Category Archives: Newsletter

Councilmember Roland Winters Newsletter

September 2018 • Newsletter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Roland F. Winters Jr.
District 1 Councilmember

August 2018 • Newsletter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be good to yourself and be good to each other.

Roland F. Winters Jr.
District 1 Councilmember

June 2018 • Newsletter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Roland F. Winters Jr.
District 1 Councilmember

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

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.

September 2017 • Newsletter

A big shout out to all the residents in District 1 and to all the residents in Surprise! I hope you are staying cool during the remaining month of summer. Thankfully, fall is right around the corner and so are cooler temperatures!

The month of August began immediately with a City Council Work Session and City Council Meeting since we host these meetings the first and third Tuesday of the month. We returned from a recess in July and started business!

Monday, August 7 found me in a meeting with staff to try and work through this disaster called paratransit offered by Valley Metro and delivered by TransDev which is headquartered in Mesa. I continue to receive emails and phone calls from residents – some not even in my District, but that’s ok. I will continue to help anyone who contacts me. I have talked to residents who can’t get a ride to a doctor’s appointment, physical therapy or medical procedures because they are told by TransDev that there aren’t any rides left, and that is ridiculous! When someone calls for a ride on August 28 requesting transportation to a doctor’s appointment in September, and is told by the people at TransDev “all of September is booked”, there is something wrong with the system (that’s no surprise). Upon further investigation, we found many riders on TransDev are starting their ride and ending their ride in Surprise, so if that is the case, they should be using Ride Choice with Discount Cab or Yellow Cab. TransDev Paratransit rides are for regional trips (outside of the Surprise area) only for medical and work trips. We are directing TransDev to tell riders who travel within Surprise to use Ride Choice which they should have been doing all along. Paratransit rides were set-up at 34 rides a day for Surprise residents, so the city has added 21 more rides a day for the next two weeks to try to help the overflow for a total of 46 rides a day for the next two weeks. I am asking all of my Surprise residents to use Ride Choice for your rides within Surprise, making these changes should get TransDev back on an acceptable schedule, maybe. The new contract started on July 1, and we were promised it would be a better system and on time, so much for that prophecy. This system is costing the taxpayer $800,000 each Fiscal Year. I want to thank David Kohlbeck and Mike Gent for all of their help trying to resolve this issue.

I had my monthly meeting on Friday, August 11 at 7 pm and I had a good crowd. A few residents expressed their disgust on the paratransit system.

I attended the summer employee appreciation event in the City Council Chamber on Thursday, August 17. This event was started years ago by city management as an opportunity to show appreciation to our employees. Some are recognized for going above and beyond while they have lunch with their fellow peers and friends. It also provides me with an opportunity to get to know our staff. The taxpayers should be proud of the people who work for the city – from the people working in the ditches, to those on the roads, to the folks in City Hall, from the Directors to all the office workers and more.

Of course one of the big surprises in August was the resignation of District 3 Councilman John Williams who served this city tirelessly for almost ten years. I had a meeting with John on Monday, August 14, and he submitted his resignation letter the following morning. He never said a word about it. John will be missed.

On the afternoon of August 17, the Committee on Community Outreach, Partnerships and Grants met. As a member of this Committee, we make the funding recommendations to the full City Council from the presentations of the grant seekers. This particular meeting concerned the Surprise Community Outreach Grant Program which is offered to local 501(c)3 non-profits that serve Surprise residents. There were 32 applicants requesting total funding of more than $261,000. The Committee listened to 32 presentations – one for each non-profit organization – to arrive at our decision as to which non-profits to fund and at what dollar amount. My hat (cowboy) is off to Jodi Tas for all of her hard work preparing the applications and books required for this meeting. We met for over four hours then made the difficult decisions regarding funding.

On Friday, August 18, I took part in the Boards and Commissions Selection Committee which is another committee I sit on. It is the Committee’s duty to appoint residents to various boards and commissions that help the City Council. On this particular day, we had to choose two folks from six to serve on the Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission. It was a difficult decision because everyone was so qualified.

On Tuesday, August 22, most of the City Council arrived in Oro Valley for the Annual League of Arizona Cities and Towns Conference. This conference provides break-out sessions and networking opportunities with our fellow elected colleagues. I also joined a bus tour to see the public art in Oro Valley to determine how they manage that program. Our public arts program is in its infancy but our Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission is doing a great job placing public art around City Hall. I encourage you to visit and view some of the pieces on our campus if you get a chance.

I attended Ottawa University’s (OUAZ) convocation for their first class on Wednesday, August 30 at Christ Church of the Valley (CCV) in Surprise. The ceremony, led by President of Ottawa Dr. Kevin Eichner and Vice President and Provost Dr. Dennis Tyner, was very inspirational with some powerful speeches. Mayor Sharon Wolcott made a good speech and welcomed the students to Surprise. Approximately 450 students attended, and they were all very polite and respectful. Every Wednesday, their curriculum at OUAZ will consist of a personal character building day. It looks like Ottawa has the cream of the crop for their first class. When I left, I felt that the city, State and the nation is in good hands after all for the future of mankind.

On Thursday, August 31, I attended the groundbreaking of Ottawa University Surprise competition fields. The fields will be utilized for football and soccer. There was a good crowd and, of course, more speeches. Just think of that, Surprise will now have college football and soccer teams to cheer on. How cool is that!

City Council and Ottawa Staff breaking ground at school's new Practice Fields

I have been honored with an appointment to the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) Economic Development Council. This seat was formerly occupied by Mayor Wolcott and after she resigned, she wrote the Council a letter of recommendation for me. I was chosen from a number of applicants. Surprise needs to have a seat at the table when decisions are made, not only for Surprise, but for the entire West Valley as well.

Just a few things before I close for this month, and maybe most of you are already aware we are getting the #1 requested restaurant from our Economic Development Survey, In-N-Out Burger, on the corner of Bell Road and Civic Center Drive in addition to a Raising Cane and Starbucks. Surprise is also getting a Hilton hotel with a full service restaurant near Surprise Stadium.

image of former Surprise City Manager Dick McCombMark your calendars! Following City Council’s direction to honor the city’s longest-tenured City Manager Dick McComb (1990 – 2000), the city will officially rename Surprise Farms Community Park, to Dick McComb City Park, at a public ceremony, Saturday, September 30, at 9 a.m. The event takes place at the southeast corner of 175th Avenue and Surprise Farms Loop South. Mr. McComb began his city government career in 1976 and became City Manager for the City of Surprise in 1990. During McComb’s tenure, the city’s population grew from 7,122 people to nearly 31,000. This was a period of commercial growth for Surprise with Surprise Towne Center then under development and the Target opened at Surprise Marketplace. In addition, Mr. McComb served in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War. Following his retirement, McComb remained an engaged Surprise resident and then became the community manager for Sun Village. He passed away in 2016 at the age of 81.

City Council also approved an additional 10 acres of open space park area at the aforementioned park, which is now turfed. Once the green fence is removed, after the turf has been established, we will be having another celebratory event. We anticipate this event will occur in early October. For more information on these events, please call Community and Recreation Services at 623.222.2000.

In other recreation news, 8 Acre Park fencing is under construction. Construction began last month and should conclude by the end of this month. This project includes 2300 feet of 8 foot tall decorative fencing with pillars to match the aesthetics of our Surprise Stadium fencing.

Eight new pickle ball courts with LED lighting are also under construction. Construction began on August 23, and the anticipated completion, pending weather delays, is the end of November. This project also includes the relocation of our volleyball courts.

Well, be good to yourself and be good to each other!

Roland F. Winters Jr.