SUBSCRIBER EXCLUSIVE

Surprise Election Q&A: No. 1 issue in each district

City council candidates answer questions

Posted 5/31/22

Candidates answer "What is the No. 1 issue in your district specifically?"

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SUBSCRIBER EXCLUSIVE

Surprise Election Q&A: No. 1 issue in each district

City council candidates answer questions

Posted

Candidates for the Surprise City Council answer questions each week leading up to the Aug. 2 primary election. There are three candidates in District 1 and two incumbents running unopposed in Districts 5 and 6.

THIS WEEK: What is the No. 1 issue in your district specifically?

DISTRICT 1

Raymond Grim

The No. 1 issue in district one is roads. The city is approving hundreds of homes while the roads leading to and from the growth areas are not being updated to accommodate the growth fast enough.

For example, heading northwest on Grand Avenue heading towards 163rd Avenue gets back up. You will sit in traffic for about 20 to 25 minutes on a Friday afternoon from RH Johnson to 163rd Avenue.

Leaving the community in the morning on 163rd Avenue, you will sit through two to three lights to get onto Grand Avenue. Those entering Grand Avenue, coming out of North Copper Canyon, are entering a high-speed road while traffic is backed up behind them. This is a recipe for accidents to take place. 

It’s easy to see the issues, but you have to come up with solutions. The solution is to work with our county, state, and federal representatives to get the funding to expand Grand Ave to three lanes northwest of the 303, find another exit across the train tracks unto Grand Avenue, get another on/off ramp on the 303 at Litchfield, rework the Grand and 303 on/off ramps, and get a better intersection for the residents coming out of North Copper Canyon.

Because of my work as the chairperson of the Government Affairs Committee for the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce, I’ve built those relationships with our elected officials. So, when I make the call to get funding for these road projects, the elected officials know who I am. I will be relentless at advocating for the funding we need.

Lew Guyn

There are several issues that need to be addressed, but the rapid growth pressures would be my No. 1 issue.

The growth is ahead of traffic systems for example. The eastern side of this district is mostly limited to using 163rd and Grand to get to the 303 and other areas of the surrounding area creating a lot of congestion and frustration, and I will work very hard to address not only 163rd’s completion, but also all of the east/west corridors to provide improved access.

A major employer is currently building a facility out at I-17 and the 303, and all their suppliers will be also be nearby, which will place additional pressures on these traffic patterns as workers seek to live in this area.  Schools, shopping, restaurants, open space, respecting the rural areas, and other good job opportunities also need to be considered with this growth.

Nick Haney

I’ve spent dozens of hours speaking to the residents of our district. It would be a disservice to my neighbors to say there is one singular issue that ranks as most important.

I see our district as having multiple vital issues. We need smart growth — specifically, ensuring that our infrastructure keeps pace with the rapid growth happening around us.

We need proactive policies rather than reactive ones. We need to ensure proper investments in our traffic systems, expand our roads, and appropriately manage the congestion on our roadways.

Development should never outpace service delivery for our community. As a firefighter, I understand the importance of anticipating the needs of the district before they become a hindrance to our community.

DISTRICT 5

Jack Hastings

The No. 1 issue in Surprise District 5 is public safety. That’s why I voted to increase our police funding by over $4 million in this year’s city budget. A new fire station opened in Surprise this year to help us decrease response times and keep our residents safe.

Our first responders deserve leaders who support public safety. Surprise police officers and firefighters put their lives on the line every day, and we need to provide them with the proper resources they need to stay safe and keep us safe.

DISTRICT 6

Chris Judd

The main issues in my district are jobs, parks, and high-end restaurants. The Rail Plex area (between Peoria and Waddell and Litchfield and Dysart) is a huge driver in head of household jobs. The area is still being built out and every business that decides to open means more potential jobs for Surprise residents. We need to support the building of the Rail Plex in any way that we can so we can benefit from the jobs it will create.

One of the biggest requests I get from residents in my district is a desire for more high-end restaurants. We need to give our economic development team the tools they need to help attract these businesses to our community.

My district is heavy in families. Families need parks. We need more large parks in Surprise that can accommodate youth sports programming. Our parks department currently serves about 9,000 kids per year — and there is a waiting list of kids on top of that. We don’t have enough park space to serve all of our kids. Adding parks with multi-use fields addresses that problem.

Surprise also needs park space that can be used by club teams. Currently, most Surprise youth involved in club sports are forced to travel elsewhere to find fields to practice on. Having a strong club team system in Surprise will give our teenagers more options and could also have the side effect of making our high school sports more competitive.

Surprise election, Chris Judd, Jack Hastings, Raymond Grim, Lew Guyn, Nick Haney, primary

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