Guest Commentary

Patrick Duffy: District 3 Newsletter — February 2023

Posted 2/1/23

On January 25, Vice Mayor Chris Judd, Councilmember Aly Cline and I joined the leadership team of Total Wine & More to celebrate their Grand Opening at the Village at Prasada.

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Guest Commentary

Patrick Duffy: District 3 Newsletter — February 2023


On January 25, Vice Mayor Chris Judd, Councilmember Aly Cline and I joined the leadership team of Total Wine & More to celebrate their Grand Opening at the Village at Prasada. We are so excited to welcome this Surprise Retail Survey Top 10 Most Desired Retailer to our community!

Vice Mayor Judd, Councilmember Cline and Councilmember Duffy pose for a picture with the leadership team at Total Wine and More, Surprise.

The Fields at Countryside ribbon cutting

The City of Surprise held a ribbon cutting to mark the opening of The Fields at Countryside! Thank you to Willmeng Construction, Kimley-Horn, Dysart Schools and the entire Surprise Parks and Recreation team and Advisory Commission for making this event memorable. 

The Fields at Countryside are located on the southwest corner of Greenway Road and Parkview Place. The lighted youth multipurpose fields are ready for use by participants in our City of Surprise youth sports programming. Eventually, these grass fields will be available by reservation when City programs aren't running and all aspects of the project are complete (estimated September 2023). The Park also has paved parking, restrooms and a playground! Flag football players will be the first to run up and down the new fields. Then, our first-ever spring soccer season will kick off, in addition to our expanding, regular fall season. For youth sports registration, head to

Surprise City Council and Surprise Parks and Recreation join others to cut a grand opening ribbon.

Surprise City Academy

Want to learn about the structure of city government, get updated on local issues and get to know your City leaders? Register for the 2023 Surprise City Academy! The eight-session academy offers the opportunity to learn about the City directly from the mayor, councilmembers, city manager and upper-level City staff. 

Surprise City Academy begins on February 27 and meets weekly through April 17. Most classes will meet from 6 - 8:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Surprise Public Safety Building, 14250 W. Statler Plz. It's free to participate, but space is limited. For an application and more information, please visit or contact Lord Garcillano at or 623.222.1647.

Register now for the 2023 Surprise City Academy

Tax assistance

Tax season is right around the corner, and the City of Surprise Human Service and Community Vitality Department, in partnership with A New Leaf, offers free tax preparation services to individuals and families with qualifying incomes. 

Tax preparation assistance will be available January 30 - April 18 at the Surprise Resource Center and at Riverboat Bingo from February 1 - April 12. See the press release for more information. 

A new Vice Mayor selected

On Tuesday, January 17, Surprise City Council selected District 6 Councilmember, Chris Judd, to serve as Vice Mayor for a one-year term. Congratulations, Vice Mayor Judd!

Vice Mayor Judd takes the oath of office.

Surprise Stadium special events & promos

  • Resident Appreciation Days courtesy of Fat Cats: February 24 - March 11
  • Sensory Awareness Day presented by T.E.A.M. 4 Kids: February 26
  • Spring Training 5K & 1K: March 3 at 7 p.m. Register Now!
  • College Days – college student discount during Spring Break! March 5 - 19
  • Pup Nights at Surprise Stadium: March 8 & 23 Purchase here 
  • Sunday Funday Family Four Pack for $44 (Every Sunday) 
  • Kids Run the Bases presented by Uptown Alley (Every Sunday) 
  • Military & First Responder Appreciation Days (Every Sunday) 
  • Sanderson Ford College Baseball Classic Purchase your tickets now!

For Spring Training tickets and more information on the events listed above, head to

It's budget building season!

The City of Surprise FY2024 budget building process kicked off at the City Council Work Session on Tuesday, January 17. This was the first in a series of presentations to Council by the City's Finance Department regarding the overall development of the budget and the upcoming annual process. The next presentation is planned for February 21.

The Recommended Budget is scheduled for release in April, followed by Council and public review that will result in the adoption of a balanced FY2024 budget in June. All meetings are carried live on Surprise TV for cable customers and streamed online at Additionally, each of the staff budget presentations will be linked at the day following the talks. Learn more here

Redistricting 2023

It's time to update the City Council district boundaries in Surprise, and we're asking for resident participation in the process! Redistricting is an effort to ensure all voices are represented equally and fairly by creating districts with nearly the same number of people in them. You can give input on where the boundary lines for our six City Council districts should be through online tools or at one of our public meetings. Get the details here.

National Community Survey

What do you love about living in Surprise? What services do you value most? What can the City do better to improve the quality of life in our hometown? You can share your thoughts in the 2023 National Community Survey! What you tell us helps to identify priority projects for Surprise and indicates where limited City funding should go in order to provide the services you most desire. 

This scientific survey examines residents' responses on topics ranging from traffic flow to public safety to senior and youth services. Paper surveys have been mailed to 2,800 randomly-selected Surprise households in the first wave of data collection. In mid-Febraury, an online version will open for the entire city to participate. All survey results are anonymous and the City does not know which addresses have been selected by the third-party surveyor and only receives the aggregate results.

Results are expected in April and will be shared online at We thank you in advance for your participation, as you help to make Surprise an even better community! 

Mayor’s Literacy Challenge

Mayor Skip Hall is inviting first through fourth-grade students to register for the 2023 Mayor’s Literacy Challenge, encouraging students to get reading by having them log their minutes of reading and complete fun challenges to earn badges and prizes! The Mayor’s Literacy Challenge runs through March 3 and is open to all Surprise area students, including those attending homeschool, charter school and Dysart Unified School District. Visit the Surprise Literacy Challenge webpage to register and learn more. For questions, please email

2023 Mayor's Literacy Challenge

Poetry, art and more!

Are you ready to discover arts and culture events in Surprise? From theater performances, gallery tours, poetry readings and more, make sure to mark your calendar to attend!

February Events

  • February 17 • 6 - 8 p.m.
    Poetry Slam at WHAM
  • February 23 • Noon
    Lunchtime Theater – WE3 Classical Jazz | Arts HQ, $15

March Events

  • March 1 • 11 a.m. - Noon
    AZ Speaks at Council Chambers
  • March 9 • 10 - 11 a.m.
    Public Art Tour of City Hall
  • March 16 • Noon
    Lunchtime Theater – West Valley Symphony Jam Session | Arts HQ, $15
  • March 25 • Noon
    Tour of artist Joe Tyler’s Home & Studio

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

Community Meeting

My next meeting will be on February 4 at 9 a.m. at Spencer’s Place, 15341 W. Waddell Rd. Please check for updates to my Meet and Greet schedule. As always, feel free to email me at with any questions or concerns you may have.