Category Archives: Newsletter

Councilmember Roland Winters Newsletter

May 2022 • Newsletter

I want to give a big shout-out to all the great folks here in the City of Surprise. City Council closed the month of March by celebrating the 2022 State of the City event on March 31. What a great job our staff did on that. Thanks to everyone who came to celebrate with us and a huge thank you to our performers who put on a stellar show!

April started with a bang on Sunday, April 3, when I, along with Mayor Hall, Councilmember Duffy and Councilmember Judd joined the Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission as they inducted the following individuals into the Surprise Recreation Campus Hall of Fame during the Spring Training game:

  • Charlie Woodland (former Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission member)
  • Kevin Uhlich (Previous Senior VP of Business Operations for the Kansas City Royals)
  • Mike Swanson (Previous VP of Communications and Broadcasting for the Kansas City Royals)
  • Andrew Benintendi, Michael A. Taylor and Salvador Perez (Current Kansas City Royals Players)
Surprise City Council joins members of the Parks and Recreation Commission on the Surprise Stadium field.

At our City Council Meeting on Tuesday, April 5, Council approved an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with Maricopa County for the $26 million building of a multigenerational community resource center. The next day, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors also voted to approve the IGA, dedicating $18 million of their federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding toward the project. The City is committing $8 million from a combination of City ARPA funds and General Fund dollars. This partnership with Maricopa County will create an estimated 38-thousand square-foot center on City-owned land in Surprise’s historic Original Town Site. The new campus will improve resources for families, seniors, youth and vulnerable populations by centralizing and expanding programs and services from several aging city buildings, including the Surprise Resource Center, Hollyhock Library and Surprise Senior Center. The campus will be at the corner of Hollyhock Street and Santa Fe Drive and should be completed by 2025.

Also at the City Council Meeting on April 5, Mayor Hall proclaimed April as Water Awareness Month in Surprise, joining the annual statewide campaign to help raise awareness about the value of conserving water in the Southwest. Later, Dysart Unified School District’s 2022 Bookmark Contest Winners were awarded. We have some very artistic young folks living in our city.

Of course, on Friday, April 8, I had my monthly AZ Traditions Chat at The Retreat at AZ Traditions.

Wednesday, April 13, I had a Nominations Committee Meeting where Vice Mayor Cline and myself interviewed applicants for the Arts and Culture Commission and Veterans, Disability and Human Services Commission vacancies.

On Tuesday, April 19, you found me at our City Council Meeting where Mayor Hall Proclaimed the month of April as Fair Housing Month in Surprise in celebration of National Fair Housing Month. This month we feel grateful for the Fair Housing Act that was passed on April 11, 1968. This law is designed to protect Americans from facing discrimination in selling or buying houses.

The next City Council meeting will take place on Tuesday, May 17 at 6 p.m. I hope to see you there.

A PowerPoint slide showing city property taxes.We’ve been receiving some questions about the City of Surprise tax rate. It has not increased. The primary tax rate in the City of Surprise is $0.7591 per $100 of Assessed Limited Property Value (LPV), plus the secondary property tax rate of $0.3880 per $100 of Assessed Limited Property Value (LPV). These rates multiplied by the assessed value of your home determine what you pay in property taxes. If the value of your home increases, you will see an increased tax bill; however, that is not due to an increase in the property tax rate but rather an increase in the assessed value of your home.

Schedule of Existing Primary and Secondary Property Tax

Property Tax Current Rate Current Levy Proposed Rate Proposed Levy  
Primary Property Tax Rate $0.7591 $9,974,100 $0.7591 $10,873,200 Per $100 Assessed Limited Property Value (LPV)
Secondary Property Tax Rate $0.3880 $5,097,800 $0.3880 $5,557,500 Per $100 Assessed Limited Property Value (LPV)

Well, I will close for now. Be good to yourself and be good to each other.

Take care,
Roland F. Winters Jr.

April 2022 • Newsletter

Hello out there to the residents of District 1 and all the citizens of Surprise. March started off with our City Council Meeting on Tuesday, March 1, where the City’s Internal Auditor, Carol Holley, was voted into her newly appointed position. Congratulations Carol!

On Monday, March 7, Vice Mayor Aly Cline and I attended a meeting at Arizona Traditions to discuss safety hazards affecting the community. Deputy City Manager, Mike Gent, led the discussion. It was a pleasant afternoon meeting, speaking with the folks from the community. Later that week on Friday, March 11, I had my monthly AZ Traditions Chat at The Retreat at AZ Traditions.

Of course on Tuesday, March 15, you found me at our City Council Meeting where a proclamation was issued, recognizing March 14-20 as Fix-A-Leak-Week. Fixing household water leaks can save you about 10% on your water bill. To remind residents of the importance of checking for leaks, Surprise is participating in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) annual Fix-a-Leak Week campaign. The next City Council meeting will take place on Tuesday, April 19 at 6 p.m. I hope to see you there.

Mayor Hall and Amy Petersen from Water Resource Management hold up a proclamation.

Wednesday, March 23, I had a Community Outreach, Partnership and Grants Subcommittee Meeting. The City is accepting applications for the Community Outreach Program now through April 29. This City Council-led initiative provides funding assistance to organizations within the City of Surprise for programs, events and activities that enhance the overall lifestyle of the community. https://bit.ly/36uKIzB

The next day, March 24, I attended the Valley Metro Board Meeting in Downtown Phoenix with Vice Mayor Aly Cline. We wanted to discuss better transportation options for us folks here in the west part of the valley.

The City is requesting public comment on the 2022 Annual Action Plan. The Human Service and Community Vitality Department will hold a public hearing on April 13 at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers, 16000 N. Civic Center Plz. This public hearing will be held in anticipation of receiving Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding from the Department of Housing in Urban Development. The Program Year 2022 Annual Action Plan will identify specific projects to be funded that meet the goals and objectives identified in the 2020-2024 Consolidated Plan. Public comments received during the Public Hearing will be considered and included in the Plan. The City Council will take formal action on April 19, 2022. For questions regarding the draft plan or public hearing, please call Adam Lane at 623.222.3238 or email at adam.lane@surpriseaz.gov.

Surprise is offering a summer job program for Surprise teens between the ages of 15-19 who are income-eligible. Through the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), applicants must be available to work up to 25 hours a week for six weeks between June 6 and July 15. Chosen interns will receive professional development training, from shadowing engineers to working with youth and seniors, and earn $12.80 per hour. For eligibility requirements and how to apply go to surpriseaz.gov/syep. For questions, please contact Lord Garcillano at lord.garcillano@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.1647.

Surprise Retail Survey - Shopping and Dining in SurpriseThe 2022 Surprise Retail Survey is now open. Do you have a favorite restaurant you’d like to see open here in Surprise? What about a unique shopping experience you want to be added? Now is your chance to tell us. Every response helps the Economic Development Department better reach the retailers you want the most. We also have a youth-only survey to better understand what our younger generation wants to see. The Shop, Eat & Play Youth Survey is for youth, under the age of 18, who live in Surprise.

On Saturday, April 9 at 9 a.m., Sun Health Wellness is hosting Resiliency: The Mind-Body Connection at the Vista Center for the Arts. This community event is presented at no cost and will be in-person and online. It is designed to leave attendees feeling refreshed and ready to conquer life’s challenges. It is important to take care of our mental health for our well-being. Registration is required by either calling 623.471.9355 or going to SunHealthWellness.org/resiliency. Masks are required for in-person attendees.

Upcoming Events Happening in Surprise

  • April is National Safe Digging Month
    It’s a great time to put safety first before starting any digging project. Call811.com
  • April 8, 7-8:30 p.m.
    D1 AZ Traditions Chat at The Retreat, 18250 W. Weatherby Dr.
  • April 16, 7:30-11 a.m.
    Spring Eggstravaganza at Surprise Recreation Campus, 15850 N. Bullard Ave.
  • April 19, 6-8 p.m.
    City Council Meeting at City Hall in the Council Chambers

I’ll sign off for now, so be good to yourself and be good to each other.

Take care,
Roland F. Winters Jr.

March 2022 • Newsletter

Well, hello, my fellow Surprise residents. February started off great with our City Council Meeting on Tuesday, February 1. On February 4, Mayor Skip Hall and I attended the A to Z Polish Market ribbon cutting. They are located at 17221 N. Litchfield Rd., Suite #50. A to Z Polish Market Owner, Mariusz Kurowski, hosted the ceremony in honor of their official Grand Opening. Welcome to Surprise!

Mayor Hall and Councilmember Winters join A to Z Polish Market inside their store for a ribbon cutting.

On Friday, February 11, you found me at the Benehealth Ribbon Cutting Ceremony hosted by Benehealth CEO, Dr. Tanya Carroccio. Mayor Skip Hall also attended and said a few words welcoming the facility to the city. City Manager Bob Wingenroth was also in attendance. Benehealth is located at 16952 W. Bell Rd., Suite 304. Thank you for choosing Surprise!

Mayor Hall, Councilmember Winters and City Manager Bob Wingenroth join Benehealth Wellness and Aesthetics for a ribbon cutting.

Later that day, I had my AZ Traditions Chat at The Retreat at AZ Traditions.

February 14 found me at another ribbon cutting for King Cuts Barber Shop located at 15557 W. Bell Rd. Shop Owner and barber, Luis Gonzalez, hosted the ceremony in honor of their Grand Opening. Mayor Skip Hall also attended. Good luck and welcome to the City!

The next day, February 15, we had our City Council Meeting where three talented students were recognized as the winners of the Dysart Schools / City of Surprise essay contest. The question these students were asked to write about was, “Why is ‘My Surprise’ an extraordinary community to be a part of?” Congratulations to Caleb Leavitt from Freedom Traditional Academy, Kacy Dunn from Canyon Ridge (not pictured), and Valerie Ortega from Valley Vista High School. Thank you to Dysart’s English Language Arts Curriculum Specialist Danielle Edgerton for her help coordinating the contest! The next City Council meeting will take place on Tuesday, March 15 at 6 p.m. I hope to see you there.

Caleb Leavitt and Valerie Ortega join City Council to receive rewards in front of the council dais.

Mayor Hall and Ottawa University President and CEO Bill Tsutsui hold a framed joint proclamation.Later that week on Thursday, February 17, we celebrated City of Surprise and Ottawa University Partnership Day. Mayor Hall and Ottawa University President and CEO Bill Tsutsui declared it with a joint proclamation. Partnership Day will be celebrated annually on the third Thursday of February and affirms that the City and university strive to maintain and grow a partnership that is distinctive, enduring and impactful. The university is located on a shared campus with City Hall.

Upcoming Events Happening in Surprise

  • March 7, 2:30-4:30 p.m.
    AZT Meeting at AZ Traditions Retreat Community Center, 18250 W. Weatherby Dr.
  • March 11, 7-8:30 p.m.
    D1 AZ Traditions Chat at The Retreat, 18250 W. Weatherby Dr.
  • March 15, 6-8 p.m.
    City Council Meeting at City Hall in the Council Chambers

2022 State of the City Event

City of Surprise State of the City-March 31, 2022Join us for the State of the City, followed by an outdoor event with a variety of performances and a showcase of City programs and services.

March 31, 2022 at 6 p.m.
Surprise City Hall Outdoor Courtyard
16000 N. Civic Center Plz.
Surprise, AZ

I will close for now, so be safe, be good to yourself and be good to each other.

Take care,
Roland F. Winters Jr.

February 2022 • Newsletter

I want to give a big shout-out to all the great folks here in the City of Surprise. January started off with a bang and found me at our City Council Meeting on Tuesday, January 4. On January 5, I attended a Citizens Outreach Meeting at Asante Preparatory Academy where the project of rezoning three parcels from rural residential to community commercial was discussed. The project encompasses 10.66 gross acres generally located west of the intersection of Happy Valley Rd. and Grand Ave.

Thursday, January 13, I joined the Asante Heritage residents in a Community Meeting to discuss the updates in the City of Surprise. Chief of Police, Benny Pina, Deputy City Manager, Mike Gent, and Economic Director, Jeanine Jerkovic also attended. The next day, I had my AZ Traditions Chat at The Retreat at AZ Traditions.

January 18 found me at our City Council Meeting where Veterans of Foreign War Post 285 presented Officer and Fire Fighter of the year awards to Officer Shaun McGonigle and Battalion Chiefs Kevin Spirlong and Wade Rodgers. Congratulations to these public safety heroes! That same night, City Council selected Councilmember Aly Cline as the new Vice Mayor for 2022. Congratulations! The next City Council meeting will take place on Tuesday, February 1 at 6 p.m. I hope to see you there.

On Monday, January 24, we had a ribbon-cutting at 360 Physical Therapy, located at 11340 W. Bell Rd., Suite 101. Clinic Director, Anthony Kuhl, hosted the ceremony. Thank you for choosing Surprise and good luck with your new clinic!

Surprise City Council joins 360 Physical Therapy for a ribbon cutting.

On January 26, the Mayor and I had lunch at Denny’s, in District 1, which has a great lunch menu. The Mayor meets with each Council Member at a restaurant in their district monthly to catch up on what is happening across the City of Surprise. Then, on Thursday, January 27, I attended a webinar on economic trends via Zoom. The virtual series, hosted by GPEC explored industries that influence the economic and social infrastructure of Greater Phoenix.

Upcoming Events Happening Here in Surprise

  • February 11, 7-8:30 p.m.
    D1 AZ Traditions Chat at The Retreat, 18250 W. Weatherby Dr.
  • February 15, 6-8 p.m.
    City Council Meeting at City Hall in the Council Chambers
  • February 28, 6-8:30 p.m.
    First Day of City Academy in the Public Safety Auditorium, 14250 W. Statler Plz.

Well, I will sign off for now. Be good to yourself and be good to each other.

Take care,

Roland F. Winters Jr.

January 2022 • Newsletter

Hello and Happy New Year to all our great residents in this hometown we call Surprise. December started off right with a groundbreaking ceremony on the 3rd, held by Josh Simon, President of SimonCRE in honor of the beginning of the Village at Prasada near Loop 303 & Waddell Rd. The Village at Prasada is the first major power center on the West Coast in over a decade. Mayor Hall, Vice Mayor Duffy, and Councilmembers Cline, Hastings and Judd were also in attendance.

Mayor Hall and Surprise City Councilmembers join SimonCRE the the ground breaking of the new Village at Prasada.

The Christmas Tree at Surprise Party.Later that day, you found me at the tree lighting ceremony to kick off the Annual Surprise Party in front of Surprise Stadium. Thank you to our amazing community for coming out to enjoy another successful holiday celebration. And a big thank you to Surprise Parks and Recreation team for all they do to make this a Winter Wonderland in the desert.

Water Resource Management logoOf course, on Tuesday, December 7, we had our City Council Meeting at 6 p.m. where Council approved an updated Community Water Systems Drought Preparedness & Resiliency Plan. The plan outlines short and long-term strategies for managing and sustaining our City’s water portfolio.

Thursday, December 9, I joined the Police Department in honoring Detective Mike Forbrook on his years of service and celebrated his retirement. The next day, I had my AZ Traditions Chat, held at The Retreat at AZ Traditions at 7 p.m.

I attended the City of Surprise shared Ribbon Cutting Ceremony in celebration of two Surprise fire stations built in 2021 – Fire Station 304 in our northern area and 308 in southeast Surprise. The ceremony was held on Tuesday, December 14, and included remarks from myself, Mayor Skip Hall, Councilmember Chris Judd and Fire-Medical Chief Tom Abbott. Thank you to everyone who came out for the event and to all Surprise voters who made these projects possible.

A few days later on Friday, December 17, you found me at The Colonnade to celebrate the holidays at the Annual City of Surprise Senior Center Holiday Party. Mayor Skip Hall and Councilmembers Cline, Remley and Judd also attended. Thank you to the Surprise Senior Center for hosting such an incredible event for all of its members!

Councilmember Winters and his wife in front of the Christmas tree at The Colonnade.

December 21 found me at our City Council Meeting at 6 p.m. The next City Council meeting will take place on Tuesday, January 4 at 6 p.m. I hope to see you there.

Upcoming Events Happening Here in Surprise

  • January 4, 6-8 p.m.
    City Council Meeting at City hall in the Council Chambers
  • January 7-9, 10-5 p.m.
    10th Annual Fine Art & Wine Festival at Mark Coronado Park, 15850 N. Bullard Ave.
  • January 12, 6-8 p.m.
    MLK Musical Celebration and Reflections at Willow Canyon High School Auditorium
  • January 13, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
    D1 Community Meeting at Asante Heritage, 24490 N. 173rd Ln.
  • January 14, 7-8:30 p.m.
    D1 AZ Traditions Chat at The Retreat, 18250 W. Weatherby Dr.
  • January 15, 8:30-10:30 a.m.
    6th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Celebration & Service at the Surprise City Hall Courtyard
  • January 18, 6-8 p.m.
    City Council Meeting at City Hall in the Council Chambers
  • January 23, 3-7 p.m.
    Sunday in the Park at Mark Coronado Park, 15850 N. Bullard Ave.

Well, I will close for now. Wishing everyone a happy, healthy new year.

Take care,

Roland F. Winters Jr.

December 2021 • Newsletter

Hello to all my friends in Surprise, I hope you are all well and safe.

Last month started off with a workshop and City Council Meeting on the 2nd at 6 p.m. where members of the Youth Council presented reports on school projects. We have some very smart young folks living in our city.

On Friday, November 5, you found me at a ribbon-cutting for Ally Pediatric Therapy, located at 13700 N. Dysart Rd., Suite #180. Welcome to Surprise!

Mayor Hall and Councilmember Winters join Ally Pediatric Therapy for a ribbon cutting.
Mayor Hall and Councilmember Winters join Ally Pediatric Therapy for a ribbon cutting.

The same day, I, along with Mayor Hall, Chief Piña and Councilwoman Cline attended a Newcomer’s Welcome event at Arizona Traditions. This event welcomed those who moved to Arizona Traditions this year and it was a great opportunity for them to learn more about the facilities, activities and clubs within the community.

On November 11 at 9 a.m., I along with Mayor Hall, Vice Mayor Duffy, and Council Members Hastings and Judd honored our servicemen and women at our 7th annual City of Surprise Veterans Day Parade. Thank you to our amazing community for coming out to participate and support. And a big thank you to Surprise Parks and Recreation for a successful pancake breakfast and parade.

Councilmember Winters in the Veterans Day Parade.

Friday, November 12, I had my AZ Traditions Chat, held at The Retreat at AZ Traditions at 7 p.m., which Councilwoman Cline attended.

Of course, on Tuesday, November 16, we had our workshop at 5 p.m. and the City Council Meeting at 6 p.m. where Mayor Hall proclaimed Saturday, November 27 as Small Business Saturday in Surprise. Debbie Han, CEO of the Arizona Small Business Association accepted the proclamation. This day is recognized nationally as a day to celebrate and support small businesses and all they do for their communities. Show your support by shopping Surprise’s small businesses! The next City Council meeting will take place on Tuesday, December 7 at 6 p.m. I hope to see you there.

I had my Valley Metro meeting on Thursday, November 18, from my office at City Hall. Even though the meetings offer in-person attendance now, I chose to do this meeting via Zoom. It’s more convenient than driving to Phoenix!

On Friday, November 19, I attended the ThrivePoint High School Grand Re-Opening ribbon-cutting, located at 16578 W. Greenway Rd., Suite #204. This celebratory event welcomes ThrivePoint High School, formerly eInsitute into our local community. Congratulations Learning Center Coordinator Mckenzie McClanahan. We wish you the best of luck here in Surprise.

Below are some upcoming events happening here in Surprise:

  • December 10, 7-8:30 p.m.
    D1 AZ Traditions Chat at The Retreat, 18250 W. Weatherby Dr.
  • December 14, 3:15-5:15 p.m.
    Fire Station 304 & 308 Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at Fire Station 308, 13771 W. Cactus Rd.
  • December 21, 6-8 p.m.
    City Council Meeting at City Hall in the Council Chambers
  • January 14, 7-8:30 p.m.
    D1 AZ Traditions Chat at The Retreat, 18250 W. Weatherby Dr.
  • January 18, 6-8 p.m.
    City Council Meeting at City Hall in the Council Chambers
  • January 23, 3-7 p.m.
    Sunday in the Park at Mark Coronado Park, 15850 N. Bullard Ave.

So as you can see, we are getting busy and back to order. I’ll sign off for now, so be good to yourself and be good to each other.

Take care,

Roland F. Winters Jr.

November 2021 • Newsletter

Hi out there to the residents of District 1 and all the citizens of Surprise. I want to give a big shout-out to all the great folks here in the City of Surprise. October started with a bang and found me on October 5 at a City Council Meeting at 6 p.m. where I was recognized for eight years of service and dedication to local government in Arizona. Later in the meeting, City Council voted to appoint Bob Wingenroth to serve as the next Surprise City Manager.

Friday, October 8, I had my AZ Traditions Chat held at The Retreat at AZ Traditions at 7 p.m., which Councilwoman Cline attended.

On October 9 at 6 p.m., myself along with Mayor Hall, Vice Mayor Duffy and Council Members Hastings and Judd attended the 8th Annual Surprise Fiesta Grande. The Executive Director for the Governor’s Office of Equal Opportunity presented Mayor and Council with a proclamation in honor of Hispanic Heritage month. Thank you to everyone who attended this wonderful event!

On Thursday, October 14, I attended the Annual Surprise Police Employee Appreciation Banquet. It was an evening of appreciation to compliment our outstanding Police Department personnel for everything that they do to serve the City of Surprise.

Of course, on Tuesday, October 19, we had our workshop at 5 p.m. and the City Council Meeting at 6 p.m. with a full agenda. Alexis Klippel and Alina Bozhko were recognized for receiving the 2021 City of Surprise Scholarship Awards. Alexis, the daughter of Randy Rody (Police Department), received the first place award of $3,000 and Alina, the daughter of Leonid Bozhko (Information Technology), received the second place award of $1,500. Congratulations to both winners! The next City Council meeting will take place on Tuesday, November 2 at 6 p.m.

Alexis Klippel and Alina Bozhko are recognized by City Council for receiving the 2021 City of Surprise Scholarship Awards.

I had my Valley Metro meeting on Thursday, October 21, from my office at City Hall. That same evening, myself along with Mayor and Council attended the Best of the West Awards dinner which was held at State Farm Stadium. The event, hosted by WESTMARC, recognizes exceptional contributions to the image, lifestyle and economy here in the West Valley. This Awards Dinner is the signature event of the West Valley with a rich history of celebrating outstanding accomplishments and impacts to quality of life, economic development, innovation and leadership.

On Saturday, October 23, I attended the Public Safety G.A.I.N. Night (Getting Arizona Involved in Neighborhoods) at Mark Coronado Park. This is a day for Arizona to join forces and promote awareness, safety and neighborhood unity. It was a great turnout with trick or treating, a gaming trailer and laser tag, live music, Chick-Fil-A hot air balloon and public safety displays. Thank you Surprise Police Department and Parks and Recreation for hosting such a wonderful event!

Friday, October 29, you found me at Dysart School District’s ribbon cutting event to reveal the opening of their elementary school fields and playgrounds in Surprise to the public, after school hours and on weekends.

Below are some upcoming events happening here in Surprise:

  • November 7, 3-7 p.m.
    Sunday in the Park at Mark Coronado Park, 15850 N. Bullard Ave.
  • November 11, 9-11:30 a.m.
    Veteran’s Day Parade at the Surprise Recreation Campus
  • November 12, 7-8:30 p.m.
    D1 AZ Traditions Chat at The Retreat, 18250 W. Weatherby Dr.
  • November 13, 10-2 p.m.
    2nd Annual Care & Share Expo at the Surprise City Hall 1st Floor Parking Garage, 16000 N. Civic Center Plz.
  • November 16, 6-8 p.m.
    City Council Meeting at City Hall in the Council Chambers
  • December 7, 6-8 p.m.
    City Council Meeting at City Hall in the Council Chambers
  • December 10, 7-8:30 p.m.
    D1 AZ Traditions Chat at The Retreat, 18250 W. Weatherby Dr.
  • December 21, 6-8 p.m.
    City Council Meeting at City Hall in the Council Chambers

Well, I will close for now, so be good to yourself and be good to each other.

Take care,

Roland F. Winters Jr.

September 2021 • Newsletter

I want to give a big shout-out to all the great folks here in the City of Surprise. Let me start by apologizing to all of you who read my newsletter for being a little late this month. We are starting to get back to normal, and things are getting busier after the summer break. August began with a bang and found me on August 5 at a Surprise Police Department retirement celebration honoring Lieutenant John Bacon, held in the Council Chambers.

On August 10 at 12:30 p.m., the Mayor and I had lunch at Babbos, in District 1, which has a great lunch menu. The Mayor meets with each Council Member at a restaurant in their district monthly to catch up on what is happening across the City of Surprise. Friday, August 13, I had my AZ Traditions Chat held at The Retreat at AZ Traditions at 7:00 p.m., which had a good turnout.

On Tuesday, August 17, we had our workshop at 4 p.m. and the City Council Meeting at 6 p.m. with a full agenda. That same evening the Official Oath of Office was issued to the City’s new police chief, Benny Piña, by Judge Dominguez. He previously served as the deputy police chief in Peoria since 2014. Before that, he served 25 years with the Phoenix Police Department.

The next City Council meeting will take place on Tuesday, September 7, 2021, at 6 p.m.

Surprise City Council, Police Chief Benny Piña and Judge Dominguez.

On Thursday, August 19, we met to congratulate Terry Young on his retirement at a gathering attended by many Surprise employees who were there to see him off. Terry Young was our Assistant City Manager for a short time. Best of luck to you, Terry.

Surprise City Council and former Assistant City Manager, Terry Young.

The same day, I had my Valley Metro meeting, but we are still doing them via Zoom, so I attended from my office at City Hall, but I guess that’s better than going to Phoenix.

Wednesday, August 25, we welcomed Crumbl Cookies to Surprise at their official ribbon cutting. Crumbl Cookies is located at 13983 W. Waddell Road, Suite 100. Congratulations to owners Jason and Lindsey Armstrong. We wish you the best of luck here in Surprise.

Below are some upcoming events happening here in Surprise are:

  • September 11, from 8:30-9:30 a.m.
    9-11 Remembrance Ceremony in the City Hall outdoor courtyard.
  • September 19, from 3-7 p.m.
    Sunday in the Park at Mark Coronado Park, 15850 N. Bullard Avenue, Surprise.
  • October 8, from 7-8:30 p.m.
    D1 AZ Traditions Chat at The Retreat, 18250 W. Weatherby Drive, Surprise.
  • October 9, from 5-10 p.m.
    8th Annual Fiesta Grande at Villanueva Recreation Complex, 15660 N. Hollyhock Street.

So as you can see, we are getting busy and back to order. I’ll sign off for now, so be good to yourself and be good to each other.

Take care,

Roland F. Winters Jr.

July 2021 • Newsletter

Well, a big shout-out to all our great residents in this hometown we call Surprise. June started with a bang and found me on June 1 in a workshop, then a council meeting at 6 p.m. On June 2 at 3 p.m., I met with the Surprise Youth Council to listen to their projects and strategies for this fiscal year. We have some very smart young folks living in our city. We all met in one of the large rooms at Ottawa University, a great school right here in Surprise.

On Thursday, June 10, I had a meeting with Dysart Unified School District Superintendent Quinn Kellis. We met for about an hour and a half to see how the school district can help city and vice versa. We had a good exchange of ideas; and as a matter of fact, Dr. Kellis has already turned the showroom at Valley Vista into an entertainment venue and is calling it The Vista. So instead of having the building empty, he has brought shows in there.

On June 11, we had a ribbon-cutting at the new Ohana Salon in District 1, located at 13980 W. Bell Road, Suite 5. Good luck with your new salon in Surprise.

On Monday, June 14, we did a ribbon cutting for another new business in Surprise. It’s an automotive repair shop at 13260 W. Foxfire Dr. called White Eagle Auto Repair.

Mayor Hall cuts a red ribbon outside of White Eagle Auto Repair for their grand opening.

The same day, I had a virtual meeting at City Hall with the folks at League of Cities and Towns because I am on their transportation committee. We are getting ready for our conference in Phoenix at the end of August.

The Council had their last meeting for a while on June 15, a workshop meeting and a council meeting where action is taken. The next Council meeting will take place on Tuesday, August 17, 2021. I hope to see you there.

Monday, June 28 found me at a ribbon-cutting for a large gaming center. It’s called Dungeon Gaming Center at 15557 W Bell Rd, Suite 409. Welcome to Surprise!

Tuesday, June 29, many city of Surprise employees were in attendance at a little party for Lisa Angelini’s retirement celebration. Lisa was well-liked; you could tell by the crowd that was there. Have fun in your retirement Lisa, and you will be missed.

On Wednesday, June 30, District 1 got another new business with a ribbon-cutting at BADAZ Axes located at 16630 W Greenway Rd, Suite 309. It is an axe-throwing venue, but soon they will have an escape room, which will also be a lot of fun.

Well, I will close for now, so be good to yourself and be good to each other.

Take care,

Roland F. Winters Jr.

June 2021 • Newsletter

Well, hello to all my friends in District 1, indeed to everyone in the great city we call Surprise. May started great with an invitation from Beth to speak with residents who live in my newest HOA, Rancho Mercardo, in the northwest part of this city, right up against Peoria. So the Mayor and I spent a pleasant afternoon with those folks from all over the United States. The first phase of Rancho Mercado, called Al Meria, is almost finished.

Monday, May 3rd, you could find me at AZProSuites for their ribbon cutting. They are located at 15331 W. Bell Road, Suite 312. They have office space to rent out to start-up businesses. It was an excellent ribbon cutting, and it is good to be back to live ribbon cuttings instead of looking at a computer.

That same day we met to congratulate Donna Miller on her retirement at a gathering attended by many Surprise employees who were there to see her off. Donna was our Director of Parks and Recreation for many years. Happy travels, Donna.

Surprise City Council presents Donna Miller with an award.

That same evening I was in the school at Asante to hear some new details on Enclave Point, which is being developed in the northwest area of my district and is being annexed into Surprise. I also had a tour of Fire Station 304 on 163rd Avenue, so I had a busy day.

On May 4th, we had our workshop at 4:30 pm and the City Council Meeting at 6 pm and a pretty full agenda. Then on Wednesday, May 5th, the Council Members were in the community room interviewing potential police chief candidates to replace Terry Young, who is now the Assistant City Manager. Benny Pina from the Peoria Police Department got the job of Police Chief with the City of Surprise Police Department.

On May 7th, the Mayor and I had lunch in a Japanese restaurant called Sakura, in District 1, and it is a lovely place to relax and have a meal. The Mayor meets with each Council Member at a restaurant in their district to catch up on what is happening across the City of Surprise. Anyway, Sakura is located at 16433 W. Bell Road, so go check it out.

May 12th at 6 pm found me back at the preparatory school at 23251 N. 166th Drive in Asante to discuss the erection of billboards along the Loop 303, so I would like to have an unofficial survey as to your feelings about billboards along the 303.

My Valley Metro meeting was on Thursday, May 13th, but we are still doing them via Zoom, so I had to go into City Hall for that meeting, but I guess that’s better than going to Phoenix.

Friday, May 14th, found me at California Pools and Landscape at 15240 N. Cotton Lane at 9 am for a ribbon-cutting. What beautiful pools they build. They had tons of photos showing their work.

That evening I started up my meetings after 13 months of the pandemic and had great attendance, mostly folks from the 163rd Avenue and Jomax Road area. We mainly talked about the traffic up there, but when most of the building is finished, we will have 163rd Avenue going through to State Route 74, Happy Valley Road going toward the Loop 303, and right now to Jomax Road, then north on 145th Avenue to Peoria.

On Saturday, May 15th, we had a ribbon cutting ceremony at the beautiful new Gaines Park at 15837 N. Nash Street to honor Floyd Gaines, an early city councilmember. He built the first baseball field in Surprise for all the kids to play baseball. We even had some of Floyd’s relatives, like his son and daughter, in attendance.

Floyd Gaines Park baseball and sign

May 17th found me at another outreach meeting at the Asante School 23251 N. 166th Drive. On Tuesday, May 18th, we all had to arrive at City Hall at 2:30 pm to get a group photo of the entire 2021 Council. Then, of course, we had our Council Meeting with another full schedule.

Surprise City Council

Thursday, May 20th, was my Valley Metro meeting. We had a meeting already this month, but that was to approve the budget, and we are still using Zoom. These meetings usually go on for two to three hours, but they have important information, and the City of Surprise needs to have a seat at the table.

On Monday, May 24th, I had two meetings, one about transportation and the other meeting was about our development strategy. Tuesday at 5 pm, we had our Boards and Commissions Nominations Committee meeting with Councilmember Remley and Councilmember Cline joining me. This committee interviews the folks who want to be part of one of our many commissions and boards in Surprise.

I received a phone call from Mike, who lives out in the Sun Valley Parkway area. He wanted to meet with me about the requirements of our municipal property code. We met at City Hall with 15-20 neighbors from “the country” Sun Valley Parkway, and we continued that conversation into my meeting and the workshop meeting on June 15th. I think after that meeting, most residents felt better about the codes. Should anyone have any questions or concerns, please call Tiffany Copp at 623.222.3000.

Saturday, May 29th, found me at the World War ll memorial next to the library to honor those soldiers who gave their all. We had a pretty good bunch of veterans and civilians.

So as you can see, we are getting busy and back to order. I’ll sign off for now, so be good to yourself and be good to each other.

Take care,

Roland F. Winters Jr.