Queen Creek officials, staff serve up info on projects, programs with a side of pancakes

The town of Queen Creek will host its annual pancake breakfast Nov. 14 at which residents can enjoy free food while discussing local issues and projects with elected officials and town staff members. (Courtesy of town of Queen Creek)

The town of Queen Creek will host its annual pancake breakfast Nov. 14 at which residents can enjoy free food while discussing local issues and projects with elected officials and town staff members. (Courtesy of town of Queen Creek)

 

Councilman Jeff Brown remembers the early days of the Queen Creek Community Pancake Breakfast, when council members would flip a few pancakes and there were breaks in the short lines of people waiting for them.

Things have changed since the event started in 2008, he said.

“We had such an overwhelming community response in 2013 that we had to run to Wal-Mart and Target to buy more syrup and pancake mix,” he said during a phone interview. “We recovered last year.”

This year’s breakfast will be held 9-11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 14, in the courtyard outside the Queen Creek Town Hall, 22350 S. Ellsworth Road. The free community outreach program provides a fun and friendly setting in which to speak to elected officials and staff members from the town about projects and issues affecting Queen Creek, all offered with a side of flapjacks.

The menu includes pancakes with syrup and butter, coffee, orange juice and hot cocoa or cider, depending on the weather, Constance Halonen-Wilson, the town’s public information officer, said in an e-mail.

1111qc Pancake Breakfast

Among the items that will be presented are the town council’s five-year goals, plans for the Town Center area, road improvements, sewer and wastewater projects, the approved General Plan, economic development goals and strategies, dust control initiatives, Queen Creek water service, fire service and public safety, and garbage and recycling services, according to the town’s website.

The event has been expanded to include some new activities. One is a touch-a-truck event with the town’s various construction, utility and emergency vehicles on display. Residents will be able to interact with the equipment operators and peek inside the big trucks that town employees use to move dirt, dig holes, fix traffic signals and respond to emergencies.

The other is flu shots. Starting at 10 a.m. in the Founders’ Room inside the town hall, Queen Creek Fire and Medical Department, in partnership with Dignity Health, will administer the shots. They are available for free for residents over 3; however, individuals may be referred elsewhere based on an initial screening for a more specific vaccine to meet the individual’s needs, according to the town’s website. Health insurance is not required to receive the vaccination.

People should register for their free flu shot at QueenCreek.org/FluShot.

Queen Creek resident Sarah Trujillo and her family — husband Michael and their four children, ages 1-8 — attended their first pancake breakfast in 2014. They had so much fun, they’re planning to attend again this weekend.

“The community events are very family friendly,” Mrs. Trujillo said during a phone interview. “We enjoy them because they have information for us as well as kids activities, like arts and crafts, for our kids.”

Councilman Brown called the pancake breakfast a cool way to meet new residents who come to the event for the first time. He said he’s especially looking forward to discussing the town’s multitude of transportation and road infrastructure projects with residents.

“There is a lot of interest in our road improvements, especially on Ellsworth Road between Queen Creek Road to the south and the town limits to the north,” he said.

He said the displays created by town staff members to describe projects are more detailed than they used to be. He said the discussions with residents have progressed from general topics to specific data that targets the information from a resident’s or a business person’s point of view.

This will be Councilwoman Emilena Turley’s first official pancake breakfast since being elected to the council in 2014. She said the small town feel of the event really fits the small town feel of the community.

“I’m a small town girl,” she said during a phone interview. “I like to ask people who they are and what their thoughts are. Our people are unique and everyone has something to offer.”

She said she plans on asking people how they feel about how the town is using their tax dollars.

She said she’d also like to know if residents are happy with the council’s priorities about roads, parks and events, and where their comfort level is when it comes to borrowing money.

Long-time Queen Creek resident Karen berg also likes the event’s small-town feel.

“There are so few small towns where the council, the mayor, the town staff and everybody are so accessible,”: she said during a phone interview. “Whether our town has 3,000, like it used to have, or 30,000, it still feels small.”

Councilman Brown last year served pancakes and cleaned tables.

“When it comes to serving our community that means rolling up our sleeves and pitching in,” he said.

But he’s also looking forward to another duty this year.

“Last year was the first time I got to flip some pancakes. I didn’t burn any so I think I did OK.”

For more information about the event, visit the town’s website.

News Editor Wendy Miller can be contacted at 480-982-7799 and via e-mail at qcnews@newszap.com, or follow her on Twitter @WendyNewszap123.

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