Guest Commentary

Jack Hastings: District 5 Newsletter — January 2023

Posted 1/3/23

Join the Surprise Police Department’s Bicycle Patrol Unit for a fun neighborhood ride and bike safety event.

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Guest Commentary

Jack Hastings: District 5 Newsletter — January 2023


Join the Surprise Police Department’s Bicycle Patrol Unit for a fun neighborhood ride and bike safety event! This free family-friendly event is Saturday, January 28 from 9 a.m. -12:30 p.m. in the parking lot of Growing Minds Preschool, 17999 W. Surprise Farms Loop South.

Participants will have the ability to choose from two rides; either a shorter half-mile kids ride or a longer 2.5-mile family ride. All riders must wear a helmet, and all participants must fill out a form to pre-register for the event.

Kids half-mile ride 9:30 - 10 a.m.
Family 2.5-mile ride 11:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Activities 9 - 11 a.m.
Bike Safety Booths & Obstacle Course
Theft Prevention Bike Registration
Car Seat Safety Inspections

This event is possible thanks to support from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and Your Surprise Police Department.

Royal Boba Tea ribbon cutting

On Thursday, December 29, Mayor Hall, Vice Mayor Cline and I joined Surprise business owners Sam Um & Sopheaktra Nara for a ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the opening of their new store, Royal Boba Tea! We welcome this exciting and delicious new addition to our community! 

a group of people posing for a photo in front of a building

Motorcycle Safety class

YOUR Surprise Police Department is hosting a free, one-day interactive Motorcycle Safety class in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety!

Sunday, January 22, 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Surprise Stadium parking lot, 15850 N. Bullard Ave., Surprise

This free class will consist of a short presentation and discussion to cover safe riding habits and overall motorcycle safety followed by hands-on course instruction to practice application. During the riding portion of the course, critical riding skills will be reinforced to promote the optimal response to dangerous riding situations. This course is for current motorcycle riders. A valid driver's license and motorcycle endorsement, motorcycle and helmet are required to attend. This class is not for new riders to obtain an endorsement.

To apply, please fill out the application at Spots are limited, and selected participants will be notified prior to the class. Come improve your skills and become a better rider!

Blood drive in Surprise

The City of Surprise is partnering with Vitalant Blood Donation to host a blood drive January 5!

Community members wanting to participate are encouraged to make an appointment through the Vitalant website

As a thank you for your willingness to help others through blood donation, Thunderbirds Charities is providing a voucher to redeem online for a free one-day admission to the 2023 Waste Management Phoenix Open.

a person holding a sign

Transportation Department formed

Surprise City Council approved the formation of a Transportation Department at their December 6 meeting, and City Manager Bob Wingenroth has named Eric Fitzer as director of the new department. Transportation has been a top priority for the City for many years, and this will help place more focus on meeting our city’s ever-expanding transportation needs.

The Transportation Department is comprised of existing positions and functions that have resided within the Public Works Department. These include street repair and maintenance, intelligent transportation systems/traffic control, and transportation planning and engineering. The City’s current Strategic Planning & Growth Manager, Eric Fitzer, has been tapped to lead the Transportation Department. Fitzer has a bachelor’s degree in Urban Planning from Arizona State University and almost 20 years of experience in government, including in planning, community development, economic development and policy creation. 

To learn more about transportation in Surprise, visit

Poetry, art and more!

Ready for some indoor fun to get out of the cold? How about some arts and cultural events – from theater performances, gallery tours, poetry readings and more, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Check out what’s coming up and mark your calendar to attend! 

January Events

  • January 19 ● 9 a.m. - Noon
    Public Art Tour of local art galleries
  • January 21 ● 10 a.m. - Noon
    Tour of artist Joe Tyler’s Home & Studio
  • January 24 ● 11 a.m. - Noon
    AZ Speaks at Council Chambers
     “Deconstructing the Taco: The History and Lore of a Beloved Food” by Gregory McNamee
  • January 26 ● Noon
    Lunchtime Theater  Phoenix Opera | Arts HQ, $15

All dates and times are subject to change. All events are free unless otherwise stated. To register for Public Art Tours and AZ Speaks presented by Arizona Humanities, head to For Lunchtime Theater, contact Arts HQ at 623.584.2626 or visit To learn more about Poetry Slam, contact WHAM at 623.584.8311 or visit Want to see what else is on the 2022-2023 arts & culture calendar? All events are listed online at

Day of Celebration and Service

The City of Surprise is excited to announce the 7th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Celebration and Service, to be held Saturday, January 14 at The Vista Center for the Arts. Sign up for community service projects, hear from notable speakers and enjoy food and fun for the whole family. Head to for details and registration.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Celebration and Service

Disability & special needs programs

Let Surprise connect you with services to help fulfill specific needs. Whether physical, mental, social or emotional, we can connect you with care and support services within our community.

  • Dementia Friendly Memory Café
  • Transportation Services
  • Adaptive Recreation
  • Accommodations/Home Modifications
  • Emergency Preparedness & More

View a comprehensive list of programs in the Community Resource Guide at

Spring Training schedule & ticket information

Spring Training single game tickets are now on sale! Opening day is Friday, February 24 with the Kansas City Royals taking on the Texas Rangers at Surprise Stadium.

Surprise Stadium will host 30 games this season, including matchups against every team in the Cactus League. Additionally, the Royals have been selected to host a World Baseball Classic exhibition game at Surprise Stadium against Great Britain.

For questions or more information about Spring Training, please visit or call 623.222.2222.

2023 Spring Training, Feb 24 through March 25

Sports & Tourism Department awarded

The City of Surprise Sports & Tourism Department, in partnership with The United States Tennis Association (USTA), were recently awarded the title of 2022 Champion of Economic Impact in Sports Tourism by Sports Destination Management and Due North Media for the USTA League National Championships hosted at the Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex during the 2022 fall tennis season. 

With more than 300,000 players taking part each year, USTA League is the country’s largest adult competitive tennis league. Coming to Surprise is the highlight of their championship journey and the USTA, in partnership with the City of Surprise, creates an experience for participants and their guests that is memorable, focused on celebrating their accomplishments of the year. In total, the USTA League National Championship events had over 2,127 room nights and an economic impact of $5.6 million to the city.

Learn More:

Community Meeting

Please join me for my next Community Meeting on Tuesday, January 10, 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.

City Council Meetings

The next regularly scheduled Council meeting is on January 3 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, the Surprise City Gov Facebook page at or on Cox channel 11 to watch the meetings live.