County Council candidates answer

• Linda Pasadava

• Bruce Pleas

Editor’s note: The following seven questions were posed to the 22 candidates for Kauai County Council. Two candidates a day have answered for the last 11 days with today’s candidates being the last.

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?

Linda Pasadava

1) I would like to see Kaua‘i develop more independence from tourism and less on building hotels and resorts and timeshares to encourage more visitors who will tax our infrastructure and use our resources.

Leaders that develop a policy where they are unafraid to say “no” to anything that is harmful or designed for a few rather than for the good of those who live here

Development of a future Kaua‘i that honors the environment and is cautious with her resources

A Kaua‘i that develops a firm policy of using agricultural land for that purpose and that purpose alone.

Develop together, a future that finds Kaua‘i healthy in her people, by way of excellent health care, her environment, by way of protection of our oceans and lands, and a healthy and thriving ecology and economy that is fruitful and sustainable.

And finally, develop a system that educates our children with useful knowledge and an understanding of what the Aloha Spirit is really about and how it makes this incredible island a paradise full of promise and beauty for generations to follow.

2) My vision for Kaua‘i in the next decade is the same as it is at this moment. That the aloha spirit will continue to be honored and practiced among all people on Kaua‘i. Alternative energy sources that utilize the wind, sun and water that are abundant on our island. I see a future without complete dependence on fossil fuels. I see people voluntarily recycling, installing solar water heaters and photo voltaic roofing. I see our rental car companies using hybrid and the latest technology in their fleet of cars. With effective recycling programs, our landfill problems will be mitigated to the degree that incinerator burning that is still utilizing fossil fuel will not be needed. I envision our local government enforcing land use laws and actively encouraging farmers and all residents to embrace responsible sustainable practices that benefit everyone. With proper land use our farmers will provide healthy produce to alleviate the 95% food importation. Instead of importing, we will be exporting our products to strengthen our economy. Kaua‘i will be sustainable and independent if our leaders implement responsible and effective methods.

3) I have made great connections with various county and state employees during my tenure on the Kilauea Neighborhood Board and other community boards which I have served on such as the Kaua‘i Museum, North Shore Council, Kilauea Community Outreach Program. I will utilize my legal background and teaching experience as a council member. I will draw on my experience of living and working abroad. I have an diverse work history that include hiring staff, setting up a mentoring program at KCC under the WIA program, developing my own curriculum for the classes I teach, starting and running my own business since 1996. I constantly draw from my extensive corporate training and I genuinely like working with a variety of people. I am community and service oriented and I care about Kaua‘i, the place that I call home. Most importantly I bring my integrity,honesty, responsibility and openness. The good people of Kaua‘i deserve nothing less in their government leaders.

4) I am experienced in working in a group setting with diverse personalities and backgrounds. I see this as an opportunity to share views and experience in assessing the running of the county government. It is important to be a team player acknowledging that each council member has their priorities and positions but at the end of the day it is about serving the people. As a communications instructor I know that the most important thing is to listen. Listening to fellow council members and to the public is vital to effective leadership. We have resources in our county departments and in the people themselves who take time out of their busy lives to come and testify before the council. Working on committees gives the council an opportunity to handle more than one issue at a time. Good leadership involves respect and good communication skills, an open mind and an open government whenever possible.

5) I was born in St. Paul, Minn. I am the oldest of two. My sister has a master’s degree in Theatre Arts and is a freelance writer in New York City. I attended Macalester College in St. Paul and have a B.A. in Political Science. I earned a law degree from Southwestern University of Law in Los Angeles. After law school I was recruited into the corporate legal world. I managed a large case load, attended arbitrations and participated in negotiations to settle cases in an effort to avoid high litigation costs. I had a staff and was responsible for millions in possible settlement and litigation cost. I moved to Kaua‘i in 1993 to marry my husband Chad who is third generation born on Kaua‘i. I have a wonderful husband and also inherited a large supportive local family. I own a small business that is dependent on tourism but I firmly believe that the cost of maintaining our island must be borne by many including the tourists that come to our island. I have served on several community boards as a director.I believe in volunteerism to give back. I am a part time instructor at KCC where I offer classes that relate to communications and business. My work experience and education will be beneficial as a council member. I care deeply for Kaua‘i which is why I am running for public office.

6) Open government is proscribed by law. It is defined in our state statutes {HRS92} but has often been ignored by our government. It is the right of the people to be informed of the decision making process that affects our well being.

The office of the Mayor and the County Council are public servants who have laws and rules that they must follow.

The purpose of closed sessions should be allowed only when case sensitive information is being discussed. Outside of a legal issue that must be kept confidential during the litigation process, meetings and minutes of any public government entity should be available. A substantial number of Kaua‘i residents have insisted on having open government and the failure to do so has cost the tax payers more money in litigation . There are much better ways to spend our tax money then to sue the people who are sworn to uphold the laws. Our County must lead by example and encourage an open and transparent government. Honest leaders have nothing to hide and open government builds trust in our government process.

7) Land use regulation is way over due. The decisions that have been made by our county leaders often do not make sense for the well being of our island. A 37,000 square foot mansion in the middle of a pristine eco sensitive valley is not what we need. Kaua‘i needs to grow food not luxury houses. We have fertile ag lands and farmers ready to farm it. We need the government to follow their own laws and enforce proper land use. If that requires hiring inspectors to regulate then so be it. We can use some of the 30 plus million dollar surplus in the county coffers.

The other use for land that is needed is affordable housing for residents and their families. We are driving our youth off island as they cannot afford to buy anything now. Instead we allow developers to have their way with the precious lands on our island.

They get rich, move on to another venture and we suffer for it. It is time to take back our island by using the land to serve our needs not those of the rich.

Bruce Pleas

1) At this point Kaua‘i has adequate areas zoned for Resort development with many of these areas still undeveloped. For me the future of development for Kauai are in the areas of becoming an island that is self sustaining in both agriculture and energy production. Both of these fields will employ residents that are interested in field work, management and high tech positions, all of which can be filled by local residents that are experiencing the recent downturn in the construction and visitor industry. The first part of agriculture production will cover producing local foods (90%+ of our food at this point is shipped in) for local use and any excess can be sold to Honolulu or other destination with the second part of agriculture production growing plants that can be used for energy production. This will entail providing a solid base for agriculture that on the County level would mean low property taxes for real farm operations, tax credits for operations that are producing crops that are being used on Kauai, the management of Agriculture lands with level A and B lands being set aside for crop production and level C thru F lands being used for alternate energy production.

2) My vision is an island that has a green ring of parks around the outside of it, a central area that has been returned to its natural state with the remaining areas keeping the rural look that is so important to both the residents and visitors (returning the building height limit to 40 feet from its present 55 feet). Presently Kaua‘i is under great stress from a general lack of infrastructure to support the current residential and visitor population. On the state roads there are plans for four lane highways to alleviate the traffic jams and I would rather see the State develop alternate two lane routes to keep alive the rural character of Kaua‘i. The existing county roads can be transformed and the old haul cane roads can be developed into transportation corridors (regular cars at 30 to 50 mph, slower alternate energy cars at 25 mph, motor and pedal bike lanes, equestrian paths and pedestrian paths) which would present many different ways to move from one place to another without using the state roads along with providing ways to travel that would use less energy. This is just one aspect in my vision of Kaua‘i in 10 years.

3) Over the last decade I have been active in all parts of the county government from the administration to legislative branches which gives me a very broad base to draw from and considerable knowledge of all of the operations that it takes to operate the county government. I am fully aware and have participated in the legislative issues that have been and are presently before the council which means I can step into a council position with a full concept of the issues on the agenda.

Positions of power I do not seek, instead I have participated in the governmental process which includes contributing to the 2000 General Plan along with numerous Planning Commission items that range from zoning issues, land use issues and development concerns. I have participated in both charter commissions with one of the six County Charter amendments on the ballot this year solely from me (mayors election) and was a participant in the formation and passing of the TVR Ordinance. My connections are a comfortable relationship with most of the administration from mayor to department head to county worker, and a working relationship with all of the state and federal representatives from Kaua‘i and Hawai‘i.

4) Over the last decade I have been active with the members of the council and have a good relationship with the prior and current councilmembers. My strong point is that I can listen, do the investigative work and present my findings to the other councilmembers, discuss the issues in a calm and informative manner, make decisions on facts and the public’s input then vote accordingly. I have the temperament that no matter what the outcome of the vote of the council I will always be able to work with all of the councilmembers on any and all issues that come before us even if some prior issues have brought about heated debates. If you have any questions on how I work with councilmembers please ask any councilmember on how I work with them. I have nothing to hide and am comfortable with the public asking any councilmember on my work ethic with the council.

My specific tactics and strategies are simple; truthfulness, respect to the other person, hard work, openness of government to the people (who are the county according to the first section of the County Charter) and a knowledge of Kaua‘i.

5) I was born in San Diego, Calif., into a military family which was stationed across America and then retired in Florida, grew up as a teenager in Florida as that state went from rural area to city in the space of 10 years, spent three years traveling to surf, then moved to Kaua‘i in 1972 to surf and get away from the increasing madness of the Mainland. I met my wife of 26 years on Kaua‘i in 1975; we have resided since then mostly on the Westside and have brought two sons into this world, both of which are born and raised on Kaua‘i and as has happened to most people who reside in one place for a length of time my family has become part of the bigger family that is Kaua‘i.

When I came to Kaua‘i I had very little in the way of funds, obtained a job within days at a resort on the South Shore then within a year began a business of my own as a fiberglass technician then started another business of providing weather and surf forecasts for the various professional surfing contests along with television and movie productions with both of these businesses continuing today.

6) Open government is government open and responsive to the people of Kaua‘i. The first section of the County Charter states it very clearly “The people of the county of Kauai are and shall continue to be a body politic and corporate in perpetuity under the name of ‘county of Kauai,’ referred to hereinafter as the ‘County.'” What this means is that all references in the County Charter to the “County,” such as the Kauai County Council, means that it is a peoples council of Kaua‘i, not a council for special interests. I have a good knowledge of the County Charter in the ways it specifies how “open” our government should be and will uphold those specifics in the County Charter to the letter of the law.

I will support having all important governmental proceedings taped and broadcast over Ho‘ike for the people of Kaua‘i, I will refrain from having any proceedings go into Executive Session at the County Council unless it has to do with civil cases, judicial proceedings or labor negotiations. I will bring all discussions on issues before the County Council out to the table for public discussion and allow the public to present testimony on all issues.

7) At this point it would be the financial stability of the county with the reduction of revenue that will more than likely happen for the 2009-2010 budget and the requirement from the charter that the budget be balanced. With a reduction in the budget looking very likely and the present poor state of the infrastructure on all fronts on Kaua‘i, this is going to be a great challenge to provide the services required to run the government and support the programs needed for the residents of Kaua‘i to exist. All of this has to be done without raising the real property tax for residents. The upward spiral in the cost of living and the cost of government on Kaua‘i has to be stopped and this can only be done with a very close look at county spending procedures and new ideas on saving money while providing a livable wage for county workers that are presently struggling to survive. Also for the people of Kaua‘i to understand what the budget process is about I would support having the entire 2009-2010 budget process on Ho‘ike so that the residents of Kaua‘i can participate and present innovative public testimony on our next Budget.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.