Category Archives: District 3 News

October proclaimed “Domestic Violence Awareness Month” in Surprise

The Surprise City Council issued a proclamation recognizing October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting.

Vice Mayor John Williams presented the proclamation to Laura Horsely, Program Director at local domestic violence shelter Eve’s Place.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month Proclamation
Vice Mayor John Williams with Laura Horsely, Program Director at local domestic violence shelter Eve’s Place.

Domestic violence affects millions of Americans each year. A survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that, on average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.

Residents are encouraged to help raise awareness by joining City of Surprise employees in wearing purple clothing or a purple ribbon throughout the month of October.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, you are encouraged to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE or visit www.TheHotline.org.

Surprise launches National Citizens Survey

The City of Surprise strives to deliver top-notch services to our residents. To measure our performance, we are conducting a National Citizens Survey (NCS) this fall.

This mailed survey, conducted by the National Research Center of Boulder, Colorado, will examine residents’ responses on topics ranging from traffic flow to public safety to senior and youth services.

The scientific survey sample equals 1,400 surveys that will be mailed to randomly-selected homes throughout the city. All survey results are anonymous. The city does not know which addresses have been selected by the third-party surveyor and only receives the aggregate results.

Beginning this week, a postcard will arrive at the selected addresses advising that the survey is on the way. The survey itself, along with a postage-paid return envelope, will arrive roughly one week later. In order to be sure that selected residents receive their survey, a second survey will be mailed as a follow up. Residents who complete and mail the first survey can simply recycle the second one.

Selected households will also receive instructions for how to complete the 2015 survey online.

The last NCS the city conducted was in 2012, and 93% of residents indicated they would recommend Surprise as a place to live, a rating that is “much above” cities of our size that also conducted the survey. Residents also said we are a clean-looking city and ranked our sanitation services well above our peer cities.

Respondents said we need to work on improving transportation, from more east-west corridors to adding public transit options. Funding has limited major improvements in this area.

A focus of your input was directed to adding more local jobs. Since 2012, IRIS USA has announced a new manufacturing/distribution and US headquarters in Surprise; Cobalt is finalizing construction of a brain injury treatment hospital and MD24, a mobile physician service, graduated from the AZ TechCelerator, growing from three employees to more than 200.

What you tell us in this survey will help to identify priority projects for Surprise and indicate where limited city funding should go in order to provide the services you most desire.

If your household receives a survey, please take the time to complete it and mail it back. By participating, you are helping to make Surprise an even better community!

Results are expected by the end of the year and will be shared online at www.surpriseaz.gov.

Surprise Fiesta Grande, October 17

Join us for authentic Mexican food, classic cars, music and games as we celebrate our city’s cultural heritage at the second annual Surprise Fiesta Grande.

This fun-filled street festival recognizes the significance of the Original Town Site (OTS) and the importance of the Grand Avenue Corridor to the City of Surprise and the West Valley.

LIVE MUSIC – KIDS’ PIÑATA PLAZA/INTERACTIVE GAMES – CLASSIC CAR SHOW – FOOD – DANCING – FESTIVE BEVERAGES – FREE ADMISSION

The event is 2–10 p.m. on Hollyhock Street on the Roy Villanueva Recreation Campus in the OTS.

Visit http://surpriseaz.gov/fiestagrande for more information.

Anthony Bates Cardiac Screenings at Willow Canyon High School on October 3rd

On Saturday, October 3rd, the Anthony Bates Foundation will offer cardiac screenings at Willow Canyon High School from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. A High School athlete dies every three days from sudden cardiac death (SCD) in the United States. SCD is the single largest killer in the United States with symptoms including shortness of breath, chest pain, heart palpitations and lightheadedness. The screenings are a preemptive approach to often hidden ailments and will be available for a tax-deductible donation of $65 per student or $75 for adults.

The Anthony Bates Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization formed in 2002 and is dedicated to save young lives through early detection of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. The Anthony Bates Foundation is actively promoting public outreach programs through education and awareness for the need to provide heart screening events.

For an appointment, interested participants should call (602) 482-5606 or email appts@anthonybates.org. Appointments will be held at Willow Canyon High School located at 17901 W. Lundberg St. Surprise, AZ. Additional information available at www.anthonybates.org.

Surprise public safety officials announce G.A.I.N. Night 2015

The Surprise Police invite you to attend the upcoming G.A.I.N. Night (Getting Arizona Involved in Neighborhoods). This engaging community event is scheduled to occur on Saturday, October 3, 2015 from 6-9 pm at 15960 North Bullard Avenue (on the 8-acre field).

During the event, members of the Surprise Police Department and Surprise Fire-Medical Department will be in attendance providing K-9 displays, children’s finger printing kits, bicycle safety info and trick demos, fire prevention equipment, a Safety House display, and other safety information for all ages. Other activities will include inflatable children’s rides, D J Music, free raffles & GREAT PRIZES, along with food vendors.

In support of the Arizona Special Olympics organization, public safety personnel will also be accepting donations to help benefit the Athletes of the Arizona Special Olympics. So come out, join in the fun, further a great cause, and hang out with members of your Surprise Public Safety Departments.

In the event of inclement weather, please contact the Surprise Police Department Community Action Line for cancellation notification: (602) 222-4422.

G.A.I.N Night Flyer
Download the G.A.I.N Night Flyer

Surprise Public Safety launches veteran preference recruitment policy

The City of Surprise Fire-Medical and Police Departments now offer preference points for military service veterans applying as firefighter and police recruits.

Veterans, those that were on active military duty for at least six months, will be awarded an extra five points to their passing entrance recruitment exam score.

To qualify for the extra points, veteran candidates must have been honorably discharged from military service.

“These brave men and women served and protected our country; this policy is one way we can say thank you,” says Fire-Medical Chief Tom Abbott.

“Helping to employ our nation’s veterans is the right thing to do and we hope this policy in some way honors their service,” add Police Chief Terry Young.

For additional information on eligibility visit the recruitment pages of Surprise Fire-Medical and Surprise Police at www.surpriseaz.gov and click on the Public Safety Veterans Recruitment link.

Surprise Retail Survey Results are in!

The City of Surprise launched a retail survey in May that garnered nearly 3,000 responses!

Thanks to our engaged residents, and residents from neighboring communities, we were able to collect data that helped to identify the City’s retail strengths, as well as opportunities to bring additional amenities closer to home.

Select survey insights are available below, with full results available at www.surpriseaz.gov/retailsurvey:

Top 10 Local Favorites

  • Nick’s Diner I & II
  • Jim’s Burger and Eggs
  • Vogue Bistro
  • Saigon Kitchen
  • Amuse Bouche
  • Archie’s Deli
  • New York Flavor
  • Big Buddha
  • Babbo Italian Eatery
  • Rio Mirage

Top 10 Desired Retailers

  • Costco
  • Whole Foods
  • Hobby Lobby
  • Macy’s
  • TJ Maxx
  • Joann’s Fabric
  • Old Navy
  • Nordstrom
  • Harkins Theater
  • Home Goods

Top 10 Desired Restaurants

  • In-N-Out Burger
  • Sweet Tomatoes
  • Portillo’s
  • Cheesecake Factory
  • Texas Roadhouse (Great news! A Texas Roadhouse is currently being constructed in the area of Grand Ave. and Mountain View Blvd.)
  • Cracker Barrel
  • Oregano’s
  • Pita Jungle
  • Mimi’s Café
  • El Pollo Loco

The city would like to thank everyone who participated in the survey! The Surprise Economic Development team will now use the results to guide their retail recruitment efforts.

Team Building: Surprise announces new police chief; former chief takes new city role

Surprise City Manager Bob Wingenroth today announced key organizational leadership changes involving Surprise Police and the City Manager’s Office.

Following a 40-year career in law enforcement, Surprise Police Chief Michael Frazier has accepted the position of Assistant City Manager, replacing the retiring April Reynolds.

Terry Young, the former Surprise Assistant Police Chief, has been named the new Chief of Police.

“What a great day for Surprise,” says Wingenroth. “Mike Frazier brings 40 years of law enforcement and municipal government experience to City Hall and thanks to his mentor-style leadership our Police Department will now be led by another outstanding chief in Terry Young.”

Assistant City Manager Michael Frazier
Assistant City Manager Michael Frazier

Frazier became the Surprise Police Chief in 2011, previously having served as the Police Chief for the City of El Mirage. He began his law enforcement career with the Phoenix Police Department, where he served for 32 years before retiring as Executive Police Chief. (Read Frazier’s full bio)

“It has been an honor to lead such a great group of officers, professional staff and volunteers here in Surprise and I leave knowing our officers and entire community will be well-served by our new Police Chief Terry Young,” says Frazier. “I very much look forward to continuing my love of public service now as an assistant city manager.”

During his tenure as police chief, Frazier enhanced police-community relationships that resulted in an 18% drop in crime from 2012-2014. In his new role, Frazier will oversee the following departments: Police, Fire-Medical, Public Works and Communications.

Surprise Police Chief Terry Young
Surprise Police Chief Terry Young

Young joined the Surprise Police Department in 2010, after retiring from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office as Deputy Chief. During his more than 25-year career, Young oversaw a variety of law enforcement divisions including Patrol Operations, Investigations and Personnel Management. (Read Young’s full bio)

“What a privilege it is to lead the amazing men and women that make up the Surprise Police Department,” says Young. “Their dedication to serving and protecting our residents is unyielding and the tremendous support we receive from our residents will continue to ensure Surprise remains one of the safest communities in the country.”

Young, who now leads a department of 190 sworn officers and professional staff, is also an active member of the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police, International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Police Executive Research Forum.

“During this time of celebration I want to personally thank April Reynolds for her 10 years of service to Surprise” adds Wingenroth. “Her friendship and leadership helped to make this a great organization for employees, which in turn resulted in top-notch service provided to our residents.”

Reynolds joined the city’s Human Resources Department in 2005 where she rose through the ranks to become the Human Resources Director and named an Assistant City Manager in 2014.

The leadership changes are effective beginning Monday, July 13.

Save the date: A ceremony is planned for Thursday, July 9, in the Community Room of City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, at 2 p.m. Speakers include City Manager Bob Wingenroth, Mayor Sharon Wolcott, Assistant City Manager Michael Frazier and Police Chief Terry Young. A reception in the Mayor’s Atrium will follow the speaking event.

Council adopts FY16 final budget

The Surprise City Council adopted a $304.7 million Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Budget, Tuesday night, that addresses immediate operational needs, continues service increases and maintains the property tax rate.

The budget also raises the city’s reserves by 14% to $17 million.

Other highlights include:

  • Pavement Preservation
  • Maintains Dial-A-Ride service expansion; continues Express Route 571
  • 18 new full time positions (Police, Fire-Medical, utilities, general government operations)
  • Surprise Regional Library operations (required by previous county agreement)
  • Vehicle and Asset Replacement

Council also agreed to maintain the FY15 property tax rate at $.07591 per $100 of assessed valuation.

While Council’s action maintains the property tax levy for FY16, home valuations have increased. Home valuations are set by the Maricopa County Assessor. While the tax rate has not changed, higher home valuations will result in a 2.6%, or $171,600, increase year-over-year. The annual increase on a $100,000 home would be $1.93.

Council will formally adopt the property tax levy on June 16.

The complete FY16 Budget will be posted online at www.surpriseaz.gov.