A big shout out to all my friends in District One and the entire city of Surprise! I sincerely hope everyone is enjoying this adventure we call life.
January has proved to be a busy beginning to what is going to be a great year for Surprise. I started the month with a couple of meetings with a few residents near Saguaro Acres who were concerned about their roads and trash pick-up. I am confident we can help them; in fact, our Public Works Department is already working on an action plan based on the residents’ feedback.
I hosted my monthly meeting on Friday, January 13. If you have not attended any of my meetings, please feel free to attend for some conversation and refreshments. My meetings are held at the Retreat at Arizona Traditions, 18250 W. Weatherby on the second Friday of every month. Everyone is invited.
On Saturday morning, January 14, the city hosted its first Martin Luther King Day of Celebration in the courtyard of City Hall. What a great day for the city and the residents! Emmy award-winning journalist and anchor of ABC 15 News, Steve Irvin, emceed the event and retired USAF Colonel Richard Toliver provided the uplifting keynote address. Mr. Toliver told us about his service in Vietnam and the important work Dr. King did in his short life. After the celebration, folks divided into groups and went out into the community to serve through projects at schools, parks, nursing homes and more. Approximately 350 people attended the celebration, and an additional 300 volunteered, for a total of 600 unduplicated participants in the day’s events. I want to thank the Human Service and Community Vitality Department, led by Director Seth Dyson, for supporting this great event that should have been celebrated in our city way before this! Great job!
WESTMARC hosted a State of the State Luncheon on Tuesday, January 17. Governor Ducey provided an overview of his intentions this year. I was honored to attend the event, and I am encouraged that this year he promised to raise our teachers’ salaries. I was able to speak to him for a few minutes prior to his speech!
I was privileged to attend our neighboring city’s grand opening of their new city hall. El Mirage hosted the event on Thursday, January 19. Mayor Lana Mook, the El Mirage City Council Members and City Manager Spencer Isom were overjoyed. In addition to the new city hall, the Tohono O’odham Nation donated funds to build a beautiful veterans memorial in front of the new building.
Valley Partnership hosted their Friday morning breakfast meeting on January 20 at Phoenix Country Club. The meeting focused on Arizona’s real estate development and our infrastructure, specifically transportation. Discussion was led by Former US Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters.
On Sunday, January 22, the Surprise Pops Band performed the first concert of their season at the Performing Arts Center at Valley Vista High School. If you have never seen our great Pops Band, it is well worth a couple of hours of your time, and it is free with the donation of a canned food item. They are truly a talented group of people.
I attended a black tie fundraiser, Campaign ASU 2020, for Arizona State University at Chase Field on January 26. It was a very impressive sight with the tables on the field. Dr. Crow was the key note speaker with many donors and educators in the audience. ASU does a great job ensuring our youth are prepared for a good job.
I went for the Tohono O’odham Nation’s 79th Annual O’odham Wapkail Ha-Tas Rodeo and Parade on Saturday, January 28. I was met with a great reception despite the cold weather. The community and people are quite proud and very generous, and I was honored to attend.
Now a special note to my friends in Surprise Farms, as some of you know, I have been talking to residents about the chain link green fence, and we all agree it needs to come down. It has been there long enough! I am doing my best to get that issue on the agenda for the February 21 Council meeting. I can’t make any promises, but I will let you know if I am successful. We will see what happens, and it will take the majority of Council to agree.
One more thing, I am working on getting the Vietnam Moving Wall to our city with the tremendous help of Jodi Tas, and much support from our City Manager Bob Wingenroth that it may happen. I will let you know when we have a date confirmed.
Lastly, another friendly reminder that I host my meetings on the second Friday of the month at 7 p.m. in the Retreat Club House in Arizona Traditions, 18250 W. Weatherby. I’d be remiss if I did not thank AZ Traditions for allowing me to host my meetings. Thank you!
Until next month, remember to be good to yourself and be good to each other.
Roland F. Winters Jr.
Councilman, District 1