CalgaryPolitics.com Election Night Party at Beckham's. ;)
Richard's interview begins... now.
E.S.: Snow removal in the city, particular in Ward 14, is – as you put it on your website – “a farce”. How do we get Calgarians moving in the winter, and keep our roads – including residential roads – in safe, drivable condition, without the huge tax increases that the current council has insisted would be required?
R.D.: By eliminating wasteful spending at city hall such as what we've seen with the $25 million designer bridge so that there is more room in the budget for things Calgarians really care about such as snow removal. I also favour use of private contractors to bolster city ice clearing crews and allowing Calgarians who own snow-removal equipment to get approval to use this equipment to help clear streets and pathways that may be of less immediate priority then major thoroughfares etc instead of penalizing them as is currently the practise.
E.S.: You pledge to use your office budget only to communicate with the residents of the Ward, and not waste on entitlements such as dry cleaning. Mayoral candidate Ric McIver, however, defended the expensing of dry cleaning in 2008, saying "In a city of a million people, I'm not sure people want their representatives looking shabby". Do you think Alderman McIver is wrong on this issue?
R.D.: I agree with Ric McIver's point that "In a city of a million people, I'm not sure people want their representatives looking shabby" - but I don't agree taxpayers ought foot the bill for it - and I'm not sure Ric McIver does either - who, after the publication of Aldermanic expenses, took the right step by reimbursung taxpayers the full amount of his drycleaning bills.
E.S.: You’re expecting your first child in December. Do you feel that the 70-to-80 hour work weeks associated with the job of Alderman will seem easier than the sleep schedule that a newborn baby would allow?
R.D.: Thank goodness I have the wife that I do who'll make both tasks seem considerably easier than they otherwise would be.
E.S.: You talk on your website about the need for responsible use of tax dollars and accountability – would you be in favour of the proposal to put every city contract on the web, for any citizen or interested company to view?
R.D.: There's no doubt that we need both greater accountability and transparency at city hall. Online publishing of city contracts would probably be a step in the right direction - and give bloggers like yourself a heyday!
E.S.: You attended the CalgaryPolitics.com Bowling Fundraiser, in support of Brown Bagging It For Calgary’s Kids. Who was the best bowler on your lane?
R.D.: My wife or one of the volunteers we had out...definitely not me.
E.S.: You’ve spoken on the need to clean-up our C-Train stations, so Calgarians can feel safe using public transportation at night – how can we do this?
R.D.: By providing Police and neighbourhood watch groups with the resourses and tools they need. Also, by discouraging loitering about C-Train stations and by continuing to work with federal and provincial elected representatives to strengthen our criminal justice system.
E.S.: What is your favourite campground in Kananaskis Country?
R.D.: Blue Rock Campground
E.S.: You’re asking residents of Ward 14 to fire their current Alderman, Linda Fox-Mellway, and hire you for the job. In 100 words or less, tell them why they should do that.
R.D.: I'm running to be our neighbourhood's next Alderman because I want to bring a common sense, conservative approach to City Hall and get this city back on track. I love Calgary, and I know we can do better than the mostly out of touch politicians there now. Ward 14 needs a fresh approach. On October 18, vote for common sense. Vote Richard Dur for Alderman.
E.S.: Are you in favour of stricter election financing rules? If so, tell me what sort of rules you’d like to see.
R.D.: I do have a concern with what happens to the money raised after the end of a campaign. I think the money should be used to cover expenses associated with the campaign and any remainig funds either given to charity or used for reelection - not pocketed by the candidate.
E.S.: What is the best place to grab a bite to eat in Ward 14, in your opinion?
R.D.: I'm a big fan of pub fare so either Dixon's or Brewsters.