SUBSCRIBER EXCLUSIVE

Surprise Election Q&A: City's top challenge in next decade

City council candidates answer questions

Posted 6/28/22

Candidates answer "What is Surprise’s top challenge in the next decade?"

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SUBSCRIBER EXCLUSIVE

Surprise Election Q&A: City's top challenge in next decade

City council candidates answer questions

Posted

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.

THIS WEEK: What is Surprise's top challenge in the next decade?

DISTRICT 1

Raymond Grim

The biggest challenge Surprise will have in the next decade is managing the growth that is here and will continue for a while. The mayor and city council will have to make sure we are getting state and federal funding to keep our roads growing and keep them from getting clogged up. 

Make a plan to get our parks up to speed with the growth that is here. We are really behind in our parks compared to population. We need to make this a priority so we have enough open space to accommodate our city programs and club teams that currently have to go out of the city to get parks to practice.

The city needs to partner with our local schools to utilize their fields after school hours until we can get enough city parks up and running to accommodate the demand. 

Lew Guyn

There are several challenges affecting the city in the next decade; adequate water supplies and reserves, good paying jobs, schools and services, maintaining and improving infrastructure, building additional parks, but the top one on my list right now would have to be effectively addressing the East/West corridors throughout the city.

In District 1, there are issues in the western rural areas to provide alternative access to Sun Valley Parkway, but particularly in the rapidly expanding areas around Grand, East/West access to the AZ 303 and beyond is vital to provide safe and efficient mobility.

Nick Haney

Since my family first moved to Surprise over 20 years ago our city’s population has rapidly increased. Reactive rather than proactive policies addressing the current and past growth we are experiencing has created a set of greater challenges for our city in the future. With the rapid influx of people and the growth, our biggest challenge will be how will we manage that growth in the future.

We must adequately provide the infrastructure to support the growth that we have already experienced and properly forecast the future growth that our city will encounter. If we don’t manage this growth, the city that gets built haphazardly will look nothing like the Surprise we all love.

DISTRICT 5

Jack Hastings

Managing growth will be the biggest challenge in the next ten years. We have an update to our General Plan and Redistricting coming soon. We also have a housing shortage that needs to be addressed. Until we can increase our supply, house and rent prices will continue to be through the roof, which is unacceptable.

We also need to build a police substation in northwest Surprise as well as at least two new fire stations. We need to continue to build out City Center. We have our work cut out for us. Throughout all of this we need to make sure that we listen to our residents and keep them informed.

DISTRICT 6

Chris Judd

Growth. And the many challenges that accompany Growth. Most of the planning area north of Surprise is private property. Private owners have the right to develop their land. As those lands are developed, homes and businesses will be built.

We have a General Plan the guides growth. We still have to get roads built, Police and Fire stations built, water supplies need to be protected and managed, parks need planned, and we will have at least one recession in the next decade.

We need to create a McMicken Dam Recreation Area. The land behind the dam is reserved for flood control and we can work with the flood department to find creative ways to support their mission and to create a large, linear recreation area in what will be the middle of the city.

Another big challenge for our kids is the dream of home ownership. The cost of single-family homes are spiraling up in our community and we need to focus on finding ways to reduce those costs.

Surprise election, Chris Judd, Jack Hastings, Raymond Grim, Lew Guyn, Nick Haney, primary

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