Ex-Big Isle mayor plans re-election
HILO » Big Island mayoral elections are 14 months away, but former Mayor Lorraine Inouye yesterday announced that she wants to return to the post she held in 1990-92.
"As mayor, I want to tackle our serious infrastructure, solid waste, environmental management and public safety needs," Inouye said.
"I'm really concerned about our roads and highways," she said. Problems are especially acute in fast-growing West Hawaii and the East Hawaii district of Puna.
Inouye has served in governmental posts since 1974, starting with the county Planning Commission (1974-79), then the State Plan Policy Council (1980-84), the County Council (1984-1990), mayor (1990-92) and as a state senator since 1998.
With incumbent Harry Kim ending his second term and ineligible to run, the race is wide open, more so because candidates run without party affiliation and West Hawaii has grown to be a voting power.
Councilmen Angel Pilago of Kona and Stacy Higa of Hilo have also declared their candidacies.
Harry Kim's aide Billy Kenoi has sent mixed signals, at times saying he is a candidate, other times saying he isn't.
Inouye says the competition doesn't worry her. She has faced tougher opponents, such as Steve Yamashiro, who ousted her in 1992 and held the post for the eight years.