Hawaii Island County Council
Does not apply/Nonpartisan race
www.WhyRick.org also click on the link to our Facebook page
Community volunteer, corporate secretary, subsiste
National Park Service Ranger; US Fish & Wildlife Service maintenance worker; wildland firefighter and foreman; residential construction and maintenance, small business owner in garden design and installation.
Elected to the office of corporate Secretary by the membership of Orchidland Community Association, Inc. (OLCA) for more information visit www.Orchidland.org
Previous work experience, the knowledge and ability to get the work done efficiently and effectively. I will go into County Council as proven leader in our community, and I will work with a coalition and our island community to help bring about needed changes.
Serving the office of corporate Secretary for OLCA over the past three years, has given me the opportunity to work closely with a coalition of Board Members, Road Maintenance Committee and Social/ Agricultural committee -- we have been able to serve an entire community -- 2400 property owners and 40 miles of private roads -- efficiently and effectively -- a first in over 30 years of OLCA's history. Plus, established a monthly community harvest share and market, bringing our family farmers together to share produce and growing ideas and to help feed our community.
1) Feed ourselves, feed our island -- as a subsistence farmer I know we can we ourselves -- abundant rain, agricultural land and year around growing. So why are we so dependent on the refrigerated shipping containers from the continental US -- current figures are 80-90% dependency. I see this a dangerous umbilical cord with the continental US -- if the shipping containers are disrupted or stop, people go hungry or starve.
For decades governors have been calling for change -- but the the State's food dependency has only gotten worse. It is time for the County to step up and make Agriculture and local food production our top priority. Our State Constitution calls for the protection, preservation and promotion of diversified and sustainable agriculture. Let's bring together our farmers, ranchers, hunters and fishing communities to feed ourselves and feed our island -- and truly support those who provide our local food.
2) Affordable housing, affordable living and preventing homelessness. Now In addition, we have those who are displaced, some houseless, due to the recent lava eruption and flow on the East Rift in lower Puna.
This is a complex issue and growing problem with many possible solutions. My central focus is on agriculture, and most of Puna District is zoned as agricultural land. One possible solution for Puna District is the establishment of small "Community Farms," working together with private land owners and 501c3 non profit corporations and with the County for approval and support -- these farms could provide multiple shelters, central community kitchens and facilities. These community farms could serve as transitional housing for those displaced. They could also be established as long-term affordable housing and living, with the land being placed in a Farm-Trust -- for generations to come.
3) Limited infrastructure and rapidly growing population. Puna District is primary zoned as agricultural land. The infrastructure was intended for agricultural communities and not massive residential development. The population of Puna in 2005 was approximately 25,000, it is now about 50,000.
There are many lessons to be learned with this recent lava flow and eruption -- it clearly shows us is that unrestricted residential development on an active volcanic rift is a big risk to all parties. Now is a time for the County to step back and ask the question -- is the risk worth the reward. And now is the time to shift our emphasis back to the agricultural development of our agricultural lands -- realizing that we do not have the infrastructure to support unrestricted residential development on agriculturally zoned lands.
Restore balance to County system that is out of balance.
The objective would two-fold, cut budget from the top while planting the seeds from ground up.
Budget cuts from the top. This should have happened as soon as the lava erupted and began to flow. We are in a State of emergency, the County Admin should lead by example. But no, in two months a 5 million dollar deficit was created and shortly thereafter -- the County Council and Mayor responded with GE tax increase of .25%.
Highest legislative priority -- budget cuts from the top -- in January 2018 the County Council and Major approved a budget that included a 1.3 million dollar annual raise for themselves. Taking County Council salaries from $52,000 to $70,000 annually. By Charter this a part-time job, a second job for many. My point, I am a taxpayer and we are in a state of emergency -- County Council and the Mayor are elected officials -- elected to public service, it is time to put public service first and the paycheck second. I am the only candidate for County Council calling for a 50% pay reduction for those County Administration who received salary increases in January 2018 -- that cut back alone would put about 2 million dollars per year back into the general fund.
Second highest priority, repeal the must spend 2%, about 2 million dollars a year, of the County Charter directive that calls for the purchase of more County land.
Third, put Charter restrictions on the power of the Mayor.
All three priorities can be achieved with new County Council leadership, a coalition of 5 and ballot initiatives that are passed by the taxpayers/ voters.
Long and short, that's about 4 million dollars per year back into the general fund -- just cutting from the top -- and that is only the beginning.
My campaign, our campaign, is Back to the Basics: feed ourselves, feed our island -- sustainable agri-culture. We will regain our food independence and establish our food security. I am a pro-AG candidate from chickens to hemp and everything in-between. It is time for the State to decriminalize and legalize cannabis -- let our farmers grow, and let's create new businesses and revenue for the County.
Back to the Basics -- Representation, Accountability and Workable Solutions. Fiscal responsibility -- better management of your tax dollars, cutting from the top -- we will have more funds to maintain and improve our infrastructure -- roads, water, sewer and waste management.
My name is Ric Wirick (Why Rick), my top priority is serving our island community, to help bring us together as one Ohana -- Mahalo nui loa