SURPRISE, Ariz. – Voters have overwhelmingly approved Surprise’s plan to update the city’s guiding principles and goals for future development, backing the General Plan 2035 by 10,725 votes to 4,208 votes, or a whopping margin of nearly 72 percent to 28 percent according to unofficial results posted by the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office Tuesday evening.
“Good things happen when a community comes together,” stated Surprise Mayor Sharon Wolcott in a prepared release. “Thousands of people participated in drafting the plan the community endorsed tonight. General Plan 2035 truly represents the authentic voice of Surprise,” the mayor added.
“I know the City Council joins me in applauding the hard work of the General Plan Advisory Committee, which did such a great job getting people involved,” she added. “Our “road map” is in place! Now, we will get to work creating the community our residents emphatically say they want.”
The General Plan was developed by the General Plan Advisory Committee. The council-appointed committee of residents from a variety of professional and economic backgrounds worked over an 18- month stretch, holding public meetings and collecting input from more than 2,000 residents. Their plan was approved by the City Council in June, placing it on the fall ballot. The election was done entirely by mail-in, and votes were collected right up until 7 p.m. Nov. 5. Ballots turned in on the final day will not be added to the count until later in the week but will not change the outcome, stated City Clerk Sherry Aguilar.
Council members were pleased with the results.
"The General Plan Advisory Committee did an outstanding job of identifying the key elements for a vibrant future for the City of Surprise,” stated Vice Mayor Jim Biundo in a prepared release. “Now, with the approval of the voters, a clear path is set."
Dist. 6 Council member Skip Hall stated, also in a prepared release, "After much hard work by the resident committee and staff, it is great to have validation by the voters. This General Plan will serve as a great guide for our future as a city."
Voters also approved a franchise agreement for Southwest Gas to continue operating in the city.
Editor’s note – the Surprise Marketing and Communications Department supplied material for this article.