Guest Commentary

Skip Hall: Mayor Newsletter — January 2023

Posted 1/5/23

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.

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Guest Commentary

Skip Hall: Mayor Newsletter — January 2023


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

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:

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

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

Pedal with the Police bike ride & safety event

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.

Registration open for Spring Training 5k & 1k

Friday, March 3 is the 5th Annual Surprise Spring Training 5K and 1K Fun Run presented by Palm Valley Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics. Register now at to take advantage of the discounted rates; 5K: $30 and 1K: $15. Early registration ends March 2 and then prices increase to 5K: $40 and 1K: $20. 

Special promotional and vendor opportunities are available. For vendor information, contact Cecilia at 623.222.2253 or

Spring Training 5k 1k


Badazz Boba and Shakes ribbon cutting

On Friday, December 2, Councilmember Winters and I joined Russ Dehlinger and Blanca Real for a ribbon cutting celebrating the opening of their new store in Surprise, Badazz Boba and Shakes! Their artistic treats and puzzle boxes on every table make this a wonderfully fun addition to our community. Welcome to Surprise!

Mayor Hall and Councilmember Remley join Badazz Boba for a ribbon cutting. Mayor Hall and Councilmember Winters try desserts at Badazz Boba.

Surprise Pilates ribbon cutting

On Monday, December 19, Councilmember Winters, Vice Mayor Cline, and Economic Development Director Jeanine Jerkovic joined Surprise business owner Lucie Becus for a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the opening of her new fitness gym, Surprise Pilates! We are so excited about this wonderful new addition to our community!

Surprise City Council and Surprise Economic Development join Surprise Pilates for a ribbon cutting.

Shop with a Cop Event

On Saturday, December 10, YOUR Surprise Police had the honor of hosting “Shop with a Cop” in partnership with our local Kohl's, the Dysart Unified School District and the West Valley Mavericks Foundation. This was truly an amazing event bringing smiles and cheer to over a dozen deserving children. To see the excitement and joy this opportunity brought them was priceless. Thank you to everyone who participated!

Dillon’s at Western Trails

On Monday, December 19, American Family Insurance partnered with numerous local businesses to create a wonderful night for kids that needed a little extra this Christmas. It was a success with over 250 kids receiving gifts that they asked for. Thank you to Dillon’s at Western Trails for hosting such a great event!

a large crowd of people at an event Santa and Ms. Clause say hi to children at an event.

Royal Boba Tea Ribbon Cutting

On Thursday, December 29, Councilmember Hastings, 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

Coming Up

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 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!

a person on a motorcycle

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. 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

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

Sign up for Notifications

Want to sign up for City of Surprise updates? Click here and create an account to get notifications! You can choose to receive District Newsletters, Surprise City News, Special Events, and more.

City Council Meetings

The next City Council Meeting will be held on January 17. City Council Work sessions begin at 4 p.m., while City Council Meetings follow at 6 p.m. You can also watch live on, the Surprise City Gov Facebook page at, or on Cox channel 11. We hope to see you there.