In Our Voices for Thursday — January 12, 2006

• It’s a big year for local elections, get involved

It’s a big year for local elections, get involved

When Jesse Fukushima announced he will run for mayor of Kaua’i against incumbent Bryan Baptiste yesterday it was a welcome sign that the coming election will, at the least, be a race.

That may not be the case with the seven county council seats up for grabs currently occupied by: Bill “Kaipo” Asing, Jay Furfaro, Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho, Daryl W. Kaneshiro, Mel Rapozo, James Kunane Tokioka and JoAnn A. Yukimura.

With the amount of community complaints about ineffective government fielded regularly at The Garden Island — all not aimed exclusively at the county council — lets hope some of those complaints are reflected in action. It’s very easy for people to complain, but to get up and actually participate in government is a whole other ball game.

We don’t know yet whether the incumbents on the county council will face any challengers, as potential candidates have to wait until Feb. 1 to pick up the papers to file at the county clerk’s office, while the deadline to actually file doesn’t come until July 25.

The Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative will be holding an election for its Board of Directors with a mail-in deadline of March 18. Three seats on KIUC’s board are up for election which are currently filled by: Gregg Gardiner, Ron Kouchi and Susan Stayton. The nominating committee for KIUC will announce next week who the challengers will be for those seats. If none of those chosen by the committee are incumbents, the incumbents have the option of running against the challengers by petition. The top three vote getters tallied after the March 18 deadline will occupy the seats.

This year’s midterm elections on Nov. 7 will see five statewide and Congressional seat campaigns, as well as the local campaigns for mayor, all seven county council seats and any measures the Kaua’i County Charter Commission creates for the ballot between now and the filing deadline of July 25. Some of the elections may be decided by the Sept. 23 primary election if there are no challengers.

Fukushima’s announcement he was running for mayor came days after Ezra Kanoho, D-Lihu’e-Koloa, announced he will not run for his state Legislature seat again after 20 years in the Legislature. His District 15 seat will need to be filled, while District 14 state Representative Mina Morita will have to campaign, should she choose to run again, as will District 16 Representative Bertha Kawakami.

Ed Case will also have to campaign to retain his Congressional District 2 House of Representatives seat as will Congressional District 1 Representative Neil Abercrombie.

Sen. Daniel Akaka is facing a campaign, as is Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona Jr. and Gov. Linda Lingle.

Look to The Garden Island in the coming months for indepth coverage of the issues, including detailed interviews with the candidates, what they stand for and what they plan to do if elected.

We will bring you scoops and local coverage you can’t get anywhere else. And most importantly, remember to get out and participate.


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