all of my fellow District 1 residents and to all the folks that call this beautiful city home. March got off to a quick start with the Surprise Police Appreciation Dinner at Christ Church of the Valley (CCV) on the evening of Friday, March 2. Many awards were given to show gratitude to the men and women that get on those streets every day and night to keep us all safe. I would like to take this opportunity to thank CCV for their partnership and all they do for our city. We simply ask, and they are there!

On Monday, March 5, I attended a meeting to discuss how we can help the homeless. It is growing into a more significant problem for our residents and visitors in Surprise. It is a very complex issue, and we have to be sensitive to their needs as well. One of the concerns is that we have no place to host them or feed them in Surprise. Most places that can assist or accommodate them are in Phoenix. Our homeless population does not want to leave our city and feel it is their city too.

I had a phone call from the Maricopa County Community Services Commission regarding my interest to serve on their Commission. I was, of course, honored to be considered. There is a process, so I will wait to see if I am chosen.

Friday, March 9 found me at the Economic Development Spring Training Event at Surprise Stadium. Our Economic Development Department is the greatest! They continue to bring a number of opportunities to Surprise!

Tuesday, March 13, I attended Benevilla’s Annual Donor Appreciation Brunch at Briarwood Country Club. The event honored dedicated community members and supporters of their mission. Benevilla President Joanne Thomson presented two awards. The 2018 Bill Wolfrey Community Service Award was given to Larry Vering and the Business Leadership Award was given to Pat Babcock from the West Valley Lutheran Thrift Shop. Benevilla could not provide all their services without the generous contributions of all their donors.

Benevilla Appreciation award winners

On Friday, March 16, I was at the groundbreaking for our newest company, Trimaco, in the Southwest Railplex area of Surprise. With the growing success of their business nationwide, they have outgrown their current west valley location and will be building a NEW 275,000 SF facility and employing over 110 people in Surprise! Trimaco manufactures paint accessories and professional floor protection products for paint retail, auto body and construction industries worldwide. This project represents more than just the current ground-up development, as the President of Trimaco is a long-term investor in Surprise. Mr. Vito Ancona developed Ancona Professional Plaza off Grand Avenue – and now we are happy to welcome him into our industrial park as well!

Following the groundbreaking, we attended the Economic Development Tent Appreciation Event at Surprise Stadium. This annual event is held to show our appreciation to all of our businesses in surprise. It was very successful. We had over 160 people in attendance! Many thanks to Economic Development Director Jeanine Jerkovic for her exceptional leadership and to the entire Economic Development team for working together to show their gratitude as well as attract new business opportunities to Surprise!

I was so very pleased to be in attendance at the ceremony to honor the late CRS Director Mark Coronado. The event took place on Saturday, March 17 prior to the spring training game at Surprise Stadium. His entire family was in attendance. When the Committee to honor Mark made their recommendations at a City Council meeting earlier this year, we approved all three recommendations. You will now see a Mark Coronado legacy seat in the Stadium, in addition to renaming 8-Acre Park to “Mark Coronado Park” with a memorial plaque at the park’s entry gate. Honorary street signs along Bullard Avenue now read “Mark Coronado Way.” I hope, when someone asks 10 or 15 years from now “Who was Mark Coronado?”, there will be someone there to describe all the fantastic things Mark did for the City of Surprise. I would venture to say if it were not for Mark, there would not be a Major League Baseball team in Surprise let alone two teams. My first year on the Council, I worked closely with Mark to develop Surprise Farms Park, now known as Dick McComb City Park. Oddly enough, it was Dick McComb who hired Mark! Mark was fiercely dedicated to make that park a great place to play for generations to come with a splash pad, and the first skate park in Surprise. He also made sure he added these amenities within his budget. I thank Mark for all he did for Surprise in his 17 years of service to this city. Rest in peace now, Mark!

Mark Coronado's family on Surprise Stadium field to receive his honors

Of course on Tuesday, March 20, we held our second monthly City Council Work Session at 4 pm and our City Council Regular Meeting at 6 pm when we actually vote on the different agenda items. In addition after these two meeting, we sometimes go into Executive Session.

Thursday, March 22 found me at my Northwest Valley Connect (NWC) meeting at Benevilla, and for those of you who do not know what that organization is all about, it is all about transportation and getting people where they need to go. NWC will take you to your medical appointments, even the grocery store if you cannot get a ride. They are a non-profit 501(c)3 and there is no charge for their service but they do take donations in any amount. Their drivers are volunteers and they do have accessible vehicles, so if you are a wheelchair user, it isn’t a problem.

We had a ribbon cutting at the Shops at Elm Street on Friday, March 23. For those of you who don’t know where these new stores are, they are located on the corner of Bell Road and Civic Center Drive, right next to the soon to open In-N-Out Burger which is now hiring and paying $12 an hour! Not all of the shops are open yet, but the majority are open for business.

Thompson Thrift

In March, we had another grand opening. Ono Hawaiian BBQ, located at 13864 W. Bell Road, is a fast-casual dining restaurant with 70 store locations throughout California and Arizona. The owners are very nice and the food is excellent. Welcome to Surprise!

Surprise Councilmembers with staff member of Ono Hawaiian BBQ at grand opening

Tuesday, March 27 found me at Willow Canyon High School for a mock crash scenario to demonstrate what can happen when someone makes the decision to drive under the influence. The demonstration costs about $7,000 to put on, so I hope everyone (students and non-students alike) learned something from it. We were fortunate to get a grant from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. I want to thank our Surprise Fire-Medical Department, Surprise Police Department, Native Air, Dysart Unified School District, Willow Canyon administrators and staff for going above and beyond to help all of us to make the right decisions when it comes to driving under the influence, and not to text while driving. It’s simply not worth it! On a personal note, I think Willow Canyon High School is the best high school in Surprise (because it’s in my District), and I love all the kids there. I don’t want to read in the newspapers that someone was killed or injured in a traffic accident for these reasons. Please be careful out there!

On Thursday, March 29, I attended Arizona Charter Academy’s Community Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon at their school at 16025 N. Dysart Road in Surprise. What a great job Melissa Holdaway and her team do to educate those kids, but that’s not all, the young folks are very polite and respectful. We were also entertained by two different choirs. The lunch was catered by Birt’s Bistro. Great job!

Police Officer Terry Vernon ReppertThat same afternoon, I attended the retirement ceremony for Surprise Police Officer Terry Vernon Reppert who served the city for 25 years. The retirements of our public safety personnel are always bitter sweet. On one hand you are happy they are going to have a great retirement, but they will be greatly missed for all their good work they’ve done for us over the years.

Still later in the afternoon on the 29th, I attended the ribbon cutting at the opening of Pinnacle Vein and Vascular Center, 12361 W. Bola Drive near the Original Town Site. Dr. Bajeet Uppal is a vascular surgeon with years of experience, and we welcome him to Surprise.

The last event I went to was the Spring Eggstravaganza on Saturday, March 31 on the Kansas City Royals practice field. What a crowd turned out, like a county fair! Community and Recreation Services Director Donna Miller, Assistant Director Paul Frie and their team did a great job! Everything was well organized and ran smoothly considering all the little people vying for all the eggs scattered all over that field. What a bunch of cuties! I hope all of you had a good Easter!

I wanted to wish retiring IRIS USA CEO Chet Keizer a great retirement! He announced last month that he was retiring, but I am happy to hear he will be staying in Surprise!

As you can see, March was a very busy month!

Don’t forget my Friday Night Chat at the Traditions Community Center, 18250 Weatherby Drive on Friday, April 13 at 7 pm. Don’t let the date scare you away. We have great cookies. My meetings are the second Friday of each month at 7 pm.

Take care! Be good to yourself and be good to each other!

Roland F. Winters Jr.
District 1 Councilmember

March 2018 • Newsletter

Hello to everyone who calls this beautiful city home. Well, it’s March already and time just keeps on flying by. At my first meeting of the month, a couple of folks from a billboard company attended to discuss potential billboard signage in Surprise. I would just like to take an informal survey among our citizens. How do you feel about billboards along Loop 303 or Grand Avenue? I would like to get some feedback from the folks I represent at the table; just call or email me your opinion.

On the evening of Saturday, February, 3, I was at the Wigwam for a Benevilla fundraiser. Benevilla does some great work for our elderly and day care for our young families so our hardworking parents can go to work and put food on the table. It was a very successful event.

Tuesday morning, February 6, found me at my once a month meeting in Phoenix for my Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) Economic Development Committee meeting. This Committee is made up of elected officials, business leaders, and others from across the valley.

Then that same afternoon, City Council held their Work Session at 4 pm, followed by the City Council meeting at 6 pm. The meeting is where the action is taken.

On Wednesday morning, February 7, Willow Canyon High School hosted a town hall meeting in the auditorium with former Canadian Prime Minister, John Turner. Mr. Turner was visiting Surprise to support the idea of having Canadians come to Surprise during the winter months to have their medical procedures done rather than tough out the snow and cold in Canada, especially when they might have a possibility of slipping on the ice after a knee or hip replacement.

Former Canadian Prime Minister, John Turner and panel members for the February 7, 2018 Town Hall Meeting.

February 9 was my regular 2nd Friday night meeting at 7pm in the Community Center in Arizona Traditions. We had a large crowd (it must have been the cookies). Discussion included questions about the widening of Greenway Road, and if there was going to be a traffic light at the intersection of Greenway and Northwest Ranch Parkway. As I understand, the answer is yes.

Ottawa University Arizona broke ground on the O’Dell Center for Athletics on Friday, February 16 at the University’s newest residential campus here in Surprise; it was made possible by a $6 million donation from alumni Jim and Jeanne O’Dell. The 35,000 square foot, three-story O’Dell Center for Athletics will be designed to house locker rooms, training facilities, coaches’ offices and student support services. The center will be immediately adjacent to the new Spirit multi-sport athletic field, near the Surprise Civic Center and Recreation Campus, and will include a new press box and entertainment area. Officials expect construction on the O’Dell Center for Athletics to be finished in the fall 2018.

The city is currently conducting a transit study. Please go to www.surpriseaz.gov/transitstudy and let us know your thoughts because, as you know, this city has no transit system for a population of almost 140,000 people. For those of you who do use the transportation system we have to offer, you know it is spotty at best. In the city’s last National Citizen Survey in 2015, residents identified mobility as top priority for Surprise, along with safety and the economy. I hope you will also take a few minutes to fill out the 2018 National Citizens Survey, which is open through March 19. It is available at http://bit.ly/surprise2018.

Wednesday, February 21 found me at Surprise Stadium for Mayor Wolcott’s Welcome Back Luncheon for our Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers. Yes, it’s Spring Training time again, so get your tickets now and enjoy the games. In the afternoon, I had a meeting with some of our Surprise Youth Council and they are a bunch of sharp kids with great questions.

Surprise Stadium event - Mayor Wolcott’s Welcome Back Luncheon for the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers.

On Thursday, February 22, I attended the Northwest Valley Connect Advisory Committee meeting. We received some good news that Northwest Valley Connect clients were happy with the service that they are getting. If you ever need a ride and can’t get one, call Kathy Chandler at NWC, maybe she can help. There is no charge for service. NWC will call two days before the ride to let you know if they have a driver because all of their drivers are volunteers. I have had good reports from my constituents on their service. They ask for donations, so just mail them a check for whatever you want. Mail any donations to Kathy Chandler, Northwest Valley Connect, 9445 N 99th Ave Peoria, Arizona 85345. You can call (623)282-9304 for a ride. Please let me know about your experience if you try it.

Later that same afternoon, I met with Kendra Pettis, our city’s first Sports and Tourism Director. The new Sports and Tourism Department was launched last fall. I believe this was a really good idea by our City Manager, Bob Wingenroth. The mission of the department is to make Surprise a destination city and not just another city people go through to get to Las Vegas.

I believe I have mentioned previously that I have been working on getting the Vietnam Wall to Surprise, and I finally got a date. It will be here July 5 – July 9. I am hoping to have an opening ceremony with some guest speakers, but we are still putting this all together. We will need some volunteers to build the base for it. I would be remiss if I did not thank Jodi Tas for all the work she has put into this project. I want to thank Donna Miller and the CRS team, and all the folks that have helped from the city. I have used my contingency funds to help pay for the Wall, and I would like to thank Councilmember Hall and Councilmember Duffy for donating some of their contingency funds for this project as well.

Just a reminder to vote! We have Congressional District 8 seat election on April 24. There’s a Special Election on May 15 seeking authorization to purchase a water company. You can get all the details on that election at www.surpriseaz.gov/waterelection. Plus, we have a local election on August 28. The voter registration deadline for the August primary election is July 20. This election will not be a mail ballot only election, but 80 percent of our residents receive mail in ballots now.

Well until next month so long and be good to yourself and be good to others.

Roland F. Winters Jr.
District 1 Councilmember