Hoff: We’re at a crisis point

Lawa‘i resident John Hoff said in an interview last week that he is seeking a seat this fall on the Kaua‘i County Council to make island sustainability a reality.

“The technology is out there being used every day, we just don’t have the political will,” he said. “We can change that this election.”

Hoff, a married father of four, said this will be his last shot running for an elected position. Since 1998, he has made three bids for the state House, one for council and one for mayor.

“We’re at a crisis point right now,” he said. “It’s quite evident.”

If the direction the county is headed does not change soon, Hoff said, the island will look like Maui.

“‘We the people desire an agriculturally based community,” he said. “There are so many positive things that our County Council structure is capable of doing. With such an instrument in the right hands, it can bring to Kaua‘i solutions and changes that are willed by you, the people.”

But change, Hoff said, is only possible if people vote.

“The only way to make them listen is through the ballot box,” he said. “If you don’t vote, you’re telling them they’re doing fine.”

Hoff said he has spent the past decade working on community projects in Kekaha.

For example, he noted the installation of safety grab bars in the homes of senior citizens and gift packs to troops in the Middle East.

If elected, Hoff said a top objective will be making the ‘ohana tax relief measure a bill that becomes law. The ordinance provides an annual percentage cap increase on property taxes.

Another priority, he said, is solid waste.

“We have a horrible public health problem out in Kekaha,” Hoff said. “They’ve lived with the garbage for decades.”

He said the $650,000 host-community benefit funds that the council approved last budget cycle for Kekaha’s housing of the landfill is nothing compared to what they deserve.”

As a councilman, Hoff said he would work to implement carbon technology that turns plastic back into crude oil to be used for jet fuel, gasoline or asphalt.

He said this would reduce the amount of plastic going into the landfill each year by tons.

“We just need a political will for this county to allow some common sense technology,” Hoff said.

The next step is implementing a material recoveries facility. The county needs a place to separate plastics and pull out other recyclables that can be diverted from the landfill, he said.

Hoff said his other top priorities will include addressing local Hawaiian issues and restoring open government on Kaua‘i.

“Positive changes can come about in this election because the opportunity in new energy and fresh approaches can be achieved,” Hoff said.

• Nathan Eagle, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 224) or neagle@kauaipubco.com

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