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.
Roland F. Winters Jr.