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.
If there was one thing I would change about Surprise, it would be to have more jobs in Surprise. A large percentage of our residents have to leave the city for work. When we have residents driving 45 minutes to 1 hour for work, this becomes a quality of life issue. To help solve this issue, I would make sure our Economic Department has the resources they need to find those businesses that would be a good fit for our community.
Make sure to protect the land that is zoned for business so we don’t choke out those opportunities in the future. With the railyard coming northwest of Surprise, there will be plenty of opportunities for business growth.
Surprise currently has a solid footing, but as in any organization, improvements can and should be constantly made in all areas. I was taught years ago that you don’t tear down another man’s fence until you fully understand why it was put there to begin with, and I’m also a systems optimization consultant, so I really hesitate at any efforts to start making changes without understanding root causes of issues. Being on council will expose me to many sources of information that will then enable any needed changes.
I can guarantee that I will be looking for areas where we can make appropriate and effective changes to improve operations in any manner by gathering information, and working with the mayor, other council members, city attorney, and the city manager to make any desired change. Then following that change, regularly monitor the implementation and make further adjustments as necessary.
Living in Surprise for more than 20 years, I have seen our city change in a multitude of ways. While we live in one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States, we have at times been unable to get ahead of the growth happening around us. That cannot continue to be the case.
We must find the right balance between growth that creates jobs and helps our city evolve and ensuring that members of our community don’t see their quality of life suffer. We need to make sure we have sufficient investments in roads, public safety, and other critical services that improve the lives of everyone who call our city home.
During my first campaign we saw drop-off recycling come to the city. Since taking office I have continued to advocate to bring back curbside recycling. While it has taken longer than I have expected, we are on track to do just that.
The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors just approved a rezone that would allow Republic Services to build a Material Recovery Facility (MRF) that would be large enough to take our recyclables. As a result, during my next term we should see a long awaited return to recycling.
I love Surprise, I don’t want to change Surprise. However, three things that I would like to see soon are more entertainment options like high-end restaurants, Cactus Road needs to be built out, and we need more park space to accommodate youth and club sports.