[ IN MEMORIAM ]
Mayor Bryan J. Baptiste
A native son chose to lead Kauai in difficult times
Political quarrels and policy disputes fall away when an elected official dies. The loss emphasizes the fleeting, unpredictable nature of life and removes the dull triviality of differences.
Bryan J. Baptiste no doubt faced lots of opposition during his six years as mayor of Kauai, but he is remembered for his humor, his good intentions and for loving the island where he lived for most of his days.
Born in Lihue, Baptiste had the imprint of Kauai embossed in his spirit. He sought to lead in a time when his community, like much of Hawaii, was evolving quickly, keeping pace with a fueled economy that brought changes and, with them, conflict between old and new.
It takes a certain amount of courage to enter the political realm as small and sequestered as Kauai. As a native son, Mayor Baptiste dared to meet the challenge.