Monthly Archives: March 2015


• Understanding probate
• The importance of wills, living wills, health care powers of attorney
• How to create a wealth transfer legacy
• How to guarantee your income for the rest of your life & your spouse’s life
• How to maximize the living and death benefits of life insurance
• How to use the current IRS tax codes to create a tax-free retirement
• How to keep your estate private
• The most common estate planning traps to avoid


AFEA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization that provides complimentary financial workshops in communities nationwide.



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ADOT’s Tentative Five-Year Construction Program: public comment begins next week
Preservation of state highway system major focus for 2016-2020 program

PHOENIX – As the Arizona Department of Transportation begins making plans for improvements to the state highway system over the next five years, the major focus will be on preserving existing infrastructure to ensure that it remains in good condition, while providing a reliable transportation network for drivers. It can be a tough balance, as constrained funding simply cannot meet all the transportation needs around the state.

The 2016-2020 Tentative Five-Year Transportation Facilities Construction Program will be available for public comment beginning next week through ADOT’s website and during the first of three public hearings. The Five-Year Program is a lineup of projects that is updated annually. It serves as a blueprint for future projects and designates how much local, state and federal funding is allocated for those projects over the next five years to improve the state’s transportation infrastructure. This includes highways, bridges, transit and aviation.

Limited funding amid growing statewide transportation needs continues to be the biggest challenge over the next five years. Fewer dollars dedicated to transportation is a result of less revenue from traditional sources of transportation funding, like the state gas tax and vehicle license tax, which support the Five-Year Program. The state gas tax is currently 18 cents per gallon and has not been increased for more than 20 years.

These transportation funding challenges have signaled a shift to a strong focus on the preservation of the state highway system, to protect a system valued at $19.7 billion. If ADOT did not invest in preservation, it would cost approximately $200 billion to replace our existing highway infrastructure, should it fall into disrepair. ADOT is committed to moving major expansion projects forward as well, but with less transportation dollars to stretch, fewer expansion projects make it into the Five-Year Program.

For the 2016-2020 Tentative Five-Year Program, preservation makes up 29 percent of the projects in the combined regions of the Phoenix and Tucson metropolitan areas and Greater Arizona. Expansion accounts for 59 percent and modernization makes up 12 percent. However, when focused just on Greater Arizona (areas of the state excluding Maricopa and Pima counties), preservation makes up 68 percent of the total projects, expansion makes up eight percent, and modernization makes up 24 percent. Both the Maricopa and Pima county regions in the two metropolitan areas have independent revenue streams established through voter-approved sales tax increases that allow for more expansion projects to take place and for more transportation funding overall.

The process for each annual Tentative Five-Year Program always begins with a call to the public, an opportunity to voice comments to the State Transportation Board and let the board know which projects are important to communities around Arizona. The public comment period for the 2016-2020 Tentative Five-Year Transportation Facilities Construction Program will get underway next week with the first of three public hearings.

ADOT has developed a “how to read it” guide and welcomes feedback at A phone number is also available for public comments at 1-855-712-8530.







CCC-CPR consists of continuous aggressive chest compressions to keep the victim’s blood circulating through their brain and heart, which has been proven to increase survival rates. And, because it does not require mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, it reduces the risk of spreading viruses or other kinds of disease between the life-saver and victim.

Statistics show the survival rate for a cardiac arrest victim drops by 10 percent for every minute delay in starting CCC-CPR. The typical response time for emergency personnel is 4-8 minutes, so it is important to know this life-saving skill.


Surprise, AZ (March 16, 2015) Household leaks can waste more than 1 trillion gallons of water annually nationwide! To remind residents of the importance of checking for leaks, the City of Surprise is participating in The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) annual Fix-a-Leak Week campaign March 16–22.

Fixing easily corrected household water leaks can save homeowners about 10 percent on their water bills. Common types of leaks found in the home are worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and other leaking valves. These types of leaks are often easily correctable and can pay for themselves in water savings.

How to check for leaks:

• A good method to check for leaks is to examine your winter water usage. It’s likely that a family of four has a serious leak problem if its winter water use exceeds 12,000 gallons per month.
• Check your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, you probably have a leak.
• One way to find out if you have a toilet leak is to place a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If the color shows up in the bowl within 15 minutes without flushing, you have a leak. Make sure to flush immediately after this experiment to avoid staining the tank.

Tips for fixing leaks:

• Leaky faucets can be fixed by checking faucet washers and gaskets for wear and replacing them if necessary.
• Most leaky showerheads can be fixed by ensuring a tight connection using pipe tape and a wrench.
• If your toilet is leaking, the cause is often an old, faulty toilet flapper. Over time, this inexpensive rubber part decays, or minerals build up on it. It’s usually best to replace the whole rubber flapper—a relatively easy, inexpensive do-it-yourself project that pays for itself in no time.
• To ensure that your in-ground irrigation system is not leaking water, consult with a WaterSense irrigation partner who has passed a certification program focused on water efficiency; look for a WaterSense irrigation partner. An irrigation system should be checked each spring before use to make sure it was not damaged by frost or freezing.
• Check your garden hose for leaks at its connection to the spigot. If it leaks while you run your hose, replace the nylon or rubber hose washer and ensure a tight connection to the spigot using pipe tape and a wrench.

If fixing your leak requires the replacement of your faucet, showerhead or toilet, look for a WaterSense labeled model.

For more information on Fix-a-Leak Week, please visit

From A- to A

Fitch Ratings-Austin-27 February 2015: Fitch Ratings upgrades to ‘A’ from ‘A-‘ the rating for thefollowing Surprise, Arizona Municipal Property Corporation (the corporation) bonds:
–$39.5 million in outstanding wastewater development impact fee and subordinate lien wastewater utility revenue bonds series 2007.
Rating Outlook is Stable.
SECURITY: The bonds are payable from a senior pledge of revenues from the collection in the project area of a wastewater development impact fee as well as a subordinate pledge of net revenues derived from the operation of the city of Surprise’s (the city) wastewater utility system (the system).

David Madrid, The Republic | 2:13 p.m. MST March 11, 2015

Department: Community and Recreation Services.

What the city did: The Surprise City Council approved taking money from the Spring Training Ticket Surcharge Fund to pay for expediting and advancing the renovation of the spring training clubhouses.

What it cost: $396,000. Why the city did it: The city, the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers are negotiating to extend their sports-facilities use agreements, which necessitates renovating the teams’ clubhouses. The total cost of the renovations and expansion of the clubhouses will be about $16.9 million. The $396,000 will be used for pre-construction testing and a deposit on hydrotherapy pools.
Team clubhouse expansion at Surprise Stadium “is a matter of polishing the city’s crown jewel,” Hillman said, noting the proposed $15 million expansion of team facilities helped the City reach an agreement with the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals to continue to train in Surprise. $1.7 million will refurbish stadium elements and practice fields that are available to the public.
“2014 Spring Training broke revenue records for the City and the teams,” Hillman said. “It’s critical we keep Surprise Stadium among the very best anywhere.”

The expansion would be funded by refinancing 2003 Municipal Property Corporation bonds, an approach “that became possible and prudent as our credit ratings improved over the past year,” Hillman said. “This method also frees up more than a million dollars since we will no longer have to maintain a cash reserve associated with the bond issue. That money can go directly to the Stadium expansion expense.”

(date ?) Bond Discussion for Surprise Stadium Renovations
During the City Council Work Session this week, the Finance Department presented its plans to pair the issuance of a $15M bond for clubhouse renovations with the refinancing of the MPC2003 bond at a lower interest rate to save administrative and issuance costs. The new bond issuance would be contingent on the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals extending their agreement with the City until 2030. Council will be discussing this item over the next few months.

Surprise’s adopted fiscal year 2015 budget is about $311 million. The fiscal year started July 1.

Here’s a closer look at how the city is spending taxpayer money.

Department: Public Works What the city did: Surprise entered into an intergovernmental agreement with the Arizona Department of Transportation to add some work to an estimated $45.5 million project that includes widening Loop 303 from Mountain View Boulevard to Grand Avenue.

What it cost: $100,655 with additional costs to be determined after construction.

Why the city did it: ADOT is widening Loop 303 to a six-lane divided freeway from south of Mountain View Boulevard to north of Grand Avenue. That includes construction of a new Loop 303 bridge over Grand Avenue with the existing bridge to remain in service. In conjunction with the state’s widening project, the city asked to include the design and construction of a number of road improvements, at the city’s expense. Project construction began in December and is scheduled to be complete in the summer of 2016.

The city is paying for design, construction and maintenance of an intelligent transportation system conduit, which costs $90,839; fire-preemption equipment to allow emergency vehicles to turn the light green at the traffic signal on Grand Avenue for $2,260; accent eggplant paint on a sound wall for $7,452; and accent paint on four turtles on the sound wall at the access ramps for $104. The remainder of the money is for fiber installation, and additional final project costs will be determined by ADOT when construction is complete, but those costs are estimated to be less than $50,000.

Bob Vukanovich Editor…………

Like Glendale, Surprise offers a database of transactions, titled It’s YOUR Money. According to the website, Surprise posts an award-winning CAFR and the database “is intended to provide additional information to augment the city’s financial reporting.”

Official Website – Surprise, Arizona – It’s YOUR Money

Bob, there was no audio or video recording of the work session from January 20, 2015 as my letter states.

I developed this web site in the hope that by bringing to you, the news of how our city government worked we would have a better understanding and relationship with our elected representative’s

The council members of the City of Surprise always say that they are transparent. The city has never been transparent in regards to what Exhibit A contains. Resolution # 2013-67 Exhibit A

The citizen’s of Surprise are entitled to know that we are operating under the Council/Manager form of government. I have never been able to find out how we got to this point, we had been under what you would call the “Ward System”.

Revised 2012 7-2 Toward this end, any person or entity charged with the interpretation of this article shall construe any provision of this article in favor of open and public meetings.

Sec. 22. Implementation of consolidated elections; expenditure limitations

A. Notwithstanding any other law, in order to comply with the consolidation of election dates prescribed in Laws 2012, chapter 353, a city

or town may lengthen the terms of office for its elected officials.

legislation was recently passed that will require all cities and towns to hold Council elections on even numbered years in order to consolidate with the State/County elections. Since Surprise has always held their Council elections on odd numbered years, this will extend the Mayor and City Council one year on their terms starting in 2014. The next council election cycle for Mayor
and Districts 2, 3 & 4 will be held in 2016 instead of 2015.


City now accepts credit cards for permit, records & biz license payments Surprise, AZ (October 21, 2013) With an ongoing commitment to customer service, the City of Surprise now accepts most major credit cards as payment for building permits, business licenses and records requests.

Surprise, AZ (September 24, 2013) The City of Surprise is offering a new service to Homeowners’ Associations and other private trail operators within city limits that will capture trail marker locations to assist in emergency response.

At the request of the trail owner, the city will capture GPS coordinates of trail markers and trail access points, free-of-charge, and share the information with emergency dispatch.

There is a no current CBS commission right now and hasn’t been for many years. The commission was disbanded then the revitalization committee was formed in its place and now that’s disbanned.

City now accepting CDBG grant applications
Surprise, AZ (December 23, 2013) The Surprise Neighborhood Services Division of Community and Economic Development is accepting applications from qualified non-profit organizations seeking funding for services that address the public services needs of the community.

Got a ticket? Surprise City Court lets you handle payments online

Surprise, AZ (November 21, 2013) A revamped Surprise City Court web site,, includes a convenient new feature: online payment of any civil traffic and/or criminal violation.
Supervisor Hickman I have over 30,000 visits on my website each month ( Feel free to use it at any time. Bob

> The Veterans Portal [ ] serves as a single, one-stop clearinghouse to link military veterans to employment, housing, legal information, training, education and wellness and other services provided by Maricopa County and the general community.

Hickman helps ban on government regulations Maricopa County Supervisor Clint Hickman proposed, and the Board of Supervisors adopted, an immediate countywide moratorium on all new county
government regulations [ ].


Our staff attorney who specializes in cities and counties has confirmed that my original interpretation was correct and the appointments must bemade by the mayor and city council.
As you all know, I recently started a news and political web site. It was, and is, my intention to inform the citizens of Surprise of current events, decisions made by the Surprise City Council and the happenings within our city government.

When it comes to predicting the winner of a horse race, few can do it as well as Surprise’s own “Arizona Bob.” Arizona Bob, also known as District 5 City Councilman Bob Vukanovich, has been handicapping race horses, rubbing elbows with owners, trainers and jockeys for more than 50 years. There are few people across

Luckily I live in Kingswood Parke, which is served by American Water Company where the water base is almost half of what the City of Surprise charges their customers. It appears every thing cost less when your outside of the cities service area.

City News

Surprise, AZ (February 24, 2015) Take the confusion out of annuities by getting the facts! Plan to attend one of two free workshops being offered by the City of Surprise this March.

The workshops, which will take place March 10 and March 17, are being taught by Mark Melkowski and Robert Feinholz with the American Financial Education Alliance (AFEA) and will cover the following topics:
• What is an annuity? • What are the various types of annuities? • Can annuities provide lifetime income? • Can annuities lose money? • How to choose the right annuity for you.
• What protection or guarantees do Annuities offer? • What are the fees?

The March 10 workshop will be held 10-11:30 a.m. and the March 17 workshop will be held 4-5:30p.m. Both workshops will be held in Conference Room 150 of the City Hall Building at 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, Surprise 85374. For information or registration, call Ruby Sitea at 623.222.3242 or Please register early since space is limited.
AFEA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization that provides complimentary financial workshops in communities nationwide.

Surprise, AZ (February 27, 2015)
Surprise residents- it’s the perfect time to prune your landscape and take advantage of the Spring Clean-up Event on Saturday, March 14.
The Spring Clean-up Event allows Surprise residents to drop off up to 2,000 pounds of residential waste free-of-charge at the Northwest Regional Landfill, 19401 W. Deer Valley Road.
The event runs from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Items that will be accepted include lawn waste and other typical household refuse.
Participants will be required to show proof of Surprise residency, via a driver’s license and electric bill showing the same home address.
NOTE: Hazardous waste items will not be accepted on March 14. Items such as paint, batteries, tires and pool chemicals will be collected at the city’s Household Hazardous Waste event, April 11, at the Public Works Maintenance Yard, 13433 W. Firefox Drive.
For more information about either event, please call 623.222.6000, or visit the Public Works website at

By Rusty Bradshaw
Independent Newsmedia, Inc. USA Updated March 3, 2015

SURPRISE, Ariz. — Surprise officials are looking for resident input for a public art project that will be part of the Bell Road/Grand Avenue intersection renovation when that construction begins in early next year.
The city will host two meetings to discuss the aesthetic improvements to the upcoming Bell Road/Grand Avenue interchange project. Resident input will be used to help design a project that reflects the community. Artist Meg Saligman is partnering with the city and will be on hand to discuss artistic concepts.
The meetings are scheduled 6-8 p.m. Monday, March 9 in the Kiva Room in Sun City Grand’s Sonoroan Plaza, 19752 N. Remington Drive; and two sessions 3-5 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, March 10 at Communiversity at Surprise, 15950 N. Civic Center Plaza.
Call Surprise Long Range Planning Manager Lloyd Abrams at 623-222-3021

Posted: Friday, February 27, 2015 3:00 am By Richard Smith, DAILY NEWS-SUN
The WinCo waiting game continues.

Construction stopped on the 85,000-square-foot grocery store on Bell Road just west of Loop 303 after a mid-October arbitrator’s ruling brought up issues with the site plan.

Phoenix-based firm Beus Gilbert PLLC represents LDR, property owner for the shopping center anchored by Safeway just west of the WinCo site, in several lawsuits related to the project.

Beus Gilbert attorney Paul Gilbert said earlier this week that three arbitrators heard two days of additional testimony on the site plan nearly a month ago and have not returned a ruling.

Phoenix-based firm Gammage & Burnham represents WinCo with regards to the site plan. Attorney Richard Mahrle said construction has resumed at the site.

While that’s true, work on the main structure is still held up as a site plan ruling awaits. WinCo officials originally planned to open the store in March.

Surprise officials said there has been some utility work and other items where building inspectors are called into action, but had no further details. WinCo representatives did not respond to calls.

If the site plan is approved, WinCo can finish construction unencumbered. If the arbitrator rules in favor of Beus Gilbert, it is likely that the case will go to court, Gilbert said in December.
Surprise, AZ (February 12, 2015) The City of Surprise Human Service & Community Vitality Department is seeking volunteers to assist with food service at the Surprise Senior Center.

Volunteer shifts are typically once or twice per week during the weekdays and last between two and four hours. Volunteer hours are flexible and coordinated to meet individual availability.

Volunteerism is an important component of community vitality. Volunteers give back to the community by sharing their unique talents in a variety of areas that positively impact the City of Surprise. Volunteers are valuable, vibrant and appreciated!

If you would like to become an active Senior Center Volunteer, please fill out an online application at or visit our Senior Center at 15832 North Hollyhock Street and pick up a volunteer application.

For more information, please contact Joe Gladieux at or call 623.222.1500.

Free workshop: Preserving, Protecting and Understanding your IRA

Surprise, AZ (March 3, 2015) The City of Surprise is offering a free IRA workshop that will focus on strategies to help with retirement planning, whether you are preparing to retire or are already using an IRA for retirement.

Mark Melkowski and Robert Feinholz, instructors with the American Financial Education Alliance (AFEA), are prepared to answer the following questions:

• How is a traditional IRA different from a Roth IRA?
• How are IRAs regulated and taxed by the Federal Government?
• What does IRS Publication 590 say about your IRA?
• What are the top 10 IRA mistakes?
• What are the tax advantages and disadvantages of an IRA for you and your heirs?
• How do “stretch provisions” allow you to pass IRA assets over generations?
• Do IRAs pass tax free to your heirs?
• Are annuities right for retirement and IRAs?

The workshop will be held at Surprise City Hall – Conference Room 150 on Tuesday, March 24 from 10-11:30 a.m.

For information or registration, contact Ruby Sitea at 623.222.3242 or Please register early since space is limited.

AFEA is a 501(c)3 nonprofit financial education organization.

Public invited to voter participation forum March 26

Surprise, AZ (March 3, 2015) The City of Surprise is home to nearly 124,000 residents, with more than half of them registered to vote, yet in the last citywide election only 36% actually voted!

Help change that statistic by attending a forum that’s designed to stimulate ideas on how to increase accessibility and ease of voting.

“Election Protection: Creative Solutions for Increasing and Sustaining Voter Participation” will be held Thursday, March 26, 9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. at Dysart Unified School District’s Nathaniel Dysart Education Center – Main Conference Room, 15802 N. Parkview Place.

The program will feature presentations by Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell, Yavapai County Recorder Leslie Hoffman and Yavapai County Election Director Lynn Constable and will cover the following information:

• How county election officials are working to ensure that voters have more information on how to participate in elections
• New voting technologies and practical solutions to allow voters to participate easily and conveniently
• Innovative and positive programs that have been or will be implemented in Arizona to increase/facilitate voter participation

Following the presentations, attendees are invited to stay to brainstorm additional ways to facilitate increased voter participation. There will also be an opportunity for residents to register to vote and to sign up for the Permanent Early Voter List.

The forum is being hosted by The League of Women Voters of Northwest Maricopa County and is co-sponsored by the City of Surprise and other local organizations.

For more information, please contact Carol Mattoon, Program Coordinator for the League of Women Voters of Northwest Maricopa County at or 623.815.1019.

March 3, 2015 (Surprise, AZ) The City of Surprise is offering a summer job program for income-eligible Surprise residents between the ages of 15 – 19.

Through the City Council-approved Surprise Youth Employment Program (SYEP), applicants must be available to work up to 30 hours a week for 10 weeks. Chosen interns will earn $8.00 per hour.

Twenty interns will be selected to receive professional development training; from shadowing a building inspector to working with seniors.

Eligibility Requirements: • Family income must be at or below 80% of area median income • Must be a full time student • Must reside in Surprise • Must be legally authorized to work in the U.S
• Must have access to reliable transportation (if selected).
Applicants will also have to submit income verification documents and letter of recommendation by school teacher, counselor or other non-related adult, along with the application at the time of application.
Applications are now available at the Surprise Senior Center and online at Applicant names must be written as to match what is listed on their Social Security Card. Applicants are also asked to list areas of interest so that they may be placed in a complementary employment opportunity.
Applications are due by April 3, 2015 (by 5 p.m.); submitted through e-mail ( or mailed to/dropped off to the Surprise Senior Center:

Muriel Gutierrez, Human Service and Community Vitality Department
Re: Youth Employment Program Application
15832 N. Hollyhock Street
Surprise, AZ 85378

Qualified applicants will be contacted and then screened through an interviewing process in April 2015. Final participants will be notified if they are selected for a position by May 8 and must pass a drug test (with parent consent form), and any other pre-employment screening the City deems necessary.

Surprise, AZ (March 6, 2015) Surprise Police will host a bicycle skills event at the Christ’s Church of the Valley (CCV). The “Bike Rodeo” will take place on March 28, 2015, from 8am to 12pm, in the main church parking lot at 14787 West Cholla Street, in Surprise.

The “Bike Rodeo,” designed to teach skills needed to ride safely, will help bicyclists enjoy riding while reducing their chance of injury. The event will comprise of a series of stations; each one dealing with an important aspect of safe cycling. Prior to participating, cyclist will have their bikes inspected and will learn and practice bicycle-handling skills.

• Bicyclists ages 6 and up are invited to attend
• All participants must be accompanied by a parent or guardian
• Participants must bring their own bicycles and bring all safety equipment (helmets, kneepads, elbow pads, etc.)

The funding for this event was provided by a grant from the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (AZGOHS).

For more details on the event, please contact Sergeant Tim Klarkowski at (623)-222-4106 or email

Feb. 17 minutes Item 8. Discussion and possible action forming a committee to review and make recommendations to council on funding capital improvement projects within the city, based on information and direction from council obtained at the February 17th Council Work session. – APPROVED RESOLUTION 2015-21

Mayor Sharon Wollcott….. ……623-222-1300

Sharon Marko Wolcott, a Surprise resident since 2003, served in the Minnesota legislature as a senator and representative for more than 10 years. Her legislative career included leadership experience on transportation and transit committees. Marko’s efforts helped generate hundreds of millions of dollars in federal transportation dollars to benefit Minnesota transportation projects.

Elected to the Council in District 1 in 2009
Mayor Sharon Wolcott was elected in 2011 on a platform of job creation, new education opportunities and improved mobility through transportation. She also committed publicly to bringing fiscal accountability and transparency to municipal government and setting a course for progress in Surprise. Her Jobs, Education and Transportation (J.E.T.) initiative has generated strong results and impressive reviews from residents, local businesses and regional and national stakeholders.

“Investing in One Surprise” – Mayor Wolcott delivers 2015 State of the City February 17
Surprise, AZ (January 21, 2015) Join Mayor Sharon Wolcott as she shares her vision for “Investing in One Surprise” at the 2015 State of the City Address, Tuesday, February 17.
“The focus of the speech is how Surprise is moving away from being a bedroom community and transforming into a global community with world-class aspirations,” says Mayor Wolcott. “By investing in our city today and supporting our economic development initiatives, we are guaranteeing future success.”

Mayor Sharon Wolcott and the Surprise City Council have announced the formation of new City Council sub-committees and working groups, designed to more closely integrate the Council’s policy-making role and oversight of the City’s operations and long-range planning.

A new approach for the City of Surprise, Mayor Wolcott says it emulates other successful models at the local and national level.

“Our goal was to create a system to maintain focus on significant issues facing the city,” says Mayor Wolcott. “The committees and workgroups enable us to work more effectively to address those urgent, crucial issues, and get results for our residents.”

Council members will have greater impact on the decisions that lead to development of new policy, better enabling them to represent their constituents, she added.

There will be seven committees and six workgroups, each featuring City Council members and chaired by a Council member. In a unique addition, some committees and work groups will include Surprise residents who have special skills and experience to recommend them as a qualified voice and community advocate. The committees will be standing bodies, while the work groups will focus on specific issues or events.
The new committees are:

• Best Practices, chaired by Councilman Todd Tande, District 6.• Boards and Commissions Selection, chaired by Councilman Roland Winters, District 1.• Committee on Rules, chaired by Vice Mayor Skip Hall, District 5.• Performance Evaluation Leaders, chaired by Tande.• Development, chaired by Mayor Wolcott.• Grants and Community Outreach, chaired by Councilman Jim Biundo, District 2.
• Water Planning, chaired by Vice Mayor Hall.

The new workgroups are:
• I <3 (Heart) Grand Festival, chaired by Councilwoman Rachel Villanueva, District 4.• Youth Master Plan, chaired by Councilman John Williams, District 3.• Form-Based Code, chaired by Mayor Wolcott• OTS Stakeholders, chaired by Villanueva• Quarterly Mayor’s Business Roundtable, chaired by Mayor Wolcott• For Our City, co-chaired by Hall and Tande Sharon Marko Wolcott, a Surprise resident since 2003, served in the Minnesota legislature as a senator and representative for more than 10 years. Her legislative career included leadership experience on transportation and transit committees. Marko’s efforts helped generate hundreds of millions of dollars in federal transportation dollars to benefit Minnesota transportation projects.

Councilman Roland Winters District 1……..623-222-1321

Roland was on The Board of Directors at Arizona Traditions and President of H.T.C.
Roland also Was a former commission of the city of Surprise.

Roland F. Winters Jr. was elected in the newly-configured District 1 (Acacia) on August 27, 2013 and will serve a four-year term which began January 1, 2014.

Born and educated through high school in New Jersey, Roland earned a degree in Business Administration and Pre Law at Fullerton College in Fullerton, Ca. He earned a BA degree in Marketing Management from the University of California.

Councilman John Williams District 3……623-222-1323

Took office Jan. 1, 2008
John Williams was elected to the council from District 3. Williams holds a Masters in Health Science from Towson University. He teaches and has been a leader in the Career and Technical Education Sports Medicine program in the Peoria Unified School District.

January 7, 2015 admin The Surprise City Council appointed District 3 Councilmember John Williams as Vice Mayor at their regular meeting Tuesday night.

John Williams, Vice Mayor, City of Surprise, Arizona “From large municipalities to small towns, TCLG understands how to get things done in local governments across our state.”
I wonder if Vice-Mayor John Williams consulted TCLG about the APS power lines that went thru Surprise?

Councilman Skip Hall District 5……222-1325

Erin Zlomek
The Arizona Republic
Dec. 13, 2007 12:00 AM
SURPRISE – Skip Hall, a former Surprise Planning and Zoning Commission member, plans to run in the upcoming recall election against incumbent Surprise City Councilwoman Gwyn Foro.

Foro faces recall in a special vote-by-mail election that will conclude March 11. “I’m still questioning why a recall is even going on,” Foro said Monday. “I’ve certainly done nothing illegal or unethical. Everything I’ve done has been approved through the city attorney. But, I guess we’ll go through the motions and waste taxpayer dollars for this anyway.”

Hall filed paperwork on Monday to circulate nominating petitions. The deadline to file is Jan. 11.

Hall and any other potential candidates need 26 valid petition signatures apiece to get on the ballot, City Clerk Sherry Ann Aguilar said.

Residents looking to oust Foro submitted 418 recall petition signatures in October. The Maricopa County Elections Department declared 370 of the signatures valid. Only 320 valid signatures were needed to force the recall. The election is expected to cost about $10,000, Aguilar said.

Leaders of the effort have criticized Foro’s treatment of her constituents and her support of a retroactive retirement plan and flat-rate auto allowances for council members.

Skip Hall was elected to the City Council in an April 2008 special election in District 6 (Palo Verde) and re-elected to office in 2009 to a full term. Redistricting placed Skip in the newly-configured District 5, and on August 27, 2013, he was elected to the District 5 seat. He was sworn in on January 1, 2014 to a four-year term and elected Vice Mayor by the City Council on January 14, 2014. – See more at:

City Manager Bob Wingenroth……623-222-1100

The Surprise City Manager is Bob Wingenroth, who began June 11, 2014. Sec. 2-147. – Powers and duties: The city manager shall be the chief administrative officer of the city. The city manager shall be responsible to the city council for the proper administration of all affairs of the city. To that end, the city manager shall have power and shall be required to

Prior to his appointment as Manager by the City Council, Mr. Wingenroth was the Surprise Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and an Assistant City Manager overseeing Finance, Human Resources and Information Technology, posts he assumed when he started with the City in June, 2013.

Wingenroth is the former City Manager of Anaheim, California and spent 28 years with the City of Phoenix, departing as the Phoenix Finance Director in 2009 to become Chief Financial Officer in Huntington Beach, CA. He was the CFO in Anaheim in 2010 before accepting the City Manager position in 2012.

In my opinion the City of Surprise’s Council broke the open meeting law in their meeting held on the 10th of June.
The video of the meeting shows that their decision to hire Bob Wingenroth as the City Manager was made in the Executive Session held that night.

Mayor Sharon Wolcott appears to dominate or controls the City Council with an iron fist. The council members including Vice-Mayor Skip Hall are as quiet as can be, not a peep out of any of them.
They hired a City Manager “Bob Wingenroth” no open discussion, Mayor Sharon Wolcott was the only member of the Council that spoke.

The City Manager is responsible for carrying out the council-created policies, and directing the day-to-day operations of city government. The manager reports directly to the city council, and is subject to council performance reviews. The City Manager is responsible for drafting a balanced budget for council review and approval each year.

A division of the City Manager’s Office, Marketing & Communications communicates the goals and activities of Surprise city government and assists residents and visitors in finding information about the City. The Marketing & Communications division operates the City’s web site and Surprise Channel 11. The division also publishes the Surprise Progress quarterly, and Telephone Directory, brochures, advertisements and more. Communications staff also issues news release and responds to media inquires about city government.

A division of the City Manager’s Office, “Internal Auditor” The mission of the Internal Audit function is to provide independent, reliable, accurate, and timely information to City Management for the purpose of identifying opportunities to minimize risks, maximize efficiency and effectiveness and strengthen public accountability.
Ramon Ramirez,
Internal Auditor

Surprise, AZ (August 4, 2014) Gila Bend Town Manager Fredrick Buss has been appointed City of Surprise Assistant City Manager, City Manager Bob Wingenroth announced today.
Buss will begin his new duties September 2. His hiring completes the two-person Assistant City Manager team created by Wingenroth when he took the helm in June. Surprise Human Resources Director April Reynolds was named as an Assistant City Manager in early July.

For the 2016 Budget Do we have a “Internal Audit Committee” if so how are they progressing with their reports?
In the past the City of Surprise did not consider internal audits completed until they had been reviewed and accepted by its Internal Audit Committee, which included a representative from the Finance Department and City Manager’s Office.

I keep hearing that we hire our city manager under a one year contract, unless I see it, the contract for the manager and lawyer is indefinite.


THIS MUST OF BEEN TAKEN FROM THE I.C.M.A. handbook, it is not in my opinion beneficial to the City of Surprise.

This Grants and Contingency Fund which is new this year is found on page 115 in the 2012 Budget Book.

City Clerk Sherry Ann Aguilar……623-222-1200

The City Clerk, appointed by the Mayor and Council, serves as the city’s official records custodian. That includes maintaining the Surprise City Code, council meeting minutes, ordinances, resolutions, contracts/agreements, deeds and easements, leases, insurance certificates, bonds, annexation documents, liquor license postings and notifications, notarized affidavits of publications, meeting and agenda postings. The City Clerk affixes the Surprise City Seal on all official documents.

The City Clerk also serves as the City’s Chief Elections Officer; administers City Council Meetings and attests to all official acts of the Mayor posting meeting notices, advertising public hearings and handles the administrative duties for the Boards and Commission application process including advertising vacant positions, collecting applications and setting up interviews.




Elections Resources
Elections Info–What is my City of Surprise voting district?– Maricopa County Early Ballot Request Form- (printable PDF) Maricopa County Permanent Early Ballot Request Form – (fillable PDF)
Maricopa County Permanent Early Voter List Information – Links to Maricopa County Recorder’s website Maricopa County Elections Early Voting Sites


@dougducey BIG NEWS: #Apple making $2 billion investment in our state. First #SB49, now this. Arizona is open for business!

Grand Avenue also will connect to the new Bell Road bridge via on- and off-ramps traveling to and from Grand Avenue’s center median area. This was the option City Council supported and the one preferred by residents in a city-wide survey.

A tax on renting cars in Maricopa County to help pay off the Cardinals Stadium is illegal, a judge ruled Tuesday.


I have talked for 8 years how they have been moving our money around improperly, in my opinion.

313,000 in Arizona can get insurance subsidies A new study says nearly 60 percent of Arizonans who can buy health insurance through the federal marketplace will qualify for a tax subsidy.



Questions? Contact:


Ariz. firms can’t be sued by inmate workers denied ADA rights Arizona companies that hire inmate labor cannot be sued if they do not comply with federal laws protecting the disabled, federal appellate jud…

State Supreme Court upholds Legislature seizing mortgage funds Legislators did nothing wrong in seizing $50 million from the state?s share of a nationwide mortgage fraud settlement to balance the…

More bad gas pumps found A new report shows some gas pumps around the state may be sucking money unfairly – and illegally – out of your wallet.




I am addressing this council tonight with my concerns about the management of our money, especially in regards to the Municipal Property Corporation or the MPC as it is called. We have had very little discussions on this corporation, in which we have borrowed over $100 million and will pay over $100 million in interest.


Candidates for “Council” District 6 Eric Cultum–Randy Miller–Lou Provenzano–Todd Tande.

The Surprise City Council voted to direct the City Clerk to conduct all City Elections using the Ballot By Mail method. The Surprise City Clerk’s office will be a designated Provisional Ballot and Ballot Drop Off location – 16000 N. Civic Center Parkway, Surprise, Arizona

Luke to serve as Air Force’s new F-35 training center.


Director of Community and Recreation Services Mark Coronado……623-222-2000


Surprise web site nabs top marks for “transparency, openness”
Surprise AZ (March 22, 2011) The City of Surprise web site,, has received a perfect score from Sunshine Review, a non-profit organization dedicated to state and local government transparency, for two consecutive years.
Sunshine Review noted the availability of city financial information, such as the “It’s Your Money” page, among the reasons for the perfect score. Reviewers were particularly pleased to find that all city bids/proposals are listed and contracts can be searched within the “It’s Your Money” section.

“The City Council wants to be sure residents have access to all city financial information and the perfect score from Sunshine Review demonstrates we are maintaining an open and transparent online source for residents,” says City Manager Mark Coronado.

Sunshine Review also noted the availability of a “Stimulus” tracker, and regularly updated city expenditure and revenue reports in determining its A+ score for the web site.

Sunshine Review uses a “10-point Transparency Checklist” to evaluate the content of every state and more than 6,000 local government web sites.

Note: Mr. Biundo assumed his seat officially June 14, 2011

I support the idea of going back to a two-year term for mayor. Even more so, we should consider implementing a policy of term limits for both mayor and council members. This could eliminate some of the shenanigans forced upon the citizen’s of Surprise by some of our current leaders.


Cotton Lane was a wide road that ran North of Bell Rd. all the way to Grand Ave, but was given to the developer. Cotton Lane, south of Bell Rd. we were told was to be a six lane road that would go south to the I-10, unfortunately this did not happen. We must plan for the future, now.

At the council meeting last night, March 22,2007 I made the point that the city started this project with $4,710,000. After the first contract that was for $1,247,656 they had a balance of $3,051,524.17. Where did $410,829,17 go.

Councilman Joe Johnson told me “MONEY IS GONE”.

City official told me that the money is accountable for, I cannot verify this.


Community Development Director Eric Fitzer

Surprise, AZ (October 14, 2014) Surprise City Manager Bob Wingenroth has announced that Eric Fitzer will serve as the city’s new Community Development Director, effective November 3.

Mission Statement “The Surprise Community Development Department strives to provide the very best level of service related to planning, permitting and building safety elements within the City of Surprise. It is the charge of this department to ensure responsible planning within the current and future city limits and that new and existing structures are safe for occupancy.”

What We Do: The Community Development Department provides several major services:
1.Planning & Zoning
2.Development Services
3.Building Safety
4.Code Enforcement
5.Neighborhood Services

In This Issue
Honor Flight Summit• OBON Project• A Little USO Tour Flight Schedule March 17-19 (scheduled) April 7-9 April 21-23 May 12-14 May 26-28
Keep Up With Us Friend on Facebook Like on Facebook Follow on Twitter Twitter

Honor Flight Summit
Honor Flight Arizona board members Karen Friddle, Susan Howe and Rick Hardina were recently in Baltimore for the annual Honor Flight national Summit. Representatives from most of the 133 Honor Flight hubs were in attendance. The three-day Summit provides the opportunity for the various hubs to exchange ideas and to be made aware of new or updated Honor Flight policies.

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp Copyright © 2015 Honor Flight Arizona, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in at our website, have flown with us, or have attended one of our events.

Our mailing address is: Honor Flight Arizona P.O. Box 12258 Prescott, AZ 86304

The “Sun dancers” (a select group) on the Board elect the Board Members, not the working arm of the Sun dancers of which there is over 700 members.

The working arm of the Sun dancers have no say in electing the board members, never had. The Board Members have never served as volunteers.

What was the real purpose for the City of Surprise to hire an auditing firm to review the city’s financial records? Have each of you read the body of the Red Oak Report?
It appears that the city staff already knew the problems that existed and was prepared to make the required corrections. Was it to tell us what we all wanted to know and it would be more believably if an outside firm said that no money was missing? What in the Red Oak Report convinced you that no money was missing?
This council or staff would not address the issue whether or not misappropriating $72 million was illegal, we haven’t even been told who master minded this scheme.
The Red Oak report states that significant efforts were made to confirm the accuracy of the supporting work papers for purposes of this study evaluation, however, with numerous City journal entries (JE’s) there were no supporting documents and Red Oak had to assume the JE transaction was based on the brief description. Red Oak relied on accounting system data and supporting work papers in the preparation of the overall study evaluation and accompanying recommended correcting journal entries, but has not independently verified all the underlying data and information provided.

Having said this how can they say with certainty that no money is missing? Correcting journal entries to correspond with other journal entries and making over 33 corrections might have sanitized our books that they would now pass a forensic audit.
The Red Oak Report did not say that different departments had their own set of books, as we have been told last week; a few of us already knew this to be a fact. Now you are trying to justify having 2 sets of books as a soft ware problem. My interpretation of 2 set of books are different from yours.

The new cell site in Surprise is designed to enhance coverage for residents and businesses in the area around the intersection of Waddell Road and 183rd Avenue.

Because I was told by a council menber that they had between 100M-200M in the bank that was surplus I appeared before the Council, but as always you never receive an answer.
Bob Vukanovich commented that it appears that there is between 200-300 million dollars in surplus and inquired why the city just borrowed 55 million dollars when the city already has the money.
We never got an answer to my question, now I am told there might be 1M in the bank.

April 13, 2008 Tony Lombardo wrote a piece about the city spending $30,000 for a sidewalk on Cotton Lane that leads to nowhere.

Community Development Director Eric Fitzer

This Web Site supports Luke Air force Base & our armed forces

In February 2007, the Surprise City Council unanimously approved an infrastructure reimbursement agreement with Westcor, facilitating construction of the largest regional mall in Arizona, Prasada. The agreement calls for Westcor to bear the cost of construction and installation of up to $240 million in infrastructure at the Prasada site, along SR303 in Surprise. The city will assume ownership of the infrastructure and reimburse Westcor for the cost by rebating sales taxes generated by Prasada itself. At full build out, the city expects to realize $60 million per year in sales taxes and projects that Prasada will create more than 20,000 jobs for local residents. [13] [14]

Surprise Police enhance enforcement with body cams
Surprise, AZ (August 13, 2013) Following a year-long research and training period, the Surprise Police Department will be working toward issuing body worn cameras to all patrol officers.

“These cameras add a new level of documentation that will be very useful to officers and residents, as they capture video and audio during a traffic stop or at a crime scene in varying light and audio situations,” says Police Chief Mike Frazier.

Frazier says department research also discovered that other communities reported declines in police encounter complaints after body cameras were put into use. “In fact, officials in Rialto, California noted police encounter complaints declined in one year from 24 to 3 once they began using the cameras. The video and audio takes the ‘he said, she said’ element away by providing an exact picture of what really happens during these encounters.”

The cameras, equipped with microphones, are a little larger than a computer thumb drive and can be affixed to an officer’s hat, sunglasses, shirt collar or shoulders.

Surprise Police wear-tested three different camera styles before selecting the Taser Axon Flex body camera for its patrol officers.

The cost, $226,717, is for 61 cameras, warranty and server space to store the videos. The majority of the cost was paid for using assets seized during criminal investigations. A grant from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety will fund half the cost of six cameras for officers assigned to the Traffic Unit.

By Amy B Wang The Republic | Thu Jul 25, 2013 9:59 PM

The Arizona Charter Schools Association and about 200 of its member charter schools plan to file a lawsuit against the Arizona Department of Education today, association president Eileen Sigmund said.

The suit claims the department is withholding $5.89 million in Proposition 301 money from the charter schools, after changing its interpretation of how teacher-performance pay is distributed. In 2000, Arizona voters approved Prop. 301, which was intended to provide additional funding for teachers based on increased student performance.

Sigmund said the affected schools have already received and budgeted their Prop. 301 funds for this school year, but the Education Department plans to take back the money as early as next week.

Calls to the Education Department were not immediately returned Thursday evening.

Lindsey Duncan, Finance Director

Our Mission
The City of Surprise Finance Department strives to be a professional, proactive leader, identifying issues and offering innovative solutions while providing high quality customer service.

Value Objectives
Integrity, Accountability, and Respect
We build trust and respect with all stakeholders through responsible stewardship of public resources.

Customer Focused
We serve or customers by providing accurate, compassionate and approachable manner.

Listen and Communicate
We strive and understand the needs of our customers so we can provide a timely response in an accurate, complete and respectful manner.

Continuous Improvement of Employees and Services
We establish an environment which improves us and our services through staff involvement, education and development.

FY2015 Budget: The Surprise City Council approved the FY2015 budget June 3, 2014. FY2015 starts July 1, 2014.

This Grants and Contingency Fund which is new this year is found on page 115 in the 2012 Budget Book.

For the 2016 Budget Do we have a “Internal Audit Committee” if so how are they progressing with their reports?
In the past the City of Surprise did not consider internal audits completed until they had been reviewed and accepted by its Internal Audit Committee, which included a representative from the Finance Department and City Manager’s Office.

City of Surprise Internal Auditor Ramon Ramirez, Internal Auditor
The mission of the Internal Audit function is to provide independent, reliable, accurate, and timely information to City Management for the purpose of identifying opportunities to minimize risks, maximize efficiency and effectiveness and strengthen public accountability.

Surprise, AZ (September 4, 2014) Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Ratings Services announced today that it has raised the City of Surprise General Obligation (GO) Bonds rating from “A” to “AA-” while affirming the stable outlook.

In releasing the information, S&P stated the rating reflects the following positive attributes of Surprise:

•?Adequate economy, which is part of a broad and diverse economy;
•?Strong management conditions, with good financial policies;
•?Adequate budgetary performance;
•?Very strong budgetary flexibility;
•?Very strong liquidity, providing very strong cash levels to cover both debt service and expenditures; and
•?Very strong and contingent liabilities position.

Today’s announcement follows an upgrade by Fitch Ratings in February of this year. Citing “sound internal controls” and “solid fundamentals,” Fitch upgraded City of Surprise General Obligation (GO) Bonds and series 2003 Municipal Property Corporation (MPC) bonds from ‘A+” to ‘AA-‘.


Revised 2012 7-2 Toward this end, any person or entity charged with the interpretation of this article shall construe any provision of this article in favor of open and public meetings.

I have been to other states where they have lowered the railroad so that large parcels were not taken to build overpass’s, the cost is comparable and believe this could be done in Surprise.

A.R.S.§ 38-431.09(A). In keeping with this expressed intent, any uncertainty under the Open Meeting Law should be resolved in favor of openness in government. Any question whether the Open Meeting Law applies to a certain public body likewise should be resolved in favor of applying the law



Gov. Jan Brewer will not give ranchers and their employees permission to kill endangered Mexican gray wolves on federal lands


Brewer vetoes bill that would have given landowners who rent to churches a property tax break
Landowners who lease buildings to churches will not be getting a property tax break.





As I read the statute, the operative work is shall, so it seems as though it must be the mayor and city council. I will consult with staff attorneys on Monday to confirm.
Our staff attorney who specializes in cities and counties has confirmed that my original interpretation was correct and the appointments must be made by the mayor and city council.

Home Rule Option: Under the Home Rule Option, the expenditure limitation is free from any ties to the State imposed expenditure limitation if the majority of the qualified electors vote in favor of this alternative.

Governer Brewer separately signed another bill Monday that spells out that local governments are strictly prohibited from keeping lists of people who own or otherwise possess firearms. That expands on existing laws that say cities cannot track buyers, sellers or others who transfer a gun.


The council fired the financial over site commission in 2007 and has not replaced it yet.

After the City Council eliminated the financial over site committee in April 2007 they sold $51 million dollars of Bonds for twenty-five years. We were told that we would pay $40 million in interest, what we were not told was at the end of the 25 years, after paying $40 M in interest we would still owe $25 million. If the council wants to be fiscally responsible they should pay these bonds off and not have a balloon payment in 2032.




Chief of Police Michael T. Frazier… 623-222-4021

Michael Frazier, Police Chief
Surprise Police Department

Michael Frazier was appointed as the Police Chief for the City of Surprise on February 14, 2011. Previously, Chief Frazier served as the police chief for the City of El Mirage from October 2007 until February 2011. Chief Frazier began his law enforcement career with the Phoenix Police Department, where he served for 32 years until retiring in October, 2007. While with Phoenix, Chief Frazier rose through the ranks, retiring as the Executive Assistant Police Chief after having served in nearly every division of the police department. As the “second-in-command” in Phoenix, he was responsible for the day to day operations of the department including patrol, investigations and tactical operations; oversaw the department’s operating and capital budget of approximately $600 million; was the lead labor management representative for the police department with police officers, sergeants and lieutenants; and, oversaw the Public Affairs Bureau.

Chief Frazier’s focus in Surprise will be as it has been throughout his career—strong ties with community members while leading an organization that emphasizes the principles of community policing, effective and efficient organizational performance, and superior customer service. Chief Frazier’s mantra is “Pride, Trust, and Safety.” The literal interpretation is his expectation that department performance will result in a community that is proud of their police department, has trust and confidence in its employees, and feels safe as they carry on their daily lives.

Chief Frazier holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Arizona State University in Justice Studies (1984) and a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University (1999).

Chief Frazier is married and has three children.

Wigwam Resort
The resort, which was built in 1918 as an executive retreat for Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., has become a popular West Valley destination for locals and visitors. There are 331 rooms, four pools — including one with dual 25-foot water slides — and numerous dining options. At the Red Door Spa, you can get massages, facials and other treatments. And if you like to golf, you’re in luck: There are three championship courses.

Details: 300 E. Wigwam Blvd., Litchfield Park. 602-935-3811,

FRIDAY, AUGUST 10, 2007 8:30 A.M.

The Common Council of the Town of Chino Valley, Arizona met for a Study Session/Retreat in the Antelope Hills Golf Course Old Clubhouse, located at 1989 Clubhouse Drive, Prescott, Arizona, on Friday, August 10, 2007.
2) Opening Remarks. Town Manager Bill Pupo started off the meeting with a couple icebreakers.

3) Presentation and discussion regarding 5 Year budget and population forecasts. If the Town continued to grow at its current 10 percent, its population would be 93,027 in 2030. Impacts from population growth included population-based revenues taking up to seven years to reflect expenditures that were immediate; increased pressures for new capital outlay and higher levels of service; strain on road infrastructure, traffic circulation, sewer system capacity, and Town services; and balancing services to new residents with the revenues obtained from them.
Under current conditions, in five years, revenues would not be sufficient to support operating expenditures, the fund balance would be in a negative position, and additional commitments would continue to increase the negative position.
Steps to consider to improve the forecast included reviewing revenues and setting firm guidelines for cost recovery; reviewing programs and services for effectiveness and identifying cost saving strategies; identifying ways to slow down escalating personnel costs; and complying with financial policies regarding capital improvement funding, debt issuance, and fund balance.

August 10, 2007 – Study Session

Fire Chief William Thomas Abbott,…Phone: 623.222.5000

Abbott has served with the Tempe Fire Department for 39 years beginning as a firefighter, rising through the ranks and was named the Assistant Fire Chief- Administrative Services over a year ago. He also taught part-time at Mesa Community College and for 25 years has worked as an instructor at the International Association of Fire Fighters in Washington, D.C. Previous experience includes 8 years as a part-time Fire Marshall for Motorola Semiconductor. He holds a Master of Arts in Security Studies- Homeland Defense and Security from Naval Postgraduate School; a Bachelor of Science- Industrial Technology from Arizona State University and an Associates of Applied Science- Fire Science from Mesa Community College.

Surprise Fire – Medical host Retirement Ceremony for top brass
Surprise, AZ (April 3, 2014) The Surprise Fire – Medical Department will host a Retirement Ceremony for Fire-Medical Chief Michael White, Assistant Fire-Medical Chief Clint Mills and Battalion Chief Jackson Bearden, April 30.

The City of Surprise will institute cap of no more than 125 trips per day for its Dial-a-Ride program beginning February 18, 2014. The discounted service provides transit options for senior citizens and persons with disabilities, as well as other residents without available transportation.

“Dial-a-Ride is a crucial service the City provides to those in our community who need assistance getting to medical appointments, the grocery store, and other vital destinations,” explains Dick McKinley, director of the Public Works Department, which oversees the service. “The change will enable us to prioritize those customers while reducing the overall cost to taxpayers.”

As part of the 125-trip-per-day cap, booking priority will be given to both senior citizens and persons with disabilities who can book their rides up to 14 days in advance. Non-priority customers using Dial-a-Ride for leisure trips will be able to book a reservation 24 hours in advance, and only to the extent that rides remain after priority riders have been serviced.

“We want to be cognizant of all community needs, but also ensure that priority is given to those who need the service most,” says McKinley.

In addition to the cap, the City will continue to explore options to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the program, beginning with a rider survey in the coming weeks.

Dial-a-Ride is funded by the City of Surprise, but is operated by Northwest Valley Dial-a-Ride, a subsidiary of Valley Metro. For more information about the ridership cap, contact the Public Works Department at 623.222.6000. To reserve Dial-a-Ride services, call 602.266.8723.

Surprise accepting applications for remainder of Community Outreach Program funds

Landowners bring cattle to Surprise’s future downtown “land owners-bring-cattle-to-surprises-future-downtown/”
Some new guests have “moo-ved” into Surprise’s emerging urban center – and they need a cowboy to keep them in line.

About 20 head of cattle have been placed on the northeast corner of Bullard Avenue and Greenway Road on about 75 acres of land that is supposed to become part of a downtown commerce hub with millions of square feet of medical research, retail and employment.

The sudden appearance of cows is designed partly to serve as a wake-up call to the city, which has been discussing the site’s commercial project since 1995.

“The vision has been lost, or had been lost with the old council,” said Scott Phillips, development manager of Surprise Center Development Co., the ownership group. “I think the new council has raised this as a major priority.”

Official Website – Surprise, Arizona – It’s YOUR Money

It’s Your Money!
Welcome to the “It’s Your Money!” City of Surprise home page. In Surprise, we are finding innovative new ways to give you access to city government. This site offers you…
•The latest information on fiscal year to date (YTD) city expenditures, revenues, disbursements and salaries.
•A flexible search capacity giving you an easy way to sort information.
•A link to the annual budget, where you will find links to even more financial information, such as previous budgets.
•A “Question/Comments” e-mail link at the bottom of each page.

SearchYTD SalariesYTD ExpendituresYTD RevenuesYTD DisbursementsMonthly Financial ReportAnnual BudgetCity Grant ActivityInvestment Policy

City of Surprise Intergovernmental Relations Director……623.222.1620

Nicole Lance to the city manager’s office

Surprise, AZ (January 30, 2015) In support of City Council policies to better engage with residents and improve overall quality of life, City Manager Bob Wingenroth today announced key changes in the city’s organizational structure.



Deputy City Manager Nicole Lance Wingenroth also welcomes Nicole Lance to the city. She will serve as Deputy City Manager, with responsibility for Government and Community Partnerships (formerly Intergovernmental Relations).

In her new role, Lance will serve as the city’s liaison with other cities, state, county and federal government agencies and present legislative goals and updates to the City Council. Lance will also work to build on the City’s partnerships with our Schools, Luke Air Force Base, the Chamber of Commerce, Non-Profits, Faith Based and Community Organizations.

Lance comes to Surprise from the Town of Gilbert where she rose through the ranks first serving as a Budget and Financial Planning Analyst in 2011 and promoted to the Assistant to the Town Manager position in July 2012. She also led Gilbert’s Public Works Department for most of 2013.

Lance has nearly nine years in municipal government experience, including previous service as the Assistant to the Maricopa City Manager and with direct support of that community’s Community Development and Parks and Recreation operations.

“Nicole is Big League! She brings high energy, experience, and detailed knowledge of how cities can work together with all its partners to provide the best service to our Residents,” adds Wingenroth. “Her financial background and strong leadership skills make her the perfect addition to our team.”

Outside of the government arena, Lance coordinated local and international service programs and community development activities for the Newman Center at Arizona State University.

Lance holds a Master of Public Administration, concentration in Urban Management and a Bachelor of Science, Justice Studies from Arizona State University.


Lance’s first day with the city will be February 9.


Tony Lombardo The Arizona Republic Dec. 24, 2007 08:43 AM

Surprise is nearing a deal with San Francisco-based Granicus Inc. to provide streaming video of meetings live on the city’s Web site,
This could begin in the next three to four months, city spokesman Ken Lynch said.
The upfront cost to install the necessary software is about $38,500, with an additional cost of about $1,800 a month to maintain it. Funding will come from the Communications Department, which has available money from a staff vacancy, Lynch said. The monthly maintenance cost will likely be factored into future budgets, he added.

Vacation, sick-leave carryovers in public sector can cost taxpayers

The News-Gazette reports that more and more municipal governments are looking to tighten policies related to public-sector employee compensation practices, including vacation and sick leave carryover:

Thom Reilly, an expert in public policy, described accrued vacation leave as a “hidden cost” to taxpayers and said efforts have increased to limit the number of unused days that can be paid out.

Accrual limits are becoming a more popular practice for public sector jobs, said Reilly, who is director of the School of Social Work at San Diego State University and director-to-be of the Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State University.

“As there’s more attention paid to public benefits, it’s brought to the attention of many elected officials and others, I think we’re seeing an increased amount of limits being placed on them — most for vacation and sick leave,” he said.

READ: Vacation carryovers by government workers cost taxpayers


After thinking of what Council Woman Sharon Wolcott said the other day, I wonder if where she comes from, did they have like we have “Towns” & “Cities” which is based on population and noticed that there are minor state statutes which are different from one another.

Because Surprise is a City and does not have a Charter it operates under A.R.S. 9-271 Procedure for change; city officers.

The council after having an executive session and the approval in a consent item took $35,000 from their contingency fund for outside legal services, with no explanation Even after filing the information form for the purpose or use of this money, I was informed that the information that I was requesting would not be given to me.

The City of Surprise since September 2007 has given approximately $200.000 to the Chamber of Commerce and it appears that they are receiving an additional $50,000 a month.

Because the US Chamber of Commerce is politically active, they should not be subsidized by a city.

Sharon Marko Wolcott, a Surprise resident since 2003, served in the Minnesota legislature as a senator and representative for more than 10 years. Her legislative career included leadership experience on transportation and transit committees. Marko’s efforts helped generate hundreds of millions of dollars in federal transportation dollars to benefit Minnesota transportation projects.

Tony Lombardo
The Arizona Republic
Dec. 27, 2007 06:47 AM

Raises for Surprise City Council members will take effect Tuesday, the day that newly elected leaders take office.

Council members are receiving a bump up of 15 percent, while the vice mayor gets a 13 percent raise and the mayor a 7 percent hike. Salaries for the council and the vice mayor will be $20,242. The mayor will be paid $34,030.

In June 2004. Based on the resolution, in January of an election year, the city manager is tasked with comparing Surprise’s salaries with those of other Valley cities with populations ranging from 75,000 to 200,000.

The City receives many applicants for the City Manager’s job, by taking the average pay for their previous job maybe the City can hire a City Manager at a realistic salary and not one set by the ICMA.

On the May 24,07 meeting I requested to address issues on consent Item 14, which was Resolution#07-63

Councilman Sullivan did not or would not take this item off consent.

Leadership is lacking in the development of the City of Surprise. This leadership must come from our elected officials.

Their performance of the incumbents has been marked an unusual sense of entitlement that I have not seen in a career of covering politics. It’s been all about them – voting themselves higher salaries, not wanting any accountability on mileage reimbursement, retroactive pensions that’ll cost Surprise $291,000 all at once, increasing discretionary fund accounts without putting in place spending guidelines. The list goes on.

MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS The City of Surprise (City) is pleased to provide an overview of our financial activities for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012.

The intended purpose of Management’s Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) is to provide an introduction to the basic financial statements and notes, that provides an objective and easy to read analysis of our financial activities based on currently known facts, decisions, and conditions, by providing a summary of operating results and reasons for changes, which will help to determine if our financial position improved or deteriorated over the past year. This report addresses current operational activities, the sources, uses, and changes in resources, adherence to budget, service levels, limitations, significant economic factors, and the status of infrastructure and its impacts on our debt and operation. Amounts presented may reflect some minor differences due to rounding. This analysis is meant to be read in conjunction with the letter of transmittal.
MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS The City of Surprise (City) is pleased to provide an overview of our financial activities for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012.

The intended purpose of Management’s Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) is to provide an introduction to the basic financial statements and notes, that provides an objective and easy to read analysis of our financial activities based on currently known facts, decisions, and conditions, by providing a summary of operating results and reasons for changes, which will help to determine if our financial position improved or deteriorated over the past year. This report addresses current operational activities, the sources, uses, and changes in resources, adherence to budget, service levels, limitations, significant economic factors, and the status of infrastructure and its impacts on our debt and operation. Amounts presented may reflect some minor differences due to rounding. This analysis is meant to be read in conjunction with the letter of transmittal.

Cities need to stop crying about overdue limits on tax incentives

With a stroke of her pen, Arizona’s governor has rightly affirmed that tax rebates used by municipalities to lure retail developers are a waste of taxpayers’ money.

Gov. Janet Napolitano signed into law a measure that fines cities that put taxes in developers’ pockets in exchange for their business. She deserves commendation.

She saw through flaccid arguments of cities wanting to maintain local control and needing tax incentives to spur economic development. In reality, all that the municipalities wanted was a competitive economic edge over surrounding communities.

“These tax breaks have gotten out of control and have been offered to a host of businesses, many of whom were likely to locate in Arizona regardless of whether they were offered a tax incentive,” Napolitano said. “The use of tax incentives to pit Maricopa County towns and cities against each other is not in the interest of Arizona or its taxpayers.”
Cities could keep offering incentives, but their state-shared revenues would be reduced, dollar-for-dollar.
Unfortunately, the new law can’t unravel the hundreds of millions of dollars worth of deals in Phoenix, Glendale, Surprise and other cities. That money is lost.
Even still, some city leaders are bemoaning the new law, saying it will derail economic development in their communities. They also claim the law will devalue state trust land because cities no longer will be able to offset costly land improvements .

Those officials are in “the sky is falling” mode. They have no one to blame but themselves. For at least three years, a measure aimed at quashing sales tax rebates used to entice retail development has floated about legislative hallways. Rather than work together to craft their own compromises and slow the runaway giveaways – as they repeatedly pledged they would – city leaders used their political muscle to kill proposals.





Public Works Projects

A project to improve the busy Bell Road intersection with Grand Avenue (US 60) is anticipated to begin by early 2016. Plans call for the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) to select a design-build team to construct a new Bell Road bridge over Grand Avenue and the adjacent railroad tracks. The bridge will replace the current ground-level railroad crossing along Bell Road, to eliminate the traffic congestion caused by passing trains and conflicts with the existing signalized intersection.

With the new interchange design, through traffic on Grand Avenue will no longer have to stop at Bell Road. Instead, the two roadways will be connected via new on- and off-ramps constructed along the Grand Avenue median. Bell Road traffic will only need to stop for traffic signals at the new Grand Avenue ramps. A virtual drive has been posted to the project’s web page that will show drivers what they can expect when construction is complete:

Since the project gained federal environmental clearance in 2014, ADOT has been preparing for the selection of a combined design-and-construction team of contractors later this year. Actual construction is scheduled to begin by early 2016 and be completed in summer 2017.

A significant project like this will undoubtedly create challenges for the project team, the traveling public and some local businesses. However, ADOT is committed to mitigating construction impacts to area businesses with a comprehensive access plan and appropriate signage. The public can stay up to date on the project’s progress and any planned closures and restrictions by signing up to receive email updates from ADOT.

Questions about this and other ADOT projects can be emailed to ADOT’s Project Hotline is 1.855.712.8530.

A project to improve and expand the traffic interchange linking Loop 303 and US 60 (Grand Avenue) in Surprise is scheduled to start this week. The $46 million project will widen Loop 303 into a six-lane freeway at the interchange and add a new bridge next to the existing Loop 303 bridge over Grand Avenue. When completed, the new span will carry three new eastbound Loop 303 lanes, allowing the existing bridge to carry three westbound lanes.

The improved interchange also will feature new on- and off-ramps connecting Loop 303 and US 60. The project also will allow for the removal of the last traffic signal along the mainline of the 36-mile stretch of Loop 303 between Interstate 17 in north Phoenix and Interstate 10 in Goodyear.

Sound wall construction is scheduled to start Monday along Loop 303 north of Mountain View Boulevard in the Sun City Grand area. Crews will be constructing walls over the next few months to limit the level of traffic noise in the area. Other initial work starting next week will include shoulder improvements along the south side of Grand Avenue near the interchange. Crews are scheduled to begin closing the left lanes of Grand Avenue in both directions on Wednesday, Dec. 10, starting at Sunrise Boulevard and moving north for median work.

Grand Avenue traffic will be shifted to the wider south side of the roadway by early January, allowing two travel lanes in each direction between 163rd Avenue and Sunrise Boulevard. The speed limit on this section of Grand Avenue will be reduced from 55 to 45 mph throughout the duration of the 18-month project.

For more information about the Loop 303/US 60 interchange project visit

Earlier this year ADOT started work on another project to widen Loop 303 from a four-lane to a six-lane freeway between Grand Avenue and Happy Valley Parkway in Peoria. Next year ADOT will break ground on a third project in the area to add a Loop 303 traffic interchange at El Mirage Road. Loop 303 will travel over El Mirage Road as part of the new diamond interchange, which will include on- and off-ramps connecting the two roadways.

All three of the Loop 303 projects in the northwest Valley are scheduled for completion by summer 2016.


Surprise AZ (February 25, 2014) Surprise is the newest member of the Canada Arizona Business Council, a group promoting trade between Canada and Arizona.

“More and more Canadian citizens are part of Surprise as winter or full time residents and property owners,” said Surprise Mayor Sharon Wolcott. “Like many of us, they love the area and see the tremendous business potential here. We need to capitalize on that.”

According to the CABC, Canada is the largest foreign investor in Arizona, with bilateral trade worth $3.9 billion dollars annually, excluding tourism. The Association says the total Canadian economic footprint in Arizona in 2012 was more than $6 billion, with Arizona welcoming more than 872,000 Canadian visitors that year.

“Our mandate is to increase bilateral trade between Canada and Arizona,” says CABC Chief Executive Officer O. R. Glenn Williamson. “We bring together CEOs, Presidents, entrepreneurs and professionals on both sides of the border. We make business happen at the decision-maker level.

Wolcott cited Surprise’s improving transportation and communications infrastructure, readily available land, capable workforce and excellent weather as a natural fit for Canadian businesses offering good jobs that are looking to expand or relocate.

“We are the perfect location for professional, sustainable jobs in areas like financial services and communications,” Wolcott said. “Surprise needs to focus on head of household employment, exactly the kind of jobs Canadian business people who already know Surprise represent. It’s time to get aggressive and really spread the word.”

“I salute Mayor Wolcott’s vision in joining the CABC,” Williamson added. “Surprise is a welcoming place where opportunity thrives, and now, more and more influential Canadians are going to hear about it.”

Wolcott has been a strong advocate for developing international trade at the regional and municipal level for long-range economic vitality. “The I-11 corridor talks are underway, and people are starting to recognize it as the future transportation and communication backbone of the Western United States and ultimately our cross-border connection,” she said. “It will also be part of the Surprise community, so it’s critical to begin building solid business relationships to position Surprise for the long run.”

Surprise, AZ (December 16, 2014) The Surprise City Council voted to approve Community Outreach Program funding for six community organizations at Tuesday night’s council meeting.

The Community Outreach Program is a Council-led initiative designed to assist community organizations in providing programs and events that benefit City of Surprise residents.

Council set aside $50,000 in funding for the program as part of the FY14-15 budget. The recipients of those funds are:

Benevilla – $10,000 for Community Garden enhancements
Friends of the Library – $2,000 for community outreach
Northwest Valley Connect – $8,000 for transit support
St. Vincent de Paul – $10,000 utility assistance
West Valley Arts Council – $10,000 for a backyard concert
WHAM – $10,000 for an Art Youth Festival

To be considered, applicants had to be a 501(c)3 organization or partnered with a 501(c)3 verified agency. The maximum award per applicant was $10,000. Program details are available online at

Dysart & Santa Fe

My concern about Dysart Rd & Santa Fe

02/19/2008 12:56:26 PM Santa Fe & Dysart Rd Emailed to Bob, Feb.12thI don’t believe that there will be any restrictions for southbound traffic on Dysart turning onto Santa Fe, but I am waiting for a response from the Engineer managing the project. I will let you know as soon as I know.Thanks.Stephanie WilsonAssistant to the