General law vs. charter government

Most incorporated communities in Arizona are general law towns or cities. The term “general law” means that the town or city exists and operates under the general laws of the state. A general law municipality , the mayor and council must look to the state for authority to pass local laws. Cities that have adopted charters have done so through procedures established in the State Constituition and state statutes.

City of Surprise

Be careful this heat is deadly

Surprise, AZ (June 15, 2021) Drivers should plan for overnight lane restrictions on Bell Road, Bullard Avenue to West Point Parkway, on Tuesday, June 15 and Wednesday, June 16, while APS is accessing manholes along the roadway. 

Two east bound lanes will be restricted from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. each night. Left turns will be permitted while the work is occurring. 

Excessive Heat WarningCentral Arizona7 hours ago – National Weather Service

EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM MST SUNDAY … Afternoon temperatures 110 to 120 degrees … Until 8 PM MST Sunday …

Great City Council Meetings Webinar
Thursday, June 17, 2021

This is a live event and no recording will be provided. We will open the webinar 30 minutes early to give an opportunity to talk informally, before the educational portion begins. It will be great to see you there!  One hour, $27.

ADOT may be illegally charging repealed fee

More than 166,000 Arizona motorists who are now renewing their vehicle registrations are being hit up for a $32 fee that the agency may not legally be entitled to collect.

Surprise, AZ (June 11, 2021) Work on the Greenway Road improvement project will require Northwest Ranch Parkway to be closed from Greenway Road to Carmen Drive beginning Monday, June 28 to Friday, July 2.

Surprise, AZ (June 11, 2021) City of Surprise is set to host one of the top amateur baseball events in the United States. USA Baseball will host its National Team Championships at the Surprise Stadium Complex from June 15-July 6.

Surprise, AZ (June 11, 2021) Work on the Greenway Road improvement project will require Northwest Ranch Parkway to be closed from Greenway Road to Carmen Drive beginning Monday, June 28 to Friday, July 2. 

Agendas for the June 15, 2021 Regular City Council Work Session and Regular City Council Meeting have been posted at:

Questions concerning the City of Surprise Council Agenda? Contact the City Clerk’s office at: 623.222.1200 or via email:

Surprise, AZ (June 10, 2021) The Surprise Parks & Recreation Department is excited to bring back Dive-In Movies as part of the Aquatics and Special Events programming! 

The first of two movies shown this summer will be the family-friendly movie, “Croods 2: A New Age”. The movie will be shown at the Surprise Aquatic Center, 15831 N Bullard Ave., on Saturday, June 19. Doors will open at 7:15 p.m., and the movie will begin at approximately 7:30 p.m. Poolside concessions will be available for purchase

Surprise, AZ (June 4, 2021) Prepare to dodge, duck, dip, dive, and dodge again!  The City of Surprise Parks & Recreation Department welcomes teens ages 12-17 to join the fun at the Teen Dodgeball Tournament!  

The tournament will be held at Countryside Recreation Center, 15038 N Parkview Place, on Friday, June 11 from 5-8 p.m. The cost for participating is $10 per player for residents and $20 per player for non-residents.

Surprise Police Dept shared “CBP Warns of Telephone Scam”

S‌urprise, A‌Z (June 2, 2021) Temperatures are forecast to be above 100 degrees every day this week. With temperatures increasing, the city of Surprise reminds residents that we are a Heat Relief Network partner. The city provides hydration and refuge stations for those in need of a place to cool off during Arizona’s hot summer months.  

The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) coordinates mapping of the Heat Relief Network. 

Surprise, A‌Z (June 2, 2021) The Surprise City Council approved the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 City Budget in a Special Meeting Tuesday night. The budget is focused on maintaining our current level of service as the city continues to see steady growth. The budget continues to focus on Council’s commitment to maintain quality public services and infrastructure. The FY2022 Adopted Expenditure Budget is $437.8 million, including transfers of $48.1 million, for a total of $485.9 million.

Surprise, A‌Z (June 1, 2021) Surprise sanitation customers will see a change on their city utility statement beginning July 1, 2021, as a rate increase determined by a structured schedule is implemented. 

Beginning July 1, 2021, single-family solid waste (trash) customers will pay a monthly base rate of $23.50; an increase of $0.10 per month. 

Surprise, AZ (May 28, 2021) Looking for a way to serve your community? Surprise is seeking volunteers for a Day of Service event on Wednesday, June 23.

Volunteers will assist with sorting bulk food items, creating food baskets and loading food into vehicles; helping in the process of providing food for families in need.

S‌urprise, A‌Z (May 17, 2021) The 2021 National Community Survey (NCS) results reveal at least 9 in 10 residents gave excellent or good ratings to the overall quality of life in Surprise and the city as a place to live.

Surprise, A‌Z (May 14, 2021) The City of Surprise launched its annual Surprise Retail Survey on April 5 and more than 5,100 responses later, we have the results!  

The city uses the survey data to identify the city’s retail strengths, as well as opportunities to bring additional amenities closer to home. In the past, the survey has helped bring in establishments like In-N-Out Burger, Texas Roadhouse, Oregano’s Pizza Bistro and Costco! 

Surprise, AZ (May 13, 2021) The Surprise USA Swim Team, the Storm, has concluded its 2020-2021 short course season with numerous swimmers placing in the top eight in Arizona!

The Surprise Recreation Campus opened in December 2002 and was built to drive tourism and economic impact for the local economy while also delivering a state-of-the-art venue for the local community to enjoy. Over the years, the Surprise Stadium Sports Complex has attracted thousands of youth athletes and their families to the City of Surprise. The long-term economic benefits associated with these nationally recognized events continue to be fundamental to the tourism industry while contributing to Surprise’s local economy. 

Ducey signs protection measures for police
Gov. Doug Ducey has signed three pro-police bills that, supporters said, would help protect fairness in disciplinary actions, but opponents worry they will stack the deck too much in favor of law enforcement.

city of surprise

Surprise, A‌Z (May 12, 2021) City Manager Mike Frazier announced today that he has selected Peoria Deputy Police Chief Benny Pina to serve as the next Chief of the Surprise Police Department.

Surprise, AZ (April 28, 2021) The Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex racquetball courts will be closed to public play from Wednesday, May 5 through Saturday, May 22,due to tournaments being held during this time. 

Surprise, A‌Z (May 3, 2021) The search for a new City of Surprise Police Chief is moving forward, with finalist interviews set to take place on Wednesday, May 5, 2021.  

The application period for the position closed on March 23 after receiving 62 applications.  

The six finalists for the position of Police Chief are: 

Supreme Court to hear lawmaker’s defamation case

The Arizona Supreme Court will hear the defamation case that stems from Arizona State Sen. Wendy Rogers’ attack ads during her failed 2018 Congressional run.

Surprise, AZ (May 5, 2021) The City of Surprise is reopening programs at the Senior Center in a phased approach, with limited front desk access and exercise classes available now. The center, located at 15832 N. Hollyhock St., is a hub for connection and activities for those age 50+ and adults with disabilities.

All Senior Center participants will be required to fill out a new enrollment packet when returning to in-person participation. Enrollment packets are available at the Senior Center during the hours listed below or online at Completed packets should be dropped off at the Senior Center. Membership is $12 per year for Surprise residents and $15 for non-residents. Fees are due with membership forms.

Facemasks are encouraged, but not required. Dates, capacity requirements and times are subject to change without notice.

Passport services will return to Surprise City Hall beginning April 19, by appointment only.

Surprise, A‌Z (March 23, 2021) The Surprise City Council invites you to tune in for the premiere of the 2021 State of the City video presentation on Tuesday, April 13 at 6 p.m. 

Surprise, A‌Z (April 5, 2021) Do you have a favorite restaurant that you would like to see open in Surprise? What about a unique shopping experience that you want added to your hometown? Tell us in the 2021 Surprise Retail Survey 

Surprise, AZ (April 6, 2021) Cactus Road will be closed between 175th Avenue and Magnolia Drive from 5 a.m. Saturday, April 10 until 5 a.m. Monday, April 12, for utility work.

Surprise, AZ (April 7, 2021) The City of Surprise is excited to offer Summer Break Camp for youth in first through fourth grades at Countryside Recreation Center,15038 N. Parkview Place; and Sierra Montana Recreation Center, 14861 N. Spring Lane, for participants in fifth through eighth grades.  

This is a fun-filled camp that includes afternoon snack, daily activities, arts and crafts, games, sports and field trips. Field trips may include, but are not limited to, bowling, laser tag, water park, movies, pools, Amazing Jakes and much more!  

Summer Break Camp 2021 will be held May 24 through July 30, Monday through Friday, from 6:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.  


For full detail of what occurred at these meetings, please refer to the minutes (synopsis)

Surprise, AZ (April 1, 2021) Surprise is joining cities across the country in asking residents to make a long-term commitment to manage water resources more wisely by taking part in the annual Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation — and in return residents can win $3,000 towards home utility payments, water saving fixtures, and hundreds of other prizes. Plus, one lucky charity will receive a 2021 Toyota Highlander Hybrid to serve the community.

The annual challenge is a non-profit national community service campaign to see which cities can best inspire their residents to make an online pledge at to use water more efficiently, reduce pollution, and save energy. 

To participate, residents must make a series of online pledges to conserve water at  through April 30.


For those of us who have spent our careers defending America’s borders, and those of us who live along them, there really is no denying the border crisis the country is facing today.

Home / courts / State high court voids 2018 law on city elections

State high court voids 2018 law on city elections

By: Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services April 14, 2021


The Arizona Supreme Court has once again nullified efforts by lawmakers to tell Tucson — and all the state’s charter cities — when they can have their elections. 

In a 5-1 ruling Wednesday, the justices rejected arguments by Attorney General Mark Brnovich that a 2018 law requiring cities to select their mayors and council members to coincide with statewide elections is constitutional. 

3/30/2021 House, Senate discard mask requirement

3/30/2021 House, Senate discard mask requirement

Calling it a matter of personal freedom, Republican state senators voted Monday to allow themselves to take off their masks. 

Attorney General Mark Brnovich is asking a federal judge to rule that Arizona can take billions from the federal government in the new virus aid package without having to comply with a provision barring the state from using the cash for tax breaks.

Brnovich: County’s political contributions ban violates 1st Amendment

Local governments cannot stop their employees from donating to candidates for local offices, Attorney General Mark Brnovich concluded.

Ducey accuses Biden of creating border crisis

Surrounded by Republican politicians, Gov. Doug Ducey on Friday insisted that everything that is now going wrong on the border is the fault of President Biden, his administration and the Democratic Congress.

Show your community pride by participating in the 4th Annual “Bean Bag Day” event on Saturday, April 24.

Surprise, A‌Z (March 26, 2021) On Monday, April 12, Surprise City Hall and other city administrative buildings will open to the public, following a temporary closure due to COVID-19. Additionally, meetings of the City Council and all boards and commissions will open to in-person attendance effective that date.

City’s summer job program for teens now accepting applications

youth employment program Opens in new window

The City of Surprise is offering a summer job program for income-eligible Surprise teens between the ages of 15 – 19.

Through the City Council-approved Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), applicants must be available to work up to 25 hours a week for five weeks between 

June 14 through July 16. Chosen interns will earn $12.15 per hour.  

Surprise, A‌Z (March 23, 2021) The Surprise City Council invites you to tune in for the premiere of the 2021 State of the City video presentation on Tuesday, April 13 at 6 p.m. 

Property rules up for discussion. If you have an opinion on this issue and want to get in on the conversation, send your letters to

Surprise City Councilman Ken Remley sounds off on a new property maintenance ordinance city officials want the Surprise City Council to enact. (Courtesy of Surprise TV)

Sterling Grove opening up to rave reviews. Unique course drawing in golfers from across the state, By Jason Stone…………………………. Independent Newsmedia

S‌urprise, A‌Z (March 22, 2021) The Surprise City Council will hold a Budget Retreat on Friday, April 16 in City Council Chambers. In an effort to preserve public health, the retreat will be closed to public attendance, but will be televised for public viewing.

The televised retreat begins at 9 a.m. There will be a lunch break approximately between 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.


National Community Survey now online

If you live in Surprise and did not receive a National Community Survey (NCS) by mail, you can now take the survey online! Read more…

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Surprise City Council regular meeting.

Supreme Court to hear Sun Cities wastewater case

Panel to address two issues

By Rusty Bradshaw
Twitter: @SunCitiesEditorPosted 3/11/21

The opposition to consolidation of EPCOR Water Co. wastewater districts will continue to be heard.

The big Question today is ! When will the City of Surprise have term limits for their mayor & council members?

Surprise, AZ (March 4, 2021) The City of Surprise Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission has voted to induct Charley Pride and Buck O’Neil into the Surprise Recreation Campus Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame was established to honor those who have contributed significantly to the Surprise Recreation Campus.

Surprise, AZ (March 3, 2021) The city of Surprise is requesting public comment on the draft Property Maintenance Ordinance (PMO) that was presented to Council during last night’s Council Work Session.

The Property Maintenance Ordinance is the guiding document that establishes minimum standards for all property, residential and commercial building maintenance throughout the city. The goal of the PMO is to keep the city safe, healthy and blight-free.

Surprise, AZ (March 2, 2021) Looking for a way to serve your community? Surprise is seeking volunteers for Day of Service events on March 20 and March 31.

Saturday, March 20: Neighborhood Revitalization & Cleanup

This event is from 8 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Volunteers will participate in various projects throughout the city including landscaping, painting, trimming of shrubs, debris removal, and more.

Cleanup Event March 13; free waste drop-off for Surprise residents

TIS_Residential-Cleanup-event Opens in new window

Surprise residents- it’s the perfect time to prune your landscape, clean out your garage and take advantage of the Spring Cleanup Event on Saturday, March 13. 

Surprise residents are permitted to drop off up to 2,000 pounds of non-hazardous residential waste free-of-charge at the Northwest Regional Landfill, 19401 W. Deer Valley Road, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. There is a limit of one load per household.

Surprise, AZ (February 24, 2021) The City of Surprise is seeking an experienced public safety professional with outstanding leadership skills to serve as its next Police Chief.

Strong candidates will be forward thinking and will continue to lead the Department consistent with our City’s needs and values to ensure the Surprise Police Department continues to provide the highest level of public safety service.

The Police Chief application period runs February 24 – March 23, and the City anticipates filling the position in May 2021.

How will the City pay for CCWC? We have never been told what assets the city are selling to buy CCWC.

City citizens have been kepted in the dark about CCWC, why ?

In regards to Circle City Water Co.
While City of Surprise involves a water utility, the decision arguably applies to cities condemning utilities of all kinds, including electric utilities. The decision thus sets encouraging precedent for municipalities favoring a shift to renewable and clean energy generation (as opposed to non-renewable and environmentally harmful generation). Municipal proponents of renewable energy will have one less barrier in creating new, renewable energy systems: they won’t have to go through the Commission when exercising eminent domain to condemn electric utility infrastructure. Indeed, the implications of decisions like City of Surprise promote renewable energy development at the local level.

The Surprise Independent has Surprise, Arizona the 6th best place in the West U.S to live for high salaries and the low cost of living.


by D Greenwood 

After careful consideration, the city of Surprise is canceling or postponing all city-sponsored events, programs, and sports effective March 16 and continuing through May 10. 

The decision comes as COVID-19 (coronavirus) has reached pandemic level…

Surprise, AZ (February 19, 2021)
 Surprise City Court Associate Judge Catherine A. Gaudreau has been selected as a Fellow in the Judicial Engagement Network’s 2021 Fellowship Program.

Surprise, AZ (February 18, 2021) The city of Surprise will be performing pavement preservation activities on the following roadways, weather permitting:

·       Cactus Road will be closed between Litchfield Road and Solar Canyon Way on February 22

o   North and southbound traffic on Litchfield Road will not be impacted

o   Traffic restrictions will be in place on Cactus Road, Solar Canyon Way to Dysart Road, February 22-26

·       Waddell Road, 175th Avenue to Citrus Road, will have traffic restrictions from February 22-26

o   Left turn restrictions from Waddell Road to south 175th Avenue will be in place after schools are in session

Surprise, AZ (February 17, 2021) The City of Surprise Parks & Recreation Department is now accepting applications for Summer Break Camp positions.
Applicants who enjoy working with children are invited to apply for Recreation I and Recreation III openings.

2021 Surprise Spring Training Tickets On Sale February 20

2021 Surprise Spring Training Opens in new window

The City of Surprise  will welcome fans to Surprise Stadium for the 2021 Spring Training season February 28 through March 29 with additional COVID-19 mitigation protocols in place. The game schedule has been modified from what was previously released, and tickets will go on sale February 20.

Surprise, AZ (February 16, 2021) Utility work on the Greenway Road improvement project will require a hard closure on the roadway between Legacy Park Boulevard and Northwest Ranch Parkway beginning 5 a.m. Saturday, February 27 to 5 a.m. Sunday, March 14.

Agenda Name: Regular City Council Meeting

Meeting Date: 2/16/2021

Click to View Agenda

Regular City Council Work Session & Meeting

Agendas for the February 16, 2021 Regular City Council Work Session and Regular City Council Meeting have been posted at:

Surprise, AZ (February 12, 2021) The Surprise Parks and Recreation Department will be temporarily closing the dog parks at both Surprise Community Park and Dick McComb Park to apply a bi-annual weed control herbicide that prevents weeds from germinating. 
The first application of 2021 will be applied at Surprise Community Park on Wednesday, February 17; treatment at the Dick McComb dog park will be applied on Thursday, February 18

Surprise, AZ (February 11, 2021) The Human Service and Community Vitality Department is partnering with A New Leaf to offer free tax preparation services to benefit individuals and families with low to moderate income.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) offers IRS trained and certified volunteers to assist households that make less than $57,000 and need help processing their annual income tax returns.  VITA sites not only offer free tax preparation, they also help taxpayers apply for benefits they may not be aware of such as the Earned Income Tax Credit. VITA will be offered as a drop-off service at Surprise locations.

Surprise, AZ (February 9, 2021) The City of Surprise will welcome fans to Surprise Stadium for the annual Sanderson Ford College Baseball Classic this month in a limited capacity and with additional COVID-19 mitigation protocols in place.

The tournament is set to take place February 19 – 22, featuring the Oregon State Beavers, New Mexico Lobos, Gonzaga Bulldogs and Kansas State Wildcats. 

Surprise, AZ (February 9, 2021) The City of Surprise will welcome fans to Surprise Stadium for the annual Sanderson Ford College Baseball Classic this month in a limited capacity and with additional COVID-19 mitigation protocols in place.

The tournament is set to take place February 19 – 22, featuring the Oregon State Beavers, New Mexico Lobos, Gonzaga Bulldogs and Kansas State Wildcats. 

Surprise, AZ (February 8, 2021) Register your child for the newest Surprise Parks and Recreation Special Interest Class – Junior Golf! 
Junior Golf is a great way for parents to introduce children, ages 6-13, to the game of golf. Classes feature a low student-to-instructor ratio, enabling golfers to build confidence in putting, chipping, and swinging. Participants will also learn the rules and etiquette of golf in a safe setting. Two class options are available, “Little Strokes Golf Academy” (ages 6-9) and “Surprise Golf Academy” (ages 10-13).

 Surprise, AZ (January 26, 2021) Daytime work to install flashing yellow arrows and upgrade the vehicle detection equipment on the traffic signals at the Greenway and Dysart roads intersection is scheduled to occur on Wednesday, January 27 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., weather permitting.

Surprise, AZ (January 28, 2021) Looking for a great summer job? The City of Surprise Parks & Recreation Department is looking for responsible individuals with a positive attitude to join our aquatics team. 

Lifeguard Training classes will be offered throughout February and March:

Surprise, AZ (January 26, 2021) Surprise is looking for volunteers for its Day of Service on Saturday, February 20, 2021 from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Volunteers will participate in various projects throughout the city including landscaping, painting, trimming of shrubs, debris removal, and more.

The neighborhood revitalization and cleanup event assists neighborhoods and homeowners who may not be physically or financially able to maintain their homes as required by local codes

Surprise is proud to partner with these and other agencies in addressing transportation, legislative and other key issues for our region