Hello again to all the great folks in district one and indeed in the City of Surprise, and I hope everyone is doing ok considering these special trying times. I do want to start off on a positive note in that Costco will be having their grand opening on Thursday, September 24th at 8 am. Something we have all been waiting for. Be at 13614 N. Sarival and welcome Costco to Surprise, AZ.
I know this virus is getting old, and it certainly has worn out its welcome a long time ago, but let’s hang in there and keep doing what you have been doing to get through this pandemic together.
I am still waiting for Arizona Traditions to open up their buildings, so I can start my meetings again, but I don’t know when that will be. Keep checking the surpriseaz.gov website.
I am also looking forward to the opening of our doors at the Council Chambers so anyone who wishes to be at our council meetings can be there. I miss all of those happy faces, and engaged residents of Surprise as we used to do.
Beginning September 15, meetings of the Surprise City Council will reopen to limited in-person public participation; while maintaining a call-in option for those wishing to participate remotely. In-person participants will be limited to 50 and will be required to wear a facial covering when entering or exiting the chambers. If they so choose, they may remove them while seated. Seating will be marked to ensure physical distancing of at least six feet of separation from those in attendance. You can get all the details and information on when other public meetings are reopening at surpriseaz.gov.
Let’s all say a prayer that our scientists find a vaccine.
To my friends in North-West Ranch, this is the month you’ve been waiting for. Construction starts on Greenway, widening from 303 eastbound to Reems Rd. Also, on the corner of Greenway and North-West Ranch Parkway will be a fully functioning traffic signal. Which means left and right hand turns coming out of North-West Ranch Parkway will be made easier for you.
Thanks to you, the residents, for voting for the G.O. Bond and making this improvement possible.
I recently attend a retirement celebration for Dave Kohlbeck, who has worked for the City of Surprise since 2001! Dave has raised the profile of the City of Surprise around the region and state, through his involvement with Maricopa Association of Governments and Valley Metro, as well as being actively involved in multiple professional organizations including the Government Finance Officers Association of Arizona, Arizona Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the American Public Works Association. He also served his fellow colleagues for many years on the 457 Deferred Compensation Advisory Group providing strategic investment oversight, as well as chairing the employee project team that helped the city evaluate and move to a self-funded health care program. He has earned multiple recognitions during this time including the City Manager’s Service Award for his outstanding customer service in leading the City’s transit program, communicating and resolving rider issues, and improving the transit services offered in our community. I wish him congratulations on his retirement!
Hi and a big shout out to all my friends and neighbors in this great city we have the good fortune to live in.
Let’s start off this month with some great news. I just got the word a couple of days ago that Amazon is coming to Surprise. Their facility will be located at the Rail Plex, have a 145,000 square foot building and hundreds of jobs to be filled. I must give our Economic Development Department kudos for a great job. Director Jeanine Jerkovic, Manager Mike Hoover, Kris Cassens, and many more worked many hours to bring this project to fruition. Good Job Everyone. News like this is especially uplifting in these times of campaign rhetoric saying that Surprise doesn’t get the big companies for the head of household jobs.
I would like to continue with some more good news. On Thursday, July 9th we did a groundbreaking for the Kansas City Royals living quarters right across the street from the Texas Rangers building. Of course, because of COVID-19, we had to do things a little differently, with only a few folks digging dirt, but we did take individual photos of the council with a golden shovel in their mask. This moment was in the works for nearly 10 years.
Just a note to my constituents in the North-West part of my district, I hope you are pleased with the improvement in the area; like widening 163rd, sidewalks and curbs, your new firehouse, and the traffic light at Jomax and 163rd. This area is being transformed.
I hope you all are wearing your masks and/or staying home when possible. As always take care of yourself and take care of each other.
A big shout out to all my fellow Surprise residents, as we started off June we went right into our first Council meeting on June 2. We are also still dealing with these trying times with COVID-19 still creating havoc in our beautiful city (more about the coronavirus a little later). I sure hope everyone is staying safe, and staying home whenever possible.
I do have some good news for many of my constituents and other residents in Surprise. We have worked out an agreement with a vendor in Phoenix to take our recyclables and actually recycle them. Starting on Tuesday, July 7 residents can bring acceptable materials to our Public Works yard at 17274 N. Litchfield Road. They will be open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday from 8 a.m.-11 a.m. and 1 p.m.-3 p.m., you can check our website for details. I want to thank Mike Gent for all his hard work finding this vendor.
On Monday, June 8th the sub-committee that I serve on with Councilmember Remley and Councilmember Hayden met for almost five hours, choosing volunteers to serve on our various boards and commissions that we have vacancies on.
We had our second Council Meeting of the month on Tuesday, June 16th (the last meeting before our summer break) and to find out the Council was not immune from COVID-19 was pretty scary, especially when it hits so close to home. We have been spread out on the dais for the last 5 months, but that night we could really spread out.
The next day, on the 17th, the Mayor announced we had an emergency in Surprise and since the Governor left it up to the Mayors and Councils to decide what to do about the rising cases of COVID-19, we as a Council needed to do something, because what we had been doing was not working and our graph was still spiking. I am writing this newsletter on the night of July 1st and the report that I got today says we have 877 cases and that is 50% over last week and that is just Surprise, so the Council started our conversation on the morning of the 18th and talked again on what we could do Friday morning and in the a.m. of June 19th we mandated the wearing of masks and a few other things. That afternoon the County came out with a very similar resolution.
It was a very difficult decision for me to make, maybe the most difficult since I have been on the Council, but it was a unanimous vote yes. There was of course some folks in Surprise that did not like wearing a mask (I didn’t either) and they sent me emails and phone calls, and I really feel badly that they disagreed with the Council, but we are just trying to save lives, we need to get this monster under control. The Governor had to close some places just the other day again. I really feel a lot of empathy for the folks out of work and their uncertainty as to how this is going to come out.
The doctors and scientists say wear the mask and the cases of the virus will come down, let’s hope they are correct.
Of Course, the other disappointment was the cancelling of the fireworks but that was an operational decision due to the COVID-19, and due to the fact it is very dry out there. Well I am sorry about the masks, and sorry there are no fireworks this year. I will miss them also, but there is always next year. So, as always be good to yourself and be good to each other.
A big shout out to my constituents in District One, and indeed to all the citizens of this great city we call Surprise. Well it has been another challenging month in May, not only dealing with COVID-19, but also now we are having riots across our great nation. We are so blessed to live here in Surprise where our residents are law abiding, and our great police force is interested in de-escalating an incident.
I am still operating out of my home office via emails and phone calls since the City is still pretty much shut down. We are trying to gradually return to normal (whatever that is). I have had emails and phone calls asking to open the dog parks ASAP and with the support of our City Manager we got those opened mid-May.
We did have a few events in May. On Wednesday, May 6th the entire Council went to the Senior Center on Hollyhock Street to give out lunches to the seniors as they drove into the parking lot and out again, we gave out 130 hot lunches in about 20 minutes.
Thursday, May 14th found the full Council at 8 p.m. in the stadium with a large display on the score board congratulating all of the graduating seniors in Surprise, with the Council in the foreground. I have so much empathy for those youngsters who worked hard to get their diplomas and not being able to walk across the stage. I remember getting my diploma, it wasn’t that long ago (or maybe it was). No matter how you celebrated, you will never forget it.
Then, of course, our Council meeting was on the 19th, still with no one in the Council Chambers except for Council, maybe sometime in August we may open up after the council takes their annual break in July.
Saturday, May 30th was a great day for the City of Surprise and Chance Shelter, who will be working together to have our first animal shelter in Surprise, not only an animal shelter, but a no kill shelter. At 8 a.m. on the 30th, we gathered together to celebrate the Land Dedication for the Chance Shelter. Courtland Homes (who are building Copper Canyon North) gave Chance Shelter 7 acres on which to build. The location of the shelter will be near the intersection on 183rd Avenue and Deer Valley Road. Our Animal Control Officers will no longer need to drive to Phoenix when they pick up any strays, but drive to our own shelter right here in Surprise. Audra and Greg Colson worked very hard to make this happen. I want to thank Hans from Courtland Homes for all his hard work to get this done and of course for the property. Chance Shelter has so many great volunteers like Helen, Bob, Mary, Gabe Rivas and many others.
So I hope you folks are staying home as much as possible, but wear those masks when you go out.
I will close for now, so as always, be good to yourself and be good to each other. I will be resuming my meetings, my constituents, as soon as AZ Traditions opens their community center. I will let everyone know when that happens.
Well hello to the good folks of Surprise. We are still living in challenging times, but we will get through this. We all still must use our masks in public, wash our hands frequently, and stay away from crowds. I have a lot of empathy for our citizens that are not getting a pay check, and I know you want to get back to work, but I would not want to rush it (maybe after this month).
I am still working from my home office except for the council meetings with no one in the chambers. I have meetings thru the computer and conference calls.
I really can’t go anywhere because I need to stay home which I hope you are also doing, even though I am going stir crazy. Of course, I will not have my monthly community meetings until further notice.
Please stay healthy and be good to yourself and be good to each other.
Hi to all of my fellow residents, March was certainly not what we expected it to be. Some of the other councilmembers and I got the opportunity to read to some students in our local elementary schools on the 3rd and 4th of March, then COVID-19 started to spread in our state and changed our daily lives. On the 5th of March, I started my stay at home routine, working from my home office, sending and receiving emails, and talking to many people on the phone. My Valley Metro meeting was done via conference call on the 19th. We did have a budget meeting on the 27th of March, it was an all-day retreat in the council chambers. I had concerns about going into the meeting, but I think we did what we could to keep everyone safe with everyone keeping six feet apart. This is going to be a balance for me to try and do my job and staying at home. The COVID-19 pandemic will have impacts to our economy.
Right now, we must work together to get through this terrible contagious virus by following these simple procedures: wash your hands often, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, stay at home as much as possible; if you must go out in public, stay away from crowds and keep 6 feet of distance between yourself and others. I am sure you have heard all of this before, but you will do well to remember.
Please note that until further notice, I will not be having my monthly meetings. I look forward to meeting again once the CDC guidelines allow for gatherings. Please visit the City of Surprise website at www.surpriseaz.gov to view any updates to my meeting calendar.
We can all say a prayer for the folks on the front line, the doctors, nurses, and other health care workers who put their lives on the line every day, along with our police and fire people. As always, be good to yourself and be good to each other.
Well, another big shout out to my district friends, and everyone in this great, and growing city that we all have the good fortune to live in. February started off with a bang, and you found me at the ribbon-cutting for our third library in Surprise. The Asante Library is a beautiful building in the northwest part of Surprise and Saturday, February 1st was a great day, for all of Surprise, but especially for residents of that part of the city. We not only had the mayor and council there, but Congresswoman Debbie Lesko and Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Clint Hickman also attended and said a few words. Plus, mother nature gave us a beautiful day.
On Monday, February 3rd, the council was at the ribbon-cutting of another new restaurant at 13621 N Litchfield, right next door to the AMC Theater, called the Amigo’s Mexican Grill. It has great ambience and is very spacious. We had a sampling of their food, and it was very good.
Of course, we had our workshop and council meeting on Tuesday night. On Wednesday, February 5th I was at the main Library on Bullard to judge a bookmark contest painted by many school children throughout Surprise. We had some tough choices for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.
On Thursday I had lunch with several employees from Total Ride to discuss some problems still existing in the Ride Choice program that many Surprise residents use. I talked to the vice president and two managers, so maybe the suggestions I offered will be followed.
The mayor of Buckeye invited me to his tent at the Buckeye Air Show. It was great, I didn’t even know Buckeye had an airport.
On Friday, February 14th, (Valentine’s Day) we checked out the Senior Center on Hollyhock St. and our seniors were having a good time at their Valentine’s Day Luncheon and Dance.
That same night, I had my meeting at the Arizona Traditions Community Center with a good turnout.
Tuesday, February 18th was our workshop and our city council meeting where we take action. At this council meeting, we were all awarded a beautiful plaque from an engaged resident, Glen Klitzca and his wife. I was very surprised, honored, and grateful to receive that recognition.
On Wednesday, February 19th, I was invited to the grand opening of the Desert Diamond Casino on Northern Ave in Glendale. It is a very large and beautiful casino. The same evening, I went to a meeting at the Sun Down School in the northwest part of my district to listen about the plans for another development up there. No citizens were present.
Thursday, February 20th was the day of my Valley Metro meeting. We had a workshop at 10:30 am and a meeting at 1 p.m. We heard about some projects underway, voted on some motions, and held an executive board meeting on extending our CEO’s contract.
Friday, February 21st was a busy day for grand openings and ribbon cuttings, we had one at Ottawa University to celebrate the completion of the athletic building, as well as the dorms and student union.
Dr. Tyner and his people at Ottawa continue to amaze me as they grow, not just in brick and mortar, but as a student body.
The other ribbon cutting was the Texas Rangers’ Player Housing Facility, which allows them to stay together rather than in hotels. It is a beautiful building.
Saturday, February 22nd you found me at the 304 Fire Station, up on 163rd Ave. It was cold and raining that day, but there was still a lot of visiting. I think the firefighters up there are anxious to move into their new digs. It is certainly going to be a large new station.
As many of you know, Surprise is a dementia-friendly city, and the mayor and I had a meeting on Monday, February 24th with Keren Montandon, Vice President of Operations for Dementia Education and Cure. Also in that meeting was Brian Browne, the President of Dementia Education and Cure. I have had some inquiries about how to contact this organization. Their phone number is 1-888-317-5559. So, if you are taking care of someone with dementia, they can help you.
Tuesday, February 25th, there was a breakfast meeting at West-MEC, on Grand Ave, for the mayors of Surprise, Youngtown, and El Mirage, to talk about their citizens and tell the audience how they have dealt with some issues. That same day, I went to the Massing of the Colors, which took place in the Palm Ridge Recreation Center on Deer Valley Drive in Sun City West. A very patriotic program with several different organizations displaying their flags.
On Wednesday, February 26th, I was at a Ribbon Cutting for De Boa Jiu Jitsu Studio, 14763 Litchfield Rd., near our movie theater. The owners are Leslie and Andrew Gardineer, and they are going to have a very successful business. Good luck to the Gardineers.
We had a groundbreaking on Thursday, February 27th at Heritage by Asante, in the northwest part of my district, 24490 N 173rd Lane. That same afternoon, we had a flag ceremony for our Assistant Fire Chief Johnston, who is retiring. It was a real nice ceremony, and the flag was given to him. Have a great retirement, Daryl.
That same night, I went to a Chamber of Commerce networking event at Bud Kramer’s Western Trails Ranch out on Grand Ave in Morristown; Dillon’s now owns it. It was a nice event and a nice night out there.
Friday, February 28th found me at Surprise Stadium for a Spring Training luncheon with our business leaders. This was organized by our Economic Development Department to keep our lines of communication open with them.
Well, that is it for this month, I will talk to you next month. As always be good to yourself and be good to each other.
Well, here it is already February. A big shout out to the residents of this great City of Surprise. The weather has been cold, and I am hoping for the warmth to come soon. The first month of the decade started off busy, and it’s not going to slow down. I started this month at a meeting with a developer who wants to bring additional businesses to Surprise.
On Tuesday, January 7, we had our Council Meeting with a full agenda. On January 10, I had my monthly meeting in the Arizona Traditions Community Center with a great crowd of residents.
On Monday, January 13, I welcomed Quick Quack Car Wash to Surprise. They are going to be located near the movie theater on Litchfield Road. This is Quick Quack’s first car wash in Surprise, but they have six in Phoenix, one in Buckeye and one in Tolleson. Their corporate office is in Sacramento, California. It was a cold morning with Councilmembers Hayden and Remley in attendance, along with many Quick Quack employees.
Wednesday, January 15, you found me at the Governor’s State of the State Address, which was very well attended. The Governor has plans to invest more money in education this year. Afterwards, I was in my office meeting with our new Transit Director, Kristen Taylor. She will take over once David Kohlbeck retires in the coming months.
On Friday, January 17, I attended the Tourism Fund Subcommittee meeting, as I am a member. We discussed what events can be brought to Surprise.
Saturday, January 18, I was at the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Celebration and Service. Starting with a breakfast in the courtyard, the day was full of volunteers all working together for the greater good of Surprise.
Our second Council Meeting this month was on January 21. Council celebrated a ribbon cutting at Toll Brothers Sterling Grove on January 23. Sterling Grove is an upscale community with homes starting over $300,000 and going up to over a half-million dollars. They have about 13 models open at this time. They offer some beautiful homes with a great golf course.
On Friday, January 24, I was treated to a wonderful tour of Valley Metro. The tour included three buildings as well as the entire transit company. I want to thank the CEO Scott Smith, Pat Dillion, Hillary Foose and all the folks who helped put on the tour.
The Surprise Pops Band is back for another season at The Vista Performing Arts Center on Parkview. Their concerts are every other Sunday and are very entertaining, as well as relaxing. The cost is only a couple of cans of food.
On Monday, January 27, the Mayor and I attended a meeting at Happy Trails with a large turnout of residents to hear a lecture from Brian Browne about Dementia and Alzheimer’s. Brian is very knowledgeable about the disease. The City of Surprise has become a Dementia Friendly city, helping to care for people affected by this terrible disease. We will meet with Brian in the future to see what other ways the city can help.
On January 28, I was in Scottsdale to help One Step Beyond celebrate the grand opening of their fourth campus in Arizona. Their Surprise campus is located on Reems Road. They have many programs for adults who are developmentally disabled, including assistance with finding employment.
On January 29, I attended the Breakfast with the Mayor event, which is a prayer breakfast led by the city’s pastors and ministers at Ottawa University. This partnership with Ottawa has been a great relationship for both parties. That same day I was at the groundbreaking for our new apartment complex, being built on Greenway Road and Civic Center Plaza by Sparrow Construction. Sparrow is an Austin, Texas corporation that plans on building several products in the Valley. This is their first venture in Surprise. This apartment complex, with two buildings, will be age-restricted and our first residential property in the downtown area.
On Thursday, January 30, I was at my Valley Metro workshop in Phoenix at 10 a.m. followed by the meeting where we take action at 11:15 a.m. Some of my Valley Metro meetings take up my whole day. The last day of the month was the icing on the cake when we had the grand opening and ribbon cutting for Spencer’s Place. This coffee shop is a great place where young adults with developmental disabilities can find a job and be productive citizens of Surprise. It’s a dream come true for Karin and Chris (Spencer’s parents) who worked tirelessly to open this coffee shop. Karin was a special education teacher at Valley Vista High School for many years and a number of her former students now work at Spencer’s place. From all of Council at City Hall, we wish you much luck in this new business.
So, for now, I say so long until next month. Be good to yourself and be good to each other.
Well, I can’t believe once again another month has gone by, and we are working on the last month of the year. I sure hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving with family and friends and that you are looking forward to the holidays.
November started off with the opening of a nice new restaurant, called Bonfire Craft Kitchen and Taphouse, located at 15332 W. Bell Road. The ribbon cutting was held on November 1 and the owner, Dave, and all employees were great. I wish them good luck on their new restaurant.
On Saturday night, November 2, there was a tailgate party at the Ottawa University football stadium. This celebration took place before the last regular season game and was sponsored by One Step Beyond and Charles Collins, one of my constituents. We had a great time with hotdogs, hamburgers and all that goes along with that. A big shout out to all of those who helped make this a success.
Sunday, November 3, found me at the Bell Point HOA Picnic on 184th Ave. and Legend. Many residents were there including my friend Lee Daniels. They are getting ready for all of the new neighbors that will soon be on Bell Point as soon as the development goes vertical.
On Monday, November 4, I was at the Friends of the Surprise Libraries meeting for their annual officer elections. The meeting was held in the Northwest Regional Library on Bullard Ave. They also have some Altrusa members as part of their organization.
That same afternoon, I was at a new rehab hospital grand opening located at 15150 W. Mondell Road. It is a beautiful facility and the folks were also very nice.
Of course, November 5 was the first Tuesday of the month and the evening of our Council Work Session followed by the Council Meeting, where action is taken.
Thursday, November 7, was WESTMARC’s Best of the West annual awards dinner celebration at the State Farm Stadium. Our Economic Development team has previously won an award, but this year, others were recognized.
On Friday, November 8, Canyon Ridge Elementary School put on a nice event for our veterans in their outside courtyard. Christopher Raso does a great job with these events, and I thank him for his continued efforts.
Following the Canyon Ridge event, I came to City Hall to help Linda Stevens celebrate her 25 years of service to the City of Surprise. Congratulations Linda, and here’s to many more years.
That same evening, I held my monthly meeting at 7:00 p.m. in the community center at Arizona Traditions. I would like to thank Neal and his team for reserving that spot for me every month.
Monday, November 11, was a great day for the City of Surprise, not only because it was Veterans Day, and we had a great celebration of our veterans with our beautiful parade, but also we cut the ribbon to our latest memorial to another great American, Brian Mancini. He was a true hero who served on the battlefield as a medic when an IED hit his vehicle. The memorial is located behind the library on Bullard, by the lake. It is a beautiful space to sit and reflect.
Tuesday, November 12, was a breakfast for leaders of the local area at Marley Park Heritage Hall. Following the breakfast, I headed to City Hall for the retirement ceremony of Ruby Sitea. The last stop of the day was a ribbon cutting for Vein Envy.
On Wednesday, November 13, we had another grand opening and ribbon cutting at Ugly Tuna Sushi, 15459 W. Bell Road. Daniel and his wife are the owners and their whole team treated us great. The entire council was there to welcome them as well as taste their great food.
On Saturday, November 16, we visited Fire Station 303 at Cotton Ln. and Greenway Rd. This is the start of the Fire Station Open Houses where you can visit the stations and meet the firefighters. There are two in my district. Check the city calendar at www.surpriseaz.gov for future dates.
We had another ribbon cutting on Monday, November 18 for the Surprise Health and Rehab Center at 14660 W. Parkwood Drive. We just keep on growing!
That same evening, I was off to Phoenix to join my colleagues on the Maricopa County Human Services Commission. This group aims to give a helping hand to the folks in our county that are less fortunate than most. We, unfortunately, have more people that you’d think living below poverty level.
Tuesday, November 19, I was in a meeting with our finance team concerning some possible amendments to our budget. After that, I went to my Board and Commission Selection Committee Meeting. The committee reviewed some changes to bring to council to consider relating to the Veterans, Disability and Human Services Commission.
Wednesday, November 20, was yet another day for a ribbon cutting at the second location for Richi’s Diner at 17221 N. Litchfield Road. Liza and her team were very gracious to all of us in attendance. The menu is varied and the diner is spacious. Karaoke happens on Wednesday nights.
On Thursday night, the Mike Nesbitt Show was streamed live from Buffalo Wild Wings on 13882 W. Bell Road. Mayor Hall and Councilman Sanders were guest speakers. If you don’t know who Coach Nesbitt is, he is the Head Football Coach for Ottawa University in Surprise. This year the football team had only one loss in their regular season.
The community manager and the board at Arizona Traditions invited the Mayor to speak in front of the residents in the ballroom on Friday, November 22. Councilmember Hayden and I were present as well. The Mayor went over all of the things happening in Surprise and some things to attend to an almost standing room only audience. He was greeted with appreciation, applause and a couple of kind comments. I want to thank the folks at Traditions for inviting our Mayor to this Town Hall as it has been a number of years since a Surprise Mayor has been invited into this community.
I was honored on Saturday, November 23, to act as a judge at the Chance Shelter Fundraiser “Most Like My Owner” Dog Competition and Fashion Show. It was a very successful event with a great turn out. Audra, Gregg and the entire team did a great job, which raised some much needed funds to build their no kill shelter in Surprise. I want to thank Lew Goldstein, Manager of the Toyota Dealership, for hosting this event for the 2nd year in a row with no charge to Chance Shelter.
On Tuesday, November 26, I was in a meeting with a three constituents, one lady from Bell West Ranch and Mike Gent, our Public Works Director, to discuss plans for bringing back our recycling program. This meeting was asked for by Ro from Northwest Ranch, and I believe most of her concerns and questions were answered. It was explained that we are working on the issue and that it is an issue that many residents want us to solve.
Well, I will close for now and talk to you again at the end of the year. Don’t forget our big Christmas party and tree lighting on Friday, December 6.
Well hello again to all the residents in this great city we call home and we have the good fortune to live in, Surprise. October started off for me with a bang with our City Council Meeting with a large agenda. Wednesday evening, I went to a Community Outreach Meeting, at Western Peaks Elementary School, to discuss the new development called Mesquite Mountain Ranch III. The development will be located off of Sun Valley Parkway on the western edge of Surprise, with great views of the White Tank Mountains. This family community will have amenities to include a pool for the residents.
On Thursday evening, I attended the Construction Board Meeting in the Council Chambers to hear all of the changes in our building codes, which need to be updated.
On Saturday, October 5, the Human Service and Community Vitality Department, in partnership with the Veterans, Disability, and Human Services Commission, put on a Care and Share Expo in the courtyard and parking garage at City Hall. They had many vendors with information, candy, gifts, and food for the visitors that attended.
Tuesday, October 8, I spent the morning at a company in Phoenix, called MSS. They look for people who have made advancements in their respected fields. I nominated Kathy Chandler, of Northwest Valley Connect, for all of her work getting transit started in the West Valley since coming down from Flagstaff about four years ago. The winners will be announced at the Governor’s Awards dinner on October 24th at the Phoenix Convention Center. On Wednesday, October 9, I attended a transportation update meeting at City Hall.
The morning of October 10, I spent two hours on a conference call with the other members of the Maricopa County Human Services Committee trying to find a solution for those folks in the West Valley who have fallen behind in paying their APS bills after our hot summer. The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) directed APS not to turn anyone’s electricity off until after October 18 and also to set up a payment schedule for those customers to pay off their large bills.
On Friday, October 11, I attended the Friends of the Surprise Libraries meeting at a conference room at City Hall. These folks did some great things to help educate our young citizens with free books, donation of funds, and support from many volunteers. That same night, I had my regular monthly meeting at the community center at The Retreat in Arizona Traditions. We had a good crowd.
Of course, Saturday night, October 12, was Fiesta Grande. There was great attendance and many good entertainers. I think the crowds were the biggest we have had, maybe because it rained last year, and we could not have it. If you have never been, give it a try next year. The selection of classic cars varied. Thanks to those folks for sharing their vehicles.
On Monday, October 14, we had a meeting with some members of the Board of Saguaro View in the northwest part of my district to discuss what streets the city can maintain. However, the problem is that we do not have the right of way in which the city needs to maintain them. We have gotten some rights signed off to us in recent weeks, so we are making progress. Of course, on Tuesday October 15, we had our City Council Meeting at 6 p.m.
On Wednesday, October 16, we had a groundbreaking for Auviana Medical Development, located at 14753 W Mountain View Blvd. A number of medical buildings are being constructed.
I was invited to the Northwest Ranch HOA meeting, and they wanted to discuss the speeding on North West Ranch Parkway, so I asked our police chief Terry Young to attend and he was very helpful. The other concern was the need for some plants along North West Ranch Parkway, so I am pushing to get some funding for some plants and trees to be put in along the road.
Friday, October 18, at 6 p.m. was another art opening at the West Valley Arts Headquarters, right next to City Hall on Paradise Lane. Bernadette Carroll and her team always do such a good job at these art shows with a nice space.
The family and I have been going to the Ottawa football games regularly this season, and we have a great time every Saturday night. Last year they went to the Victory Bowl. If you have not been to a game, try and get one next season. The beautiful field is worth the trip. So, Saturday night, October 19th, they won again.
On Sunday, October 20, over at Beardsley Park in Sun City West, North West Valley Connect had a great fundraiser on this beautiful day. I ran into a former City Councilman of Surprise and a friend of mine, Jim Biundo, with his classic car entry in the car show. There were also a number of vendors and entertainers.
Wednesday, October 23, you found me in a meeting at City Hall, then another conference call with the Maricopa Human Services Commission for another couple hours. That same day I greeted a company and their audience at the Christ’s Church of the Valley in Surprise. The organization will help people or companies bring their dreams to realities. Mission Create is a nonprofit incubator helping leaders successfully start their mission. They help launch your idea and support you with fundraising, legal compliance, and mentoring, so I welcomed them to Surprise.
On Thursday, October 24, I spent the day and into the night in Phoenix. I had my Valley Metro meeting located at 101 N 1st Ave in Phoenix. The agenda was full with a good discussion about the Tempe Street Car (the newest transit addition to the Phoenix Area). Since the folks voted for the expansion of the light rail, we can go forward with it. My next stop that night was to the Phoenix Convention Center for the Governor’s Award Program to acknowledge those businesses that made great technological advancements. Sorry to report the North West Valley Connect did not win top spot, but I did get to talk to the Governor.
Friday, October 25, at 7 a.m. you found me at the grand re-opening of the Sam’s Club on Bell Road. I was happy to say a few words to thank Lyle, the manager, for the eleven-million-dollar investment in the remodeling of the interior of the entire store to serve the residents better.
On Saturday night, I was at Mark Coronado Park for G.A.I.N. Night. I hope you made it out. I believe it was the largest turnout ever (over two thousand residents). The highlight of the evening for me was the releasing of three rehabilitated owls by our Police Chief Terry Young, Councilmember Chris Judd, and Public Works Director Mike Gent. To see those owls soar away was quite a sight and maybe one of them are now perched in the trees of your backyard. Of course, all the little residents of our city got their share of candy.
On Sunday, October 27, my wife and I attended the Neighborhood Block Party in Sun City Grand. Since I was elected Vice Mayor in January, I have been trying to get to all of the HOA block parties and/or neighborhood get togethers throughout our city. What an enjoyable afternoon it was with the residents on and around Patagonia Way having a meal with Gregg, Lynda, Bonnie, Jenn, Gerry, Chuck, and all the good folks there. The Mayor and Councilwoman Hayden (District 2 representative) were also there.
On Monday, October 28, was my monthly meeting with Mayor Hall. We meet once a month to check with each other as to how things are going or discuss our concerns. Tuesday, I had a transportation meeting at City Hall to discuss the construction on Waddell, Cactus, and Greenway roads, the progress and completion dates.
On Halloween, the last day of the month, you found me at a block party on W Lisbon St. in the community of Royal Ranch. All the homes were decorated with the owners best Halloween décor. John and his wife, as well as Patrick, Amy, and many others were great hosts to us and had lots of treats for the little trick-or-treaters.
Well, I will close for now and wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving. Have a great day with your family and friends, so be good to yourself and be good to each other.