Mayor and City Council met with Planning and Zoning Commission members and city staff, Nov. 8, 2014, to talk about how to grow Surprise through the General Plan, so that the city prioritizes projects to attract new employers, maintain a safe community, and ensure a great quality of life for residents through efficient transportation options, the arts and recreation.
Greetings to all of my fellow residents in District 1 and in this great city we call Surprise!
The weather is finally cooling a bit and in a few months, the extreme heat we had this summer will be a distant memory.
During the first few weeks of September, I was able to take some time away for a working vacation. I’d like to extend a special thank you to my colleagues and constituents for their understanding during my time away. I was able to return to the City in time to attend the Surprise Fire Department’s Charity Golf Outing at Coyote Lakes Golf Course. The turn-out was really spectacular! Even recently retired Fire Chief Michael White was present for the event. It was nice to see him and hear he is enjoying his retirement. The event raised $5,000 for the Foundation for Burns and Trauma.
On September 16th, City Council and the Planning and Zoning Commission held a joint meeting to review the General Plan. We also had a regular City Council meeting that evening to discuss the naming of the recreation area in the Original Town Site (OTS). The City Council voted unanimously to name the area after the late Roy Villanueva who served as the City’s Mayor, Vice-Mayor and Councilman prior to his passing in July 2013. The area which consists of Gaines Park, Surprise Senior Center, Hollyhock Pool, Villanueva Recreation Center and Hollyhock Library, will be called the Roy Villanueva Community and Recreation Complex. The official naming presentation is part of the Surprise Fiesta Grande celebration on October 4th. Roy was a great supporter of Surprise and a tireless worker to make Surprise the City it is today.
Roy Villanueva I met with Mayor Wolcott on September 17th to discuss our mutual goals and needs for the City. One of my goals as your City Councilman is to initiate a mass-transit system, not only for Surprise, but for the West Valley so we are connected to cities like Glendale, Goodyear, El Mirage, Youngtown, etc. While our own Dial-A-Ride system is working to a certain degree, we also need a fixed bus route system. People need a fixed bus route system that will be effective.
I was privileged to receive an invitation to the American Legion meeting at Happy Trails to recognize three young men from Willow Canyon High School. The students, Andrew Lataille, Jerry Abah and Williams Costello, were awarded the gift of attending Boys State. This venue instills the importance of civic engagement in our youth. I would like to personally thank Post 96 for sponsoring these young men for the program.
On Friday, September 19th, I attended a luncheon hosted by Benevilla to thank all their generous contributors and to honor Bob Jeckel for all of his help over the years. Mr. Jeckel donated many numerous hours as a volunteer there.
That same evening, I held my monthly “Friday Night Chat”. I was delighted to have Mike Gent, Public Works Director, in attendance. Mike was recently promoted to Public Works Director after serving as our Assistant Public Works Director for one year. He is a very knowledgeable professional and we are lucky to have him with our City! Furthermore, we were honored to have Mayor Wolcott in attendance. Mayor Wolcott spoke to the residents and answered several questions. It was a very nice event. My next Friday Night Chat will be held on October 17th at 7 p.m. in the Community Center in Arizona Traditions (18250 W. Weatherby Drive).
The State of Americas Dinner was held on Tuesday, September 23rd. The keynote speaker was Vincente Fox, former President of Mexico. The primary focus of the event was discussion on economic development concerning Mexico and Arizona as partners and political allies. Later in the evening, we were able to listen to a panel discussion with former President Fox and the current former President of Costa Rica, Laura Chinchilla.
On September 24th, I attended a meeting with fellow Council Members and officials from EPCOR explaining the issues they face pertaining to aging infrastructure. Certain areas of the West Valley have pipes and pumps 40 to 50 years old.
I do have some exciting news for you! I met with our City Manager, Bob Wingenroth and our Director of Community and Recreational Services, Mark Coronado regarding the improvements at Surprise Farms Park. These plans are being finalized and requests for proposals will be sent soon. There will be a large splash pad, ramadas, and bathrooms, walking trails, a dog park and many other features. A public meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 15th at 6 p.m. in the Community Room of City Hall to update residents on the design and progress and to gather input from residents on the skate park design plans. I’d like to extend a special thank you to Mark Coronado and his CRS team for all of their hard work!
The latest event at the West Valley Art HQ was a fantastic display of paintings by Bill Patterson. Mr. Patterson is an artist whose terrific paintings illustrate the Phoenix International Raceway. I was very excited to see his demonstration on how he paints the winning car at the track as it comes into Victory Lane after the race.
Later that evening, I made a trip to our neighbor city, El Mirage, to attend their Fiesta at Gentry Park. It was a great event. Mayor Lana Mook told me she was pleased with the turn-out.
I will sign off for now and until the next time, be good to yourself and be good to each other!
Councilman Roland F. Winters Jr.
This summer, Fire Station 304 moved into a new 1,500 square-foot temporary, modular, station at the intersection of 163rd Avenue and Happy Valley Road. Accompanying the new modular station is a new garage for the storage of the fire apparatus and equipment. Although these improvements are not the permanent solution, these temporary improvements are a significant upgrade for the Fire-Medical Department.
The council voted unanimously for the upgraded facility last year. The new station includes a living room, kitchen, training room, four dorms and an office.
The timing of the permanent fire station is dependent upon the growth patterns in the immediate region. When the time comes to construct the permanent facility, the temporary station is situated on the 3-acre site in a manner that will not disturb the current Fire-Medical service operation.
I joined Mayor Wolcott and several other Council Members at the grand opening and ribbon cutting. It was a great success, with hundreds of art enthusiasts in attendance. It’s clear that developing the arts in Surprise is something that the community wants and building our city into an arts hot spot is something I am proud to support.
Check out http://www.westvalleyarts.org for more information on arts in the West Valley.
Greetings, District One!
Hello to all of my District 1 fellow residents! I hope this month’s newsletter finds you well!
I have great news to share with those of you who are planning to attend my meeting on Friday, September 19 at 7 pm in the Retreat Community Center at AZ Traditions. I am hoping that all of the residents in District 1 will attend and I will supply the cookies!
August has been a very busy time for me even though we’re in the middle of summer. We had our City Council Work Session and City Council Meeting on Tuesday evening, August 5.
On Monday, August 11, my wife and I had a tour of Benevilla. Our host was Michelle Dionisio, President and CEO of this wonderful organization! This not-for-profit organization does extraordinary work for the residents of Surprise. Benevilla provides a continuum of care that promotes independence while instilling a sense of dignity and self-empowerment, regardless of the ability to pay. The programs offered addresses the ongoing and changing needs of caregivers and families. However, they also bring the youth and elderly together on a daily basis. Benevilla has established an intergenerational program opportunity for the growing West Valley, including Wirtzie’s Preschool and Child Care as well as Art’s Center for All Ages which provides children from 1 to 5 years old the unique opportunity to share space and experiences with the elderly. We are very lucky to have these resources in our City!
Mayor Sharon Wolcott hosted her third annual Mayor’s Bowling Challenge at Uptown Alley on Friday, August 15. Most of the City Council and many Mayors from the valley were in attendance. Mayor Wolcott’s team came in first place, and the win was credited to the bowling skills of Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. Believe it or not, I had 6 strikes in a row. Just kidding! Many of our City employees joined the fun and a good time was had by all. It is one of the few opportunities we can take advantage of to get together in a casual atmosphere to relax and network.
ADOT hosted a celebration and ribbon cutting in honor of the opening of the I-10 and Loop 303 interchange on Saturday, August 16. I was able to attend this great event and I was also able to speak to Governor Brewer, albeit briefly. The Governor and Mayor Georgia Lord of Goodyear cut the ribbon.
Our City Council meeting was changed from Tuesday, August 19 to Monday, August 18 to accommodate the Arizona League of Cities Conference which was held at the Sheraton Downtown Hotel in Phoenix beginning Tuesday, August 19 through Friday, August 22. Special recognition was given to two Surprise youth whose actions helped Surprise Police catch a burglary suspect. A heartfelt thank you to Rosalio Hernandez Garcia and Esperansa Hernandez Garcia for your commendable efforts!
This Conference is a fantastic event and of course, with it being my first time attending, I was able to learn a great deal of valuable information. There were many breakout sessions to discuss various issues facing Arizona. Amongst some of the sessions I attended included the discussions of water problems in Arizona, the cooperation between Arizona and Mexico to agree on economic exchange in the US and the developing rural areas. I chose to attend developing rural areas since District 1 has so much land within it to be developed. The evening of Thursday, August 21, was very eventful as every city and town had the opportunity to display a booth at the “Showcase of Cities & Towns”. Surprise had the best booth which included mariachis. Councilwoman Villanueva even sang a song!
Due to the Conference, I was not physically in Surprise on Tuesday, August 19, when the City had torrential downpours and parts my District were washed away, especially in the northeastern area. We were able to constantly communicate with our wonderful City Manager, Bob Wingenroth, who quickly assessed the situation and worked with the necessary departments to assist residents and remove the danger from the areas hit hardest.
Well, I am off to South Dakota for a relay and business meeting for H.T.C. as I am the current President. I will be back in two weeks; however, you can still contact me via email at email@example.com or phone. I hope to see you at my meeting on September 18.
Be good to yourself and be good to your neighbors!
Councilman Roland F. Winters Jr.
Greetings, District One!
I hope the month of August is off to a wonderful start for you! As most of you are aware, Council is back in session after a month long recess in July. Despite the recess though, we were and continue to be very busy!
I was able to attend the Marley Park Veteran’s Commemorative Plaza (VCP) event in Marley Park on Independence Day. The VCP is for the community to commemorate those who have served or may currently serve in the armed forces. The event was well attended and Vice Mayor Hall (Army) and Councilman Biundo (Marines) were acknowledged for their military service.
I was fortunate to receive an invitation to the West Valley Gubernatorial Forum and Debate at ASU West on Tuesday, July 22nd along with many other elected officials from around the Valley.
On July 24th, Mayor Wolcott and several other Council Members including myself attended the grand opening and ribbon cutting of the West Valley Arts Council in their new facility at the City Center. The 2,500 square foot gallery will have regularly changing exhibits by local artists. It is just north of City Hall next to the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Surprise Farms III held their Annual HOA Meeting at Willow Canyon High School on July 24. I was grateful for the invitation. I was able to provide artist renditions of the amenities of the Surprise Farms Park.
The City Council was invited to interview a top candidate for Assistant City Manager on Friday, July 25. Bob Wingenroth, City Manager, has really taken over the reigns and is in the process of building an excellent leadership team. We look forward to seeing our beautiful city grow, both in and out of City Hall.
We are excited to announce that the crews working from Fire Station 304 moved into their new facility on June 28th. We thank them for their patience and welcome them to their new temporary home!
My August schedule is getting quite full. Below, please find a quick glance at the meetings and events I will be attending:
- August 5th, 4 pm – City Council Work Session
- August 5th, 6 pm – City Council Meeting
- August 11th, 11 am – Tour of Benevilla
- August 12th, 7 am – Surprise Chamber of Commerce Breakfast
- August 13th, 7:30 am – Dysart Unified School District Breakfast Meeting
- August 14th, 6 pm – Surprise Fire Medical Promotion Ceremony
- August 16th, 9 am – ADOT 303/I-10 Ribbon Cutting
- August 18th, 4 pm – City Council Work Session
- August 18th, 6 pm – City Council Meeting
- August 19th through August 23rd – Arizona League of Cities Conference
- August 28th, 3:30 pm – Water Planning Sub-Committee Meeting
Also, please mark your calendar for my next meet and greet will take place on September 19. Mark your calendars! I hope to see you there!
Until we meet again, stay cool and be safe,
Councilman Roland F. Winters, Jr.
Greetings, District One!
Happy warm July to everyone in District 1! I hope this newsletter finds you well.
As you most likely know, last month was my last meet and greet until September 19 (one day before my birthday). We had a fabulous crowd (below) and I was able to inform everyone about the great things happening in District 1 and indeed, the entire City. If you need to speak to me about anything, please feel free to call me or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We welcomed a new City Manager, Bob Wingenroth! The decision to appoint Mr. Wingenroth was a remarkable decision by the entire City Council. I will be interviewing our new City Manager on Surprise 11 this month so you’ll want to watch it.
WINCO is proceeding with their large discount grocery store on Bell Road after overcoming many hurdles. I recognize there was some opposition to the location of the store but I believe it will be a wonderful addition for District 1, the residents of Surprise and even the residents of the southwest Valley. I have received a number of emails and phone calls with some concerns and one of the last emails discussed concerns about Acacia trees that WINCO wanted to plant along the block wall at the very southern edge of that particular lot. Some of those residents did not want the mess associated with those trees, in particular, the puffy flowers that fall from the trees and blow around. After further investigation and discussions with staff, WINCO agreed to change the trees to Sissoo with root barriers. WINCO is trying to accommodate us and to be a good neighbor!
The City Council held their last meeting, prior to summer recess, on Tuesday, June 17. We will resume our regular schedule on Tuesday, August 5. Although we are not meeting, we do not have July off of work. There is still City work to be done!
On Wednesday, June 4, I visited the site of our new Fire Station 304. It won’t be too much longer before the crew will move into the new facility. It will be very nice for them compared to the space they currently occupy! I’d love to cut that ribbon, if they ask me! I’ve received a few phone calls inquiring about the new space. Why is it a temporary building instead of a permanent building? The answer is quite simple. There is a big difference between $400,000 versus $4.5 million and until Asante and the other areas are completely built and the City can collect those impact fees, we will need to wait.
The Committee I chair, the Boards and Commissions Selection Committee, has chosen four new residents to fill vacancies on various commissions. Councilman Jim Biundo of District 2 and Councilwoman Rachel Villanueva of District 4 are also part of the Committee. The City Council unanimously approved all nominees at the City Council meeting on June 17. It is really gratifying to find residents who are willing to donate some of their free time to serve on our Boards and Commissions which serve as a valuable resource for our City Council.
Last month, I also attended the HOA Summit held in the Public Safety Auditorium of the Surprise Police Department. We had a fair turn-out. I strongly encourage all of our HOAs to get involved at these meetings which are held quarterly. Please ask your HOA Boards to be in attendance! This past meeting was held on June 11 and it was very informative. Landscaping was the primary focus of this meeting as well as tips on how we can make our common areas aesthetically pleasing. The lecture was given by Bart Wingard, one of the City’s Planners. Bart knows his subject as he holds a degree in landscape engineering. Great job, Bart!
On June 11, I was also invited to attend the Surprise Farms II HOA meeting by their Community Manager, Jeanne Stockard and the Surprise Farms II Board of Directors. I provided a City and District 1 update which included all of the improvements the City will be investing in Surprise Farms Park. Mark Coronado, Director of CRS, was able to provide some artist renditions for that meeting. Thank you, Mark! The residents who were in attendance seemed happy to see the renditions and know the improvements are coming to fruition.
I had the privilege to attend the AZ Entrepreneurial Boot Camp at the AZ TechCelerator on Friday, June 13. Many of our high school youth participated in the boot camp that allowed them to work in four separate groups and develop a business plan for their school. The winner was chosen and that business, Bull Dog Lock-Up received $2,000 to start their business at their school, Arizona Charter Academy. Bull Dog Lock-Up will provide a secure place for students to place their school items during the school day.
On Wednesday, June 18, the CRS Advisory Commission held their monthly meeting at Willow Canyon High School to show and explain what amenities they recommend at Surprise Farms Park. The meeting was very well attended as the CRS Chair indicated it was one of their largest crowds. Four City Council Members were in attendance. All aspects of the improvements were well explained and Mark Coronado, Director of CRS, was there for questions and answers. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Wayne Turner and the CRS Advisory Commission for their hard work, planning and patience developing their plans for this park. Jay Hicks was also present for this meeting. Mr. Hicks was the primary planner for Marley Park and if you have never been to Marley Park or Asante Park, it is worth the trip! We received excellent feedback from this meeting pertaining to the residents’ wants which included a large splash pad, ramadas, bathrooms, parking lot, dog park and much more. We have $1.68 Million to invest at this park. Will we get everything we want? Maybe not, but we are certainly going to do our best with what we have. I am confident that the City Council will approve this project.
On June 23, City Council had an opportunity to meet the candidates for the Community Development Director position. Our new City Manager has a tough decision to make!
The 24th of June found me in our usual once a month Water Planning Subcommittee meeting chaired by Vice Mayor Skip Hall. In approximately 2025, we are going to be forced to make some tough choices regarding our water supply. This Subcommittee has allowed me to work with our Vice Mayor more closely and I can assure you, when our Mayor is out of town for business, the City is in good hands with Vice Mayor Hall at the helm.
Finally, on June 25, I went to my fourth meeting on Interstate 11 which will be located just west of Surprise. It will someday connect Mexico to Canada but it is still early in the planning process.
As you can see, June was a very busy month. I hope you enjoyed my summary. Please remember to watch my Surprise 11 interview with our new City Manager. I wasn’t too nervous this time!
Please don’t forget, we’ve changed our hours to best accommodate our residents!
Councilman Roland Winters, Jr.
Greetings, District One!
Hello to all of my neighbors in Surprise District 1. I hope this newsletter finds you healthy and keeping cool. The heat is upon us, but Surprise is still a great place to live, and don’t forget that our pool is open this summer and is a great facility.
Summer Meeting Schedule
I will start off first by saying I will have one more meeting on Friday, June 20, 7 pm, in the Community Center at The Retreat at Arizona Traditions. This is a great chance for you folks to share your concerns or just stop by and chat. I will take a summer break until September 19 when my get-togethers will resume, so there will be no meetings in July or August.
I have been busy in May and I would like to bring everyone up to date. For those who have not been to the Adelante Medical Office on Bell Road, they are displaying artwork and photos by some of the members of What’s Happening in Art Movement (WHAM). Well worth the stop to check it out. We were there Friday evening, May 2.
Relay for Life
The Annual Relay for Life event took place on May 3 and 4, at Willow Canyon High School. The American Cancer organization wishes to thank the student body and administrators for allowing that to happen at their facility. It is a very worthwhile fun event to raise money to defeat cancer. This event raised more than $60,000 and was well attended, including Mayor Sharon Wolcott, and Youngtown’s Mayor Mike LeVault, and a number of Surprise City Council members. I wish all the seniors who graduated from Willow Canyon High School the best in their future plans. District One is very fortunate to have a school of your caliber.
Rancho Gabriela Career Day
I was honored to be invited to Rancho Gabriela School on Thursday, May 6 for Career Day, and those little kids were really sharp. The main attraction for them was, of course, our fire fighters, fire truck, the police area, and the S.W.A.T. team. I represented the City Council and would ask those kids, “What district do you live in?” and they would answer, “Dysart.” Great kids.
Northwest Ranch Block Party
I spent a half day at the Northwest Ranch Block Party on Saturday, May 10, answering the residents’ questions and concerns while I got fat on hamburgers and hot dogs. Everyone had a great time.
Wednesday, May 14 found me at a water conservation conference in Avondale, put on by West CAP. A number of public officials from around the West Valley were in attendance. I was joined there by Mayor Wolcott; our City Manager, Chris Hillman; our Director of Public Works, Dick McKinley; and a number of others from Surprise. I came away with the impression that our water supply is limited and we must always keep in our mind to continue to conserve our precious water. Will we ever run out of water? Probably not, but the question is, how much are we going to be paying for it?
Northwest Ranch HOA
On Friday, May 16, I was invited to attend the HOA board meeting of Northwest Ranch to bring them up to date on what is happening in the city. The residents were mainly interested in when the well will be finished on Sarival and the APS service road. The well will be finished in December, but all the messy, dirty work is over. The service road will be taken care of by APS.
May 16 Coffee and Conversation
On Friday, May 16, I also had my usual meet and greet with a fairly good crowd. Remember, no meetings in July or August, but that does not mean you can’t get in touch with me at City Hall, or my direct number at 623-594-5952. If I am not able to answer the phone, leave a message and I will call you back.
There was a beautiful Memorial Day ceremony at Radiant Church in Surprise, and I want to thank those folks for hosting that event. The M.C. was Chet Chetkauskas, who did a great job, and I was especially excited for Chet because he lives in District One. Our Vice-Mayor Skip Hall, recipient of a Bronze Star during the Vietnam War, was the keynote speaker, and he really honored our veterans. A very respectful ceremony overall!
F-35s Up Close
I really enjoyed the F-35 briefing that Rusty Mitchell, a former F-16 pilot stationed at Luke, put on in Sun City West on May 28. I got a new appreciation for Luke Air Force Base and the men and women that keep us safe. So when you hear that loud roar going overhead, look up and thank those pilots for their dedication. One other point is to appreciate the economic burst that Luke gives the West Valley.
Citizens Patrol Picnic
One last event I was lucky enough to attend was the appreciation picnic for all our volunteer citizens who help the Surprise Police Department. The Citizens Patrol(CP) is invaluable to the operation of our Surprise Police Department. They are extra eyes on the street. Those men and women put many hours in to help keep Surprise a safe place to live so the next time you see one of our Citizen Patrols, thank them for their service.
Public Meeting on Surprise Farms Park
Before I leave you, I want to remind everyone in District One, and especially Surprise Farms, that on Wednesday, June 18, there will be a meeting at Willow Canyon High School about the amenities the City will put in the Surprise Farms park. It is important you attend the meeting if you want to have a voice in this project. We are going to be there to listen to the residents. The meeting will begin at 6 pm, so have an early dinner and be there.
I will close for now so be good to yourselves and be good to each other.
Councilman Roland Winters, Jr.