Mayoral race important for Kauai
The upcoming mayoral and County Council elections are as important to Kauai as the midterms are to our country. These elections will chart the course of our island and greatly effect our way of life for years to come.
While past local elections have been pretty much a popularity contest, often along ethnic lines, these elections determine how our island will deal with real, critical issues such as affordable housing, future development, unbearable traffic congestion, and disposal of waste and sewage.
The affordable housing experiments on our sister islands have not worked. As homes are sold, the purchase prices rise and quickly become progressively unaffordable for the majority of our residents.
Mel Rapozo has a plan which would use county land and nonprofit agencies to keep housing in an affordable range and develop enough new homes for our local people, to stop our housing disaster. Mel is against eliminating the building height restriction.
Our infrastructure is quickly deteriorating. Our roads are in disrepair and can no longer handle the volume of traffic. Our sewage and waste water systems are destroying our surrounding reefs, our landfills are approaching capacity and our main highway will soon be compromised by sea level rise.
Having been on the County Council for the past eight years, Mel has plans which would alleviate some of these issues. Mel is not a politician, he is a realist. His tough love approach to solving problems is what we need to keep Kauai the Garden Isle. He has shown time and time again that he will stick up for our island and he will fight for our ability to at least partially control our island’s destiny.
Arnie Serota, Kilauea
Kawakami will build bright future
It’s time for new kind of leadership for Kauai. Leadership that has the experience, home grown on Kauai, and tested at the state level, who understands the challenges we are facing and how to get things done.
Someone with the experience of representing our county in the state Legislature and in local government, who has worked in economic development and environmental protection and knows how to balance both, and the answer is clear, it’s time for Derek Kawakami.
Derek is a new breed of young, fresh, inspired, energetic, creative , and innovative leaders, that know how to get things done, and his accomplishments show that!
At the age of 29, Derek was elected to the board of directors of KIUC where he chaired The Strategic Planning Committee. Building the strategic plan to be the first county in the United States to work towards running on 100 percent sustainable renewable energy.
Two years later when Derek was elected to his first term on the County Council he worked toward making our streets safer by banning the use of electronic devices while driving.
Representing our county in the Legislature he served from 2011-2016 and Derek was instrumental in passing Safe Routes to School, special funding which helps to make the areas around our schools. He helped pass laws increasing the penalties on those who commit violent acts in the presence of children under the age of 14. Both of which help make a safer environment for our Keiki.
Derek Kawakami has helped create economic growth by creating a Manufactures Assistance Program to help local business owners to expand their businesses, and in addition worked to support local sports programs for our schools getting wrestling programs into our local high schools.
Derek has a proven track record of a leadership style that values inclusiveness, collaboration, integrity, and innovation and represents what Kauai needs to move forward. The Kawakamis have a long history of being Pono people and leaders in our community. Vote for new kind of leader with experience, vote for Derek Kawakami as our next mayor, honoring our past and building our future!
Doug Kohl, Lihue