Time to pivot to local elections

In only 60 days the 2020 primary election will essentially be over. Ballots will be mailed out on or about July 22, and most of the voting will occur in the following 10 days. All ballots must be received by Aug. 8. Important: Ballots must be received by Aug. 8 and not mailed by Aug. 8.

22 in the running for 2021 council seat

LIHU‘E — Twenty-two candidates have officially filed to run for Kaua‘i County Council seats by Tuesday’s filing deadline, alongside the incumbent county prosecuting attorney, candidates for the state House and Senate and some Office of Hawaiian Affairs candidates.

Kauai CIP budget surpasses $217 million

HONOLULU — When the State Legislature passed its $5.1 billion Capital Improvement Project budget bill May 21 for Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021, more than $217 million was set aside for projects on Kaua‘i.

Council approves tax rates

LIHU‘E — The county plans to allow a 90-day grace period on upcoming property tax payments in addition to temporarily waiving transaction fees payments.

Rule 11 proposes outdoor team sports

LIHU‘E — Pending Gov. David Ige’s blessing, Kaua‘i County is hoping on June 1 to allow the reconvening of outdoor team sports, the reopening of gyms and fitness centers, the resumption of dine-in restaurant service, and the reopening of personal services, such as spas.

Hawai’i Democratic Vice Chair steps down

HONOLULU — Gary Hooser is stepping down as the Vice-Chair of the Hawai’i Democratic Party, effective immediately. He is doing so primarily to have the freedom to endorse the candidacy of Kim Coco Iwamoto, for House District 26, currently represented by Speaker Scott Saiki.

How to participate in council public hearings

LIHU‘E — While public meetings are physically closed to the public per an emergency rule by Gov. David Ige, the Kaua‘i County Council is offering another way for constituents to join in.

Communication breakdown

Kaua‘i councilmembers have expressed their frustrations over the lack of transparency of the mayor’s administration in responding to COVID-19.

Economic rebuild recommendations offered

The Kaua‘i County Council heard about 45 economic-recovery recommendations from Mayor Derek Kawakami’s Kaua‘i Economic Recovery Strategy Teams last week, including how to support local businesses, the importance of communications, the need for broadband and improved infrastructure and the long-term need to diversify the economy.

CARES Act funding for Kaua‘i housing

LIHU‘E — The county’s Housing Agency received community development funds to soften the blow of the coronavirus crisis across public services and by providing new facilities, including the first of a series of tiny house villages.

Addressing abandoned vehicles

LIHU‘E — With the help of a special task force moderated by County Councilmember Mason Chock, the county is hoping for a low report on abandoned vehicles on Kaua‘i this year.

14,000 counted on the beach

LIHU‘E — Lifeguards reported 14,000 people on Kaua‘i beaches on reopening weekend and in a Monday public address, Mayor Derek Kawakami reminded people that they could again close if people don’t follow the rules.

Budget talks continue

When the Kaua‘i County Council received the fiscal year 2021 supplemental budget in early May, it included about $10.7 million in cuts from the initial budget proposal in March.

Mayor proposes $33.6 million CIP budget

LIHU‘E — When Mayor Derek Kawakami submitted a supplemental budget revision at the end of last week, it included a $10 million reduction in the proposed operating budget, and a $768,493 reduction in capital improvement projects for the budget period beginning July 1.

June filing date approaching

LIHU‘E — With less than a month left to file nomination papers for the 2020 primary election, all but one eligible member of the Kaua‘i County Council has at least pulled papers.

Mayor tightens budget belt

The ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic have tightened the belt of the county government, and it will be reflected in the fiscal year 2021 budget as revenue streams remain uncertain.