Category Archives: Newsletter

Councilmember Roland Winters Newsletter

August 2015 • Newsletter

Greetings to all of my fellow District 1 residents and to all the residents in Surprise!

The City Council was on recess for the month of July. Despite the recess, it was a full month for me! The City of Surprise hosted another fantastic fireworks celebration at Surprise Stadium in honor of Independence Day. Guests of the event were even treated to a Rookie League baseball game and free admission with a canned food donation. “That Kool Band” provided a musical celebration with Beach Boys songs at 8 Acres Park. These events would not be made possible without the hard work of our Community & Recreation Services Department. A special thank you to each of them for another successful City celebration!

The Surprise Chamber of Commerce hosted a lunch on Monday, July 6 to welcome the new director, Raoul Sada. I attended the meet and greet with the City management team and Councilman Jim Biundo. We wish Mr. Sada the best of luck in his new position!

City Manager Bob Wingenroth announced key organizational leadership changes involving the Surprise Police Department and the City Manager’s Office on Thursday, July 9 at City Hall. Following a 40-year career in law enforcement, Chief Michael Frazier accepted the position of Assistant City Manager, replacing the retiring April Reynolds who will be sorely missed. On a personal note, I will miss April’s constant smile and dedication to this City. The promotion of Mr. Frazier was a very good decision by our City Manager as he continues to build an excellent team for this great City. Our new Chief of Police, Terry Young, will continue to lead our police force and maintain our tremendously low crime rate.

Mayor and Council seen here with new police Chief Terry Young, Assistant City Manager Mike Frazier
City Manager Bob Wingenroth, Mayor Sharon Wolcott, Chief Terry Young, Assistant City Manager Mike Frazier, Councilmembers Rachel Villanueva, Skip Hall, Jim Biundo and me.

The Board & Selections Commission spent three days interviewing candidates for the openings on our City’s various Boards & Commissions. We are lucky to have so many residents interested in volunteering their time and skills for us!

A special Community & Recreation Advisory Commission meeting was held on Thursday, July 15 at the Sierra Montana Recreation Center to discuss the Surprise Farms Community Park construction. A park on this site was long overdue. The residents of this wonderful community will soon see a playground, skate park, splash pad and dog park.

I have been a supporter of this park even before I was elected to the City Council. I even appeared at City Council meetings with residents of this community to ask the City to consider a park in that field. Once elected, there was a unanimous vote to spend $1.6 million to install the park. I have received many emails and phone calls from residents who both favor and oppose the dog park location. I understand both sides of the argument.

After the special Community & Recreation Advisory Commission meeting earlier last month and a great deal of discussion and hard work on behalf of Community & Recreation Services Director Mark Coronado and City Manager Bob Wingenroth, we have identified the site for the Dog Park feature of the Park. The Dog Park will be located on the western edge of the Park, next to the ball fields near the intersection of Surprise Farms Loop and Willow Canyon Drive. The total Dog Park area will be nearly two acres of turf, landscaping, and fencing in addition to a dedicated parking lot. This Dog Park will be the first public facility on the fenced ten acre property. Please join me in thanking Mr. Wingenroth and Mr. Coronado for working so expeditiously on a suitable solution! We look forward to the completion of this project so you are able to enjoy it.

Surprise Farms dog park plans

I attended the grand opening celebration and ribbon cutting for a new business in Surprise, Hospice Promise. I was happy to take part in the event and to welcome them to our City. In addition to this event, I also attended the ribbon cutting for Legacy Traditional School on Friday, July 31. The new charter school is located in Marley Park, off of Bullard Avenue. There are so many exciting things happening here!

I will close for now. As always, be good to yourself and be good to each other!

Wishing you my very best,

Councilman Roland F. Winters Jr.

June 2015 • Newsletter

A BIG shout out to all of my fellow District 1 residents and a happy June to all of you!

I began last month participating in a half-day brainstorming session at the Dysart Unified School District office as part of Dysart’s 3E Summit. Many people interested in a solid educational process for our young folks participated in this meeting and many ideas transpired. We really need to recognize the direct correlation between education and economic development. I’d like to thank Dr. Gail Pletnick, Superintendent of Dysart Unified School District for putting together this event.

On May 1, I visited the local Sam’s Club where a number of our local veterans held a fundraiser. Their goal is to raise enough money to build or purchase a hall where veterans can meet, socialize, and have activities. Contributions to the fundraiser are much appreciated as this can help our fellow veterans in our community.

I was invited to attend the Canyon Ridge Appreciation Breakfast at Canyon Ridge Elementary School on May 7 to celebrate and give thanks to all of the school’s volunteers. The staff at Canyon Ridge truly showed their appreciation to the teachers and those folks who spend countless hours helping the students. I want to add my personal thanks to all of those volunteers at that school that make Canyon Ridge such an amazing learning environment for our youngsters.

Dr. Shelley Isai, Principal with Councilman Hall and me
Dr. Shelley Isai, Principal with Councilman Hall and me
Dr. Stephen Poling, Councilman Hall, my wife and me
Dr. Stephen Poling, Councilman Hall, my wife and me
My wife and I with former PHX Suns player Steven Hunter
My wife and I with former PHX Suns player Steven Hunter

The City hosted the Surprise Public Art Stakeholders meeting at City Hall on May 18. This informative meeting, led by artist Meg Saligman, discussed the proposed art for the new bridge that will be located at the Bell Road and Grand Ave interchange. Mrs. Saligman has done a superb job with the project! This interchange will be a unique addition to our city of Surprise. To learn more about the interchange improvement project and view the concept, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/bellandgrand. You can view the concept online and offer your comments.

Bell and Grand preferred art concept
Bell and Grand preferred art concept

On May 19, the City recognized our Public Works Department staff prior to the special Council Meeting that took place where a Proclamation was given in honor of National Public Works Week. Public Works staff does so much for our City such as keeping our streets clean and in good condition, picking up our trash and recycling and so much more. They impact our daily lives and produce a wonderful quality of life for our residents. Thank you!

City Manager Bob Wingenroth and Jeremy Lawrence
City Manager Bob Wingenroth and Jeremy Lawrence
Michael Boule and I
Michael Boule and I

I was very busy on Thursday, May 21. I attended the IRIS USA ground breaking along with members of Council, IRIS USA, Inc. and its parent company, IRIS Ohyama, Inc. This new facility will house 420,000 square feet of manufacturing, distribution and office space and initially employ approximately 100 people, the bulk of whom will be recruited from the local area. The facility is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2016. IRIS makes plastic containers and manufactures LED lights.

The evening of May 21, I attended the Northwest Ranch HOA meeting with one of our engineers, Karl Zook, to discuss how the City can help make Northwest Ranch Parkway a little safer for the residents living there.

On the morning of Memorial Day, May 25, I went to Sunland Cemetery for a large Northwest Valley Veterans Association Memorial Day Ceremony. Representative Rick Gray was the key note speaker as was Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Everyone received a free flag and we had some great patriotic music from a large band. Additionally, 11 freedom riders drove in on their motorcycles. We also had a great fly over of 8 B1 planes with smoke trails. It was a wonderful tribute to our brave veterans!

Northwest Valley Veterans Association Memorial Day Ceremony
Northwest Valley Veterans Association Memorial Day Ceremony

That afternoon, I also attended a Memorial Day Ceremony at Radiant Church. Chet Chetkauskas was the emcee and Councilman Biundo read a proclamation honoring our veterans. The key note speaker was Luke Koerner, a Marine Corp Vietnam combat veteran. I’d like to extend my gratitude to the Surprise Veterans who worked so diligently to prepare this event for our community. Thank you!

I am honored to have been asked to serve on the Northwest Valley Connect Advisory Committee. As a member of the Committee, I will serve for three years. This Committee will discuss processes, procedures, and act as Ambassadors for Northwest Valley Connect. The focus is transportation.

On the side note, I would like to talk to all my District 1 friends about the trash I see thrown on our streets indiscriminately. One day, as I was traveling west on Bell Road, a man driving eastbound in a white Cadillac threw trash from his car while passing me. It looked like the remnants of his lunch. Now who does that in our beautiful city? Please don’t trash our city, and don’t trash Arizona. Think twice before you throw that piece of paper or cigarette butt on the ground. It costs the tax payers $3 million dollars in Arizona for our road crews to pick up the road litter. Besides, what businesses would look at a city where the streets are full of trash?

Just a reminder, I will not be having a meeting in July, August, or September, so I hope to see you all on June 19th at my Friday Night Chat in the Community Center at the Retreat in Arizona Traditions before my summer break. My next Friday Night Chat after June will be Friday October 15th at 18250 W. Weatherby. At the gate, call the guard and he will let you in. I will still continue my newsletter, although it may be sparse. Try and stay cool for the summer and as always, you can call or email me with any concerns.

I will close for now. Please remember to be good to yourself and be good to each other!

My Best,

Roland F. Winters Jr.
Councilman for District 1

May 2015 • Newsletter

Greetings to all of my District 1 residents and hello to everyone who lives in this great City of Surprise!

I began my April with a visit to the Desert Oasis block party on April 4.  What a wonderful bunch of friendly families that live in the northeastern area of District 1.  It was a beautiful day for a block party.  The party featured bounce houses, fantastic food, a nice group of Surprise Police cadets, and of course, our wonderful Surprise Fire-Medical personnel from Fire Station 304 (on 163rd Avenue) who brought fire hats for the children that were present.

Desert Oasis Block Party 2015
CM Winters with Kids at Desert Oasis

 

The City’s Employee Appreciation Committee hosted an ice cream social for our employees on April 9 in the City Council Chambers.  I really enjoy attending these events to acknowledge our extraordinary, hardworking staff.  A number of well-deserved awards were distributed by our City Manager, Bob Wingenroth.  The City is truly lucky to have Mr. Wingenroth; he truly is a servant leader.

Andrea-Villagomez with City Manager
David-Kohlbeck with City Manager

City Manager Award

My wife and I attended the last “Second Sundays in the Park” on Sunday, April 12.  These events will return in the fall when the weather isn’t as hot.  Second Sundays in the Park is always entertaining, and it’s a great way to relax on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.  If you have never been to one of these events, you should consider it.  Different music is played at each event through the season.

On Wednesday, April 16, I attended the WESTMARC Economic Development Summit at the Wigwam Resort.  There was a panel discussion that included another outstanding employee, Mike Hoover.  Not only was Mr. Hoover a panelist, he was also emcee of the event.  He is a knowledgeable young man who was very instrumental in getting IRIS to build their Western Regional office in Surprise.  A big thank you to him for all he does for us!

The Surprise Police Department hosted the Surprise Police Appreciation Bonanza at Surprise Stadium on Friday, April 17.  This event was amazing and such a touching way to show appreciation, not only to the officers who put their lives on the line for us each and every day, but to the families of those officers as well.  Rick D’Amico from Fox 10 News served as the emcee.  Congratulations to all of the Police staff who were also recognized for their hard work and service.

Officer Mulligan
Police Chief Frazier with Office Mulligan
Kim Davies - Civilian of the Year
Police Chief Frazier with Kim Davies
Officer Filler - Supervisor of the Year
Police Chief Frazier with Officer Filler

 

Saturday, April 18, was a busy day for me and the City!  The Surprise Swap Meet was held at the Surprise Aquatic Center.  It was well attended!  Later in the day, WHAM hosted the Recycled Arts & Youth Festival at their headquarters on Dysart Road near Grand Avenue.  The turn-out was huge!  All of the displayed art work was made with recycled material.  Food trucks and classic cars were also on site.  I need to acknowledge Fred and Kathy Shokohi who cleared their vacant lot so those attending the event had a place to park at no charge and WHAM was not charged either.  What a great way to work together for the residents of our City!

WHAM hosted the Recycled Arts and Youth Festival

Councilman Hall, Councilman Tande and I attended a celebration of the completion of the Mountain Vista Ranch Well.  The new well was built in the residential area of Mountain Vista Ranch.  This new well pumps 1,500 gallons a minute.  Director of Water Resource Management Terry Lowe and his team did such a fantastic job on this project.  I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the cooperation of the HOA Board at Mountain Vista Ranch, as well as the Community Manager, Misty Laxson, and residents of the community for their patience during the construction.  Additionally, thank you to those involved with the construction of the well.

Mountain Vista Well Group Photo
Mountain Vista Well

 

City Council was invited to attend a volunteer appreciation lunch at Arizona Charter Academy on Friday, April 24.  Melissa Holdaway, COO, and her team of teachers at ACA do such a wonderful job educating our youth!

On Thursday, April 30, elected officials and staff celebrated the retirement of Shaughna Vaughan, an employee of the City since 2006.  It was a wonderful turnout!  Please join me in wishing Ms. Vaughan a happy and healthy retirement.

Shauna Vaughan

Surprise Farms Park Update: Construction on Surprise Farms Park improvements begin the week of May 11. Residents will first see the installation of temporary construction fencing and the addition of construction trailers. The improvements, including our city’s first skate park, are expected to be complete in later October. Call Project Manager Michael Boule if you have any questions at 623.222.7040.

Lastly, I want to alert you that I will not host a monthly meeting in the months of July, August and September; hence, my last meeting until October will be in June.  My newsletters will continue each month.

I will close for now.  Please remember to be good to yourself and be good to each other!

My Best,

Roland F. Winters Jr.
Councilman for District 1

 

April 2015 • Newsletter

Greetings to all of my fellow District 1 residents!

I hope each of you had a wonderful Easter or Passover. I certainly hope April finds you healthy and that this new season of spring brings a continued optimistic outlook for you, your future and the future of our great city called Surprise.

Last month, we had some very exciting news to share! I assume by now that you have heard about the large Japanese company that is going to call our City home, or at least their Western United States Regional Headquarters. Everyone at City Hall is thrilled to have this company here. Did you know they will be building the highest building in Surprise? This new facility represents a $33-$40 million investment, 100 new jobs and $800,000 of new City revenue within the first year of its operation.  IRIS USA’s new 280,000 square foot building will include office, manufacturing and distribution space that will be located on 30 acres within the City’s Southwest Railplex Industrial District. IRIS USA is a consumer products company that sells to retailers throughout North America. They are expected to open in Surprise in December 2015.

The first week of March found the Mayor, myself and several other Council Members in Washington D.C. for the National League of Cities Congressional Conference.  Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperative too much. We found ourselves in the midst of a snowstorm followed by weather plummeting to the single digits. Due to the inclement weather, the Surprise Youth Council (SYC) never arrived in Washington D.C. They were going to attend the Conference for the youth leadership component.  While there, I was honored to meet President Barack Obama and get a tour of the White House, but I was also very happy to return home to our fabulous warm climate.

Winters D.C. Trip
Councilwoman Rachel Villanueva, Rep. Ruben Gallego, Mayor Sharon Wolcott, Blossom Tande, Councilman Todd Tande, Vice Mayor John Williams and me
Winters D.C. trip

 

March was also an intensely busy month for our Economic Development Department. Our wonderful staff invited City Council to attend several events to meet possible new business prospects for our City. We were also provided opportunities to thank our current businesses for their contributions to Surprise.

On March 14, the City experienced another milestone with the groundbreaking of yet another park for our residents. Veramonte Park will soon have additional amenities such as a splash pad, restrooms, a parking lot and much more.  Just think – within one month, Surprise went from having one community park to three community parks.  Surprise Farms Community Park will have the City’s first skate park, and it’s a great design!  I would really like to thank Mark Coronado, Donna Miller and their entire team for such a fantastic job on both of the new parks and for everything they do for all of our residents throughout the year.

Veramonte Park Groundbreaking Veramonte Park Plan

The City has reached an agreement with WHAM to allow them to continue to occupy the building owned by the City. WHAM is located at Dysart Road & Grand Avenue.  We have had a strong partnership with WHAM, which brings art to our residents and provides art classes to Veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and those with special needs. WHAM’s initiatives represent an amazing organization that is inclusive, not exclusive.

It was a beautiful day for all of our young baseball players on Saturday, March 21.  We celebrated Cal Ripken Day at the Surprise Stadium with over 1,700 players!  Quite impressive!  Cal Ripken baseball is one of the outstanding programs run by our Community and Recreation Services Department.

Cal Ripkin Day

On Tuesday, March 24, I participated in the Celebrity Reading Day at Canyon Ridge Elementary School in District 1.  Dr. Shelley Isai and her team do such a wonderful job at this school and always include me at their events.

Celebrate Reading Day Celebrate Reading Day

The new Human Service and Community Vitality Department hosted an Open House on March 28 at the Surprise Community Center, which is part of the Villanueva Recreation Complex in the Original Town Site.  I have attended numerous meetings there.  We are planning a Heritage District Overlay for this area to preserve our history.  We can move forward in planning the future of Surprise, but we must never forget our rich past and where it all began.

March was a long and productive month.  I will close for now, but as always, be good to yourself and be good to each other!

Best,

Councilman Roland F. Winters Jr.
District 1

March 2015 • Newsletter

Greetings to all of my fellow District 1 residents!

February was an incredibly busy month.  I’ll provide you with a recap of some of my events and meetings.  Despite the busy schedule, I was still able to take time out and attend Second Sundays in the Park.  If you have not been to this event, I strongly urge you to go!  Retirement Rocks was the band that played in February and they were absolutely great!

The Surprise Arts & Cultural Commission hosted the “Art Encounter” at City Hall on the 11th of February.  The event had a nice turn-out with a productive discussion about the placement of public art around the City.

I was honored to be given a tour of the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Plant on February 13th. We were provided a very thorough explanation of the capabilities of the plant to supply us with electricity.  This plant has strict security procedures, especially surrounding their need to protect the reactors.

Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Plant

Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Plant inside

Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Plant inside 2

After the aforementioned tour, I visited the WHAM Art Association to view the newly renovated WHAM West Gallery that is located at 16560 N. Dysart Road.  The exhibit on display features the artistic interpretations of “The Swing” by Robert Louis Stephenson.  This exhibit will be on display through March 28th, 2015.

I held my regular monthly meeting on Friday, February 20 at the Retreat at Arizona Traditions.  Bob Wingenroth, City Manager, was my guest.  The attendance was very impressive!  I hope everyone gets an opportunity to attend one of my monthly meetings.  I’d love to see you there!

On Saturday, February 21st, I was invited to participate in the “Tale of Two Cities” parade and festival at Estrella Mountain Community College.  This event is partnered by the cities of Avondale and Goodyear and it highlights cultures from around the world.  I was able to be part of the parade along with more than 50 other entries.  Personally, I think our City needs a parade too!  It’s such a fantastic way to bring our residents together!

The Annual Cactus League Lunch was held at the Peoria Sports Complex.  This event is held each year and serves as the official start of the Cactus League spring training season in Arizona.

Mayor Wolcott and I attended the Surprise Farms III HOA meeting on February 26th.  We were asked several questions pertaining to the new dog park in Surprise Farms.  We tried to answer all the questions about the amenities that are going into the park.  Unfortunately, some residents do not approve.

The event that I have been waiting for arrived!  On Saturday, February 28th, the City hosted the groundbreaking for Surprise Farms Park!  I have been so excited for the residents of Surprise Farms, as well as all the folks in Surprise for the implementation of this park!  The City has budgeted over $2 million dollars for the park, with plans to include ramadas, a splash pad, restrooms, a dog park, a basketball court and the first skate park in Surprise!  This was certainly a collaborative effort with the entire City Council, Community & Recreation Services Director Mark Coronado and his entire team.  A special thank you to Mr. Coronado and his staff for their valiant efforts to make this possible!

Surprise Farms Park Groundbreaking

CM Winters at SFP Groundbreaking

I have received feedback regarding my newsletter and there seems to be a consensus that my constituents want more details.  There is only so much room in my reports but I am always happy and willing to discuss anything with any one.  You can always call me!  I will close for now.

As always, be good to yourself and be good to each other!

Council Member, Roland Winters, Jr.
District 1

February 2015 • Newsletter

Hello to all of my fellow District 1 residents!

It’s hard to believe that we are in the second month of 2015 already!
As usual, a lot of things happened in January and there’s more to come this month in Surprise.  The folks at City Hall celebrated our City Clerk’s 25th Anniversary with the City of Surprise on January 5.  What a great accomplishment for Sherry Aguilar!  We had a good number of staff and Council Member s gather in the Mayor’s atrium for refreshments to say congratulations to Sherry and thank her for so many years of service to the City.

Mayor congratulating Sherry Aguilar

I attended the Surprise Youth Council induction ceremony on the evening of January 15 in Council Chambers celebrating with many other Surprise residents, including many proud parents, as 25 high school students were welcomed into our newly formed Youth Council.  What a great bunch of youngsters!  Youth Services Administrator Paul Bernardo has done such a good job in this new position.

Mayor nd Council

Surprise Youth Council

I had my Friday Night Chat on the evening of January 11.  As always, everyone is welcome.

On January 21, I attended a meeting at the Surprise Senior Center in the Original Town Site about the improvements planned for the O.T.S. The City planners prepared a fantastic and thorough presentation.  We have such terrific people working for our great City!

I attended an ADOT meeting about the interchange of the 303 and Grand Avenue at Sun City Grand on January 27.  As most of you know, the project is already underway and will take approximately 18 months to complete with the widening of the 303 and new off ramps.  Immediately following that meeting, I travelled to Marley Park for the groundbreaking of a new charter school, Legacy Traditional School.  Several other elected officials were also present.  This will be an elementary school located in District 6.  Our Mayor and Councilman Tande, District 6, participated in the groundbreaking.

CM's Winters and Hall

On the evening of January 28th, I attended a Public Arts meeting with Councilman Hall at the West Valley Arts Council’s Arts HQ in Surprise.  The discussion included how the City can improve the presence of art in Surprise.   Our City Planners led the meeting.

I was invited to attend a tour of APS that included an energy update for elected officials at their office in Deer Valley on January 30.  We even toured the Energy Control Center, which was very interesting and educational.

As always be good to yourself and be good to each other,

Council Member, Roland Winters, Jr.

January 2015 • Newsletter

Hello to all of my fellow District 1 residents!

I am looking forward to 2015.  I just know it is going to be a great year for our City.  There are many exciting economic development possibilities that are considering Surprise, and I am excited and honored to be part of it.

December was another busy month for me, but I did get a few days to relax.  The City Council held our first meeting of the month on December 2.  Mayor Wolcott hosted the Mayor’s Quarterly Business Roundtable on December 3 at the Communiversity.  Meg Saligman was a guest at the Roundtable.  The Philadelphia-based artist is serving as a consulting artist to Surprise as the City leads the discussion with ADOT and MAG to create a legacy public art project in conjunction with the future Bell/Grand intersection improvement project.  Meg Saligman is recognized worldwide for her work on murals.  That day, I also attended the Disability Advisory Commission meeting to witness the presentation of their “Above and Beyond” award to some of the Directors at Happy Trails.  Happy Trails received the award for their hard work installing automatic opening doors on their community building as well as remodeling a few of their restrooms to make them more accessible for disabled residents and visitors.  Congratulations to Happy Trails!

Mayors Quarterly Business Roundtable

On December 5, I attended the annual Surprise Party tree lighting party at the Surprise Stadium.  What a spectacular event it was to see the tree lit and the hot air balloons.  If you have not attended this event in the past, I strongly encourage you to do so in December 2015.  It was a beautiful night and not as cold as last year.

Surprise Party tree lighting

On Saturday, December 6, after attending some more events at the annual Surprise Party, I was off to the community of Royal Ranch for their block party and holiday celebration.  Councilman Todd Tande joined me there, and we were able to meet many wonderful residents.  We had a great time!

I was privileged to be invited to the Senior Center’s annual Holiday Party that was held at Arizona Traditions.  The Mayor asked if I could give the welcome to the attendees, and I was more than happy to oblige!  This luncheon has been held in the ballroom of Arizona Traditions in recent years and as a Board Member of the fine community, I want to extend my personal thanks to our Catering Committee for all of their hard work in serving that delicious lunch to everyone.  The Committee’s time and labor was provided at no cost to the City.  Thank you!

Our City Manager Bob Wingenroth continues to build a great team to lead our City into becoming an independent, sustainable city.  On December 9, we attended a dinner at the Rio Mirage restaurant to meet with Jeanine Jerkovich, the City’s new Economic Development Director.  This position is very critical to the goals of the Council, and we are confident Jeanine will lead us to them.  Welcome, Jeanine!

On Wednesday, December 10, the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce sponsored an event in the beautiful community of Marley Park to introduce residents to our newly elected government officials and current elected officials.  The event was well attended.  I was able to speak to our State Representatives and make sure they are aware of the issues that are important to our City.

The annual Legislative Breakfast Meeting was held on December 11 at the Holiday Inn Express.  Most of our City’s Directors were in attendance.  This meeting was a fantastic opportunity for our State legislators to meet the Council and City staff and discuss the City’s priorities for the next legislative session. One of our newly elected State legislators, Representative Tony  Rivero, is a former Peoria Council Member.  Representative Rivero is a fine young man and a person of integrity.  I was very proud to endorse him during his campaign.

Legislative Breakfast

Legislative Breakfast Image 2

Legislative Breakfast Group

I was honored to be asked to deliver the opening remarks to all the attendees at the Adaptive Recreation and Outreach Tree Party at DreamCatcher Park on Friday, December 12.  Joe Gladieux and his team at our Community Recreation Services Department not only did a great job on the party, but throughout the year with all of the programs they put together that our residents truly enjoy.  These athletes that participate in Adaptive Recreation don’t dwell on what they can’t do; they focus and concentrate on what they can do!

CM Winters at the Adaptive Recreation and Outreach Tree Party

Adaptive Recreation and Outreach Tree Party

I attended the Surprise Farms block party on Sunday, December 14.  Surprise Farms is the largest community in District 1 with 7,000 homes.  I was met with a warm welcome and enjoyed some delicious food.  I was able to distribute artist renditions of the planned amenities that will be built in Surprise Farms Park.  The ground breaking should take place this month, no later than next month.  I’d like to thank Donna Miller and Mark Coronado for those renditions and the information they continue to provide me.  I still have copies, so if you’d like one, please contact me or attend my next monthly meeting on January 16 at 7 p.m. in the Community Center at Arizona Traditions (18250 W. Weatherby Drive).  I want to thank the residents who attended my meeting in December in spite of the approaching holidays.  We had a good turn-out.

A few months ago, I attended the Bell West Ranch block party.  At that time, I was asked to judge homes in their community for the holiday decorations.  Well, I did it, and it was wonderful.  With the help of my wife and daughter, on December 18, we selected a first, second and third place winner.  It wasn’t easy as all of the decorated homes were quite beautiful.  The Board of Directors provided me with gift cards for those winners that I was able to distribute.  My deepest appreciation to Bell West Ranch for allowing me to participate!

Bell West Ranch Holiday Judging 1

Bell West Ranch Holiday Judging 2

Bell West Ranch Holiday Judging 3

On Friday, December 19, I hosted my monthly chat.  I really enjoy hosting these meetings, and I’m hoping to see you at my chat in January.

I want to close this newsletter with a bit of good news for those of you who utilize the Surprise Dial-A-Ride.  The City has temporarily increased the number of daily Dial-A-Ride trips and expanded service hours.  The daily cap for weekday trips will increase from 135 to 140 one-way trips. Saturday service will increase from 20 to 30 one-way trips per day.  The expanded services will run through June 30, 2015.  Additionally, service hours are being extended for all service days. The new service hours will be Monday – Saturday 5 a.m. to 8 p.m.  As a reminder, Dial-A-Ride offers advanced reservations. Certified ADA, seniors and others with disabilities can schedule advance reservations up to 14 days prior to the trip. Same-day booking is available to all other customers based on trip availability. To make an appointment for Dial-A-Ride service, please call 602.266.8723.

At the end of the fiscal year, I will do everything I can to continue the above Dial-A-Ride service within the City’s budget.  We will address this topic when our budget discussion for 2016 begins.  I would like to thank the City staff for making this expanded service possible for now.

Until next time, be good to yourself and be good to each other.

My best,

Councilman Roland F. Winters Jr.
District 1

December 2014 • Newsletter

Greetings to all of my fellow District 1 residents! I’d like to give a big shout-out to all of my fellow District 1 residents.  I certainly hope everyone in Surprise had a great Thanksgiving holiday and that the meaning behind it was not forgotten. November was a busy month! I was able to connect with many residents from District 1 as well as residents throughout the City.

On November 1, I was invited to Desert Oasis for their Fall Fest Celebration.  The event was held at their main community park on another beautiful day in Surprise.  I was given a warm welcome by the wonderful families residing in this HOA upon my arrival. Pulte Homes is beginning to build additional homes within the community as well which means additional families will soon join the Desert Oasis celebrations!

On November 7, I was honored to attend the Canyon Ridge Elementary School for a wonderful Veteran’s Day event.  I was even provided a tour of the school by some of the National Elementary Honor Society students.  I couldn’t be more pleased to have this school located in my District and to personally witness our future leaders grow.  These students are mature beyond their years!

Veterans Day 2014

The City Council hosted a joint meeting with the Planning & Zoning Commission on Saturday, November 8 from 8 am until 2 pm.  The purpose of the meeting was a discussion on the General Plan, our visions for Surprise and future growth.

GP Meeting 1     GP Meeting 2

I attended the Bell West Ranch Block Party on Sunday, November 16.  Even though it was a windy day, a good time was had by all.  I was able to have good conversations with many of the residents in attendance.  A consistent topic amongst those conversations was the status of WINCO.  While I was there, I was asked by the Board at Bell West Ranch to judge the Christmas decorations on their homes on the evening of December 18 (the night prior to my monthly Friday Night Chat).  There will be a first, second and third place winner and I’m looking forward to being a part of the contest.  Lastly, I was very happy to see Jeff Martin from our Neighborhood Services department at the event.  Mr. Martin brings all of the equipment, table and chairs to help make your block parties such a great success!  Jeff even serves as the DJ.  You can also request the presence of any other Department such as the Fire or Police Departments.  If any resident in Surprise wants to plan a block party, the City will bring the party trailer to you at no charge.   If you are interested, please feel free to contact our Neighborhood Services Department at City Hall at 623.222.1000.

The Surprise Fire Medical Department held a promotional ceremony on Monday, November 17.  It’s always an honor to see our men and women who protect our citizens receive hard earned recognition for their daily dedication.  Those promoted were sworn in by Chief Tom Abbott.

FM Dept Awards

I held my monthly Friday Night Chat on Friday, November 21.  Several residents asked questions, raised concerns or just spoke to me on a personal level.  Everyone is invited to attend these chats on the third Friday of every month at 7 pm in the Community Center at the Retreat at Arizona Traditions (18250 W. Weatherby Drive).  When you arrive at the gate, just push the number 0 four times and tell the security guard you are there for my meeting.

The day prior to Thanksgiving, I was honored to give a resident the keys to her recently renovated home in Surprise Farms.  I will not mention her name out of respect for her privacy, but the City was able to use grant funds to make this renovation possible.  We have some exceptional people working for our citizens and often times, they do not get the credit they so deserve.  I am only a City Council Member and I only handed this resident her keys but our staff did the work.  A special and sincere thank you to Chris Boyd, Jeff Martin, Christina Ramirez, Jason Hughes, and Alicia Rubio (and so many others whose names I haven’t included) deserve this credit.  Honestly, this was one of the most rewarding moments I’ve experienced since I was elected to be your Councilman.

CM Williams Home

There have been so many other events and meetings I’ve attended in November.  I just want to leave you with some of them.  December is going to be busy as well but everything I’m doing for this District is very rewarding!

I want to wish each and every resident in Surprise a very Merry Christmas, the happiest of holidays and the healthiest New Year.  Please be good to yourselves and continue to be good to each other!

Warm regards,

Council Roland F. Winters Jr.

November 2014 • Newsletter

Greetings to all of my fellow District 1 residents! I must apologize for being a tad late with my newsletter this month. A trip to California and several meetings led to the unfortunate delay. October was such a busy month for me. I’ll try my best to make sure you are aware of the happenings in the District and the City as a whole.

I continue to receive questions pertaining to WINCO. “What is happening with WINCO?” seems to be the most frequent question. The attorneys who represent the group opposing WINCO issued a halt to the construction for 60 days. Due to legalities, I am unable to share further information but I will be waiting along with you for construction to resume.

October 1st was a great day in Surprise! We had another grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for a new restaurant, Kneader’s Bakery. Kneader’s Bakery is located on Bell Road. Jim Hipp is the operating partner for this location. If you haven’t tried Kneader’s yet, I encourage you to do so. Mr. Hipp and his team are very attentive to their customers and the food is fantastic!

Kneaders Ribbon Cutting

Kneaders

The City hosted our quarterly HOA Summit on October 2nd. The Summit was well attended by residents and HOA Board Members who wanted to learn more about the City. Several City departments were represented including the Surprise Police Department, Water Resource Management, Public Works, Economic Development, Code Enforcement and Neighborhood Services.

HOA Summit 2014

I was honored to attend the Opening Ceremony of the Moving Wall that was hosted in Estrella Mountain Ranch in Goodyear. The Moving Wall is a half-size traveling replica of the Washington D.C. Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The monument was created by Vietnam veterans to share the powerful experience of visiting the memorial with those who may never have the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. I was truly touched to be part of the moving Ceremony as I was also able to see my cousin’s name on the wall, “Cristopher M. Winters”. He was killed by enemy fire in the jungles of Vietnam. I also attended the Closing Ceremony held a few days later on October 6th. Both ceremonies had many dignitaries and patriotic music.

Moving Wall Mayor Lord and Glen Pleus

The Surprise Fiesta Grande was held on October 4th. I was at the event for the entire day. It was such a great event to celebrate the heritage of this incredible City. In addition to the Fiesta festivities, the Roy Villanueva Dedication Ceremony was held earlier that day. City Council approved the renaming of the recreation area in the Original Town Site (OTS) that houses Gaines Park, Surprise Senior Center, Hollyhock Pool, Villanueva Recreation Center and Hollyhock library to the Roy Villanueva Community and Recreation Complex. Roy had done so much for the City of Surprise to make it the great City it is today. Roy served on the City Council for many years as a Councilman, Vice Mayor and Mayor.

Winters at Surprise Fiesta

Roy Villanueva dedication

On the evening of Thursday, October 9th, I attended the GPEC (Greater Phoenix Economic Council) Annual Awards Dinner. The City of Surprise works closely with GPEC to bring economic development to our fine City. Surprise began as a bedroom community, but we want more than that for Surprise. We want to be a sustainable, independent city so that the 90% of residents leaving our City everyday can find work here.

Members of the Surprise Police Department were waiting tables alongside the staff at Red Robin in Surprise to raise money for the Special Olympics during the annual “Tip-A-Cop” event on October 11th. Tips earned from the event were donated to Special Olympics Arizona. This is such a wonderful event! If you’ve ever noticed, our Fire-Medical and Police Departments do not just extinguish fires and issue tickets; they are very engaged in the community they protect. We are lucky to have such charitable staff!

Of course we are still working on Surprise Farms Park and we spent numerous hours on Wednesday, October 15th at a public meeting to gather input from residents on design plans. Surprise youth also participated by meeting with SITE Design Group, Inc. in a skate park workshop. We received invaluable feedback during the meeting from the youth and residents. For anyone who has not seen the artist renditions of the skate park, we have received nothing but positive comments.   I think the kids will love it and it will be a fabulous addition to Surprise Farms Park.

Main Park

On Thursday, October 16th, I attended the first of three Community Conversations with Mayor Wolcott. The Mayor formed these meetings to create open dialogue with Surprise residents. This particular town hall-styled meeting was held at Sun City Grand, Cimarron Center and it was well attended.

I had my regular Friday Night Chat on October 17th at the Retreat Community Center in Arizona Traditions. I have been remiss in extending a thank you to Arizona Traditions for allowing me to hold my meetings at their facility. Thank you! I have my monthly meetings on the third Friday of the month. In November, my meeting will be held at 7 pm on Friday, November 21st at the Retreat Community Center, 18250 W. Weatherby. When you arrive at the gate, press 0 four times and inform the guard you are there to attend my Chat. Everyone is welcome to attend and express their concerns or just chat with me.

The Asante community hosted their HOA block party on Saturday, October 18th. This neighborhood will have 7,000 homes one day but right now, it is fairly small with a bunch of fabulous residents! Many of the faces I seen were familiar since I campaigned in the community in July of last year. I really enjoy attending the block parties since it’s such a great way to meet my constituents. Jeff Martin from Neighborhood Services was also there with our City’s party trailer.

I was invited to speak to the residents at the Desert Oasis HOA Meeting on Monday, October 27th. I was met with a warm reception. I received many questions some of which I was happy to answer and others that I arranged for City staff to answer. The hot button for some was the fact that this community only has one road to utilize to get in and out of their neighborhood, but my hope is that we can rectify this issue soon.

As you can see, October was another busy month for me! I want to leave you with my very best wishes that you and yours have a happy Thanksgiving holiday. Be good to yourself and be good to others!

Best,

Councilman Roland F. Winters Jr.

October 2014 • Newsletter

Greetings to all of my fellow residents in District 1 and in this great city we call Surprise!

The weather is finally cooling a bit and in a few months, the extreme heat we had this summer will be a distant memory.

During the first few weeks of September, I was able to take some time away for a working vacation.  I’d like to extend a special thank you to my colleagues and constituents for their understanding during my time away.  I was able to return to the City in time to attend the Surprise Fire Department’s Charity Golf Outing at Coyote Lakes Golf Course.  The turn-out was really spectacular!  Even recently retired Fire Chief Michael White was present for the event.  It was nice to see him and hear he is enjoying his retirement.  The event raised $5,000 for the Foundation for Burns and Trauma.

Coyote Lakes Golf Course
Coyote Lakes Golf Course
Check Presentation to AZ Burn Foundation
Check Presentation to AZ Burn Foundation

On September 16th, City Council and the Planning and Zoning Commission held a joint meeting to review the General Plan.  We also had a regular City Council meeting that evening to discuss the naming of the recreation area in the Original Town Site (OTS).  The City Council voted unanimously to name the area after the late Roy Villanueva who served as the City’s Mayor, Vice-Mayor and Councilman prior to his passing in July 2013.  The area which consists of Gaines Park, Surprise Senior Center, Hollyhock Pool, Villanueva Recreation Center and Hollyhock Library, will be called the Roy Villanueva Community and Recreation Complex.  The official naming presentation is part of the Surprise Fiesta Grande celebration on October 4th.  Roy was a great supporter of Surprise and a tireless worker to make Surprise the City it is today.

Roy Villanueva
Roy Villanueva

Roy Villanueva I met with Mayor Wolcott on September 17th to discuss our mutual goals and needs for the City.  One of my goals as your City Councilman is to initiate a mass-transit system, not only for Surprise, but for the West Valley so we are connected to cities like Glendale, Goodyear, El Mirage, Youngtown, etc.  While our own Dial-A-Ride system is working to a certain degree, we also need a fixed bus route system.  People need a fixed bus route system that will be effective.

I was privileged to receive an invitation to the American Legion meeting at Happy Trails to recognize three young men from Willow Canyon High School.  The students, Andrew Lataille, Jerry Abah and Williams Costello, were awarded the gift of attending Boys State.  This venue instills the importance of civic engagement in our youth.  I would like to personally thank Post 96 for sponsoring these young men for the program.

Vice Mayor Hall and I at the American Legion Meeting
Vice Mayor Hall and I at the American Legion Meeting

On Friday, September 19th, I attended a luncheon hosted by Benevilla to thank all their generous contributors and to honor Bob Jeckel for all of his help over the years.  Mr. Jeckel donated many numerous hours as a volunteer there.

That same evening, I held my monthly “Friday Night Chat”.  I was delighted to have Mike Gent, Public Works Director, in attendance.  Mike was recently promoted to Public Works Director after serving as our Assistant Public Works Director for one year.  He is a very knowledgeable professional and we are lucky to have him with our City!  Furthermore, we were honored to have Mayor Wolcott in attendance.  Mayor Wolcott spoke to the residents and answered several questions.  It was a very nice event.  My next Friday Night Chat will be held on October 17th at 7 p.m. in the Community Center in Arizona Traditions (18250 W. Weatherby Drive).

The State of Americas Dinner was held on Tuesday, September 23rd.  The keynote speaker was Vincente Fox, former President of Mexico.  The primary focus of the event was discussion on economic development concerning Mexico and Arizona as partners and political allies.  Later in the evening, we were able to listen to a panel discussion with former President Fox and the current former President of Costa Rica, Laura Chinchilla.

On September 24th, I attended a meeting with fellow Council Members and officials from EPCOR explaining the issues they face pertaining to aging infrastructure.  Certain areas of the West Valley have pipes and pumps 40 to 50 years old.

I do have some exciting news for you!  I met with our City Manager, Bob Wingenroth and our Director of Community and Recreational Services, Mark Coronado regarding the improvements at Surprise Farms Park.  These plans are being finalized and requests for proposals will be sent soon.  There will be a large splash pad, ramadas, and bathrooms, walking trails, a dog park and many other features.  A public meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 15th at 6 p.m. in the Community Room of City Hall to update residents on the design and progress and to gather input from residents on the skate park design plans.  I’d like to extend a special thank you to Mark Coronado and his CRS team for all of their hard work!

The latest event at the West Valley Art HQ was a fantastic display of paintings by Bill Patterson.  Mr. Patterson is an artist whose terrific paintings illustrate the Phoenix International Raceway.  I was very excited to see his demonstration on how he paints the winning car at the track as it comes into Victory Lane after the race.

A Brush with Victory Exhibit
A Brush with Victory Exhibit

Later that evening, I made a trip to our neighbor city, El Mirage, to attend their Fiesta at Gentry Park.  It was a great event.  Mayor Lana Mook told me she was pleased with the turn-out.

I will sign off for now and until the next time, be good to yourself and be good to each other!

Councilman Roland F. Winters Jr.
District 1