People often talk about improving. They talk about becoming a better person. They talk about setting their sights higher. They talk about changing themselves.
It’s generally pretty generic, nothing too specific, always subject to change. Motivation, discipline, often wane, and people fall back on easier, more comfortable paths.
Not so with our Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami, who will give his State of the County address at 8:30 today at the Lihue Civic Center Mo‘ikeha Building courtyard.
On Saturday, at the 15th Mayor’s Prayer Luncheon, Kawakami stood before the crowd of about 1,000 people and said this:
“One hundred days from now, I’ll be a better person. I promise you.”
He didn’t say he would try.
He didn’t say he hoped.
He didn’t say if it all works out.
He said, “I’ll be a better person. I promise you.”
We don’t doubt him.
In his first 100 days in office, which he’ll talk about this morning, the mayor set lofty goals and did many of the things he said he would: Host a housing summit, identify areas to audit, end long motor vehicle registration lines, and compile a legislative package.
The mayor said something else Saturday that caught our attention. He said this island deserves to have the best mayor (we should add he praised former Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. for his performance in leading this island for 10 years). And that, he said, is why in the next 100 days he planned to audit himself. He wants to see where he is strong, where he is weak, and where there are opportunities to improve. He wants to do all he can so he will be the very best mayor he can be.
Kawakami is not going it alone, at least not if people respond when he called on everyone at the prayer luncheon to join him.
“I’m going to need your help in prayer,” he said.
Our mayor has already accomplished a great deal in his first 100 days, and he’s just getting started.
We believe even better days are ahead under his leadership. When you consider this man’s experience and background in business, in politics, in community, and understand his deep roots here and how he loves Kauai, you can’t help but acknowledge he has the tools to get things done. Not just talk about them, but do them.
When he says he wants to be the very best mayor he can because that’s what this island deserves, we believe him.
When he says he will be a better person in 100 days, we believe him.
Based on the margin by which he won the mayor’s seat, it’s clear most others do, too.
Kawakami will cover a lot of ground in his State of the County address this morning. He will talk about a lot of plans, a lot of goals, a lot of what he wants to do as mayor.
But it will be more than a lot of talk.
We are confident he will deliver on his promises.
Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami — and we’re basing this on his experience and achievements — is someone who gets things done. He gets things done because, in the end, he knows people will judge him on his deeds, not his words. He knows people of this island are counting him.
And he does not plan to let them down.