LIHUE — Arthur Brun is looking forward to beginning his term on the Kauai County Council.
“I want to go to a meeting, I’m ready to get started,” he said.
Brun is the newest face on the council, after receiving 11,003 votes in the general election. Even though the second printout on Nov. 8 said he broke the top 7, Brun had trouble believing he won a seat on the council.
“I checked at least six more times after the final printout was released the next day, just to make sure it was final,” he said. “Then I got a call from Council Services, and I knew it was legit.”
Inauguration day is noon today.
“I’m still in awe over the fact I’ve been given the privilege and vote of the confidence to represent the people of Kauai,” he said.
Brun, who ran for council in 2014 but fell short by 137 votes, credited his campaign team to helping him get the seat this time around.
“We worked the whole island. Everyone knows I’m from the Westside and live in Waimea, but we put up a great team on the Eastside,” he said. “I had a lot of positive support from people for looking for positive change.”
Outreach on the Eastside included phone banking and hosting a dinner in Kapaa Town Park for keiki sports teams and their families. About 500 people showed up, he said.
Brun, along with Derek Kawakami, unseated two incumbents — KipuKai Kuali’i and Gary Hooser, who finished election night in eighth and ninth place.
In the 2016-2018 term, Brun said he’d like to see the council find ways to address homelessness, affordable housing and move forward on the Adolescent Treatment Center.
“We have the plans, and we really need to work on getting it going,” he said.
Another Brun priority is moving forward with the proposed landfill site in Maalo, between Lihue and Hanamaulu.
“We need to start working with those in the Hanamaulu community to get it started,” he said.
Brun said he wants to ask residsents what their concerns are.
For Brun, solving problems on Kauai will take a collaborative effort.
“It’s about working together to get things accomplished,” he said. “As a team, we can get a lot more done than as individuals. We’re all working for the greater good of Kauai.”
When it comes to keeping the budget in check, Brun said he needs to do more homework before coming up with solid solutions.
But he said working with state and federal government to explore funding options from those entities, rather than the county, could be a way to go.
“I want to pursue private and public partnerships,” he said.
As a new face, Brun said he’’ll learn from everyone on the council.
“Incumbents can share their knowledge of the field, and I can learn a lot from them,” he said. “I want to gain all of the knowledge I can.”