Category Archives: Newsletter

Councilmember Roland Winters Newsletter

April 2019 • Newsletter

A big shout out to all the residents of this great city we have the privilege of living in. I should direct my newsletter comments to the entire city since I am your Vice Mayor now, and it is an honor to serve you.

March was a busy month for me, and I started out by reading to the children in Mrs. Guevarba’s 2nd grade class at Countryside Elementary School. This is one of my favorite things to do as a member of the Surprise City Council. The children are so young and innocent with their whole life ahead of them, and I can’t help but ask myself, “What are these little people going to be when they grow up?” In three or four days, I received many wonderful ‘thank you’ notes from the children. Thank you, Mrs. Guevarba, and your class for giving me more than I gave you.

Councilmember Winters reads to Mrs. Guevarba’s 2nd grade class

That same afternoon, March 1, I found myself at the Surprise Stadium in the VIP tent to meet and greet some developers and business people and let them know why they should invest in our city. The entire council wants good businesses located in Surprise so our residents can find good jobs in the city they live in and we can make Surprise a self-sustaining city.

Monday, March 4, at 6:00 p.m. found me at the City Academy class at City Hall, telling the class members what it is like being on the council and what my duties are. If you have never taken the City Academy class, I urge you to do so. I took the class even before I was a councilmember and learned a lot. Ruby Sitea runs the class, the HOA Academy and many others, and she does a great job. The best part is all of these classes are free. For more information, please contact Ruby Sitea at 623-222-3242.

Tuesday, March 5, was of course our council workshop at 4:00 p.m., followed by our council meeting at 6:00 p.m. when action is taken. Sometimes the council goes into executive session meeting, all of which can make for a long day.

This time of the year, leading up to our final vote on our city’s budget, we have many meetings on various parts to break down the total budget. On Wednesday, March 6, I was in just such a meeting. We, as a council, need to know what departments need funding and how much. The recommended budget is scheduled for release this month.

To my friends at Surprise Farms III, thank you for your invitation to the HOA picnic. We had a good time at your beautiful HOA park, and I extend my thanks to your community manager Santos, your board president Mark Novak, Vice President Ray, and the rest of the board: Delilah, Mark Miller and Jerry. Next time you have a get together, let me know ahead of time, and I will make sure the police and fire show up. My best to all the residents at Surprise Farms III for a great day on Saturday, March 9.

On Monday, March 11 at 10:00 a.m., I was at the Cimarron Center in Sun City Grand for some more community outreach meetings to ask you, the residents, what would you like to see in our downtown near City Hall. We have been getting many good ideas for that piece of land. The city’s development partner has hired a designer to make up a master plan. This council is determined to plan and build our city downtown led by our Mayor. Scott Philips, who represents the city center land owner, has been working very hard at these community meetings and there will be more, so let’s attend these meetings and tell us what you would like to see.

Tuesday, March 12, I was at the Benevilla Appreciation Brunch for their annual recognition to their benefactors. The Arrowhead Lexus Dealership won the business leadership award and Birt and Louisa Kellam won the Bill Wolfrey Award. Birt had a restaurant named after him, “Birt’s Bistro”, maybe you have heard of it.

That same afternoon I had some more meetings on our 2019-2020 budget which took me well into the afternoon.

On Tuesday, March 14, I found myself back at the stadium to meet the folks from Hines, a developer that Economic Development is encouraging to consider Surprise for future investment opportunities.

On Saturday, March 16, I was invited to a HOA picnic by my friends in the community of Desert Oasis at their own HOA park, and it was a very nice day (little windy, could not keep my hat on). It was a great reception and there were good hamburgers. For those of you who don’t know where this community is, take 163rd off of Grand Ave and go North. There are many new homes going up there. While I was there, I visited our new Dollar General store that just opened, and I talked to a number of residents up there, and they like the new store. They were so happy that there is finally a store close by.

Councilmember Winters in front of new Dollar General

March 19 at 4:00 p.m. was our workshop, which was followed by our council meeting at 6:00 p.m.

On March 20 at 4:00 p.m. I had a ribbon cutting at a new business, Avenir Behavioral Hospital, located on Parkview Place. The Mayor was also there. The owner of this facility has several others in Surprise.

On March 21, I was at my Valley Metro Board Meeting in Phoenix, which I attend monthly. We want a seat at the table so we can have some kind of transit in Surprise, hopefully sooner than later.

That same evening, I was back at the stadium to meet some possible investors.

On March 26, I had a meeting with 5 members of the Surprise Youth Council. We discussed their goals and their future education plans. All of the members seemed mature and were very much aware of what they wanted to do and what they had to do to get there. We talked for over an hour. The future seems to be in good hands.

That same night, I had a meeting at St. Clare of Assisi Catholic Church in Surprise with another great group of youth, Pack 40 of the Cub and Boys Scouts. It seemed that day was my day to interact with the young people. The scouts had an endless list of questions and some of them were working on their civic badge, so they had many questions about the city. A great time was had by all, even the scout leader.

Wednesday, March 27, I attended a ribbon cutting at Rise. I was called upon to say a few words as Vice Mayor. It is located at 18640 N Parkview Place. They have day programs for developmentally disabled residents. I observed a very caring group of people working there. Their motto is “Creating opportunities for and with people.” For more information, please call 480-430-4546.

Right after the above ribbon cutting, I attended another one at Ottawa university, which is located across the courtyard from City Hall. This ribbon cutting was for SpotRX, a new prescription station, and I was please to share this experience with some of my colleagues.

SpotRX at Ottawa ribbon cutting

Thursday, March 28 found me at the Radisson Hotel for an update on the Desert Diamond Casino in Glendale. This should be completed in approximately 240 days, and we all can’t wait for that day! Once I left the update, I went to another budget meeting back at City Hall.

To finish off March 28 was our State of the City Address and celebration of the City Hall building which reached 10 years. The State of the City was great, and if you missed it, it is televised on Channel 11 and also on the internet at It was a great celebration and every director from the city, and many employees, did an amazing job. Kuddos to our Mayor for thinking out of the box. A State of the City should be enjoyed by all the residents of Surprise and the residents should be able to participate in the celebration free of charge. I think the citizens of Surprise were surprised! What a way to finish the month!

Before I close, I would like to inform you that the Dick McComb dog park lights project has a projected finish of mid-May. This is perfect timing for our spring and summer nights.

The 163rd Avenue and Jomax Road project will deliver the full design and construction of the ultimate intersection at this location. This includes storm water and drainage improvements, traffic signals, street lights, sidewalks and landscape. The project also includes two 500 foot lanes in each direction on Jomax Road and three 500+ foot lanes in each direction on 163rd Avenue.

Additional widening projects on 163rd Avenue are being planned adjacent to the areas being developed and will occur at the same time as those properties are improved.

In closing, I thank each of you for your continued support. Be good to yourself and be good to each other.

March 2019 • Newsletter

A big shout out to my constituents in District 1 and everyone who lives in this great city called Surprise. I must first apologize for being late with my newsletter this month as it just rolled by.

I want to start off with a little unscientific survey. I would like to get some feedback from all of you who use our Ride Choice program or the City’s Trans Dev program, both of which are our way to help people get around Surprise and the region. These transit systems started in December, and I would like to know how they work for you, so call me at 623-594-5952, email, text 714-315-0840 or mail a letter to Surprise City Hall, 16000 N Civic Center Drive, Surprise AZ 85374, ATTN: Councilmember Winters. Thank you in advance.

February 4 found me in the Mayor’s office at our monthly meeting, which is very helpful, so we can exchange information and I can be brought up-to-date on some things that I may not know.

Of course, our Council workshop was on February 5, followed by the City Council meeting where we take action.

We had a ribbon cutting at our newest hospital in Surprise at Destiny Springs on Dysart Road at 4:00 p.m. This is a behavioral health center for those in need of help with a variety of behavioral health conditions. It is a very nice facility with good architecture.

Destiny Springs Ribbon Cutting

On February 8, I had a meeting with Clark Landrum II, the manager of the Waste Management Recycle Center on Deer Valley Road in District 1. I was invited to tour the facility and what a tour it was! All the trash going into that plant gets sorted out and all recyclable materials are separated, bailed up and shipped out of the plant to final users.

Friday night, February 8, was my meeting for my constituents and there was a good turnout.

Wednesday, February 13, I had the honor to be in Sun City Grand when an Army Veteran received a home, free and clear, from the Homes for Heroes organization as well as Chase Bank.

Home for Heroes

The same day at 2:00 pm, we held our board and commission committee meeting and chose two candidates for the CRS Commission, the full council agreed on the recommendations.

On Thursday, February 14, I attended the WESTMARC meeting at the Gila River Arena in Glendale. The message was positive by Sintra Hoffman that the time is now for the West Valley to generate commercial growth.

There was a great ribbon cutting for Spooner’s Physical Therapy on Friday, February 15. It is located at 16968 W Bell Road. Most of the council members attended this ribbon cutting.

Spooner’s Physical Therapy Ribbon Cutting

Audra Colson, who is the contact for Chance Shelter, put on a great fundraiser on Saturday, February 16 at the Bingo Parlor on Bell Road. There was a great turn out, so I am hoping they fattened up the building fund for Surprise’s first shelter for our furry friends. The exact location of the future shelter has not been confirmed, but as soon as it is, I will inform you all.

February 19 was a workshop and council meeting day.

On Wednesday, February 20 the Council and Mayor had a nice meeting with Congresswoman Debbie Lesko. We talked about a number of things that she can help with in D.C.

Only my second meeting since I was appointed to the Valley Metro Board was on Thursday, February 21 at the Valley Metro Headquarters in Phoenix. There is some light at the end of the tunnel as far as our transit because we are talking about the bus that stops at Arrowhead Mall to continue on to Surprise City Hall. We are hoping to have this in place and operating by 2022, providing we can get financing. Each jurisdiction must pay their fair share for the bus so that would include Sun City, Sun City West, Peoria and Surprise.

Clint Hickman made an appearance at Sun City Grand Wednesday night, February 27, and I attended to hear him speak. I also got the opportunity to talk to him for a few minutes.

I have been asked a couple of times what is being built next to Winco in District 1. So if you were wondering, it is a hospital! It is going to be an Abrazo Hospital. We have many projects going on in Surprise as you have noticed. I will close for now. Be good to yourself and be good to each other.

Vice Mayor Roland F. Winters Jr.

February 2019 • Newsletter

Hi to all the residents in the great city of Surprise. Wow, what a month January 2019 was for the city, for my district, for the residents and for me personally. The city has attracted new businesses, has a new mayor, a new city manager, a new assistant city manager and our Economic Development Department, with Jeanine Jerkovic at the helm, is drawing more commercial prospect to Surprise. District 1 was so fortunate to get Fellowship Hall within our boundary, which brings an $85 million investment to Surprise. We celebrated the ribbon cutting on Thursday January 24th. Also in the district, there are a number of developments going on in the northwest part including a Dollar General Store.

I hope the residents see all the good things that are going to happen in Surprise with our new council and not that we must agree on everything; we don’t. For me personally, at the January 3rd council meeting, I was sworn in for my second term on the council. Thanks to the voters for that. At the January 15th city council meeting, I was appointed by the council to serve as your Vice Mayor, and it was a unanimous vote. I am very thankful and humble to be in this position.

Tuesday, January 8th, I was in our Board and Commission Selection Committee meeting going over the process to choose some nominees for the new commission we formed. Many good candidates were interviewed.

On Thursday, January 10th, we held a special public meeting with our full council at City Hall to discuss our Council-Manager form of government. Very useful information, not only for the residents and new council members, but also for those of us who are in our second or third term. All of our individual responsibilities and obligations in this complex city government were outlined by our city attorney.

I held my regular 2nd Friday night meeting of the month on January 11th, and we all had an interesting conversation about drones. One of my constituents (I will not give his name out of respect for his privacy) knows a lot about drones, and the discussion was timely because the council recently gave our Police Department the go-ahead to purchase a couple of drones.

Saturday, January 12th found me on a bus tour of all 13 parks in the city along with various recreation centers. This was to helpful for council to become familiar with where the parks are in our various districts. We also evaluated the need for any additional improvements to the parks. While I am on the subject of parks, as most of you know, in November I was able to convince the council there was a need to install lights at the Dick McComb city dog park. That work is now underway; measurements have been taken, engineers are evaluating how many poles need to be erected, and the type of lighting, so it should not be long now.

Tuesday, January 15th was, of course, our council meeting at which time Vice Mayor Remley nominated me to be the Vice Mayor for 2019, and I was elected unanimously by my peers. I would like to thank the entire council for having that kind of confidence in me.

Vice Mayor Winters being sworn in by City Clerk

On Wednesday, January 16th, my wife and I were invited to hear Governor Ducey’s State of the State Address, and it was very positive. In the Governor’s upbeat speech, he said our economy is growing rapidly; he promised more money for schools; and said he is taking positive steps to deal with our serious water shortage.

Vice Mayor Winters and wife with Governor Doug Ducey at the State of State address

Our new mayor (Mayor Hall) has appointed me to the Valley Metro Board of Directors, and the first meeting I attended was Thursday, January 17th at Valley Metro Headquarters in Phoenix. I came away from that meeting with some good news and some bad news. The good news is the 170 bus that travels westbound on Bell Road from Phoenix, but stops running at the mall in Peoria, will continue to run west to Surprise City Hall. The bad news is it will not happen until 2022. I suggested 2021, but that did not fly too well. I will take note that the professionals that work for Valley Metro know what they are talking about when it comes to transportation.

We celebrated the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Celebration & Service on Saturday, January 19th (two days before Martin Luther King Jr. Day) with a lot of song, celebration and prayer. This was our third year doing this in the courtyard at City Hall, and it gets bigger every year. All of the council was there, as well as the father of our newest council member, David Sanders. Our Human Service and Community Vitality Director, Seth Dyson, and his team do a great job on this every year.

Vice Mayor Winters at the 2019 MLK celebration

That same day, my family and I paid a visit to Fire Station 304 up in the northwest part of my district. It was an open house that day for this fire house; one of the two fire stations in my district. There were a lot of residents up there visiting and all are excited about the new fire house coming, including the firefighters. When finish building the new Fire Station 304, it will be the largest fire station in Surprise.

When we left the fire station, I went to check out the Dollar General store being built on Jomax near 161st. The construction is really moving right along; it is a good size piece of property with a nice parking lot. I know not everyone liked the idea of that kind of store going in there, but at least the folks up there can get milk and bread at the store, instead of having to drive down to Reems and Grand. Also, my thought was that if we get some kind of commercial in that area, some more will follow; so let’s hope that will happen.

On Sunday, January 20th, we went to Valley Vista High School Performing Arts Center to see the Surprise POPS Band. If you have not seen them perform, it is well worth your time. The cost to see is show is a can of food. Watch for their next show.

Surprise Pops Band

I attended a meeting at Avondale City Hall with Valley Metro staff and representatives from Surprise and other municipalities on Wednesday January 23rd to discuss the possibility of circulators and a bus service for the area.

Vice Mayor Winters at the Valley Metro Meeting

Thursday, January 24th, found me at my Northwest Valley Connect (a 501C3) meeting at Benevilla. Northwest Valley Connect will try and find someone a ride to a doctor appointment or shopping trip if they cannot find one. This is at no charge. Right now we are doing a transit study to see where the need is.

That same day, we attended the ribbon cutting at Fellowship Square on Sarival. This is a huge community for independent living, assisted living and memory care. As mentioned earlier, an $85 million investment in Surprise.

Surprise Vice Mayor Roland Winters and Surprise Councilwoman Nancy Hayden at Fellowship Square with Jay Trottier, Facilities Manager, John Norris, Executive Vice President, Kathy Loscheider, Excutive Director and Lori Wilson, Marketing Director
Surprise Vice Mayor Roland Winters and Surprise Councilwoman Nancy Hayden at Fellowship Square with Jay Trottier, Facilities Manager, John Norris, Executive Vice President, Kathy Loscheider, Excutive Director and Lori Wilson, Marketing Director

On Saturday January 26th, I attended the meeting at the AZ TechCelerator on Bell Road for a veterans event headed up by Chris Flowers who is the CEO of Vets 4 Biz. He will help Vets find a job and brings Vets together. If you are a Veteran and need a job, call Chris Flowers at 623-308-9732.

Monday evening, January 28th, I was in my meeting with my fellow board members of the Maricopa County Human Services Commission where we try and help those less fortunate with money for rent, food and utilities. We get grants – federal and other grants – that we have the responsibility to put where it will do the best.

Finally, there was the grand opening of My Goodies bakery at 15170 W. Bell Road.

So as you can see, things are happening in Surprise. I will close for now, so be good to yourself and be good to each other.

January 2019 • Newsletter

Well hello to everyone in District One, and indeed to all the residents in this great city where we have the privilege to live. Well, here we are at the beginning of a new year; and ready or not, here it comes. In retrospect, 2018 was definitely a year of change, the mayor resigned, we got a new mayor, new city manager, new assistant city manager, two deputy city managers, and a new council member was elected to District 6. Then, to kick off 2019, Council appointed David Sanders to the District 5 council seat, which was vacated after Skip Hall was appointed Mayor. Sanders’ term expires December 31, 2020, and the remainder of the four-year term will be placed on the next scheduled council election in August 2020.

December started off with a bang, with our annual celebration of the holiday season, and what a great party it was. There were record crowds despite the cold temperatures. I still miss the elephants. This was also the first time our new mayor got to light the beautiful Christmas tree, and he did a great job.

December 4th found me in the council work shop at 4pm and the council meeting at 6pm. On December 5th, most of the council attended a ribbon cutting at Café Rio, at 13968 W. Waddell Road. The food was excellent and the service was great, so now we have the choice of another restaurant. On December 8th, there was a great Christmas party at the AZ TechCelerator for the public. Everyone had a good time.

Surprise Council attend the Cafe Rio Ribbon Cutting

On Monday, December 10th, we had a meeting with some members of our Arts Advisory Commission in our conference room to explore a new art project that the commission wants to pursue.

Tuesday, December 11th, you found me at a North West Valley Connect Meeting at the old City Hall. The group is made up of many West Valley leaders who have formed a grass roots collation to try and solve the constituent problem of the lack of public transportation. The coalition was awarded a federal grant to do a study for a connectivity solution for the West Valley.

The Colonnade was the venue this year for our annual Senior Center Christmas Party, and what a good time they had. The nice thing is that the cost of this party is paid for by the folks who buy vendor spots at the Surprise Super Swap Meet each spring.

Every year, the city puts on a Christmas Party for the employees who work for the city, and everyone has a great time with entertainment, games, and awards given out. I believe it is a great morale booster. After the party, I had my monthly meeting with the City Manager.

On Friday December 14th, I attended the Christmas Party held every year at Dream Catcher Park for the developmentally and physically disabled athletes who don’t dwell on what they can’t do, but work on what they can do. Most of the disabled kids who were there go to the Dysart School District. Everyone had a great time.

Later that same day, I was at the ribbon cutting for the opening of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Local office at 13985 W Grand Avenue. They remodeled the existing building, so we have one less empty building in Surprise. Later that day, I had my meeting at Arizona Traditions with a number of people in attendance.

Surprise City Council attend the Blue Cross Blue Shield Ribbon Cutting

On December 18th, we had a meeting with Valley Metro staff to try and iron out problems with our new Ride Choice program. It is getting better, it will just take some time.

Wednesday December 19th, I was able to set up a meeting between some of the constituents in the Northwest part of my district and city staff members to try and find a solution for repairing the roads in that area. We agreed not to pave Dynamite Road, but concentrate on getting the right of ways for Dale Lane to get that road fixed. The city is going to do the surveying for anyone on Dale Lane that may want it at no charge with no strings attached.

Well I will close my newsletter for this month, but before I do, I just want to say I am very optimistic for 2019, and the work this new council will get done along with our staff. I hope all of our citizens in Surprise have a great New Year and a healthy New Year.

Be good to yourself and be good to each other.

Roland F. Winters Jr.
District 1 Councilmember

December 2018 • Newsletter

Well hello to all my friends in District 1 and to all the folks in this great city we call Surprise. The month of November has certainly been a busy one, and a month with some major changes, starting with my own re-election. I want to thank all those voters in District 1 who voted for me and for those folks who did not vote for me, I will work harder the next four years to earn your trust. The other news (as I am sure most of you know), is that Mayor Sharon Wolcott resigned the evening of November 6 and the City Council appointed Skip Hall as the new Mayor of Surprise with a unanimous “yes” vote, which I appreciate. Skip will be a good mayor who has the experience, skill, integrity and compassion for this city. Now, the Council must appoint someone to replace Mayor Hall for his District, District 5, so if you are interested, please go see our City Clerk Sherry Aguilar and pick up an application.

As you probably also know, we lost a great City Manager in Bob Wingenroth in November. Bob has taken Surprise on a great journey these last four years. He was the lead person to bring the developers and the City together and was resolute to get the court case dismissed so we can progress in the development of our 500 acres around City Hall. I personally was very saddened to see Bob leave, but I wish him well. My last meeting with Bob was November 1.

Saturday, November 3 found me at the Sam’s Club parking lot at 9 a.m. for the Surprise Police Department Bike Rodeo. The event shows our little ones how to ride their bikes safely in Surprise. Our great Police Department puts this event on every year, and this year, it was in District 1. I want to thank our sponsors, Build A Bike, which is located in the Kohl’s shopping center in Surprise at 13980 W Bell Road and Phoenix Children’s Hospital. I also want to thank Sergeant Tim Klarkowski and his team for all their hard work. There was a raffle held there, and a 7-year-old girl, Raelyn, was the winner! So on Wednesday, November 14, I met Raelyn, her mom and some of Surprise’s finest at Build A Bike so I could donate a bike to her. Congratulations, Raelyn!

Raelyn, the Winner of the bike raffel and Councilman Winters at the Surprise PD Bike Rodeo

At our first City Council meeting in November, November 6, I had some mixed feelings about being there because it was election night, but I had to be there for city business instead of waiting on the election results. I think if an election falls on a City Council meeting night, we should have the meeting on an alternative night.

Thursday, November 8 found me at Solana at the Park on Parkview. It is an assisted living facility where we were treated to a great veterans celebration leading up to Veterans Day. The program was from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. with Glenn Stark, Army Chief Warrant Officer, retired; the posting of colors by the Surprise Police Department Explorers led by Officer Nate Miller; and Vice Mayor Ken Remley. I want to thank Paige for the photos.

Solona at the Park on Parkview on Veterans Day

That same night at 6 p.m., I was at a meeting at Sundown Mountain School up in Asante about the Saddlehorn Ranch project up there. By the way, that school will be going back to the Dysart School District because Dysart needs more school space up in that part of my district.

On Friday, November 9, I attended the Veterans Day celebration at Canyon Ridge Elementary School on N. Surprise Farms Loop. I was impressed that all the little ones were so good and followed all the requests of the teachers. I want to thank Dysart Unified School District’s Ryan McGinley for the photos.

Veterans Day celebration at Canyon Ridge Elementary School

We had our Veterans Day Parade on Monday, November 12, and what a great parade it was! Thanks to Donna Miller, Paul Frie, and the entire CRS department for doing such a great job that day. I think next year we should increase the route because of the many more entries being added on the parade.

We had another ground breaking on Wednesday, November 14 where Ottawa University will build a large dormitory for their students, so they will be known as a growing, residential university. I personally am amazed at how Ottawa University is growing, and they are such good neighbors. In their 1st year of competitive play, their football team also went to the Victory Bowl.

I had a meeting with our newest department on Thursday, November 15. The Tourism Department is developing plans to make Surprise a destination city rather than a city you go through on your way to Las Vegas.

That same night we went to the WESTMARC Best of the West awards at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, formerly known as University of Phoenix Stadium. It was a sold-out crowd, and Surprise got 1st place in the Excellence in Innovation category for the Global Concierge program that’s run out of the AZ TechCelerator. We also took second in the Economic Engine award category for our Southwest Railplex. That’s the way guys. Good job!

Friday, November 16 found me at the Autumn Festival at Benevilla on Greasewood St. in the Original Town Site. There were many games and activities for all the kids, including bobbing for apples; and the apples were great. Plus, everyone got a pumpkin. The weather man cooperated with a beautiful day.

I was invited to the Surprise Farms I HOA meeting on Monday, November 19 at 7 p.m., and we had a good attendance of residents. I want to thank Renee Nelson and the rest of the Board for inviting me. It is nice that the Cross Church lets the residents use their facilities to meet.

On Tuesday, November 20, I met with APS in my office before the Council meeting concerning the site lines for the 69K electric lines that are going to be hung in the northwest part of my district. They will be just outside of the city limits, but within the city’s planning area. Then, of course, I had the City Council work session and regular meeting.

On Wednesday, November 21, I had a meeting with Tim Keenan who wants to annex and develop some acreage in the northwest part of District 1.

On Saturday, November 24, we were at the Toyota dealership on Waddell for the Chance Shelter Furry Festival to raise funds to build their shelter. Audra and her team did a great job getting that event together, and I want to thank our Toyota dealership for all their support for the Chance Shelter.

Tuesday evening, November 27, I attended the APS outreach meeting about their new power lines at Desert Oasis Grammar School that did not get much of a turn out. APS had many staff members there to explain the different site plans.

Wednesday morning, November 28, found me at a meeting at the Senior Center to discuss our new Ride Choice program that will start Saturday, December 1. Under the new program, Lyft has joined the providers, Ride Choice cards are no longer needed, and there’s only one number to call – (602)716-2111. Plus, you may choose the provider you want. Let’s hope it works well. Please let me know of your experience with it.

On Thursday, November 29, I was at the North West Valley Connect meeting. This organization will get you a needed ride when you are unable to get a ride from other sources. We are now going to try and change the mindset with Valley Metro and get some transit for the West Valley. It is a fact, where public transit is available, businesses thrive. That same evening was the West Valley Arts Council opening show at the Arts HQ. Bernadette and her team did a great job for the opening.

To start the holiday season off, on Friday night November 30, the Council lit the Christmas tree at Surprise Stadium, and the city’s annual Surprise Party kept going all the next day.

This message is for my friend Barbara up in Desert Oasis. I asked you to send me an e-mail, but I have not received it yet.

A request I received from one of my constituents was to display a reminder of our new code about talking on the phone while driving in Surprise, so I will try getting that up there. The actual citations are $250.00 and our police have started to give them out now.

I want to wish all our residents a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a healthy New Year. Be good to yourselves and be good to each other.

Roland F. Winters Jr.
District 1 Councilmember

November 2018 • Newsletter

A big shout out to all the residents in District 1 and everyone in this great city called Surprise. We are certainly getting our great weather back at this time of year. It has been really busy with this election cycle and everything going on in the city. By the time you read this newsletter, the dust will be settled and the elections over.

October started right off on the second with our Work Session at 4 p.m. followed by our City Council meeting where we take action. A number of residents were there from the northwest part of District 1. They were concerned about the conditions of the roads up there, especially with all the rain we have had this year. There is no easy fix to this issue, but we are obtaining right-of-way on Dynamite Road so we can get east/west access for the residents that reside in that area.

October 3 found me at Valley Vista Performing Arts Center to hear our Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich speak to the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce. There was also a nice luncheon prepared by the students in the culinary program from Valley Vista High School. If you have not attended an event at Valley Vista Performing Arts Center, it would be worth your time. It’s a beautiful venue!

On Friday, October 5, I attended Sante of Surrpise’s 7 year anniversary event, “La Dolce Vita.” They are located at 14775 W. Yorkshire Drive. Many folks attended the festivities and many of them were former patients. Later that evening, my wife and I attended a play at Willow Canyon High School called “Once Upon a Mattress.” The kids were great in the play and a number of them have received scholarships to colleges to continue their theatrical studies.

October 9 found me in the Boards & Commissions Selection Committee meeting so we could nominate someone for the open seat on the Planning & Zoning Commission. After interviewing a number of candidates and deliberating, we chose to select Scott Krous to serve.

I was at the Surprise Youth Council meeting at the AZ TechCelerator on Bell Road on Wednesday, October 10. One of the things they were working on was coordinating the Zombie Compound during the city’s GAIN Night event. They had shuttle buses transporting folks over to the Zombie Compound in the City Hall parking garage from the rest of the festivities at Mark Coronado Park. The night I was at their meeting, the members asked me to judge their mummy contest.

On Thursday, October 11, I attended a ribbon cutting for a new restaurant called The AZ Fry Guy, located at 15226 W. Bell Road. It is the former space of Mom’s Fixins, and the food was great! That same night was my meeting at the Community Room at AZ Traditions, and we had a good crowd with a number of folks that want lights in the dog park at Dick McComb City Park. I managed to get that item on the City Council agenda for the evening of our meeting on November 6, and it was approved unanimously.

Unfortunately, the Surprise Fiesta Grande event was cancelled due to the rain we had; but next October, it will be better and bigger. Then of course, on October 16, we had our City Council Work Session and Regular City Council meeting.

Sunday, October 21 was, of course, the Sunday in the Park Food Truck Festival. It was a beautiful night and there were lots of food trucks, so you did not go hungry. Plus, there was a good band. Mark Coronado Park works very well for events like this.

Monday night, October 22, was my Maricopa County Human Services Commission meeting night in Phoenix. On Tuesday night, there was a community outreach meeting at Sundown Elementary School about a project called Lone Mountain, a housing development located in the northwest part of my district, and there were many residents present.

Let me address my friends in the community of Desert Oasis. I was very disappointed that your Community Manager (David Heckler) would not allow me to greet you or speak to you about what is happening in the city, particularly in District 1, during your HOA meeting on the evening of Wednesday, October 24. I informed David that I would be there to talk to my constituents up there, even if I had to speak to them outside the gym where your meeting was taking place; which I did. However, the groups were small, and I apologize to those I did not get a chance to talk to. I wanted to make sure those residents knew I wanted to talk to them, but was barred from doing so. It is especially frustrating because your HOA only meets once a year, in October, since you are not built-out yet, and the residents don’t have their own board.

I was also told last October (the first meeting of the new Community Manager) that I was not going to have the opportunity to address you then and there. It is very unusual that a sitting City Councilmember is prohibited from addressing his constituents by an HOA. Previous to David Heckler and the Pulte Group managing your community, I spoke in front of your HOA often when Brad was your manager.

Well, I just wanted everyone in Desert Oasis to know that I did want to talk to you about your new library going in up there, some new homes going in, Happy Valley Road going through to 163rd and eastward to hook up to the 303, and the improvements to the intersection of Jomax and 163rd. You can always call me with questions or email me.

On Thursday night, I had a meet-and-greet at the skate park in Dick McComb City Park and some great conversations with some folks in and around Surprise Farms II. It was great seeing the kids enjoying the first skate park in Surprise.

Skate Park in Dick McComb City Park

Friday, October 26 found me at the Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale for the induction of 28 veterans into the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame, including George Van de Langeryt. I was there to honor George and the other veterans, but especially George because he is the Chair of the city’s Disability Advisory Commission and one of my constituents and a friend. This award was not so much about what he did during his time in the military, but what he has done for our country since then. Congratulations, George! We are all very proud of you.

Saturday night, October 27, I was at GAIN night. It was a great night of family fun with music, displays, demonstrations and of course, candy.

We had a great groundbreaking on Tuesday morning, October 30 with the development of the Toll Brothers upscale housing project on 800 acres of Cotton Lane and Cactus. These homes will be priced from $300,000 to one million dollars with many amenities in their community which have not yet been named.

Toll Brothers ground breaking

On Tuesday night, October 30, we had a Council to Council meeting in Tolleson at one of their fire stations. This gives all the Councilmembers from different cities in the West Valley a chance to get together and talk about ways to solve the various issues in each city we serve. The cities in the West Valley take turns hosting that meeting, and it was Tolleson’s turn in October. We discussed the issue of homelessness and how to handle the issue humanely because it is not going away.

Well, that’s all for now folks. As you can see, October was a very busy month so be good to yourself and be good to each other.

October 2018 • Newsletter

Hi to all the residents in District 1 and to the residents of this great city we are fortunate to live in.

To start off with, let me say this month you can exercise one of the most important rights as Americans, and that is the right to vote. So get out there and vote whether by mail or on November 6th election day. Your vote does make a difference.

On Tuesday, September 4th, we started off with our regular workshop and then at 6pm we held our Council meeting where we take action. As most of you know, the Council voted that mobile devices must be operated in hands-free mode when driving in Surprise.

Friday September 7th you found me at the Central Arizona Project (CAP) celebration at their office in Phoenix; just imagine if the leaders that came before us did not start that canal back in the 70’s to carry water from the Colorado River to Phoenix and beyond. Our commercial and housing development would not be what it is today. The CAP was started by visionaries like Carl Hayden. It is really an engineering marvel how it pumps water out of the river and all the way to Tucson by a series of pumps.

That same evening was a night to honor our military, both current and past service members at Willow Canyon High School. One of our very own was honored. Councilman Skip Hall walked across the football field, along with many other heroes who were honored to wear our country’s uniform. Thank you Willow Canyon for doing that for our veterans.

On Monday, September 11th, the Council had a special meeting in the Chambers to canvas the primary vote. Following that vote, there was new information discovered about the District 1 election. You can learn more here:

On Friday, September 14th, I had my regular meeting at the Community Center at Arizona Traditions, and I will have my October meeting on Friday, October 12th. The address is 18250 W. Weatherby Drive. We usually go from 7 pm-8:30 pm and everyone is welcome. I must thank Arizona Traditions for the use of that space.

Monday morning, September 17th, I attended Constitution Day at Canyon Ridge Elementary School on Surprise Farms Loop N. The seventh graders got all dressed up as important Revolutionary characters. Thanks to Christopher Raso for such a great job and all the learners who did so well being all the great leaders of the time. A big thanks to Jill Hoppe, the principal, for the photos.

Tuesday morning, September 18th, I was at the Senior Center in the Original Town Site hearing about our new RideChoice program. The early rollout of the program for Surprise residents began October 1, with the option of staying on the old program until November 30th. The full program launch is December 1st. Some of the changes include: no more Ride Choice cards are needed; call one number and ask for the carrier you want to use; Lyft will also be one of the choices. Another change will be the use of a credit card to book your ride. I am hopeful that this system will run better than our last. Then, of course, that same night was our workshop and the council meeting that followed.

I joined the celebration of the Desert Diamond Casino in the West Valley. Noting the finishing of the steel structure of that magnificent building. It will be a beautiful casino when finished.

On September 20th, I was invited to talk to the residents of the New Fellowship Square on Sarival Avenue, just off of Bell Rd. Fellowship square is a new independent living, assisted living, and memory care residence here in Surprise near Sam’s Club. Some of the residents lived in Sun City Grand, but sold their homes and are now living there. I met many nice people. After our meeting, I was invited to stay for dinner, and it was very good food. Right after that meeting, I attended the Northwest Ranch HOA meeting and had a great meeting answering questions, mostly about the improvements to Greenway Road. They have a new property manager, named Brad, and the Board President is Kelly Hall.

Sunday, September 23rd, we went to Mark Coronado Park for the Second Sundays in the Park event. There was a good crowd and good music. I talked to many people there. There is something big going to happen in the northwest part of my district, but I cannot talk about the details yet. Well I will close for now. Be good to yourself and be good to each other.

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