Duties: The County Council is the legislative branch of the County. Council is responsible for passing the laws that govern the county, as enacted by ordinance and written in the Hawaii County Code.Areas Represented: Portion of South Hilo, North Hilo, Hāmākua and portion of WaimeaHow Elected: The County Council consists of nine members elected from geographical districts. Members are elected on a non-partisan basis. A Councilmember must be a qualified resident and registered voter of the district from which the person is to be elected for at least 90 days immediately preceding the primary election.A candidate who receives the majority of votes cast (i.e., more than fifty percent excluding blank and overvotes) or is unopposed for the office in the first special election, held in conjunction with the primary election, is deemed elected. The contest will not appear in the second special election, held in conjunction with the general election.If no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast for the office in the first special election, the two (2) candidates, receiving the most votes in the first special election, will appear on the second special election ballot. The candidate who receives the highest number of votes at the second special election is deemed elected (Hawaii County Charter, Article XIII, Section 13-27).Term: Two years, limited to a maximum of four consecutive full terms.Base Salary: Councilmember - $70,008; Chairperson - $77,016
BS Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and
MS Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science, University of Hawaii, Hilo
Member of the Hawaii County Board of Appeals,
Advocacy Chair for the Zonta Club of Hilo,
Coach and former board member Kamehameha Canoe Club,
Chair of the Hawaii County Committee of the Democratic Party,
Sierra Club of Hawaii State Chapter Executive and Conservation Committees,
Member of the Hawaii Women’s Coalition,
Member of the Vibrant Hawaii Housing Coalition,
Co-founder of Take Back Lincoln Park,
Coordinator for Make Voting Matter,
Former Secretary of the Grassroots Community Development Group,
Former Vice Chair of the Hawaii National Women's Political Caucus,
Former treasurer for the Hilo Intermediate Band Boosters,
Former student representative on the UH Hilo Graduate Council,
I am running for Hawaii County Council because I want to do my part to give back to Hawaii and help shape the future of our community; a future where our children can develop rewarding careers, create homes for their families and stay connect to the larger community and our island. I hold both elected and volunteer positions in many community service organizations. I have prior professional leadership experience, managing multimillion-dollar budgets and staff. As a candidate in District 1 for the last several years, my understanding of our community needs is current and inclusive. I hope to use my personal and professional experience on the Council to help respond to the increasingly complex challenges facing our Hawaii County community.
My top goals will be economic recovery and increasing housing access. I will ensure that our county uses all available state and federal recovery funding by creating a grant managing position in the county to apply for and manage grant funding. I will also work to ensuring more local dollars circulate within our community by reducing barriers for local producers and business and providing community development support. Homeownership is often out of reach for many working families our community living paycheck to paycheck. If elected, I will support a revolving housing fund and work on code revisions which will allow for increased density in already developed areas that are close to our island’s economic centers and existing infrastructure.
To address climate change, I will focus on increasing energy efficiency within county facilities and reducing waste by expanding technological infrastructure. I will work to advance the electrification of the county fleet and mass transit system. I will expand the requirements and incentives for green construction of new buildings, including EV charging stations. I will introduce restrictions on single use plastics and point of purchase charges on goods for recycling. I will work to support local agriculture, soil carbon conservation and make more lands available for reforestation efforts. In addition to mitigation, I will work to ensure that our community roads, bridges and facilities are resilient to the impacts of climate charge.
Honoka'a Elementary School;
Honoka'a High & Intermediate School;
Attended University of Hawaii Hilo
Honoka'a Elementary Association President; "Voice of the Honoka'a Dragons" announcing High School Sports; Chaired Honoka'a High School 130-Years Celebration; Past Chair of the Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church Holy Ghost Feast Bazaar Fundraiser & current Auctioneer for the event; former Assistant Coach High School Football; Past President of the Hamakua Jaycees; former member of the Hamakua Lions Club and Mauna Kea Jaycees.
I was elected six times by Council District 1 serving for 12 years on the County Council. My colleagues selected me to leadership roles: Chairman Hawaii County Council; Chairman Finance Committee; Chairman Environmental Management and Public Works and Parks Committee. 40 years of management experience responsible for hundreds of employees and multi-million dollar businesses and properties. My vast experience puts me in the best position to work to stimulate and diversify the economy, balance the County $500-600 million $ budget without raising taxes, and supporting agriculture by opening up County and State lands for farming opportunities for residents willing to work hard and bring our vacant lands back to productive use.
If the 2021-2022 County of Hawaii Budget is not handled properly, the burden will be placed on our residents to pay higher real property taxes and fees to make up for the shortfall. Raising taxes is the easy way out for politicians so be weary of anyone saying that raising taxes would be the last resort. I pledge not to support raising your taxes and fees to balance the budget. I will strongly advocate living within our means by prioritizing budgeted expenses. We will designate personnel to specifically seek grants and aid to help bring in revenues to support our budget. However, it is important to note that I will not support County employee pay cuts to wages already agreed upon through collective bargaining agreements.
I will formulate a volunteer sub-committee of environmentalist; scientist; hawaiian cultural advisors; fisherman; business; student representatives; and others to recommend legislation to address threats due to climate change. This sub-committee would recommend changes or additions to our existing laws. Recommendations would be specific to Hawaii Island and made directly to the Hawaii County Council for review and consideration. Governmental Officials at the State and County level may not have the expertise needed to formulate law and address the threats of climate change. We should not be afraid to seek help and guidance from people within our community that has the expertise, passion, and dedication to address this important issue