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Mijares: We deserve open access

Kilauea resident Scott Mijares said this week that he is running for a seat on the Kaua‘i County Council because he is a “passionate and pragmatic thinker.”

With a business background, the married father of three said he can evaluate situations in a logical manner and utilize his people skills to communicate ideas in a simple, concise and familiar way.

“I intend to serve the will of the people and I promise to fight for the right of our citizens to be vigorously represented within our local government,” he said in a statement. “By exercising common sense values I hope to restore the confidence in our local legislative process that is so desperately needed and shift the power back where it belongs — in the hands of the people.”

After graduating from the University of South Florida, Mijares has been a stockbroker, a trader, venture capitalist and entrepreneur. Four years ago, he started a company called Hawaiian Woodys, which makes wooden postcards and custom engraved wooden items.

Mijares, who surfs and fishes in his free time, also co-hosts a local, community issues talk show called “Kaua‘i Soapbox” broadcast live on KKCR.

If elected, tackling property taxes would be a top priority, he said.

“I believe property taxes should remain low,” he said. “I am opposed to the current property tax amendment unless the 2 percent cap and the income circuit breakers are put back into the bill. Without these two critical components this bill has the potential to force long-time residents out of their homes through taxation.

“Someone needs to tell our elected officials that our income has not risen with the value of our homes,” he said. “I will be that person.”

Wasteful government spending is another reason Mijares said he is seeking office.

“Our county spends too much on studies we never use, consultants who live elsewhere and outside attorneys that defend us against lawsuits initiated by our own citizens,” he said. “We deserve stronger leadership in this area, especially in these uncertain economic times.”

Solid waste, a top concern among many residents and candidates, is a critical issue too, he said.

“Our time is running out,” he said. “We must implement a system that will deal with this urgent problem. No decision is worse than a bad decision.”

Mijares said he would keep the economy strong and stable by helping small business owners through more aggressive economic development programs, tax relief and special financing.

“Clean technology is key,” he added. “The rising cost of imports from Asia has created an opportunity to deliver a quality Kaua‘i-made product at a competitive price. We must not let this opportunity slip away.”

Government transparency, Mijares said, has been the most talked about issue throughout his campaign.

“Many of the folks I have talked with are concerned about the direction our local government is heading,” he said. “They feel it is following lockstep with our federal government with regard to access and openness. We may not be able to change the federal policy but we can certainly change the local one.

“Let’s elect people who are not afraid to have the light shined on them,” he said. “We deserve open access to our legislative process and we can have it.”

Several months ago, Mijares helped form an organization called Citizens for a Responsible Government.

The CRG charter amendment is only the second charter amendment to be placed on the ballot by the citizens of Kaua‘i in the past 10 years. Simply stated, the amendment requires the council to oversee the Planning Commission with regard to future resort and hotel development.

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