I want to give a big shout-out to all the great folks here in the City of Surprise. Let me start by apologizing to all of you who read my newsletter for being a little late this month. We are starting to get back to normal, and things are getting busier after the summer break. August began with a bang and found me on August 5 at a Surprise Police Department retirement celebration honoring Lieutenant John Bacon, held in the Council Chambers.
On August 10 at 12:30 p.m., the Mayor and I had lunch at Babbos, in District 1, which has a great lunch menu. The Mayor meets with each Council Member at a restaurant in their district monthly to catch up on what is happening across the City of Surprise. Friday, August 13, I had my AZ Traditions Chat held at The Retreat at AZ Traditions at 7:00 p.m., which had a good turnout.
On Tuesday, August 17, we had our workshop at 4 p.m. and the City Council Meeting at 6 p.m. with a full agenda. That same evening the Official Oath of Office was issued to the City’s new police chief, Benny Piña, by Judge Dominguez. He previously served as the deputy police chief in Peoria since 2014. Before that, he served 25 years with the Phoenix Police Department.
The next City Council meeting will take place on Tuesday, September 7, 2021, at 6 p.m.
On Thursday, August 19, we met to congratulate Terry Young on his retirement at a gathering attended by many Surprise employees who were there to see him off. Terry Young was our Assistant City Manager for a short time. Best of luck to you, Terry.
The same day, I had my Valley Metro meeting, but we are still doing them via Zoom, so I attended from my office at City Hall, but I guess that’s better than going to Phoenix.
Wednesday, August 25, we welcomed Crumbl Cookies to Surprise at their official ribbon cutting. Crumbl Cookies is located at 13983 W. Waddell Road, Suite 100. Congratulations to owners Jason and Lindsey Armstrong. We wish you the best of luck here in Surprise.
Below are some upcoming events happening here in Surprise are:
September 11, from 8:30-9:30 a.m. 9-11 Remembrance Ceremony in the City Hall outdoor courtyard.
September 19, from 3-7 p.m. Sunday in the Park at Mark Coronado Park, 15850 N. Bullard Avenue, Surprise.
October 8, from 7-8:30 p.m. D1 AZ Traditions Chat at The Retreat, 18250 W. Weatherby Drive, Surprise.
October 9, from 5-10 p.m. 8th Annual Fiesta Grande at Villanueva Recreation Complex, 15660 N. Hollyhock Street.
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.
Well, a big shout-out to all our great residents in this hometown we call Surprise. June started with a bang and found me on June 1 in a workshop, then a council meeting at 6 p.m. On June 2 at 3 p.m., I met with the Surprise Youth Council to listen to their projects and strategies for this fiscal year. We have some very smart young folks living in our city. We all met in one of the large rooms at Ottawa University, a great school right here in Surprise.
On Thursday, June 10, I had a meeting with Dysart Unified School District Superintendent Quinn Kellis. We met for about an hour and a half to see how the school district can help city and vice versa. We had a good exchange of ideas; and as a matter of fact, Dr. Kellis has already turned the showroom at Valley Vista into an entertainment venue and is calling it The Vista. So instead of having the building empty, he has brought shows in there.
On June 11, we had a ribbon-cutting at the new Ohana Salon in District 1, located at 13980 W. Bell Road, Suite 5. Good luck with your new salon in Surprise.
On Monday, June 14, we did a ribbon cutting for another new business in Surprise. It’s an automotive repair shop at 13260 W. Foxfire Dr. called White Eagle Auto Repair.
The same day, I had a virtual meeting at City Hall with the folks at League of Cities and Towns because I am on their transportation committee. We are getting ready for our conference in Phoenix at the end of August.
The Council had their last meeting for a while on June 15, a workshop meeting and a council meeting where action is taken. The next Council meeting will take place on Tuesday, August 17, 2021. I hope to see you there.
Monday, June 28 found me at a ribbon-cutting for a large gaming center. It’s called Dungeon Gaming Center at 15557 W Bell Rd, Suite 409. Welcome to Surprise!
Tuesday, June 29, many city of Surprise employees were in attendance at a little party for Lisa Angelini’s retirement celebration. Lisa was well-liked; you could tell by the crowd that was there. Have fun in your retirement Lisa, and you will be missed.
On Wednesday, June 30, District 1 got another new business with a ribbon-cutting at BADAZ Axes located at 16630 W Greenway Rd, Suite 309. It is an axe-throwing venue, but soon they will have an escape room, which will also be a lot of fun.
Well, I will close for now, so be good to yourself and be good to each other.
Hi out there to the residents of District 1 and all the citizens of Surprise. As I sit here on a beautiful Easter Sunday morning, writing my umpteenth newsletter to all my friends, I can’t help but be hopeful. Hopeful because I think we are getting this COVID-19 under control, we are all getting a chance to obtain our vaccine, and we are slowly opening things up, but we still need to be on our guard for a while longer.
March was a little busier for me, but still had those virtual meetings. March started right off with a City Council Meeting on the 2nd, which had a pretty good-sized agenda. On March 4, I had a meeting with the new Vice President at Ottawa University, Todd Simpson. The University has done such a great job since coming to the City of Surprise, and it’s wonderful that we have such a good partnership with them.
Monday, March 8, I attended the class the City puts on about the workings of the City. City Academy is a free class for the residents of Surprise. The Mayor, myself and the rest of the council members happened to be on the other side of the questions on what we do, our backgrounds, and biographies. If you have not taken this class, you should sign up for the next one at surpriseaz.gov/cityacademy.
On Wednesday, March 10 at 1 p.m., I helped Suzanne Smith celebrate her store’s first anniversary. Pure Water Nutrition is located at 16630 W. Greenway Road, Suite 314. Pure Water Nutrition provides reverse osmosis and alkaline water. The store also sells some excellent ice cream. It’s located just around the corner from North West Ranch, so visit her and check out the photos below.
Thursday, March 11, I was at City Hall to discuss the new Fry’s going up on the corner of Pat Tillman and 163rd. It was a virtual meeting for all the stakeholders to receive their overall consensus. The general feeling was that they wanted the project. I’m very excited for my friends in the northwest part of my district. It has been a long time coming – about 11 years.
On Saturday afternoon, most of the Council were at Surprise Stadium to meet some of our Legislative District 22 State Representatives such as Frank Carroll and Senator Rick Gray, to name a few; all great people. It was a very windy day.
Of course, on Tuesday, March 16, we had our City Council Meeting with a reasonably short agenda. Then on Wednesday, March 17, I was in the Surprise TV studio to tape some footage for our State of the City video presentation which will be aired on Tuesday, April 13 on Cox Channel 11 at 6 p.m. and will be repeated from time to time and also shown online at surpriseaz.gov/SurpriseTV and posted on social media.
On Thursday, March 18, I attended my Valley Metro meeting virtually from my office at City Hall with some discussion about trying to get back to normal as we get out of this pandemic. I returned to City Hall at 5:30 p.m. that day to be present for another virtual meeting with Kelly Hall and the rest of the Board members of North West Ranch HOA. I was invited to their meeting to discuss what to do about making Sarival Ave. safer to drive on because the road curves and people speed on it. There are more than the usual number of accidents on that road. We will do something to mitigate that dangerous road, and we have been actively having meetings and talking about the problem.
On March 24, I was back at City Hall to have yet another virtual meeting from my office at 6 p.m. about the storage unit going in on the access easement parallel to Grand Ave. and near the intersection of 163rd Ave. I was impressed with the architecture of the building. It does not look like a storage place. The storage unit will be another addition for my friends in the northwest part of my district. It was great to have a few residents attend that meeting.
Friday afternoon on March 26, you would have found me at our stadium with the Mayor and Council for an award to our great volunteers, the Sundancers. It was a congressional award presented by Congresswoman Debbie Lesko for all the hard work our Sundancers do taking care of our guests who attend the spring training games. The city also inducted into our baseball hall of fame, Charlie Pride, Buck O’Neil and others. Thanks, Debbie!
The last day of March was a long day for me, starting with a 4-hour training class for FEMA at City Hall – virtual, of course. Then, off to a lunch meeting with the Mayor to catch up with each other. Then a 2 p.m. meeting back at City Hall to discuss how many parks we can build in future years, where to build them, how big, etc. We know we are behind in parks and recreation space, but we are taking steps to correct that in future years. My last meeting that day was about our budget and keeping from overspending our income. Thankfully, we did not get hit as hard as we thought financially by the pandemic due to our entire Finance Department’s skill and professionalism.
So you can see we are picking up in this great City we call Surprise, and we are getting a handle on this virus. I am starting up my monthly meetings on May 14, 2021, and I believe it is safe to do so. They will be on the second Friday of the month at the community center in Arizona Traditions beginning at 7 p.m. and usually go until 8:30 p.m. We will follow the social distancing encouraged by the CDC, and face masks will be optional. The address of the community center is 18250 W. Weatherby Drive. Your GPS will get you to my gate. On the phone box, push “0” four times. When the guard answers, tell them you are here to attend my meeting. The Community Center is on your left. Well, I will close for now, so be good to yourself and be good to each other.
Hello to all my friends in Surprise, and I hope you are all well and safe. Things seem to be getting a little better. Folks are starting to get their vaccines. I will be getting my booster shot next week, but we must keep our guard up; we can’t relax just yet. I can’t believe that we have been fighting this pandemic for a full year.
City Hall is still closed to the general public, most of the Council are working from our home offices, and most meetings continue to be on Zoom.
On Wednesday, January 13th, I received my first vaccine shot to help fight COVID-19 at Banner Sun City West. Everything went very well, and the staff was very organized.
I attended my Valley Metro meeting on the 21st of January and again online from City Hall.
I know we have some Whataburger fans in Surprise. Well, I have some good news. The City of Surprise Economic Development Department tells us that Whataburger is building next to Costco, so get ready for a burger.
The Greenway Road improvement project is underway. Utility work for this project is requiring the closure of Sarival Avenue from Custer Lane to Greenway Road until March 1, 2021. The Greenway Road improvement project will add two travel lanes and eliminate areas where the roadway merged into one lane. The project is scheduled to be complete in November 2021, weather permitting.
We do have some openings on our Commissions and Boards, so the Boards and Commissions Nominations Committee will be meeting in early February to fill those seats. If you have an interest, you can call our City Clerk’s office at 623-222-1200.
Surprise Day of Service February 20 and March 20 beginning at 8 a.m. Volunteer to help out with various projects, including landscaping, painting, trimming of shurbs, debris removal and more. To volunteer, please contact Larry Garcia at email@example.com. For more information, please visit Surprise-Day-of-Service.
Tax assistance program – The City of Surprise has partnered again with A New Leaf who facilitates the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. The program will begin on Feb 8th at the Surprise Resource Center and Feb 10th at Riverboat Bingo. To make an appointment call the Surprise Resource Center at 623-222-1600. For additional information, click here.
Community Legal Services – Is proud to offer Lunchtime Law Lessons every Friday on a variety of topics. Every session is a Zoom Virtual Workshop. Click here to register and join Legal Staff for live No-Cost workshops! February 12 – Male Victims of Abuse February 19 – TBD February 26 – Social Security Denials and Appeals March 5 – Consumer Law and Federal Student Loan updates
National Community Survey coming soon – What do you love about living in Surprise? The National Community Survey will be mailed to select households this month and offered online to the community at large beginning in mid-March. Details will be provided at www.surpriseaz.gov when they become available.
Well a big shout out to my constituents in District One, and indeed every resident in this great city in which we are lucky to live in, and a happy and safe New Year to all.
This year, of course, will be remembered by everyone for the challenging times, the pandemic, people being laid off, economic down turn, and of course the terrible loss of many lives.
In spite of all we have been through, District One has opened a library, finally got a traffic light at 163rd and Jomax Road, we have a new fire station at 163rd Avenue, and started making all the necessary improvements on Greenway Road, including a needed traffic light at Northwest Ranch Parkway and Greenway Road.
The City of Surprise as a whole managed to get Costco, an Amazon Distribution Warehouse, soon to be condominiums in City Center, and all of the road improvements have been accomplished thanks to the residents voting for our Bond three years ago.
I am excited for my friends in the northwest part of my district. As I said last month, not only is a Fry’s going in at 163rd Avenue and Pat Tillman Boulevard, but also a little shopping area. A QT gas station is also going in at 163rd Avenue and Grand Avenue.
On Saturday, December 5th, the council took part in Shop with a Cop at Kohl’s Department Store, sponsored by the Mavericks, to give needy children a chance to shop for themselves or others. This was our first time participating and it went really well. We hope to do this effort every year with the Mavericks. Much thanks for our men and woman in blue for helping the kids that day.
On Tuesday, December 8th, the Boards and Commissions Nomination Committee met to fill some openings on our various commissions. We did find some folks to fill these chairs and the meeting was over by 7 p.m.
On December 16th, one of my constituents wanted to donate some money to the police toy drive for the kids, so I met him at the Police Station and Chuck Collins gave them a check. That was very nice of him to make a joyous Christmas for so many deserving kids.
There are going to be some big changes in January in our leadership in Surprise. Mark Schott, our Assistant City Manager, is retiring and our police chief, Terry Young, is being moved to the fourth floor at City Hall to be our new Assistant City Manager. Geoffrey Leggett (our Assistant Police Chief) will be the Interim Police Chief, pending a recruitment process. On top of all of that, we had a new councilmember start on January 5th, District 2 Councilmember Aly Cline.
I am very optimistic about 2021. We will finally get a handle on this terrible pandemic now that we finally have the vaccine. We just need a plan to get it into people’s arms, and then the economy will follow. Take care my friends
A big shout out to the residents of this great city we live in. Not much really new, except for a few things this month. As you know, we are still shut down at City Hall for public access. Beginning with our December 1 Work Session and Council meeting, no members of the public will be allowed in the Council Chambers, however, the meeting can be seen live on Channel 11 if you have Cox, or on your computer at www.surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv or the city’s Facebook page. This will hold true until further notice.
It looks like we may have a vaccine for this terrible virus by this month. We are all very happy to see this, I am sure. We all need to keep doing what we have been doing, and hang in there with the face masks, washing our hands often, and the social distancing, so we can all be here to get vaccinated.
As has been happening for the last nine months, I have been attending most of my meetings via Zoom and telephone, and like most of you, I am getting COVID-19 fatigue.
We had our meeting of the Board and Commission Nominations Committee, of which I am the Chair, on Monday, November 9th. We do have some vacancies on the Arts Commission, Veterans, Disability, and Human Services Commission, and the Audit Committee to name a few, so if you have some extra time and would like to help the city, you can apply to volunteer for one of the commissions by calling the City Clerk’s Office at 623.222.1200 or visiting surpriseaz.gov/boards.
We changed the date of our first Council meeting in November to the 2nd because of Election Day. In spite of these challenging times, we in the Surprise City Government, are pushing forward with many permits for development, including commercial.
I am so proud of our Economic Development Department, headed up by Jeanine Jerkovic. Jeanine and her team do a great job getting all kinds of commercial construction in Surprise.
To all my friends in the northwest part of my District (District 1) I want you to keep an eye on the corner of 163rd and Grand Avenue. I can’t say too much about it because it is still under development review. I am doing all I can to get more commercial development in your neck of the woods.
A note to the folks in Northwest Ranch. We are finally getting to improving Greenway Road, so there will be construction in the area, and yes, some dust; but when the widening of Greenway Road is finished, you will have a fully functioning traffic light at Greenway Road and North West Ranch Parkway as well as straightening of Greenway Road near the 303. So, hang in there, and I ask for your patience during the construction.
The best news this month is that a grocery store is finally coming to my friends in the northwest part of my district. It’s official, the new Fry’s Asante Site Plan has been submitted for review at the Northwest corner of 163rd Avenue and Pat Tillman Boulevard. Plans for this new shopping center show a large Fry’s store with a pharmacy, gas station and some retail stores so our hard work and prayers paid off.
I want to take a minute here and thank all the citizens of Surprise for voting for the G.O. Bond in 2017. We are reaping the benefits with all of these beautiful new roads and repairs for some.
On Thursday, November 19th, I was in attendance at my monthly Valley Metro Meeting. I have been representing Surprise on the Board for two years now. When the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) and Valley Metro decide to start moving toward Surprise with some transit, someone must be at the table.
On Monday, November 30th, the Council was at the Christmas Tree in front of the stadium to light our tree as part of this year’s virtual Surprise Party. Our Communications Department is making a video to be shown, starting December 4th at 7 p.m., and replayed throughout the holidays. You can view it at surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv and see all of the Surprise Party details at surpriseaz.gov/surpriseparty. Because of COVID-19, this Christmas Season will be a little bit different.
Well, I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and happy holidays, and remember, be good to yourself and be good to each other.
Hi and a big shout out to all my friends and neighbors in this great city we have the good fortune to live in.
Let’s start off this month with some great news. I just got the word a couple of days ago that Amazon is coming to Surprise. Their facility will be located at the Rail Plex, have a 145,000 square foot building and hundreds of jobs to be filled. I must give our Economic Development Department kudos for a great job. Director Jeanine Jerkovic, Manager Mike Hoover, Kris Cassens, and many more worked many hours to bring this project to fruition. Good Job Everyone. News like this is especially uplifting in these times of campaign rhetoric saying that Surprise doesn’t get the big companies for the head of household jobs.
I would like to continue with some more good news. On Thursday, July 9th we did a groundbreaking for the Kansas City Royals living quarters right across the street from the Texas Rangers building. Of course, because of COVID-19, we had to do things a little differently, with only a few folks digging dirt, but we did take individual photos of the council with a golden shovel in their mask. This moment was in the works for nearly 10 years.
Just a note to my constituents in the North-West part of my district, I hope you are pleased with the improvement in the area; like widening 163rd, sidewalks and curbs, your new firehouse, and the traffic light at Jomax and 163rd. This area is being transformed.
I hope you all are wearing your masks and/or staying home when possible. As always take care of yourself and take care of each other.
Well, another big shout out to my district friends, and everyone in this great, and growing city that we all have the good fortune to live in. February started off with a bang, and you found me at the ribbon-cutting for our third library in Surprise. The Asante Library is a beautiful building in the northwest part of Surprise and Saturday, February 1st was a great day, for all of Surprise, but especially for residents of that part of the city. We not only had the mayor and council there, but Congresswoman Debbie Lesko and Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Clint Hickman also attended and said a few words. Plus, mother nature gave us a beautiful day.
On Monday, February 3rd, the council was at the ribbon-cutting of another new restaurant at 13621 N Litchfield, right next door to the AMC Theater, called the Amigo’s Mexican Grill. It has great ambience and is very spacious. We had a sampling of their food, and it was very good.
Of course, we had our workshop and council meeting on Tuesday night. On Wednesday, February 5th I was at the main Library on Bullard to judge a bookmark contest painted by many school children throughout Surprise. We had some tough choices for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.
On Thursday I had lunch with several employees from Total Ride to discuss some problems still existing in the Ride Choice program that many Surprise residents use. I talked to the vice president and two managers, so maybe the suggestions I offered will be followed.
The mayor of Buckeye invited me to his tent at the Buckeye Air Show. It was great, I didn’t even know Buckeye had an airport.
On Friday, February 14th, (Valentine’s Day) we checked out the Senior Center on Hollyhock St. and our seniors were having a good time at their Valentine’s Day Luncheon and Dance.
That same night, I had my meeting at the Arizona Traditions Community Center with a good turnout.
Tuesday, February 18th was our workshop and our city council meeting where we take action. At this council meeting, we were all awarded a beautiful plaque from an engaged resident, Glen Klitzca and his wife. I was very surprised, honored, and grateful to receive that recognition.
On Wednesday, February 19th, I was invited to the grand opening of the Desert Diamond Casino on Northern Ave in Glendale. It is a very large and beautiful casino. The same evening, I went to a meeting at the Sun Down School in the northwest part of my district to listen about the plans for another development up there. No citizens were present.
Thursday, February 20th was the day of my Valley Metro meeting. We had a workshop at 10:30 am and a meeting at 1 p.m. We heard about some projects underway, voted on some motions, and held an executive board meeting on extending our CEO’s contract.
Friday, February 21st was a busy day for grand openings and ribbon cuttings, we had one at Ottawa University to celebrate the completion of the athletic building, as well as the dorms and student union.
Dr. Tyner and his people at Ottawa continue to amaze me as they grow, not just in brick and mortar, but as a student body.
The other ribbon cutting was the Texas Rangers’ Player Housing Facility, which allows them to stay together rather than in hotels. It is a beautiful building.
Saturday, February 22nd you found me at the 304 Fire Station, up on 163rd Ave. It was cold and raining that day, but there was still a lot of visiting. I think the firefighters up there are anxious to move into their new digs. It is certainly going to be a large new station.
As many of you know, Surprise is a dementia-friendly city, and the mayor and I had a meeting on Monday, February 24th with Keren Montandon, Vice President of Operations for Dementia Education and Cure. Also in that meeting was Brian Browne, the President of Dementia Education and Cure. I have had some inquiries about how to contact this organization. Their phone number is 1-888-317-5559. So, if you are taking care of someone with dementia, they can help you.
Tuesday, February 25th, there was a breakfast meeting at West-MEC, on Grand Ave, for the mayors of Surprise, Youngtown, and El Mirage, to talk about their citizens and tell the audience how they have dealt with some issues. That same day, I went to the Massing of the Colors, which took place in the Palm Ridge Recreation Center on Deer Valley Drive in Sun City West. A very patriotic program with several different organizations displaying their flags.
On Wednesday, February 26th, I was at a Ribbon Cutting for De Boa Jiu Jitsu Studio, 14763 Litchfield Rd., near our movie theater. The owners are Leslie and Andrew Gardineer, and they are going to have a very successful business. Good luck to the Gardineers.
We had a groundbreaking on Thursday, February 27th at Heritage by Asante, in the northwest part of my district, 24490 N 173rd Lane. That same afternoon, we had a flag ceremony for our Assistant Fire Chief Johnston, who is retiring. It was a real nice ceremony, and the flag was given to him. Have a great retirement, Daryl.
That same night, I went to a Chamber of Commerce networking event at Bud Kramer’s Western Trails Ranch out on Grand Ave in Morristown; Dillon’s now owns it. It was a nice event and a nice night out there.
Friday, February 28th found me at Surprise Stadium for a Spring Training luncheon with our business leaders. This was organized by our Economic Development Department to keep our lines of communication open with them.
Well, that is it for this month, I will talk to you next month. As always be good to yourself and be good to each other.
Well, here it is already February. A big shout out to the residents of this great City of Surprise. The weather has been cold, and I am hoping for the warmth to come soon. The first month of the decade started off busy, and it’s not going to slow down. I started this month at a meeting with a developer who wants to bring additional businesses to Surprise.
On Tuesday, January 7, we had our Council Meeting with a full agenda. On January 10, I had my monthly meeting in the Arizona Traditions Community Center with a great crowd of residents.
On Monday, January 13, I welcomed Quick Quack Car Wash to Surprise. They are going to be located near the movie theater on Litchfield Road. This is Quick Quack’s first car wash in Surprise, but they have six in Phoenix, one in Buckeye and one in Tolleson. Their corporate office is in Sacramento, California. It was a cold morning with Councilmembers Hayden and Remley in attendance, along with many Quick Quack employees.
Wednesday, January 15, you found me at the Governor’s State of the State Address, which was very well attended. The Governor has plans to invest more money in education this year. Afterwards, I was in my office meeting with our new Transit Director, Kristen Taylor. She will take over once David Kohlbeck retires in the coming months.
On Friday, January 17, I attended the Tourism Fund Subcommittee meeting, as I am a member. We discussed what events can be brought to Surprise.
Saturday, January 18, I was at the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Celebration and Service. Starting with a breakfast in the courtyard, the day was full of volunteers all working together for the greater good of Surprise.
Our second Council Meeting this month was on January 21. Council celebrated a ribbon cutting at Toll Brothers Sterling Grove on January 23. Sterling Grove is an upscale community with homes starting over $300,000 and going up to over a half-million dollars. They have about 13 models open at this time. They offer some beautiful homes with a great golf course.
On Friday, January 24, I was treated to a wonderful tour of Valley Metro. The tour included three buildings as well as the entire transit company. I want to thank the CEO Scott Smith, Pat Dillion, Hillary Foose and all the folks who helped put on the tour.
The Surprise Pops Band is back for another season at The Vista Performing Arts Center on Parkview. Their concerts are every other Sunday and are very entertaining, as well as relaxing. The cost is only a couple of cans of food.
On Monday, January 27, the Mayor and I attended a meeting at Happy Trails with a large turnout of residents to hear a lecture from Brian Browne about Dementia and Alzheimer’s. Brian is very knowledgeable about the disease. The City of Surprise has become a Dementia Friendly city, helping to care for people affected by this terrible disease. We will meet with Brian in the future to see what other ways the city can help.
On January 28, I was in Scottsdale to help One Step Beyond celebrate the grand opening of their fourth campus in Arizona. Their Surprise campus is located on Reems Road. They have many programs for adults who are developmentally disabled, including assistance with finding employment.
On January 29, I attended the Breakfast with the Mayor event, which is a prayer breakfast led by the city’s pastors and ministers at Ottawa University. This partnership with Ottawa has been a great relationship for both parties. That same day I was at the groundbreaking for our new apartment complex, being built on Greenway Road and Civic Center Plaza by Sparrow Construction. Sparrow is an Austin, Texas corporation that plans on building several products in the Valley. This is their first venture in Surprise. This apartment complex, with two buildings, will be age-restricted and our first residential property in the downtown area.
On Thursday, January 30, I was at my Valley Metro workshop in Phoenix at 10 a.m. followed by the meeting where we take action at 11:15 a.m. Some of my Valley Metro meetings take up my whole day. The last day of the month was the icing on the cake when we had the grand opening and ribbon cutting for Spencer’s Place. This coffee shop is a great place where young adults with developmental disabilities can find a job and be productive citizens of Surprise. It’s a dream come true for Karin and Chris (Spencer’s parents) who worked tirelessly to open this coffee shop. Karin was a special education teacher at Valley Vista High School for many years and a number of her former students now work at Spencer’s place. From all of Council at City Hall, we wish you much luck in this new business.
So, for now, I say so long until next month. Be good to yourself and be good to each other.
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.