Casual commentary about political, cultural and economic issues with a particular interest on the city of Winnipeg by John Dobbin
Friday, July 30, 2010
Charleswood-Tuxedo Candidate Dashi Zargani
Thanks to the Dashi Zargani for his answers to the questions about his candidacy in Charleswood-Tuxedo for the upcoming city election.
Questions for the candidates for Charleswood-Tuxedo Ward
Question 1: What is your name?
Question 2: What is your profession?
I am a Tuxedo businessman, and chef
Question 3: How old are you?
40 years old.
Question 4: Can you tell us about your family?
I have a wife and 3 children all living in the area
Question 5: Why are you running in Charleswood-Tuxedo?
Chareleswood-Tuxedo is my home. I know the people of Charleswood Tuxedo, and if elected, I would represent the people of Charleswood-Tuxedo. I would return every call myself, and hold regular hours in the ward.
Question 6: How long have you lived in the ward?
I have lived in the charleswood area for nearly a decade
Question 7: Have you had any past political affiliations in provincial or federal politics?
While I have most recently been active in Gary Doer’s new democrats, I have been politically active outside political parties most of my life. I would not consider myself to have a political affiliation, just a love for democracy.
Question 8: Who did you vote for in the last civic election both for mayor and councillor and why? How would you rate the last council and mayor?
I voted for Bill Clement for council and Sam Katz for mayor.
Question 9: Do you feel your political views are left, center or right? How would you describe your political views?
I consider myself to be a populist. I believe representatives have a responsibility to bring their constituents views to city hall, and not the other way around.
Question 10: What do you think are the major issues for the city of Winnipeg?
Crime is not a statistic. We need to tackle crime in communities. Community safety is the focal point of my campaign. We can get police into schools, patrolling neighbourhoods and making us safer.
Question 11: What do you think are the major issues for the ward of Charleswood-Tuxedo?
Community Safety, and community infrastructure. I will work with whoever is elected as mayor, and my colleagues in other wards to ensure that Charleswood will neither be taken for granted, or a roadblock to development. Charleswood will get a piece of the infrastructure pie, as well as our fair share of police and first responders to ensure the safety of the ward is second to none.
Question 12: Do you support a continued tax freeze or do you believe that taxes should go up to re-build infrastructure and support programs?
The tax freeze has not hurt municipal coffers. Winnipeg’s property values have skyrocketed. I am opposed to any increase in the mill rate.
Question 13: Do you support cuts in the city of Winnipeg budget? Where?
This city’s bureaucracy needs to start trimming waste. As any Charleswood-Tuxedo resident who has gone down to a permitting office will know, the place is a mess. We need to get our shop in order, and fast, so that money is spent on programs that benefit Winnipeg residents, and not the bloated bureaucracy.
Question 14: Do you support increases in the city of Winnipeg budget? Where?
Once we have cut down on waste, I would spend that money, as well as the increased budget from our growing population on fighting community crime and ensuring community safety. The city should ever spend in deficit, but I would fight to ensure that every new dollar is spent on ensuring the safety of my ward.
Question 15: Do you support an increase, decrease or a freeze in the city budget for police officers? Do you believe we need more police officers? If so, would you support a tax increase for it?
We can increase the number of police officers, as well as the budget that is behind them by cutting out wasteful spending, and putting the money where it counts.
Question 16: What is your view on crime in the city of Winnipeg and what can you as councillor do about it?
I trust our city’s police, they are doing the best they can with the resources we are giving them. The chronic underfunding of Winnipeg’s on the ground police is a wrong that must be righted.
Question 17: Do you support rapid bus transit or light rail transit? Do you have any other ideas for rapid transit? Do you believe Charleswood is well served for public transit?
The debate should not be over what is a better form of transportation. What is needed is the federal dollars to get the project done. When it comes to an investment in the community or city, I wont play politics, ill get the job done.
Question 18: Do you believe a city should fund a zoo? If yes or no, please indicate why. Would you support closing or selling the zoo or ending funding of the zoo?
The Winnipeg Zoo is a treasure. The city of Winnipeg can work with the province and non profits to make the zoo a break even venture so that families will be able to enjoy this asset
Question 19: Do you believe a city should fund arts and culture? If yes or no, indicate why.
Our community centres, cultural clubs and festivals are part of what make Winnipeg such a great place to live. The thousands of Winnipeggers that flock to the fringe festival, folklorama, jazz festival and hundreds of other events in the city are a market-case for why some funding to start new festivals, centres and groups is a valid use of the public dollar. Seed money should be available for cultural and community events to help them become self sufficient, so that our city’s diversity continues to be celebrated.
Question 20: Do you believe the fire department should have an increase, decrease or a freeze in their budget? Would you support a tax increase for the fire department?
Fire fighters and first responders deserve every dollar that they need to keep our city safe. Fire fighters are heroes, and I would vote for every motion before council that provided them with the things they need to keep our city running smoothly, because if my house catches fire, I don’t want the fire department to be a choked off resource. Fire and rescue services are not a political football. Firefighters know where the best places for stations are, what human and capital resources they need. Fire fighters are the only experts when it comes to fighting fires.
Question 21: Do you believe that roads, water and sewer should receive an increase, decrease or freeze in their budget? Would you support a tax increase for roads, water and sewer?
Winnipeg’s pothole problem is one that needs to be fixed. That being said, throwing money at a problem isn’t always the answer. I would support research and technology improvements to our roads. Russian infrastructure is under similar pressures and fares much better in the winters. It is time we look at why Winnipeg roads are being built on the cheap, and start building them to last.
Question 22: Do you support the present hotel tax?
The city’s tourism industry is incredibly important and if I was presented with a case that sold me that this tax was hurting our tourism industry, i would consider voting against it. However when I travel, Winnipeg hotels seem to be in line or more reasonable with other major cities, and currently I do not believe this tax is affecting our competiveness.
Question 23: Would you support the city of Winnipeg having a sales tax in addition to property tax?
I would never vote for a new tax without removing or reducing an old one. I would support a sales tax only if an equal amount was being taken off of property taxes. I believe that property taxes unfairly target seniors and home owners, and believe that a sales tax would be more fair.
Question 24: Do you think Winnipeg should have a tax cut? If yes or no, explain why?
The provincial and federal government need to give tax relief. The city of Winnipeg provides many of the basic services that people count on. I believe that tax relief has to come from the other levels of government at this time.
Question 25: Do you believe that the present city of Winnipeg budget is adequate for the city of Winnipeg? If yes or no, explain why.
The city’s budget isn’t the problem, its the way the money is used. I would not cut the city budget, but I would cut the city’s waste, and use that money for essential services, such as police.
Question 25: Should education be funded through property tax or through general funds from the province?
This is a question you should ask your school trustee and provincial MLA.
Question 26: Do you support term limits? Will you be serving a term limit even if there are no rules in place? How long will you serve?
We have term limits, they are called elections. I trust the residents of charleswood-tuxedo to decide who they want to serve them, and do not believe it is my place to limit their freedom to choose.
Question 26: Do you think housing should be allowed at The Forks? If yes or no, explain why.
The forks is an incredible development, high-rise condo development at the forks will serve to bring more people downtown, a key component in our downtown revitalization.
Question 27: What changes (if any) should be done to upkeep our city parks and recreation programs?
A strong community policing program will help make out parks safer, and therefore more utilized asset.
Question 28: What do hope to see in the Kapyong Barracks along Kenaston?
This is a key development area for Winnipeg. This housing needs to be turned over to the provincial government for development.
Question 29: Do you support a moratorium on development on old railway lines in favour of rapid transit and bike corridors?
This city needs a vibrant network of rapid transit and trails; the redevelopment of abandoned land is always a good thing.
Question 30: Do you support widening Kenaston to three lanes in each direction?
I absolutely do. With the upcoming IKEA there is going to be more traffic. Hundreds of charleswood-tuxedo resident’s use this corridor, and I believe they will support this project.
Question 31: Do you support the creation of service roads for any further shopping developments?
Shopping development send up providing the city with a permanent source of revenue for future development. We get great bang for our buck with a service road.
Question 32: What is your view on city taxes going to build a stadium for the Blue Bombers and Manitoba Bison?
The city got a great deal on the blue bombers stadium. We should thank the province on this one. I wouldn’t have supported a huge investment using city dollars, but the city’s investment in this project was reasonable.
Question 33: What is your view of a possible call for taxpayer help to expand the MTS Centre? Would you support it?
I support downtown revitalization. More events at the MTS is going to drive more growth in our downtown.
Question 34: What do you believe the city should do to ensure a vital downtown? Do you believe it is important as a councillor to support it?
My first goal as councillor is to fight for investments in my ward. My second goal as council is to take my constituents concerns and bring them to city hall.
Question 35: Do you believe that some city service should be privatized? What services (if any) would be candidates for it?
There is a medium ground. Corporate sponsorships, corporate partnerships and corporate opportunity all serve to get the city taxpayers more bang for their buck. That being said, if your water starts running brown would you rather be knocking on the door of your councillor, who needs you to elect him, or a corporate entity. Public corporations give the public the right to service that doesn’t exist in any other model.
Fun Questions for the candidates for Charleswood-Tuxedo Ward
Question 1: What is your favourite form of recreation?
I love to bike. This city has done great things expanding our bike trails, and biking has never been safer, but there is more to do.
Question 2: Do you have any hobbies?
As a professional chef, people assume I do a lot of cooking. I’m actually more of a builder.
Question 3: Do you support any charities?
I support united way and welcome place, a charity to assist new immigrants settle into Canada.
Question 4: What is your favourite book(s)?
The folklorama tour guide gets to be a pretty dog eared piece of paper right around this time of year.
Question 5: What is your favourite movie(s)?
All drama and family movies.
Question 6: What is your favourite TV show(s)?
I watch the news every night, but other than I keep the television on child friendly programming, and no one running for councillor is going to admit that their most frequented show is blues clues.
Question 7: What is your favourite sport(s)?
I support the bombers, and go to games whenever I can, I also love hockey.
Question 8: Who is the most important person(s) in your life?
Question 9: What is the last sporting event in Winnipeg that you attended?
Baseball at the Goldeyes stadium.
Question 10: What is the last artistic event that you have attended in Winnipeg?
(i.e.: Manitoba Theatre Centre, Rainbow Stage, Plug-in Gallery) folklorama
Question 11: What is your favourite type of music?
Question 12: Who is your favourite musician(s)?
Question 13: Who is your favourite author(s)?
Question 14: What is the mode of transportation you use daily?
Well being as Tuxedo residents will know, our options are limited. I drive to work every day.
Question 15: Who is the person you admire most outside of your family?
Question 16: What school did you graduate from?
Red river College
Question 17: What was the first job you ever had?
Operator of laser machine (cutting steel) at Buhler.
Question 18: What was your dream job growing up?
I always wanted to own my own business. I am so grateful to have been able to achieve that goal.
Question 19: What countries have you visited?
Germany, England, Netherlands, Italy, France
Question 20: Do you have a cottage?
I have tent for camping
Question 21: Do you have a second winter home?
As cold as Winnipeg gets, I’m here with the rest of you.
Question 22: Where was your last holiday and how long were you away for?
It was in England for two weeks.
Question 23: What would be your dream holiday destination?
Question 24: What languages do you speak?
I speak English
Question 25: What is your favourite dessert?
Question 26: What is your favourite food?
Seafood specially pickerel
Question 27: What is your favourite restaurant?
Cosmos restaurant at 5114 Roblin BLVD
Question 28: What radio stations do you listen to?
CJOB, Bob99 and Qx104.
Question 29: What local or national newscasts do you watch on TV?
CBC news and CNN
Question 30: What provincial politician do you admire the most?
MLA of Tuxedo Heather Stefanson for her great community work.
Question 31: What federal politician do you admire the most?
Justin Trudeau for bringing energy to federal politics again.
Question 32: Who in history would you want to have dinner with if you were to get the chance?
Sir John A Macdonald.
Question 33: Who is your secret celebrity crush?
Question 34: Which are better dogs or cats?
Well dogs are loyal, which I appreciate. Loyalty is a two way street.
Question 35: What is your favourite season of the year?