George Thronas Jr. this week said it is his kuleana as a native son of Kaua‘i to “step up and take care of this land and our people.”
Growing up, he said he always admired politics and government. At a young age, he decided that one day he would take his turn in political office.
“I have and always had the desire to serve others and to kokua (help) in areas that I felt that I could share my ability,” Thronas said. “The time has come for me, and I am ready, willing and would be most honored to serve as one of seven members on the County Council.”
As the youngest candidate running, Thronas said he sees firsthand the struggles Kaua‘i faces.
“I am starting off and reaching that point of my career where I see the necessary actions that must be taken in our government today,” he said.
Thronas envisions a government body that is proactive in its decision-making and remains baffled by how much deferment occurs in meetings.
“I understand the difficulties in making decisions; it’s hard sometimes to step out the comfort zone and stand alone when a vote is taken,” he said. “I, for one, will not be afraid to stand up and be a voice for those who otherwise would not be heard.”
Development, traffic, affordable housing and environment are just some of the issues that he would like to address.
“I would like to see our General Plan looked at and bring to question what is right for our people and for our island,” Thronas said. “There is a need for growth, but it must be planned growth and growth that will benefit our island as a whole not those who are financially privileged. How can we afford to purchase affordable homes when these million dollar developments are being approved in areas that are forcing residents to sell off what they own because they can no longer afford it?”
The candidate said he would also like to see support for a beefed-up recycling program that would allow the island to reuse and recycle more.
“I believe that we can make this possible and it will benefit all of us for our future,” Thronas said. “I would like to see more legislation for this and, ideally, action be taken.”
Traffic is a major problem on Kaua‘i and is something that affects the way of life for residents and visitors, he said.
“As someone who works in the hospitality industry, I would like to see our public transportation be more useable not only for our residents but also for our visitors,” he said. “I would like to see our transportation system expanded to not just providing seven-day service, but more buses during peak travel times and more stops that would allow more of the public to utilize them.”
He recommends using idle buses from around the county to provide a shuttle service between hotel and resort areas to allow workers and visitors easier access on to the mainline bus stops.
“I do understand that there may be some legality issues regarding this, but being active as a leader means looking at all avenues and options before tearing them apart,” Thronas said.
If elected, he said he is aware that it will be difficult for a body of seven council members to be in agreement, but can feel the change within government for the betterment of all Kaua‘i.
“We need new voices, new ideas and new decision-makers,” Thronas said. “The time is now and the time is coming and that is what is great about this year’s elections.”
The candidate said he holds deep respect for all those who seek to serve in public office.
“I want the people of Kaua‘i to know that I will work hard for you, I will do the job you have trusted me to do and I am excited to have this opportunity in front of me,” he said.
“I am confident that this is what I have been called to do, and this is why I have stepped up to show my responsibility to make things pono (right) for our Kaua‘i.”