A fifth in a series of Q&As with candidates who have qualified for ballot for the Aug. 4 Surprise city election, as well as two candidates who have qualified as official write-ins:
Insuring that public safety keeps up with the growth.
District 2 members are concerned with their safely and health issues. More information is needed about the impact of COVID-19 is having on local businesses is needed to keep the community informed. More information on testing and what restaurants are open for food service.
Since the preponderance of District 2 is comprised of voters/citizens of Sun City Grand (SCG), holding property taxes and other costs in check is very important. For the most part, District 2 is comprised of retirees, and contrary to the opinion of some, everyone who lives in SCG is not wealthy or well-off. I know that to be a fact because in my discussions with many citizens, they are concerned about being able to afford to remain as residents because of costs. A large number of residents have little to no discretionary income. Most rely greatly on social security; moreover, many widows and some widowers, live alone with limited discretionary funds. Other residents of District 2 such as in Traditions, Cottonwood, and Bell West Ranch are also impacted greatly by increased living costs. We have already seen alarming increases in food costs.
The top issue facing District 3 is providing families with things to do. Over 10 years ago in the Prasada Development a mall was supposed to be part of that development, but since a change in consumer shopping put that out of reach, we still have an incredible opportunity to create a Desert Ridge-type area and have retail with high-end restaraunts but also fun things for families to do. In keeping up communication with Prasada, I feel this is a very real possibility.
Even though I hear a lot about the lack of entertainment, shopping and restaurants, the top issue is the need of head of household jobs.
[Mr. Remley is running unopposed and did not submit an answer.]
Economic development and the expanding of City Center (downtown Surprise) are the biggest issues facing District 5. Since we approved the Incentive Agreement between Surprise and landowner, and the completion of the Master Plan, development has begun which includes the [Texas] Rangers’s housing, the O’Dell Center at Ottawa, and many other projects are currently under consideration. Progress on the development of City Center is underway, and additional projects and development is currently needed.
With this being said, I heard from many of my constituents about the approval of Mera City Center Apartments that is currently under construction on Greenway Road. The City Center Planned Area Development allows this type of development. The PAD was approved by Council on Jan. 11, 2001, which was long before any of the current Council served. City Council cannot deny a project that is in compliance with zoning and all other development requirements.
Our City Center and “Downtown” Surprise remains undeveloped after years of promises. Residents and families want places to go and things to do in Surprise. We shouldn’t be forced to leave for entertainment and jobs. Since last year, the city has missed out on five major businesses coming to the West Valley: Nike and Amazon went to Goodyear, Microsoft to El Mirage, and Red Bull and White Claw are building across the street from us in Glendale. We need to cut regulations and incentivize jobs and businesses to come here to benefit our residents.
In the last few months, we have experienced a pandemic. We have mourned losses due to injustices, domestic violence, and suicides. We have felt the pain of shutting down schools, closing businesses, and job losses. We have many who walk the streets without a roof over their head or basic needs. Our city is hurting, and we do not know where to turn. The biggest issue our city faces is we must do a better job providing information and support to those who are going through difficult times. We must recognize that mental health is part of public health and we must do more.
Expansion and public safety.
NEXT WEEK: What is Surprise’s biggest recent missed opportunity?