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Short deadline looms for City Council race


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POSTED: Sunday, July 19, 2009
                       
This story has been corrected. See below.

Fourteen candidates have three weeks to get their message out to the voters of City Council District 5.

Ballots for the special mail-in vote went out Friday, with a deadline of Aug. 7 to return ballots to the City Clerk's Office.

Candidates and their supporters have been canvassing the district—which runs from Manoa Valley to the Ala Wai Canal and includes Manoa, Palolo, Moiliili and Kapahulu—crowding street corners with sign wavers and showing up in force at various community forums.

Ads have started to pop up in recent days, too.

The short time frame of the special election—the second for the City Council in the past five months—leaves little time to raise money, and even less time to spend it.

But that is one of the factors that makes the race attractive to so many contenders, said veteran political scientist Neal Milner.

“;You don't need as much money, at least on the surface, because it's a short period of time,”; he said. “;As usual, more money is better than less money, but there is a little bit more of reliance on grassroots.

“;Still, I'm guessing that you're talking about a six-figure campaign if you're serious here.”;

The first spending report for candidates is due July 28.

; Meanwhile, there still are a handful of community forums scheduled between now and the voting deadline for candidates to get their names and positions out to the public.

Newcomers, so far, have urged voters to buck the trend of business as usual and elect a fresh face, while past politicians have touted experience and an ability to step in immediately on the City Council.

Although the Council already has passed the budget, members still face decisions on spending projects, bed and breakfast/transient vacation unit legislation and solid waste shipping issues in the coming months.

Candidates are vying to replace Duke Bainum, who died June 9 of an aneurysm just months after returning to the Council.

The winner of the special election would serve out the remainder of Bainum's term, which ends in 2012, and be eligible to run for two more terms.

About 47,000 ballots have been mailed to voters in the district.

Bainum's death came four months after that of Barbara Marshall, who died Feb. 22 of colon cancer. Councilman J. Ikaika Anderson, Marshall's longtime aide, won a special mail-in election to fill her vacancy.

               

     

 

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Heidi L. Bornhorst

        Age: 51

        Profession or current employment: Landscape Consultant

        Other pertinent experience: Landscape Director, Hale Koa Hotel; Director of Honolulu Botanical Gardens; Owner of HawaiiScapes Landscape Consultant firm; Xeriscape planner/ Skills trainer Board of Water Supply; Horticulturist for Honolulu Zoo; Numerous community groups
       

Q: What qualifies you to be a City Council member?
        A: Lifelong resident, working person and community advocate with a practical maintenance background. I've worked my way up in the city, mainly in parks, the zoo, Board of Water Supply and Honolulu Botanical Gardens. I know how to work with all kinds of people, administrate and come in under budget for routine and capital projects. Strong planning and preventative maintenance skills.

       

Q: What do you feel is the biggest problem facing District 5 and what would you do about it?
        A: Cost of living, and traffic. Ensure city tax dollars are spent wisely. Good planning and preventative maintenance. As a maintenance professional, always plan and budget for long term preventative maintenance. It always takes longer and costs more than you think. Roads for example should be built well using the best technology for our conditions. Build it right the first time and it will save us TIME and money in the long term. Fixing things, keeping parks and public facilities free, clean and in good repair is good for business and for quality of life on Oahu.

       

Q: What is your stance on regulation of residential care homes?
        A: We tend to live long lives here in Hawaii, and we love our families and lovely old neighborhoods. We care for our kupuna. My father is 87 and my father-in-law is 90. Proximity equals good care for all. Carefully regulated, well-designed care homes with adequate parking and landscaping to blend into neighborhoods. No one street or neighborhood should be full of huge, wall-to-wall, concreted treeless industrial “;homes”; of any kind.

       

Q: What is your stance on establishing a separate homeowners' class for property tax rates?
        A: Property tax is the city's main income. There has been talk about changing the way we assess and classify property. We need to be very careful here. We can give relief to homeowners by increasing the homeowner exemption and we can give tax credits. We also need to protect the rights of renters.

       

Q: What solid-waste solutions should be pursued to alleviate the need for a landfill on Oahu?
        A: Recycling of restaurant food wastes and used oil, support those businesses and give them the zoned space to do so. True recycling, backyard composting and neighborhood mulch distribution sites, HPOWER works pretty well. The city is adding a third boiler. More separation and re-use of valuable items like soil, construction debris, repairable furniture and appliances should be done and create some jobs. Stores who sell the items should redeem the plastics, bottles etc. Make it simple and easy and most people will do the right thing.

       

Q: How should the city proceed on the development of the rail transit system?
        A: Carefully. With good planning, following environmental regulations, ensuring federal funding, and budgeting with a plan for long term maintenance. The route is very important and so far it's just on paper, so building out from the city center makes more sense. The UH-Manoa and LCC should be included. Proper maintenance is vital for transit, and all city endeavors. Development has always followed transit. Make sure landowners who profit from higher use of their land contribute to a livable environment for us. It should be cool and green around the stations

       

 

       

               

     

 

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Michael Cain

        Age: 43

        Profession or current employment: Environmental Planner, Department of Land and Natural Resources

        Other pertinent experience: Representative for St. Louis Heights, Neighborhood Board No. 5 2007-present; Researcher, Community Based Environmental Management, Samoa and Guam (through UH-Manoa) 2002-2004; Program Development, Crisis Response Systems Project (Suicide and Crisis Center) 1996-2001; Public Health Work, Chuuk, Micronesia (Peace Corps) 1991-1993
       

Q: What qualifies you to be a City Council member?
        A: We need Council Members who are out and visible members of the community. I have 20 years experience doing front-line community work, both as a social services worker and as an urban planner. This provides me direct insight into the needs of our citizens, an awareness of which programs work and an ability to translate policy into action.

       

Q: What do you feel is the biggest problem facing District 5 and what would you do about it?
        A: We need to protect our neighborhoods from development pressures, and ensure that the needs of our residents come first when making policy and planning decisions. We still have beautiful residential neighborhoods; we need to make sure they are not sacrificed to the needs of the tourist industry. We still have intact, affordable and working-class neighborhoods; we need to make sure that they are not razed to make room for luxury high-end condos. We have homeless residents sleeping in our parks; we need to increase the range of affordable options for them so that they can lift themselves off the streets.

       

Q: What is your stance on regulation of residential care homes?
        A: We have a pressing social need for more care homes, and if they are designed right they can and should be an integral part of the fabric of our community. I would prefer to see our elderly live in healthy and vibrant neighborhoods, rather than in large institutions. Care homes should be closely regulated, but not restricted.

       

Q: What is your stance on establishing a separate homeowners' class for property tax rates?
        A I would support this measure, with reservations. We need to protect homeowners. We also need to be wary of creating a “;don't tax us, tax them”; mentality.

       

Q: What solid-waste solutions should be pursued to alleviate the need for a landfill on Oahu?
        A: We need to start treating excessive waste as a socially unacceptable vice. Recycling is important, and increasing the capacity of HPOWER is important, but both approaches will only have minimal impact as long as our per capita production of solid waste continues to skyrocket.

       

Q: How should the city proceed on the development of the rail transit system?
        A: We need to start aggressively involving the neighborhoods along the route in the planning and design stages. We will see billions of dollars spent on direct development of rail, which will in turn spur outside investors and landowners to invest further. We need to ensure that this money is spent improving the conditions of our neighborhoods, and demand that the redevelopment includes complete streets, bike lanes, and more open space and parks.

       

 

       

               

     

 

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Wendell S. L. Ching

        Age: 67

        Profession or current employment: Retired/consultant

        Other pertinent experience: wendellslching.com
       

Q: What qualifies you to be a City Council member?
        A: U.S. citizen, resident of District 5, registered voter in the district, brings a fresh approach to problems of safety, crime, high property taxes and concerns that face District 5 constituents.

       

Q: What do you feel is the biggest problem facing District 5 and what would you do about it?
        A: In these hard economic times the high property taxes and valuations are out of control and putting an unreasonable burden on homeowners who have no intention of ever selling their homes. Homeowner tax credits must be given to homeowners who do not speculate and are willing to promise long term ownership.

       

Q: What is your stance on regulation of residential care homes?
        A: Residential care homes must be regulated and OK'd by neighborhood boards. Surrounding neighbors should be given the chance to voice their concerns. The number of beds and homes should be regulated.

       

Q: What is your stance on establishing a separate homeowners class for property tax rates?
        A: As the current chairman for Board of Review II, I am totally in favor of establishing a separate homeowner's class for property owners. Credit should be given to seniors, medically handicapped, and should be on a sliding scale based on the number of years the property has been in the family's name.

       

Q: What solid waste solutions should be pursued to alleviate the need for a landfill on Oahu?
        A: Soil and engineering studies should be conducted to find areas suitable for ocean landfills like Kakaako Park. There are many coastal shorelines where landfill can be implemented.

       

Q: How should the city proceed on the development of the rail system?
        A: The city should proceed only if federal government moneys are given as promised. Construction should start from the city (Ala Moana Center) and proceed outward to Kapolei. Land condemnation in the city is going to get costly by the time (15 years to complete) we finish the project. People will use the rail as we go outward ... not so if we start from Kapolei.

       

 

       

               

     

 

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Gladys Gerlich Hayes

        Age: 77

        Profession or current employment: Retired

        Other pertinent experience: Ran for state Senate, 6th district, twice; Raised four children.
       

Q: What qualifies you to be a City Council member?
        A: Serving on Neighborhood Board 6 (Palolo). Ran for state Senate (District 6) twice. Active community leader serving on several boards. Care about my community. Experience.

       

Q: What do you feel is the biggest problem facing District 5 and what would you do about it?
        A: Keeping our sewers, streets, parks in better condition. Coordinate improvements with departments.

       

Q: What is your stance on regulation of residential care homes?
        A: Residential care homes are going to be even more necessary in the future, but parking noise and neighbors must be considered.

       

Q: What is your stance on establishing a separate homeowners' class for property tax rates?
        A: Senior citizens should get a tax break, should not be forced to sell their homes.

       

Q: What solid-waste solutions should be pursued to alleviate the need for a landfill on Oahu?
        A: Burning for power, barged to mainland, grind to smaller waste to take less space. Continue three-can system (for recycling).

       

Q: How should the city proceed on the development of the rail transit system?
        A: Slowly and take in the cost of which system works best. Elevated seems more sensible.

       

 

       

               

     

 

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Nathaniel Kinney

        Age: 29

        Profession or current employment: Lawyer (currently on unpaid leave of absence)

        Other pertinent experience: In-house counsel for District Council 50, Financial-Secretary of the Painter's Union, Trustee of a health & retirement fund, and I serve as a fire commissioner.
       

Q: What qualifies you to be a City Council member?
        A: My formal education, work experience and service to the community have prepared me to be a City Council member. I am a lawyer that helps Oahu residents with their workers compensation claims, benefits and retirement issues. I have experience in finance through my position as the Financial-Secretary of the Painter's Union and as a trustee of a health and retirement fund. As a Honolulu Fire Commissioner, I am quite familiar with our emergency municipal services. Being new to the City Council, I also do not belong to any factions that only divide our community.

       

Q: What do you feel is the biggest problem facing District 5 and what would you do about it?
        A: The overall economy is the biggest problem facing District 5. The people are the heart of our community and the economy makes up the veins and arteries. Our veins and arteries are clogged. We need to fix that while protecting jobs and creating more job opportunities. We need to get Hawaii working. We need to get new blood and new ideas to the solve the problems we face today. I will work to save city dollars without cutting jobs or services.

       

Q: What is your stance on regulation of residential care homes?
        A: I have a three-step approach to the regulation of residential care homes. Although it is not talked about much, I think we should 1) start with ensuring the safety and well-being of the elderly who reside in these care homes. After we address that, then let's look at 2) the concerns of frustrated neighbors and how we can 3) balance those concerns with the need for residential care homes. If handled correctly, we can allow for job opportunity while also protecting the character of our neighborhoods.

       

Q: What is your stance on establishing a separate homeowners' class for property tax rates?
        A: I support protecting our fixed-income kupuna from increasing property taxes. Hawaii's elderly are unique. Instead of flying off to some other place like Florida to live out their remaining days surrounded by other retirees, Hawaii's kupuna commit themselves to their families. Our elderly help take care of their grandchildren in a state with a high cost of living. We need to provide them with support and take care of them.

       

Q: What solid-waste solutions should be pursued to alleviate the need for a landfill on Oahu?
        A: We have to combine short- and long-term solutions to alleviate the need for a landfill on Oahu. I consider shipping away garbage to be a short-term solution that may be necessary, but in the long term, each of us individually needs to commit to reducing our own waste. Reducing our own waste is the best way to reduce the need for a landfill. The city government also needs to reduce its waste and serve as an example to our residents.

       

Q: How should the city proceed on the development of the rail transit system?
        A: The vote for rail was close and Oahu's people voted in favor of steel-on-steel technology. We cannot go against the will of the voters. As we proceed, we need to get Hawaii working. We can accomplish this by ensuring that Hawaii people are working on the rail development. We also must develop other projects that will 1) complement our need to reduce traffic congestion on our freeways and streets and 2) protect our environment and natural resources.

       

 

       

               

     

 

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Ann H. Kobayashi

        Age: 72

        Profession or current employment: Vice President of AP Kobayashi Family Limited Partnership

        Other pertinent experience: Board of Directors Past and Present: Moiliili Community Center, Hawaii Lupus Foundation, Palolo Chinese Home, Hawaiian Lifeguard Association, March of Dimes, Aloha United Way, American Red Cross, Boys and Girls Club of Honolulu, and Catholic Charities Domestic Violence Clearinghouse & Legal Hotline (among others)
       

Q: What qualifies you to be a City Council member?
        A: I am running for City Council because the work ahead is challenging and requires the right skills and knowledge to serve. I know what the needs are of the community. I have worked on projects that have improved the quality of life for our community such as addressing flooding issues in Manoa, Palolo, McCully and Makiki and pedestrian safety throughout the district. I have introduced legislation to improve our community and have a record of fiscal responsibility. I will continue to ensure that the city lives within its means and protect your pocketbooks from unnecessary increases in fees and taxes.

       

Q: What do you feel is the biggest problem facing District 5 and what would you do about it?
        A: The biggest problem facing District 5 is infrastructure, including an aging sewer system, roads that require resurfacing and filling of potholes and aging park facilities. As Council member, I will propose amendments to the city's budget moneys to resurface our streets which will help with pedestrian and bicycle safety. The resurfacing of Lowery Avenue in Manoa and Palolo Avenue are great examples of my efforts to address aging streets in our community. I will also propose additional funding for park improvements at McCully Recreation Center.

       

Q: What is your stance on regulation of residential care homes?
        A: Residential care homes for our senior citizens and disabled residents are needed. However, they should not be allowed to “;cluster”; on one block. If elected, I will continue to meet with residents of lower Manoa to try and find a balance for this very critical and complex problem. I will partner with city and state officials to evaluate the current city zoning and state laws to see how best to address this problem. Federal officials will also need to be included as residential care homes are also regulated by federal laws and rules.

       

Q: What is your stance on establishing a separate homeowners' class for property tax rates?
        A: In 2007, I introduced Bill 7, which would add a “;homeowner”; classification for property tax rates because it would help long-time homeowners. Unfortunately, the creation of a “;homeowner”; classification could have an unintended consequence of hurting renters, because any increases in property taxes could be passed on to the tenant.

       

Q: What solid-waste solutions should be pursued to alleviate the need for a landfill on Oahu?
        A: The city has not done enough to encourage the use of new technology to convert solid waste into energy. The city can work collaboratively to develop public/private partnerships with organizations and business that will use new and progressive technology to reduce the amount of waste going into our landfill. For example, the city should also partner with the University of Hawaii's Hawaii Natural Energy Institute biocarbons program to reduce the amount of agricultural residues and green waste that goes into our landfill and produce commercial-grade charcoal and materials for use in fuel cells.

       

Q: How should the city proceed on the development of the rail transit system?
        A: Oahu voters approved the future development of rail mass-transit system, giving a clear message that it's time to move forward on its cost-efficient development, operation and maintenance. I will execute their mandate on transit without delay, but will also continue to advocate for transparency and accountability for all expenses related to mass transit, and advocate for the protection of our view plane.

       

 

       

               

     

 

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Philmund “;Phil”; Lee

        Age: 55

        Profession or current employment: Public Policy Attorney, Veteran Legislative Staffer

        Other pertinent experience: Former Deputy Corporation Counsel for the C&C of Honolulu, International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law Advocate, International Red Cross
       

Q: What qualifies you to be a City Council member?
        A: Twenty years of public policymaking and public advocacy experience; Deputy Corporation Counsel for C&C of Honolulu representing the police department and police and liquor commissions, and the Department of Land Utilization, Building, Parks and Recreation and Transportation Services. Veteran Hawaii Public Policy Attorney Legislative staffer, inactive real estate license, mortgage solicitors license and life and health insurance license.

       

Q: What do you feel is the biggest problem facing District 5 and what would you do about it?
        A: Education and training to develop and maintain a highly skilled value-added workforce to promote Economic and Business Development that generates greater taxes and revenues to support the core functions of government.

       

Q: What is your stance on regulation of residential care homes?
        A: Residential care homes and other community-based care for our kupuna and disabled serves a valuable function in our society and saves our government millions of dollars. However, I am opposed to clustering of care homes so a whole block is like a hospital zone. They should be regulated to ensure the finest elderly care is provided and to minimize any impacts on the surrounding neighborhoods.

       

Q: What is your stance on establishing a separate homeowners' class for property tax rates?
        A: Real property owners, elderly and limited fixed incomes pensioners deserve relief in the form of real property tax exemptions or credits. Furthermore, the city needs to actively seek out a more diversified and progressive form of taxing and assessing user fees to finance major city projects and infrastructure. We must do more with less by eliminating waste and eliminating government duplication and inefficiency. I am a fiscal conservative that will scrutinize the budget thoroughly and spend your money wisely.

       

Q: What solid-waste solutions should be pursued to alleviate the need for a landfill on Oahu?
        A: We need to expand curbside recycling programs countywide and provide incentives for the collection of recyclables and reuse of reusable items. We need to develop a public input system like Craigslist where we can go to find takers of reusable bulk items. We must utilize the most advanced technology like plasma arc to convert our garbage into energy with the least amount of residue. We need to incorporate a strategic master plan to manage our solid-waste sites and eventually reduce our dependence and a throw-away culture.

       

Q: How should the city proceed on the development of the rail transit system?
        A: I really would like to have had more input in the selection of transit and transportation infrastructure and developed a more fair way of financing it for the sake of the residents of District 5. Since we are somewhat locked into the system, the city should proceed in a way that is transparent, in the best interests of the tax-paying and commuting public. We should continue to press forward for more federal funds.

       

 

       

               

     

 

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Matt Matsunaga

        Age: 50

        Profession or current employment: Business Attorney/CPA

        Other pertinent experience: Hawaii State Senator, 1992 -2002
       

Q: What qualifies you to be a City Council member?
        A: I am committed to strengthening our neighborhoods and our city to meet the current challenges of this difficult economy. I have 10 years of legislative experience, 26 years in the private sector as a business attorney, CPA and small-business owner, and have been an active member of this community for my entire adult life. As a senator, 68 bills I authored became law as a result of my ability to collaborate with my colleagues to achieve goals.

       

Q: What do you feel is the biggest problem facing District 5 and what would you do about it?
        A: The biggest problem is the rising cost of living. Recent increases in city services and property taxes place greater strains on working families and small businesses that need our support. Many of these increases stem from the city having to play catch-up to improve its aging infrastructure. We must ensure that city services are planned, operated and managed with long-term sustainability in mind to avoid the sorts of costly overhauls being done today.

       

Q: What is your stance on regulation of residential care homes?
        A: Residential care homes provide a needed, community-based alternative to costly private-care homes. Not all families can afford traditional retirement homes and nursing facilities, but they deserve options to care for their aging family members. I support the regulation of residential care homes because residents of these homes deserve high quality care, in a high quality environment. The system of regulation should be sensitive to neighboring residents' concerns.

       

Q: What is your stance on establishing a separate homeowners' class for property tax rates?
        A: I support tax policy that provides relief to owner-occupants, and homeowners who rent their home at affordable rates. If a separate homeowners' class for property tax rates was created for this purpose, I would support it. Speculators and investment property owners may be able to afford higher tax rates, but we must protect our renters from having to pay for that increase.

       

Q: What solid-waste solutions should be pursued to alleviate the need for a landfill on Oahu?
        A: While there is no one solution for dealing with Honolulu's waste problem, there are ways to alleviate the amount of waste that must go into the landfill. I support the city's island-wide recycling program and would like to see it expand to include all neighborhoods as well as apartment buildings and condominiums. I support the expanded use of waste-to-energy technology, the expansion of the current HPOWER facility and the serious exploration of other waste reduction strategies and technologies.

       

Q: How should the city proceed on the development of the rail transit system?
        A: The development of the rail transit system must be done efficiently and transparently. The people of the City and County of Honolulu voted to build this system and we must make certain it is delivered to them on time, within budget and is sustainable for generations to come.

       

 

       

               

     

 

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Keolu Jacob Peralto

        Age: 32

        Profession or current employment: Flight attendant, Delta Airlines; Community supporter/volunteer, The Life Foundation, Gregory House Programs, Aloha United Way; Member of Young Democrats of Hawaii Caucus, Association of Flight Attendants union
       

Q: What qualifies you to be a City Council member?
        A: Having served the airline industry for the past 10 years, I have seen a changing economic landscape and its vulnerability. Enduring layoffs and a reduction in pay, I know exactly what many in our city are experiencing today. I intend to bring stability, decisiveness and a true perspective on progress to Honolulu Hale. As a city that needs to adapt to adverse economic conditions, we'll need to diversify our way of life. I intend to set that example at Honolulu Hale.

       

Q: What do you feel is the biggest problem facing District 5 and what would you do about it?
        A: The single most important issue facing not only District 5, but the city itself, is money. How to make it, how to keep it, and how to spend it. In order for Honolulu to secure a viable and economically sustainable future, we'll need to diversify the way we do things. I firmly support ways to increase our economic viability by expanding our taxable income and creating new sources. Relying on property-tax increases is not a stand-alone solution.

       

Q: What is your stance on regulation of residential care homes?
        A: I believe that a measure of oversight is necessary in order to ensure the health and well-being of our kupuna and elderly residents that rely on care home services. While it may prove to be an economic necessity for many Oahu families, I feel that each community deserves to maintain a sense of harmony and peace of mind in regards to the possibility of traffic congestion and safety.

       

Q: What is your stance on establishing a separate homeowners' class for property tax rates?
        A: Distinguishing between Oahu homeowners and those that primarily create investment property through tax specific ordinance is a proposal that I support. It's important to create a provision that alleviates the burden on those that may not rely on investment property to carry them through these economic times. I support ways that create a user-friendly and manageable property tax-base that adapts to any current and future economic situation.

       

Q: What solid-waste solutions should be pursued to alleviate the need for a landfill on Oahu?
        A: As HPOWER already generates a measure of energy through solid waste incineration, I believe that the city cannot ignore the possibility of increasing energy output through clean-burning technology. Landfill redevelopment and deployment of city waste materials is an important long-term concern, as the city has an obligation to ensure a safe and healthy environment for its citizens. Shipping our opala out of state is not an ideal solution, as it creates a concern elsewhere. But the city is left with very few immediate options. We need to continue to focus on recycling efforts, reducing waste and redeveloping existing landfill areas.

       

Q: How should the city proceed on the development of the rail transit system?
        A: In moving forward with the development of rail transit, I support methods that incorporate the best elements of each community while preserving its overall identity. Creating a user-friendly atmosphere whereby residents and businesses will have a stake in the project and ultimately benefit in the development of rail into our everyday lives. I firmly believe having an elevated rail system will be far less disruptive to our homes and surrounding environment.

       

 

       

               

     

 

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James O. Quimby

        Age: 62

        Profession or current employment: Case Manager for large nonprofit

        Other pertinent experience: Former board member of Mental Health Hawaii; Former Board Member of Hui O Makiki, Veteran (U.S. Army Officer), Youth Sports Official
       

Q: What qualifies you to be City Council Member?
        A: I am not a professional politician but I am a problem solver. For the past 10 years I have been working with some of the most difficult populations on our island to help them with services. Everything from employment, meals, shelter, doctors, medication and a myriad of other problems. Helping constituents is something I would relish. The major difference is that I would be linking citizens with city services and working with my fellow Council members.

       

Q: What do you feel is the biggest problem facing District 5 and what would you do about it?
        A: As with any district, there is probably not one biggest problem but a number of large problems. For example, one is traffic congestion, another is road repair, another is bulk pick up of trash. However, the biggest problem with most people is rising taxes and fees. Someone needs to speak up at some point and say government can only spend what its people can easily afford. I would only be for a tax increase if it is targeted for something like public safety. Government's first obligation is public safety.

       

Q: What is your stance on regulation of residential care homes?
        A: Care homes are a necessity and must be regulated so that it is fair to the care home operators, to the occupants, and to the neighborhood. I am not aware of there being a big problem with residential care homes. As of now their regulation has been more of a state issue. I would urge constituents to come to me discuss any problems. I am actually more concerned about B&Bs and transient vacation rentals.

       

Q: What is your stance on establishing a separate homeowners' class for property taxes?
        A: I would be for in favor of this.

       

Q: What solid-waste solutions should be pursued to alleviate the need for a landfill on Oahu?
        A: I believe HPOWER is doing an adequate job. However, it is not the latest technology. There are some more modern technologies I heard about while on a recent trip to Japan. However, with an austere budget we cannot afford to put in another plant at this time.

       

Q: How should the City proceed on the development of the rail system?
        A: I like rail and it is a good thing. However, I would not have voted for this particular system. Why? Because there is not a city in the U.S. or indeed the entire world that has a $5.2 billion rail system supported by fewer than a million people population base. A true light rail system, shorter, more compact and more cost efficient could possibly still be worked out.

       

 

       

               

     

 

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Phillip “;Rocky”; Rockwell

        Age: 33

        Profession or current employment: Information Technology Field

        Other pertinent experience: Vice President, Kiwanis Club of Hawaii Loa; Hospice Hawaii Volunteer; Chief Petty Officer, USNR
       

Q: What qualifies you to be a City Council member?
        A: The City Council has lost its way. Too many have aspirations of higher office and agendas to back that up. I bring new forward-thinking ideas and a new face to a tired council in a time of great need. A large portion of the population is underrepresented in the council, I represent that group. I am a 30-something homeowner with real concerns about city that I plan to start a family in.

       

Q: What do you feel is the biggest problem facing District 5 and what would you do about it?
        A: District 5 has several unique communities and each has its own concerns. One that I believe crosses all boundaries is roads. When I say roads I mean condition as well as the issues of a lack of sidewalks and bike lanes. Our roads are in disrepair and it seems like every time it rains I see the same potholes being filled again and again. One of the primary concerns with an aging population is the infrastructure to support pedestrians. Our kupuna walk to the market and bus stops, our keiki to school and the park, safe sidewalks and crosswalks are not a luxury but a necessity.

       

Q: What is your stance on regulation of residential care homes?
        A: A certain amount of oversight may be required to ensure the safety of our kupuna and preservation of our residential neighborhoods and communities. I would push to have these homes dispersed so not to create traffic and parking problems for neighbors. At the same time I am hesitant to overregulate the right of the homeowner and what he or she does with their private residence, so balance is the key.

       

Q: What is your stance on establishing a separate homeowners' class for property tax rates?
        A: I support providing a credit to help relieve the tax burden of homeowners who reside in their homes. We need to encourage home ownership and discourage off island investment purchases that end up controlling our rental and real estate markets. The dream of home ownership should be in reach of all local residents not just the wealthy.

       

Q: What solid-waste solutions should be pursued to alleviate the need for a landfill on Oahu?
        A: Solid waste can be reduced by public education and increased recycling. HPOWER, while not perfect, should continue while options like Plasma Arc Technology and shipping off island are worth investigating. The HI-5 program has been successful in reducing the amount of waste but we now need to take it to the next level and start curbside recycling our paper products, other plastics, and metals.

       

Q: How should the city proceed on the development of the rail transit system?
        A: Smartly, enough tax dollars have been expended already. We can ill-afford mismanagement during the next phase. We need to be decisive and resist the calls to further delay the process. We need to set goals and deadlines and ensure we achieve them. A transparent budget and high accountability for those who manage it are required.

       

 

       

               

     

 

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Butch Sims

        Age: 36

        Profession or current employment: Consultant

        Other pertinent experience: 15 years of international relations experience
       

Q: What qualifies you to be a City Council member?
        A: I am a lifetime resident of District 5, without a felony record

       

Q: What do you feel is the biggest problem facing District 5 and what would you do about it?
        A: Like the rest of our state and nation, the economy is our most pressing issue. Projects like our planned rail system must be approved as rapidly as safety allows, so that we can provide desperately needed jobs for so many of our residents. There is a direct and positive correlation between employment and crime reduction, home retention, environmental protection and every other issue facing our community. A strong economy will facilitate the quality of life our neighbors deserve.

       

Q: What is your stance on regulation of residential care homes?
        A: Like any other business, residential care homes must be regulated. Without regulation the safety of the occupants in said homes is in jeopardy. Furthermore, there have been cases where we have seen a reduction in quality of life in communities where residential care homes are operating. Friction between conventional homeowners and care home operators can be mitigated with minimal cost to the county.

       

Q: What is your stance on establishing a separate homeowners' class for property tax rates?
        A: A separate homeowner's class and even kamaaina class is long overdue.

       

Q: What solid-waste solutions should be pursued to alleviate the need for a landfill on Oahu?
        A: Over 40 percent of our waste ends up in landfill! This is totally unacceptable. We have come a long way, but the idea that we “;just can't”; do more to recycle is ludicrous. Combustion reduces the volume of material by about 90 percent and its weight by 75 percent. The primary advantage of waste-to-energy plants is that they consume wastes from highly populated urban areas that otherwise would be put in landfills. With oversight we can determine the balance which best suits the protection of our ahupuaa.

       

Q: How should the city proceed on the development of the rail transit system?
        A: I do support the planned elevated fixed guideway system. I would like to see a lighter rail program, but I feel that this is a step in the right direction. Finally our residents will be completely separated from surface traffic conditions. Those who travel across town by train will avoid traffic interruptions on streets and highways. Grade-separated transit is a reliable way to guarantee a time of arrival, because when transit is above or below ground, it's completely unaffected by surface congestion that can add many minutes or even hours to your trip.

       

 

       

               

     

 

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George “;G.W.”; Waialeale

        Age: 62

        Profession or current employment: Executive director, Hawaii Injured Workers Alliance

        Other pertinent experience: Board of Directors Go For Broke Association, Former Chairman State of Hawaii Consumer Advisory Council, Member St. Louis Heights., Kapahulu and Diamond Head Neighborhood Board #5.
       

Q: What qualifies you to be a City Council member?
        A: I have run a multimillion dollar union for nine years. When I took over the union it was worth about $365,000 in cash and assets. When I left nine years later it was worth $1.2 million. I understand the basics of running a business. You have to be innovative and have good people working with you.

       

Q: What do you feel is the biggest problem facing District 5 and what would you do about it?
        A: Property taxes. We have not taken into consideration those people who are on fixed income and how will they be able to pay for this enormous increase. We need a better way of taxing our people when it comes to property tax. We cannot have a “;one size fits all”; property tax. We must look for better ideas.

       

Q: What is your stance on regulation of residential care homes?
        A: I believe residential care homes are changing the face of the district and should be highly regulated. I would ask for 1,000 feet distance between each residential care home. I would ask the Board of Health to strictly enforce rules regarding these homes. We need to preserve our district from being too commercialized.

       

Q: What is your stance on establishing a separate homeowners' class for property tax rates?
        A: If it will help seniors on fixed income I will support it.

       

Q: What solid-waste solutions should be pursued to alleviate the need for a landfill on Oahu?
        A: I believe that we need to turn to modern technology such as Plasma Arc to reduce or almost eliminate garbage waste.

       

Q: How should the city proceed on the development of the rail transit system?
        A: The rail system should be built with the most expedient method possible. As I said to Mayor Hannemann, “;The rail will be on time and on budget or you will hear from me.”;

       

 

       

               

     

 

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Earl Winfree

        Age: 67

        Profession or current employment: Commercial pilot

        Other pertinent experience: Pilot for 57 years; Ph.D.; Former police officer: Insurance executive; Ordained minister; Received appointment to U.S. Air Force and Naval academies
       

Q: What qualifies you to be a City Council member?
        A: The internal knowledge of how the city should work and the inefficiency that is present now. The best interests of the citizens are not being served by the self interests of the individual council members. The non-decisions and delays of making decisions indicate self-interest - not what is best for the public.

       

Q: What do you feel is the biggest problem facing District 5 and what would you do about it?
        A: The cost increases - taxes, etc. - are driving the state into a bottomless pit. Budgets cannot be balanced with deficits increasing daily. Businesses are failing and will continue to do so without an influx of new, outside money. In a year from now, Hawaii will be completely changed due to the lack of new money. That is the key to the economic future.

       

Q: What is your stance on regulation of residential care homes?
        A: We are all becoming older and at some point will be dependent on help from someone outside our individual self - be it persons or government. We cannot let ourselves evolve to being non-supportive in any manner.

       

Q: What is your stance on establishing a separate homeowners' class for property tax rates?
        A: It must be done by intelligent study into what are the best interests of everyone. With continuing influx of new moneys being generated in Hawaii, the continuing increases on taxes, etc., will not exist. I know how to protect what is now a continuing decline in the quality of our life. If there are not changes now, the future will not be pleasant.

       

Q: What solid-waste solutions should be pursued to alleviate the need for a landfill on Oahu?
        A: Simple: Waste should be burned, creating mulch, thereby eliminating landfill. The result: Green growth.

       

Q: How should the city proceed on the development of the rail transit system?
        A: Extending the system and having moving pods containing a few people. Example: Four-person capacity instead of a large size (a container designed for 40) only being occupied by 10 or so at each stop. Small pods move very fast between stops, thereby moving more people faster to individual stops.

       

 

       

               

     

 

CORRECTION

        » The winner of the City Council District 5 special election would serve the remainder of the late Councilman Duke Bainum's term, which ends in 2012. A story on Page 12 Sunday said the term ends in 2010.