Gregory Norby enters the county race this year with safeguarding Kaua’i’s water supply at the top of his priority list.
Norby, of Kekaha, is listed as nonpartisan in his first-ever bid for Kaua’i County Council. He says that he will also strive for clean parks and restrooms, safe roadways, producing agricultural lands and fair property taxes if elected to the council. He’s asking Kaua’i citizens to make him their “first vote of seven” on election day.
Norby is an advocate of clean, pure water, and says that the county’s non-action on keeping additives out of pure water supply can cause serious health risks in the future. Norby said that he has addressed the County Council and lobbied by writing letters to state and U.S. Congressional representatives regarding water additives since 1998.
His questions regarding fluoridated water: How is the dose controlled? Is fluoride 100 percent safe for 100 percent of the people 100 percent of the time? The answer is “no,” he said.
We can’t control the dose of fluoride in the water because the chemical does not dissipate or evaporate; it instead concentrates.
The chemical stains and discolors teeth. Fluoride should not be added to our water because the chemical is used as a pesticide (commonly used on sugarcane plantations to kill rats) and is disposed of like hazardous waste. Further, the Fluoride and chlorine that will be used here are industrial-grade chemicals, Norby said.
He says this year he was challenged by a friend at work to run for council just three days before the filing deadline.
“If it’s meant to be, it will happen.” His campaign spending hasn’t hit the $2,000 mark, Norby said.
“Why is it when the state or the county runs out of money, they always seem to penalize the basic needs of the people?” Norby said. There have got to be core services that need to be consistent and provided, he added.
Making sure that parks and their restrooms are clean and usable is at the top of his list, and says that more supplies and waste receptacles can go a long way in making it happen.
In the millions of dollars spent each year trying to get tourists to Hawaii, some of it could be used within the county at parks and beaches, he said.
Poor signage and lane striping on our roadways is a problem, and if elected Norby says he would help develop ways to direct residents and tourists alike safely and logically.
“It’s uncomfortable to navigate if you’re new here or are not familiar with the area,” Norby said.
In addition, the county should develop an in-house reporting system to ensure early warning for road conditions, Norby said.
County employees who live in various areas of the island could keep their eye out for problem areas and refer those areas for repairs. Once a pothole develops on a major thoroughfare, it needs to be alleviated right away, or whole sections of roads get into disrepair, Norby added.
Too many things are scheduled to be done, usually after getting hazardous for motorists — but preventative maintenance goes a long way and will cost less when compared to the cost of repairs, he explained.
When vehicles hit potholes or uneven seams on bridges it affects mechanical alignment and electronic failure in vehicles.
Another issue for Norby is business integrity, saying that when standards are lowered, customers come to expect services and products that are worth less than the money paid. For example, a toaster that costs $40 is considered expensive, but it will probably last four or five times as long as a $15 toaster.
“You should get a dollar’s worth for a dollar paid,” Norby said.
Norby, who’s been on Kaua’i for 11 out of the 20 years he’s lived in Hawai’i, works as a production assistant and producer at Ho’ike. He is also a licensed massage therapist. Norby does some Internet consulting work and creates Web sites. Before an accident that left him partially disabled, Norby says he sold timeshare in Cancun, Mexico.
Norby was once a contract worker under the U.S. Navy and Department of Defense and worked in production, research & development and quality assurance.
“I have a thing for doing things right the first time, and doing them the right way, the American way,” Norby said.
Staff Writer Kendyce Manguchei can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 245-3681 (ext. 252).