Tag Archives: asante library

August 2019 • Newsletter

A big hello to everyone in this great city we call Surprise. I hope you are all holding up in this heat. Of course, most of you know, we do not have council meetings in July, but we certainly have other meetings and things to do.

On Tuesday, July 3, I had meetings with Kathy Chandler, CEO of Northwest Valley Connect; Audra, CEO of Chance Shelter; and the owners of an upcoming coffee shop, Spencer’s Place, to discuss the good work they do in Surprise. I also gave each organization a donation to help carry on their missions.

July 8 at 8:00 a.m. found me at the grand opening of Growing Minds Preschool, 17999 Surprise Farms Loop South. It is a beautiful facility, and the folks at the Dysart Unified School District worked very hard to remodel and renovate the building, which has been vacant for several years. At the ribbon cutting, there were words from Assistant Superintendent Jim Dean, Mayor Skip Hall, and others. I wish I could have been there when the children saw the “village”, which is a huge room made up to be a city, including shops, a fire house, police station, city hall, and more.

Mayor Hall with Vice Mayor Winters and Coucilmembers Sanders and Hayden at Growing Minds Preschool.

On Tuesday, July 9, there was a great turn out at Raising Cane’s for a fun night of Lemonade with a Cop (the lemonade was free). Thank you Raising Cane’s, located at 14385 W Bell Road. I was happy to meet Deborah Luder, one of my constituents who lives up in the northwest part of my district. Chief Young could not make it, but Assistant Chief Geoffrey Leggett was there, along with many others of our finest in blue. Another constituent of mine, Charles Collins, from Surprise Farms II was also there.

Thursday July 11, you found me in a meeting with the folks from the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) with their CEO, Chris Camacho. Most of the councilmembers were there, including our Mayor. Also our Economic Development Department, including director Jeanine Jerkovic, was in attendance. Our economic development team is the best. GPEC helps us to find sites in our city for commercial and industrial business wanting to locate in Surprise. They are a great help.

Right after that meeting, I had my monthly meeting at 2:30 p.m. with our City Manager to go over what is happening in Surprise, and he usually asks how he can help me. It’s nice to have his support. On Friday, July 12 at 10:30 a.m., I was in the Friends of the Surprise Libraries meeting at the Chamber of Commerce building. I have been drafted into the organization since Mayor Skip Hall was elected. As a councilmember, he sat in on these meetings, but now he has his hands full as our Mayor, and it is very difficult to say no to Alyson Cline. Mrs. Cline and her team do a great job making sure our kids are literate by giving books to our schools, helping our teachers, and working with the nonprofit organization Altrusa to make sure every child can read by the third grade.

I want to wish Lynn Peratt a happy retirement. Lynn was our receptionist at City Hall for many years. She always had a smile and was ready to help anyone, including me many times. I told her she could not leave, but she said no. Have a great retirement Lynn, you deserve it.

I had my meeting on Friday night at the Retreat Community Center in Arizona Traditions and had a large showing. I hope I cleared up some confusion with my friends in the northwest part of my district concerning the Lone Mountain Ranch project. That part of the recent annexation process was to bring the acreage of Marisol Ranch into the city so that property will belong to Surprise when the developer starts building. The Lone Mountain Ranch land is not sold to anyone yet, so any development is years down the road.

While I’m on the topic of my monthly meeting, I want to remind everyone that my August meeting will be on Friday, August 9 at 7:00 p.m. in the Retreat Community Room at Arizona Traditions. A special guest, Scott Phillips, will be in attendance. He works with Surprise Center Development Company, the developers of our City Center project. This is a chance to share ideas about what you would like to see in our future downtown. We will have cookies!

Moving on now, I did my Council Conversations television taping on Monday, July 15, and it was a two-part show. First with Sue Larkin of Altrusa International of the West Valley, then part two is with Donna Miller, Director of Parks and Recreation. The show is now running on Channel 11 if you have Cox, or on the city website, https://d1.surpriseaz.gov/2019/07/25/new-council-conversations-altrusa-international-and-asante-library-update/. The first portion of the show focused on reading programs and how involved our city is with ensuing children are able to read. During the second part of the show, I talked to Donna Miller about the new library being built up in my district at the city park in the Asante neighborhood.

Wednesday, July 17 found me at the Community Room at City Hall for a Valley Metro meeting concerning extending the Paratransit program that Surprise has now to the entire Maricopa County area. There are no proposed service changes for Surprise at this time. I went to a similar community outreach meeting in Mesa last month. Even though it is a county project, I felt as a Valley Metro Board Member, and as a Paratransit user, I needed to be there. Our Mayor was also at the Wednesday meeting, along with other Councilmembers.

Mayor Hall, Vice Mayor Winters and Councilmembers Hayden and Remley at the Valley Metro Public Hearing.

On Friday, July 19, I had a much anticipated tour of the Asante Branch Library construction site. The Mayor, and Councilmembers Hayden and Remley were also on the tour. I would like to thank Adam with Haydon Construction for doing the work and the tour; and thank you to Jeff, one of our city engineers. It is going to be a beautiful building with meeting rooms and glass walls for natural light.

Mayor Hall, Vice Mayor Winters and Councilmember Hayden at the Asante Library construction site.

Monday, July 22, I was in Phoenix at my Maricopa County Human Services Commission Meeting. Maricopa Human Services Department does some good things for people who are not as fortunate as most of us in Surprise. They help people pay their utility bills, rent payments, etc.

Wednesday, July 24, you found me on a tour at the One Step Beyond organization. They do a great job helping developmentally disabled folks get educated, find jobs, find housing, among other things. They are located right here in Surprise on Reems Road. This tour was organized by a constituent who lives in Surprise Farms II, Charles Collins, who has a special needs daughter.

Vice Mayor Winters on tour at the One Step Beyond organization.

A quick update sent from a constituent on the Dick McComb Dog Park. The lights are installed and working properly. Thank you Donna Miller and the Parks and Recreation team as now I know my residents can enjoy the park at night when the weather is a bit more tolerable.

Residents and their dogs at the newly illuminated Dick McComb Dog Park.

Some good news for my northwest district residents. The intersection of 163rd and Jomax will begin construction on Phase 1. This phase will include traffic signals and turn lanes. Fire Station 304, which is south of Happy Valley on 163rd, has also begun construction. I appreciate your patience during the construction times and know that this will benefit our residents greatly.

Well, I’ll close my newsletter for August, and will talk to you next month again. Be good to yourself and be good to each other.

Roland F. Winters Jr

July 2019 • Newsletter

A big shout out to all the residents of this great city of Surprise. Our population is quickly growing, and I believe we will easily reach 150,000 in 2020. June was a pretty busy month.

On June 4, we had our City Council Work Session at 4:00 p.m., followed by our City Council meeting at 6:00 p.m. There was a lot going on, not the least of which was the annexation of over a thousand acres in the northwest part of my district. There were many residents at the meeting who were opposed to it, and I can certainly see some of their issues.

Wednesday, June 5, I was at the ribbon cutting of a new phase of Marley Park. This is a great development with large houses, huge pool, nice community center and a basketball court. There is also a number of models to choose from.

Mayor Hall prepares to cut the ribbon alongside Vice Mayor Winters at the new phase of Marley Park ribbon cutting event.

Thursday, June 6, found me at the Boards and Commissions Selection Committee meeting at 5:00 p.m. This meeting was held to choose a candidate for a newly opened seat on the Veterans, Disability and Human Services Commission. I serve on this committee, alongside Councilmembers Remley and Sanders. The committee made their selection, and Council approved Larry Brown to fill the seat.

On Saturday, June 8, there was a great event for Jo Jo Collins, who is the daughter of a constituent, Charles Collins. Jo Jo has a rare disease called PURA Syndrome. She is in a wheelchair and is non-verbal. The event was set up to raise awareness for the special needs community, as well as to pull together the resources that are available in our city that connect special needs groups. If you are interested in being involved, please contact Charles at charlesl.collins@yahoo.com.

On Thursday, June 13, I was at a ribbon cutting with Councilmember Judd. We welcomed a new dental office, Breez Dental, which is located at 15331 W. Bell Road. The grand opening had a number of people in attendance. Welcome to Surprise, Dr. Whitney Sebree.

Friday, June 14 at 10:00 a.m. found me in the Friends of the Surprise Libraries meeting where I gave a presentation on the progress of the new Asante Library. This library is going to be a beautiful building located in the northwest area of my district. I am looking forward to seeing the finished product.

As long as we are talking about new buildings going up in District 1, how about our new Abrazo Community Health Center which will be located next to Winco? This small micro-hospital will offer a 24-hour emergency department as well as minor surgery, imaging, labs, pharmacy and other outpatient services. It is scheduled to open in spring of 2020.

We had another great ribbon cutting in the afternoon of Friday, June 14 with the opening of the Hilton Garden Inn on Young Street. The entire City Council attended. This is our first full service hotel in Surprise, and it is a good option for dinner. Needless to say, there was plenty of food at this event.

Mayor Hall prepares to cut the ribbon at the Hilton Garden Inn grand opening event along with Vice Mayor Winters.

On Monday, June 17, I had the honor to be in Goodyear for the swearing in ceremony of their newly elected councilmember, as well as returning councilmembers. Goodyear is a nice city, just a short distance to the south of us, and they seem to attract large companies to join their ranks.

Tuesday, June 18, was the afternoon of our City Council Work Session and evening of our City Council meeting, where action is taken.

Thursday, June 20, found me in the Valley Metro Board of Directors meeting at 101 N. 1st Street in Phoenix. This board is made up of a number of Mayors, Vice Mayors and Councilmembers from various cities and towns throughout Maricopa County. One agenda item was the election of officers. Councilman Jon Edwards, from Peoria, was appointed treasurer.

Monday, June 24, was another great ground breaking ceremony at Surprise Regional Library for the Veterans Reflection Circle in honor of Brian Mancini. We had a ceremony inside, and it had a large turn out with comments from those who knew Brian, companies that volunteered their service to build the memorial, and comments from Mayor Hall. There are going to be over 30 companies or individuals donating time, effort, and skills to accomplish this project. Following the ceremony, we all went outside to the actual groundbreaking. The committee that planned the memorial, Honor House, wanted it by the lake because Brian liked fishing and loved the outdoors. It will also have a garden and benches so anyone can come relax and reflect.

On June 25th at 9 a.m., I was at Red Mountain Active Adult Center in Mesa to listen to a presentation from Valley Metro. They want to start a Ride Choice System similar to the system we have in Surprise. While this is commendable, and I support this program, I only hope it will be more effective than ours has been.

That same day, I attended a celebration at the café in City Hall, to celebrate Dr. Dennis Tyner on his newly accepted role as President of OUAZ. He really works hard for that school, and deserves the promotion. I look forward to the future of Ottawa University and congratulate Dr. Tyner.

City Manager Michael Frazier, Mayor Hall, Councilmember Sanders, Dr. Dennis Tyner, Chief Terry Young, and Vice Mayor Winters.

I found myself at another ribbon cutting on June 27 at the Office Max store on Bell Road. Office Max and Office Depot (same company), formed a partnership with Lenovo California Computer Company, and they had a display right in the front part of the store. Councilmembers Nancy Hayden and Ken Remley were also present. Mayor Hall had a conflict in his schedule, so I welcomed Lenovo to Surprise. I think the Mayor would have done a better job. This arrangement is called a store within a store; there is only one other like it in Florida.

On the same afternoon, I was at yet another ribbon cutting at the Park at Surprise, which is a large independent living facility on Parkwood Drive. A crowd was there with plenty of food for all.

Friday June 18, I had a great tour of the O’Dell Athletic Center at Ottawa University, along with Councilmembers Judd and Hayden, and Mayor Hall. Thanks to Haydon Construction and Patrick (our tour guide) for the opportunity to see the interior of the athletic center before it is completed. From the outside, it does not look very large, but inside, it is huge – with a fitness center, and basketball courts with concert lighting and a stage that can transform the space for events. Thanks to Ottawa University for transforming the City of Surprise.

My next meeting will be on July 12 at 7:00 p.m. in the Community Center at Arizona Traditions, 18250 W Weatherby Drive. Please press 0000 and tell the guard you are going to my meeting, and he will open the gate.

My August meeting will be on August 9 at the same location and same time. It is an opportunity to give feedback on what you would like to see in our new downtown. Scott Phillips, the Vice-President of the Property Owners Consortium, will be there to guide us through the process and answer questions you may have.

One last thought I will leave you with, and that is thanks to the citizens of Surprise for allowing me the honor of being your Vice Mayor. Be good to yourself and be good to each other.

Roland Winters Jr.