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Know Your Candidates - Honolulu City Council
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Know Your Candidates - Honolulu City Council

The League of Women Voters of Honolulu surveyed the candidates for City Council in the run-off races in November. Nine of 12 candidates responded. The candidates were asked the following questions:

  1. Nonpoint source pollution is having a deleterious effect on our bays and beaches islandwide. How will you in your role as a councilmember address this problem?

  2. The life of the Waimanalo Gulch landfill is limited; what measures would you support to address the city's solid waste problems?

  3. What areas on Oahu should be preserved for agriculture and other open space uses?

  4. What can councilmembers do to foster greater trust in public officials?

Candidates were told that the compiled information would be circulated, unedited, and as widely as possible.

CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES
SURVEY NOV 2002 ELECTION

District I

Mike Gabbard

1. Nonpoint source pollution is having a deleterious effect on our bays and beaches islandwide. How will you in your role as a council member address this problem?
As founder/president of Healthy Hawaii Coalition, I have had the wonderful opportunity of organizing an educational program, which has taught hundreds of Windward elementary school students about the importance of protecting the watersheds. If elected, I plan on using my position to encourage educational programs aimed at teaching people about caring for the environment. I also will work closely with the Department of Environmental Services to ensure that policies are in place to protect our bays and beaches.

2. The life of the Waimanalo Gulch landfill is limited; what measures would you support to address the city's solid waste problems?
It is time for us to come up with a real solution to our landfill problem and the time to act is now. Instead of relying on outdated technology, Honolulu should be an innovator and leader when it comes to municipal solid waste management. This is why I am enthusiastic about high tech solutions, such as plasma gasification vitrification (pgv) as an alternative to solid waste disposal. PGV is cost-effective, environmentally-friendly, produces electricity, generates revenue, and would make a landfill unnecessary on Oahu.

3. What areas on Oahu should be preserved for agriculture and other open spaces?
I live in Ewa Beach and have the opportunity almost daily to drive by the beautiful agricultural lands that run along the H-1. These agricultural lands give many small farmers the ability to rent a plot of land and grow produce for their families or to sell. I'd like to see these agricultural lands preserved, as well as many other open spaces, such as Waahila Ridge, Kahuku, and other beaches and coastline.

4. What can councilmembers do to foster greater trust in public officials?
The recent dishonesty and selfishness of some our leaders has undermined peoples' faith in the democratic process. We need to restore faith in our democracy by fostering a new kind of leadership devoted to serving community - rather than self-interest. If elected, I pledge to be a public servant in the best sense of the word-to be involved in the community, to be accessible, and to stand up and fight for the people who have elected me to represent them.

Pamela Witty-Oakland

l. Nonpoint source pollution is having a deleterious effect on our bays and beaches islandwide. How will you in your role as a councilmember address this problem?
With the ocean serving as Oahu's greatest natural resource I support policies to protect the water quality. Our economy is dependent on clean water for the fishing industry and tourism market. I will work hand-in-hand with the state Department of Health, Environmental Management Division through the implementation and enforcement of federal, state and county policies to ensure the protection of our bays and beaches.

2. The life of the Waimanalo Gulch landfill is limited; what measures would you support to address the city's solid waste problems?
The location of the City's landfill - adjacent to a resort area - is an incompatible land use. I support closure of the Waimanalo Gulch landfill and implementation of policies to eliminate the dependency on landfills, including the use of new technology for disposal and recycling of the waste stream. Given that no community wants a landfill in their neighborhood, I propose that everyone participates in the remedy through curbside recycling.

3. What areas on Oahu should be preserved for agriculture and other open space uses?
All undeveloped shorelines of Oahu should be preserved as open space and maintained for public use and access. To define the agriculture boundaries of Oahu, I support the continued use of communitybased planning as currently implemented through the city's development plans and sustainable community plans. The plans define the urban growth boundary and thus insure protected open space and agriculture lands.

4. What can councilmembers do to foster greater trust in public officials?
To foster greater trust in public officials councilmembers must lead by example and maintain a high moral and ethical standard. As an accountant 1 answer to a Code of Ethics, as a mother I answer to my parental responsibilities, as a council member I will answer to my constituents. I own my constituents the trust they gave me through their vote of confidence that I was the best candidate to serve their community.

District II

Donovan Dela Cruz

1. Nonpoint source pollution is having a deleterious effect on our bays and beaches islandwide. How will you in your role as a councilmember address this problem?
Many communities have successful watershed programs that protect the environment. More community partnerships need to be established. I will take an active role in pursuing the protection of our environment.

2. The life of the Waimanalo Gulch landfill is limited; what measures would you support to address the city's solid waste problems?
We need to pursue new technologies immediately that allow clean recycling and energy efficencies. We also need to review the oversight of the landfill management and consider the alternatives to the landfill.

3. What areas on Oahu should be preserved for agriculture and other open space uses?
All areas already slated for agriculture according to the sustainable communities plans need to be preserved. These plans have input for community members and has broad based community support.

4. What can councilmembers do to foster greater trust in public officials?
We need to lead by example. All information needs to be accessible to the public, including access on the web. The establishment of the city auditor will also provide better accountability.

Gerald T. Hagino

1. Nonpoint source pollution is having a deleterious effect on our bays and beaches islandwide. How will you in your role as a councilmember address this problem?
In areas where construction is going on, make sure there is no run off from construction area. Monitor bays, beaches & rivers to see what is going into them, especially areas with cesspools.

2. The life of the Waimanalo Gulch landfill is limited; what measures would you support to address the city's solid waste problems?
Greater recycling efforts. Continue upgrading of H-Power to divert items from going to landfill. Find uses for ash from H-Power.

3. What areas on Oahu should be preserved for agriculture and other open space uses?
Generally the Central Oahu area and other places designated Agricultural.

4. What can councilmembers do to foster greater trust in public officials?
Start with the elected official by electing those who will work to uphold high ethical standards. Have public officials work closely with communities to build bridges rather than walls.

District III

Stan Koki

1. Nonpoint source pollution is having a deleterious effect on our bays and beaches islandwide. How will you in your role as a councilmember address this problem?
There is an ecological system that uses microorganisms, plants, and aquatic animals to remove harmful pollutants from the streams before it finds its way into the ocean. We would build catchments continuing this system that the streams would pass through on its way to the ocean. This system can also be used to treat sewage. It is cheaper to build and to maintain than the current sewer treatment methods. By using this method we could recycle the water for irrigation use instead of dumping it into the ocean.

2. The life of the Waimanalo Gulch landfill is limited; what measures would you support to address the city's solid waste problems?
There is a patented system called Plasma Gasification/Virtrification [PGV]. This system will turn 100% of biological waste into gas and electrical energy. It would convert nearly 100% of non-biological waste [steel, concrete etc.] into gas and the by-product is an inert, non-polluting material that can be used for construction purposes. This system would make landfills unnecessary. It is already in use in Europe and Japan where land is scarce.

3. What areas on Oahu should be preserved for agriculture and other open space uses?
I agree with the current general development plan of designated agricultural and rural areas - Koolaupoko, Koolauloa, North Shore, and Waianae. I favor a development plan that limits growth to the Primary Urban Core, the secondary urban center at Kapolei, and the Ewa and Central Oahu urban fringe area. Urban sprawl would lead to an untenable situation in traffic.

4. What can councilmembers do to foster greater trust in public officials?
No one enters the political arena intending to break the law. So we must start with little things. Like accepting small gifts. The city council should abide by strict rules regarding this. The City Council member must be diligent in attending classes on ethics. These classes will give the new member a good idea of what is acceptable and what is not. The council member must always feel accountable to their constituents. The entire district feels tainted when the member fails.

Barbara Marshall

1. Nonpoint source pollution is having a deleterious effect on our bays and beaches islandwide. How will you in your role as a councilmember address this problem?
We need to be more diligent in our support of programs to monitor water quality. We should follow recommendations of the Kailua Bay Advisory Council, including a program to empower the public as monitors of resources and try for better enforcement of laws protecting our water quality. As a councilmember I will move to encourage developing a training program for interested citizens who can serve as the eyes and ears of the government in helping to control pollution.

2. The life of the Waimanalo Gulch landfill is limited; what measures would you support to address the city's solid waste problems?
We need a multi-track approach to our solid waste problems-beginning yesterday!! First and foremost, we need to immediately create a major recycling facility on Oahu and institute mandatory recycling. At the same time we need to keep abreast of developments in technology of waste disposal, including vitrification. We may need to expand H-Power while other technologies are developed, as the plasma technologies aren't yet up to the capacity we need. And we certainly need to minimize dependence on landfills.

3. What areas on Oahu should be preserved for agriculture and other open space uses?
We need to have agriculture and open space in many areas of Oahu. Certainly in District 3, Waimanalo must be preserved as a center for agribusiness. I don't foresee reducing the amount of land in conservation use and, while I'm not opposed to development, I believe we must move cautiously and thoughtfully in any development that would reduce the open spaces in any area of the Island. Our mountains, beaches and parks must be vigilantly preserved.

4. What can councilmembers do to foster greater trust in public officials?
Councilmembers must foster greater trust by telling the truth. They must conduct exemplary campaigns, serve with honor, and be available to their constituents with open dialogue. But only if we tell the people the truth will they trust again.

District IV

Charles Kong Djou

1. Nonpoint source pollution is having a deleterious effect on our bays and beaches islandwide. How will you in your role as a councilmember address this problem?
Direct Dept. of Environmental Services to increase public awareness education. Get students involved.
Allow people to drop off hazardous material at refuse transfer stations and landfill sites Increase frequency of hazardous material collection schedule. Provide seed money and/or resources to communities to conduct voluntary stream cleaning activities Coordinate with State DOH to reduce or eliminate duplication of services. Prosecute repeat polluters.

2. The life of the Waimanalo Gulch landfill is limited; what measures would you support to address the city's solid waste problems?
Expand H-Power Plant capacity.
Engage UH Civil Engineering Department to experiment and adopt new usage of HPower ashes such as ash/cement paving stones, Glasscrete, Rubber ship pavement for parks and streets.
Provide tax credit to encourage waste category separation in large condo projects to facilitate re-cycling.
Encourage local manufacturing to convert glass and plastic wastes to produce termite-proof building products. Consider Kapaa and Halawa quarries as new landfill sites as last resorts.

3. What areas on Oahu should be preserved for agriculture and other open space uses?
Pristine valley interiors that have readily available stream water and high rainfalls are prime sites for new or renewed agriculture development, such as Waihole, Waikane, Kahana, Kahuku, Waialua to name a few.
All existing commercially viable farmland.

4. What can councilmembers do to foster greater trust in public officials?
Maintain personal integrity. Open committee hearings, sunshine rules for all budget debate process. Mandate departmental audit before approving budget increase request.
Adopt Federal procurement guidelines for contract awards.
Encourage Design/Build contracts. Publicize contract award details.
Hold public hearings on any contract with an overrun of more than $1,000,000.00 or 50% of its original bid.

Robert Fishman

1. Nonpoint source pollution is having a deleterious effect on our bays and beaches islandwide. How will you in your role as a councilmember address this problem?
Will continue to support public education efforts combating NPS pollution in Oahu's streams. Will support monitoring of potential trouble areas which have grown into earlier problems. Will do everything possible to expedite dredging of the Ala Wai, and to support public education on the severe financial and public health consequences of neglect in this area. Will also continue strong support of storm drain warnings against disposal of trash and polluting substances.

2. The life of the Waimanalo Gulch landfill is limited; what measures would you support to address the city's solid waste problems?
Examine feasibility of a second garbageto-energy facility, and if feasible, initiate efforts to establish such a facility through privatization means. Strengthen public education on separation of green waste from normal trash pickup, thereby relieving one of the most inefficient users of landfill space. Begin public education on additional forms of recycling, in addition to green waste, implement such additional recycling procedures as early as possible.

3. What areas on Oahu should be preserved for agriculture and other open space uses?
The City's current development priority of populating the Ewa plain in West Oahu should be retained. Central Oahu should be preserved as the prime area for largescale commercial agriculture for the maximum time possible. Individual farms, diversified farming, and specialty crops should be encourage in appropriate valleys, and rural tracts island-wide, including the Windward Coast, preserving a critical cultural element of the island's lifestyle.

4. What can councilmembers do to foster greater trust in public officials?
The City Council must conduct itself on a mature, open, honest level. Councilmembers' priority must always be the concerns of citizens and the well being of the community. Complex decision-making should be made in the open as often as possible, and councilmembers should attend community activities and neighborhood board meetings as often as possible. Watchwords must be honesty, openness, fairness, and good management practices.

District VI

John Steelquist

I.Nonpoint source pollution is having a deleterious effect on our bays and beaches islandwide. How will you in your role as a councilmember address this problem?
Non-point source pollution is a complex problem that I have dealt with for years as a Board Member of the Ala Wai Watershed Association. It involves government, business, and citizens. The Federal Government has funds and laws, the State can exclude questionable substances, business makes nonpolluting choices, and citizens take action to reduce pollution. As the government closest to the people, the City should encourage, facilitate, and coordinate activities. Event liability protection and immediate trash pickup are specific examples.

2. The life of the Waimanalo Gulch landfill is limited; what measures would you support to address the city's solid waste problems?
The long-range solution is in reducing the waste stream. Recycling, reuse, reduction, and replacement are ways to accomplish this. The city should encourage these with incentives. In the intermediate range, technology can reduce the need for landfill. We should continue to evaluate and implement cost effective technology. The recent extension of the Waimanalo Gulch landfill was unfortunate. With better planning the city could have avoided the problem. We need to plan so we do not have this situation again.

3. What areas on Oahu should be preserved for agriculture and other open space uses?
Most existing agricultural lands should be preserved. Green space should be gradually introduced in the urban areas. It is foolish to destroy the beauty of our islands. The concept that concrete is the "highest and best use" should be rethought. Long-range economic viability is an overriding consideration. There should be a balance between environment and development.

4. What can councilmembers do to foster greater trust in public officials?
Councilmembers must be honest and open in their public and private dealings. They should lead by example. Following the City Charter, they should hold themselves and their colleagues to a higher standard. They should listen to their constituents. As a neighborhood Board Chair, I have little respect for an elected official who month after month sends a letter excusing himself from attending the Board. Availability lends credibility.

Rod Tam

Did not respond to the survey.

District IX

Nestor Garcia

Did not respond to the survey.

Michael Nakamura

Did not respond to the survey.
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