Chock seeks middle ground on council

LIHUE — Mason Chock admits that he is not one of the more vocal members on the Kauai County Council.

But there’s a method to it. 

Staying quiet and just listening, the current council vice chair said, allows him to hear different perspectives and arguments so that he can make informed decisions. 

“You’ll see that there are a lot of people who have their own way and style of approaching problems, and I don’t think it’s one way or the other.” Chock said. “It’s just a matter of perspective and I think that there’s a way to continue the discussion rather than having to always move toward a decision that no one can live with and get us closer to things we can agree upon.” 

It is a quality that, he said, is important to remember when the seven-member board is taking up key decisions on a variety of issues, ranging from the county budget and planning to public health and safety.

“I don’t think that, at least from what I hear and what I see, the council has ever been as busy as they currently are now in our history on Kauai because the issues are so integrated and compounded. We’re really tackling some real key infrastructural, systemic kinds of things and that’s going to cause a lot of upheaval and change in people’s lives — and we’re seeing it every day as a council,” Chock said.  

When the 42-year-old Wailua Homesteads resident was appointed by the County Council to serve out the rest of Nadine Nakamura’s term in November, he told The Garden Island, at the time, that he wasn’t sure if he would run for re-election.  

And up until the last day to file his nomination papers in this year’s County Council election, Chock took his time to think about it.

“When it came down to it, I feel like there’s more that I can contribute here,” Chock said.

If elected, Chock said he wants to bolster leadership development opportunities within the county, an effort he described as “building human capital, human capacity, collaboration through confidence and competence.” 

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