Chief of Police Michael T. Frazier michael.frazier@surpriseaz.gov… 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, wigwamresort.com

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, tom.abbott@surpriseaz.gov…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…michael.celaya@surpriseaz.gov…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.

OLD NEWS

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, surpriseaz.com.
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

WE HAVE SOME CITY COUNCIL MENBERS OF SURPRISE LIVING IN FANTASY LAND WHEN THEY SAY THAT WE THE CITIZENS ARE BITTER BECAUSE WE ARE WATCHING THEIR IRRESPONSIBLE SPENDING HABITS.THEY HAVE VOTED THEM SELVES’S ONE OF THE HIGHEST SALARIES IN THE STATE OF ARIZONA. THEY HAD PROMISED IN THE PAST THAT THEY WOULD TAKE THE ISSUE OF A RAISE TO THE VOTERS, BUT THEY FOUND A LOOP HOLE TO BENEFIT THEMSELVES’S. SOME ARE TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE GAS ALLOWANCE AND USING POOR JUDGEMENT IN GRANTING SEVERANCE PAY TO THE SELECTED FEW WITHOUT AN EXPLANATION TO US WHO PAYS THE BILL. WOULD THESE COUNCIL MEMBERS GIVE THEIR OWN MONEY TO GARDENERS OR HOUSE KEEPERS THAT SAY THEY ARE QUITTING, WOULD THEY GENEROUSLY GIVE THEM OVER A YEARS PAY FOR NOT DOING ANYTHING.

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.

MY RESPONSE TO THE ARTICLE ON ANOTHER BLOG.
THAT CLIFF ELKINS WAS A STAND UP GUY TO COME IN DURING THE RECALL IS A MISREPRESENTATION OF THE FACTS. CLIFF ELKINS WAS A MEMBER OF WHAT WAS KNOWN AS THE S.O.S.
THIS GROUP LED BY LYNN TRUITT WERE BEHIND ALL OF THE RECALLS, TAKING PLACE IN THE CITY OF SURPRISE, EVEN JOE JOHNSON ATTENDED THEIR MEETINGS AND THEY ONLY STOPPED WHEN THEY HAD ENOUGH SIGNATURES FOR MY RECALL.

1/17/07 AT THE SAME TIME THERE MAY HAVE BEEN A DEAL BROKERED BETWEEN THE MAYOR AND TRUITT BECAUSE THEY STOPPED ALL RECALLS AGAINST THE MAYOR. SINCE THEN SHE HAS REMOVED THE MOST KNOWLEDGEABLE MEMBER OF THE PLANNING AND ZONING BOARD AND REPLACED HIM WITH LYNN TRUITT, WHO IS A REALTOR.

COUNCIL MEETING BEING HELD ON DEC.28,2006 AT 6:00 P.M. ITEM #17 CONSIDERATION AND ACTION ON DIRECTING THE CITY MANAGER TO TAKE THE NECESSARY ACTION TO CLASSIFY THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS AS HAVING FULL TIME STATUS. FULL TIME STATUS WILL NOT BE CLEARLY DEFINED.

WE HAVE SOME CITY COUNCIL MENBERS OF SURPRISE LIVING IN FANTASY LAND WHEN THEY SAY THAT WE THE CITIZENS ARE BITTER BECAUSE WE ARE WATCHING THEIR IRRESPONSIBLE SPENDING HABITS.THEY HAVE VOTED THEM SELVES’S ONE OF THE HIGHEST SALARIES IN THE STATE OF ARIZONA. THEY HAD PROMISED IN THE PAST THAT THEY WOULD TAKE THE ISSUE OF A RAISE TO THE VOTERS, BUT THEY FOUND A LOOP HOLE TO BENEFIT THEMSELVES’S. SOME ARE TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE GAS ALLOWANCE AND USING POOR JUDGEMENT IN GRANTING SEVERANCE PAY TO THE SELECTED FEW WITHOUT AN EXPLANATION TO US WHO PAYS THE BILL. WOULD THESE COUNCIL MEMBERS GIVE THEIR OWN MONEY TO GARDENERS OR HOUSE KEEPERS THAT SAY THEY ARE QUITTING, WOULD THEY GENEROUSLY GIVE THEM OVER A YEARS PAY FOR NOT DOING ANYTHING.

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: azdot.gov/bellandgrand

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 projects@azdot.gov. 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 www.azdot.gov/projects/phoenix-metro-area/loop-303-north-of-i-10.

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.

News

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 www.surpriseaz.gov/communityoutreachprogram.

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

Open Mayor Sharon Wolcott

How corporations secretly influence elections

TLG attorney Jim Barton explains

TCLG also helped guide Local 469’s successful campaign activities in Surprise, including those supporting Mayor-Elect Sharon Wolcott and councilmen Richard Alton and John Williams.
TCLG client Arizona Pipe Trades hosts League of Cities and Towns reception

TCLG’s Public Relations Account Executive Veronica Hernandez and Government Relations Associate Feruza Amanova planned the event, which drew nearly 200 elected officials, city and town employees, contractors and other stakeholders.
TCLG client Arizona Pipe Trades hosted a reception for attendees at the Arizona League of Cities and Towns conference. Clockwise from top left, Surprise Mayor Sharon Wolcott, left, and TCLG Managing Partner Israel Torres; TCLG Davis-Bacon clients UA 598 join TCLG staff, and from left to right, 469 member Mark Gallego, TLG attorney Jim Barton, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and AZ Pipe Trades Financial Secretary/Treasurer Scott Vaugh

OPEN………Bob Vukanovich

The Republic | azcentral.com 12:34 p.m. MST September 19, 2014

A former Surprise employee who managed city finances could face criminal charges after officials said she mishandled funds.

The city fired Estella Sanchez, who worked as the revenue and utility billing manager, in March after officials determined she violated policy by cashing a $3,000 check for petty cash and held it for three weeks before returning it.

City Manager Bob Wingenroth said he could not comment on the specifics of the incident because Surprise police have opened an investigation to determine whether Sanchez has broken any laws.

Surprise police confirmed that they are investigating Sanchez but would not comment on the case.

The criminal investigation is running concurrently with an internal audit, which officials said should uncover any financial discrepancies.

Sanchez had worked for Surprise for nearly 17 years. Her annual salary was about $91,000. A woman who identified herself as both Estella Sanchez and a former Surprise employee said she had no comment when contacted by The Arizona Republic. She then said the reporter had the wrong phone number.

If the investigation finds that money is missing, insurance will cover the funds, Wingenroth said.

“We want to do a good and thorough job with the investigation because this is very serious,” he said. “We will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law based on our findings.”

Since the firing, Wingenroth said, he has eliminated petty-cash accounts and hired a new revenue manager. The City Council also has funded an additional position to beef up internal controls, he said.

Surprise spokeswoman Diane Arthur said petty cash was a way for employees to request money to cover unexpected work-related expenses, such as parking at a work-related meeting or conference. “Traditionally, there was not that much money kept in petty cash, because it covered small, unexpected expenses,” she said.

City officials became aware of the incident during an unannounced cash-handling audit, which the city conducts periodically.

Internal Auditor Ramon Ramirez said in a separate memo to top city officials that Sanchez’s actions “put the city at considerable risk of not properly safeguarding cash.”

According to city documents, on Feb. 14, Sanchez, who had check-cashing authority, cashed a $3,000 check intended for petty cash.

Thirteen days later, Sanchez returned $1,900 to the city. She did not mention the remaining balance, which she still possessed, the documents said. The next day, officials asked Sanchez about the remaining money, and she did not respond.

Former City Manager Chris Hillman put Sanchez on paid administrative leave.

Wingenroth said that the city immediately contacted the Police Department and that Sanchez “has not been back to work, has had no access to (the city’s internal) Internetor city buildings and has been advised not to talk to city employees.”

She returned the remainder of the money, plus $2, on March 6.

Last year, Sanchez took away a colleague’s check-cashing responsibility and stopped recording how much she requested to replenish petty cash, which “obscured insight into the propriety of finance’s petty cash requests and balances,” according to city documents

Mark Coronado………….Sharon Wolcott Mayor City of Surprise

 

City Parks
• Section 10 – 24303 N. 183rd Ave.
• Asante Park – 16763 W. Vereda Solana Dr. (164th Ave and Pat Tillman Blvd.)
• Surprise Farms Park – 17894 W. Westpark Blvd.
• Sierra Montana Park – 17680 W. Spring Ln.
• Heritage Park at Marley Park – 15703 W. Sweetwater Ave.
• Veramonte Park – 122741 N. 140th Ave.
• 3-Star Park – 15825 Jerry St.
• Bicentennial Park/Lizard Run – 16705 N. Nash St.
• Johnson Townhomes Park – 16255 N. Desert Sage St.
• Gaines Park – 15837 N. Nash St.
• Stonebrook Park – 14431 W. Ely Dr.
• Surprise Community Park – 15953 N. Bullard Ave.

Additional information on the Citizens Patrol can be found on their website at www.surpriseaz.gov/citizenspatrol or by calling 623.222.4277.

Police Chief Michael Frazier………………Bob Vukanovich

Michael Frazier, Police Chief Surprise Police Department Michael Frazier was appointed as the Police Chief for the City of Surprise on February 14, 2011.
surpriseaz.gov
surpriseaz.gov/index.aspx?NID=1305

Jan 30, 2015 – “I’m hugely supportive of body cameras,” Surprise Police Chief Mike Frazier said, whose department bought 89 cameras for about $250,000 …

Police seek help locating runaway teenager

Surprise, AZ… (February 20, 2015) The Surprise Police Department is seeking assistance in locating a 17-year-old girl who was last seen on Thursday, February 5, 2015.

Police received a call on February 5, from family members, reporting her as a runaway. The girl, identified as Madeline Elizabeth Corbin, is approximately 5 feet tall and weighs approximately 106 pounds.

She has shoulder length brown hair, blue eyes, and was last seen wearing blue jeans and a blue “Willow Canyon High School” tee shirt.

Madeline was last seen by her parents as she was being dropped off at school in the area of 23000 North 166th Drive. Madeline has a history of running away and was last reported as a runaway in November, 2014.

Police are following up on all leads, continuing efforts to locate the juvenile, and are asking anyone with any information to call the Surprise Police Department at 623-222

Surprise, AZ (February 20, 2015) The City of Surprise is hosting a multitude of fun activities for youth during spring break, including a K-6th grade camp and baseball and soccer sports camps.

The K-6th grade Spring Break Camp will be held March 16-20 from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Countryside Recreation Center, located at 15038 N Parkview Place. Camp fees for Surprise residents are $110 for a full week or $85 for three days, which includes field trips and afternoon snacks. Planned field trips include: Makutu’s Island, a Spring Training game and a trip to the White Tank Mountains.

The basketball and soccer Spring Break Sports Camps run March 16-19. The Basketball Camp will be held at Valley Vista High School, 15550 N. Parkview Place, and will be run by Valley Vista High School’s men’s basketball program. The Soccer Camp will be held at Marley Park, 15126 W. Sweetwater Rd, and will be run by Worldnet Soccer. Instructors will concentrate on building and refining fundamentals in all aspects of the game.

Applications are currently being accepted for each of the camps at the City of Surprise Community and Recreation Services Office, 15960 N. Bullard Ave.

For more information about youth and family programs please call 623.222.2000 or visit www.supriseaz.gov/recreation.

Surprise, AZ (February 20, 2015) Surprise is offering free Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training for residents interested in learning how to help in an emergency or disaster situation. The training, which offers certification upon completion, is designed to help build a team of community volunteers who can respond to incidents effectively and efficiently without putting themselves in danger.

Trainees will learn how to:

• Manage utilities and put out small fires
• Apply techniques for opening airways, controlling bleeding and treating shock
• Provide basic medical aid
• Work in search and rescue situations
• Organize spontaneous volunteers to be effective
• Collect disaster intelligence to support first responder efforts

The classes are scheduled for three consecutive Saturdays – Feb. 28, Mar.7 and Mar. 14 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Surprise Public Safety Auditorium, 14250 W. Statler Plaza. All three training classes must be completed in order to receive full certification.

For more information or to register for the CERT training, please contact the Surprise Fire-Medical Department at crfire@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.5400.

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.”

AZ TechCelerator

Surprise, AZ (February 17, 2015) IRIS USA, Inc, a subsidiary of IRIS Ohyama, Inc headquartered in Sendai, Japan, will build its new Western United States Regional Headquarters in Surprise. The new facility represents a $33-$40 million investment, 100 new jobs, and $800,000 of new city revenues in the first year of operations.

In making the announcement during her State of the City address Tuesday morning, Mayor Sharon Wolcott said, “This project is aligned with the city’s goal of attracting foreign direct investment from quality companies that want to be a part of the vision and vitality of Surprise. We could not ask for a better new neighbor. Welcome IRIS USA.”

IRIS USA’s new 280,000-square-foot building will include office, manufacturing and distribution space; located on 30 acres within the city’s Southwest Railplex Industrial District – a designated Foreign Trade Zone with convenient rail access.

“Surprise offers a premier business park that supports our global initiative,” says IRIS USA President Chet Keizer. “Equally important to us is the corporate and community connectivity due to the close proximity of the city’s civic and recreational campus to the business park.”

The recruitment of IRIS USA was a collaborative effort by the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA), the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) and the City of Surprise.

“Arizona’s world-class infrastructure system and strategic Southwest location are key advantages supporting the distribution channel and supply chain management needs of growing manufacturers and international companies,” said Sandra Watson, President and CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority. “We welcome IRIS USA to our business community and thank them for investing in Surprise for their corporate expansion.”

GPEC President and CEO Chris Camacho adds, “The IRIS USA selection of Greater Phoenix reinforces the pro-business environment the market has cultivated in recent years. Mayor Wolcott and her team are aggressively building a robust community. The Iris USA investment is the latest achievement in growing base industry jobs in Arizona.”

In the development agreement, which the City Council approved Tuesday evening at their Regular City Council Meeting, the city will reimburse up-to $500,000 in review/permit/impact fees at time of occupancy, provide project office space at the city’s business incubator – AZ TechCelerator during construction and host a job fair.

IRIS USA’s Western United States Regional Headquarters is expected to open in December 2015. In addition to manufacturing and distributing its consumer plastics Storage Products, the Company will be dedicating space for research and development for its commercial LED (light-emitting diode), Housewares, Wire, Pet Supply and E-Commerce divisions.

IRIS USA is a consumer products company that sells to retailers throughout North America. It currently has office, manufacturing and distribution facilities in Pleasant Prairie, WI, its corporate headquarters, and Mesquite, TX.

To learn more about IRIS USA, please visit www.irisusainc.com.

To learn more about IRIS OHYAMA, please visit www.irisohyama.co.jp/english/.

.

 

 

APS POWER LINES

 

David Madrid, The Republic | azcentral.com
Surprise residents opposed to high-voltage power lines skirting their community on Friday, Feb. 13, lost their fight to move the lines when the Arizona Corporation Commission voted against them. Arizona Public Service will resume power line work in their neighborhood Monday, Feb. 16.

The commission, in a unanimous 5-0 decision, voted not to reopen the case in which residents of the Sarah Ann Ranch community sought to move the power lines 250 feet from the north side of Cactus Road to the south side.

APS held off planting the four 120- to 130-foot poles as the residents and Surprise tried to convince the Corporation Commission to allow APS to relocate the power lines away from the Sarah Ann Ranch greenbelt. The residents say the high-voltage lines will harm their health, their quality of life, their home values and the enjoyment of 161 trees in the path of the project that will be cut down.

The residents came late to the fight, because the APS transmission line route was approved by the Corporation Commission 10 years ago after extensive public outreach that included Surprise, Maricopa County, Luke Air Force Base and others. APS officials said construction must continue to meet a June 1 deadline to ensure reliability for summer electrical service in the area.

Residents should have signed a form disclosing the lines when they purchased their homes, though some claim the power lines weren’t disclosed by their developer and others say that disclosure was inadequate.

The poles, in a greenbelt area of the Sarah Ann Ranch community, are part of a $50 million, 32-mile stretch of 231 poles that are being installed between the Palm Valley, Trilby Wash and Sun Valley substations.

Joe Mansour, a spokesman for about 180 residents, said the community lost at the Corporation Commission, and that homeowners are putting their homes up for sale.

Residents filled the Surprise City Council chambers in December in opposition to the power lines, and Council members acknowledged the issue blindsided them.

Surprise Mayor Sharon Wolcott wrote a letter to the Corporation Commission on Feb. 10 siding with the residents.

“APS waited to begin construction of this line for more than 9 years, has itself requested an extension of its completion deadlines, and, according to APS’ own filings, a delay would not jeopardize reliability of the system or service to the area,” she wrote. “The City Council strongly urges the Commission to grant the request being made by the residents of Sarah Ann Ranch … by moving the approved corridor between the Loop 303 and 195th avenue 250 feet south.”

The poles that residents oppose will carry a 230-kilovolt line designed to move large amounts of electricity long distances at the top of the poles, and several feet below that on the same poles will be a 69-kilovolt line used to distribute electricity to customers. Residents want the poles moved from the north side of Cactus Road to the south side where there are now temporary 69-kilovolt lines on power poles.

The residents reasoned it would be no big deal for APS to replace the temporary 69-kilovolt poles with the larger poles. But APS plans to take down the temporary poles on the south side of Cactus Road after it completes the larger poles on the north side.

Paul Gilbert, an attorney with Beus Gilbert, represents SLR, the owner of the property on the south side of Cactus Road. He said if the high-voltage lines have a “deleterious effect” on the Sarah Ann Ranch community, then it will likewise have that same effect on the master-planned community that will eventually be built on SLR’s land.

Commissioner Bob Burns said his concern is the reliability of the electrical system that serves the entire area.

“I understand that area is over 20 square miles, and so that would be a significant impact on that community if there were outages,” he said.

The power line project originates at the Palm Valley Substation and generally follows the west side of Loop 303 to Cactus Road, where it turns west to about 195th Avenue then north again to the Trilby Wash Substation. From the Trilby Wash Substation, the project generally heads west along the existing transmission-line corridor before it ultimately terminates at the Sun Valley Substation northwest of the Sun City Festival development.

Photo: David Madrid/The Republic)

Story Highlights
Surprise residents opposed to high-voltage power lines skirting their community lost their fight to move the lines Friday when the Arizona Corporation Commission ruled against them
The commission, in a unanimous 5-0 decision, voted not to reopen the case in which residents of the Sarah Ann Ranch community sought to move the power lines 250 feet to the south side of Cactus Road
APS held off planting the four 120- to 130-foot poles as the residents and Surprise tried to convince the Corporation Commission to allow APS to relocate the power lines away from the Sarah Ann Ranch greenbelt north of Cactus Road

Department: Community and Recreation ………….Outlay to lure baseball teams

What the city did: Surprise approved funding for the design and development of Village 5 plan. Villages 1 and 3 plans have been completed, with a total of nine villages planned for the city.
What it cost: $222,000. Why it was needed: The villages are a big component of planning a framework for the future of Surprise.

A village is a group of neighborhoods anchored by a central activity area that includes residential and commercial as well as public facilities that could include schools, libraries and emergency services.

Each village will have a committee, made up of village residents, to make recommendations to the city on village goals, policies and long-term plans. The village committees focus on improving the long-term environmental, economical, and social health of the city, making it a more sustainable community, according to officials. The strategy is a component of the state-mandated Growth Element of the General Plan 2035.

SURPRISE DEVELOPMENT

 

Surprise development
Nick Cote
Surprise development Rick West, left, president of Carefree Partners Investments and vice president Scott Phillips stand on a parcel of land in Surprise that they have plans to develop as part of the effort to build a downtown Surprise. Wednesday, February 11, 2015 (Nick Cote/Daily News-Sun)

Posted: Thursday, February 12, 2015 10:07 am | Updated: 10:19 am, Thu Feb 12, 2015. By Richard Smith, DAILY NEWS-SUN

For more than a decade, the development of the area Surprise sees as its downtown has amounted to barely a trickle.

Phoenix-based Carefree Partners Investments, L.L.C., the area’s primary development company, intends to start a steady stream of activity, if not open the floodgates.

Company president and co-founder Rick West said Carefree has received letters of intent from several companies — though nothing he can disclose yet. Once finalized, these businesses will form the foundation of the tentatively named The Shops at Elm Street on 100 acres of the northern portion of the parcel, south of Bell Road and north of the general Young Street alignment.

West said if there are no snags Carefree will be drawing plans by summer and in the ground by the end of the year. The Shops at Elm Street — mixing restaurants and other entertainment destinations with retail, including a department store — should be built up in three or four years.

“Elm Street exists. You wouldn’t know it. It’s a road that nobody drives on except for me and (Carefree Vice President) Scott (Phillips) and a couple of other people,” West said.

 

West said these chains face a new reality, trying to figure out what’s a good store size. “They haven’t sorted that through so they don’t know what their square footage needs are going to be and what sort of distribution facilities they need,” West said.

Wherever it goes, this will be the next surge in Carefree’s two-decade history with the city. Like Surprise’s growth chart, it’s had plenty of fits and starts. Then known as Westcor Land Company, Carefree bought 2,000 acres in Surprise in 1994.

In addition to the city center, this land encompassed the current Surprise Farms and Arizona Traditions developments as well as Willow Canyon High School.

Downtown, it took Carefree a full decade — from 2004-2014 — to build a small restaurant row and a two-story office building. This parcel, near Bell and Litchfield roads, now includes a Paradise Bakery, Carraba’s, Red Robin, Pei Wei and now Kneaders Bakery.

 

A land exchange and settlement agreement transferred ownership to Surprise and the development company. In order to protect Luke Air Force Base, the agreement prohibited venues offering overnight stays, such as hotels, hospitals or apartments.

Surprise and Phoenix struck a deal ending the restrictions in late 2013. Since then both the city and Carefree ran into tenants still a bit leery from a shaky economy.

 

Carefree’s biggest downtown contribution was giving Surprise 110 acres to build its Civic Center in the late 2000s.

The city is taking an active role in populating its downtown, particularly on its No. 1 priority — a full university campus with dorms and academic buildings.

City officials remain largely mum on the subject of downtown, in advance of Mayor Sharon Wolcott delivering her State of the City address Tuesday.

“What I can tell you is how the voter General Plan calls for a downtown to be established at Surprise Center. It is at the core of our city and encompasses plans for retail, office, four-year university and entertainment,” Surprise Communications Manager Diane Arthur stated this week in an email.

West said his company has assisted Surprise in its college search and that Phoenix-based Arizona Christian University wanted to make a big splash but had to pull the plug.

Arizona Christian had land reserved, but it didn’t have the financial heft to make its vision of a 125-acre campus that could serve 6,000 students come true.

West said most universities looking to branch out are OK with the idea of a 30- 40-acre campus.

West used his ties with the Duluth, Minn.-based College of St. Scholastica to help bring some of its classes to the Communiversity next to City Hall. He said this college or a similar small Midwestern University looking to branch out could be a future target.

Both the city and Carefree are on the same page with the university as the centerpiece of an downtown with entertainment to attract both halves of the city’s “bimodal” demographic — young families and seniors.

“The mayor has had a vision under their economic development policy to have a university there and we’ve been very supportive of that,” West said. “Our vision has always been to create a 24-hour downtown. That’s how we started with it back in 1997.”

 

OPEN

40 Bed Injury Rehab Hospital Breaks Ground in Surprise

Surprise AZ (May 13, 2014) An advanced rehabilitation hospital specializing in treating traumatic brain injuries took a step closer to opening day with a ground breaking ceremony in Surprise this morning.

The 40-bed facility, operated by Dallas-based Cobalt Medical Partners, will treat injured veterans, first responders, athletes and the general public when it opens at the northeast corner of Dysart and Bell roads late this year, according to Chief Executive Officer Richard Fiske.

Surprise will work with Cobalt to host a job fair to help the company find new employees, Mayor Sharon Wolcott said at today’s ceremony.

“Job creation and new health-care opportunities are key elements of our Strategic Plan,” Wolcott said. “Cobalt’s $15 million investment will have an immediate and lasting impact on our growing reputation as a community of good jobs and excellent health services.”

The rehabilitation hospital is expected to employ about 125 people.

Surprise and Cobalt will collaborate in identifying job training opportunities for future health care professionals and the City will provide Cobalt guidance on federal or state grants that pertain to the company’s mission or that promote energy and water conservation, Wolcott added.

“Making things happen is what Surprise is all about and Cobalt has the same energy and drive,” Wolcott said. “Cobalt brings state of the art treatment to Surprise, which can attract high level practitioners, which in turn can attract additional health care facilities,” she said. “Our community welcomes and supports such high quality, professional development.”

The City Council unanimously approved an agreement with Cobalt in November of 2013 which calls for the City to pay $160,000 in building permit and plan review fees.

Cobalt is a private healthcare real estate development and investment company that partners with physicians and local communities in building successful healthcare facilities. Cobalt has rehabilitation hospitals in Kansas, Texas and Louisiana.

City of Surprise Sharon Wolcott Mayor Bob Vukanovich Editor

Surprise residents OK General Plan 2035

Surprise AZ (November 5, 2013) According to unofficial results from the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office, Surprise voters have approved General Plan 2035, with 71.8% of voters saying “Yes.”

The County Recorder’s office reports 10,725 “Yes” votes (71.82%) and 4,208 “No” votes (28.18%).

Voters also approved a franchise agreement for Southwest Gas to continue operating in the city.

OLD NEWS Surprise, Arizona

11/16/2006 6:16:47 PM
The Mayor and Council Members
THE MAYOR AND SOME OF THE COUNCIL MEMBERS MUST BE MADE TO UNDERSTAND THAT WHILE THEY FEEL INVINCIBLE, THAT IS NOT THE CASE AT ALL. THEIR CONSTANT SHOW OF ARROGANCE AGAINST ANYONE THAT DARES TO SPEAK OUT AGAINST THEM WILL BE THEIR DOWNFALL.
DONNA WEEKLY

November 16th, 2006 at 7:17 pm e WE SHOULD CALL OUR LOCAL PAPERS AND TELL THEM THAT IN OUR OPINION THEIR COVERAGE OF SURPRISE IS POOR IF NOT NONE EXISTING.
2. anonymous Says:
November 16th, 2006 at 7:19 pm e RVUKANOVICH, I UNDERSTAND THAT YOU WERE VICE-MAYOR IN THE CITY OF SURPRISE, WILL YOU BE WRITING ARTICLES? OUR LOCAL NEWS BLOG IS A JOKE.
3. rvukanovich Says:
November 16th, 2006 at 7:35 pm e YES, I WILL BE WRITING ARTICLES, ESPECIALLY THOSE THAT THE PAPERS DON’T LIKE TO TOUCH. PLEASE SEND YOUR COMMENTS TO ME, TELLING ME WHETHER OR NOT TO USE YOUR NAME. I WILL BE THE ONLY PERSON TO HAVE YOUR NAME AND WILL NOT USE IT IN ANY WAY OTHER THAN WHAT YOU PERMIT.

I Strongly Support This New Web/Blog
I STRONGLY SUPPORT MR. BOB VUKANOVICH’S NEW WEB/BLOG. I GREATLY APPRECIATE HIS WANTING TO ENSURE THAT ONLY RELEVENT INFORMATION AND FACTS ARE IDENTIFIED AND BROUGHT FORWARD FOR INTELLIGENT DISCUSSION, RATHER THAN ALLOWING SLANDEROUS, MALICIOUS, BIGOTED AND NON-VALID (HEARSAY) COMMUNICATION TO RESIDE ON HIS SITE. I ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO SHARE THEIR THOUGHTS AND IDEAS, “CONSTRUCTIVE” CRITICISMS, AND LAUDATORY PRAISES WITH OTHERS. ALSO, WHILE DISCUSSIONS PERTAINING TO CITY GOVERNMENT, THE SCHOOL DISTRICT, GROWTH AND THE LIKE ARE IMPORTANT, THERE ARE A VAST NUMBER OF TOPICS THAT WOULD BE ENJOYABLE TO SHARE AND CHAT ABOUT WITH OTHERS. GOOD JOB, BOB. I REALIZE YOUR WEB SITE IS STILL “UNDER CONSTRUCTION,” BUT I APPLAUD YOU FOR THE WORK YOU’VE ALREADY ACCOMPLISHED.
-BILL LIPSCOMB

Stadium Funds
WE SHOULD THANK THE MAYOR, FORMER COUNCIL MEMBERS AND FORMER CITY MANAGER BECAUSE THEY WERE THE TRUE PIONEERS IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF SPRING TRAINING IN THE WEST VALLEY.
THE CITY OF SURPRISE WITH THE HELP OF THE SENIOR CITIZENS OF SUN CITY AND SUN CITY WEST WAS A MAJOR CONTRIBUTOR IN THE VOTE TO EXTEND THE stadium.

E-Mail to Mayor Shafer
Resolution#07-63 was an agreement between the City and the developer or the land owner that was approved by Council on May 24, 07.
Not wishing to debate this issue, I am only asking, in this agreement will the City of Surprise be reimbursed in the future for these expenditures?

As per the Project Overview: In the CIP there is $9.5 million allocated for this project.

E-Mail from Mayor Shafer…..You can be assured that the developer will have to abide by the usal agreement.

I have been informed that this will come before Council thanks for the import.
Unless I am wrong this project can cost the taxpayers anywhere from $10 to $20 million, was that the intention of the council when voting for Resolution 07-63?
As always, Bob Vukanovich

I’m convinced this will be the most important election in the city’s history. I mean, when the city manager, Jim Rumpeltes, read a statement in June that talked about a dysfunctional city and said some council members ruled by “threats and coercion,” the antennae of all voters should have shot up.

The Maricopa County Election Board said they would call our City Clerk so they could correct their web–site.
On the city web-site it said that we would have to pay the postage when we mailed our ballot in, believing this was morally wrong, I called the Maricopa County Election Board.
The Election Board assured me that the city will pay for the postage, the ballot will have a return stamp on it.

When our City Manager Jim Rumpeltes made his accusation against this sitting council, I thought and still do that the State of Arizona should have taken control of the city until we have some resemblance of order.

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.

Mayor Sharon Wolcott & Councilman Skip Hall, City of Surprise

Public invited to share thoughts on Veramonte Park Improvements June 26

Surprise, AZ (June 4, 2014) .

The Surprise City Council approved approximately $948,000 in the FY14/15 capital budget for facility improvements at Veramonte. The proposed Phase II improvements conceptually include:

Restroom
Parking Lot (approximately 50 spaces)
Two (2) Ramadas 12’ x 24’ (pre-manufactured with custom columns)
Softball Field Lighting
Soccer Field Lighting

 

City of Surprise Mayor Sharon Wolcott

After the Special City Council held on May 27th was reconvened, Mayor Wolcott commented that upon Mr. Hilman’s resignation, council has agreed to appoint Mr. Wingenroth as interim City Manager. If the Agreement was made in the executive session, it would appear to be an open meeting law for Mayor Wolcott to comment on what was discussed in the E-Session.
7.8.4 Confidentiality of Executive Session Minutes. The minutes of an executive
session and all discussions that take place at an executive session are confidential and
may not be disclosed to anyone, A.R.S. § 38-431.03(B), except that they may be disclosed
to the following people:

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.
7.5 The Actions and Activities Covered by the Open Meeting Law.
Public officials should refrain from any activities that may undermine public confidence in
the public decision making process established in the Open Meeting Law, including actions
that may appear to remove discussions and decisions from public view.
7.5.1 Generally. All meetings of a public body shall be public, and all persons
desiring to attend shall be permitted to attend and listen to the deliberations and
proceedings. A.R.S. § 38-431.01(A). All legal action of public bodies shall occur during a
public meeting. Id.
A meeting is defined as “the gathering, in person or through technological devices, of a quorum of members of a public body at which they discuss, // Propose or take legal action, including any deliberations by a quorum with respect to such action\\.

” A.R.S. § 38-431(4). The definition of meeting was modified by the Arizona
Legislature in 2000 to prohibit a quorum of a public body from secretly communicating
through technological devices, including, for example, facsimile machines, telephones,
texting, and e-mail.

 

Surprise Independent

By Rusty Bradshaw
Independent Newsmedia, Inc. USA
Updated June 11, 2014

SURPRISE, Ariz. – Choosing to forego a drawn out search, the SurpriseCity Council appointed Bob Wingenroth, currently the city’s assistant city manager and chief financial officer, to fill the vacancy.

Mr. Wingenroth assumed his new duties today, releasing Chris Hillman to start his new job as Irving, Texas, city manager. Mr. Hillman will be paid $20,760, representing wages at his current rate through July 20.

Mr. Hillman informed the council June 5 he had been accepted for the Irving job and resigned with a 45-day notice.

The council cited a desire to move forward on some time-sensitive projects as the main reason for appointing Mr. Wingenroth.

“These projects include establishing new citywide village plans, which will set the course for future development in the community, and the hiring of a new economic development director and community development director,” Mayor Sharon Wolcott and council members said in a joint statement.

Mr. Wingenroth is the former Anaheim, Calif. city manager and spent 28 years with the city of Phoenix, then serving as chief financial officer in Huntington Beach, Calif. He was the CFO in Anaheim before accepting the city manager position there. He assumed the ACM/CFO position in Surprise in June of last year.

City officials have known for weeks Mr. Hillman was a top candidate for the Irving job. The council May 27 unanimously voted to appoint Mr. Wingenroth as interim city manager should Mr. Hillman be offered and accept the Irving position
——————————————————————-
The article above; The council did not vote to appoint Mr.Wingenroth as the interim city manager, unless it was done in the executive session. Unable to contact the Surprise Independent to have them make a correction.

 

 

ADOT

Arizona and Nevada to hold public and virtual meetings for the Interstate 11 and Intermountain West Corridor Study
Meetings focus on draft Corridor Concept Report as study nears completion

The City Council has approved approximately $1.68 million in the FY14/15 capital budget for facility improvements at Surprise Farms. The proposed improvements conceptually include:

Restroom-Basketball court (double court type)-Drinking Fountains-Paved Parking Lots, lighted-Tot lot playground with proposed shade-5-12 playground with proposed shade-Two large ramadas (12 x 24) and three small ramadas (12 x 12)-Dog park (3 proposed areas)-Fitness Stations-Skate park-Alternates: Triangular area west of Westpark Boulevard (fencing)-Splash pad
Community and Recreation Services staff will assist in engaging the community to identify viable options for the use of these city-owned properties and do a presentation discussing the site designs. Public input is welcome and encouraged as the City moves forward in finalizing the proposed park design and preparing to call for construction bids in early fall.
If you are unable to attend the meeting but have an idea or a thought that you want to share, please email recreation@surpriseaz.gov.

YF 15 Budget

Surprise Council: FY15 budget good to go, Surprise OKs FY15 budget page 2 06/03/14
The Mayor and Council also thanked city employees, who will receive merit raises in FY15 for the first time since 2007. “Our employees have been fantastic and deserve support,” Wolcott said.

Among other highlights, the Council budgeted improvements at Surprise Farms and Veramonte Parks that total more than $2.5 million. The City’s Recreation Advisory Commission has already set a June 18 joint meeting with the Surprise Farms HOA to consider specific improvements at Surprise Farms.

The Council plans to fund a $15 million expansion of team clubhouses and public facilities at Surprise Stadium in FY15, after staff reported the expansion could be financed without adding to the budget, due in part to the City’s improved credit ratings.

The Council approved a lower primary property tax levy rate of 75.9 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The current rate is 77.8 cents. Primary property taxes will generate the same amount as in previous years, roughly $6.5 million, according to the City’s Finance Department.

There are no tax increases in the FY15 budget.

The budget projects a $29 million General Fund balance by June 30, 2014. $14.9 million of the surplus will constitute the two-month General Fund reserve, fulfilling a Council goal to have the reserve restored by June 30 of this year.

Even after budgeting for long-overdue civic improvements in FY15, the budget projects a balance of $27 million by June 30, 2015.

Mayor Sharon Wolcott said the Council has kept its promise to restore the City’s finances and is pursuing an aggressive agenda of civic improvements and job creation. “This budget represents the Surprise of today: a successful city with a community-supported vision for the future,” she said. “Now, it’s full speed ahead.”

Economic Development and employee increases

Economic development efforts will receive assistance ranging from additional ED personnel to improvements at the City’s showcase AZTechCelerator program, an award-winning business incubator near Bell and El Mirage roads. “Creating white-collar jobs in Surprise will continue to be our top priority,” Wolcott said.

Some of the public improvements in the tentative budget include:

Surprise Stadium team and public improvements $15,000,000
(app; financed)
In-Ground Skate Park $500,000
Boys and Girls Club in east Surprise $2,000,000
Improved Drainage to 107th Avenue/Union Hills $2,428,000
Linking Mt. View Blvd. to Grand Avenue $300,000
Competitive youth Sports Programs $250,000
Median and ROW landscaping $300,000
Park ‘N Ride enhancements $1,686,300
Surprise Farms Park improvements $1,686,300
Veramonte Park Improvements $948,000
Dial a Ride Expansion $75,000

The Council funded Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with Police and Fire represented employees, retaining the current Fire pay plan.

The budget includes a 1.3% cost of living increase for all general employees and a merit increase for employees effective July 1, 2014.

The total cost of employee pay increases is approximately $6 million.

Surprise Stadium Improvements

The proposed $15 million improvement at Surprise Stadium helped the City reach agreement with the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals, who told the Council in April they would extend their lease through the 8-10 year refinance period as a way of demonstrating commitment to Surprise.

 

Bob Wingenroth, No participation of the citizens of the City of Surprise

THIS WAS THE RESOLUTING PASSED BY THE CITY COUNCIL which is different from the resolution presented on the councils agenda in their June 10th meeting
#2014-69
RESOLUTION #2014-69
A RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SURPRISE, ARIZONA, SETTING THE EFFECTIVE SEPERATION DATE OF THE RESIGNED CITY MANAGER AND APPOINTING BOB WINGENROTH AS CITY MANAGER.
WHEREAS, the Mayor and City Council of the City of Surprise are vested with the power to appoint the City Manager pursuant to Chapter 2 of the Surprise City Code;
WHEREAS, on June 5, 2014 the Irving Texas City Council approved a written contract of employment with Chris Hillman, the current City Manager for the City of Surprise;
WHEREAS, Mr. Hillman, on June 5, 2014 delivered a written notice 45 days in advance of his requested termination date in accordance with Section VI(B) of his contract of employment; and
WHEREAS, in order to maintain continuity, the Mayor and Council deem it appropriate to immediately appoint the next City Manager pending approval of a contract of appointment.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the City Council of the City of Surprise, Arizona, as follows.
Section 1. The separation date of the current City Manager is hereby established as June 10, 2014, and he will be paid $20,760 representing wages at his current rate through July 20, 2014.
Section 2. Bob Wingenroth is hereby appointed City Manager commencing June 11, 2014.
Section 3. The City Manager is vested with all power and authority, and must perform the duties and responsibilities of the office, as set forth under Arizona State Law and the Surprise City Code.
Section 4. The City Manager will be paid a bi-weekly salary of $7,115.38 bi-weekly ($185,000 annually) until a contract of appointment is approved by council. All other benefits will be consistent with the Employee Policy Manual.
APPROVED AND ADOPTED this 10th day of June, 2014.
Sharon Walcott, Mayor
Attest: Approved as to form:
THIS WAS THE AGENDA AGENDA RESOLUTING
#2014-69
RESOLUTION #2014-69
A RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL OF THE CITY
OF SURPRISE, ARIZONA, SETTING THE EFFECTIVE
SEPERATION DATE OF THE RESIGNED CITY MANAGER AND
APPOINTING AN INTERIM CITY MANAGER.
WHEREAS, the Mayor and Council of the City of Surprise are vested with the
power to appoint the City Manager pursuant to Chapter 2 of the Surprise City Code;
WHEREAS, on June 5, 2014 the Irving Texas City Council approved a written
contract of employment with Chris Hillman, the current City Manager for the City of
Surprise;
WHEREAS, Mr. Hillman, on June 5, 2014 delivered a written notice 45 days in
advance of his requested termination date in accordance with Section VI(B) of his
contract of employment; and
WHEREAS, in order to maintain continuity, the Mayor and Council deem it
appropriate to appoint an Interim City Manager until such time as the position is
permanently filled by contract appointment.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the City Council of the City of
Surprise, Arizona, as follows.
Section 1. The separation date of the current City Manager is hereby
established as _________________.
Section 2. Bob Wingenroth is hereby appointed Interim City Manager
commencing _________________ and will continue as such until a duly appointed City
Manager is selected by the City Council and commences employment with the City.
Section 4. The Interim City Manager is vested with all power and authority, and
must perform the duties and responsibilities of the office, as set forth under Arizona
State Law and the Surprise City Code.
Section 6. The Interim City Manager will be paid a bi-weekly salary of $7,115.38
bi-weekly ($185,000 annually) until termination of the interim appointment. All other
benefits will be consistent with the Employee Policy Manual.
APPROVED AND ADOPTED this 10th day of June, 2014.
Sharon Walcott, Mayor
Attest: Approved as to form:

 

Mayor Sharon Wolcott & Bob Vukanovich City Surprise News

Surprise, AZ (June 4, 2014) The City of Surprise Recreation Advisory Commission will hold a joint public input meeting with the Veramonte HOA to discuss the Veramonte Park site developments, design plans and provide a Master Plan Update Presentation.

The meeting will be held on Thursday, June 26, 5:30 p.m., at the Holiday Inn Express, at 16540 N. Bullard Avenue.

The Surprise City Council approved approximately $948,000 in the FY14/15 capital budget for facility improvements at Veramonte. The proposed Phase II improvements conceptually include:

Restroom
Parking Lot (approximately 50 spaces)
Two (2) Ramadas 12’ x 24’ (pre-manufactured with custom columns)
Softball Field Lighting
Soccer Field Lighting

Community and Recreation Services staff will assist in engaging the community to identify viable options for the use of these City owned properties and do a presentation discussing the site designs. Public input is welcome and encouraged as the City moves forward in finalizing the proposed park design and preparing to call for construction bids in early fall.

If you are unable to attend the meeting but have an idea or a thought that you want to share, please email recreation@surpriseaz.gov.