Council-Manager Form of Government:
Surprise operates under a council-manager form of government. Under this system the city council determines city policy, passes ordinances, and approves a balanced budget each year.
The Surprise City Manager is Chris Hillman, who began May 18, 2011. Before coming to Surprise, Mr. Hillman was the City Manager of Clearfield, Utah since 2006.
Hillman served as City Administrator in Eagle Mountain, Utah from 2002 to 2006, and was assistant to the City Administrative Officer of Sandy City, Utah from 1998 to 2002.
He has a Masters Degree in Public Administration and a Bachelors Degree in Public Relations from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.
The City Manager is responsible for carrying out the council-created policies, and directing the day-to-day operations of city government. The manager reports directly to the city council, and is subject to council performance reviews. The City Manager is responsible for drafting a balanced budget for council review and approval each year.
Surprise is made up of 14 departments and more than 680 full time employees.