Candidates for the Surprise City Council answer questions each week leading up to the Aug. 2 primary election. There are three candidates in District 1 and two incumbents running unopposed in Districts 5 and 6.
If I had to give the city a grade it would be a B-.
The biggest strength of current development is the diversity of products being offered by the developers. Right now, we have apartment complexes being developed, single-structure rental units, small single family homes, larger single family homes, and then high end homes like the Toll Brothers development.
This is great for a diverse tax base and diverse population. There are homes that are starter homes to high end homes and everything in between. We are finally getting more commercial and retail options. I’m looking forward to the developments around Costco. It will be a nice place for our city.
The area I would like to see improvement on is the roads. Developers pay for the majority of the roads. The city needs to find a way to get ahead of development on the main roads that move cars in and out of the developing neighborhoods. I would also like to see better trail system connectivity between communities for those that get out and walk, hike or bike.
I believe that we can do better. We are seeing this rapid growth because people want to come to this city to live and raise their family here, and this is a good problem to have.
My concern is that we are permitting the development without having the necessary roads and other services ready to be in place following construction. That said, I also would not want to spend the city’s resources to put in a road too early and then have a development compromise that road by cutting into the roadway for connections to utilities, or to have the roadway damaged by heavy equipment.
The city sees a development coming a fair distance into the future, so I will be looking for ways in which we could start taking action to accommodate that development when construction completes by having the services and roadways finished to support the community as soon as possible.
I believe the city has struggled to keep up with the rapid growth we’ve experienced, especially in District 1. Growth should never outpace a city’s ability to provide vital services to residents and businesses.
I am a strong proponent of enacting smart policies that will help Surprise keep up with this growth and ensure that the city continues to invest in public safety, streets, and other critical needs to protect our quality of life.
Put simply, we need to safeguard what makes Surprise special, even as the city grows and evolves. As your councilmember I will never sacrifice the quality of life of our current community members for the sake of growth and development.
Surprise is booming. We are seeing unprecedented growth in our city. As we grow, it is important that we as a city keep up with the infrastructure needed to support it.
We need to make sure we have enough police and fire stations to support our residents. Another way we can promote smart growth is extending and widening roads.
I am happy to say that during my time on City Council, Surprise widened Greenway Road from Sarival Avenue to Cotton Lane. However, our work is not done. Next we need to tackle Cactus Road as well as 163rd Avenue and other areas in northwest Surprise.
Growth will continue happening in and around Surprise. Many private landowners have their own creative ideas on how they want to develop their own properties. This makes managing growth challenging.
The city has zoning rules to guide what type of building happens in each area, such as a home or business development. As businesses and developments are built, it’s important that we manage the road network, water, sewage, police, fire, school locations and parks.
Businesses come based on what they believe the market wants and they normally do not need permission from the government to open, as long as they follow zoning rules and design guidelines.
The city does a good job of making development pay for itself. This means that a developer must build the roads and sidewalks attached to their property so that taxpayers aren’t forced to foot the bill. It is important to our taxpayers that we continue this policy.
One challenge is attracting the businesses our residents we want. Our council needs to continue being business friendly, not just in words, but in actions. We do this by listening to our businesses and making changes to our code that makes it easier to open and operate in Surprise.
We also need to continue giving our Economic Development team the tools they need to attract quality businesses to Surprise.