LETTER: Bond is chance to move Surprise forward

November 1, 2016

In 1999 I moved to Surprise for one simple reason, opportunity.

As newlyweds, my wife and I were able to afford a home, our own yard, our own bedroom with master bath. We were starting our careers, and planning a family.

Surprise was, and is, a community that embodied the American Dream, “live, work and play.” For anyone whom is willing to work hard, it is a place to build a home and drive towards prosperity. My story was eerily similar to my neighbors, and the tens of thousands that migrated to our growing city from throughout the country.

Then the market crashed. Foreclosure rates grew exponentially as folks were losing jobs and hope. Suddenly all the gaps that needed to be filled, the opportunities we had envisioned, were left to fester as open wounds with no means of addressing during some dire economic times.

Transportation gaps became increasingly evident, lack of opportunities for employment, lack of infrastructure to meet the demands of 100,000-plus residents, and lack of resources and opportunities for our retired, youth and growing families. Suddenly the potential we all saw had fallen off the horizon, people were losing hope, and with it came the frustration of 125,000 residents with needs that were indefinitely unfulfilled.

This November we have an opportunity to get us back on track with the proposed General Obligation Bond question being posed to Surprise residents. The people of Surprise will decide whether to invest in several critical projects that can help heal some of those gaping wounds.

It is up to us, the voting public, to decide whether this investment is worth our hard earned money. We must decide whether these investments will stimulate true growth and enhance our quality of life.

This bond is not just about a few fire stations and roads. It’s not just about enhanced public safety. It will not solve all our traffic issues. It’s not about enhanced opportunities for our youth, or improved recreational amenities.

This bond is an investment in our future that brings hope and prosperity back to Surprise. It has the potential to ignite investments in other areas that will help us achieve the vision of the city we all invested in when we signed the papers on our homes in Surprise. The return for all of us will be improved quality of life, economic sustainability, and improved value for all of our homes.

The choice is ours. Surprise will move forward, with or without this bond, but the kind of Surprise we live in rests squarely on our shoulders. The question for each of us now becomes a personal one, but one that impacts all of us.

For me, do I want to spend $59 annually (based on assessed property value of my home) on this investment? Is this bond worth as much as one Venti Starbucks Latte per month from my personal budget? Will it have the return on investment to my family and my city, is it a wise investment?

The answer, a resounding yes. The bond brings with it opportunities that we’ve not had in Surprise for two decades. The time is now, let’s move our city forward.

John Williams

Surprise City Councilman, District 3