Sixteen years ago, I came to Surprise from the San Francisco Bay area in search of a peaceful and tranquil retirement. There was something so special and incredibly unique about Surprise that drew me to ultimately relocate here, and that decision has afforded me so many blessings. The best gift that Surprise provided to me came in the form of my dear husband Jim, and the time that we were fortunate to have together. Although he is no longer with us, his spirit lives on and I am constantly reminded of the beautiful times we had together. Surprise allowed us to enjoy our retirement through its diverse offerings and inclusivity, most specifically through the various age-restricted communities.
For these reasons and more, I am proud to call Sun City Grand my home. With its world-class golf courses and luxurious amenities, it truly is a gem. It is no surprise to me then, that 55places.com, as part of its annual survey, ranked Sun City Grand as the 4th best 55+ Community in the United States for 2018. The website noted the amenities, activities, golf courses, and modern floor plans as the main draw for retirees. What makes this all the more impressive is that over 2,000 communities are featured on the website! If that’s not impressive, I don’t know what is.
I believe that this accomplishment is not only a testament to the greatness of Sun City Grand, but to Surprise as a whole! Surprise has always been an amazing city to live in, but it is at a turning point where so many new and great things are happening. Because of all these exciting developments, we continue to attract individuals and families to settle in Surprise for the long-term. As such, I feel that it is my duty to promote measures that make it a safe and desirable place to live.
Last month, my colleagues and I approved the Distracted Driving Ordinance, which goes into effect this week. Essentially, the ordinance makes it illegal to use a mobile communication device – such as a cell phone – while driving, unless it is in hands-free mode, or the driver is contacting emergency personnel for emergency reasons. Under the law, violators will be subject to a $250 fine when cited by officers. I feel that this measure was long overdue, and will bring an additional layer of safety to drivers here in Surprise.
This ordinance is a positive step in the right direction, and could not have been made possible without the dedicated work of our public safety officials in the Surprise Police Department, and the approval of my colleagues on the City Council. I hope we all take this opportunity to be more mindful of how we drive and interact with the roads throughout Surprise. As Police Chief Terry Young stated, “no text message or phone call is worth risking a collision.”
From the moment I stepped into office, traffic safety was a top priority of mine, and I will continue to work alongside Chief Young to discover new ways of preventing more tragedies from occurring. I would be remiss not to mention how much the March pedestrian fatality shook the Sun City Grand community, and the Surprise community as a whole and I hope laws like this and continued efforts to push our Drive Wise, Surprise safe-driving campaign will prevent future accidents.
I would love to discuss traffic safety issues with you. Please give me a call anytime at (623) 222-1322, or email me at Nancy.Hayden@surpriseaz.gov. I would also love to speak with you in-person at one of my district meetings – either the 2nd Wednesday from 10-11 a.m. at Arizona Traditions Neighborhood Center, or the 4th Tuesday from 10-11 a.m. at the Sun City Grand Palm Center, Mediterranean Room.