Join the City
of Surprise and Maricopa County Library District for a morning of celebration
and fun activities as we mark the Grand Opening of the Asante Library, located
at 16755 W Vereda Solana Drive!
The grand opening event will be held: Saturday, February 1 10:00 a.m. – Noon
events will include a ribbon cutting, giveaways, and activities and
entertainment for the whole family. Don’t miss a performance by the Café Flutes
scheduled at 11 a.m.!
Asante Library is the city’s third
library and brings library services closer to the northern area of Surprise,
which has seen incredible growth in recent years.
The 10,000 square foot space will
provide beautiful views of Asante Community Park and the White Tank Mountains.
The library will feature self-check kiosks; adult, children and teen areas; a
multipurpose room for a variety of programming and story time; public access
computers and wireless printing capabilities. It will also be the first city
library to offer meeting and study rooms.
The Surprise libraries operate through a
partnership between the City of Surprise and the Maricopa County Library
District (MCLD). MCLD also operates the city’s other two libraries, Northwest
Regional Library and Hollyhock Library.
A big shout out to everyone in the great and growing City of Surprise. I hope everyone got through the hustle and bustle of the holidays. We will be getting back to our regular routine by the second week of January. I want to wish all the residents a healthy 2020 (the start of a new decade). Last year was a great time for Surprise with many more commercial opportunities, eating choices, road improvements, and yes, a Costco will be opening in 2020.
To start things off on December 3, the Council got together early at City Hall and we had our photo taken in front of the Christmas tree in the lobby. After the festivities, we went into our Work Session at 4 p.m. and then onto our City Council meeting.
The next day, I had my regular monthly meeting with Mayor Hall to keep updated on what is going on in our city.
On Thursday, December 5, I had my Valley Metro meeting in Phoenix, which took up most of my day. That same evening, my wife and I went to see a play at the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts, 10580 N 83rd Drive, at the invitation from their City Council. We saw the Christmas Carol, maybe you have heard of it. If you enjoy live plays, I recommend that play house.
Of course the highlight of the month was the Surprise Party on the evening of the December 6. We had the tree lighting, and even real snow for the young and the young at heart. I must say what a great job Parks and Recreation Director Donna Miller, Assistant Director Paul Frie and their whole team does every year. The party continued all day Saturday then of course the big cleanup, great job people. All at no cost to the residents!
On Monday, December 9, I had a great meeting with four students that are a part of the Surprise Youth Council. They were a great bunch of young people that gave me a good sense the future generation can handle the trials and tribulations ahead of them.
On Tuesday December 10, the Council was invited to meet and chat with the four people who were the finalists for the Community Development Director. I just want to congratulate Chris Boyd, who was the Interim Director and has now been promoted to Director. He has been doing a good job in the position.
The same night found me at the Surprise Senior Center, in the Original Town Site, for their Deck the Hock event, and again, there was real snow and good cookies. On the evening of December 12, most of the Council attended Tech the Halls at the TechCelerator, 12425 W Bell Rd, where we have a number of start-up companies that are trying to build their business with the city’s support.
On Friday, December 13, I was at the Adaptive Christmas Party at Dream Catcher Park for all of the special needs residents in Surprise. Most of the young people there were Dysart Unified School District students. There were trees to decorate, games to play and cookies to eat. These young people don’t dwell on what they can’t do, but concentrate on what they can do. Happy New Year!
Our last Council meeting of 2019 was on December 17, with no Work Session, but plenty on the agenda for the meeting. On Wednesday, December 18, we had yet another ribbon cutting. The Angry Crab Shack, at 11340 W Bell Rd, opened their doors with a big celebration and delicious food. The owners are great people, and put out a great assortment of seafood for the attendees to enjoy.
On Thursday, December 19, I joined almost 400 City employees to celebrate the holidays with a great lunch from Macayo’s Mexican Food and our Directors dishing it out to everyone in line. The event took place in the Ottawa University Cafeteria, and what a nice venue it is. Thank you to Dr. Dennis Tyner and the University staff for their hospitality. We have a good partnership with that school. That same night, I was invited to attend the Surprise Farms III HOA meeting to update all those folks on what’s happening in Surprise and what is in the future. Everyone was happy about Costco opening this year. We had a good crowd and all were very pleasant. I want to thank Santos, the Community Manager there, and Mark and the rest of the board for the invitation. If you want me to speak at your board meeting, just let me know.
One of my constituents, Charles Collins, who lives in Surprise Farms II wanted to donate some things for Toys for Tots. He wanted me to go with him and his daughter. So on December 23, we went down to the Surprise Police Department and met with Officer Chris Tovar and a few other officers for the donation. That same day, I had a scheduled meeting with the City Manager.
I want to congratulate the Willow Canyon High School Marching Band for being selected to be in the Fiesta Bowl Parade on Saturday, December 28. What a great job you did. You sounded awesome!
Well, I will close my first newsletter of the new decade for now, but remember be good to yourself and be good to each other.
District 1 Councilmember and Vice Mayor Roland F. Winters Jr. speaks with Sue Larkin of Altrusa International of the West Valley about Read On Arizona and their partnership with the Friends of Surprise Libraries, and with Donna Miller, City of Surprise Parks and Recreation Director, on the new Asante Library.
The Surprise City Council selected District 1 Councilmember Roland F. Winters Jr. to serve as Vice Mayor at their regular meeting Tuesday night.
Per city code, City Council must select a new Vice Mayor to serve on an annual basis no later than January 30. The Vice Mayor acts on behalf of the Mayor in the event of absence.
Winters was first elected to City Council in 2013 to serve a four-year term beginning January 2014. He was re-elected in 2018 and began his new four-year term this month.
He worked thirty five years at Hughes Air Craft Company in Fullerton, California and also owned and operated a photo studio in Fullerton and Placentia, California. He served on the State Board of Directors for Californians for Disability Rights.
Born and educated through high school in New Jersey, Winters earned a degree in Business Administration and Pre Law at Fullerton College in Fullerton, California. He also earned a BA degree in Marketing Management from the University of California.
City of Surprise District 1 Councilmember Roland F. Winters Jr Speaks with Community & Recreation Services Director Donna Miller, Community & Recreation Services Assistant Director Paul Frie, and Dave Agren, President of the Billee Culin West Valley Chapter 1043 about the Moving Wall Vietnam Memorial coming to Surprise.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Council Conversations with District 1 Council Member Roland F. Winters, Jr. In this episode he speaks with David Kohlbeck with the City of Surprise Public Works Department for an update about the Northwest Valley Paratransit services. In the second part, the Councilmember speaks with City of Surprise Public Works Director Mike Gent about the Public Works projects occurring in District 1.
A big shout out to my friends in District 1 and to all of the Surprise residents. September started off with a bang and found me at our local Wal-Mart store on Bell Road at 7:30 a.m. for a great need, and that is to help our public schools with donations because they are underfunded. The program that is done every year is called “Fill the Bus.” A school in Surprise is chosen to be the recipient. The Surprise Youth Foundation was there to help with its President Jim Conner and Vice President Ken Johanson. Surprise City Manager Bob Wingenroth was also there. David Hamiam is the manager of that Wal-Mart which donated a lot of school supplies, including a computer. Also present, was the Principal of Kingswood Park School, Jeremy St. Jermain. This school was chosen to receive the school supplies this year. I would be remiss if I did not thank the Wal-Mart customers who donated many school supplies. There were 10-15 baskets filled before we were finished. Thanks to all who made this possible. See you next year!
Tuesday, September 5 was the first Tuesday of the month, so there was the City Council Work Session at 4 p.m. followed by our Council Meeting at 6 p.m., where we take action.
Friday night, September 8, found me at my regular second Friday of the month meeting for my constituents to visit, ask questions, or just chat. It is very informal, and we have good cookies. My next meeting will be October 13 at 7 p.m. in The Retreat Community Center at Arizona Traditions, 18250 W. Weatherby Drive. At the gate, just press “0” four times and tell the guard you are there for my meeting.
There was a meeting and tour of Central Arizona Project’s (CAP) headquarters in North Phoenix on September 13, and it was amazing to see the way water is brought out to Arizona from the Colorado River. The control room shows the entire process as the water rolls down the canal, through the pumps, to get here, Tucson and beyond.
Thursday, September 14 found me in a meeting with our staff and some residents who live north of Jomax Road, where our roads are in a miserable state, and I understand their frustration. The problem in that area is that it has a lot of private land owners, and it is very difficult to get right-of-way to put good roads in and to maintain the roads that are there. Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) has a grant program that I am trying to get some money from, but unless, and until, some of the folks up there give the right-of-way to the city, we can’t do much. We have to obtain a number of right-of-ways, and there are a few hold outs, so if you are one of these owners who has not given the city right-of-way yet, please reconsider. Your property will increase in value with those roads there.
I visited Fire Station 305 on Saturday, September 16, to say hi to our great first responders. Each fire house is hosting an open house this fall, and there are a couple left to attend; so take some time and visit your local fire house, and say hi to these men and women who protect your life and property. Here is the schedule: http://bit.ly/2cofigc.
Later that same day, I attended the picnic at the Senior Center to enjoy hamburgers and hot dogs. That event was put on by Councilman Ken Remley whose district it is in. Thanks Ken! It was a great time.
I met with staff and the folks who wrote our Library Study, so in the future we might see a remodeled library on Bullard Ave and a new branch library in the Northwest area of my district.
On Thursday, September 21, I was honored to be at the Veterans of Foreign War Post 96 meeting. The post sent seven young men from Willow Canyon High School to Boys State, where they learn about civic engagement and go through scenarios in civic government. These classes are held at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. These seven high school students were very polite and very grateful to post 96 for the opportunity.
Wednesday, September 27 found me at a ribbon cutting for Sycamore Farms at Cactus Road and the 303. Richmond is the builder and had three models on display that looked really nice.
On September 28, I had a meeting at Benevilla since I am on the Northwest Valley Connect Advisory Committee. This 501(c)3 organization finds rides for folks to doctor appointments, dental appointments, etc. who cannot get a ride for whatever reason. This organization is headed up by Cathy Chandler.
Friday, September 29, I was at the award luncheon for the people who volunteer to work for Benevilla to help in every way they can, like bringing lunch and dinner to the elderly and infirmed, volunteering at Benevilla, and driving people if they need a ride. It was a chance to thank all these folks who give their valuable time.
It was a great day in Surprise on Saturday, September 30 when we dedicated the park in Surprise Farms as “Dick McComb City Park” in honor of all the work that Dick McComb did for this city in the ten years that he was city manager. I want to thank my fellow council members; the vote was unanimous. I also want to thank our Community and Recreation Services team, including Director Donna Miller and Assistant Director Paul Frie, for their work; and I want to thank Public Works Director Mike Gent and his crew. It was great to see all of the support from our great staff in Surprise. Now, we also have some shade structures up which will make it more pleasant for kids to play in the park.
Before I close this month, how about our 8-Acre Park on Bullard Avenue? The fence is going up, and I think it looks great! It is almost finished. All these improvements are a matter of quality of life for our residents. We had a little money left over last year, and the Council said: what better way to use it, if not for the betterment of our neighborhoods.
Until next month, be good to yourselves, and be good to each other.