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HOOSER: A valuable policy and politics exercise

In 30 days or less voters will begin receiving their primary election ballot in the mail. Visit to register or update your registration.

On Kaua‘i, all seven council members are elected “at large” (not by district). Therefore each voter “may” cast up to seven votes. Some voters will choose to cast only a single vote for their top choice and others will cast the full seven votes they are allowed.

Prior to casting your vote, I encourage you to reach out to all 17 candidates (see complete list at bottom) who are seeking to gain one of your seven votes. Share with each your thoughts on Kaua‘i policy and politics.

Seriously. Take the time. Send each a note. Introduce yourself and share your thoughts and concerns on important County issues. The nature of their response, or their failure to respond, will help ensure you make an informed voting decision.

My own priorities include the below five topics, but please create your own list and send out that email — sooner rather than later is always best.

Bill No. 2922 will “allow the sale of intoxicating liquor at the Wailua Golf Course … and at County stadium facilities for community and special events.” Why on earth do we need to allow the sale of “intoxicating liquor” at any county facility? Nothing good, in my humble opinion, will come of this.

County Auditor: Why has the council not appointed a county auditor as required by the Charter? The council must do what’s s necessary to identify and hire a competent independent auditor whose job is to identify county government inefficiencies and expose waste, fraud and abuse.

Homeless and Houseless: Until space is available in our homeless shelters, the county should identify a suitable property, provide security and basic toilet facilities for local homeless residents to sleep in their cars at night without fear of arrest or harm. Not a 24/7 camping facility but a safe, legal place to park their cars and sleep between the hours of 6 p.m. and possibly 8 a.m.

Cesspool and Septic Conversion: Instead of forcing homeowners to pay $30,000 to $40,000 to convert from a cess-pool to a septic system, homeowners should have access to conventional modern sewer systems — end of story. Money to pay for it must come from the federal, state and county government, and the homeowners. But leadership on this issue, starting with a credible and specific long-term plan, must come from the county.

Expand Youth Programs: Kaua‘i County should have the best after-school and summer/holiday youth programs on the planet — paid for by second-home absentee owners who can well afford it. Youth sports, surfing, swimming, theatre, art, technology, and more. These programs and activities are already offered by private entrepreneurs and various organizations, and there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. The county should support increased access to existing private programs by providing funding assistance and transportation support to underserved youths who otherwise are unable to participate.

The exercise is easy really. It’s easy and it will yield valuable information upon which to base your vote.

Contact each council candidate, ask them your questions, share with them your concerns, and then compare their responses (or lack thereof) before making your final voting decision.

Abe Apilado Jr., Addison Bulosan, Bernard Carvalho, Felicia Cowden, Sherri Cummings, Billy DeCosta, Ana Mo Des, Fern Holland, Ross Kagawa, Arryl Kaneshiro, Butch W. Keahiolalo, KipuKai Kualii, Jeffrey Linder, Jacquelyn (Jakki) Nelson, Mel Rapozo, Bart Thomas, Clint Yago


Gary Hooser served eight years in the state Senate, where he was majority leader. He also served for eight years on the Kaua‘i County Council. He presently writes on Hawai‘i Policy and Politics at
Source: The Garden Island

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