Kauai County Council
Deputy County Attorney
Working forward to the present: farmer, waiter, chef, carpenter, cabinet and furniture maker, licensed contractor, clerk in U.S. District Court, and for the Chief Justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court; and now Deputy County Attorney for the County of Kauai.
My life experience on Kauai, my legal training and specialty law certificates in both Environmental and Native Hawaiian Law, and my four plus years of experience as Deputy County Attorney representing the County of Kauai. My experience as Deputy County Attorney has made me intimately aware of how our County operates, and sometimes fails to operate for the benefit of Kauai. My legal and practical experience leaves me particularly well situated to work toward proactive and substantive change in our County.
1) High cost and unavailability of housing; 2) low wages relative to the cost of living on Kauai; and 3) deteriorating public infrastructure stretched to its limits by current visitor and resident demands, which includes roads/traffic, water, sewer, and public facilities such as parks.
Comprehensive amendment of our land use laws to implement "smart growth" principles of higher density mixed use development in our urban and town centers where public infrastructure exists in order to provide a mix of more affordable housing options, prevent continued sprawl into agricultural and open spaces, reduce commuting pressures, and kick start local economies.
Most of the candidates running for office talk about the same issues/problems: housing, traffic, cost of living. I think what sets me apart from most is that I have a clear understanding of the scope of the County's authority and exactly how County and State law operate. This means that I have the knowledge and ability to actually craft legislation to create practical solutions to these problems, as opposed to simply publicly complaining about them and deciding to fund another study that never results in real change.
I am acutely aware that what makes Hawaii and Kauai as special as they are the Hawaiian people, and the protection of their legal rights and culture should be considered in every County government decision. To do my small part I published a guide to assist Native Hawaiian property owners in qualifying for kuleana property tax exemptions to hopefully mitigate the continued dispossession of Hawaiians. I also published a detailed legal history of land tenure in Wainiha. I am also a long time member and currently the men's coach at Hanalei Canoe Club, and sometimes captian with the Hawaiian Sailing Canoe Association.