Casual commentary about political, cultural and economic issues with a particular interest on the city of Winnipeg by John Dobbin
Monday, October 11, 2010
Charleswood-Tuxedo Candidate Steve Szego
Questions for the candidates for Charleswood-Tuxedo Ward
Question 1:What is your name? Steve Szego
Question 2:What is your profession? I am currently “retired”
Question 3:How old are you? 44
Question 4: Can you tell us about your family? I have a wife and 2 daughters
Question 5: Why are you running in Charleswood-Tuxedo? The time is now to give back to the community. I believe I have a lot to offer and have a tireless work ethic especially when it comes to something that I am passionate about- Charleswood/Tuxedo/Whyte Ridge
Question 6: How long have you lived in the ward? 40 years
Question 7: Have you had any past political affiliations in provincial or federal politics? No. And I do not believe it has a place in civic politics.
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. As a candidate,I do not wish to answer who I voted for as mayor as I will be capable of working with either one. I believe the time for change is now as some council members need to be challenged. They did a good job for the most part, but there is always room for improvement, just like if I am successful in my bid, I would always push myself to be better. Bill, because he represented a lot of what I believe in.
Question 9: Do you feel your political views are left, center or right? Right, with a smidgeon of left if that’s possible. How would you describe your political views? I always seek accountability. Do not make promises you can’t keep, do what’s best for the majority. Pretty basic stuff. It is a democracy after all.
Question 10: What do you think are the major issues for the city of Winnipeg? Street repair downtown development and crime.
Question 11: What do you think are the major issues for the ward of Charleswood-Tuxedo? Traffic safety and lack of affordable housing/ 55 plus development. The Kapyong issue, although very contentious, is still in the hands of the courts. After the feds deal with it, the province will then step in and finally the city. By the time we have our say, it will be a long time.
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? Only as a last resort. I would sooner see the school tax taken off property and an elimination of the business tax. More thought has to be put into raising revenue first.
Question 13: Do you support cuts in the city of Winnipeg budget? Where? No. We pay taxes and should get something for it. Budget reviews I would support. Maybe a different approach may be able to distribute the existing funds more appropriately.
Question 14: Do you support increases in the city of Winnipeg budget? Where? Yes, but after hard lobbying of the province. Especially for infrastructure, active transportation and street renewal.
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? Yes and no. They need more more officers for the sake of numbers has to be reviewed. It could be a case of deployment and support to give them the tools they need. Crime is undeniably an issue. I would not raise taxes solely for it, but cannot answer until I have the benefit of the information.
Question 16: What is your view on crime in the city of Winnipeg and what can you as councillor do about it? Crime stats are not an accurate gauge. They can be skewered. We have an element in this city that is not unique to others in some aspects but I feel more programs for our youth is vital. You don’t see too many 45 yr old males doing B/E’s or 30 yr olds stealing cars .As a councillor, I can only do something about the programs. Other things need entire council approval as you are aware.
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? I think we need SOME SORT of rapid transit but I am not sold on either. I need more facts. I do believe that our transit system ranks up there with many other cities if not better and it could simply be a case of frequency. Charleswood is under served, always has been. Whyte Ridge could definitely be better served, especially to and from the U of M. That is a concern of many of the seniors I have spoken with. The bus isn’t bad, it’s just not often enough. Deployment may need to be revisited.
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?
Question 19: Do you believe a city should fund arts and culture? If yes or no, indicate why. Yes. There has to be a connection there. Arts and culture are important and they help define a city.
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? Yes, but only as a last resort.. Fire response times are excellent. I would rather see funding for EMS.
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? Yes, and same answer for increase.
Question 22: Do you support the present hotel tax?
Question 23: Would you support the city of Winnipeg having a sales tax in addition to property tax? No. I would prefer PST increase and funds given to the city from that.
Question 24: Do you think Winnipeg should have a tax cut? If yes or no, explain why? No. A 13 year freeze is something to be proud of,however taxes are eventually going to go up.. It’s inevitable, and 14 years of no increase would be great, so that will be hard enough to achieve..
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. I can’t comment on something I have not seen.
Question 25: Should education be funded through property tax or through general funds from the province? Province.
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? I support them but would like to serve as long as I am doing a good job. If the constituents vote me in consistently, than something must be right.
Question 26: Do you think housing should be allowed at The Forks? If yes or no, explain why. No. It is a tourist attraction. Waterfront Drive, however- absolutely.
Question 27: What changes (if any) should be done to upkeep our city parks and recreation programs? Encourage more participation.I’d like to see how much the city makes charging for pools. Every kid should be able to know how to swim.
Question 28: What do hope to see in the Kapyong Barracks along Kenaston? I hope to see development that will allow widening of Kenaston, enhance the existing area and provide a tax base for the city. Of course, until it is settled in federal courts, it is only a hope.
Question 29: Do you support a moratorium on development on old railway lines in favour of rapid transit and bike corridors? It would be nice to see some of it used, but the costs would be very high.
Question 30: Do you support widening Kenaston to three lanes in each direction? SEE question 28
Question 31: Do you support the creation of service roads for any further shopping developments? Absolutely.I would also like to see that as a must during the tender process before building can even take place.
Question 32: What is your view on city taxes going to build a stadium for the Blue Bombers and Manitoba Bisons? I am not against loans. I am against not collecting on them.
Question 33: What is your view of a possible call for taxpayer help to expand the MTS Centre? Would you support it? Yes. It has proven to help put/keep Winnipeg on the map as one of the biggest venues to attract entertainment. The same rules as the stadium would likely have to apply though depending on how much.
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? I believe downtown development is vital and integral. The business tax should be reduced as well and hopefully eliminated to help stimulate downtown growth. It is very important for a councillor to support downtown revitalization.
Question 35: Do you believe that some city service should be privatized? What services (if any) would be candidates for it? If private companies can prove to be more productive and cost beneficial then they should maybe have the chance to at least bid. The city should be able to match any offers though.