Tag Archives: Surprise Youth Council

January 2020 • Newsletter

A big shout out to everyone in the great and growing City of Surprise. I hope everyone got through the hustle and bustle of the holidays. We will be getting back to our regular routine by the second week of January. I want to wish all the residents a healthy 2020 (the start of a new decade). Last year was a great time for Surprise with many more commercial opportunities, eating choices, road improvements, and yes, a Costco will be opening in 2020.

To start things off on December 3, the Council got together early at City Hall and we had our photo taken in front of the Christmas tree in the lobby. After the festivities, we went into our Work Session at 4 p.m. and then onto our City Council meeting.

Surprise City Council's holiday card.

The next day, I had my regular monthly meeting with Mayor Hall to keep updated on what is going on in our city.

On Thursday, December 5, I had my Valley Metro meeting in Phoenix, which took up most of my day. That same evening, my wife and I went to see a play at the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts, 10580 N 83rd Drive, at the invitation from their City Council. We saw the Christmas Carol, maybe you have heard of it. If you enjoy live plays, I recommend that play house.

Of course the highlight of the month was the Surprise Party on the evening of the December 6. We had the tree lighting, and even real snow for the young and the young at heart. I must say what a great job Parks and Recreation Director Donna Miller, Assistant Director Paul Frie and their whole team does every year. The party continued all day Saturday then of course the big cleanup, great job people. All at no cost to the residents!

An illuminated Christmas tree and hot air balloon at night.

On Monday, December 9, I had a great meeting with four students that are a part of the Surprise Youth Council. They were a great bunch of young people that gave me a good sense the future generation can handle the trials and tribulations ahead of them.

Vice Mayor Winters and Surprise Youth Council members seated in a conference room for a meeting.

On Tuesday December 10, the Council was invited to meet and chat with the four people who were the finalists for the Community Development Director. I just want to congratulate Chris Boyd, who was the Interim Director and has now been promoted to Director. He has been doing a good job in the position.

The same night found me at the Surprise Senior Center, in the Original Town Site, for their Deck the Hock event, and again, there was real snow and good cookies. On the evening of December 12, most of the Council attended Tech the Halls at the TechCelerator, 12425 W Bell Rd, where we have a number of start-up companies that are trying to build their business with the city’s support.

On Friday, December 13, I was at the Adaptive Christmas Party at Dream Catcher Park for all of the special needs residents in Surprise. Most of the young people there were Dysart Unified School District students. There were trees to decorate, games to play and cookies to eat. These young people don’t dwell on what they can’t do, but concentrate on what they can do. Happy New Year!

Our last Council meeting of 2019 was on December 17, with no Work Session, but plenty on the agenda for the meeting. On Wednesday, December 18, we had yet another ribbon cutting. The Angry Crab Shack, at 11340 W Bell Rd, opened their doors with a big celebration and delicious food. The owners are great people, and put out a great assortment of seafood for the attendees to enjoy.

Surprise City Council and the owners of the Angry Crab Shack in Surprise.

On Thursday, December 19, I joined almost 400 City employees to celebrate the holidays with a great lunch from Macayo’s Mexican Food and our Directors dishing it out to everyone in line. The event took place in the Ottawa University Cafeteria, and what a nice venue it is. Thank you to Dr. Dennis Tyner and the University staff for their hospitality. We have a good partnership with that school. That same night, I was invited to attend the Surprise Farms III HOA meeting to update all those folks on what’s happening in Surprise and what is in the future. Everyone was happy about Costco opening this year. We had a good crowd and all were very pleasant. I want to thank Santos, the Community Manager there, and Mark and the rest of the board for the invitation. If you want me to speak at your board meeting, just let me know.

One of my constituents, Charles Collins, who lives in Surprise Farms II wanted to donate some things for Toys for Tots. He wanted me to go with him and his daughter. So on December 23, we went down to the Surprise Police Department and met with Officer Chris Tovar and a few other officers for the donation. That same day, I had a scheduled meeting with the City Manager.

Vice Mayor Winters, resident Charles Collins and his daughter, and Surprise Police Officers with a box of donations for Toys for Tots.

I want to congratulate the Willow Canyon High School Marching Band for being selected to be in the Fiesta Bowl Parade on Saturday, December 28. What a great job you did. You sounded awesome!

Well, I will close my first newsletter of the new decade for now, but remember be good to yourself and be good to each other.

Happy New Year!

Roland F. Winters

May 2019 • Newsletter

I would like to begin with a big shout out to all of my friends who are as blessed as I am to live in this great city called Surprise.

April was another busy month for me and the whole council. April 2 started off with our council meeting, both work shop and council meeting, where we take action.

On Wednesday, April 3, there was the dedication of the mural painted on the wall of the Northwest Valley Connect building in Peoria. This was an award winning painting. This event was topped off with refreshments and great camaraderie.

mural painted on the wall of the Northwest Valley Connect building

Tuesday, April 10, I had a meeting with the City Manager to go over some things in our budget. April was all about the 2020 budget. All items will be voted on in June, and updates will be sent.

Friday, April 12, found me in the Surprise Chamber of Commerce Conference Room attending the Friends of the Library Board meeting.

That same night, I had my monthly meeting in the Arizona Traditions Community Center. The Surprise Today newspaper had the address wrong as the location is on Weatherby Drive. We had a good crowd that welcomed some new folks as well. I answered a number of questions and had good conversation with residents.

The next day, Saturday April 13, I was invited to a picnic at Veramonte Park, 12741 N. 140th Lane. This event was hosted and attended by our deaf residents. Everyone had a great time, especially the kids. I even managed to get by without one water balloon finding its mark, so I stayed dry all day. A big thank you to all my friends.

On Sunday, April 14, I attended a great HOA party celebrating Easter with an egg hunt for the little residents and also photos with Mrs. Bunny. Thank you Paula Lefeure for planning all of this!

On Tuesday, April 16, I attended our council workshop at 4:00 p.m. followed by our council meeting where action is taken.

I was invited to join the celebration of the new circulator transportation system in Peoria on April 22. The City of Peoria has one circulator traveling clockwise and another going counter clockwise around the city to pick up passengers at no charge for riders. The system is called Peoria on the Go (POGO) and is in partnership with Valley Metro. Hopefully, someday Surprise will have such a program. For more information on POGO go to www.peoriaaz.gov.

The Mayor and I visited the new Dysart preschool located at 17999 N Surprise Farms Loop South. The name is “Growing Minds” and they will be opening soon. Visit www.Dysart.orgfor more information.

Council member and staff of Growing Minds facility

Our Surprise Youth Council had a great event at the Arts HQ venue at City Hall on Tuesday night, April 23. The displayed photos were equipped with a smart phone app that allowed the photos to actively speak and tell about the individual students.

Vice Mayor Winter with SYC members

On Wednesday, April 24, I was invited as a Valley Metro Board member to the opening of the 50th street light rail station on Washington Street in Phoenix. It was a great celebration that included Congressman Greg Stanton, State Senators, State Representatives as well as Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. The new station is centrally located which is great for the thousands of citizens with disabilities who visit downtown.

After that celebration, I headed back to Surprise for a meeting with Friends of the Library at City Hall.

On Thursday, April 25, I found myself at the Northwest Valley Connect meeting at Benevilla. This organization tries to get rides for people who have no other way to get to doctor appointments, dental appointments or even the grocery store.

Following that meeting, I headed to City Hall for my bi-monthly meeting with our City Manager. This meeting is important as it offers a chance to catch up on happenings in the City of Surprise.

My last stop of the day was a Valley Vista High School where an art show, sponsored by Congresswoman Debbie Lekso, was happening. The young people of Surprise have some great talent.

Of course our big event in April was the naming of our bridge that goes over Grand Avenue to Veterans Bridge. The weather was pretty warm that day, but the number of residents that came out in support was overwhelming. Veterans filled the tent, and we thank them for their service. God bless them all. It was a great celebration that brought Governor Ducey to Surprise. Thank you for being so gracious as to stay for photos with the residents and helping to honor our veterans.

Well, before I close my newsletter for this month, I want to thank all the folks who help make this newsletter possible. My new assistant, Jenna Bowen, who is learning my unique penmanship, the Communication Department, headed by Diane Arthur, the IT Department and all you folks who read my newsletter. Take care!

Be good to yourself and be good to each other,

April 2015 • Newsletter

Greetings to all of my fellow District 1 residents!

I hope each of you had a wonderful Easter or Passover. I certainly hope April finds you healthy and that this new season of spring brings a continued optimistic outlook for you, your future and the future of our great city called Surprise.

Last month, we had some very exciting news to share! I assume by now that you have heard about the large Japanese company that is going to call our City home, or at least their Western United States Regional Headquarters. Everyone at City Hall is thrilled to have this company here. Did you know they will be building the highest building in Surprise? This new facility represents a $33-$40 million investment, 100 new jobs and $800,000 of new City revenue within the first year of its operation.  IRIS USA’s new 280,000 square foot building will include office, manufacturing and distribution space that will be located on 30 acres within the City’s Southwest Railplex Industrial District. IRIS USA is a consumer products company that sells to retailers throughout North America. They are expected to open in Surprise in December 2015.

The first week of March found the Mayor, myself and several other Council Members in Washington D.C. for the National League of Cities Congressional Conference.  Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperative too much. We found ourselves in the midst of a snowstorm followed by weather plummeting to the single digits. Due to the inclement weather, the Surprise Youth Council (SYC) never arrived in Washington D.C. They were going to attend the Conference for the youth leadership component.  While there, I was honored to meet President Barack Obama and get a tour of the White House, but I was also very happy to return home to our fabulous warm climate.

Winters D.C. Trip
Councilwoman Rachel Villanueva, Rep. Ruben Gallego, Mayor Sharon Wolcott, Blossom Tande, Councilman Todd Tande, Vice Mayor John Williams and me

Winters D.C. trip

 

March was also an intensely busy month for our Economic Development Department. Our wonderful staff invited City Council to attend several events to meet possible new business prospects for our City. We were also provided opportunities to thank our current businesses for their contributions to Surprise.

On March 14, the City experienced another milestone with the groundbreaking of yet another park for our residents. Veramonte Park will soon have additional amenities such as a splash pad, restrooms, a parking lot and much more.  Just think – within one month, Surprise went from having one community park to three community parks.  Surprise Farms Community Park will have the City’s first skate park, and it’s a great design!  I would really like to thank Mark Coronado, Donna Miller and their entire team for such a fantastic job on both of the new parks and for everything they do for all of our residents throughout the year.

Veramonte Park Groundbreaking Veramonte Park Plan

The City has reached an agreement with WHAM to allow them to continue to occupy the building owned by the City. WHAM is located at Dysart Road & Grand Avenue.  We have had a strong partnership with WHAM, which brings art to our residents and provides art classes to Veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and those with special needs. WHAM’s initiatives represent an amazing organization that is inclusive, not exclusive.

It was a beautiful day for all of our young baseball players on Saturday, March 21.  We celebrated Cal Ripken Day at the Surprise Stadium with over 1,700 players!  Quite impressive!  Cal Ripken baseball is one of the outstanding programs run by our Community and Recreation Services Department.

Cal Ripkin Day

On Tuesday, March 24, I participated in the Celebrity Reading Day at Canyon Ridge Elementary School in District 1.  Dr. Shelley Isai and her team do such a wonderful job at this school and always include me at their events.

Celebrate Reading Day Celebrate Reading Day

The new Human Service and Community Vitality Department hosted an Open House on March 28 at the Surprise Community Center, which is part of the Villanueva Recreation Complex in the Original Town Site.  I have attended numerous meetings there.  We are planning a Heritage District Overlay for this area to preserve our history.  We can move forward in planning the future of Surprise, but we must never forget our rich past and where it all began.

March was a long and productive month.  I will close for now, but as always, be good to yourself and be good to each other!

Best,

Councilman Roland F. Winters Jr.
District 1

February 2015 • Newsletter

Hello to all of my fellow District 1 residents!

It’s hard to believe that we are in the second month of 2015 already!
As usual, a lot of things happened in January and there’s more to come this month in Surprise.  The folks at City Hall celebrated our City Clerk’s 25th Anniversary with the City of Surprise on January 5.  What a great accomplishment for Sherry Aguilar!  We had a good number of staff and Council Member s gather in the Mayor’s atrium for refreshments to say congratulations to Sherry and thank her for so many years of service to the City.

Mayor congratulating Sherry Aguilar

I attended the Surprise Youth Council induction ceremony on the evening of January 15 in Council Chambers celebrating with many other Surprise residents, including many proud parents, as 25 high school students were welcomed into our newly formed Youth Council.  What a great bunch of youngsters!  Youth Services Administrator Paul Bernardo has done such a good job in this new position.

Mayor nd Council

Surprise Youth Council

I had my Friday Night Chat on the evening of January 11.  As always, everyone is welcome.

On January 21, I attended a meeting at the Surprise Senior Center in the Original Town Site about the improvements planned for the O.T.S. The City planners prepared a fantastic and thorough presentation.  We have such terrific people working for our great City!

I attended an ADOT meeting about the interchange of the 303 and Grand Avenue at Sun City Grand on January 27.  As most of you know, the project is already underway and will take approximately 18 months to complete with the widening of the 303 and new off ramps.  Immediately following that meeting, I travelled to Marley Park for the groundbreaking of a new charter school, Legacy Traditional School.  Several other elected officials were also present.  This will be an elementary school located in District 6.  Our Mayor and Councilman Tande, District 6, participated in the groundbreaking.

CM's Winters and Hall

On the evening of January 28th, I attended a Public Arts meeting with Councilman Hall at the West Valley Arts Council’s Arts HQ in Surprise.  The discussion included how the City can improve the presence of art in Surprise.   Our City Planners led the meeting.

I was invited to attend a tour of APS that included an energy update for elected officials at their office in Deer Valley on January 30.  We even toured the Energy Control Center, which was very interesting and educational.

As always be good to yourself and be good to each other,

Council Member, Roland Winters, Jr.