County Council candidates answer

• George Thronas Jr.

• Ken Taylor

Editor’s note: The following seven questions were posed to the 22 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?

George Thronas Jr.

1) What future development means to me here on Kaua‘i is one of sustainability and controlling the incline of over development. In order for us to keep Kaua‘i as beautiful as it is, and as it was before.

It is our responsibility to maintain a pathway of growth, but planned growth. We need to help with the development of affordable housing and the updating of our current infrastructure. I would like to see our Kaua‘i businesses and products develop into a way for our economy to thrive by exporting our goods and products made here on Kaua‘i to the Mainland and beyond.

2) I see our island thriving in agriculture and culturally. We can live as we did in the day’s of the past, by thinking resourcefully and caring for our ‘aina and its people.

I would like to see the aloha spirit be restored, through the trust of our government and we as leaders, leading by example in expressing the aloha in all decisions that we make. Through this trust I see our island of Kaua‘i moving into a new direction, a direction that will lead only to success knowing that we can be comfortable in stepping out of our comfort zone and making things happen.

3) I have the ability and accountability to listen to everyone, without placing judgment without first thinking outside of the box. I am and will be held accountable for every action that I take and every decision that I make will have the people’s interest first.

I am a “new voice” — a new leader from the new generation of those who are held responsible in ensuring that all that is being done here on this island serves the betterment of everyone.

My positions in power have mainly been through the University of Hawai‘i system. I have served as president of the Student Body for both Kaua‘i Community College and the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. It is through these positions of leadership that I have served in our University Caucus that has allowed me to work with legislation and being a voice for the rights of secondary education here in Hawai‘i.

My connection that will benefit the county is being a link between the youth of today, who will become the future of tomorrow. I will and can bring more involvement of all ages through my passion for giving and working with people.

4) I see myself working well with all members elected in the County Council.

I come in to this knowing that with everything in life disagreements will occur, but I take it in stride and know that we can never take things personally, instead we can learn from one another with each new adventure.

I would like to see our council become more accessible by hosting monthly forums and town meetings in communities. It is through this we as the body of government can informally have a kukakuka (discussion) within our community and take what we learn through them and make the decisions based upon what we learn.

5) I am very blessed to have been born and raised here on Kaua‘i. I come from a large family and for that I am blessed to call Kaua‘i home.

Even through all my travels, whenever I would return to Kaua‘i it made me understand how truly lucky I am to come from this special place. I come from Wailua, and am a proud graduate of Kapa‘a High.

I graduated from Kaua‘i Community College with a degree in hotel operations and attended the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo where I majored in political science and administration of justice.

I have worked in the visitor and hospitality industry since high school and today I am employed with the Outrigger Hotels and Resorts as a front office manager

6) Accountability, credibility and trust.

I see to many decisions being made based on one-sided support. We as leaders should be accessible to those who are concerned. I want to see our government more open in the decisions we make and to never forget who we represent and why.

7) This is difficult, especially to narrow it down to a single issue. But I would have to say development is my concern.

If we continue on the path that we are currently on, we will outgrow this island and there will be nothing left to enjoy for those of our next generation.

Ken Taylor

1) While good planning can mitigate many of the problems of urban growth, planned growth is not the ultimate solution. We must learn to integrate the ecological principles of sustainability into public policies for managing growth. New and innovative approaches to slowing growth are emerging. As these growth controls evolve and we gain more experience with them, the community will be empowered to truly take charge of the future.

2) Traffic problems resolved by: state of the art, low cost or no cost public transportation.

Economy: clean industry, with good paying jobs and a skilled work force. The island to become world-renowned for eco-tourism.

Schools to emphasize science and math, adjusted for career goals of students. In every grade level, an understanding of dispute mediation. Easy and beneficial healthy lifestyles as an important feature of education.

Island life sustained by its own resources: local or statewide only agricultural products, solar on every home, ocean wave generated energy.

Alternative, non-fossil fuels from local, clean sources. Local agriculture yielding food for all Island needs.

Eco-tourism encouraged by all that Kaua‘i has to offer by its abundant natural resources and visual beauty.

Inter-island and Mainland transportation encouraged by airlines that have successfully replaced their fossil fuel with alternate sources. Inter-island freight shipping to run on alternate fossil fuel sources.

High priority to the protection of Hawaiian native species. Sea life and fishing resources requiring a high level of protection especially from ocean craft that relies on speed and disregards injury to whales and other creatures.

Hawaiian nation to the benefit of the Native Hawaiian people.

3) Elected, in general election of 1990, to the Goleta Water District Board. A special district with about 78,000 people. In my four years in elected office, critical drought issues were taken up by the board and resolved as follows:

As Goleta Water Board’s representative to the Central Coast Water Authority which designed and built the South Coast Conduit to bring California State Water to Santa Barbara County.

Participated, as a representative of the Goleta Water Board, with City of Santa Barbara and Montecito Water District in the design and construction of a water desalination plant.

As a member of Goleta Water Board and in cooperation with the Goleta Sanitary District, involved with design and construction of a wastewater reclamation facility which provided 3,000 acre feet of reclaimed water for irrigation of schools, parks, golf course and landscaping of community open space.

Appointed by county supervisors to the Goleta Old Town Revitalization Advisory Board.

Member Santa Barbara Citizens Planning Association. Goleta Round Table’s Government Formation Study. Past president of Tri-County Chapter California Landscape Contractor. Association & Santa Barbara Beautiful. In Kaua‘i, appointed by County Council to Kapa‘a to Wailua Development Plan update, Citizens Advisory Committee.

4) Study completely all issues and understand and explain how each issue would benefit or be a point of contention for the citizens of Kaua‘i. Listen carefully to other points of view and seek to find common ground that can be negotiated amongst council members to the satisfaction of the majority.

5) I am 69 years old. I was born and raised in Santa Barbara, Calif. My wife Jane and I have three children.


(1956-1961) Active and reserve duty United State Navy.

(1960-1963) Service station auto repair business owner

(1965-2004) Small business owner. Landscape design and installation/plant nursery.

Over the 35 years, each design brought with it a unique experience of interaction with client; their design preference and the advantages and constraints of their site.


Horticulture (1963-1969): Plant identification; Entomology: Study of insects affecting ornamental plants; Plant propagation; Soils and soil properties; Greenhouse design and management

Landscape Design (1965-1971): Site planning, plant theory and combination, hardscapes design and installation, water feature design and installation, irrigation and drainage systems design and installation.

Land use Planning (1990-1995): Long-range and specific plans as relates to community environment; California Environmental Quality Act/Legal aspects of environmental planning; traffic and traffic mitigation planning/land use and traffic circulation; conservation and open space; build quality of life issues into the community plan

Travel Experience: United States, Japan, Mexico, South Pacific Islands, British Isle and Europe.

6) All aspects of an issue be addressed and resolution be explained fully. Opinions on all issues be debated in the open and only areas that meet the criteria, set out by the rules of the County of Kaua‘i or State of Hawai‘i be reserved for private discussion, in closed session, by the members of the County Council.

7) That all decisions made by local or state government work fully to support the prosperity and happiness of the people of Kaua‘i.


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