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This article was published 1/10/2018 (730 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Shawn Dobson started running in civic politics in 2002 because he didn’t like the way Winnipeg was being run.
"You see things happening, but you know there’s things happening behind the scenes that know the rest of the public should be aware of," Dobson said.
He was first elected in the former St. Charles ward in 2014 and is hoping to hold onto his council seat in the new ward of St. James.
A cornerstone of his last campaign, Dobson is again focused on improving transparency at City Hall.
"I’ve basically identified that we have a problem and that’s a huge contribution for me, just to point out that regardless of what anyone says, we have a huge problem," he said.
Moving forward, he would like to see the City’s executive policy committee disbanded and information shared equally among all members of council.
"To give preferential treatment to certain councillors is wrong."
Another focus of his platform is road maintenance in St. James, specifically when it comes to fixing potholes. Dobson, 59, says the City needs to increase pothole spending, respond to resident complaints quicker and repair the holes correctly.
"If we would just increase the pothole budget a bit, we could at least get a handle on it," he said. "Having a pothole in front of your driveway sit there for over a year is not acceptable."
He also sees an increase in petty crime in the ward and believes investing in community programming for youth during the summer will help curb the issue.
Dobson has spoken out against the development of the Bruce Oake Recovery Centre at the former Vimy Arena site.
"I’ve always said that that arena should be used for recreation purposes only, that’s what it was set aside for," he said. "I have nothing against a recovery centre... but if we want to do this correctly, we should have looked at all surplus land in Winnipeg."
For Dobson, highlights of his last four years in office have been getting executive summaries added to council reports and creating the "Snow Angels" program, which promotes neighbourly snow-clearing for seniors and residents with physical disabilities.
Dobson has lived in the ward for more than 50 years and previously worked as a journeyman carpenter and with the St. James-Assiniboia School Division. He currently lives in Crestview with his wife and he has two adult children and four grandchildren.
Eva Wasney is a reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press.
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