1. Why are you running?
Mahalo to TGI for providing our community with this forum. We, the candidates, appreciate it. Personally, I find serving others to be very rewarding. Why KIUC? Because our co-op touches the lives of every person on our beautiful Garden Isle. Although I applaud the actions of our board in moving from fossil fuels to renewables, I question the balance of the approach. I understand the costs associated with this, but I’d like to see a real time return on our investments in the form of savings on our monthly bills. I offer a fresh set of eyes to assess issues facing our co-op.
2. What expertise and experience will you bring to the board?
A graduate of Leadership Kauai, I sit on the board of directors helping to inspire new leaders for our island. I proudly serve on the Kauai Regional Board of the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation, working to provide quality sustainable health care to our island community. I was honored to serve on the Papahanaumokuakea Reserve Advisory Council. I am a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, a Vietnam combat experienced Naval aviator and an engineering test pilot. I have proven performance as a program manager and strategic planner.
3. What will you do to help KIUC meet its renewable energy goal?
Although fast paced, technology does not seem to be producing immediate short-term solutions for storage and distribution challenges. Alternatives would be to press on with the current plan, or to take a step back and evaluate. My choice lies somewhere between these two. Although progress toward 50 percent renewables is noteworthy and achievable, I advocate emphasis on a greater degree of short-term relief from rates that are among the highest in the country. Let’s balance the investment being made in long-term renewables with relief in the short term from the rates passed to members in each monthly bill. Our struggling friends and neighbors deserve no less.
4. What do you see as the biggest challenge facing KIUC in providing energy to Kauai?
Moving off our reliance on fossil fuels is our biggest challenge. A solution to the storage of renewables problem does not seem to be close at hand. One option is to explore is a shift to liquid natural gas until renewable energy can be efficiently stored. LNG as a bridge fuel between our current use of diesel/naphtha and renewables would be cheaper, safer and much more friendly to the environment. The conversion expense would be considerable and problems with transport and bunkering would have to be addressed. However, economies could be realized by partnering with work currently being done on Oahu.