Mayor Joan Shafer Passes

Former Mayor Joan Shafer of Surprise has passed away. She was 80.

Mayor Shafer was the first female elected to Mayor of Surprise. Under her watch, the town of Surprise grew from 7,000 to over 100,000 residents.

Shafer was not without controversy butting heads often with other elected officials over issues surrounding Luke Air Force Base and Arizona’s Open Meeting law.

Congressman Trent Franks, whose district encompasses the Town of Surprise, issued the following statement:

“Joan Shafer was a true advocate for the city of Surprise whose energy and enthusiasm never wavered.  Whether serving as a member of the Western Maricopa Coalition, on the City Council, or as the first elected Mayor of a city whose population grew from 7,000 to more than 100,000 in her lifetime, her life and work was marked by a true commitment and love for her community and the people in it.  My prayers and condolences are with her family.”

The Town of Surprise issued its own following press release which can be read here.


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