CIVIL BEAT: Candidate Q&A
Aloha Kaua`i Ohana,
Creative approaches are needed to solve Kaua`i's challenges in this extraordinary time of national shifts brought about by the global COVID-19 strategies, storm events on Kaua`i, as well as environmental catastrophes around Hawai`i and the United States. Kaua`i is a jewel of an island, beautiful, abundant and safe; with the draw of the Garden of Eden. Populations are moving and many of our generational families, as well as our workforce risk being pressured out of their homes and off the island. Many new residents are arriving with their unique strengths and capacities hoping to contribute to their new community. We need to build win-win solutions to help assimilate our new residents, without allowing an eclipse of our vibrant history and rich culture.
Balance is the keyword in how we carefully craft our approach to the rebound of the visitor presence while diversifying our economy in ways that empower our future and honor our heritage. In 2022, Kaua`i continues in resilience as we face critical & competing challenges between health and economic viability. We honor Ni`ihau's long experience with independence.
In my first two terms in office I have held the responsibility as Committee Chair for Public Safety & Human Services, and as Vice-Chair for Public Works & Veterans' Services in which I have learned much and it continues to influence my goals.
Community Commitments & Priorities: Ideas & Visions Underway
Housing - exciting opportunities are in front of us to work with the State government that has budgeted $1 billion to address houselessness and affordable housing, with $600 million being allocated to begin addressing commitments to Hawaiian Homelands beneficiaries.
Policy Development of allowing homeowners to invest in increasing density with a second, even third unit to provide for their families will continue, increasing size of guest houses to 800 sq ft.
Tiny Home possibilities for dignified housing for our people in crisis, promoting community-first transitional villages
Support the Expansion of Public Housing and crafting an appropriate housing policy to encourage more privately funded homes
Fostering Social Enterprise Partnerships to assist with stability, progress and health for our marginalized populations
Remote & Virtual Work - to be developed and encouraged; broadband improvements and support to design more business sectors that operate in this relevant & expanding virtual economy
River & Watershed Management - partnering with state and private ownership beginning with our recent FEMA grants to manage streams and river banks
Food Production & Agriculture - prioritizing community food production, crafting policies that support the different layers from export agriculture, small diversified farms, neighborhood food production, community agriculture parks, fishing, hunting, and ranching:
Allowance of Small Retail at Farms
Removable Farmworker Housing
Facilities to Support Value-Added Products
Government encouragement for Locally-based Products to continue beyond the pandemic
Update Real Property Tax-Agricultural Dedication Tax Exemptions
Visitor Industry Renewal - working with our existing properties to emphasize a visitor base that arrives for longer time frames to a "clean, green & safe" island with a willingness to comfortably integrate into a safe environment that applauds its rich cultural heritage with a framework that highlights the resilient legacy of Hawaiian traditions. The visitor industry amplifies the example of locally-based resilience that is reflected in Kauai's reshaping economy!
Prosperity is the end goal:
we need to thrive whereas many of our people work hard to just survive.
Continuing to serve the people of the County of Kaua`i is my compelling motivation to run for a third term on the Council. My style is to actively engage with island residents and community groups by meeting them in their neighborhoods and listening to all perspectives and differing opinions. It's through these conversations at the grassroots level that we build collaborative partnerships and can focus on implementing win-win solutions for our communities.
As your Full-Time Councilperson, I don't have another job competing for my time and attention. I have made it my priority - and will continue to make it my priority - to dedicate myself to the full-time commitment that the County Council and the people of Kaua'i & Ni'ihau deserves.
I am also your Fully-Accessible Councilperson, as you can reach me directly via phone (office and cell), text, email, and even hard copy letters to express your concerns. I personally respond to constituents, will show up to meet you, and regularly interact with community members on current events and issues affecting our islands through social media, as well as at community meetings and events across the islands.
All of this helps keep me informed of what's happening and allows me to literally see the problems shown to me by the people impacted, hear from residents about their ideas for solutions, and in the end, I'm able to make better policy decisions because of it. This is how I approach my role as a Councilmember and invite you to reach out to me if you'd like to meet and share your ideas.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and I humbly ask for your support and one of your seven votes for the Kaua'i County Council.
My Community Commitments
Keeping our residents
in homes is a shared top priority of our council. Building a range of affordable solutions has had success,
with many more units needed. My personal outreach has been strongest on those
Maintaining open, honest & transparent dialogue on public health policies is a personal goal of mine, however addressing our island
fentanyl & drug dependence challenges is a highest priority
from Mauka to Makai is a focus for our sustainability as well as climate change mitigation & adaptation of
locally grown food
Continue to maintain a balanced budget & focus on Real Property Tax corrections to assist continued home ownership & focus on positioning for inflationary volatility
recognition & perpetuation of Hawaiian cultural rights & practices; inclusion at policy development level
A new landfill is essential with
materials recovery facility & point-source reduction & addressing inadequate fire-flow water availability in affected areas of the island with wastewater
improvements: cess pool to
My Professional Background
Business | Engineering | Education | Media | Agriculture
Hanalei Surf Company, Intel
Kauaʻi Community Radio
Regenerations Botanical Garden
2018 - 2022 Kaua'i County Council
Public Safety & Human Services
Public Works & Veterans Services
My experiences over the past 38 years working with the government in a range of roles
from an engineer, to a small business owner, educator, community advocate, non-profit board member & media programmer have given me a broad foundation to understand policy as it affects
our people & environment. Twelve years as a public affairs / talk show programmer on KKCR has had me fielding community concerns, coupled with my direct participation in the public process to assist in creating solutions. This role has taught me that we need to work to solve problems without having to make anybody wrong. We each win when we all win.