Monthly Archives: January 2017

“Engaging citizens and working on issues and projects in the community that they love breeds a powerful sense of ownership and loyalty.”

Free sandbags available for flood protection; public reminded to report flooded streets


S‌urprise, A‌Z (January 19, 2017)
With heavy rain forecast over the next few days, the City of Surprise Public Works Department reminds residents living in flood-prone areas that free sand and bags are available at several city locations.

The sand and bags are available at the following locations (view online map | PDF map):

3 Star Park, 15825 N. Jerry Street (south side parking area off of Jerry Street)
Bell Road Lake (south side), 15105 W. Bell Road
South Plant (north gate), 11401 N. 136th Avenue
Water well site, 16849 W. Jomax Road
Westgate city facility, 13430 W. Westgate Drive
Ashton Ranch Water Supply Facility,15151 W. Greenway Road
Old City Hall recycle bin site,12425 W. Bell Road
Fire Station 302 recycle bin site,18600 Reems Road
DreamCatcher Park recycle bin site, 14534 W. Tierra Buena
Next to Villanueva Center, 15616 N. Hollyhock Street

NOTE: Residents are asked to bring their own shovel to fill the bags. Anyone needing assistance should call Public Works at 623.222.6000.

Designated Public Works crews are on call 24 hours a day during any potential heavy rain events. Crews will be checking for and removing any downed trees and debris, clearing clogged storm drains and closing roads in flooded areas as needed.

To report storm damage in the public right-of-way or a flooded street, please call 623.222.6000. If reporting after hours or on holidays, please call the Surprise Police Department Non-Emergency Line at 623.222.4000

City map shows finalized traffic patterns for Grand Ave intersections in Bell-Grand project area

S‌urprise, A‌Z (January 17, 2017) The ramps connecting Grand Avenue to the Bell Road Bridge are set to reopen before the end of February! City staff reported to City Council, in Tuesday’s Work Session, that these improvements will result in driving pattern changes. The city has created a map to help you navigate the area and safely access the new connections.

The Bell-Grand Traffic Pattern Map focuses on the intersections at Grand and Bell Grande Drive; Grand and Bell Road; and Grand and Towne Center Drive. Here are the biggest changes you will encounter:

  • An active traffic signal on the top of the Bell Road Bridge will direct traffic movements from the new on-off ramps to and from Grand Avenue;
  • Traffic descending the westbound Grand Avenue ramps will merge into Grand Avenue traffic prior to approaching the Towne Center Drive intersection. Shoppers will note dual lefts at the intersection to get into the commercial area;
  • There will be NO access to Bell Grande Drive for traffic coming off of the eastbound Grand Avenue ramp from Bell. If you want to shop at Surprise Marketplace, stay on Bell and enter the parking lot by the Chick-fil-A driveway at the bottom of the bridge;
  • And motorists traveling on Grand Avenue in either direction that want to access Bell Road should be in the left lane to access the ramps. At the top of the ramps there will be dual left lanes and one right lane to connect you to Bell.

The map complements the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) interchange video that provides an animated portrayal of how motorists will access Bell Road from westbound Grand Avenue when the ramps open next month.

Additionally, the city has identified the ‘Top 5 Driving Pattern Changes to Know’ to assist residents with navigating the area.

The Bell-Grand project is scheduled to be completed prior to the first Spring Training game at Surprise Stadium on February 25.

For more information about the Bell-Grand project, visit surpriseaz.gov/bellandgrand

Classic folk characters educate Surprise residents on sanitation practices

S‌urprise, A‌Z (January 11, 2017) Recycling Wise in Surprise is getting a little more magical with the rollout of a reimagined sanitation campaign. Beginning this month, residents can expect to see six new fun, vibrant designs on the billboard panels of the city’s sanitation trucks.

The colorful images were designed to immediately capture residents’ attention and create a feeling of nostalgia by using classic fairy tale characters to educate residents about proper sanitation and recycling practices.

From recycling contamination, to overstuffing bins, and even reminding residents of the availability of bulk trash pick-up and Household Hazardous Waste events, the whimsical images are sure to grab the attention of children and adults alike.

Residents serviced by Surprise recycling and sanitation can expect to see the designs on the trucks before the end of the month.

Learn more about Recycling Wise in Surprise at surpriseaz.gov/recycle and ‘like’ us on Facebook, facebook.com/RecycleWiseinSurprise.

Free wellness classes on concussions and cognition, brain function

S‌urprise, A‌Z (January 11, 2017) Health and wellness are important for a thriving community, and the City of Surprise is hosting a series of free wellness classes to help keep residents educated and informed on a variety of topics.

Coming up in the series:

Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention of Concussion – January 17, 6-7:30 p.m.

This class, taught by Dr. Nicole Oberdorf, physical therapist with Banner Health and the Banner Concussion Center, will cover common concussion symptoms, how school and life affect a patient following concussion, appropriate management of people with concussion and concussion prevention.

The class will be held in the auditorium of the Surprise Public Safety Building, located at 14250 W. Statler Plaza.

For information or to register, contact Ruby Sitea at 623.222.3242 or ruby.sitea@surpriseaz.gov.

Are You Losing Your Mind or Are You Normal? Some Thoughts on Cognition – February 7, 10-11:30 a.m.

This class, taught by Sue Clyburn, speech pathologist with Banner Health, will cover normal changes in thinking and memory as we age; changes or behaviors that may be indicative of dementia; lifestyle strategies and changes that can be made to preserve brain function. The presentation will include brain-challenging puzzles.

The class will be held in the auditorium of the Surprise Public Safety Building, located at 14250 W. Statler Plaza.

For information or to register, contact Ruby Sitea at 623.222.3242 or ruby.sitea@surpriseaz.gov.

Disclaimer: Information in seminars and classes sponsored by the City are a public service and should not be construed as advice or representation of any specific business, company, individual business owners, brokers or affiliations. The City does not endorse any particular business, product or speaker. Any information presented does not reflect the opinion or position of the City.

Ex-Surprise chief files claim against city Surprise City Council OKs internal loans

City Seeking Applications for Voluntary Commissions

S‌urprise, A‌Z (January 10, 2017) The City of Surprise is currently accepting applications for the following Commissions.  All Board/Commission positions are voluntary.

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission                            1 vacancy
Disability Advisory Commission                                      1 vacancy 

Applications for the above mentioned commission are available for pick-up immediately and can be picked up from the City Clerk’s Office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Friday. The City Clerk’s Office is located at Surprise City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza.

Applications are also available online at http://surpriseaz.gov/boards.

Please submit applications to the City Clerk’s Office in person or by e-mail to clerk@surpriseaz.gov.

Applications are always available for all boards and commissions and will be kept on file for future vacancies.

For more information, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at 623.222.1200.

Surprise TV supports statewide simulcast of investigation of prescription opioid abuse in AZ

S‌urprise, A‌Z (January 10, 2017) Tonight, television and radio outlets across Arizona will simultaneously broadcast a 30-minute commercial-free investigative report on the issue of prescription opioid abuse.

The report, “Hooked RX: From Prescription to Addiction,” was researched and produced by Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in conjunction with the Arizona Broadcasters Association.

The statewide simulcast will air on television and radio stations across the state. Most will broadcast at 6:30 p.m.

Surprise TV has been given permission to re-broadcast at 7 p.m. tonight, and has added additional replay times to its schedule.

The Surprise TV schedule is available at www.surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv.

Surprise Pops Band to play Broadway tunes at free concert Jan. 22


S‌urprise, A‌Z (January 10, 2017)
The Surprise Pops Band is kicking off the new year with a free concert featuring Broadway show tunes!

The concert will be held Sunday, January 22 at 3 p.m. at the Valley Vista Performing Arts Center, located at 15550 N. Parkview Place in Surprise.

Doors open at 2:15 p.m. Attendees are asked to bring a nonperishable food item donation to benefit the Valley View Community Food Bank.

For more information, please visit www.surprisepopsband.com.

City of Surprise youth volleyball, tee-ball, softball and baseball registration opens


S‌urprise, A‌Z (January 9, 2017)
Registration is now open for a variety of City of Surprise youth sports programs, including volleyball, softball, tee-ball and baseball.

Registration is open through Jan. 28. The final registration day, Jan. 28, 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, 8 a.m. to 5 p.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 go through a skills evaluation to be drafted to a team. The skills evaluation will be held Saturday, March 4. Age is determined on or before December 31, 2017.

Cal Ripken Youth Tee-ball (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, 2017.

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 go through a skills evaluation and will be drafted to a team. The skills evaluation will be held Saturday, March 4.  Age is determined on or before April 30, 2017.

NEW!  Spring Girls Volleyball League (Ages 7-15) – Teaches the game of volleyball in the spirit of sportsmanship, fun and wholesome competition. An emphasis is placed on the development of skills and the value of teamwork. Age is determined on or before April 30, 2017.

NEW!  Girls Competitive Volleyball League (15u and 17u Divisions) – While emphasis will remain on basic fundamentals, sportsmanship and cooperative participation, this program differs from recreational sports in that there are NO MANDATORY PLAYING TIME RULES. The competitive sports league will follow modified NFHS rules and is intended for EXPERIENCED PLAYERS ONLY. Participants will go through a skills evaluation and will be drafted onto a team. Special requests will not be honored in competitive programs. Any player that is not selected in the draft is guaranteed a spot in the recreational volleyball league. All teams will compete in an end of season, single elimination tournament. Age is determined on or before April 30, 2017.

NEW! Baseball and Softball Spring Break Clinic (Boys & Girls 7-15 years old) – This skill specific 3-day clinic will focus on pitching and catching in the morning and hitting and base running in the afternoon. Participants may register for each clinic individually or can take advantage of the combo package and sign up for both clinics. Age is determined on or before March 31, 2017.

The City of Surprise welcomes you to volunteer for the upcoming Spring Youth 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.

 

 

 

Sun Valley Parkway Traffic
A traffic plan for Bell Road or to Grand Ave has to be in place for the future traffic anticipated from the development of all of the sub-divisions West of the Beardsley Canal along side of the Sun Valley Parkway.Sun Valley Parkway Traffic
A traffic plan for Bell Road or to Grand Ave has to be in place for the future traffic anticipated from the development of all of the sub-divisions West of the Beardsley Canal along side of the Sun Valley Parkway.

Anyone, and I say anyone that ask and gets money from us can have all the time they want to talk, there has never been a time limit for them that I know of.

Do our council members really care what happens to our city.

Our council members have a good skin game, a representive from the Heard Museum that wants to get 5 to 10 million dollars from us can talk for over 1/2 hour or more, A taxpayer from Surprise was talking on an agenda item when they cut him off at 3 minutes, I will say, they gave him an extra minute.

Being an American I thought we all had equal rights, but not from this council or it’s members. I feel that the concerned citizens of Surprise are being treated unjustly. We do not have one council member that will stand up for us, as they are in their own world.

 

The great majority of Surprise residents are happy with their city, with 87% saying the overall quality of life in Surprise is “excellent” or “good,”  according to a first-ever survey.

 

In 2007 I asked Council if we had a surplus of approx. $200M. In April of 2007 the council was told that they had no money, amazingly a few months later they paid cash for the construction of our new city hall.

After looking at our budgets and how we spend our money it appears that they maybe hiding money in the contingency fund.

City of Surprise budget 2017

With over $50 million in an unaccountable fund (contingency) for their pet projects, the City of Surprise council members don’t need us tax payers to pass a BOND. Lots of luck, next time around.

2017 Budget contingency fund $54 M: 2016 budget $51 M: 2015 budget $110 M

Budgeted expenditures that are set aside for future fiscal years or unforeseen uses are labeled contingency. The financial policy states, “All use of budgetary contingency accounts must be approved by City Council prior to being expended.” Contingency monies are not intended to be spent and represent budget authority that may be approved for use by the City Council.

The council have put $12,497,200 of the contingency money in the grant fund where they intend to spend it.

Second Sundays in the Park concert series continues this Sunday


S‌urprise, A‌Z (January 6, 2017)
The City of Surprise continues its Second Sundays in the Park series this Sunday, January 7. Enjoy a variety of musical hits from 2-4 p.m. as the “8 Tracks” perform in the center of Surprise Community Park.

This free, family event is a wonderful opportunity to picnic and enjoy a day at the park while listening to live musical entertainment. The Surprise Community Park is located at 15953 N. Bullard Avenue.

For more information, please contact the Community & Recreation Services Office at 623.222.2000 or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents.

US 60 (Grand Avenue) and Bell Road weekly project update

S‌urprise, A‌Z (January 6, 2017) The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) has issued a project update for the Grand Avenue/Bell Road Interchange Project, which includes upcoming traffic restrictions and a schedule of on-site activities for the week of January 9.

Businesses in the Bell-Grand area are open during the construction project. View the latest Construction Business Access Map so you know how to ShopSurprise.

Familiarize yourself with the Bell-Grand interchange traffic configurations before the project is complete in spring 2017! View the ADOT Bell-Grand interchange animation*.

The update is as follows: Allow plenty of time and observe all traffic control signs and barricades. The project team appreciates your continued patience. If you have questions or concerns, please call the project hotline at (855) 712-8530 and press option #1, or send an email to bellandgrandinfo@azdot.gov.

City of Surprise Sharon Wolcott

Report finds minority age gap in Arizona is largest in nation

According to analysis of Census data by Stateline, The PEW Charitable Trusts, Arizona had the largest “racial generation gap” in 2013 in which minorities made up only 18 percent of those 65 and older, while those under 18 made up 59 percent of the population.

POSITION CLASSIFICATIONS – FY2014
Position Classification

Annual Pay Rate

Council Member $20,242.00
Mayor $34,017.00
Vice Mayor $20,242.00

News editor Jeff Grant can be reached at jgrant@newszap.com or 623-445-2805.

Types of corruption found in local government

There are several types of political corruption that occur in local government Some are more common than others, and some are more prevalent to local governments than to larger segments of government. Local governments may be more susceptible to corruption because interactions between private individuals and officials happen at greater levels of intimacy and with more frequency at more decentralized levels. Forms of corruption pertaining to money like bribery, extortion, embezzlement, and graft are found in local government systems.
Other forms of political corruption are nepotism and patronage systems.
taken from Wikipedia

 

 

 

 

 

City of Surprise, Mayor Sharon Wolcott

Mayor and Councilmembers in Districts 2, 3 & 4 sworn in during City Hall Ceremony

S‌urprise, A‌Z (January 4, 2017) The first Regular City Council Meeting of the New Year included the swearing-in ceremonies for mayor and three councilmembers, on Tuesday, January 3.

Sharon Wolcott, who was re-elected in the August 2016 Primary Election, was sworn in as Mayor of Surprise for a second term.

Re-elected Councilmember John Williams was sworn into office to serve District 3.

Newly elected Councilmember Ken Remley took the oath of office to serve District 4.

Jim Hayden, who won the District 2 council seat in August 2016 and joined the City Council, last October through a vacancy, was also sworn into office.

City Clerk Sherry Aguilar administered the oath of office to each elected official; each of which is sworn to a four-year term.

 

 

With over $50 million in an unaccountable fund (contingency) for their pet projects, the City of Surprise council members don’t need us tax payers to pass a BOND. Lots of luck, next time around.

Budgeted expenditures that are set aside for future fiscal years or unforeseen uses are labeled contingency. The financial policy states, “All use of budgetary contingency accounts must be approved by City Council prior to being expended.” Contingency monies are not intended to be spent and represent budget authority that may be approved for use by the City Council.

Surprise Police host Shred-a-Thon and Drug Take Back

S‌urprise, A‌Z (January 4, 2017) On Saturday, January 21, 2017, from 7 until 10 am, the Surprise Police Department will be hosting a Shred-a-Thon and Drug Take Back Event. This event will be held at the Surprise Public Safety Building located at 14250 West Statler Plaza.

During the event members of the public will be able to bring up to 3 boxes of documents per vehicle to be shredded. Additionally, unused prescription and over-the-counter medications can be brought and dropped off for destruction. There is no cost for the shredding of documents or destruction of medications.

Please note that we are unable to accept sharps (to include insulin syringes/needles) or inhalers of any kind. Additionally, the shredding event will continue until 10am or until the shred trucks have been filled up.

Surprise Citizens Patrol to host recruitment meeting

S‌urprise, A‌Z (January 5, 2017) On January 25, 2017 at 6pm, the Surprise Citizens Patrol will be hosting a recruitment and informational meeting at the Surprise Public Safety Auditorium located at 14250 West Statler Plaza.

The meeting is designed to inform the public about the Citizens Patrol and opportunities the program offers to those who are willing to volunteer. Come join the internationally acclaimed Volunteer Service organization, a winner of the 2015 IACP (International Association of Chiefs of Police) Award for Outstanding Achievement in Law Enforcement Volunteer Programs.

Surprise Police Chief Terry Young is scheduled to appear and will briefly speak to those in attendance. The event will also include a presentation by the program leaders, a SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) Team demonstration, and a tour of the Police Department facilities.

Besides patrolling the streets and assisting at crime scenes, the Surprise Citizens Patrol partners with the police on programs such as vacation watch and the “We Care” Program. So, come join our Citizen Patrol at the Open House and learn more about the program.

Click here to learn more about the Surprise Citizen Patrol: http://ow.ly/PiPoX

Dementia caregiver support group
Wednesdays, Jan. 4 & 18; 3 to 4 p.m.
Marty Finely, MEd, leads this support group specifically for people caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or any type of dementia. Registration is not reguired. Location: Grandview Terrace H&R

January 17: Diabetes self-management education 623-832-9355