Letter for Sunday, June 28, 2020

Here is why I oppose district council elections

I oppose the district elections and support the current at-large County Council election system for the following reasons:

1. Selection — The selection of an at-large candidate is from a broader island base. A Kaua‘i voter may choose any candidate regardless of where the candidate resides and not be compromised by a geographical area.

2. Representation — Each at-large candidate represents the entire island, not just his/her own district. Each candidate may be more likely to take interest in the overall betterment of the entire island and all its people.

3. Accountability — The at-large candidate will be accountable to every person on Kaua‘i, not a designated group of people from a slice of the island. A person may address a concern to any councilmember.

4. Cost — Running district elections will increase costs in personnel, production, tabulation and resources.

5. Vote — The at-large candidate must garner the majority of the votes, whereas a district candidate needs only more votes than an opponent. It is possible for a candidate in a district election to win if either unopposed or with a single vote.

6. Philosophy — By tradition and culture, Kaua‘i’s diversity is its strength. Our Kaua‘i philosophy is the “we” concept, what is best for all the people and what is best for the entire island. The at-large election system supports the “we” philosophy and encourages cohesiveness. District elections will change the concept of “we” to “me,” and the practice will be what “I want” regardless of the discord and divisiveness in competing for limited resources.

Tina Sakamoto, Lawa‘i

4 Comments
  1. therealhawaiian June 28, 2020 3:33 am Reply

    Very well presented Tina. You’ve obviously done your homework. Your letter makes many points we all need to think about!


  2. Paulo June 28, 2020 7:47 am Reply

    I also oppose voting by districts. It would be divisive in a time when we have enough of that on the federal level. The thing about Kauai is that we are supportive of each other. We don’t don’t need anything to lessen that by promoting the interests of each district against another’s.


  3. Wil Welsh June 28, 2020 9:21 am Reply

    Excellent points, Tina, I’m with you!
    The island is too small to be further divided into areas of imagined representation. We’re all on this little boat together. Sometimes you identify with one council person more than another–what if they’re not representing your district? It’s more comfortable and effective if you can support whom you most respect and support and who understands your viewpoint, whatever part of the island they may be from.
    This provision has been voted down many times–I hope it is once again.


  4. I saw a Vampire once June 28, 2020 9:29 pm Reply

    Good points. I do still think the best county council member needs a portfolio.


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