Press "Enter" to skip to content

TGI candidate profile: Michael Roven Poai

Michael Roven Poai

• Age: 47

• Occupation: machine operator

• Town of residence: Kapa‘a

• Prior experience in government/leadership: Former member, Kapa‘a Rotary Club.

Q: The median price of a single-family home on Kaua‘i is over $1 million, and the county’s 2018 General Plan reported 44% of all households are cost burdened. How will you address the affordable housing crisis in Kaua‘i County?

We must get serious about affordable-home ownership and look to increase our housing supply. We should focus on improving our policies and how the county can assist in funding affordable housing for our local families.

If there are funds committed to housing, where are they being directed to? How much of those funds are being directed to home ownership and how many to rental housing?

When it comes to housing, more of our efforts should be aimed towards home ownership and towards individuals who are cost burdened. We need to be more targeted.

Q: The coronavirus pandemic decimated the tourism industry Kaua‘i and the state are so reliant upon. Should Kaua‘i County make economic diversity a priority, and if so, how?

Absolutely. We should be looking at other sectors in our community, begin to explore them, and then take advantage of those markets to help with our economic diversification.

Energy and diversity exist, but our focus has been too narrow, and that is very understandable knowing that Hawai‘i has been promoted as a tourist destination.

Q: Kaua‘i continues to look for a new landfill site, years after its search began. The clock is ticking: The Kekaha landfill is currently projected to reach capacity in January 2027. What is your preferred solution?

We need to focus on more robust recycling efforts and help support those efforts by making it more convenient for residents to begin recycling from the comfort of their home. Currently the County charges for trash only pick up. The county should provide receptacles for bottles and plastics, and small item card boards like they do in cities on the mainland instead of one for trash pick-up only.

We should also be investing and learning how to implement strategies used by cities and governments around the world that have taken control of their landfill problems and turned it into energy. We need to model ourselves with those towns and cities who have turned their garbage crisis around and stop talking about our issues and start doing something about it.

Q: The reality of climate change is more apparent than ever. The Kaua‘i County General Plan notes the island can expect local sea levels to rise by 3 feet, minimum, by the second half of this century. How must the County adapt to this and other climate-related contingencies?

This is a sensitive issue and the debates that surround climate change rage on. Depending on who you speak to or what side of the issue you stand on, the fact of the matter is, our climate is changing. We need to stop thinking of only ourselves and instead start thinking about our future generations and the problems they will face because of our lack of acting now to address the problems of climate change that’s staring us right in the face.

Our efforts must extend far beyond our shores, but we need to start here and start now. Any worthwhile endeavor or movement begins with one person and that influence must grow until those voices cannot be ignored.

The climate is losing and when she is gone, we will only be left with ourselves to blame. So, let’s look at energy efficiency and implement more of those strategies to help combat climate change and preserving our habitat and ecosystem. What can the role of technology play? Can we do more to improve our public health, water, air, etc.

Q: What is driving you to seek election, and why should voters give you, their vote?

We live in a society that is driven by excess and greed; by fast food and instant fixes; by get rich quick money schemes, and an attitude driven by entitlement. It’s infiltrated the very fabric of our society, into our government, and even our family’s, and once good people have been swallowed up by a wave of cynicism and a what’s in it for me attitude that we’ve lost our way.

I am running because I want us to return to our small-town values, where everyone was your aunty and uncle, where trust in our leadership was unquestionable, and respect of our kupuna and our land was foremost.

I am running because I see a need for a leader who is the voice for not only the haves, but the have-nots. It’s time for a leader who is not afraid to do the right thing even when it hurts and whose main mission is to serve.
Source: The Garden Island

Be First to Comment

    Leave a Reply

    %d bloggers like this: