Tag Archives: spring training

March 4, 2020 • D3 Monthly Newsletter

Thank you for signing up to receive city updates and my council newsletters. I am honored to serve the residents of District 3 and I am always available for questions, concerns or comments. Please follow me on Facebook or email me directly at patrick.duffy@surpriseaz.gov.

Monthly Meeting Location Change

My monthly Meet and Greet has now been moved to Spencer’s Place, 15341 W. Waddell Road, Suite 101. Please join me on the first Saturday of every month from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. to discuss the issues that are important to you and learn more about what’s happening across the city.

Congratulations to George Lyons

George Lyons retired (for real this time) from the Parks and Recreation Department after 15 years of hard work. George arrived to his interview back in 2004 in his baseball uniform after just competing in the Men’s Senior Baseball League World Series. He was obviously a good fit and has been a blessing to the department. George had retired from an extensive recreation career with Mission Viejo Company, the City of Mission Viejo and finally Thousand Trails Campgrounds. We wish him luck and congratulate him on the next phase of his life spending time with his grandchildren.

George Lyons

2020 Census

Everyone Counts in Surprise! Check your mailboxes between March 12-20. Residents will receive a letter in the mail with a website address and Census ID number explaining how to respond online. The letter will also offer a toll free number for phone response and describe the process for receiving a paper survey. For more information on the Census please visit the City of Surprise website at www.surpriseaz.gov/census2020.

Spring Training

The Spring Training Welcome Back Lunch was hosted by the City on Friday, February 14. The Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers provided updates on their respective teams. I hope that you are able to come out and enjoy a game during the Spring Training season! Games run through March 21. To view a schedule of games, visit www.surprisestadium.com.

Third Annual Surprise Spring Training 5k/1K

It’s not too late! Register for the Third Annual Surprise Spring Training 5K/1K that will take place on Friday, March 6 at 7:00 p.m. For additional information or to get registered, visit SurpriseStadium.com/events.

State of the City – 60th Anniversary

Please join us as Mayor Hall gives the State of the City address on Thursday, March 26, with updates on City of Surprise accomplishments and future visions. I encourage you to stay afterwards to witness the unveiling of the city’s 60th Anniversary Art Wall and enjoy live music, entertainment and more in our courtyard. The event will begin promptly at 6 p.m. in the Surprise City Hall City Council Chambers.

Development in Surprise

Rangers Village Ribbon Cutting

On Friday, February 21, the City Council joined Texas Rangers owner Ray Davis and Texas Rangers staff to cut the ribbon on the new Rangers Village building. Rangers Village is a three-story, 36 suite, 70,000 square foot team housing complex located along Bullard Avenue, just north of Greenway Road. Rangers Village also includes a 13,000 square foot sports-training lab next door for the players.

Ottawa University Campus Ribbon Cutting & Dedication

Ottawa University-Arizona hosted a ribbon cutting and dedication for three new campus buildings – the O’Dell Center for athletics, the OUAZ Student Union, and Residence Hall. The O’Dell Center for Athletics is a 97,000 square foot athletic complex adjacent to Spirit Field to the west, just north of Tierra Buena Lane. The complex includes a recreation center, four court gymnasium, lockers rooms, an athletic training room, the Spirit Performance Center, five classrooms, and the faculty and athletic department offices. The OUAZ Student Union is a two story, 27,000 square foot building that houses the cafeteria, an outdoor and indoor dining space, the Spirit Fan Shop, campus mailroom, student lounge with an indoor/outdoor fireplace, conference center and designated quiet study spaces. The 76,000 square foot, four story residence hall is located to the east of Spirit Field and is home to an 83 room, 332 bed dormitory with fully furnished, four person suites, four student lounges and the campus security office.

Ottawa University cheerleaders and mascot.

Road Closures

Please continue to be aware of various road closures and traffic restrictions:

  • The City managed Litchfield Road widening project remains on schedule with completion expected this spring.
  • The Waddell Road widening project reached a major milestone at the end of February with the full closure between Sarival and SR303 being reopened. This project also remains on track with expected completion by late spring.
  • On both of these projects, there will continue to be lane closures and detours as needed prior to these projects being completed.
  • The work at the intersection of Reems & Waddell is part of the larger Waddell project and while the early phases of this work have been completed, this intersection will continue to have some restrictions through May.
  • The roadwork occurring on the south side of Peoria Avenue is being conducted by several utility companies as they upgrade infrastructure to support new development in Glendale and unincorporated county, south of Peoria Avenue. Much of this work is nearing completion.
  • The county also has Olive Road closed between Litchfield and Reems through May due to construction of a new wastewater line needed to support development in the area.

Having a safe, efficient, and effective transportation system is critical to our quality of life and the smart growth of our city. Our city team is sensitive to the inconvenience and disruption caused by road construction and works closely with contractors to minimize these impacts where possible. As always, please feel free to reach out to me directly if you should have any questions or concerns regarding traffic. For the most up-to-date information on road closures, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/100/Road-Closures-Traffic-Restrictions.

Upcoming Events

  • March 7- Please note that we are moving my Monthly Meet and Greet to Spencer’s Place, 15341 W. Waddell Road, Suite 101. (Spencer’s Place is located on the east end of the Basha’s shopping center.) This monthly event continues to be held on the first Saturday of every month from 9:00-11:00 a.m.
  • March 14- Spring Cleanup Event. Residents can drop off up to 2,000 pounds of non-hazardous residential waste free of charge at the Northwest Regional Landfill, 19401 W. Deer Valley Road, 7 am – 1 pm. For more information, visit www.surpriseaz.gov/sanitation.
  • Hazardous waste can be scheduled for pick up March 9-27. For more information, visit www.surpriseaz.gov/hhwevent.
  • March 16 to 20- If you have a teen interested in attending a College Tour to Arizona State University, University of Arizona and/or Grand Canyon University, please call 623-222-2000 to sign up for one of our college field trips.
  • March 26- We invite you to joins us at the State of the City Address and 60th Anniversary Celebration www.surpriseaz.gov/SOTC.
  • March 27- Rec Nights “Spring Fling” for teens in 6-8 grade www.surpriseaz.gov/teenprograms.
  • April 1- Census Day; for more info www.surpriseaz.gov/Census2020

Closing

As a reminder, City Council agendas are posted online at www.surpriseaz.gov/agendas at least two business days before the meeting. City Council meets the first and third Tuesdays of each month. Work Sessions are at 4 p.m. and Regular Meetings begin at 6 p.m. All meetings are carried live on Surprise TV for cable customers and streamed online at www.surpriseaz.gov/surpriseTV.

February 5, 2020 • D3 Monthly Newsletter

Thank you for signing up to receive city updates and my council newsletters. I am honored to serve the residents of District 3 and I am always available for questions, concerns or comments. Please follow me on Facebook or email me directly at patrick.duffy@surpriseaz.gov.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Celebration & Service

The City of Surprise 4th Annual MLK Day of Celebration and Service is an event so many of us look forward to and is a great way to get involved in your community. This year, there were many great community service projects such as creating birthday cards and goody bags for foster families, stuffing packages for Packages from Home, assembling hygiene kits for the homeless, filling backpacks with school supplies and writing thank you letters to Veterans. I am proud to be a part of the wonderful community we have in the City of Surprise.

Spring Training

This year marks the 18th Annual Cactus League Spring Training season. It all starts with the Surprise Spring Training Welcome Back Luncheon on Friday, February 14, which also includes complimentary entry into the Sanderson Ford College Baseball Classic game at 1 p.m. The College Baseball Classic continues from February 14-17 at Surprise Stadium. Regular admission tickets are as low as $15 each. Spring Training starts on Friday, February 21, and continues through Saturday, March 21. Also, there is a Surprise Spring Training 5K on March 6. There are also some fun special events and promotions such as Kids Run the Bases after every Sunday game. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit https://www.surprisestadium.com/.

Meeting with Shadow Ridge High School Student

We recently had the opportunity to meet with a concerned high school student regarding recycling. She shared her concerns, insights and ideas about our community which led to a great discussion about her future goals and plans for community involvement.

Development in Surprise

The much anticipated Sterling Grove by Toll Brothers, located in District 3, is now open! This planned community spans 780 acres and includes such amenities as a clubhouse, pools, tennis and pickleball courts as well as an 18-hole Nicklaus-designed golf course. Thank you for choosing the City of Surprise for such an amazing development!

City Council also attended the grand opening of Asante Library, 16755 W. Vereda Solana Drive. The 10,000 square foot space offers such amenities as self-check kiosks, public computers, free wi-fi and separate areas for children, teens and adults. This location is the first to offer study and meeting rooms.

Road Closures

Please continue to be aware of various road closures and traffic restrictions:

  • Due to road improvement, Sarival Avenue remains closed from Cactus Road to Hearn Road through March 2020. Sarival Avenue is open to local traffic only from Greenway Road to Hearn Road.
  • Waddell Road continues to be fully closed from SR303 to Legacy Park Boulevard through March 2020. Intermittent closures, reduced speed limits and lane restrictions will continue through mid-June 2020.

As always, please feel free to reach out to me directly if you should have any questions or concerns regarding traffic. For the most up-to-date information on road closures, please visit https://www.surpriseaz.gov/100/Road-Closures-Traffic-Restrictions.

New Council Conversations Show – Surprise Youth Council

Councilmember David Sanders and I hosted a Council Conversations show with our Surprise Youth Council. Hear from our youth about what the Surprise Youth Council is and what projects they are working on. Plus, get their perspective on what’s important to them, some of city’s greatest strengths and weaknesses, and their favorite places to visit in Surprise. Then, we answered some of their questions for us!

Check out the episode here: https://surprisetv.surpriseaz.gov/watch?v=tWUDZWhXIP8

City Academy

The City of Surprise conducts a City Academy each year. This provides residents the opportunity to learn about local issues, meet local leaders and understand how city government is structured. This eight-week academy will provide you with a better understanding of each department and how they work together.

The 2020 Surprise City Academy meets weekly from February 24 to April 6 in the auditorium of the Surprise Public Safety Building, 14250 W. Statler. Seating is limited and registration is required prior to February 17. Please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/cityacademy for more information.

Upcoming Events

Closing

As a reminder, City Council agendas are posted online at www.surpriseaz.gov/agendas at least two business days before the meeting. City Council meets the first and third Tuesdays of each month. Work Sessions are at 4 p.m. and Regular Meetings begin at 6 p.m. All meetings are carried live on Surprise TV for cable customers and streamed online at www.surpriseaz.gov/surpriseTV.

Councilmember John Williams’ Quarterly Newsletter – Jan. 2016

As we begin this new year, we have so much to be grateful for. I am grateful for the support of each and every one of you. It has been an honor and privilege to serve the City as Vice Mayor in 2016 and my constituents in District 3 as Councilman for the last seven years. I am also grateful for all of the fantastic things happening in Surprise. I wanted to share some of the news with you.

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Intersection Project

City Council thoroughly discussed the Bell Road/Grand Avenue intersection project in an interactive conversation with representatives for Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) and ADOT during a City Council Meeting on October 20. At that time, City Council moved to proceed with the project.

City Council and staff continue to meet with ADOT concerning the communication roll-out of the Bell Road/Grand Avenue Intersection project to help mitigate the concerns of our residents and business community. ADOT, in partnership with the City, has developed a comprehensive outreach and communications program for the residents and businesses in Surprise. A Public Information Advisory Team comprised of representatives from ADOT, the City, Maricopa County, businesses and residents will assist with developing messaging, disseminating information and facilitating business outreach.

ADOT representatives are scheduled to provide an update at the City Council Work Session on Tuesday, January 19 at 4 pm in the City Council Chambers.

Upcoming Traffic Construction

There are so many Capital Improvement projects scheduled to occur in the next few months that you should be aware of. Those projects include:

Waddell Road Median (Litchfield Road to 1200 feet west): Construction began this month.

Landscaping Median (various locations): The project currently focuses on completing medians in the following locations:

  • Reems Road—Peoria to Cactus (1 mile)
  • Bullard Avenue—Peoria to Cholla (1/2 mile)
  • Waddell Road—175th to Citrus (1/2 mile)
  • Sarival Road—Bell to Northwest Ranch Parkway (900 ft)

It is expected that the request for bid public bid will close in January. Construction is expected to begin in the March/April timeframe with the individual sections prioritized as listed above.

Cactus Road (south side) from Litchfield Road to Rail Road Tracks and Litchfield Road (east side) from Cactus Road to Desert Cove Road: It is expected that the construction of the project will go out for a public bid that will close in January. Construction is expected to begin in the March/April timeframe.

Peoria Avenue (Reems Road to Sarival Avenue): Lennar has begun construction. Project is complete.

Peoria Avenue (south side) from Greer Ranch Parkway to Reems Road:Construction will commence after Lennar completes the construction on the north side.

Bullard Avenue Task Force Meeting: The community is invited to attend the next Bullard Avenue Task Force meeting on Monday, Jan. 25, 6 p.m., at the Northwest Regional Library, 16089 N. Bullard Avenue. The city worked with a grant-funded Safe Routes to School design team to create a plan that incorporates the recommendations decided on by the task force this past fall. The recommendations included retaining the 35 mile-per-hour speed limit and restoring two travel lanes in each direction. Also, due to heavier pedestrian crossings at the intersections at Acoma and Sweetwater, the group requested some traffic signals be added, along with crosswalks.

Cactus Road (north half) from 143rd Avenue to Bullard Avenue: This project includes half street improvements with a median. DMB is the project owner, with the City contributing to median costs. The project is expected to be completed in the spring of 2016.

Greenway Road (Bullard Avenue to Litchfield Road): This project is anticipated to be completed in summer 2016. The project includes intersection dip improvements.

Greenway and Dysart Intersection: This project will improve the existing dip section and is anticipated to be completed prior to Spring Training 2016.

A full closure of the intersection is planned for Friday, January 15 at 7:30 pm through Sunday, January 17 at 8 pm. Following full closure, there will be some finishing work that will require lane restrictions through January 24, pending no weather-related delays.

Neighborhood Grant Program

The Surprise City Council has approved funding to support a new Neighborhood Grant Program that provides eligible neighborhoods with small grants to fund neighborhood events, functions or even some community improvements.

Recognizing an opportunity to encourage community engagement and further build strong relationships with communities in Surprise, the city designated $10,000 to support this new grant program.

To be considered, projects must meet the following program criteria:

• Provide a public benefit

• Result in a product, which benefits a neighborhood or the larger Surprise Community

• Be feasible for completion by June 17, 2016

• Involve the benefiting neighborhood in project identification, planning and execution

• Emphasize neighborhood self-help; or be educational, community-building, or a public physical improvement

Additionally, a minimum of 5 neighbors within the residential area must sign the application and support the idea; neighborhoods governed by a homeowner association (HOA) must have HOA approval.

Interested communities should deliver the complete Neighborhood Grant Program application to City Hall, attention Jodi Tas, by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, February 26.

An information session will be held Saturday, January 30 at 9:00 a.m. at Surprise City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza in the Council Overflow room.

For more information about the grant, visit the Neighborhood Grant Program webpage or contact Jodi Tas, 623.222.1330.

Recent Changes in City Ordinances

On December 4, 2015, the City of Surprise adopted several changes to ordinances related to animal ownership. In an effort to ensure all citizens are made aware of the new changes, the Surprise Police provided the following review of the affected ordinances or city codes.

To begin with, the definition of “at large” was changed in Surprise City Code 10-19. The code also requires a dog owner to contain their pet within a structure (home), an enclosure (fenced rear yard), or restrain and control the animal (leash) at all times. While away from their premises, the dog owner has the same requirements; however, there continues to be an exemption for a dog park.

Within the same city code, there was also a change for homeowners in gated communities. A previous exception stating dogs were not at large anywhere within a gated community has been deleted. At this time, gated communities are treated the same as any other location within the City of Surprise.

Surprise City Code 10-24 also was modified. The code penalizes all owners who: do not get their dog licensed, counterfeit a dog license, remove a valid license from a dog, or place a license for another animal on their dog which is not valid.

Also, the Surprise Police would like to remind citizens of Surprise City Code 10-26. This code states an owner who wants to continue keeping an animal previously declared vicious by a court must obtain liability insurance, have the animal spayed or neutered, and muzzle the animal when taking it off the owner’s premises.

Other changes were also made to Surprise City Code 10-56. The change states an animal found running around a neighborhood may cause the owner to have to pay food and housing charges, if the owner was negligent in allowing the animal to get out. Proof of negligence is more than just a dog getting out – it would come from the dog getting out multiple times or proof the owner is not taking reasonable steps to keep the animal contained.

Additionally, in regard to Surprise City Code 10-79, the code now requires only one person to file a formal complaint with the police about a barking dog prior to enforcement action being taken.

If you have additional questions in regard to these city ordinances, please contact the Surprise Police Department at 623.222.4000.

For more information or to review current Surprise City Ordinances, visit: http://ow.ly/VlWvV

Economic Development Update

The City’s Economic Development Department continues to be busy with inquiries. This past October, they had inquiries from 3 large businesses, 1 small business and 2 for the AZ TechCelerator. There were 2 large business site visits, 12 small business assists and 14 AZ TechCelerator tenant requests.

Cobalt Rehabilitation Hospital held their ribbon cutting and open house on November 19. The hospital will officially open its doors this month. The $17.5 million rehabilitation hospital with 40 beds is specifically designed for treating devastating head injuries that general hospitals may not be equipped to handle. The hospital brings 140 jobs to Surprise! The hospital recently hired Dr. Raj Singh as its medical director. He is also the medical director for the Barrow Neurosurgical Associates NeuroSpine and Rehab Center and the Rehabilitation Institute of Scottsdale.

Great news! Oregano’s is coming to Surprise! I am thrilled to have this popular eatery available for our residents! More details will be available soon!

Oregano’s coming soon sign

Construction will soon begin on a new Honda dealership in Prasada. The company is in the final permitting stages now.

Pet Club is now open at the corner of Greenway and Cotton in District 3.

General Plan Summit

Surprise City Council and Surprise Planning and Zoning Commissioners hosted the 2015 Annual General plan Summit on December 4 at City Hall. Department Directors presented the City’s progress toward achieving the Surprise General Plan 2035 goals and policies, discussed the Economic Development Strategic Plan, provided an update to the OTS Heritage District and conversed about City Monument Gateways.

John Lenio, with the commercial real estate firm CBRE, served as the guest speaker and provided a private sector point of view to Economic Development.

Eric Fitzer speaks at General plan Summit

City Council approved several amendments to some land-use elements of the Surprise General Plan 2035 at the Special Council Meeting on December 19.

Key changes include replacing the Village Plan requirements from the development process, with a “Character Area” approach, to provide more flexibility in establishing land-use concepts and building forms to create a unified city. Wildlife Corridors remain within the conservation element and the overall General Plan. Open space is designated within the land-use element.

Prior to the council vote, Community Development hosted a 60-day review period allowing for public input on the proposed changes and hundreds of you helped via an online survey. Public Hearings were held before the Planning & Zoning Commission and the City Council.

New Parks in Surprise

The City held a ribbon cutting celebration for our two newest parks, Veramonte Community Park and Surprise Farms Park, on November 14. Veramonte Community Park located at 12741 N. 140th Avenue, features restrooms, a splash pad, a parking lot and other new park amenities. Surprise Farms Park, located at the southeast corner of 175th Avenue and Surprise Farms Loop South, features a playground, splash pad, basketball court, skate park, restrooms and other park amenities.

children at play on slash pad children skating at skate park

1st Annual Veterans Day Parade

The City hosted its first inaugural Veterans Day Parade on Wednesday, November 11. There were approximately 70 parade entries and 4,500 attendees. I was extremely proud to walk alongside Debbie Lee who is an accomplished author, public speaker and political activist who has traveled the nation telling her son, Marc Lee’s, amazing story and advocating for our troops, their families and the families of our fallen soldiers. Marc Lee was killed in action and became the first Navy SEAL killed in Iraq in August 2006. Ms. Lee founded America’s Mighty Warriors (AMW). AMW is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization that honors troops, the fallen and their families with programs that improve their quality of life, resiliency and recovery.

623strong was honored to host their 1st Annual America’s Mighty Warriors Challenge fundraiser at DreamCatcher Park on Veterans Day. This competition is unlike any other and represents the heart and dedication of what AMW stands for and strives to instill in the community. The female and male winner of this cross fit style competition had the honor of riding with Debbie Lee in the Surprise Veterans Day parade.

Surprise Dial-A-Ride

With demand for the City’s Dial-A-Ride service increasing, the City Council recently voted to fund an increase in the number of weekday trips offered by the service.

These additional funds have increased the weekday trip cap from 140 to 160 one-way trips per day through the close of the fiscal year in June. A request to sustain the increase will be submitted to the City Council during the FY2017 budget process.

This increase comes after the recent announcement that Surprise Dial-A-Ride now offers holiday service, which is capped at 30 one-way trips per day.

Dial-A-Ride’s regular hours of operation are Monday through Saturday, 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays have a cap of 30 one-way trips.

As a reminder, Dial-A-Ride offers advanced reservations. Certified ADA, seniors and others with disabilities can schedule advance reservations up to 14 days prior to the trip. To make an appointment for Dial-A-Ride service, please call 602.266.8723.

All Dial-A-Ride service requirements remain the same and can be viewed at www.surpriseaz.gov/dialaride.

Spring Training

The 14th annual Surprise Spring Training Season will kick off on Wednesday, Mar. 2 at the Surprise Recreation Campus – The Campus of Champions – featuring Surprise’s home teams: the Kansas City Royals – 2015 World Series Champion and Texas Rangers – 2015 American League Western Division Champion.

The box office is now open! Tickets can also be purchased over the phone with Tickets.com at 888.755.2583 or online at www.surprisespringtraining.com. Service charges may apply to online and phone orders.

Individual tickets and season packages are available. Individual game ticket prices range from $8 in the lawn to $30 in the premium lower dugout and include free parking. Four premium games (see schedule below) have been designated with individual ticket pricing ranging from $13-$35.

Ticket packages available include Full Season, Home Team Half Season, and Home Team 7-Packs. All packages include priority seating and VIP Parking. Full Season and Half Season packages include a VIP season ticket reception.

For questions or more information, please check our website at www.surprisespringtraining.com or call 623.222.2222.

2016 Spring Training Schedule
*Schedule subject to change | Premium Games

Mar 2 Texas Rangers vs. Kansas City Royals 1:05 p.m.
Mar 3 Texas Rangers vs. Kansas City Royals 1:05 p.m.
Mar 4 Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Texas Rangers 1:05 p.m.
Mar 5 Chicago White Sox vs. Kansas City Royals 1:05 p.m.
Mar 6 Seattle Mariners vs. Texas Rangers 1:05 p.m.
Mar 7 San Francisco Giants vs. Texas Rangers 1:05 p.m.
Mar 8 Colorado Rockies vs. Kansas City Royals 1:05 p.m.
Mar 9 Milwaukee Brewers vs. Kansas City Royals 1:05 p.m.
Mar 10 Chicago White Sox vs. Texas Rangers 1:05 p.m.
Mar 11 Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Kansas City Royals 1:05 p.m.
Mar 12 Oakland Athletics vs. Texas Rangers 1:05 p.m.
Mar 13 Cleveland Indians vs. Kansas City Royals 1:05 p.m.
Mar 14 Chicago White Sox vs. Kansas City Royals 1:05 p.m.
Mar 15 Cleveland Indians vs. Texas Rangers 1:05 p.m.
Mar 16 Chicago Cubs vs. Kansas City Royals 1:05 p.m.
Mar 17 Milwaukee Brewers vs. Texas Rangers 6:05 p.m.
Mar 18 Los Angeles Angels vs. Kansas City Royals 1:05 p.m.
Mar 19 Seattle Mariners vs. Kansas City Royals 1:05 p.m.
Mar 20 Los Angeles Angels vs. Texas Rangers 1:05pm
Mar 21 Colorado Rockies vs. Texas Rangers 1:05 p.m.
Mar 22 Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Kansas City Royals 6:05 p.m.
Mar 23 Chicago Cubs vs. Texas Rangers 1:05 p.m.
Mar 24 Cincinnati Reds vs. Texas Rangers 1:05 p.m.
Mar 25 San Diego Padres vs. Texas Rangers 6:05 p.m.
Mar 26 Oakland Athletics vs. Kansas City Royals 1:05 p.m.
Mar 27 Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Texas Rangers 1:05 p.m.
Mar 28 San Diego Padres vs. Kansas City Royals 1:05 p.m.
Mar 29 San Francisco Giants vs. Kansas City Royals 6:05 p.m.
Mar 30 Kansas City Royals vs. Texas Rangers 12:05 p.m.

Shop Surprise!

Please remember that when you choose to shop in Surprise, you are helping shape our community. The money you spend here, stays here. In fact, local sales tax makes up nearly 40% of the city’s General Fund revenues. This money is used for Surprise Police, Surprise Fire-Medical, street maintenance and our parks!

Shop Surprise

Registration for Youth Sports Programs is open

Registration is open through Jan. 23 for a variety of City of Surprise youth sports programs, including softball, tee-ball and baseball.

The final registration day, Jan. 23, is a special Saturday registration, which will be held from 8-11 a.m. at the Community and Recreation Services office, located at 15960 N. Bullard Ave. Normal office hours are Monday – Friday, 8a.m. to 5p.m. Registration can also be completed online at www.surpriseaz.gov/recreation.

The following sports are open for registration:

Babe Ruth Girls Softball League (Girls, 7–16 years old) – Teaches the game of softball in the spirit of sportsmanship, fun and wholesome competition. An emphasis is placed on the development of skills and the value of teamwork.

12U, 14U & 16U participants will undergo a skills evaluation to be drafted to a team. The skills evaluation will be held Saturday, Feb. 27. Age is determined on or before December 31, 2016.

Cal Ripken Youth Tee-ball – NEW 4-5 year old division! (Boys and Girls, 4 – 6 years old) – The road to the “Big Leagues” starts here! The Cal Ripken tee-ball program will offer separate 4-5 year old and 5-6 year old divisions. Participants will have the opportunity to learn the basic fundamentals and skills associated with the game of baseball in an atmosphere where participation and fun are top priority. Age is determined on or before April 30, 2016.

Cal Ripken Baseball League (Boys and Girls, 7-12 years old) – This league will concentrate highly on instruction and will emphasize the development of fundamental skills over wins and losses. Participants registered in the Major (10-12) American League 46/60 or National League 50/70 division will undergo a skills evaluation and will be drafted to a team. The skills evaluation will be held Saturday, Feb. 27. Age is determined on or before April 30, 2016.

The City of Surprise welcomes you to volunteer for the upcoming Spring Sports Season. The Community and Recreation Services Department is dedicated to providing our volunteers the information and confidence they need to have a fun and successful season. If you are interested, please complete a volunteer application at the Community and Recreation Services Office.

For registration or program fee information, please contact the Sports Division at 623.222.2000 or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/recreation.

Opinion Piece

Being a school administrator and working in education for the last few decades, I’ve personally witnessed the effect that social media has had on students. Students have more information at their fingertips now than ever before. Think about this – According to Pew Research Center, 73% of wired American teens (ages 12-17) utilize social networking sites! While the ease of mobile social media can be utilized as an educational tool and assist with our youth’s studies, it is also damaging. It has been used as a haven for bullying and utilized for schools, specifically colleges, as a source for viewing applicants’ online profiles.

Social media is also distracting! According to CommonSense Media, a nonprofit group that studies children’s use of technology, 69% of American high schools have banned use or even possession of mobile devices on school grounds.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the danger of social media as well. Schools and parents need to continue to monitor, to the best of our abilities, the social networking sites of our youth not only because it distracts them for their schoolwork but to also keep them safe!

In closing, I wish you and your families a wonderful, safe, happy, healthy new year!

My best,

Councilman John Williams
District 3

Vice Mayor John Williams’ Quarterly Newsletter – Feb 2015

Happy New Year to District 3!   At the first regular City Council meeting of the year, I was honored to be appointed as the City’s Vice Mayor.  I look forward to serving Surprise as Vice Mayor and as your Councilman.  This year, 2015, brings with it many challenges, and many opportunities.  My efforts for all projects, initiatives, and issues will be to continue to serve the residents of District 3 and make decisions that serve the greater good for all of our community.

Surprise Youth Council
For the past 8 years I’ve worked on several youth initiatives and projects, attempting each time to engage our youth, battling apathy and encouraging civic engagement.  This year, with the emergence of our Youth Administrator and the adoption of the Surprise Youth Council (SYC), we have taken all these projects and initiatives and built a solid, sustainable youth leadership group.  The SYC is designed to improve the level of activity and engagement among youth and all Surprise residents with the City of Surprise. The group will be advisory to the City Council on issues, initiatives, projects and program implementation citywide.  They will have an opportunity to write their own path for our city, developing projects and programs, and implementing policy and procedures that impact the city as a whole.

The purpose of the city developing, implementing, and enthusiastically supporting the SYC is to provide real-life opportunities for our future leaders to learn, grow, and develop the knowledge and skills necessary to be a civic leader.  SYC is comprised of 25 students representing five of our local high schools and nine of our local middle schools.  Student members were selected through an application and nomination process that included the submission of their own personal introductory video.  The videos were 1-2 minute PSAs on why they wanted to be part of the SYC.  It gave the students an opportunity to demonstrate, in a creative and innovative way, their knowledge of the city, their passion for serving as a voice for all of Surprise youth, and their purposeful commitment to serve the city.

For this group, it is a rare opportunity to build something from the ground up and make a difference in their community.  SYC leadership positions will be modeled after City Council, with a youth mayor, vice mayor and committee chairs.  Officers will take turns holding a non-voting seat at the Dias during City Council meetings.

This diverse group will be challenged by extensive training in how to work together and be leaders in their community.  They will work side by side with adult leaders including our Mayor and City Council.  The SYC will identify issues important to them and implement their ideas to solve problems and make a difference.  This will be done through a variety of events, community service projects and a broad social media and communications/marketing plan.

Due to the timing of the program, this group will serve through next school year.  We will begin the recruitment process for any vacancies around March 2016.

Surprise Youth Council

SYC with Vice Mayor and Council

Community Workshops
The City began the New Year hosting community meetings at various locations in hopes to receive public input for updating key elements of our existing General Plan 2035.  General Plan 2035 is a blueprint for the City’s future growth and development and it provides a means of providing long-range perspective and framework for more specific planning.  It addresses land use, economic development, housing, recreation and open spaces and much more.

Surprise witnessed a 281% increase in population growth from 2000 to 2010.  MAG estimates that our City will see another increase of approximately 30,000 between now and 2020.  The General Plan will help us plan for that growth accordingly.  The data we received from MAG also states that 91.3% of our residents travel outside of Surprise to work.  The City Council and City staff are working diligently to increase our economic development to create more employment here.  As of now, most employment in the City are in the fields of educational services, health care and social assistance.  A large percentage of our residents work in the fields of office management, office support, administrative support and sales.

Growing Surprise
As part of the City Manager’s commitment to increase economic development, he hired Jeanine Jerkovic in December as the new Director to our Economic Development Department.  Jeanine brings incredible experience from working as an Economic Development Administrator for the City of Glendale and the City of Peoria.  She is a fantastic addition to our leadership team.  Jeanine is also a resident of Surprise.

Upcoming Events

Looking back on 2014, there were so many accomplishments that were the result of hard-working City of Surprise staff and our dedicated City Council.

February will serve as the kick-off to baseball in Surprise.  You will find collegiate baseball’s finest at Surprise Stadium for the Spring Training Baseball Classic beginning February 13-February 16 as teams from Oregon State, Northwestern University, Michigan State and the University of New Mexico will be competing.  The BIG 12-PAC 12 Spring Training Baseball Challenge will be February 19-February 22 hosting Oregon State, Oklahoma State, Utah, Kansas, Kansas State and Washington State.

Join Mayor Wolcott and the Surprise City Council Monday, February 23, at the 13th Annual Mayor’s Welcome Back Luncheon where guests will have an exclusive opportunity to hear about the upcoming Season directly from Team Staff and members of both organizations.  Tickets for this event are now available for purchase at the Surprise Community and Recreation Services Office located at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue, Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m.-5:00 pm.

The Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals are headed back to Surprise for the 2015 Spring Training season! The season will begin Wednesday, March 4 with the 13th Annual Surprise Sundancer Charity Game featuring the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers. The Surprise Stadium will continue to celebrate the American League Champions as they prepare and work their way back into the 2015 MLB Post-Season throughout a series of promotional events;  Saturday, March 7th- Kansas City Royals American League Championship Day Celebration; Sundays-Military Appreciation Day and Mondays-Senior Day at the Ballpark.

Be a part of the 2015 Spring Sports Festival and purchase your tickets at the Surprise Stadium Box Office – now open Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m. -5:00 p.m., Saturdays 10:00 a.m.-2 p.m. and Sundays 10 a.m-2 p.m. For more information regarding events and ticket promotions please visit www.surprisespringtraining.com or contact the box office at 623-222-2222.

Competitive Youth Sports:  Hoops, Soccer & Swim!!
The City of Surprise Community and Recreation Services Department is accepting team registrations for the inaugural Competitive Basketball League and Competitive Soccer League!  Boys or girls teams may register in the 10U, 12U or 14U division for a fee of $1,200.00. All three divisions will follow National Federation of High Schools rules and will play a 10-game regular season, followed by a single elimination league tournament. Games will begin in early March and the league tournament will conclude by April 25, 2015.

For more information on any of these competitive leagues, please contact Paul Frie at 623-222-2240 or paul.frie@surpriseaz.gov.

If your children are interested in the water, the Surprise Storm is now the competitive club swim team here in Surprise.  There is room for all competitive swimmers with three separate levels that divide the various ages and skill sets of the athletes.  Swimmers compete state wide, with upcoming events at Glendale Community College and Phoenix Country Day School.  For more information on Surprise swim, contact Head Coach Tim Manley at tim.manley@surpriseaz.gov.

Educational Opportunities Stakeholders Group
This year, I will be forming and leading discussions on ways to support and improve educational opportunities in Surprise.  Working in tandem with Councilmember Jim Biundo, and our local education leaders, this stakeholders group is looking to improve education in our community, striving for Educational Excellence in Surprise.

Why is education a critical issue for a municipality?  As we continue to grow into the future, the economic viability of our community is critically linked to the educational opportunities we provide to our residents.  When businesses, small and large, look to lay their roots in Surprise education is a high-priority.

Safe communities are communities with high-performing educational institutions.  Education is the great equalizer when it comes to affording opportunities to youth that will keep them on a clear path for success.  When this path is obstructed, altered, or derailed, the result may be a path that leads to trouble for our youth.  This will undoubtedly lead to an increase in preventable crime, and diminish the amenities we enjoy in this clean, safe and secure community.

The Surprise Educational Opportunities Stakeholders group will come together to formulate creative and innovative ways to improve educational opportunities at the local and regional levels. This is an opportunity to have a positive impact on providing and improving educational opportunities from Pre-K through Higher Education.

We are looking for parents, business owners, teachers, students, and other community members that are vested in the success of our local schools to participate in this conversation.  If you have any interest please contact me via email at john.williams@surpriseaz.gov.

Get Engaged, Be Active in Surprise
Being active in the community you reside in is such a critical component to a successful neighborhood and City.  The City has several opportunities for you to participate.  Some of our Boards & Commissions currently have openings including the Health Benefits Trust Fund Board and the Building & Construction Review Board.  Please feel free to contact the City Clerk, Sherry Aguilar at 623-222-1000 for more information.