Here’s what it takes to run for local office

LIHUE — Three qualified candidates have announced they will be running for the office of Kauai mayor.

The community leaders vying for the position are County Council Chair Mel Rapozo, Councilmember Derek Kawakami and Lenny Rapozo, director of the county Department of Parks and Recreation.

The names of the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes in the primary election on Aug. 11 will be placed on the ballot for the general election on Nov. 6.

Candidates interested in running for mayor must have served as “duly qualified resident electors” of the county for at least three years immediately prior to election, and be U.S. citizens at least 30 years old. Duly qualified electors are trained though county positions that prepare them to perform the tasks and duties of fulfilling the office.

Regular annual salary for the position is $132,000 for a term of four years, with no more than two consecutive terms allowed. The County Council provides a contingency fund of at least $2,500 to also be expended by the mayor for public purposes.

All seven positions on the County Council also will be open for election in 2018. To be eligible to run for that office, citizens must be duly qualified electors of the county for at least two years preceding their appointment. Non-residents and felons are ineligible to serve.

The council adopts rules for the organization of committees and the transactions of its business. The council chair receives an annual salary of $63,879, while the six additional councilmembers each earn $56,781 annually.

At the 2016 general election, Kauai residents voted to establish a permanent Charter Review Commission. The Office of Boards and Commissions is responsible for forming the commission, which consists of seven at-large members appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the County Council to staggered, three-year terms. The Charter Review Commission reviews operations of county government and may propose amendments or a new charter at any general or special election.

The county’s Salary Commission reviews and establishes the salary cap of all elected officials and officers of the county, and adopts policies governing salary-setting decisions. It consists of seven at-large members also appointed by the mayor and confirmed by council to staggered, three-year terms.

Some of the highest-paying county positions include managing director ($122,539), county clerk ($119,357), planning director ($119,357), county attorney ($119,357), director of finance ($119,357), computer systems officer ($115,092), assistant chief of police ($150,408), fire chief ($127,313), deputy county engineer ($114,582), civil engineer ($138,132) and director of Parks and Recreation ($119,357).

8 Comments
  1. Glenn Tamagawa November 26, 2017 7:17 am Reply

    I’ve always been very curious how the County of Kauai comes up with salary amounts for the county positions listed in this article. I hope it isn’t based on what other counties in the State or beyond pay their directors and officers. I would hope it would be based on what the Kauai county can afford to pay, not just because this and that county pays this much.


  2. John Erwin November 26, 2017 7:59 am Reply

    Just curious – why is it the Mayor who is in charge of all operations island wide is paid less than the assistant fire chief who in theory works for the Mayor. If the asst. chief makes $150K, what is the Fire Chief paid? What do we pay the Police chief? Is it also more than the Mayor. Does Kauai county have fixed mandatory salary caps or is their a cap with exceptions for fire and police? Curios to see what others think????


  3. steve ball November 26, 2017 11:44 am Reply

    Now I understand why we keep getting the same old retread unqualified people in public office here. Rules keep normal people out and only let in the good old boys. Hard to believe that is legal.


  4. Sunrise_blue November 27, 2017 9:02 am Reply

    And I never heard of Bernard pm. Carvalho jr., Ross Kagawa, and Mel Rapozo. For my computer database network files.


  5. Sunrise_blue November 27, 2017 9:07 am Reply

    I say for church group are these candidates. Not care. So…!


  6. Sunrise_blue November 27, 2017 9:20 am Reply

    I was just doing a demographic study. How come they can’t collect taxes from the senior citizens more? They voted for Bernard pm. Carvalho jr.. appropriate records.


  7. Sunrise_blue November 27, 2017 9:44 am Reply

    I’m ready for another election. And a 2% raise across the board. I can’t wait for the primary. Taxes is the key.


  8. Sunrise_blue November 27, 2017 10:02 am Reply

    Crossword puzzles or match up exams. Did you ever see them or pay attention to these games or exams? Very insight on the primary election.


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