Does not apply/Nonpartisan race
Deputy Prosecutor, County of Maui. Attorney in Private Practice.
Councilmember 2013 to present
I've spent considerable time preparing myself for public service through education and work experience. I started by obtaining my law degree and passing the Hawaii State Bar. I was an aide at the Legislature for Representative Tom Okomura and I worked for Mazie Hirono as her representative on Maui. I worked for the Maui Prosecutor's office then joined the small business community as an attorney in private practice. I'm a husband and father of three, and have been the Councilember representing Kahului, and the people of Maui County for the past 6 years. Throughout my career I have also volunteered and held leadership positions in various organizations and nonprofit groups.
First, we are in the midst of a housing crisis on all levels. There are insufficient options for working individuals and parents, for seniors or for people who have found themselves homeless. Second, we need to restore the confidence that County Government is there to make the best decisions possible on your behalf. We also need to put our customers first. I will appoint a team of qualified individuals who want to serve and who want to emphasize through their leadership that the County exists to facilitate our lives in these islands. Third, Maui is drawing pressure for growth from around the world. We need to strike a sustainable balance between environmental protection, quality of life and economic development.
As Mayor my initial legislative focus will be to ensure this County is preparing for resiliency. We need to revisit our ability to provide basic services and to bounce back after a natural or man-made disaster. As an island community we also need to prepare for the volatility that is being created by climate change and sea-level rise.
For families or individuals who are suffering directly or indirectly from our housing crisis, my administration will become a leader in affordable housing development. Maui County has been waiting around for developers to do the job. It hasn't happened. I'll continue to be supportive of private affordable housing developers, but we're going to get out there and create our own projects.
By ensuring that each of my appointed positions is filled by a truly qualified person with the knowledge, and commitment to the community that it takes to do a great job, I am confident residents will see improvements wherever they interact with the County.
Looking into the future I plan to focus on the completion of our Community Plan Updates so that each region can decide how it will grow or preserve over the coming years.
I am concerned that our community is becoming too polarized, almost to the point of dysfunction. The issues we need to move forward on are rarely black and white, but most of what the County handles are basic life services. I will continue to try to bring people to a middle ground. I expect people to have strong feelings about the issues that affect their lives, but we need to come together, have an intelligent discussion, listen to opposing points of view, but at the end of the day we need to work together and bring real solutions forward.