Well, hello to all my friends in District 1, indeed to everyone in the great city we call Surprise. May started great with an invitation from Beth to speak with residents who live in my newest HOA, Rancho Mercardo, in the northwest part of this city, right up against Peoria. So the Mayor and I spent a pleasant afternoon with those folks from all over the United States. The first phase of Rancho Mercado, called Al Meria, is almost finished.
Monday, May 3rd, you could find me at AZProSuites for their ribbon cutting. They are located at 15331 W. Bell Road, Suite 312. They have office space to rent out to start-up businesses. It was an excellent ribbon cutting, and it is good to be back to live ribbon cuttings instead of looking at a computer.
That same day we met to congratulate Donna Miller on her retirement at a gathering attended by many Surprise employees who were there to see her off. Donna was our Director of Parks and Recreation for many years. Happy travels, Donna.
That same evening I was in the school at Asante to hear some new details on Enclave Point, which is being developed in the northwest area of my district and is being annexed into Surprise. I also had a tour of Fire Station 304 on 163rd Avenue, so I had a busy day.
On May 4th, we had our workshop at 4:30 pm and the City Council Meeting at 6 pm and a pretty full agenda. Then on Wednesday, May 5th, the Council Members were in the community room interviewing potential police chief candidates to replace Terry Young, who is now the Assistant City Manager. Benny Pina from the Peoria Police Department got the job of Police Chief with the City of Surprise Police Department.
On May 7th, the Mayor and I had lunch in a Japanese restaurant called Sakura, in District 1, and it is a lovely place to relax and have a meal. The Mayor meets with each Council Member at a restaurant in their district to catch up on what is happening across the City of Surprise. Anyway, Sakura is located at 16433 W. Bell Road, so go check it out.
May 12th at 6 pm found me back at the preparatory school at 23251 N. 166th Drive in Asante to discuss the erection of billboards along the Loop 303, so I would like to have an unofficial survey as to your feelings about billboards along the 303.
My Valley Metro meeting was on Thursday, May 13th, but we are still doing them via Zoom, so I had to go into City Hall for that meeting, but I guess that’s better than going to Phoenix.
Friday, May 14th, found me at California Pools and Landscape at 15240 N. Cotton Lane at 9 am for a ribbon-cutting. What beautiful pools they build. They had tons of photos showing their work.
That evening I started up my meetings after 13 months of the pandemic and had great attendance, mostly folks from the 163rd Avenue and Jomax Road area. We mainly talked about the traffic up there, but when most of the building is finished, we will have 163rd Avenue going through to State Route 74, Happy Valley Road going toward the Loop 303, and right now to Jomax Road, then north on 145th Avenue to Peoria.
On Saturday, May 15th, we had a ribbon cutting ceremony at the beautiful new Gaines Park at 15837 N. Nash Street to honor Floyd Gaines, an early city councilmember. He built the first baseball field in Surprise for all the kids to play baseball. We even had some of Floyd’s relatives, like his son and daughter, in attendance.
May 17th found me at another outreach meeting at the Asante School 23251 N. 166th Drive. On Tuesday, May 18th, we all had to arrive at City Hall at 2:30 pm to get a group photo of the entire 2021 Council. Then, of course, we had our Council Meeting with another full schedule.
Thursday, May 20th, was my Valley Metro meeting. We had a meeting already this month, but that was to approve the budget, and we are still using Zoom. These meetings usually go on for two to three hours, but they have important information, and the City of Surprise needs to have a seat at the table.
On Monday, May 24th, I had two meetings, one about transportation and the other meeting was about our development strategy. Tuesday at 5 pm, we had our Boards and Commissions Nominations Committee meeting with Councilmember Remley and Councilmember Cline joining me. This committee interviews the folks who want to be part of one of our many commissions and boards in Surprise.
I received a phone call from Mike, who lives out in the Sun Valley Parkway area. He wanted to meet with me about the requirements of our municipal property code. We met at City Hall with 15-20 neighbors from “the country” Sun Valley Parkway, and we continued that conversation into my meeting and the workshop meeting on June 15th. I think after that meeting, most residents felt better about the codes. Should anyone have any questions or concerns, please call Tiffany Copp at 623.222.3000.
Saturday, May 29th, found me at the World War ll memorial next to the library to honor those soldiers who gave their all. We had a pretty good bunch of veterans and civilians.
So as you can see, we are getting busy and back to order. I’ll sign off for now, so be good to yourself and be good to each other.
Roland F. Winters Jr.