District 5

Jack Hastings: District 5 Newsletter — July 2022

Posted 7/4/22

In a special meeting on Tuesday, June 7, city council approved the fiscal year 2023 budget.

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District 5

Jack Hastings: District 5 Newsletter — July 2022

Posted

In a special meeting on Tuesday, June 7, city council approved the fiscal year 2023 budget. It focuses on two main initiatives – addressing personnel needs to maintain the current level of service and providing operational funding to enhance services for residents. Additionally, it includes funding for planned Capital Improvement Projects that support infrastructure initiatives such as renovations, design and construction of a police substation, fire station, municipal art projects, water and wastewater treatment facilities, as well as improvements to the quality of the City’s recreation centers, fields, parks, roadways and drainage. Learn more at surpriseaz.gov/budget.

Xeriscape Demonstration Garden now open

The City of Surprise Xeriscape Demonstration Garden is officially open for the public to enjoy. The new one-acre garden is available for public viewing from sunrise to sunset seven days a week and is conveniently located on the Surprise City Hall campus at 16000 N. Civic Center Plz., just west of West Valley Arts HQ. 

The garden offers four themes along its mix of concrete and granite pathways, including: 

  • low desert native plants
  • native compatible plants that thrive in dry desert conditions
  • sensory garden space with diverse colors, smells and textures
  • year-round color display with a variety of plants with different blooming times 

At the center of the garden is an amphitheater large enough to accommodate 40 people, which will serve as a multi-purpose space for water conservation, master gardener and Arts HQ presentations. This new space will help the Surprise Water Resource Management Department to demonstrate appropriate landscape maintenance and watering practices to residents, HOAs, commercial water users and other groups through both tours and self-guided materials.

The City plans to host an official ribbon cutting and community event to celebrate the Xeriscape Demonstration Garden on September 17 from 9 - 11 a.m. During this time of year, the temperatures begin to cool down and the newly planted garden will have had time to become more established. 

To learn more about water conservation, including tips, rebates and workshops, visit surpriseaz.gov/waterconservation

2022 Primary Election information

The Primary Election is Tuesday, August 2 with three Surprise City Council seats on the ballot. These are the seats to be filled:

  • District 1 (Acacia) – Term ending December 2026
  • District 5 (Palm) – Term ending December 2026
  • District 6 (Palo Verde) – Term ending December 2026

Only residents can vote in the races and only in their respective District. To check which District you live in, visit surpriseaz.gov/mysurpriseaddress

Here is the timeline for the Primary Election:

  • July 5: Last day to register to vote  
    • Register online at Maricopa.Vote 
    • You need to update your voter registration if you’ve moved, changed your name or would like to change your political party. 
    • Voters registered as an Independent or no party preference must select a Republican or Democrat ballot to participate in the election.
  • July 6: Ballots mailed & drop boxes available
  • July 22: Last day to request a ballot in the mail
  • July 26: Last day to mail back your ballot
  • August 2: Primary Election Day

Surprise City Hall is a designated Voting Center. The City Hall Community Room will be open for voting July 6 - August 2 for any Maricopa County resident to cast a ballot in person. For the Primary Election, Maricopa County voters can choose any Voting Center that works for them to cast a ballot in-person. Please visit Locations.Maricopa.Vote for all Voting Center locations and hours.

June 19th officially proclaimed Juneteenth

Mayor Hall officially proclaimed June 19th to be Juneteenth in the City of Surprise at the City Council Meeting on Tuesday, June 7. Receiving the proclamation was The Reverend John R. Powell and his wife Anita Powell from Gideon Missionary Baptist Church in Surprise. They were joined by church members and members of our City’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Celebration & Service Advisory Committee, Paul and Mary Outlaw. Last month, Surprise City Council officially voted to recognize June 19th as an annual City holiday.

A group of people take an image with the Mayor's Juneteenth proclamation in the City Council Chambers

Veteran Success Center adds Veteran Benefits Counselor

A dedicated Veteran Benefits Counselor (VBC) will now be available two days a week through the West Valley Veteran Success Center. The West Valley Veteran Success Center is a multi-organization partnership dedicated to supporting service members, veterans and their families, who can now book an appointment with the VBC. The Veteran Benefits Counselor will work directly with Veterans Affairs to develop and file applications for benefits and claims.

At this time, sessions with the VBC are by appointment only and walk-in clients cannot be served. Appointments can be made through the VBC call center at 602.535.1215.

Learn more at surpriseaz.gov/veterans 

Mayor proclaims Monsoon Awareness Week

Mayor Skip Hall proclaimed June 12-18 to be Monsoon Awareness Week in Surprise and encourages residents to be prepared for severe weather during this unpredictable season. Monsoon is observed typically from June 15 through September 30 and is characterized by an increase in thunderstorm and lightning activity, high winds, dust storms and flash floods. While the severity of weather can vary each season, it is essential that Surprise residents have a monsoon safety plan in place and be ready for all possible weather-related occurrences. 

Residents are encouraged to download the My Surprise app to easily submit pictures and reports of downed trees, roadway debris, clogged storm drains or other non-emergency situations. These reports assist the City with timely storm safety and recovery actions. The My Surprise app is available in the App Store, Google Play or online at surpriseaz.gov/mysurprise. To report these storm issues by phone during regular City business hours, please contact the Public Works Department at 623.222.1900. After-hours calls should go to the Surprise Police Department non-emergency line at 623.222.4000.

Visit surpriseaz.gov/monsoon for a complete list of monsoon safety tips and resources.

Mayor Hall and City Manager Bob Wingenroth hold a framed proclamation

Day of Service volunteers needed

The City of Surprise is currently seeking volunteers for upcoming Days of Service. Volunteers will assist with food sorting and packing at St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance in Surprise. Event dates are:

  • Wednesday, July 20
  • Wednesday, August 17
  • Wednesday, September 14

There are two shifts available 7:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. or 10:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. To register please contact Larry Garcia at 623.222.1522 or larry.garcia@surpriseaz.gov

Meet and Greet

Please join me for my next Meet and Greet on Thursday, August 18, at 6 p.m. at State 48 Brewery, 13823 W. Bell Rd. I look forward to discussing the latest City issues and answering any questions you might have. You can also subscribe to my ‘Notifications’ list on my City webpage at surpriseaz.gov/district5 so you never miss any important District 5 news.

City Council Meetings

The next regularly scheduled Council meetings are August 1 and 16 at 6 p.m. in the City of Surprise Council Chambers, located at 16000 N. Civic Center Plz. City Council meetings are open to in-person attendance, or you may tune in on surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv, the Surprise City Gov Facebook page at facebook.com/cityofsurprise or on Cox channel 11 to watch the meetings live.

Jack Hastings, Surprise, City Council, newsletter, District 5