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Skip Hall: Mayor Newsletter — January 2024

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May the New Year bring us opportunities to collaborate, innovate and achieve success here in the city. As I reflect over these last 15 years in office, I've witnessed firsthand the incredible growth and transformative changes within our city, and I am proud to have served this thriving community. As I approach the end of my term as your mayor, let’s make this final year together the best one yet, focusing on collaboration, progress and the lasting impact we can create for our community.  Here’s to a fresh start in 2024, Happy New Year!

Let’s Look at 2023 Highlights!

  • Transportation Department Formed - The Transportation Department was formed in January. Transportation is vital for our city’s growth and continues to be our top priority!
  • WeRIDE Surprise - The newest way for our residents and visitors to get around the city was launched in April!
  • New District Boundary Map - According to the 2020 Census, Surprise’s population was 143,148. In July, the new district boundary map was drawn, so each district has nearly the same number of people in it.
  • West Valley Housing Assistance Center - The West Valley Housing Assistance Center opened in July, providing short-term housing to families.
  • Surprise Public Library System Home Delivery - Words on Wheels launched in November, delivering a wide variety of library materials, including books, DVDs and more to Surprise residents of all ages who are unable to visit a library.
  • City of Surprise Bond Election - On November 7, residents of Surprise voted ‘yes’ on two ballot questions, authorizing the City to secure $100 million in G.O. Bond funding for transportation projects and public safety projects.
  • General Plan 2040 - The Surprise General Plan 2040 was approved by City Council in December and is scheduled for voter ratification in August 2024.

CURRENT EVENTS

Christmas Tree Disposal

Need a place to dispose of your Christmas tree and large holiday cardboard packaging? The City offers several Christmas Tree disposal sites. The drop-off period runs from December 27, 2023, to January 17, 2024. Please ensure all decorations are removed from trees and boxes are broken down. Trees must be placed in designated areas only, and there is a limit of two trees per household. Find a list of locations at surpriseaz.gov/TreeDisposal

a car with a christmas tree tied to the top and text reading-Holiday Drop Off, Christmas Trees December 27 through January 17. Find locations at surpriseaz.gov/treedisposal

Community Blood Drive

The City of Surprise is partnering with Vitalant Blood Donation to host a blood drive on January 9, 2024, at City Hall from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Community members wanting to participate are encouraged to make an appointment through the Vitalant website. Although walk-ins are welcomed, those with an appointment will be given priority. 

Surprise City Hall is located at 16000 N. Civic Center Plz. The blood drive will take place inside the Community Room near Council Chambers in the east wing of City Hall. 

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 2024 Waste Management Phoenix Open.

A person holding a sign reading, Give Blood Save Lift and text Blood Drive January 9, 9 am to 1 p.m Surprise Ctiy Hall

MLK Day of Celebration and Service

The City is excited to announce the 8th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Celebration and Service will be held on Saturday, January 13 at the Vista Center for the Arts, 15660 N. Parkview Pl. This amazing event provides a way to serve the community with hands-on projects and a celebration for all ages filled with local musicians, performers and inspiring speakers. 

For more information, please contact Lord.Garcillano@surpriseaz.gov or visit surpriseaz.gov/MLK.

Sunday in the Park

The City of Surprise presents Sunday in the Park on Sunday, January 21 from 3 - 7 p.mThe event will feature live music by 8 Tracks, various food trucks, an assortment of beers and wines, entertainment and more! Admission is free; food and drink will be available for purchase. All Sunday in the Park events will be held at Mark Coronado Park, 15850 N. Bullard Ave. from 3 - 7 p.m. Don't forget a blanket or lawn chair! Dogs must be leashed. More information: surpriseaz.gov/SpecialEvents 

Surprise Pops Band

Enjoy an evening of music as the Surprise Pops Band performs on January 28 at The Vista Center for the Arts. The theme is “Heroes - Real and Imagined” and will feature music from the Blues Brothers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Highway of Heroes, Rocky and more! The concert is free; however, non-perishable food donations to support the Valley View Community Food Bank are appreciated.

Learn more at surprisepopsband.com

Orchestra instruments and chairs with text reading Surprise Pop Band, January 28, 2024. Doors open at 2:15. Show begins at 3 pm. The Vista Center for the Arts, 15660 N. Parkview Place.

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:

Tour of artist Joe Tyler’s Home Studio*
January 20 • 10 a.m. - noon

AZ Speaks* | Archaeology’s Deep Time Perspective on Environment and Sustainability
January 24 • 11 a.m. - noon

Lunchtime Theater* | Phoenix Opera: My Favorite Things
January 25 • noon - 1 p.m.

*Registration required. Find details and sign-up information at surpriseaz.gov/ArtEvents.

DECEMBER HIGHLIGHTS

Barrio Queen Grand Opening

The Surprise location of Barrio Queen is now open! Vice Mayor Chris Judd, Councilmembers Nick Haney, Patrick Duffy, Aly Cline and I joined Chaz Hopper, Surprise Barrio Queen General Manager, in celebrating their grand opening and ribbon cutting at 13434 N. Prasada Pkwy. The special event featured live entertainment, tastings and an appearance by the "real" Barrio Queen. Also partaking in the fiesta were Al Hank, COO; Adam Lehr, Senior VP of Operations; Dallas Massey, VP Off-Premise and Marketing; Patrick Lacek, Area Director of Operations; Julio Mata, Head Chef; Magaly Cacheiro, Operations Training Manager; Andrew Patti, Marketing and Creative; Joe Patti, Public Relations; and Gennaro Garcia, Surprise Barrio Queen Artist. Welcome to Surprise! We're excited to have you!

a group of people posing for a photo

Meet Your Elected Officials

The Chamber of Commerce hosted the annual Meet Your Elected Officials event at the West-MEC Surprise campus. It brought together board members, business owners, industry professionals and elected local, county, state and federal officials. As part of the agenda, retiring Arizona Senator Rick Gray was presented with the Chamber's Spirit of Free Enterprise Award. Congratulations!

Mayor Skip Hall posing for a picture with another elected official Mayor Skip Hall posing for a picture with another elected official

SAVE THE DATE

Surprise Announces Inaugural Vet Fest

Surprise is excited to announce the inaugural Vet Fest event is happening Saturday, February 10, from 5 - 8 p.m. at Mark Coronado Park. This new event, hosted by the City of Surprise Veterans, Disability & Human Services Commission, is part of Surprise’s ongoing mission to be a veteran-friendly city, offering support services and building community connections. It’ll feature music, food, vendor booths, information from different veteran service providers and more for the whole family! 

If you would like to learn more, visit surpriseaz.gov/VetFest.

A patch with text reading Surprise Vet Fest Bringing Our Community and Veterans Together, Save the Date Saturday February 10, 5 - 8 pm Mark Coronado Park

Spring Training Ticket Information

Opening day is Friday, February 23, with the Kansas City Royals taking on the 2023 World Series Champions, the Texas Rangers. Surprise Stadium will host 30 games this season with plenty of exciting matchups to include the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers and the National League Champions, the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Tickets can be purchased online at SurpriseStadium.com or by phone at 623.222.2222. Ticket prices start at just $8! The Surprise Stadium Box Office will open for in-person ticket sales on Saturday, February 3, beginning at 8 a.m. AZ time. The box office is located at 15960 N. Bullard Ave. Additional information on 2024 special events, promotions and special offers are available at SurpriseStadium.com.

Curbside Recycling is Returning to Surprise

The City of Surprise, in partnership with Waste Management, is preparing to reintroduce a curbside recycling program. Starting Monday, March 4, recycling trucks will begin picking up blue curbside recycle bins and taking approved items to a recycling center for processing.

You can find more information on Surprise’s curbside recycling program and tips on how to “Recycle Wise” at surpriseaz.gov/Recycle.

a person pulling a blue recycle bin and posing with a thumbs up. Curbside recycling returns March 4. Recycle Wise in Surprise.

City Council Meeting

The next City Council Meeting will be held on January 16. City Council Work sessions begin at 4 p.m., while City Council Meetings follow at 6 p.m. You can also watch live on surpriseaz.gov/SurpriseTV, the Surprise City Gov Facebook page at facebook.com/CityOfSurprise or on Cox channel 11. We hope to see you there. 

Thank you for signing up for Mayor updates. My goal is to email you a monthly newsletter with information regarding current events and items that may be of interest to you. If there is anything I can do for you, please do not hesitate to contact me at skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov, 623.222.1313. Also, feel free to visit my webpage at surpriseaz.gov/Mayor. Follow me on Facebook facebook.com/SurpriseMayor and X @SkipHall2.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SURPRISE!

Surprise was incorporated on December 12, 1960. We are celebrating 63 years!