Category Archives: District 3 News

Meet your new District 3 Councilmember Oct. 24

Hello, fellow District 3 residents!

I am honored to be your new District 3 council representative and would love to get to know you at my first community meeting on Oct. 24, 6 pm, at the Sierra Montana Recreation Center,14861 N Spring Ln, Surprise.

I’ll be sharing a little about my passion for the city and why I chose to apply for the D3 Council position. I have also invited city staff to come and share updates on different things happening in the city.

You can expect presentations on the upcoming bond election and the Arts & Culture Master Plan that the city’s creating; you’ll also hear about what’s going on in Economic Development, Community Development and Public Works, including an update on traffic near Paradise Honors.

I hope you can make it, but if you can’t, you can always reach out to me at patrick.duffy@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.1323. You can also connect with me on Twitter @Surprise_D3 and Facebook at www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100022175423875

I am looking forward to representing you!

Thanks,

Patrick Duffy

City of Surprise Community & Recreation Services receives National Accreditation

The City of Surprise Community & Recreation Services Department has received accreditation by the National Recreation and Parks Association.  The Association recognized Surprise’s efforts to provide high quality parks and recreation services and experience to its residents and visitors.

The Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) has issued a five year accreditation to the city’s Community & Recreation Services Department after meeting more than 140 standards ranging from hiring practices to marketing techniques, from park planning to program implementation.

Community and Recreation Services Director, Donna Miller said the department is “excited for the accreditation”, which came after a preliminary application, self-assessment study and an onsite visit by peer review performed by a CAPRA visitation team.  The three-member visitation team spent several days evaluating the departments administrative and operation practices.

“The accreditation stamp reaffirms that we are among premier agencies in the country,” said Miller.  We have proven that our department follows proper practices and procedures in the administration of our parks, facilities and programs.”

The application and accreditation process was intensive, lasting more than 14 months.  The final step was a hearing through the commission in September.  Immediately following the hearing city staff received the good news and are thrilled to be recognized for following these important standards.

The public will benefit from the accreditation by knowing that the city is adhering to best practices in the field of parks, facilities and programs.  It also shows partners, potential funders and the public that Surprise operates under such standards.

“The best part of this process is that all of the staff was involved, which provides ownership and pride in the programs and services in which they offer to the residents,” said Miller.

Council appoints Duffy to fill D3 vacancy

The Surprise City Council approved the appointment of Patrick Duffy to represent the residents of District 3 at their Tuesday night Regular Council Meeting.

Duffy replaces John Williams, who resigned from Council on August 15, 2017.

Duffy is a Financial Advisor for Merrill Lynch and for the past 9 years has worked part-time as a City of Surprise Recreation Leader 3. He has lived in Surprise for eight years, two of them in D3. Duffy was a member of the Surprise Municipal Property Corporation Board and through his city service has been part of numerous Community and Recreation Services events including Spring Training support, Relay for Life events and Cal Ripken All-Star games. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Arizona State University.

Duffy will be sworn into office at the next Council meeting on October 3.

The term expiration for the appointment will be December 31, 2018; and the remainder of the four-year term will be placed on the next scheduled Council election in August 2018.

Seven apply for D3 seat; Council interviews on Sept. 5

The Surprise City Council will meet to interview the seven applicants seeking the vacant District 3 council seat in a Special Meeting, September 5, at 3 p.m., in City Hall- Council Chambers.

The names of those who filed their applicants by the 5 p.m., August 30th deadline are:  Paul Daly; Patrick Duffy; James Hodge; Randal Kidd Jr.; Kevin Loken; Gisele Norberg; and Gary “Doc” Sullivan.

Paul Daly (withdraw application) has lived in D3 for two years, after living in Scottsdale for 25 years. He is retired from the residential mortgage industry. He served on an informal committee for Greer Ranch North to explore traffic concerns in the neighborhood near the Sonoran Heights Elementary School.  He served on the Board of Directors and as President of the Franklin Park, IL Chamber of Commerce 1976 – 1980. He has an Associate Degree in Marketing Mid-Management from Triton College.

Patrick Duffy is a Financial Advisor for Merrill Lynch and for the past 9 years has worked part-time as a City of Surprise Recreation Leader 3. He has lived in Surprise for eight years, two of them in D3. Duffy was a member of the Surprise Municipal Property Corporation Board and through his city service has been part of numerous Community and Recreation Services events including Spring Training support, Relay for Life events and Cal Ripken All-Star games. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Arizona State University.

James Hodge has lived in D3 for seven years and is an Assistant Manager at Discount Tire Direct. He has served as a youth baseball coach, youth flag football coach and volunteered as a score keeper for numerous city rec tournaments. He founded and operated the Sandra Lynn Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit that assisted families with funeral expenses through fundraising events.

Randal Kidd Jr.is a Transition Specialist with the Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and Blind- Phoenix Campus. He has lived in Surprise for eight years. He is Vice President of the Deaf Community of Surprise and participated in the Surprise City Academy this spring. Kidd holds an Associate of Applied Science in Information & Computing Studies from Rochester Institute of Technology and is working towards obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Urban Planning from Arizona State University (May 2018).

Kevin Loken is a District Supervisor at XPO Logistics and had lived in D3 for less than a year. He has a Master of Arts in Management from National University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Cal-State Fullerton. His grandfather, Carlo Leone has served on the Peoria City Council for nearly 20 years.

Gisele Norberg is a member of the Surprise Planning & Zoning Commission and has lived in D3 for nearly two years. Norberg is the owner and independent distributor of AdvoCare International. Her family’s construction business provided her with experience in commercial and residential development. Norberg ran unsuccessfully for the D3 Council seat in 2016. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Washington State University- Vancouver with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences, majoring in Political Science and minoring in Psychology.

Gary “Doc” Sullivan is a former Surprise City Councilmember (2003 – 2007), serving one of those years as Vice Mayor. He was a member of the former Surprise Economic Development Advisory Board. He has lived in Surprise for 17 years. Sullivan is retired and previously worked in sales for Cox Communications.

Learn more about the applicants here:  https://www.surpriseaz.gov/3652/District-3-Council-Applicants

This meeting is an interview-only meeting, council will not take action. Public comments will be received at the public hearing and may also be submitted to the City Clerk through the close of the business day on Tuesday, September 12. Comments received in these ways will be sent to the Council and posted online by the end of the next business day.

Per city code, a district candidate must be selected by the Council no later than the second regularly scheduled council meeting following the public hearing, which is scheduled for 6 p.m., September 19.

The term expiration for the appointment will be December 31, 2018; and the remainder of the four-year term will be placed on the next scheduled Council election in August 2018.

All Council Meetings are carried live on Surprise TV; online at www.surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv and on Facebook Live at www.facebook.com/cityofsurprise.

District 3’s Williams resigns from Council

District 3 Councilmember John Williams on Tuesday, submitted a letter of resignation from the City Council effectively immediately.

Williams was first elected to the City Council in November 2007. He was re-elected last fall to begin a new four-year team January 1, 2017.  Williams was elected Vice Mayor by the City Council in 2012 and again in 2015.

Williams noted his decision for resigning in his letter sent to the City Council and City Manager this morning:

“My intention a year ago was to fulfill my obligations as an elected official with four more years of service. Life tends to pivot and shift quickly, often unpredictable, unavoidable, and inconvenient. So while this decision comes very early in my third term, and as a surprise to some, it is founded on what is best for my family, my ability to support my family, and how to best serve Surprise and District 3. In stepping down my goal is to refocus all my energy on being the best I can be, as a father, husband and throughout my professional career, never sacrificing the joy in the journey. My hope, I open the door for someone else, someone that reflects the ideals of the working family in District 3 and Surprise, a visionary who will look ahead and serve the greater good for our District and City. Service will never leave me, it’s what drove me to seek re-election, and is critical for growing a vibrant and engaged community. So while I will no longer serve in this leadership role, I remain as committed as ever to our community.”

“John’s sacrifice to service is commendable,” says Mayor Sharon Wolcott. “I had the pleasure to serve with him over the past eight years through good times and challenging times for our city and he was a very compassionate leader for Surprise. I recognize the challenges of balancing family, work and service and while I will miss him on the dais, I respect his needing to take more time to devote to family.”

Per city code, City Council must formally accept Williams’ resignation at a public meeting. As it is not listed on tonight’s council agenda, Council will have to take that action at a future meeting.

Because Williams has more than two years remaining on his term, state law requires the city to put the remainder of his term on the next Council election ballot that would be August 2018.

Once Council takes formal action, the City Clerk shall begin the process to advertise for those wishing to apply for the District 3 seat and serve up until the August 2018 election.

The Council interviews each applicant at a public hearing held no later than 10 days following the close of the application acceptance period, followed by a seven-day period during which public comment may be submitted to the City Clerk’s Office.

Additional details will be provided by the city once the application process is open.

It’s time to Decide Surprise as Council sends 3 bond questions for Nov ballot

At their June 6th Regular Meeting, City Council approved sending three General Obligation Bond questions in the areas of Public Safety, Traffic Congestion Mitigation and Pavement Preservation to the ballot in a Special Election on November 7, 2017. All registered voters in Surprise will receive a ballot by mail.

Residents are invited to learn more about the projects, costs and voter information at a specialized website Decide Surprise www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise.

The projects included in the following questions were based on community needs, comments received from residents during the 2016 bond election outreach process, and input received during and after the Surprise Capital Improvement Funding Exploratory Committee’s April 19 meeting.

Question #1: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $34 million public safety bond proposal to: build a Public Safety Evidence & Readiness Center; renovate an existing city facility into a Police Training Facility; acquire Land for Future Fire Station/Police Substation & Park; build a new Fire Station at Cactus and Litchfield roads; build  a new Fire Station along 163rd Avenue, south of Happy Valley Road, to replace the current temporary station; and build a Public Works Operations Facility to centralize  operations. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $26 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

Question #2: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $15.5 million street bond proposal to provide funds to plan, design, construct and improve Waddell, Greenway and Litchfield roads. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $12 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

Question #3: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $10 million street pavement preservation bond proposal to plan, design, construct, replace and improve deteriorated street pavement citywide. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $8 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

General Obligation Bonds are sold to investors who are repaid with interest. The repayment comes from a secondary property tax, which Surprise does not currently have.   If all three questions are approved, the annual secondary property tax could be up to $46 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value, or approximately $4 per month.  ($92 per $200,000 in Limited Property Value, or approximately $8 per month).  You can determine the exact cost to your property by following the steps listed at www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise.

Educational public meetings will be scheduled ahead of the November 7 Special Election. Meeting dates and locations will be posted at www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise.

Voter registration for this election closes on October 9. You can register online by visiting:  https://recorder.maricopa.gov/elections/registrationform.aspx, or stop by the Surprise City Clerk’s Office in person Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Council oks FY18 budget that maintains services & property tax rate

The Surprise City Council approved a $275.8 million Fiscal Year 2018 Budget, at a Special Meeting Tuesday night.

The budget maintains existing city services and identifies creative options to maximize some resources.

That includes securing outside revenue sources and reallocating the operating budget to provide new positions that address public safety, water and inspection demands.  Two public safety grants (SAFER Grant and COPS Hiring Program) will partially fund a five-member Fire-Medical Peak Time Response Unit and two police officers, focused on community policing, through 2019.

This budget maintains the city’s current property tax rate of $0.7591 per $100 of assessed property valuation. Due to new construction and higher property valuations, as assessed by Maricopa County that would generate approximately $380,100 in new money. The primary property tax levy is set to support the uses of the General Fund and provides a more diversified revenue system that protects city services.

The budget also dedicates $49.8 million to support the city’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), which is used to maintain, preserve, and/or replace city infrastructure. This includes funding for pavement preservation of city streets, vehicle replacement and aging communications, information technology, recreation and utility infrastructure.

There are also a number of financial policy revisions regarding the level at which Council adopts the budget, who can amend the budget, minimum fund balances for the new Stormwater and Workers’ Compensation funds, and clearer definition of the reserves and their potential uses in the General Fund to strengthen the city’s financial position.

Council will vote to set the property tax levy and revise the financial policies at their June 20 Council Meeting.

The FY18 Budget will be available at www.surpriseaz.gov/budget.

City, Valley Metro host public meeting to discuss Dial-a-Ride transition, June 14

The city of Surprise, in partnership with Valley Metro, will host a public outreach meeting on Tuesday, June 14 to provide current Northwest Valley Dial-a-Ride passengers an opportunity to learn about the new transportation service models prior to the July 1 transition of Dial-a-Ride to RideChoice and Valley Metro Paratransit.

The outreach meeting will be held in the Surprise City Hall Community Room, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, on June 14 from 4:00-5:30 p.m. A brief presentation will begin at 4 p.m.

Information about the shared route Senior Bus will also be presented at the meeting.

Following the presentation, city and Valley Metro representatives will be available to answer questions about the transportation services.

Individuals needing reasonable accommodations should contact the ADA coordinator at 623.222.3531 (Voice); or 623.222.3503 (TTY) at least three (3) business days prior to the meeting so arrangements can be made.

Customers unable to attend the meeting can stay informed about the Dial-a-Ride service changes by visiting surpriseaz.gov/transportation.