Tag Archives: groundbreaking

June 2019 • Newsletter

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.

Vice Mayor Winters attending the Chance Shelter picnic.

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.

Vice Mayor Winters and Councilmembers at the Heritage at Asante ground breaking ceremony.

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.

May 2017 • Newsletter

A big shout out to all the residents in District 1 and to everyone who lives in this great city we call Surprise! Please note that I will not be hosting my Friday Night meeting on May 12. My next meeting will be held on Friday, June 9 at 7 p.m. in the Community Center at the Retreat at Arizona Traditions.

April began with a relaxing few hours listening to the Surprise POPS Band at the Valley Vista Performing Arts Center on Sunday, April 2. If you’ve never been to one of their performances, it is most definitely worth your time. Admission is free with the donation of a canned food item which the band donates to the Valley View Food Bank. Not only do you get free admission, but you also pay it forward by helping to feed some of our less fortunate neighbors.

Rancho Mercado GroundbreakingDistrict 1 and the remainder of the city celebrated the groundbreaking of Rancho Mercado on Tuesday, April 4. The William Lyon Homes development is located in a six square-mile area along Happy Valley Road (in the area of 147th Avenue & Jomax). The development plans to provide a variety of affordable housing options including single-family and multi-family residential, as well as retail and commercial services and much more. Rancho Mercado’s projected population is more than 12,000 residents at build out. The roads are scheduled to be built first followed by the completion of Happy Valley Road to the east. It will take approximately 1.5 years to complete the infrastructure prior to the building of the homes.

The city continues to work on acquiring the right-of-ways from private property owners (north of Jomax) so we can start repairing the roads in the northwestern portion of District 1. I wish we could expedite the acquisitions but the process takes time.

I attended the Citizen Patrol Banquet on Friday, April 7 at the Sun City Grand Cimarron Center. The Citizen Patrol volunteers contribute many hours to our city by directing traffic to help keep us safe, performing vacation checks on our homes and helping with Spring Training. Our Surprise Police Department greatly appreciates their efforts and the many hours they volunteer assisting our first responders.

As you know, City staff has been busy working on the budget for the last few months. The FY18 budget will be very tight due to unforeseen increases to the state Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS), but we are still able to maintain our services to our residents. I regret to report that city staff will not receive increases this year but at least we have avoided layoffs.

The Surprise Capital Improvement Funding Exploratory Committee was briefed by city staff last month on proposed capital improvement projects that may be included in three separate bond questions this fall. Discussion of the bond questions will occur at our City Council Work Session scheduled for May 16 at 4 p.m. If Council approves the bond questions for voter consideration, I anticipate the city will host several community meetings to further elaborate on the bond projects before a November election.

The City of Surprise Fire-Medical Department (SFMD) was awarded a $8,351 Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety grant to “enhance DUI Alcohol Education and Awareness throughout the City of Surprise.” SFMD worked in conjunction with the Surprise Police Department, Helicopter Air-Medical and Logistics Operations, the Dysart Unified School District, and Valley Vista High School to coordinate a Drunk/Distracted Driving Mock Crash for over 2,600 students at Valley Vista High School on Wednesday, April 19. The demonstration was very emotional and truly captured what could happen when someone chooses to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The devastating outcome of these accidents not only impacts the people associated in the accidents but their friends and family as well. Surprise TV taped the drill and will share it with other high schools to further the outreach.

Drunk/Distracted Driving Mock Crash

On April 21, my wife and I attended the Surprise Police Appreciation Dinner at Christ Church of the Valley (CCV). CCV was a fantastic venue, and I thank them for all they did to make this event successful for our law enforcement officials. The theme for this year’s event was “The Thin Blue Line – the line between order and chaos.” Police Department employees and family members, along with City Directors and their families and Councilman Skip Hall and I joined together to show appreciation for and to recognize employees and volunteers of the Surprise Police Department who, through their commitment to excellence, have helped make the Department what it is today. Dr. Dennis J. Tyner, Vice President and Provost of Ottawa University AZ, was the Master of Ceremonies. The 2016 award winners were as follows:

Civilian of the Year – Yolanda Zamora; Supervisor of the Year – Jennifer Guthrie; Officer of the Year – Tyler Johnson; Rookie of the Year – Michelle Cain; Detective of the Year – Kristy Coats; Citizens Patrol Volunteer of the Year – James Gearns; Volunteer of the Year – Tina Jennings; Medal of Merit – Russell Jurn; Police Shield – Adam Layton; Lifesaving Award – Joanna Massimillo – Vallet.

The Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission sponsored a free public art bus tour to the Desert Caballeros Museum in Wickenburg to see the Cowgirl Up exhibit. If you have not been to that museum yet, it is well worth the trip! A special thank you to Commission Chair Susan DeJong and Commission Vice Chair Margaret Liu for organizing this trip. The resident turn-out was good, and the museum was fantastic!

On April 26, I attended the Northwest Valley Connect Advisory Committee meeting at City Hall and toured the Valley Metro Mobility Center in Phoenix. Both events covered upcoming changes to the Dial-a-Ride program, which will become RideChoice on July 1, 2017. At the tour, we were educated on how one becomes ADA-certified to utilize the RideChoice system. If you have not yet been certified, it is very easy to do so. You just need to call 602.716.2100, and someone will help you through the process. The new system, RideChoice, will operate 24/7 and will provide numerous ride options. If you have already registered with Valley Metro for services, you will soon receive a letter from them explaining the new service. We have approximately 700 residents utilizing the system right now and, thankfully, the new system will be able to accept more riders. If you have any questions regarding the new service, please feel free to contact me. If I don’t have the answer for you, I will find the answer and call you back.

On April 29, I participated in a tour of our city parks with City staff and members of the CRS Commission. We assessed the condition of the parks to identify how we may improve them in the future.

One last reminder that I will not be hosting my Friday Night meeting in May. My next meeting will be held on Friday, June 9 at 7 p.m. in the Community Center at the Retreat at Arizona Traditions.

I will close for now… so be good to yourself, and be good to each other.

Roland F. Winters Jr.

April 2017 • Newsletter

Happy April to the residents of District 1 and all of Surprise! March was a very busy month for everyone at City Hall. April began with a great start for me. I was invited to attend the Asante community picnic at Southwind Park. It was a great gathering of a lot of our homeowners there. We had a visit from our firefighters from Fire Station 304 with one of their fire trucks. The kids really enjoyed it! Thank you to our firefighters for stopping by.

On March 7, I attended a meeting with Mayor Sharon Wolcott, Councilman Skip Hall and staff from Valley Metro to discuss upcoming changes to the Dial-A-Ride system. As I mentioned in last month’s newsletter, the current Dial-a-Ride name and program will discontinue and the new service models will begin July 1, 2017 with three different transportation options depending on the user. For all my friends that utilize the current system, we know there have been some problems with Discount Cab service, but I will reserve my judgment until after a few months of operation. Some of you may have read about the new service in the last issue of our Progress Magazine. City and Valley Metro staff will present the new model (s) at our City Council Work Session on April 18.

I hosted a meeting for residents located in the northern area of District 1, near 163rd Avenue, on March 9. The residents expressed their concerns regarding the conditions of the roads in their area. We have a few obstacles to overcome. First and foremost, we need to acquire some right-of-way from private land owners and have made progress on that since our meeting. We’ve created a network to communicate information to the residents on the progress. I am optimistic we can make some improvements for these residents.

Northwest Valley Connect (NWVC) held a fundraiser, Motors on Wheels, in Sun City West on Saturday, March 11. For those of you who are not familiar with NWVC, they are a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that provides transportation services for seniors and people with disabilities to overcome existing service gaps. This marked their first fundraiser that included a car show, food trucks, a live DJ and much more. Northwest Valley Connect recently completed their second full year of operation, responding to more than 3,500 calls for service.

On Sunday, March 12, I left for Washington D.C. to attend the National League of Cities Conference and meet with our Congressional representatives to discuss our city’s needs. US Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake hosted a joint meeting for the Arizona delegation at the US Capitol. The trip was very productive, and I am optimistic after having receptive meetings with our representatives.

The City’s Economic Development team hosted an appreciation tent event at Surprise Stadium on Friday, March 17 for our businesses, prospective development opportunities and local partners. I look forward to this event each year as it provides us with an opportunity to network and build on the relationships with our economic drivers to continue to be a self-sustaining city.

On March 22, I attended one of several Citizen Review Hearings on the city’s Sign Code update. Updating the Ordinance is a difficult task as it includes changes regarding A-frame signs many of our businesses utilize. We are not anti-business, but we also want the city to look clean and beautiful for our residents.

Christopher Todd Communities broke ground at the future Christopher Todd Communities on Greenway project. The area is located on the southwest corner of Greenway and Litchfield roads. This unique project will offer 136 one and two-bedroom private rental residences with a gated entry, charming detached homes with front and backyards, optional detached garages, community park with a pet washing station and a community pool.

Councilmembers Hayden, Hall, Remley and Winters
Councilmembers Hayden, Hall, Remley and Winters at Christopher Todd Communities groundbreaking

Representative Tony Rivero invited me to attend a reception at Phoenix Country Club to meet with ten leaders from the Sonoran Legislature. District 21 Representative Rivero is building relationships in Sonora, Mexico as he realizes it is imperative to have strong relationships amongst elected officials and our trade partners. The reception was successful with several elected officials on both side of the border present.

City Council will soon discuss another general bond initiative that may be on the next ballot in November. You should expect changes to the initiative compared to last year. I believe residents will feel better about the changes. More information and discussions are expected at upcoming City Council meetings.

Please don’t forget my next monthly meeting on Friday, April 14 at the Retreat Community Center, 18250 W. Weatherby Drive. Upon arrival at the gate, please let the guard know you are there for my meeting. I’d like to talk to you, hear your concerns and comments.

Until next time, please be good to yourself and be good to each other!

Regards,

Roland F. Winters Jr.
Councilman, District 1