Tag Archives: WESTMARC Economic Development Summit

June 2016 • Newsletter

A big shout out to my friends, fellow District 1 residents and all the residents in this growing city! The warm weather months are upon us. Surprise City Council will be on recess in July, therefore, we will not be holding any public meetings. With that being said, we are still working behind the scenes getting ready to embark on fiscal year 2017 that begins July 1.

May was another very busy month – not just for City Council but also for our staff. We have so many great employees working for our city. Many of our employees live in Surprise! Sometimes elected officials are inundated with so many meetings, ribbon cuttings, conferences, events, etc. in addition to preparing for and attending Council meetings that we take our support staff for granted. Since June marks the end of our fiscal year, I want to mention one person in particular of the many. Jodi Tas has been such a wonderful person to work with over the last three years and I often say “she makes me look good.” With juggling my schedule, making appointments for me and my fellow Council Members, even helping with my newsletters, I need to say thank you, Jodi!

My highlight of May was the grand opening and ribbon cutting of IRIS USA’s new 420,000 square foot North American Corporate Headquarters located on 30 acres within our Southwest Railplex Industrial District and the celebration that followed. The event was so important to the city and our future economic development that the regularly scheduled City Council meeting was rescheduled from Tuesday, May 3 to Wednesday, May 4, as many corporate executives flew in from the company’s home base in Japan to mark the great occasion. The new facility represents a $33-$40 million investment, 100 new jobs and $800,000 of new city revenues within the first year of operation. IRIS USA is led by President Chet Keizer. Parent company IRIS Ohyama, Inc. is a Japanese-based company and consumer products manufacturer with facilities in Wisconsin and Texas.


In a Special City Council meeting held on Thursday, May 5, City Council unanimously approved a settlement to end litigation between the city and Surprise Center Development Company, which owns most of the land around the Civic Center Campus at Litchfield and Bell Roads. Both parties are pleased to have finally come to terms on a settlement which achieves a full and final release of claims and believe this solidifies a partnership that will result in the development of a vibrant and engaging downtown in Surprise!

By now, everyone should have knowledge that the city is exploring options for funding capital improvements and considering a proposed $60 million 2016 General Obligation (GO) Bond. The money would fund capital improvement projects around Surprise over the next five years – from new fire stations to serve our growing city; to recreational amenities that promote community wellness; to road improvements that will create a more connected city. Several public meetings were held throughout the city in May to provide additional information and provide opportunities for questions and answers for our residents. City Council will consider and discuss what possible projects that would be included in a possible GO bond on June 7 and then vote whether or not to send the proposal to the November 2016 Election Ballot for voters to decide at our June 21 meeting.

I met with some of our Community and Recreation Services (CRS) staff on the morning of May 14 to determine how we can improve the beautiful parks we have in the Asante community located in the northern portion of District 1.

The City’s Audit Committee met on Thursday, May 19. I briefly discussed the City Manager’s new committee in my newsletter last month. These meetings are open to the public and held in the Council Overflow Room located on the first level of City Hall. The next Committee meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 15 at 2:30 pm. The dates and agendas for these meetings can be found on the city calendar events page at surpriseaz.gov.

WESTMARC’s Economic Development Summit was held on May 19 at the Glendale Civic Center. Governor Doug Ducey was the keynote speaker. I had a chance to chat with him prior to the start of the program. The Governor is very supportive of small business and he inspires them to be successful. After our conversation, the former CEO of Cold Stone Creamery stated “I used to sell ice cream!”

I hosted my last Friday Night Chat on Friday, May 20 until August. Due to scheduling conflicts, I have changed my regularly scheduled chats from the third Friday of each month to the second Friday of each month. Please take note of the change. The next chat will be held on Friday, August 12 at the Retreat Community Center at Arizona Traditions, 18250 W. Weatherly Drive. I will not be hosting meetings in June or July.

To recognize one of our previous city managers and the instrumental role he played in our city, we celebrated Dick McComb Wednesday, May 25. It was a nostalgic evening event filled with laughter and tears for our employees and residents. Mr. McComb was our City Manager during Surprise’s infancy and due to his leadership and vision we have grown to what we are today. As a newcomer to Surprise, I was envious that I didn’t have the opportunity to make those memories with him. The evening was filled with residents who had put down roots in Surprise, former council members and even a former Mayor. Thank you, Mr. McComb!

On May 26, I was honored to attend the promotion ceremony for some of our local heroes at the Surprise Police Department. Newly promoted are Enemecio Felix (Sergeant), Steve Turchin (Public Safety Communications Supervisor), and David Wood (Public Safety Communications Supervisor). For a moment, I’d like to congratulate Police Chief Terry Young for the great job that he is doing. I have been to a number of HOA meetings with residents with Chief Young and I was very impressed not only with his police work but the way he interacts with people. He is hired to PROTECT and LEAD his team. He is always very articulate, honest and straight forward, whether he is addressing our residents or the people that work for him.

Well, I’ll close for now and I hope to see some familiar faces along with the new ones at my next Friday night chat, August 12th. Until next month! As always be good to yourself, and be good to each other.

Regards,

Roland F. Winters Jr.

May 2015 • Newsletter

Greetings to all of my District 1 residents and hello to everyone who lives in this great City of Surprise!

I began my April with a visit to the Desert Oasis block party on April 4.  What a wonderful bunch of friendly families that live in the northeastern area of District 1.  It was a beautiful day for a block party.  The party featured bounce houses, fantastic food, a nice group of Surprise Police cadets, and of course, our wonderful Surprise Fire-Medical personnel from Fire Station 304 (on 163rd Avenue) who brought fire hats for the children that were present.

Desert Oasis Block Party 2015
CM Winters with Kids at Desert Oasis

 

The City’s Employee Appreciation Committee hosted an ice cream social for our employees on April 9 in the City Council Chambers.  I really enjoy attending these events to acknowledge our extraordinary, hardworking staff.  A number of well-deserved awards were distributed by our City Manager, Bob Wingenroth.  The City is truly lucky to have Mr. Wingenroth; he truly is a servant leader.

Andrea-Villagomez with City Manager
David-Kohlbeck with City Manager

City Manager Award

My wife and I attended the last “Second Sundays in the Park” on Sunday, April 12.  These events will return in the fall when the weather isn’t as hot.  Second Sundays in the Park is always entertaining, and it’s a great way to relax on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.  If you have never been to one of these events, you should consider it.  Different music is played at each event through the season.

On Wednesday, April 16, I attended the WESTMARC Economic Development Summit at the Wigwam Resort.  There was a panel discussion that included another outstanding employee, Mike Hoover.  Not only was Mr. Hoover a panelist, he was also emcee of the event.  He is a knowledgeable young man who was very instrumental in getting IRIS to build their Western Regional office in Surprise.  A big thank you to him for all he does for us!

The Surprise Police Department hosted the Surprise Police Appreciation Bonanza at Surprise Stadium on Friday, April 17.  This event was amazing and such a touching way to show appreciation, not only to the officers who put their lives on the line for us each and every day, but to the families of those officers as well.  Rick D’Amico from Fox 10 News served as the emcee.  Congratulations to all of the Police staff who were also recognized for their hard work and service.

Officer Mulligan
Police Chief Frazier with Office Mulligan
Kim Davies - Civilian of the Year
Police Chief Frazier with Kim Davies
Officer Filler - Supervisor of the Year
Police Chief Frazier with Officer Filler

 

Saturday, April 18, was a busy day for me and the City!  The Surprise Swap Meet was held at the Surprise Aquatic Center.  It was well attended!  Later in the day, WHAM hosted the Recycled Arts & Youth Festival at their headquarters on Dysart Road near Grand Avenue.  The turn-out was huge!  All of the displayed art work was made with recycled material.  Food trucks and classic cars were also on site.  I need to acknowledge Fred and Kathy Shokohi who cleared their vacant lot so those attending the event had a place to park at no charge and WHAM was not charged either.  What a great way to work together for the residents of our City!

WHAM hosted the Recycled Arts and Youth Festival

Councilman Hall, Councilman Tande and I attended a celebration of the completion of the Mountain Vista Ranch Well.  The new well was built in the residential area of Mountain Vista Ranch.  This new well pumps 1,500 gallons a minute.  Director of Water Resource Management Terry Lowe and his team did such a fantastic job on this project.  I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the cooperation of the HOA Board at Mountain Vista Ranch, as well as the Community Manager, Misty Laxson, and residents of the community for their patience during the construction.  Additionally, thank you to those involved with the construction of the well.

Mountain Vista Well Group Photo
Mountain Vista Well

 

City Council was invited to attend a volunteer appreciation lunch at Arizona Charter Academy on Friday, April 24.  Melissa Holdaway, COO, and her team of teachers at ACA do such a wonderful job educating our youth!

On Thursday, April 30, elected officials and staff celebrated the retirement of Shaughna Vaughan, an employee of the City since 2006.  It was a wonderful turnout!  Please join me in wishing Ms. Vaughan a happy and healthy retirement.

Shauna Vaughan

Surprise Farms Park Update: Construction on Surprise Farms Park improvements begin the week of May 11. Residents will first see the installation of temporary construction fencing and the addition of construction trailers. The improvements, including our city’s first skate park, are expected to be complete in later October. Call Project Manager Michael Boule if you have any questions at 623.222.7040.

Lastly, I want to alert you that I will not host a monthly meeting in the months of July, August and September; hence, my last meeting until October will be in June.  My newsletters will continue each month.

I will close for now.  Please remember to be good to yourself and be good to each other!

My Best,

Roland F. Winters Jr.
Councilman for District 1