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 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.
The Surprise City Manager is Bob Wingenroth, who began June 11, 2014. Prior to his appointment as manager by the city council, Wingenroth was the Surprise Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Assistant City Manager overseeing Finance, Human Resources and Information Technology, posts he assumed when he started with the city in June, 2013.
Wingenroth is the former City Manager of Anaheim, California and spent 28 years with the City of Phoenix, departing as the Phoenix Finance Director in 2009 to become Chief Financial Officer in Huntington Beach, CA. He was the CFO in Anaheim in 2010 before accepting the city manager position in 2012.
The City Manager's Office is supported by two Assistant City Managers.