LIHUE — Kauai County Councilman Gary Hooser said he is not one to shy away from asking for help and reaching across the aisle to state lawmakers and county officials.
So when people reach out to him and ask for help, Hooser said he does his best to resolve their concerns.
“I don’t have all of the answers and I can’t help everybody but I try,” he said.
And when it all comes down to voting on an issue, Hooser said he is not afraid to bite the bullet.
“I think our council has been very proactive on many issues,” he said. “The safest thing for a council member to do is to do nothing and vote no. A majority of our council has chosen to tackle some tough issues because we believe that is what people expect us to do.”
Though his name has been closely tied to Bill 2491, now Ordinance 960, which seeks to tighten pesticide and genetically modified organism (GMO) regulations on large agribusinesses and seed companies on Kauai, Hooser said he is seeking a fourth term on the County Council to tackle other important issues.
“This last year, people might have come to the conclusion that I was focused solely on the pesticide issue, but if you look at my record in public service, I was involved in a lot of issues like affordable housing, health care, and traffic and highways,” Hooser said. “I realize those things are very important to people.”
If re-elected, Hooser said he specifically wants to use his experience in the real estate industry to continue the county’s affordable housing initiatives.
“I know how development works and the county has all the power, authority and access to financial markets that it needs to really develop a lot of affordable housing for local residents with partners in the private sector,” Hooser said. “I think we can increase the result of the housing department tenfold over the next two years and really make a meaningful change in the amount of housing available for local residents. I meet a lot of young people who do not believe that they’ll ever be able to buy a home, period, and that shouldn’t be the case.”