What we need to know about the candidates

We’re in the midst of another election year, and the race is on as to who will be the next “Magnificent Seven” to occupy positions as members of the Kauai County Council. Will the seven incumbents be re-elected, and if so, in what order, according to the number of votes each will receive? Might there be an upset or two coming from the field of contenders who might stir the interest and support of the voting constituency to garner enough votes to replace any of the seasoned council members seeking to retain their positions of power and authority?

In the process, all of the wanna-be-council-members should be prepared to answer the following kinds of questions and concerns:

Whether an incumbent or a newbie to the Kauai County Council, why should the voting public vote for you? What would you emphasize about your background, your education, your work experience, or your insights which the voting constituency should know about you to urge them to vote for you? Is there something that you feel that needs to be done on Kauai, and that you can be a part of that effort? If so, what is it, or what are they?

Are there specific skills that you feel a council member should have? How have you developed your skills to be a good listener? Is it important to be able to express your views clearly, effectively, and efficiently? To what extent is it necessary to keep in close contact with your constituency? How do you identify your constituency? What means will you use to establish a connectivity with them? In what ways is it important to maintain communication lines between yourself and your constituency?

From your perspective, what are the major problems and challenges in each of the major regions of the Kauai County under the jurisdiction of the county council that you are aware of:

In the North Shore area?

In the east coast communities of the island?

In the central-hub (the Hanamaulu to Puhi areas)?

In the South Shore area?

In the western region of the island?

On the island of Ni’ihau?

Social technology has provided a number of ways in which the candidates may inter-relate with the grassroots constituency. Gone are the days when rallies are held from community to community with speakers given allotted time to present their platforms. Roadside campaigning along with the proliferation of campaign signs and banners persist with the cluttering of yards and fences. But, through all that hoopla, the meat-of-the-matter on getting to know the qualities and qualifications of each candidate is frequently overlooked.

So, hopefully, print media outlets or public-access community television may provide the means by which this kind of information may be provided.

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Jose Bulatao, Jr. is a resident of Kekaha and a retired teacher.

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