George Menor, 63, a successful small businessman with a wealth of work experiences, understands that all of his success in America is owed to America.
Therefore, when it was time for him “to give back, to share,” public service was the logical choice.
A Democrat running for a seat on the County Council, Menor thinks his work experiences in the technical arena, banking and finance, and business management provide him tools to bring valuable assets to the council.
Throughout his professional career, he has been successful in making people’s visions and ideas become reality, and feels he can bring that energy to the council.
He has pledged that if he is elected to the council, he will stay engaged with the people of Kaua’i and Ni’ihau, bring trustworthiness and responsible business discipline to county government, actively promote consensus-building, and aggressively work to keep Kaua’i a living paradise, he said.
On the Mainland, he managed a 25-person engineering department that included many different ethnic groups among its members. That company made, and still makes, an electron-beam machine used in cancer treatment.
On Kaua’i, he owns Kauai Foreign Cars in Puhi, a portion of which has been converted to Menor campaign headquarters. There, he has trained two managers to effectively run the business in his absence, leaving him ample time to campaign.
“I have the energy to walk house to house,” said Menor. That is the “best way to engage the people,” he said. He has canvassed the Westside, and plans to walk the entire island before the Saturday, Sept. 21 primary election.
This week, he is on the Eastside, having finished up the Kawaihau area and moving to other parts of Kapa’a. He has a fund-raiser set for this Saturday, Aug. 10, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Kukui Grove Park and Pavilion.
He sees this year’s elections as “critical,” because a new mayor and new council will be selected. That should allow for the simultaneous installation of new ways of thinking, new ideas, and new ways of doing business within county government, he hopes.
His experience as a loan officer at Pioneer Federal Savings Bank, and his work in real estate sales, provide him with background he thinks can be beneficial where county housing programs are concerned.
“First is the credit-building,” he said of steps toward acquiring a home, whether the buyer is low-income or not. “You have to build credit and integrity with the banking industry,” so banks can rely on people’s ability to re-pay mortgage loans.
Some of the people he helped to acquire financing for homes, particularly on the Westside, remember him as he traveled the area on the campaign trail. Those people who are in their homes and happy with their decision to purchase still thank him for his help, he said.
When Menor decided to run for County Council, Council Chair Ron Kouchi took him aside and offered him advice about what Kouchi thinks it takes to be a councilmember.
Kouchi, on the council for 20 years, is running for mayor. Despite the friendship the two have developed, Menor says he doesn’t favor any specific candidate for mayor at this time.
He and his wife Tessie live in Lihu’e, and moved here in 1989 after 20 years in California. They have three daughters and four grandchildren, all in California.
Menor is proud of his record of community service, and is current president of Laoag Saranay Association, made up of people from the Laoag City area of Ilocos Norte, Philippines, where he was born and raised.
He is also a former president of the Kauai Filipino Community Council, and current chairman of the state Board of Taxation Review for Kaua’i. Menor is also a director of the Kauai Filipino Chamber of Commerce, and member of the Kalepa Rotary Club.
Through all of that community involvement, he has gained both contacts and experience in a variety of community matters, he said.
Menor is the uncle of state Sen. Ron Menor (D, Wheeler Air Force Base, Mililani), who is running for re-election to his Senate seat after deciding against running for lieutenant governor.
Staff Writer Paul Curtis be reached at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org or 245-3681 (ext. 224).