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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

City begins FY19 budget discussions

The City of Surprise Fiscal Year 2019 budget-building process kicked off at the City Council’s Work Session, 4 p.m., Tuesday, February 6.

This was the first in a series of presentations regarding the overall development of the budget. The first presentation provided a general overview of the city’s budget, including revenue sources, city funds and expenditures.

The presentation also highlighted outside issues that influence the outcomes of the budget process. View presentation.

Future Council Work Sessions and Regular Meetings will include additional presentations related to budget development, including topics on Capital Improvement Projects and continued operating budget discussions. The Recommended Budget is scheduled for release in April, followed by months of Council and public review that will result in the adoption of a balanced FY2019 budget in June. FY2019 begins July 1, 2018.

Council agendas are posted online at http://agenda.surpriseaz.gov at least two business days before the meeting. City Council meets the first and third Tuesdays of each month. Work Sessions are at 4 p.m. and Regular Meetings begin at 6 p.m. All meetings are carried live on Surprise TV for cable customers and streamed online at www.surpriseaz.gov/surpriseTV.

February 2018 • Newsletter

A big shout out to all my neighbors in District 1 and to all in Surprise! Happy February! This will be an exciting six to seven months with some of our projects gearing up and five council seats due for election or re-election, including District 1. Election Day will be held on August 28 so get registered and get on the list to receive a mail-in ballot.

The Council canceled our first meeting in January until January 16 since the second was right after New Year’s Day, but January 9 found me at the first MAG Economic Development Committee meeting of the new year up in Phoenix and things were busy all month. On January 10, I attended the Governor’s State of the State address that was hosted by WESTMARC. I was encouraged to hear he is going to increase education spending in his budget. Thursday, January 11 found me at a meeting at Sundown Elementary School for a citizen outreach meeting to inform residents of a new development going up in the northwest area of District 1. Friday night, the 12th, was my regular 2nd Friday Night Chat at the Community Center in the Retreat at Arizona Traditions. I want to take this opportunity to thank Neal Nassano and his team for letting me use that venue.

Councilmember Roland Williams with Governor Doug Ducey at the Governor’s State of the State

Saturday, January 13, was a great day of celebration and service as the city rallied hundreds of residents to the City Hall commons with entertainers and speakers to acknowledge Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and all he did peacefully to change our nation. As he said, “Anybody can be great because anybody can serve.” This was our second celebration and service event and it only gets better thanks to the volunteers!

Councilman Winters attending the 2018 MLK Celebration at the City Hall

Tuesday, January 16 found me at our Council Workshop at 4 pm followed by our Regular City Council meeting. We also had a Special City Council meeting on January 23 to hear from the six people who want to be appointed to the District 2 seat through the end of this calendar year. Council is scheduled to vote on the appointment at our February 6 meeting. For the remainder of the District 2 term, this seat will be up for the August 28th election.

I was in a meeting at the new memory care facility on Parkview called “Surprise Memory Care”, very nicely done building and interiors.

I had the pleasure to attend the Northwest Ranch HOA meeting on Thursday, January 18 to present the Board with a check to replace some trees that were breaking up the sidewalks in that community. The city has a grant process where any citizen can apply for a grant to improve their neighborhood. If anyone is interested in applying, please contact Jodi Tas at 623.222.1330. I also brought with me Public Works Assistant Director Karl Zook to discuss Fire Station 304 for District 1 that passed with the bond.

On the date of Sunday, January 21, we had the sad duty to say goodbye to Councilman Jim Hayden who died after a short illness on December 20, 2017. His celebration of life was held at the Kiva Ballroom at Sun City Grand. The ballroom was filled to capacity with many speakers from all different parts of Jim’s many experiences from the Air Force, Glendale Fire Department, Glendale Community College and Surprise City government. Jim was well liked and received many accolades. His wife Nancy received two flags, one from a grateful nation given by Luke Air Force Base and the other from Glendale Fire Department. My warmest regards to Nancy and the entire Hayden family.

Wednesday evening, January 24 found me at the Asante HOA meeting with Public Works Assistant Director Karl Zook for another Fire Station 304 update for the folks up there who are happy they will finally get a permanent fully-staffed fire station, thanks to the voter-approved General Obligation Bond Election last November. I also asked Water Resource Management Director Terry Lowe to educate the residents on the ballot measure and special election this May to request permission of the voters to purchase the Circle City Water Company by selling existing water assets. This initiative ensures the city’s ability to provide water services now and into the future, by growing our water supply by nearly 40%.

Thursday, January 25 found me at the Northwest Valley Connect Advisory Committee meeting. We heard a very interesting presentation about autonomous vehicles from MAG Transportation Director Eric Anderson. I guess they are on their way and, ready or not, it looks like about five years according to Mr. Anderson. The hope is that the accident rates will decline since there won’t be any human error and insurance rates will drop.

We had a great groundbreaking at the Colonnade for their new assisted living/memory support facility on Friday, January 26. The Colonnade is located at 19116 Colonnade Way. The assisted living facility will have 26 apartments (24 one-bedroom and 2 two-bedroom), while the memory support facility will have 24 studio apartments. The buildings will be connected by a common entry and a shared kitchen. The building should be complete in December 2018. After the event, everyone went to a nice lunch on the lawn area of the Colonnade. It was a very nice event!

Sunday, January 28, I took the day off and went to hear the Surprise POPS Band at Valley Vista High School, and they are always great. That day was the music of big bands, the thirties and forties, Glen Miller, Louie Armstrong, etc. If you have not been there to enjoy their music, it is absolutely worth your time and the price is just canned food donations for the food bank.

Before I close this newsletter, I just want to bring you up to date on the Vietnam Moving Wall that I’ve been working to bring to Surprise. I want to personally thank Jodi Tas for all of her help in getting this wall here. I also want to thank Donna Miller, Paul Frie, the CRS team and all the others behind the scenes. Don’t miss your chance to see it July 5 – 9 in Surprise. Look for specific location details closer to the event dates.

Be good to yourselves and be good to each other!

January 2018 • Newsletter

Well we have gone through another year, and a whole new year lies in front of us. I want to wish the folks in District 1 and all the residents in this beautiful city of Surprise a happy and prosperous 2018.

Of course, one of the sad events last month was the death of one of our Councilmembers and friend, Jim Hayden. He had a good heart and was always willing and able to discuss the issues that faced the Council and this city. Jim’s memorial service will be held on January 21 in the Kiva Ballroom in Sun City Grand beginning at 11 a.m. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife Nancy and the entire Hayden family.

There will be a lot of things happening this year in Surprise with the passing of the bond. Streets will be improved, two new fire stations, new Public Works buildings, and the police will finally get a new evidence building. I am excited about the new fire station on 163rd Avenue, in the northwest area of my district. The new station will be moved a little further south of the intersection of 163rd Avenue and Happy Valley Road, which will be a very busy intersection someday. I am also glad that we will be improving Greenway Road at Northwest Ranch Parkway and the alignment of Sarival. The intersection will include a traffic light, so folks will have an easier time entering and leaving the Northwest Ranch community.

I am thankful we finally got around to repaving 163rd Avenue, north of Jomax, for my friends in the northwest part of District 1. In March, the final top coat will be applied.

This new year will also include an election. There will be five seats on the Council as part of the election which will include my District Council seat, as well as Districts 2, 3, 5, and 6. The primary election will take place in August. If you are on the permanent early voting list, you will receive a ballot in the mail.

On Friday, December 1, I was at the groundbreaking ceremony for the next phase of the Desert Diamond Casino in Glendale. The construction is part of the permanent casino being built on the property. When the project is completed, there will not only be a full service casino, but also a resort and hotel.

That same evening, I attended our city’s annual Surprise Party which included the tree lighting ceremony outside the Surprise Stadium on Bullard Avenue and a great holiday party that continued that whole weekend. The celebration gets larger every year, and the residents really enjoy it.

Council Members at the 2017 Surprise Tree Lighting Ceremony

On Saturday, December 2, I joined Councilmembers Skip Hall, Ken Remley and Patrick Duffy at the ribbon cutting for the Port of Subs restaurant. They are located at 14557 W. Grand Avenue. The sub sandwiches are great!

Councilmembers Skip Hall, Patrick Duffy and Roland Winters at the ribbon cutting for the Port of Subs restaurant

Later that same day, I was off to Fire Station 303 on Cotton Lane to check in on their open house which had many visitors. If you have not visited one of our fire stations, it is well worth your time. After that, I stopped back in to Surprise Party at 8-Acre Park to enjoy the sights and events, especially the car show.

Councilmember Winters at the Fire Station 303 Open House

I attended an EPCOR meeting in the ballroom of Sun City Grand. This meeting was part of a series of Community Outreach meetings EPCOR is hosting to explain their plan to apply the costs of repairing their infrastructure over all their service areas, so as to keep the cost down for the rate payers. This meeting took place on December 4, but I don’t know how many more they are going to have before they go before the ACC (Arizona Corporation Commission) for approval. That evening, I was at City Hall for a new art exhibit opening, featuring youth artists.

Tuesday, December 5, I was off to my Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) Economic Development Committee meeting in Phoenix. The committee is made up of Mayors, Councilmembers and business owners, working to bring new commercial and businesses opportunities to Maricopa County. I got back just in time for the City Council Work Session at 4 p.m. and then the City Council meeting.

The evening of Wednesday, December 6, my wife and I were at a holiday party put on by Gammage Law firm in Phoenix. We ran into Alan Jones of Lennar Homes. He was telling me how great the staff in Surprise are and what a pleasure it is to work with them. I also had the honor to talk to Grady Gammage for a few minutes. We talked about how many opportunities are opening up in the West Valley.

On Thursday, December 7, I attended the holiday celebration at our TechCelerator on Bell Road where we give startup companies a chance to succeed with reduced rent, advice, etc. Julie Neal is doing a great job over there. One of our startup businesses was bought by Google.

I went to a ribbon cutting on Friday, December 8 for our newest restaurant in Surprise – Raising Cane’s. What a celebration they had with marching bands, choirs, free chicken and much more. It is good to finally see something going up on that property on the corner of Sun Village Parkway and Bell Road… and coming soon is In-N-Out Burger!

Raising Canes Grand Openeing

I was at my Northwest Valley Connect Advisory Committee meeting on Wednesday, December 13. We are working on building a consortium of business people, office holders and others interested in getting a reliable source of mass transit in the West Valley, which is underserved to say the least. With the leadership of Kathy Chandler and Bonnie Boyce Wilson, I can see it really happening. We were joined by Representative Kevin Payne who applauded our efforts.

On December 14, I attended the annual holiday party that the city gives to all of our loyal workers at lunchtime. It is great to see the employees relax and enjoy themselves once a year and all the directors served up the food provided by Birt’s Bistro.

I attended the holiday party of our seniors that go to the Senior Center for different programs every day. The celebration took place on December 15 at the Colonnade which is a new venue for the event. What is neat about this party every year is that neither the city nor the taxpayer pays for this. The bill is covered by the money earned through the rental of vendor booths at the city’s Surprise Super Swap Meet, held bi-annually at the Surprise Aquatic Center parking lot.

Senior Center Holiday Party at the Colonnade

On Saturday, December 16, the long-awaited new pickleball courts opened up. The date was chosen so the most people could be there, and they were there in force. Jeff Stone, the Surprise President of the Pickleball Association, joined the Council Members in cutting the ribbon. Thanks Jeff for all your hard work in getting this done. It was my pleasure to be there.

Vice Mayor Tande, Councilmembers Hall, Duffy, Remley & Winters at the new Pickleball Courts Grand Opening

On the morning of Monday, December 18, Public Works Director Mike Gent and I took a ride to survey the work done on some of the roads in District 1. As I previously mentioned, 163rd Avenue was repaved. Other roads recently given a layer of asphalt were: Sarival between Bell and Greenway roads; Bell Pointe Road; and some roads in Surprise Farms V. Plus, paved for the first time a number of months ago, was Jomax, east of 163rd Avenue. Then of course, these roads were re-striped. Thanks to Mike and his team for all their hard work.

On Wednesday, December 20, I did a taping of a new Council Conversation show with the city’s Transportation Manager, David Kohlbeck and Public Works Director Mike Gent. If you get a chance to tune into Surprise TV and see it, please let me know what you think. The show is mostly about our transportation systems, such as they are, and the roads in and around District 1.

Many of you know about the other tragedy that took place in our neighboring city of El Mirage, and that was the death of Police Officer Paul Lazinsky who sadly died December 12 in the line of duty. I went to his viewing on December 20 at the Surprise Funeral Care on Bell Road and his funeral service the next day at Radiant Church. There was a 21-gun salute, bag pipes and many other honors and accolades. Officer Lazinsky was buried at Arlington National Cemetery with honors.

Mark your calendars as the Vietnam Moving Wall is coming to Surprise from July 5 through July 9. I have been working with staff for the last year to get this accomplished. We will need many volunteers to help make this a success. If you are interested, please contact Paul Frie at 623.222.2240. More details will follow!

I would like to relate to you a story before I close my January newsletter. Over the last four or five weeks or so, someone who visited me must have noticed my tattered American flag hanging from the front of my home. Well, Christmas morning I woke up rather early and went out in front of my house and someone had left a brand new American Flag on a pole wrapped in plastic standing against the front door. There was a no note or card so I just want to thank you so very much to whoever left it. What a nice Christmas gift and what a nice gesture!

So until next month, I will say goodbye for now. Be good to yourself and be good to each other. To whoever gave me that American flag…thank you!

Roland F. Winters Jr.

December 2017 • Newsletter

A big shout out to everyone in District 1 and to all of our residents in Surprise! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and had a chance to reflect on what you are thankful for. You are probably like me and ate too much, but that’s okay. Once in a while we can splurge!

The month of November began with a meeting with our Water Resource Management Director Terry Lowe to discuss the possible acquisition of a water service company. City Council discussed the possible acquisition at our regularly scheduled meeting on November 7 and approved sending the question to ballot election. Now, Surprise voters will decide whether or not to authorize the purchase of the company in a May 15 special election. Circle City Water Company (CCW) is a small water service company in the northern part of Surprise’s planning area and future water service area. This acquisition will 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 meet future demands and shortfalls. This purchase would be funded through the sale of current and future water portfolio assets; the cost to acquire CCW will not be borne by the City of Surprise water customers or taxpayers. Educational public meetings will be held prior to the special election and an information pamphlet will be mailed in April to all registered households in Surprise. Meeting dates will be posted to the city website www.surpriseaz.gov when they are confirmed. Additionally, Director Lowe will be attending one of my monthly meetings to brief you on the acquisition and answer any questions you may have.

On the evening of November 2, I attended WESTMARC’s Annual Best of the West Awards at the University of Phoenix Stadium. The Bell-Grand Bridge-to-Business Program was named a finalist in the West Valley Economic Engine Award category. This community-wide campaign supported the nearly 300 businesses impacted by the eight-month full closure of Bell Road during the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) bridge construction project. The success of this multi-level campaign is attributed to the collaboration of hundreds of West Valley businesses, thousands of West Valley residents, ADOT, the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce, multiple contractors and city departments. Economic Development Manager Mike Hoover was awarded WESTMARC’s President’s Choice Award for his leadership and contribution to the WESTMARC Issue Committee. Congratulations Mike!

I was honored to attend the ribbon cutting for another school in Surprise, as West-MEC opened their latest campus in Surprise, Friday, November 3. The Northwest Campus is located on the southwest corner of Dysart Road and Grand Avenue in Surprise. This campus is focused on automotive, computer technology, construction, health and beauty, and medical industries. West-MEC provides a great opportunity for our young folks, that are not interested in attending a four-year college, to learn skills and obtain a good career.

The Surprise Fire-Medical Department hosted an open house at Fire Station 306 on Saturday, November 4. My family and I had a wonderful time visiting with the staff. If you get a chance to visit one of our great men or women in their houses, you should make the time and meet them for a tour!

The Surprise Police Department held a promotion ceremony in the City Council Chamber on Monday, November 6, honoring the promotions of Commander Philip Johnson, and Sergeants Joseph Kopronica and Jesus Galaz. I appreciate the opportunity to attend these events as it is a great opportunity to see our wonderful men and women get the promotions they dearly deserve.

I attended my monthly Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) Economic Development Committee meeting in Phoenix on Tuesday, November 7. We heard some very interesting presentations about the current economy in Arizona.

Canyon Ridge Elementary School in District 1 hosted such a great Veterans Day Commemoration and Reception on Thursday, November 9. I was honored to be there. All of their staff and students were involved. The keynote speaker was Dennis Grau.

The city hosted the 3rd Annual Surprise Veterans Day Parade on Saturday, November 11. And what an excellent Veterans Day it was! I was pleased to be able to greet our residents along the parade route. I hope you made it out for this patriotic event to help show gratitude to those past veterans and present military personnel.

On Monday, November 13, I took part in a meeting with Canadian executives and our Economic Development team to discuss a plan to provide better, more innovative healthcare options for Canadians in the future. A panel discussion followed the next morning. The Surprise Economic Development Department is leading an initiative to bring Canadian medical services and medical practitioners to the market. Surprise is aiming to be a medical destination for services where rehabilitation and recovery is most desirable in a warm climate. The Cross-Border Healthcare Taskforce, formed earlier this year, includes members from Canada and the city, working hard to deliver a feasibility report on the issue in early 2018.

Recognizing that the City of Surprise rests on the shoulders of great women and men who invested a precious part of themselves to the benefit of our city; the Surprise City Council has adopted a policy to create an Ad-Hoc “Honoring an Exceptional Leader Task Force” within the City of Surprise. The task force hosted their first meeting on Tuesday, November 14, in the Community Room of City Hall. I attended the meeting to suggest what we as a city could do to honor the legacy of the late Community and Recreation Services Director Mark A. Coronado. Mr. Coronado led the department from 2000 until his death this past June. Under Mark’s leadership the department grew to manage all recreational programming, city parks, aquatics, library services, community/sports tourism special events, recreational facility development, Spring Training operations and national/international tennis events. During his tenure with the city, Mark also held the roles of Interim City Manager, Acting Economic Development Director, Acting Public Works Director and Acting Communications Director. The Task Force’s second meeting is scheduled for Thursday, December 14, 6 p.m., in the City Hall- Community Room, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. The public is encouraged to attend. Here is the council-approved protocol for the Honoring an Exceptional Leader Task Force’s next steps:

  1. Within 30 days of the first meeting (Nov. 14), conduct second public meeting to select at least two options to be vetted by city staff. Staff will, at a minimum; explore costs, legal environment, consistency, pros & cons, potential opportunity costs, etc.
  2. Within 30 days of the second meeting, Special Task Force will hold third public meeting to weigh all the information presented by city staff, and select the best two/three options. Again, the Special Task Force will use all avenues available, market the meeting in a way that encourages Surprise residents to attend and submit ideas and discuss pros and cons of each idea.
  3. Special Task Force will present its recommendations to the City Council at the next regularly scheduled City Council Workshop. City Council will either recommend that the action item be brought forward at the next City Council Meeting, or ask that the Special Task Force perform additional work.

The Special Task Force will be dismissed after City Council action. Councilman Ken Remley hosted his monthly District 4 Community Meeting on Wednesday, November 15, at the Roy Villanueva Gym. The focus of the agenda and conversation was an update on the improvements for the Original Town Site. The meeting was well attended. Councilman Skip Hall and I also attended.

I attended the ribbon cutting of a new business in Surprise, Fast Signs, on November 16. The business is located on 15332 W. Bell Road. Fast Signs provides a variety of different signage options, displays and promotional items.

On Saturday, November 18, I attended another open house at Fire Station 301 in the Original Town Site. This station is very busy. I enjoyed my time to talk to the great bunch of guys there!

The City of Surprise is currently performing pavement preservation work on 163rd Avenue between Jomax Road and Dixileta Drive. This section of roadway is not a full depth engineered roadway, but instead is a more typical rural road made up of an asphalt layer over native soil, leaving the road surface very vulnerable to deterioration. The first steps in this current pavement preservation process is to install asphalt repairs, where appropriate, combined with full pulverization and asphalt recycling of the worst sections of the roadway. The next step, which will be completed in December, is installing a new chip seal surface on top of the repaired asphalt below. Temporary striping will also be installed at this time. In early Spring 2018, the city will install a second Chip Seal layer to this entire section of roadway, followed by installing long-lasting thermoplastic striping. Our City Council prioritizes and has demonstrated a strong commitment to maintaining city roads and ensuring traffic in Surprise moves safely and efficiently.

Well, until next year, I hope you enjoy the last month of 2017. Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous new year. To my Jewish friends, Happy Hanukkah!

Roland F. Winters Jr.

November 2017 • Newsletter

Greetings to all of my friends in District 1 and to all of the residents in this beautiful city we call home. It’s hard to believe this is November and Thanksgiving and Christmas are close at hand.

Hillview Baptist Church invited me to their grand opening service on Sunday, October 1. Thank you to Dysart Unified School District for allowing them to utilize the auditorium at Cimarron Springs Elementary School located at 17032 W. Surprise Farms Loop South in Surprise. New churches are very difficult to start up and grow so I am grateful the church has this opportunity. I was honored to attend and I wish the church much success there.

I have been appointed to the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) Economic Development Council (EDC). They meet once a month in Phoenix. The first meeting after my appointment was October 3. Agenda items included updates from the Greater Phoenix Economic Council and the Arizona Commerce Authority. We also received reports on the integration of health service providers in the Arizona-Sonoran region and the Phoenix International Raceway project which includes major changes and renovations with investment of $178 million.

The role of the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) Economic Development Committee (EDC) is to develop opportunity-specific and action-oriented initiatives that fosters and advances infrastructure in the MAG region, especially transportation infrastructure that would further economic development opportunities. The committee is led by Chair and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. I am honored to have been selected over a number of other candidates for this position. The Mayor submitted a nice letter of recommendation for me as well.

Sante of Surprise hosted their 6 year anniversary party on Friday, October 6 with a rustic fall harvest celebration. Sante of Surprise offers short term and acute rehabilitation for a variety of conditions. They are located at 14775 W Yorkshire Drive.

Sante of Surprise 6 year anniversary party

It was a great day on Saturday, October 7 with the opening of the additional almost 10 acres of recreational open space at Dick McComb City Park on West Park Boulevard. I am so pleased that we finally disposed of the horrible green fence and I’m sure the residents in Surprise Farms are also happy. The eyesore of a fence was there for approximately 10 years. We now have a great collaboration between the city, the Surprise Farms III HOA Board and the residents in that beautiful community. Additionally, we installed the shade structures throughout the park including the dog park so needless to say, this park has come a long way. The project was finished on time and under budget so we installed sod rather than grass seed.

Later the same afternoon, I attended the Northwest Ranch block party in their newly renovated park with brand new playground equipment. The block party was graciously paid for by the community’s new neighbor, Fellowship Square, to show their gratitude during extended construction of their new facility. What a fantastic neighbor! It was so nice to talk to the residents, and see the Community Manager, Melanie Veach, Kelly Hall and the remainder of the HOA Board Members!

I kicked off the bond presentation at Arizona Traditions on Tuesday, October 10. Staff educated the attendees on all three bond questions and later provided answers to the questions of the attendees.

As a member of MAG EDC, I was honored to attend a welcoming event at the Phoenician in Phoenix along with Phoenix City Council, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and CEO and Founder of Canada Arizona Business Council (CABC) Glenn Williamson to welcome Air Canada’s Senior Vice President, Regional Markets and Government Relations, Kevin Howlett, in celebration of the new Phoenix-Montreal non-stop service.

Mariposa Point, an assisted living and memory care facility, hosted a grand opening on Thursday, October 12. Mariposa Point prides itself with taking a holistic approach to care and service. This facility is large with a varied menu and with several residents residing there.

I hosted my monthly meeting on Friday, October 13 at the Community Center at the Retreat in Arizona Traditions, 18250 W. Weatherby Drive. We had a good crowd and some productive conversation. I hope to see you at a future meeting. Please remember when you arrive at the gate, tell the guard you are there for my meeting. Everyone is welcome!

Councilmember Willams at the Fire Station 305 Open House
Pictured: Captain Sean Cahill (left) and Battalion Chief Autry Cheatham (right)

Surprise Fire Medical hosted an open house Fire Station 305 on Saturday, October 14. We were able to look at all the equipment and talk to the firefighters on duty. What a great gang of men and women!I attended the West Valley Arts HQ Annual Block Party and new exhibit on Thursday, October 19. A great time was had by all. Immediately following the event, I attended the Northwest Ranch HOA meeting to introduce staff and educate residents on the bond.

Several members of our Surprise Youth Council and I met on Monday, October 30. I met with Tatumn Anderson, Daryian Matthews and Isabelle Hunsaker. They provided an update on the things that SYC is working on. After speaking to these young folks, the future looks brighter!

Well that concludes my schedule for October and November has proven to be even busier. I would like to take this moment to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving. Let us all be thankful for our health, for our families and the freedom to worship how we like. I will close for now so be good to yourself and be good to each other!

Take Care,

Roland F. Winters Jr.