“For me, I get to walk around the city and meet people. I think that is fantastic,” Dahir said Thursday about his campaign plans in Sparks. “Some people don’t like doing that, but I can’t wait to meet people. It’s going to be so fun and I truly can’t wait to be out knocking on doors and asking people questions and answering questions for people.”
Dahir is the Vice Principal at Excel Christian School and has lived in Sparks for four years after making the move from Las Vegas with his wife. He said the idea to run for office developed in Las Vegas, but it was not able to come to fruition until he made his connections in Sparks. With endorsements from former Washoe County Commissioner Chairman Bob Larkin and current Washoe County Commissioner Vice Chairman Bonnie Weber — and possibly more after the primary rlection — Dahir said he has found the traction he needs to campaign.
“The reason I have always wanted to run is because I love getting up and helping groups of people do things together and influencing them to do something bigger than themselves,” he said. “I believe in connecting people on common ground. I don’t really care what people’s background is, political or otherwise. I believe any of us can connect for a common ground. As we walk forward and look, Sparks is a good cause.”
Dahir was appointed to the Sparks Citizen’s Advisory Committee (SCAC) in 2013 by Councilman Ron Smith and he has served 11 years in school administration and 21 years as a pastor. He has a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology.
Frequenters to the Sparks City Council’s regular meetings can see Dahir sitting about three rows from the front with his black binder on his lap and his pen pushing slightly against his lower lip. He said those trips to the City Council are crucial to his campaign.
“I have done a lot of things in my life, but it would be very foolish for me to believe that I know what these people have to do,” Dahir said. “I have no idea, and nobody ‘just does’ anything. I am learning, watching and asking questions. I don’t know all the information they know and it is very hard to walk out of there saying, ‘I would have done it different.’ I think that is foolish, knowing I have not seen all they have seen.”
Dahir said his time on the SCAC has helped him see deeper into issues and city dealings. He said a major focus of his campaign will address bringing new businesses to Sparks and supporting local businesses by helping streamline the “construction process.”
“In the City of Sparks it takes about six months to get a business opened. In Reno it takes about a month,” Dahir said. “We need to change. I am not saying we need to be Reno, but we need to be a user-friendly business place.
“Maybe we can do it in two months or three months where we don’t lose some of the standards we have because some of them are very important. The neat thing is I know they (City Council) have already looked at it. We need to grow now so we can’t afford to wait five years to champion this.”
Dahir said two additional priorities he will be looking at if elected are forming a city-wide Community Day and helping secure land to build a cemetery in Sparks. Community Day would allow for each Ward in Sparks to choose which park needs the most attention and bring members of the community together with city officials and Parks and Rec. crews to beautify the city.
“Part of our job as City Council is to create opportunities for us to connect as a community, not just make decisions,” Dahir said. “That is a big goal of mine and I want us to know each other. It is going to take time, but given time, it will unfold. It is my goal to let the community see that we can do it together rather than wait for the government or somebody to go do it.”
The cemetery project is already in the works at the federal level, according to Dahir, with both Sen. Dean Heller and Congressman Mark Amodei working toward using the lot near the Spanish Springs Walmart. Dahir said the City Council has already shown strong support for military veterans and the cemetery could serve as a veteran’s memorial stage.
“I don’t think I am coming up with something new, but I do want to push for it and I will get behind it,” he said. “There are some definite hoops to jump through. We will give people more reason to come through Sparks. If we have a place where people can stop on a tour of memorial honorings, we become, again, a place that people want to come to.”
Dahir said he will begin “walking the streets” in March and will hold smaller meet-and-greet occasions in the meantime. More information on his campaign can be found at www.dahir.net.