LIHUE — Pledging to continue her decades-long commitment to community service, Norma Doctor Sparks of Koloa has announced her candidacy for Kauai County Council.
Born and raised in Koloa, Doctor Sparks, 66, is president of Families First Hawaii Services Inc., a consulting firm she co-founded with her husband, Steve, in 2011. Family First advocates for children and families. Her past experience includes serving as deputy attorney general and on numerous federal, state, county and community agencies in Hawaii and California.
“I believe that my education and background set me apart,” Doctor Sparks said. “I am a concerned citizen with deep experience that qualifies me to serve on the council … and I have a passion for helping people.”
Doctor Sparks and her husband recently completed a feasibility study for Kauai County for a proposed residential substance abuse treatment facility for adolescence. She also served as an expert witness for cases for the Hawaii attorney general’s office. The couple moved back to Kauai in 2012.
Excited about her first experience seeking an elected office, Doctor Sparks said her expertise working with a wide range of large public and private budgets will be especially beneficial if elected to the County Council.
“My top priority would be to focus on the budget challenges facing the county,” she said.
Doctor Sparks was the director and deputy director of several large public social services agencies in Los Angeles County and Santa Clara County in California. At her last position as the LA County deputy assistant director with the LA County Department of Public Social Services, she managed about 14,000 employees and a $4 billion budget.
In Hawaii, Doctor Sparks administered statewide agencies including the Hawaii Child Support Agency and Child Welfare Services. In 2007, she was recognized as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Filipino Women in the United States. She is past president of the Kauai Filipino Women’s Club.
The last day to file with the county elections office for two-year seats on the seven-member council is June 7. The primary election is Aug. 13 and the general election is Nov. 8.