Measel running for council seat

Longtime Kaua’i resident Robert Measel, Jr. ran unsuccessfully for numerous political offices in Hawai’i during the 1990s, but the Kaua’i County Council candidate hopes to snare victory this election year.

Measel, a Republican, ran for governor in 1990 and 1994, a seat in the state House of Representatives in 1992 and a seat in the state Senate in 1998.

This time, Measel will be in the hunt for a seat on the seven-member Kaua’i County Council, running in the primary election against 28 other council candidates.

If elected, Measel, a self-proclaimed watchdog of council activities for about 15 years, said he wants to put his energy behind solving these issues:

– The island’s economy and local jobs “need more diversity.”

– Solid waste and recycling. “Nothing has been done yet,” Measel said in a statement.

– The future of Kauai Electric: The council is debating whether to pass a resolution for a county charter amendment to allow the council to create an electric power authority to operate Kaua’i Electric should the Kaua’i County buy the utility.

Measel said voters should be given the option to vote on whether the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative or the county should be allowed to operate the facility.

Measel advocates the county become less dependent on fossil fuel for the generation of electrical power.

– Fairness “in and from” government, with more accountability, efficiency and productivity for residents.

– Consideration of a moratorium on the development of agriculturally-zone lands until an “island economic general plan” is developed by citizens.

“As we have a general plan, we need a general economic foundation, so that we know what sort of economy we want to formulate,” Measel said.

Agriculture and tourism should be among the “footings” for keeping Kaua’i’s economy strong, with “both of these taking advantage of how the high-tech industry can enhance agriculture and tourism,” Measel said.

The existing council may have done its job, but it now needs “new and fresh ideas” from new council members to fashion solutions to old and new problems, Measel said.

“I shall strive to implement legislation by the council that causes these issues and matters to be handled in a timely fashion with honesty and credibility, and adhering to the rules, regulations and laws,” Measel said.

As an elected official, Measel said he will be more “aggressive in foresight by exercising research and due diligence on issues” before the council. This way, mistakes can be avoided, Measel said.

Measel said he will support laws to require developers to meet their obligations in a timely manner. In some cases, developers ignored compliance with conditions for years and only responded to them after inquires by the public and government agencies, Measel contends.

Measel, who was born in New Castle, Kentucky, was raised on O’ahu and attended Radford High School and graduated from Kailua High School.

He commuted between O’ahu and Kaua’i from 1980 and 1986, the year he moved permanently to Kaua’i.

Public service is big part of his past, Measel said. Generations of family members have served in the military and in government positions, said Measel, a Vietnam veteran who served in the Air Force for four years.

While in the military, Measel underwent extensive mechanics schooling.

Following military service, he worked the next 30 years in business management, marketing and sales, manufacturing and wholesale and retail sales. He said he also developed public speaking skills and followed Hawai’i’s political issues.

For ten years, he also was associated with the manufacturing and marketing of surfboards in Hawai’i and California.

Measel is a certified dog trainer and handler for tracking and narcotics and bomb detonation. He also has served as assistant editor of a Hawai’i publication for youths.

Measel is associated with the American Heart Association, the Kaua’i Bike and Walk Path committee, Kaua’i Board of Realtor, Honolulu Board of Realtors, the Hawai’i Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors. He also is a member of a real estate political action group.

Measel also was a vice chair and precinct treasurer of the Kaua’i Republican Party. He can be reached at measelhi@aloha.net.

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