LIHU’E – When Bill “Kaipo” Asing retired from politics in 1998 after 18 years
on the Kaua’i County Council and a failed bid for mayor, he thought he had seen
the last of political life.
Two years later, he is all revved up to do it
He wants to serve another two years on the council to help find
answers to pressing issues facing the county – the purchase of Kaua’i
Electric, the disposal of the island’s garbage, traffic congestion and
maintaining a balance between development and preservation of the
“I never had any doubts about my wish to serve the community,”
Asing said. “And now, after 18 years on the council, I can honestly say I
understand the issues, accept the difficulties of the job and am working hard
to serve the people of Kaua’i and Niihau.
Asing has held a council seat
longer than any other current council member.
Asing scrutinized the actions
of his peers the council and the administration. He said government should be
accountable for its actions, wincing when the topic of the recycling center
near the Lihu’e Airport comes up. It was built with more than $2 million in
federal funds and now sits empty.
“If that was done in the private
industry, you would not be able to survive,” he said.
If elected, Asing
said he would work on these issues:
* Traffic grid.
* The purchase of
Kaua’i Electric. If the county is to buy the utility, the proper process has to
be set up to manage it.
“The mechanics to set up the process is key, and
it should be set up before the purchase of the Kaua’i Electric,” Asing said.
“It has to be situation where politics plays no part of it.”
* Solid waste.
It could cost the county $30 million to build another landfill and to select
the technology to dispose of the island’s garbage, he said.
As an option,
the county could seek federal funds to defray the cost of the undertaking,
* Finding a balance between development and the protection of
Kaua’i’s rural lifestyle and natural beauty.
“We need to be constantly
aware of this balance,” he said. “Not one way or another.”
While on the
council, Asing said he was the kind of leader who confronted controversies, did
extensive research, made tough decisions and explained his actions to the
In the past, Asing has spent no more than $500 per campaign: less
than any other candidate running for a council seat.
Asing admits he is
modestly confident he will return to the council again and will “work hard for
the people of Kaua’i. “I am not going to be on the council and do nothing,” he