Mayor Hall and Councilmember Judd cut a grand opening ribbon at My Nail Spa My Barbershop.

Councilmember Chris Judd’s Newsletter • April 2021

Thank you for signing up to receive my newsletter and updates. It is my goal to ensure you receive a monthly newsletter containing important city updates as well as upcoming events. You can also find me on Facebook for frequent notifications. I am always available to hear your comments, questions, concerns, or complaints! You may reach me anytime at chris.judd@surpriseaz.gov or 623-222-1326.

Surprise’s Face Covering Mandate Lifted

Mayor Skip Hall has signed a proclamation terminating the face-covering mandate in Surprise. You can read the full proclamation here.

Please note that based on the Governor’s Executive Order 2021-06, there are some exceptions.

The City retains the right to set and enforce mitigation policies in our city government buildings and public transportation. Wearing of face coverings/masks is recommended within city facilities, except for Surprise City Court, where they are required.

Per the Governor’s order, private businesses may institute and enforce face covering policies and retain the right to refuse service to those who do not comply with their policies.

Per federal mandate, face coverings are still required while riding public transportation.

Governor’s Order 2021-06

With the state of Arizona hitting several crucial public health benchmarks, Governor Doug Ducey announced several updates to the state’s COVID-19 measures on March 25, including on events, businesses, and local ordinances.

Several key data points contributed to these changes:

  • Mass distribution of the vaccine: 3,041,773 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered to 1,927,278 individuals in Arizona, including 1,185,986 who have been fully vaccinated.
  • 10 weeks of declining cases.
  • Hospitalizations at the lowest level since the end of September/beginning of October.
  • Opening of vaccine appointments to all Arizonans 16 years of age and older.
  • A recent evaluation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that ranks Arizona among the best states in the nation for getting the COVID-19 vaccine to vulnerable communities.
  • President Biden’s recent promise that every American will be able to be vaccinated by May 1.

Under the changes announced by Governor Ducey:

  • Events of more than 50 people will no longer need the approval of local governments. These events should continue to follow safe practices and CDC recommendations, including physical distancing. This includes youth sports.
  • The business guidance will transition from requirements to recommendations. Governor Ducey is providing businesses with the ability to continue requiring masks and social distancing.
  • Bars have already been allowed to operate as “dine-in” at full capacity. They will now be allowed to resume regular operations, with the ability to require social distancing and masks.
  • Unlike some other states, Arizona never issued a statewide mask mandate, and instead encouraged personal responsibility with an aggressive educational campaign — resulting in more widespread mask usage than states with mandates. Some local governments have implemented “mandates,” however, they have rarely, if ever, been enforced. Under this latest action, those local mandates will be phased out. Mask usage is still encouraged, especially in groups that are not vaccinated.

View the Governor’s Executive Order HERE.

City Hall Re-opens!

City Hall and other city administrative buildings will re-open to the public on April 12! In addition, City Council and board and commissions meetings will re-open to in-person attendance effective that date.

My Nail Spa & My Barbershop Ribbon Cutting

Mayor Hall and I had the privilege of attending the Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting for My Nail Spa and My Barbershop, located at 13983 W. Waddell Rd, suite 102 & 103. Thank you for inviting us to be a part of your celebration!

Mayor Hall and Councilmember Judd cut a grand opening ribbon at My Nail Spa My Barbershop.

State of the City Video

State of the City thumbnailTune in on April 13 at 6 p.m. for the 2021 State of the City Video Premiere, live online at surprisetv.surpriseaz.gov/. The City of Surprise 2021 State of the City will reflect on our community’s resilience and look at what’s in the future!

COVID Relief Funding

For over a year now, the City of Surprise has been working hard to support residents and businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Our City has been fortunate to receive federal, state, and county financial assistance to provide meals, rental/mortgage payments, and utility assistance through our Senior Center and Surprise Resource Center.

Here is a snapshot of how $10.88 million in federal funds has helped our community during the COVID crisis:

A snapshot of the allocation of 10.88M in federal funds.

The Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program provided billions of dollars in payroll assistance funding for businesses through two rounds of funding.

While these programs have helped, the City identified some funding gaps in meeting specific needs and, in some cases, noticed some needs were not being met at all.

On September 1, 2020, and November 2, 2020, the Surprise City Council approved resolutions to support $555,000 for Surprise COVID Community Relief Packages for addressing community and business needs because of the prolonged nature of the pandemic. Utilizing some of our AZ CARES ACT dollars, we were able to allocate $180,000 to address the following human service needs:

AZ CARES ACT funds allocation.

The remaining $375,000 supported the Surprise Small Business Relief Grant, disbursed over two rounds:

Surprise small business relief grant funds allocation.

The City will continue to explore additional needs as we anticipate another round of funding through the American Rescue Plan Act in the future. We have a good plan in place to monitor where the needs are and address as appropriate.

Small businesses are encouraged to review updated COVID business resources available on www.surpriseaz.gov/businesshelp or to reach out to the Surprise Economic Development Department at econdev@surpriseaz.gov.

Community Resources are available at www.surpriseaz.gov/communitycare, or call the Surprise Resource Center at 623.222.1600.

Coming soon to Surprise

  1. Crumbl Cookies will soon be at the southwest corner of Litchfield and Waddell, at the “Marley Park” corner!
  2. Amazon now has their sign on the building. We expect the facility to start operations in the 3rd quarter of 2021 and bring over 300 jobs to Surprise!

Property Maintenance Ordinance (PMO)

Would you like to learn more about the City of Surprise Property Maintenance Ordinance and have an opportunity to ask questions and provide comments? If so, please join the public meeting that is scheduled for April 13 at 6 p.m. in the Surprise City Hall Community Room or online. To join the public meeting online, please visit surpriseaz.gov/PMO. To access the public meeting or to leave a comment on the document, please visit surpriseaz.gov/PMO.

The Property Maintenance Ordinance is a guiding document that establishes the minimum standards for all property throughout the City. The goal of the PMO is to keep the City safe, healthy, and blight free. Public comments are also being accepted through Sunday, May 2, 2021 via an online comment box at surpriseaz.gov/PMO.

Surprise Day of Service

The next Surprise Day of Service is on April 24, 2021 to help benefit the Valley View Food Bank. The day begins at 8 a.m. and goes to 4 p.m. with volunteers working in two-hour shifts. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Larry Garcia at 623-222-1522.

Budget Retreat

FY2022 Budget thumbnailCity Council will be participating in a budget retreat on April 16, beginning at 9 a.m. The retreat is a part of the development of the Fiscal Year 2022 City Manager’s Recommended Budget. The retreat will be open to public attendance and will be televised for public viewing on surpriseaz.gov/surpriseTV, the Surprise City Gov Facebook page at facebook.com/cityofsurprise and Cox channel 11.

Arts & Culture Grant Program

The City is now accepting applications for a new Arts & Culture Commission-led grant program that intends to assist community organizations that are pursuing arts and cultural events or activities that benefit City of Surprise residents. To apply, you must be a 501 (c) 3 organization or partner with a 501 (c) 3 verified agency. The application, program details, and eligibility requirements are available online at surpriseaz.gov/artsgrant. Applications will be accepted until Friday, April 23, 2021.

Connect with District 6

Please check out my new District 6 Facebook page at Councilmember Chris Judd! Be sure to click the “follow” button to get District 6 news and updates.

Council Meetings and Agenda

The next regularly scheduled City Council Meeting will take place on Tuesday, April 20 at 6 p.m. and will be open to the public for in-person attendance. You can also watch live at www.surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv, or the Surprise City Gov Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cityofsurprise. Cox channel 11 also carries the meetings live. Agendas are always posted online at a minimum of two days prior.

If you see something on the agenda that concerns you, please reach out before the meeting so I have time to address your concern. I may even ask your questions during the City Council presentation. The best way to reach me is chris.judd@surpriseaz.gov.

Meet and Greet

Please join me for my Monthly Meet and Greet on April 28 at 6 p.m. at Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, 14029 W. Waddell Road. I look forward to discussing the latest City issues and answering any questions you might have.

Please check my webpage at https://d6.surpriseaz.gov/ for updates to my meeting schedule.