• Jay Furfaro
• Dickie Chang
by Editor’s note: The following seven questions were posed to the 23 candidates for Kaua’i County Council. Two candidates a day will have their answers reprinted in their entirety until all candidates’ answers have appeared.
1) Define what future development on Kaua’i means to you. Please use specifics.
2) What is your vision of the island in 10 years?
3) What specific credentials do you have for being a County Council member? Why are you the best for our county? Again, let’s get specific. What positions of power have you held in the past? What connections do you have that will benefit the county?
4) How will you work with the other six members of the County Council if elected? Would like some specific tactics and strategies you would use to act on the county’s behalf within the larger group.
5) What is your history? Born and raised here? Mainlander? Family? Residence? Career? Education?
6) What does open government mean to you?
7) What is the single most important issue to you?
1) Better control needs to be placed with building permits. Apply smart growth principles urgently, re-establish the citizens advisory boards that will begin updating the 2010 Citizens General Plan. Live within caring capacities and consider an impact fee ordinance for future.
Reinvest training dollars for the Planning Commission on legal matters and smart growth management. Extend current council resolutions on no new resort zoning until the 2010 general plan is completed.
2) The island has plenty of open spaces that are green and beautiful with agricultural activities. The community is well-planned with an expanded public transportation system. The economy is balanced and diversified, providing a good quality of life for the people of our beloved island, alive with the Aloha Spirit of our host culture.
We are successful in encouraging individuals, government agencies and businesses to move toward island sustainability goals.
3) I’m a 35-year retired business executive. I posses strong financial skills and analytical skills associated with strategic planning. I have international work experience in the South Pacific with the governments of New Zealand and French Polynesia.
I’m the past president of Habitat Kaua’i, Kaua’i Historical Society, Kaua’i Hotel Association and the treasurer of the Kaua’i Salvation Army. I was also the founding director of Leadership Kaua’i.
4) I have the leadership ability and training that demonstrate how effective a collaborative leadership model can be while sharing accomplishments with all members. The best effect when serving the community is built around the group and members finding common objectives that everyone can first agree on and then work to consistently make improvements.
Honor all council members’ leadership, being respectful while cognizant of the benefits associated with shared leadership as a body that lives aloha and focuses on the goals that are prosperous for the county.
5) My original hometown is Wai’anae, O’ahu. I attended public school in the Territory of Hawai’i at Wai’anae Elementary and Wai’anae High School. I attended the University of Hawai’i’s Kapiolani Community College for hotel and restaurant management, I returned to Kaua’i in food and beverage management at the Hanalei Plantation Hotel.
I’m married to the former Ema Gomez of Hanalei for 35 years. We have three daughters, Nicole Kawai’ala, Jennifer Anuhea and Marissa Mohala. They are all graduates of Kamehameha Schools and the University of Hawai’i. We have one grandson, Kale Gills, of Waimea on the island of Hawai’i. Our family is originally descendants of one of the Princeville Ranch Spanish cowboys. I’m the keeper of records of the family’s history with the Princeville Ranch and the Wainiha Powerhouse.
My resort studies and career have given me opportunities to live and work in Tahiti, Rarotonga and Fiji.
6) I pledge to live within the boundaries of the state Sunshine Law’s objectives, work to keep as much in open session as possible without exposing the county to unnecessary liabilities.
7) First, people must be able to keep their homes and land. Tax predictability that is fair to all owner residents, while being affordable and reasonable. Allow for agricultural tax incentives that reward for growing food, fuel and fiber. Give acknowledgment for open-space planning.
Second, a material resource facility (MRF) for re-use of materials in waste management must be initiated now. This must be parallel to the development of a new landfill site.
Third, a healthy Kaua’i that works to be drug-free.
1) Future common-sense development can mean exciting opportunities for our children to return home to a multitude of diverse jobs, as well as help our present unemployed. However, we can only allow this growth to happen if the infrastructure is in place. Our roads and highways must be able to accommodate our increasing traffic safely.
Common-sense growth also means growth that continues to protect our environment. After all, most of us live here because we have, in my opinion, a healthy environment.
2) I see a balance of a healthy visitor industry along with Kaua’i farmers and businesses being able to service Kaua’i and being able to export daily to O’ahu, all Neighbor Islands, the Mainland and elsewhere.
I believe we will continue to have what our people want, which is a clean and healthy environment to raise our children and for our children and students to have a multitude of job opportunities. Perhaps when we look back at these challenging times 10 years from now, we will all realize the importance of supporting and buying local. “Buy Kaua’i. Think Kaua’i. Kaua’i made.”
3) I began my career in our visitor industry in 1979 and moved to Kaua’i 21 years ago to work for the Westin Kaua’i.
In my current role as the director, producer, host, and owner of Wala’au Productions for nearly 15 years, I’ve worked to keep our community connected and to positively portray Kaua’i, its residents and government agencies, and to promote the Garden Island’s many cultural, sports and community activities for both residents and visitors.
I have engaged the business executives of many of Kaua’i’s major private companies and interacted with most of our elected officials to discuss the issues of the day.
I continue to have good relations with all of them. I have also demonstrated over the years my ability to work with a diverse group of people as a board member with the Kaua’i Chamber of Commerce and nonprofit organizations.
4) I believe strongly that I will work very well with our council members and our mayor. Like in team sports, which I enjoy, we must listen to strategies that may be different and at times better than your own. I believe I can retain information quickly, process the thoughts and get the job done.
5) I was born and raised in Wahiawa, O’ahu. My father was the late Dick S. Chang Sr. and my mother is Betsy Kazuko (Chinen) Chang. I am of Chinese, Japanese and Okinawan descent. I moved to Kaua’i 21 years ago and currently live in Lihu’e. I attended Leilehua High School, Hawai’i Community College, the University of Hawai’i, Hilo, and Leeward Community College.
6) Open government means that we should not keep the truth from the public we serve, unless we are advised otherwise by our county attorney that we could jeopardize the public’s interest. I will remain easily accessible and ready to listen to any and all of the public’s concerns.
7) Retaining the Aloha Spirit of Kaua’i. Many travel publications in the past have voted Kaua’i’s people the friendliest people in the islands in their reader poll publications.
A lot of the younger generation and the new residents of Kaua’i are taught that aloha means “Hello, Goodbye, I Love You.” We all need to realize aloha means sharing, caring, loving, helping and forgiving.
At the end of the day, we are all privileged to live in the most beautiful place on the face of our planet — Kaua’i. By properly planning for the future, we can be supportive of tourism, business, agriculture and the high-technology fields, without jeopardizing the qualities that make Kaua’i so special.