Other Kaua’i County Council candidates readily talk about tackling key problems facing Kaua’i – development, loss of public access and ways of strengthening the economy.
But those issues aren’t necessarily a priority for Robert A. Cariffe, who said he is running for a council seat for the fourth time since 1996.
Cariffe’s campaign platform six years ago focused on drug and crime and litter and they are the focus of his campaign this election year.
Cariffe said he wants to combat crime and drugs by educating the public about the dangers of both.
“On drugs, I would make a hard-hitting video, showing people what they can turn into if they take drugs,” Cariffe said.
He said anti-drug and anti-crime projects can be funded with money people make from the sale of glass, aluminum cans and metal to recycling companies.
People can put some of their profits in a “Bob-the-can-man-account” that would be set up at island recycling centers, Cariffe said.
Funds could be used for a “massive education campaign” to combat litter, Cariffe said.
Litter is an eyesore, and in some cases, litter “is the first thing they (visitors) see when they get off the plane,” and “that is not what they should see,” Cariffe said.
Litter reflects badly on the island as a whole and its residents, Cariffe said.
Since his first bid for the council, Cariffe said he has tried to bring the problem of litter to the attention of government officials and the public.
During election and non-election years, Cariffe, with a campaign sign wrapped in plastic to protect it from the rain, walks on Kuhio, Kaumuali’i and Kapule highways and picks up trash, bottles and cans.
If he is elected to the council, Cariffe said he would severely cut back funds public officials use to fly to destinations to promote Kaua’i’s tourism industry.
The island is already being promoted adequately thorough tourism programs funded by the state and private businesses, Cariffe said.
“They (public officials) need to stay home to take care of problems here (Kaua’i),” Cariffe said. “That is what I would do, and you know what I would do.”
Cariffe is 45 years old, a father of two, a resident of Hanama’ulu and a part-time construction worker and landscaper.
Staff writer Lester Chang can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 225) and mailto:email@example.com