A big shout out to my constituents in District One, and indeed to all the citizens of this great city we call Surprise. Well it has been another challenging month in May, not only dealing with COVID-19, but also now we are having riots across our great nation. We are so blessed to live here in Surprise where our residents are law abiding, and our great police force is interested in de-escalating an incident.
I am still operating out of my home office via emails and phone calls since the City is still pretty much shut down. We are trying to gradually return to normal (whatever that is). I have had emails and phone calls asking to open the dog parks ASAP and with the support of our City Manager we got those opened mid-May.
We did have a few events in May. On Wednesday, May 6th the entire Council went to the Senior Center on Hollyhock Street to give out lunches to the seniors as they drove into the parking lot and out again, we gave out 130 hot lunches in about 20 minutes.
Thursday, May 14th found the full Council at 8 p.m. in the stadium with a large display on the score board congratulating all of the graduating seniors in Surprise, with the Council in the foreground. I have so much empathy for those youngsters who worked hard to get their diplomas and not being able to walk across the stage. I remember getting my diploma, it wasn’t that long ago (or maybe it was). No matter how you celebrated, you will never forget it.
Then, of course, our Council meeting was on the 19th, still with no one in the Council Chambers except for Council, maybe sometime in August we may open up after the council takes their annual break in July.
Saturday, May 30th was a great day for the City of Surprise and Chance Shelter, who will be working together to have our first animal shelter in Surprise, not only an animal shelter, but a no kill shelter. At 8 a.m. on the 30th, we gathered together to celebrate the Land Dedication for the Chance Shelter. Courtland Homes (who are building Copper Canyon North) gave Chance Shelter 7 acres on which to build. The location of the shelter will be near the intersection on 183rd Avenue and Deer Valley Road. Our Animal Control Officers will no longer need to drive to Phoenix when they pick up any strays, but drive to our own shelter right here in Surprise. Audra and Greg Colson worked very hard to make this happen. I want to thank Hans from Courtland Homes for all his hard work to get this done and of course for the property. Chance Shelter has so many great volunteers like Helen, Bob, Mary, Gabe Rivas and many others.
So I hope you folks are staying home as much as possible, but wear those masks when you go out.
I will close for now, so as always, be good to yourself and be good to each other. I will be resuming my meetings, my constituents, as soon as AZ Traditions opens their community center. I will let everyone know when that happens.
Well, I can’t believe once again another month has gone by, and we are working on the last month of the year. I sure hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving with family and friends and that you are looking forward to the holidays.
November started off with the opening of a nice new restaurant, called Bonfire Craft Kitchen and Taphouse, located at 15332 W. Bell Road. The ribbon cutting was held on November 1 and the owner, Dave, and all employees were great. I wish them good luck on their new restaurant.
On Saturday night, November 2, there was a tailgate party at the Ottawa University football stadium. This celebration took place before the last regular season game and was sponsored by One Step Beyond and Charles Collins, one of my constituents. We had a great time with hotdogs, hamburgers and all that goes along with that. A big shout out to all of those who helped make this a success.
Sunday, November 3, found me at the Bell Point HOA Picnic on 184th Ave. and Legend. Many residents were there including my friend Lee Daniels. They are getting ready for all of the new neighbors that will soon be on Bell Point as soon as the development goes vertical.
On Monday, November 4, I was at the Friends of the Surprise Libraries meeting for their annual officer elections. The meeting was held in the Northwest Regional Library on Bullard Ave. They also have some Altrusa members as part of their organization.
That same afternoon, I was at a new rehab hospital grand opening located at 15150 W. Mondell Road. It is a beautiful facility and the folks were also very nice.
Of course, November 5 was the first Tuesday of the month and the evening of our Council Work Session followed by the Council Meeting, where action is taken.
Thursday, November 7, was WESTMARC’s Best of the West annual awards dinner celebration at the State Farm Stadium. Our Economic Development team has previously won an award, but this year, others were recognized.
On Friday, November 8, Canyon Ridge Elementary School put on a nice event for our veterans in their outside courtyard. Christopher Raso does a great job with these events, and I thank him for his continued efforts.
Following the Canyon Ridge event, I came to City Hall to help Linda Stevens celebrate her 25 years of service to the City of Surprise. Congratulations Linda, and here’s to many more years.
That same evening, I held my monthly meeting at 7:00 p.m. in the community center at Arizona Traditions. I would like to thank Neal and his team for reserving that spot for me every month.
Monday, November 11, was a great day for the City of Surprise, not only because it was Veterans Day, and we had a great celebration of our veterans with our beautiful parade, but also we cut the ribbon to our latest memorial to another great American, Brian Mancini. He was a true hero who served on the battlefield as a medic when an IED hit his vehicle. The memorial is located behind the library on Bullard, by the lake. It is a beautiful space to sit and reflect.
Tuesday, November 12, was a breakfast for leaders of the local area at Marley Park Heritage Hall. Following the breakfast, I headed to City Hall for the retirement ceremony of Ruby Sitea. The last stop of the day was a ribbon cutting for Vein Envy.
On Wednesday, November 13, we had another grand opening and ribbon cutting at Ugly Tuna Sushi, 15459 W. Bell Road. Daniel and his wife are the owners and their whole team treated us great. The entire council was there to welcome them as well as taste their great food.
On Saturday, November 16, we visited Fire Station 303 at Cotton Ln. and Greenway Rd. This is the start of the Fire Station Open Houses where you can visit the stations and meet the firefighters. There are two in my district. Check the city calendar at www.surpriseaz.gov for future dates.
We had another ribbon cutting on Monday, November 18 for the Surprise Health and Rehab Center at 14660 W. Parkwood Drive. We just keep on growing!
That same evening, I was off to Phoenix to join my colleagues on the Maricopa County Human Services Commission. This group aims to give a helping hand to the folks in our county that are less fortunate than most. We, unfortunately, have more people that you’d think living below poverty level.
Tuesday, November 19, I was in a meeting with our finance team concerning some possible amendments to our budget. After that, I went to my Board and Commission Selection Committee Meeting. The committee reviewed some changes to bring to council to consider relating to the Veterans, Disability and Human Services Commission.
Wednesday, November 20, was yet another day for a ribbon cutting at the second location for Richi’s Diner at 17221 N. Litchfield Road. Liza and her team were very gracious to all of us in attendance. The menu is varied and the diner is spacious. Karaoke happens on Wednesday nights.
On Thursday night, the Mike Nesbitt Show was streamed live from Buffalo Wild Wings on 13882 W. Bell Road. Mayor Hall and Councilman Sanders were guest speakers. If you don’t know who Coach Nesbitt is, he is the Head Football Coach for Ottawa University in Surprise. This year the football team had only one loss in their regular season.
The community manager and the board at Arizona Traditions invited the Mayor to speak in front of the residents in the ballroom on Friday, November 22. Councilmember Hayden and I were present as well. The Mayor went over all of the things happening in Surprise and some things to attend to an almost standing room only audience. He was greeted with appreciation, applause and a couple of kind comments. I want to thank the folks at Traditions for inviting our Mayor to this Town Hall as it has been a number of years since a Surprise Mayor has been invited into this community.
I was honored on Saturday, November 23, to act as a judge at the Chance Shelter Fundraiser “Most Like My Owner” Dog Competition and Fashion Show. It was a very successful event with a great turn out. Audra, Gregg and the entire team did a great job, which raised some much needed funds to build their no kill shelter in Surprise. I want to thank Lew Goldstein, Manager of the Toyota Dealership, for hosting this event for the 2nd year in a row with no charge to Chance Shelter.
On Tuesday, November 26, I was in a meeting with a three constituents, one lady from Bell West Ranch and Mike Gent, our Public Works Director, to discuss plans for bringing back our recycling program. This meeting was asked for by Ro from Northwest Ranch, and I believe most of her concerns and questions were answered. It was explained that we are working on the issue and that it is an issue that many residents want us to solve.
Well, I will close for now and talk to you again at the end of the year. Don’t forget our big Christmas party and tree lighting on Friday, December 6.
Hi to all our residents in Surprise. As we experience the heat of the summer months, just remember, Bell Road has less traffic. The month started off with a large attendance at the Surprise Area Interfaith & Golden Rule Community Breakfast, hosted by the Salvation Army, on May 1. There were many religions represented and all had an opportunity to pray together for peace and civility in this world.
As always, the first and third Tuesday of each month hosts our City Council workshop and regular meetings. These meetings are where we take action on items.
Friday, May 10, found me in the Read on America meeting with Alyson Cline and her team. They do great things with the schools to help make sure all of our kids can read. That same night was my meeting at the community room, located at 18250 W. Weatherby Drive. There was a good crowd.
On Saturday, I was invited to a picnic that was hosted by Chance Shelter. This was a fund raiser, and I met the board members. As you probably know, they will build a no kill shelter in Surprise as soon as they get more funding. This is a great group of people, and I wish them the best of luck.
Monday, May 13, found me at a meeting in the newest hotel, the Hilton, for a housing project going up out off of Sun Valley Parkway, called Mesquite Mountain Ranch.
I was at a meeting on Tuesday, in Sun City Grand, listening to some folks from Epcor. They are going to give some money back if you live in the Agua Fria District. For more information on the Epcor rate changes, offers or programs please visit www.epcor.com/assistance.
Since I am on the Valley Metro Board, I was in downtown Phoenix for a workshop beginning at 9:00 a.m. which was followed by the board meeting at 11:00 a.m. Once the meeting was over, I had to come back to City Hall for another meeting.
Friday, May 17, found me and my family at the Police Awards Dinner held at CCV. The church has been a great partner for the city whenever meeting space is needed. It is always nice to hear all those stories of bravery and of our finest men and women literally saving lives. Stories of kindness are happening everyday within the Surprise Police Department. For example, when one officer found that a resident was not going to have a nice Christmas for her and her children, due to lack of money, he took up a collection at the station. Donations from other officers and himself, allowed him to deliver gifts to their house.
The next day, Saturday May 18, I was invited to help celebrate the light rail extension to Gilbert Road in Mesa. It is a great project, but very expensive. Its cost is approximately $40 million a mile.
On May 21, you could find me at the council workshop followed by the regular council meeting.
Then on Thursday, May 23, I had a meeting with a developer who wants to build a tract of homes in my district, just to the east of Grand Ave, called Copper Canyon South. It will contain very nice homes.
On the same afternoon, I had my once a month meeting with the Mayor. These meetings are requested by the Mayor as he likes to keep the councilmembers up-to-date on city updates, and he also likes to get D1 updates from me.
Saturday morning, May 25, all councilmembers met at the World War II Memorial. The memorial honors the pilots from Luke who lost their lives during the war. There was a large crowd which included veterans and civilians. Thank you to George Van de Langeryt for organizing the event, and to the riders from VFW Post 96.
On Memorial Day, I gathered at the Nicky Bacon Memorial, which is in the courtyard at City Hall. A wreath was laid in his honor. Nicky Bacon won the Congressional Medal of Honor for his bravery in Vietnam, saving many lives and going on to become the City Manager of Surprise. It was a great day honoring his service with the Bacon family.
On Wednesday, May 29, I was honored to participate in the ground breaking of Heritage at Asante. This will be a 1500 home, gated and age restricted, development. The community will include pools, lakes, a community center, putting green and much more. The home site will contain many different models and opportunities. It will be a beautiful place to live, and I would like to thank Mr. Jones and Lennar Building.
I had two meetings at City Hall on May 30 followed by the Board and Commission Selection Committee meeting. The committee meeting allowed the members to choose a candidate to fill the Veterans, Disability and Human Services Commission opening. This committee includes myself, Councilman Remley and Councilman Sanders. We had a total of 13 applicants so the meeting took quite a while.
On the last day of May, I had to go to a League of Cities meeting in Phoenix. I am a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee for the League. This committee is a cross section of Mayors and Councilmembers throughout Arizona. The purpose is to bring forth resolutions and/or ideas to the conference. This year, the conference will be held in August down in Tucson.
Well folks, I am going to close for now.
Be good to yourself and be good to each other. Also, try and stay cool.