Kauai’s adds another sister city

LIHUE — After a heated debate at Wednesday’s county council meeting, a resolution inviting the City of Davao, Philippines into a sister city relationship with the County of Kauai was approved.

During a trip to Davao last year with Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr., Council Chair Mel Rapozo said they discussed the possibility of becoming sister cities, but what the council would need to know is what the plans are to develop this relationship moving forward.

Since the trip, Rapozo said he doesn’t know how the relationship between Kauai and Davao has developed.

“Normally what happens is when we develop a sister city relationship, it’s between the mayor and the council,” he said.

He said it was concerning.

“I think we should at least be involved in this process and I think (Derek) Kawakami should be the first one to be invited, but for everyone to welcome the county council to be welcome to the service, not just the mayor and I think that’s where I’m having a problem with this,” he said.

Councilmember JoAnn Yukimura said she would appreciate a map of where Davao is and some background on how many sister city relationships Kauai already has in the Philippines.

“If we do a relationship with every city we visit, that’s not going to work,” Yukimura said, because there’s a cost involved. She said the council deserves a more thorough presentation on the matter.

Since Kauai has 11 sister cities, Councilmember Ross Kagawa argued why hold up voting on this resolution for a presentation when they can discuss that at a later date.

Yukimura disagreed. She said this was an official act that was just thrown on the agenda without the council knowing any background about the resolution.

“This doesn’t seem very professional,” Yukimura said.

Kagawa said he has seen many sister city resolutions come through the council, but there’s never been a formal presentation about them.

“Let’s not blame them. It’s never been done as far as I know,” Kagawa said.

In the end, Yukimura said she is in favor of building relationships with the Philippines, because Kauai has so many people here from that country.

Rapozo said it was disrespectful that this body wasn’t informed or a part of the planning and discussion on this matter.

“At least give an opportunity to a member of this council to go with the mayor and be part of the ceremony. It just doesn’t commit the administration, it commits the council as well,” Rapozo said.

Carvalho will be vacationing in the Philippines next week. He’s planning on visiting with the mayor of Davao during his trip.

  1. Brian Zimmerman January 25, 2018 12:57 am Reply

    Aloha Councilmember Yukimura (REALLY?…re: “said she would appreciate a map of where Davao is”), come on, it is 2018! Have you not heard of Google Maps or Google (search)? Billions of people the world over use these simple tools daily & probably even children & adults in Davao pinpointing specific places on Kaua’i on Google Maps. This is stuff our elementary school age children can do in the blink of an eye and same for 99% of people with a mobile phone. If you need assistance, I would be glad to help you.

  2. Brian Zimmerman January 25, 2018 1:15 am Reply

    It is also difficult to understand that w/ our Kaua’i population 18-31% Filipino (full or mixed race) that our elected officials sadly do not know more about the Philippines. Philippines & Davao City 101: “Rody” who is President was the well-chronicled Mayor & after Manila it’s 2nd largest city in the Philippines w/ population of 1.5M+. Btw, Metro Manila is the 5th most populated metropolitan area “in the world” w/ 24M+ people.

  3. Ron Paxson January 25, 2018 7:35 am Reply

    I do like the Philippines and the people a lot, however this city has over 1.6 million people. So, its kinda BIG sister?

  4. charlie Chimknee January 25, 2018 11:07 am Reply

    Aloha…besides, since Mayor Sarah Duterte of Davao City is the daughter of the President of the Philippines, and he also the former Mayor of Davao City multiple times over, this can only be good in so many ways for the Island of Kauai.

    Looking forward to a Kauai-Davao City relationship. How can we help?



  5. truth be known January 25, 2018 12:11 pm Reply

    Is the mayor vacationing on his own dime or are we the taxpayers paying for it?

  6. Lori Lake January 26, 2018 7:53 am Reply

    A heated debate about sister city status? Seriously, is this what we pay our council members to do? How about discussion on infastructure? Maybe traffic issues, homelessness, over development?

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