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Ken Remley: District 4 Newsletter — September 2023


In this episode of Council Conversations, I sit down with Kristen Taylor from our Transportation Department to talk about a new public transportation solution that is available on-demand! It’s called WeRIDE, and it offers convenient and affordable shared rides. Watch the episode now!

Council Conversations

Surprise Career Development Scholarships

If you live or work in Surprise, or have graduated from a Surprise area school in the last two years… you are eligible for a scholarship and there's still time to start this fall! West-MEC and Estrella Mountain Community College are offering high-demand certificate programs in dental assisting or applied technologies. Apply for your Surprise Career Development Fund scholarship today! Visit surpriseaz.gov/scholarships

Hiring Event in Surprise

Meet more than a dozen West Valley employers! The City of Surprise and ARIZONA@WORK are hosting a free hiring event on Thursday, September 21, from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. at Surprise Regional Library, 16089 N. Bullard Ave. Prospective candidates should come to the event ready for potential onsite interviews and possible job offers. More information is available at: http://bit.ly/3P7VI9L

Bond Election Proposes Transportation & Public Safety Projects; Community Meetings Planned

On November 7, residents will have the opportunity to decide whether or not to allow the City to issue bond funding for transportation and public safety projects intended to decrease traffic congestion, increase traffic safety and maintain public safety levels of service and response times. No tax rate increase is expected if voters approve the bonds, due to significant residential and commercial growth across Surprise.

The City will be kicking off community meetings about the 2023 Bond Election, and residents are invited to come learn details and ask questions. I am hosting an information meeting at Chaparral Winds Retirement Community on October 2 at 11 a.m. located at 16617 N. West Point Pkwy., and at the Coyote Lakes Recreation Center on October 11 at 6:30 p.m. located at 18860 N. Coyote Lakes Pkwy., or you can attend other events being held citywide. All meeting dates, times and locations will be posted soon to surpriseaz.gov/BOND. The website also includes details on the cost, projects and election. If you are looking for ways to help spread the word about the bond, please check out the flyer in the ‘Informational Resources’ section of the Bond website.

Make sure to register to vote by October 10! You can register at elections.maricopa.gov.

Proposition 400E Will Go to Voters in ‘24

In August, Governor Hobbs signed Senate Bill 1102, which allows voters to decide whether or not to extend Proposition 400 – a 20-year, half-cent sales tax that provides funding for our region’s multimodal transportation plan. Proposition 400 is set to expire in 2025, unless voters approve a 20-year extension in the 2024 election.

Over the last five years, Maricopa Association of Governments, with input from local businesses, organizations and the public, programmed our City’s most critical projects into the Proposition 400 extension plan. Those projects include the full build out of interchanges at Loop 303/US 60 and Loop 303/Litchfield Road, amongst other projects.

Thank you to Governor Katie Hobbs, the Arizona State Legislature and Maricopa County mayors for your leadership and commitment to investing in transportation infrastructure and your work to help get the proposition onto the ballot!

Governor Hobbs signs Senate Bill 1102

Surprise SciTech Festival

The City of Surprise celebrates science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) efforts in the community by holding an annual SciTech Festival. This free, fun-filled educational event features interactive exhibits and demonstrations. Technology, and our daily interactions with it, continue to grow exponentially. Surprise embraces these new trends and the businesses that create new products and services. More information: surpriseaz.gov/scitech

City of Surprise SciTech Festival

Neighborhood Grant Program

Surprise City Council approved funding to support the Neighborhood Grant Program that provides eligible neighborhoods with small grants to fund neighborhood events, functions or community improvements. Recognizing an opportunity to encourage community engagement and further build strong relationships with communities in Surprise, the City designated $10,000 to support the grant program for FY24.

To be considered, projects must meet the following program criteria:

  • Provide a public benefit
  • Result in a product, which benefits a neighborhood or the larger Surprise community
  • Be feasible for completion by June 2024
  • Involve the benefiting neighborhood in project identification, planning and execution
  • Emphasize neighborhood self-help; or be educational, community-building or a public physical improvement
  • Nonprofit 501(c)3 organizations are ineligible

Additionally, a minimum of five neighbors within the residential area must sign the application and support the idea; neighborhoods governed by a homeowner association must have HOA approval if required.

Interested communities should deliver the complete Neighborhood Grant Program application to City Hall, attention Jodi Tas, by 5 p.m. on Sunday, September 30, 2023. For more information about the grant, visit surpriseaz.gov/ngp or contact Jodi Tas at jodi.tas@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.1330.

Back to School Vaccine Event

Maricopa County is hosting a Back-to-School Vaccine Event on Monday, September 18, from 2 - 6 p.m. This event will be at the Surprise Senior Center, 15832 N. Hollyhock St. Bring your child's vaccine record and insurance card if you have it. Everyone is welcome, whether you have insurance or not. No out-of-pocket cost!

Back-to-school vaccinations event on Monday, September 18 at the Surprise Senior Center.

Water Rebate Programs

Surprise residential and business water customers can take advantage of several rebate programs offered through May 2024. Learn more about incentives to become more water-conscious and apply today!

Surprise Day of Service Event

Volunteer at St. Mary’s Food Bank to help provide food for families in need on Wednesday, September 13.

Available shifts:

  • 7:30 - 10 a.m.
  • 9:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
  • Noon - 2:30 p.m.

Registration is required. Contact Larry Garcia at Larry.Garcia@surpriseaz.gov or call 623.222.1522. Please also subscribe to the volunteer interest list.

Arts & Culture Events

Are you ready to discover arts and culture events in Surprise? From theater performances, gallery tours, poetry readings and more, the City offers a number of events throughout the year. Here’s what’s coming up the next couple months:

‘Arizona Plein Air Painters’ Exhibition at Surprise City Hall
August 25 - October 27 • 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday - Friday
16000 N. Civic Center Plz.
A statewide fellowship of artists who paint outdoors. The APAP Members Show features paintings that document and celebrate the beauty and diversity of the Arizona landscape, including human made cityscapes that dot our state. This is a group exhibit from 30+ artists.

AZ Speaks - “Flying through Arizona: The Story of the First National Women’s Air Race” by Natalie J. Stewart-Smith
September 11 • 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.
16000 N. Civic Center Plz.
Register for AZ Speaks presented by Arizona Humanities: surpriseaz.gov/artssignup

See upcoming events online at surpriseaz.gov/arts. For text or email alerts regarding City of Surprise Arts & Culture events, please visit surpriseaz.gov/subscribe, create an account and select Surprise Arts & Culture notifications.

District 4 Community Meeting

Join me for my next monthly Community Meeting on Wednesday, September 27 at 6 p.m. at the Salvation Army, in the resource room located at 17420 N. Avenue of the Arts. Check the City website at surpriseaz.gov for updated information on my community meeting schedule. Call or email me in the meantime with any questions or concerns you may have. We hope to see you there!

City Council Meetings

The next regularly scheduled City Council Meetings will take place on September 5 and 19 at 6 p.m. in the City of Surprise Council Chambers. City Council meetings are open to in-person attendance or you may tune in at surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv, the Surprise City Gov Facebook page facebook.com/cityofsurprise or on Cox channel 11 to watch the meeting live.