Category Archives: Newsletter

Councilmember Roland Winters Newsletter

May 2014 • Newsletter

Greetings, fellow District One residents,

A warm hello to all of you. I hope this month’s newsletter finds you and your family healthy and happy in our beautiful city.

I will try and recap all events in April and bring you up to date on things to come in May.  We are already saying goodbye to a fast-fleeing spring so get ready for our warm weather!

Crime Prevention
We attended the crime prevention day at the Aquatics Center on Bullard Road on Saturday, April 5, and a big thank you to the folks that volunteered to help. Our firefighters and police officers put on a number of great demonstrations, including what happens in an auto accident, demonstrations by K-9 police and the crisis response unit, and Del Webb Medical Center held CPR classes.

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Monthly Coffee at Arizona Traditions
Councilman Biundo (Dist 2) and I held our monthly meet-and-greet on Tuesday, April 8 at 10 AM in the neighborhood center in Arizona Traditions, as we do every second Tuesday of the month. Each of us represent a part of the Arizona Traditions community. I hope you will join us in the future.

Swap Meet a Big Hit
I attended the citywide swap meet Saturday, April 12, at the Aquatic Center and there was a great turnout of residents selling almost everything you could imagine. I was pleased to meet and talk to a couple of folks who are brand new to our city and live in Surprise Farms. They already love Surprise!

Apostolic Church
The same day I was invited to attend a community event at Surprise Apostolic Church on Paradise Lane in our Original Town Site. What a good time everyone had and a great job by all those volunteers. This was their first community day event and they hope to have one every year. Lunch was provided to all who attended and and there was no charge for admission.

Kingswood Parke Block Party
Finally, to close out a busy Saturday, I attended the Kingswood Parke Block Party at the beautiful park they have. There were bouncy houses for kids, the Surprise Fire-Medical Department was there, as well as the Police Department. They had a great country band and delicious hamburgers. A good time was had by all.

Town Hall with Flake, Bennett
I was very privileged to be at a Town Hall meeting where I got to talk with Senator Jeff Flake and Secretary of State Ken Bennett, who is running for Governor. This event was put together by Tony Rivero, who serving his last term as a member of Peoria City Council. Councilman Rivero is running for Debbie Lesko’s legislative seat.

Art at City Hall
The West Valley Arts Council along with the Surprise Arts and Advisory Commission put on a very well done art exhibit at City Hall Wednesday night, April 23, unveiling some new pieces that are on display throughout the ground floor of City Hall. We had some great food catered by our very own City Hall Café. Sue and Dave did a great job and we had a good turnout. Come visit City Hall to view all the great artwork. This is your City Hall. Come and enjoy it!

City Budget In the Works
Probably the most important thing going on right now is the City Council, Mayor, City Manager and our CFO are working on our FY15 budget.  We have had a few four-hour meetings and an all day budget meeting on Saturday, April 26, and a Special City Council meeting on the budget Tuesday, April 29th.  This will go on until the Council votes on the final budget in June.

All these meetings are open to our residents and I urge you to attend so you can be better informed. When all is said and done, there will be some good things for the residents of Surprise and also our employees. I ask all my fellow residents of Surprise: please do not be upset as our employees get a small raise. After all, they have not had a raise in seven years!

Surprise Farms Park is close to getting some things built, too.

On Sunday, April 27, I attended the Canyon Ridge Community block party with Councilmembers Todd Tande (Dist 6) and Rachel Villanueva (Dist 4). That community is halfway to being built out with 85 homes.

GPEC meeting in Phoenix
I was at the GPEC meeting April 30 in the GPEC  (Greater Phoenix Economic Council) Offices in Phoenix  for a discussion about our water situation and what can be done to sustain our supply of water for the future.

Let’s Keep Surprise Beautiful!
Before I close my newsletter this month, there is a concern that I’ll share with you. As I travel the streets of our beautiful city, I am seeing some trash discarded along our sidewalks and roadways. Please join me and put your soda cups and paper trash in the proper receptacle. Let’s take pride in our clean city and keep it that way.

I will end my newsletter for May now. Take care of yourselves and each other!

Councilman Roland Winters

 

April 2014 • Newsletter

I’d like to send a big shout out to all of my District 1 residents. I hope this month’s newsletter finds you well.

One of our most noteworthy updates for District 1 is the start of construction for our new fire station #304 on 163rd Avenue. Our fire crews are finally getting a new facility after all this time in their small single-wide structure. The new fire station is temporary until a permanent brick and mortar building is constructed next door. The new double-wide station will be larger with additional amenities such as air conditioning, which the former station did not have. I have received a few phone inquiries about the status of construction and the project itself. Construction will begin this month with hopes of completion by the end of May or early June at the latest. There will not be an interruption in service during construction (for those of you who reside in the northeast section of District 1). Please feel assured that our wonderful fire department in Surprise will respond rapidly to any emergencies.

While I am on the subject of fire, I am sure most of you know by now that our beloved Fire Chief, Michael White, is retiring at the end of April. There will be a retirement ceremony for him as well as Assistant Chief Clint Mills and Batalion Chief Jackson Bearden in Council Chambers at City Hall on April 30th at 2 pm. Please feel free to stop by and wish them the best on their retirement. Chief White is leaving Surprise with a career spanning 41 years. He has given so much to the City over the years!

I’ve received some emails and phone calls about the maintenance of 163rd Avenue. The responsibility of the maintenance of 163rd Avenue depends on the location. It could be Surprise or it could be Maricopa County. If you would like to know the answer, please provide me with the exact location so I can provide you with accurate information.

I’d like to provide you with a recap of events in District 1 and the City in last month. On March 1st, I attended a work session Saturday, March 1st, put on by the City Attorney’s office covering all things related to the General Plan and development in Surprise. The work session touched on how existing and future zoning, development agreements, infrastructure and platting relate to the General, Strategic and Specific Plans of the city and how the role of the City Council, Planning and Zoning Commission, Board of Adjustment and the Development Team help to establish these plans. It was a very informative session.

Surprise Spring Training

On March 3rd, I was very fortunate to meet Russell Wilson, the Superbowl winning quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks. Some of you were able to watch him working out with the Texas Ranger. The Texas Rangers acquired the rights to him in the recent Rule 5 draft. Immediately following the work out and spring training game, Mr. Wilson gave a press conference to several media outlets and the City Council regarding his career and future desires.

On March 11th, Councilman Jim Biundo and I hosted a meet and greet at the Neighborhood Center in Arizona Traditions at 10 am. Since we both represent a part of Traditions, we both participate in the chats the second Tuesday of each month. Everyone is welcome to attend.
The Surprise Police Department hosted their annual picnic on Saturday, March 15th at Heritage Park. Some of our brave officers received a few well deserved awards. The awards given included Officer of the Year (Officer Joseph Kopronica), Rookie of the Year (Officer John Wiehn), Supervisor of the Year (Sergeant Mark Filler), Detective of the Year (Detective Michael Forbrook), and the Civilian Employee of the Year (Records Tech Rebecca Leszcynski). Additionally, a Unit Citation was given to the Support Services Unit. Members of the Unit include Sergeant Jeremy Robertson, Officer Severin Hall, Officer Morgan Bastien, Officer Richard Malone, Officer Steven Shernicoff, Officer Tim Murel, Officer Guadalupe Garcia, Officer Jakob Wagemann, Transport Officer John Jones, Transport Officer Jennifer Daniels, Park Ranger Ron Gottsponer and Animal Control Officers King Campbell, Michael Wilster and Melissa Robbins. The City of Surprise is one of the safest cities in the Valley thanks to our officers who are led by Police Chief Michael Frazier.

Fire Chief Candidate interviews were held on Monday, March 17th. After a full day of interviews by 4 panels, the 5 candidates were able to participate in a meet and greet with residents of Surprise in the Mayor’s Atrium. We were quite pleased with the turn out! One of the candidates was selected as our new Fire Chief. Please join me in welcoming Mr. Tom Abbott from the Tempe Police Department to the City. Mr. Abbott will begin his employment with us on May 1st.

Councilman Winters pictured with Anna Kournikova

The CTCA PowerShares Classic was held on March 21st. The event featured tennis champs Jim Courier, Michael Chang and Todd Martin. The Surprise Tennis Championships continued on Saturday, March 22nd, during the Sanderson Ford and Lincoln Classic, and highlighted an exclusive Mixed Doubles match with Anna Kournikova, Tracy Austin, Jim Courier, and Todd Martin. I was excited to meet Anna Kournikova. She is still a fantastic tennis player and a very nice young lady.

We had a nice event at the Surprise Stadium for all of the volunteer members of our various Boards & Commissions. Each and every one of them is a valuable asset to our City. They were treated a catered lunch and the game as it was the least we could do for them since they donate so much of their time to make Surprise a great place to live.

There was a meeting on March 27th at the Paradise RV Park. City Council and members of the public were provided with a solution to the Coyote Lakes and 115th Avenue flooding. The cities of Surprise, Peoria and the Flood Control District have teamed up to build storm drains and channels to direct the storm water to the Aqua Fria river bed.

Please don’t forget about the Swap meet at the Aquatic Center April 12; the Community Day at 11:00 AM also on April 12 at 12420 W. Paradise Lane, a Public Hearing before the City Council on Impact Fees on April 15th at City Hall, Art Show at City Hall on April 23rd at 5pm, and many more events happening in Surprise. For more information, please call the City Council office at 623.222.1300 or look at our website at www.surpriseaz.gov.

I will sign off for now! Stay positive and keep smiling!

 

March 2014 • Newsletter

Welcome

Greetings to all of my District 1 friends! I have been asked many times about WINCO. Is it going to be built on the southwest corner of Bell Road and the 303? The whole process has become very complicated due to the fact that several lawsuits have been filed both for and against the project. I believe this case will be settled in a court of law some time down the road.

At my last meeting on February 21st, a resident asked me to check into why there have been so many accidents at the corner of 165th Avenue and the Surprise Farm Loop. I am currently researching that question and as soon as I have an answer, if there is an answer, I will let you know.

Happy Trails RV Resort invited me to speak at their Town Hall meeting on February 6th. I was able to bring them up to date on the Development Code that the City has been working on. I was also asked a few questions about our Dial-A-Ride program and why the City put a cap on the amount of rides per day. The simple fact is that the program is depleting its funds for this fiscal year and if we do not do something now, rides will stop before FY14 ends on June 30th. I am going to do my best to get additional funding for this upcoming fiscal year, FY15.

The Council and staff held an all day Budget Retreat on Saturday, February 8th to work on FY15 financial forecasts and of course, every department needs some piece of the pie! The Dial-A-Ride program had a $300,000 budget for 2012-2013 plus a few federal freedom grants. We hope we can improve on that for our upcoming fiscal year.

I had the privilege to be in Desert Oasis on Friday, February 14th to take part in Operation Finally Home. Pulte Homes donated a brand new home to Army Specialist Philip Martin and his family. Mr. Martin served 2 tours in Afghanistan and he was wounded in both tours. This donation was made possible by the organization, Operation Finally Home. This was a Valentine’s Day that the Martins will never forget!
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On February 18th, I was at our beautiful Surprise Stadium with our Mayor, Sharon Wolcott and the rest of our City Council to welcome back the Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers for spring training as part of the Mayor’s Welcome Back lunch. A special thank you to Cactus League President and CRS Director, Mark Coronado, for all you do for Surprise!
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On February 20th, the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce held their Legacy Business Awards at the Colonnade. It was exciting to see all of the residents of Surprise and our surrounding cities receive awards. Melissa Holdaway, COO of Arizona Charter Academy, was awarded the 2013 Surprise Citizen of the Year award. Thank you, Melissa, for all you do for our City!
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On Monday, February 24th, Council Members from the Valley and State Legislators celebrated Opening Day for spring training with Cactus League representatives at “Cactus League Lunch at the State Capital”. The Cactus League is especially important to the City of Surprise because of the tourism dollars it generates for our City.

In addition to all of the above, I have met with a number of developers and I am very optimistic that building in Surprise will soon begin again.

Along with these events as well as many others that have not been mentioned, one of the most important events, of course, was the Mayor’s State of the City Address that was held on February 27th. During the Address, the Mayor outlined everything this City has accomplished this past year which included our stronger financials and our increased credit rating. We are in good shape financially and that is why I am hopeful for some wonderful things to happen in Surprise this year. As our City Manager likes to say, “We are healthy, but not wealthy!”

Please know that you are always welcome to email me, call my office or call me directly at 623.594.5952. Thank you for your continued support. Please remember my next meeting will be held on March 14th.

Best Regards,
Councilman Roland Winters Jr.