News Ticker

Surprise Opts to Not Pursue Bond Election

Photo credit: Daily News-Sun

By Richard Smith for

The Surprise City Council did not completely close the door on calling for a 2015 bond election at its May 19 meeting, as no vote was cast.

But that door’s only open a crack.

The majority of council members said they were reluctant to forge ahead with calling for a November vote, citing several reasons. Vice Mayor John Williams encapsulated the two primary road blocks this year.

He said all proposed projects tied to the bond are needed but none have such a hook that voters will come out in droves to pass the bond, but his concerns are timing and success.

The Dysart Unified School District will almost certainly seek an override election in November, which increases the likelihood that residents tie the projects together and vote both down.

If a 2015 bond vote is to be revived, it’s up to Surprise residents to provide the groundswell.

In February, the council appointed a capital improvement committee to examine and prioritize a list of potential bond projects. After three meetings, this committee presented list of preferred projects that would fit into bond measures of $50M, $60M and $75M.

Though a 2015 bond vote is highly unlikely, council members praised the 17-member committee for laying the ground work, as a 2016 bond proposal appears likely to gain more traction.

The current fiscal year 2016 budget includes about $60M of already funded capital improvement projects, and Councilman Jim Biundo said he doesn’t like the idea of tacking on $60M more right now.

“I have not yet heard any really compelling evidence that any project is so urgent that it needs to go on the 2015 ballot,” Biundo said.

Some proposed 2015 bond projects could come up again in other forms.


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