Category Archives: Uncategorized

January 2020 • Newsletter

A big shout out to everyone in the great and growing City of Surprise. I hope everyone got through the hustle and bustle of the holidays. We will be getting back to our regular routine by the second week of January. I want to wish all the residents a healthy 2020 (the start of a new decade). Last year was a great time for Surprise with many more commercial opportunities, eating choices, road improvements, and yes, a Costco will be opening in 2020.

To start things off on December 3, the Council got together early at City Hall and we had our photo taken in front of the Christmas tree in the lobby. After the festivities, we went into our Work Session at 4 p.m. and then onto our City Council meeting.

Surprise City Council's holiday card.

The next day, I had my regular monthly meeting with Mayor Hall to keep updated on what is going on in our city.

On Thursday, December 5, I had my Valley Metro meeting in Phoenix, which took up most of my day. That same evening, my wife and I went to see a play at the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts, 10580 N 83rd Drive, at the invitation from their City Council. We saw the Christmas Carol, maybe you have heard of it. If you enjoy live plays, I recommend that play house.

Of course the highlight of the month was the Surprise Party on the evening of the December 6. We had the tree lighting, and even real snow for the young and the young at heart. I must say what a great job Parks and Recreation Director Donna Miller, Assistant Director Paul Frie and their whole team does every year. The party continued all day Saturday then of course the big cleanup, great job people. All at no cost to the residents!

An illuminated Christmas tree and hot air balloon at night.

On Monday, December 9, I had a great meeting with four students that are a part of the Surprise Youth Council. They were a great bunch of young people that gave me a good sense the future generation can handle the trials and tribulations ahead of them.

Vice Mayor Winters and Surprise Youth Council members seated in a conference room for a meeting.

On Tuesday December 10, the Council was invited to meet and chat with the four people who were the finalists for the Community Development Director. I just want to congratulate Chris Boyd, who was the Interim Director and has now been promoted to Director. He has been doing a good job in the position.

The same night found me at the Surprise Senior Center, in the Original Town Site, for their Deck the Hock event, and again, there was real snow and good cookies. On the evening of December 12, most of the Council attended Tech the Halls at the TechCelerator, 12425 W Bell Rd, where we have a number of start-up companies that are trying to build their business with the city’s support.

On Friday, December 13, I was at the Adaptive Christmas Party at Dream Catcher Park for all of the special needs residents in Surprise. Most of the young people there were Dysart Unified School District students. There were trees to decorate, games to play and cookies to eat. These young people don’t dwell on what they can’t do, but concentrate on what they can do. Happy New Year!

Our last Council meeting of 2019 was on December 17, with no Work Session, but plenty on the agenda for the meeting. On Wednesday, December 18, we had yet another ribbon cutting. The Angry Crab Shack, at 11340 W Bell Rd, opened their doors with a big celebration and delicious food. The owners are great people, and put out a great assortment of seafood for the attendees to enjoy.

Surprise City Council and the owners of the Angry Crab Shack in Surprise.

On Thursday, December 19, I joined almost 400 City employees to celebrate the holidays with a great lunch from Macayo’s Mexican Food and our Directors dishing it out to everyone in line. The event took place in the Ottawa University Cafeteria, and what a nice venue it is. Thank you to Dr. Dennis Tyner and the University staff for their hospitality. We have a good partnership with that school. That same night, I was invited to attend the Surprise Farms III HOA meeting to update all those folks on what’s happening in Surprise and what is in the future. Everyone was happy about Costco opening this year. We had a good crowd and all were very pleasant. I want to thank Santos, the Community Manager there, and Mark and the rest of the board for the invitation. If you want me to speak at your board meeting, just let me know.

One of my constituents, Charles Collins, who lives in Surprise Farms II wanted to donate some things for Toys for Tots. He wanted me to go with him and his daughter. So on December 23, we went down to the Surprise Police Department and met with Officer Chris Tovar and a few other officers for the donation. That same day, I had a scheduled meeting with the City Manager.

Vice Mayor Winters, resident Charles Collins and his daughter, and Surprise Police Officers with a box of donations for Toys for Tots.

I want to congratulate the Willow Canyon High School Marching Band for being selected to be in the Fiesta Bowl Parade on Saturday, December 28. What a great job you did. You sounded awesome!

Well, I will close my first newsletter of the new decade for now, but remember be good to yourself and be good to each other.

Happy New Year!

Roland F. Winters

November 2019 • Newsletter

Well hello again to all the residents in this great city we call home and we have the good fortune to live in, Surprise. October started off for me with a bang with our City Council Meeting with a large agenda. Wednesday evening, I went to a Community Outreach Meeting, at Western Peaks Elementary School, to discuss the new development called Mesquite Mountain Ranch III. The development will be located off of Sun Valley Parkway on the western edge of Surprise, with great views of the White Tank Mountains. This family community will have amenities to include a pool for the residents.

On Thursday evening, I attended the Construction Board Meeting in the Council Chambers to hear all of the changes in our building codes, which need to be updated.

On Saturday, October 5, the Human Service and Community Vitality Department, in partnership with the Veterans, Disability, and Human Services Commission, put on a Care and Share Expo in the courtyard and parking garage at City Hall. They had many vendors with information, candy, gifts, and food for the visitors that attended.

Tuesday, October 8, I spent the morning at a company in Phoenix, called MSS. They look for people who have made advancements in their respected fields. I nominated Kathy Chandler, of Northwest Valley Connect, for all of her work getting transit started in the West Valley since coming down from Flagstaff about four years ago. The winners will be announced at the Governor’s Awards dinner on October 24th at the Phoenix Convention Center. On Wednesday, October 9, I attended a transportation update meeting at City Hall.

The morning of October 10, I spent two hours on a conference call with the other members of the Maricopa County Human Services Committee trying to find a solution for those folks in the West Valley who have fallen behind in paying their APS bills after our hot summer. The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) directed APS not to turn anyone’s electricity off until after October 18 and also to set up a payment schedule for those customers to pay off their large bills.

On Friday, October 11, I attended the Friends of the Surprise Libraries meeting at a conference room at City Hall. These folks did some great things to help educate our young citizens with free books, donation of funds, and support from many volunteers. That same night, I had my regular monthly meeting at the community center at The Retreat in Arizona Traditions. We had a good crowd.

Of course, Saturday night, October 12, was Fiesta Grande. There was great attendance and many good entertainers. I think the crowds were the biggest we have had, maybe because it rained last year, and we could not have it. If you have never been, give it a try next year. The selection of classic cars varied. Thanks to those folks for sharing their vehicles.

On Monday, October 14, we had a meeting with some members of the Board of Saguaro View in the northwest part of my district to discuss what streets the city can maintain. However, the problem is that we do not have the right of way in which the city needs to maintain them. We have gotten some rights signed off to us in recent weeks, so we are making progress. Of course, on Tuesday October 15, we had our City Council Meeting at 6 p.m.

On Wednesday, October 16, we had a groundbreaking for Auviana Medical Development, located at 14753 W Mountain View Blvd. A number of medical buildings are being constructed.

I was invited to the Northwest Ranch HOA meeting, and they wanted to discuss the speeding on North West Ranch Parkway, so I asked our police chief Terry Young to attend and he was very helpful. The other concern was the need for some plants along North West Ranch Parkway, so I am pushing to get some funding for some plants and trees to be put in along the road.

Friday, October 18, at 6 p.m. was another art opening at the West Valley Arts Headquarters, right next to City Hall on Paradise Lane. Bernadette Carroll and her team always do such a good job at these art shows with a nice space.

An artist paints at the West Valley Arts Headquarters art show.

The family and I have been going to the Ottawa football games regularly this season, and we have a great time every Saturday night. Last year they went to the Victory Bowl. If you have not been to a game, try and get one next season. The beautiful field is worth the trip. So, Saturday night, October 19th, they won again.

On Sunday, October 20, over at Beardsley Park in Sun City West, North West Valley Connect had a great fundraiser on this beautiful day. I ran into a former City Councilman of Surprise and a friend of mine, Jim Biundo, with his classic car entry in the car show. There were also a number of vendors and entertainers.

Wednesday, October 23, you found me in a meeting at City Hall, then another conference call with the Maricopa Human Services Commission for another couple hours. That same day I greeted a company and their audience at the Christ’s Church of the Valley in Surprise. The organization will help people or companies bring their dreams to realities. Mission Create is a nonprofit incubator helping leaders successfully start their mission. They help launch your idea and support you with fundraising, legal compliance, and mentoring, so I welcomed them to Surprise.

On Thursday, October 24, I spent the day and into the night in Phoenix. I had my Valley Metro meeting located at 101 N 1st Ave in Phoenix. The agenda was full with a good discussion about the Tempe Street Car (the newest transit addition to the Phoenix Area). Since the folks voted for the expansion of the light rail, we can go forward with it. My next stop that night was to the Phoenix Convention Center for the Governor’s Award Program to acknowledge those businesses that made great technological advancements. Sorry to report the North West Valley Connect did not win top spot, but I did get to talk to the Governor.

Friday, October 25, at 7 a.m. you found me at the grand re-opening of the Sam’s Club on Bell Road. I was happy to say a few words to thank Lyle, the manager, for the eleven-million-dollar investment in the remodeling of the interior of the entire store to serve the residents better.

On Saturday night, I was at Mark Coronado Park for G.A.I.N. Night. I hope you made it out. I believe it was the largest turnout ever (over two thousand residents). The highlight of the evening for me was the releasing of three rehabilitated owls by our Police Chief Terry Young, Councilmember Chris Judd, and Public Works Director Mike Gent. To see those owls soar away was quite a sight and maybe one of them are now perched in the trees of your backyard. Of course, all the little residents of our city got their share of candy.

Vice Mayor Winters with Surprise Chief of Police, Terry Young, who holds a rehabilitated owl.

On Sunday, October 27, my wife and I attended the Neighborhood Block Party in Sun City Grand. Since I was elected Vice Mayor in January, I have been trying to get to all of the HOA block parties and/or neighborhood get togethers throughout our city. What an enjoyable afternoon it was with the residents on and around Patagonia Way having a meal with Gregg, Lynda, Bonnie, Jenn, Gerry, Chuck, and all the good folks there. The Mayor and Councilwoman Hayden (District 2 representative) were also there.

On Monday, October 28, was my monthly meeting with Mayor Hall. We meet once a month to check with each other as to how things are going or discuss our concerns. Tuesday, I had a transportation meeting at City Hall to discuss the construction on Waddell, Cactus, and Greenway roads, the progress and completion dates.

On Halloween, the last day of the month, you found me at a block party on W Lisbon St. in the community of Royal Ranch. All the homes were decorated with the owners best Halloween décor. John and his wife, as well as Patrick, Amy, and many others were great hosts to us and had lots of treats for the little trick-or-treaters.

Well, I will close for now and wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving. Have a great day with your family and friends, so be good to yourself and be good to each other.

Roland F. Winters Jr.

July 2018 • Newsletter

Hi to all our friends in District One and all of Surprise. June is the last month of the fiscal year, and July is the usual month the council has no meetings, but I am not off. I have other meetings to go to and City business.

Monday, June 4th found me at a Police Promotion Ceremony where we saw three new sergeants and one lieutenant get promoted. These ceremonies are good because it shows our police officers that as council members, we are there to support them.

Surprise Police Promotion Ceremony June 2018

I was at my Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) meeting on Tuesday, June 5th in Phoenix, and we have a new director of MAG. Eric Anderson took over for the retiring Dennis Smith who put 30 years in with MAG. Then back to Surprise for a Surprise Community Outreach Program grant meeting. The program helps to fund qualified local programs and events to improve the health and welfare of Surprise residents. Then, we had our Council workshop at 4 p.m. and of course our regular City Council Meeting at 6 p.m.

On Wednesday, June 6th we did have a meeting about our property around City Hall and the idea to get a Master Plan so we can move forward. That same evening, I attended the opening of the In-N-Out Burger on the corner of Bell Road and Civic Center Plaza.

On Monday, June 11th, I was at my Board and Commission Selection Committee Meeting. This committee nominates candidates that want to be appointed to our various boards and commissions, but the full council makes the final decision from the nominees presented.

Wednesday, June 13th was our outreach meeting for our transportation survey at City Hall. People attending the event could outline the bus route that they thought would service them well.

On Tuesday, June 19th I had a meeting in my office with the new reporter for The Arizona Republic. Jen Fifield who they brought in from D.C. to cover Surprise and Peoria. I wish her all the best. Then, of course, to the Council workshop and regular meeting to finish off my day.

On Monday evening, June 25th, I attended the Maricopa County Human Services Commission Meeting in Phoenix at 6 p.m. I was appointed to this commission, and this was my first meeting. Of course, I was a little nervous, and I want to do a good job and be effective in this position. So, I will do the best job I can.

We had a special City Council meeting on Tuesday, June 26th to discuss the Prasada development.

On Wednesday evening, June 29th, I went to the Desert Peaks awards that MAG puts on every year, and it was a great event. Their companies were all rewarded for their economic advancement and their innovation. The City of Surprise was recognized for the part we played in enabling those who are hearing impaired to now text 911 instead of having to speak over the phone to the operator.

Thursday June 28th found me at the North West Valley Connect Meeting. This organization is growing by leaps and bounds and is now transporting many people who cannot otherwise get a ride to their doctors appointment, to get their medication, or to a job.

There was a tour of construction on the Destiny Springs Behavioral Hospital, which is going up on Dysart Road in Surprise, so we are getting a second hospital in our town.

Destiny Springs Behavioral Hospital

On Saturday June 30th, there was an event in Surprise Farms III that I was very proud to be a part of. Mr. and Mrs. Collins have a 10-year-old daughter that has seizures when loud noises are present. The celebration was that the Surprise HOA gave the Collins permission to put up a sign on their street which says ‘Please keep the noise down, special needs child present.’ The American Legion Post 96 and the Legion Riders gave the Collins great support with 21 riders and veterans there, and brought many toys for JoJo. The chair of the Disability Advisory Commission was there and the state director of ARC, Jon Meyers, was there also. Mr. Collins would like to talk to and support other parents that have special needs children, so if you would like to talk to him, I will give you his contact info.

Councilmember Winters celebrates with the Collins Family and supporters for the Noise Zone signs.

So I will close now, be good to yourself and be good to each other.

Roland F. Winters Jr.
District 1 Councilmember

July 2015 • Newsletter

Greetings to my fellow District One residents and the citizens of Surprise!

July marks the beginning of our new fiscal year. Earlier last month, the City Council adopted a $304.7 million Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 budget that immediately addresses operational needs and continues service increases while maintaining the current property tax rate.

I am pleased that it also includes expanded coverage of our Dial-a-Ride system. However, there remains confusion about what the expanded service includes, even amongst the staff at Dial-a-Ride. I am going to try and clear this confusion. The number of weekday rides, Monday through Friday (5 am to 8 pm), has increased to 140 rides weekly. The number of weekend rides has increased to 30 rides; there is no service on Sunday. Providing that holidays fall on a day of operation, service is still provided. These additions have been provided without a fare increase. Senior citizens (65 years of age and older) or people with disabilities can call up to 14 days in advance of when the ride is needed, and all others can call the day of service to get a ride, if available. Another policy change is that all seniors, non-ADA, must now complete a form called “Application for Non-ADA Dial-a-Rid Service.” To obtain this form, please call Valley Metro at 602-253-5000 x602. If you are a disabled user of Dial-a-Ride and have not yet participated in the Valley Metro ADA program, I urge you to call and make an appointment. A discount cab will transport you to Phoenix for the program and bring you home, all at no cost.

On June 8, I attended a dinner meeting with Councilman Hall, Councilman Tande, Economic Development staff and prospective business owners to discuss their interest in coming to Surprise. I can only hope that someday we may see them in our city!

I held my last neighborhood meeting before Council recess on Friday June 19th and had a good turnout. Thanks to each of you who braved the summer heat and attended. My next meeting will be the third Friday of October (October 16). I hope to see you there! Everyone is always welcome to attend.

I attended the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) Regional Council annual meeting at the Marriott in Phoenix on June 24. Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane was elected as the Regional Council Chair, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton as Vice Chair and Buckeye Mayor Jackie Meck as Treasurer. During the Passing of the Gavel ceremony, outgoing Chair, Youngtown Mayor Mike LeVault, was recognized. Thanks, Mike, for doing a great job!

Youngtown Mayor Michael LeVault and Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane
Youngtown Mayor Michael LeVault and Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane

WINCO is open! I would have to say that Thursday, June 25 was the highlight of my month as WinCo finally opened their doors. Councilman Biundo, Councilmember Villanueva, and I got a tour of the store by Vice President Craig Goins of WinCo. Councilman Hall also took a tour later in the day. The parking lot has been full every day since. This store is a great addition to District 1, Surprise and the West Valley.

Councilman Jim Biundo and I with Vice President Craig Goins
Councilman Jim Biundo and I with Vice President Craig Goins

Surprise Farms II Block Party took place on Friday, June 26. I was in attendance, along with our finest firefighters from the Fire Station 303. They are always there to support their community, and I know those folks at Surprise Farms really appreciate them.

The Surprise Police Department hosted a Crime Prevention Fair on Saturday, June 27. Councilman Hall and I attended as the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for the new MedReturn Drug Collection Unit also took place during the fair. The collection unit was installed in the lobby area of the Surprise Police Department. It will provide the residents with a safe and simple way to dispose of unwanted drugs or expired medications including prescriptions and over the counter drugs.

Crime Prevention Fair on Saturday, June 27
Drug collection unit members

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

Roland F. Winters Jr.
Councilman for District 1