Yukimura announces mayoral bid

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    JoAnn Yukimura makes her announcement to run for the office of mayor, Tuesday afternoon at the historic County Building.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    JoAnn Yukimura is congratulated by her mother Jenny following JoAnn’s announcement to run for mayor, Tuesday at the historic County Building.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    JoAnn Yukimura announces her intention to run for the office of the mayor, Tuesday afternoon at the historic County Building.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    JoAnn Yukimura speaks with a supporter following her announcement to run for the office of mayor, Tuesday afternoon at the historic County Building.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    JoAnn Yukimura waits to be introduced, Tuesday during her announcement to run for the office of mayor done at the historic County Building.

LIHUE — Councilwoman and former mayor JoAnn Yukimura announced Tuesday she is seeking Kauai’s top elected post.

“The island is at a tipping point and we need visionary and experienced leadership to guide our way forward,” she said to a crowd of about 100 people on the steps of the Historic County Building. “With your help and God’s grace, I know I can provide that leadership.”

Anyone who wants to be mayor, she said, needs to know two things: where we’re going and how to get there.

“Where we are going is our collective vision,” she said

If elected, Yukimura said she will work with residents to accelerate the development of affordable housing close to jobs. Expanding Kauai’s bus service will be a priority.

“First and foremost, we will provide hourly, weekend and holiday service that will start early in the morning and goes until 10 p.m.,” said Yukimura, who served as mayor of Kauai from 1988 to 1994 and has served 10 terms on the County Council.

According to a press release, during her first eight years on the council, she started many projects, including the first Sunshine Market, the first bike path, the first self-help housing and the first public land trust.

“This is the kind of entrepreneurial spirit and know-how that is needed in the mayor’s office for the next four years,” the release said.

She said she wants to develop more walkable and bikeable neighborhoods and towns, too. She said a multi-use path between Waimea and Kekaha is in the planning stages, and a sidewalk in Hanapepe Heights will eventually be a part of a walkable pathway to Salt Pond.

Programs to keep young people from drugs will also be a priority.

“By keeping them so busy and engaged as Aaron Hoff and the Boys and Girls Club and other youth workers do, so that our young people don’t need to do drugs,” Yukimura said.

She spoke of the need to build a sustainable solid waste system that will focus on reducing, reusing and recycling as well as composting.

“This will significantly reduce our landfill costs and create small businesses and jobs that will build a strong community,” she said.

The hiring of county employees, appointments and use of consultants will be based on merit, not politics, she said, so they can hire the best and the brightest.

As mayor, Yukimura said she will work to coordinate transportation and land use so roads aren’t overwhelmed by development.

“A system where the General Plan and community plans and the permitting process follows planning principles, not politics,” she said.

If elected, Yukimura said she will bring people together to inquire into the problem to first understand and not jump to preconceived conclusions.

“We will include everyone who is interested and willing to work, we will listen carefully, ask questions, research best practices and engage in lively discussions in which different viewpoints are offered and received with respect, rather than suppressed,” Yukimura said. “We will thoughtfully design the plan of attack and then act with resolve and humility.”

“It is unfortunate that in recent years, some leaders have been more interested in stopping others from speaking or asking questions, than in resolving the problems before us,” Yukimura said.

The real test, she said, is not what candidates say, but what they do.

“My record shows that if you want to get the job done — and done well, with JoAnn, Kauai can!” the release said. “Together, we will effectively address today’s problems such as the lack of affordable housing, traffic congestion, homelessness, drug abuse, and the lack of good planning.”

16 Comments
  1. Knowitall April 4, 2018 1:10 am Reply

    Uhhhh so nothing on the County Council to fix traffic, cost of living, size of local
    Government, raise taxes, give away land, and run for mayor yay


  2. harryoyama2 April 4, 2018 4:14 am Reply

    Typical career ingrained politician always seeking re-election in order to “finish” what she started. So in order words after 10 terms in the council and 6 years as mayor, she never did accomplish her goals. Term limits should be enforced to get rid of career politicians and make room for new blood and ideas. It was noted that her brother’s private company benefited financially from a piece of legislation she worked on.


  3. billyjoebob April 4, 2018 5:26 am Reply

    Mayor for 6 years and Council Member for 10 terms, wow.


  4. Bluedream April 4, 2018 7:35 am Reply

    Joanne has become the “crazy old aunt in the attic”. She is constantly trying to raise taxes on Kauai. That is not visionary, that is reckless and intolerable. She obviously ignores the fact that she barely squeaked by in the last two council races. She really needs to retire. She looks like she’s 80.


  5. kokohead cocoa butter April 4, 2018 8:35 am Reply

    This is terrific news and the best thing to happen to Kauai since her last term as Mayor. Mayor Yukimura and her husband are two of the most caring, generous people around and are a fine example of the Aloha Spirit!


  6. Tom Niblick April 4, 2018 9:38 am Reply

    tomniblick@gmail.com
    JoAnn was by far the best mayor in my lifetime and I’m happy she has decided to run again. She is the only candidate who has the best interest of the island and all of the residents at heart.


  7. No_They_Didn't April 4, 2018 10:58 am Reply

    Kaua’i is headed into a new course. Though my vote counts only for governor, I will be interested in Kaua’i’s race. If Joanne will be the next mayor. The year was 1978 and since then many changes have taken place. Most noticeable is the airport terminal and location. Make it the Bill Kaipo Asing airport. In memory of him. Or somebody else.


  8. No_They_Didn't April 4, 2018 11:26 am Reply

    It is only because the restaurants everywhere are for locals. Had it been for tourism, the economy would have seen more fine dining style waiters. With the white collar long sleeve polo t shirts, with black pants dress, and at least a dress black shoes. They’d be making $13 dollars per hour with tip. Mainland has many of these type of restaurants. With classy dressed waiters. Look out night life in Lihue. Wow, new restaurants. I will believe it. Joanne for mayor.


  9. No_They_Didn't April 4, 2018 11:42 am Reply

    Many of the voters Joanne will be winning over is from Bernard’s votes. If she’s to win the seat, 36,000 votes strong for mayor. Baby boomers will be the next target group to win over.

    1978….2018, more people on the island. Where is the headquarters?


  10. Dude April 4, 2018 5:00 pm Reply

    Tired of this burned out old hippie telling me how to live my life. Retire already!!


  11. Gardener April 4, 2018 9:30 pm Reply

    I’m looking forward to voting for Joann.


  12. manawai April 4, 2018 11:21 pm Reply

    So now we’re supposed to (re)elect Mayors because they’re nice and have Aloha Spirit? How about effectiveness? How about getting something done that works. Her baby, the bus, has been an expensive failure since it began. If she had gotten her way, there’d be NO hotels anywhere on this island and even more of our children would be leaving Kauai for jobs in Honolulu or the mainland. When the hurricane hit during her term, all she did was go “duh, duh, duh….” It was others like the major landowners who actually cleared the highways for her. She was absolutely useless. But sure she’s nice…nice and ineffective.


  13. manawai April 4, 2018 11:26 pm Reply

    PS – Affordable housing??? It was her bill that required developers to provide 40+% affordable (“workforce”) housing units for ALL residential development. That high ratio stopped all development dead in it’s tracks. All it did was to make existing housing more precious, expensive and out of reach for her supposed constituents. Good job, JoAnn! You’re part of the affordable housing problem! But then, she has “Aloha Spirit”.


  14. Concerned Kauaian April 5, 2018 7:16 am Reply

    Joann is taking credit for the work of many people. She is not a team player. It’s always her way or the highway. What about trying to block the drug treatment center and the Lima Ola affordable housing project? What about being the strongest advocate for raising vehicle taxes and fees? Really Joann? You are not for the working class. I’m sorry, I am NOT voting for Joann. Remember Iniki!


  15. lumahai tim April 5, 2018 8:34 am Reply

    enough career politicians. term limits!!


  16. Steve Martin May 4, 2018 2:55 pm Reply

    I’m hoping me and my better half look as good when we turn 80!


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