Kauai County Council candidate Bruce Pleas started primary election day as he does most days: “I went to the beach and went surfing,” he said.
The Kekaha resident lets nary a day go by without surfing … at least when there are waves.
When it was time to get down to business, it wasn’t sign waving and glad-handing Pleas went to work on. “I’ve already copied about 50 pages of HRS’s (Hawaii Revised Statutes) preparing for next weeks’ Charter Review Commission, Planning Commission and County Council meetings.”
That was after he had scanned the agendas for the three meetings seeking out items that interest him.
Pleas is a freelance, community government activist. “I’m running for County Council so I can make a direct impact rather than sitting on the fringes,” he said. “As a councilmember, I would have eight hours a day, seven days a week to focus on it.”
Pleas is a familiar face in many of the local government meeting galleries. He directly influenced the wording for charter amendments relating to seated board members testifying to their own boards and the county release of public opinions. He attends and participates in meetings as a private citizen. Pleas has tried twice in the past to attain public office. In 2004 he ran for County Council and in 2006 for mayor.
Pleas is a Sunshine Law and Uniform Information Practices Act crusader. Sunshine governs open meeting standards while UIPA determines standards for the release of public documents. “The county has to abide by the Sunshine Law; they can’t ignore it.”
Pleas said he favors Mel Rapozo for mayor. When asked what he thought his prospects were for making it through the primary election as one of 14 to proceed to the General Election on Nov. 4: “There are big segments of the community who don’t know about me unless they are up on government,” Pleas said. “I understand that elections are a popularity contest.”
He figures his chances are 50-50.
Pleas says he didn’t spend one dollar on advertising and that campaigning is not his style. A better portion of yesterday was dedicated to sanding an epoxy stand-up paddle surfboard he is shaping.
While sanding, he contemplated his strategy for a Wednesday County Council hearing on some possible funding to investigate the pesticide spraying issue at Waimea Canyon Middle School. “It is Bill 2278 for the $50,000 in matching funds for the state study and identification of chemical compounds,” Pleas said.
When reached at 9:45 p.m. to ask how it felt to make the cut at No. 14 with 2.3 percent of the vote, he said, “It’s good; now I’ve got six more weeks of work.”
“I think I’ll consider accepting donations that might let me get some more signs made and maybe I’ll think about going door to door.”
This morning, he said, he’ll order some more signs after going to the beach for a surf.