"NOW, especially during these challenging times and as we reset the NEW NORMAL, we need members of our County Council that not only know how to work together, but also can reach out into our very diverse community. My heartfelt desire is to make Kauai all it can be…. I have always believed that TOGETHER…. WE CAN!"
MY THOUGHTS AND IDEAS FOR COUNTY COUNCIL
LIST OF ISSUES
The completion of Kauai Kakou-Kauai County General Plan was completed and as the former Mayor, I signed the plan as presented in 2018. This very recent document charts the course for our Island, guiding our growth and sustainability for generations to come. It is important that we as leaders completely embrace and support this document because it represents the desires and dreams of our island residents, business community, and government leaders who collaborated together to define and implement a shared vision for our island home.
The visitor industry plays a big role in Kauai’s Economy not only through offering employment opportunities for residents, but also lays out the process we need to take to improve the visitor experience on our island. The major impacts of tourism on our environment and the cultural sensitivity to our island is at the forefront. We as leaders need to work together to find balance and trust between the visitor and the resident so the business opportunities can flourish. This all connects to the County of Kauai’s Tourism Strategic Plan, which strives to improve the visitor experience on Kaua‘i, reduce the impacts of tourism on the environment and local residents, and enhance the quality of life for visitor industry employees.
▶Sustainable Tourism ▶Transport and Transit ▶Natural and Cultural ▶Environment ▶Communications ▶Employee Development
In addition to approved housing projects that have been completed or are in the process of development, like the Kolopua project in Princeville, Kaniko’o project in Lihue and the Lima Ola project in Eleele, we as leaders need to continue to seek resources and support for housing projects like these. Partnerships with Habitat for Humanity and others is also vital in making homes available to residents at various income levels throughout our Island. It is also especially important to note the various housing programs such as the First-time Home Buyer Loan Program and other programs that are provided through the County Housing Agency. The most recent opportunity for emergency rental, mortgage, and utility assistance program support came through an emergency block grant. The County of Kauai, Housing Agency partnered with the Family Life Center and Malama Pono Health Services to administer grant.
In addition to supporting the current Kauai Agriculture Advisory Committee who provides advice and assistance in the formulation and conduct of agricultural programs, it is our responsibility as council members to also reach out and support our agricultural programs like the future farmers of American program for students; farm to school projects and also the 75 acre agricultural park in Kilauea which needs to be duplicated in other communities on our island.
I would support the efforts of the Kauai economic Strategy Team which consists of eight different sectors: Agriculture; Business; Construction and Public Works; Education; Finance; Health Care; Tourism; Technology and Sustainability. The discussions are already in place and the critical areas of our economic diversification is already in motion. The areas that I would like to highlight is Agriculture and Technology Sustainability. The growing of our own food incorporated with Technology and sustainability will build a solid base in taking care of our people and our island home.
Working closely and supporting the administration in enforcement and implementation of all health and safety rules and regulations. We need to seek solutions and resources to address the “The New Normal” way of caring for our people, our visitors, and our island home. COVID-19 has brought tourism to a standstill in Hawaii. Investments that will make tourism stronger, smarter, and more resilient than ever before are needed now as we rebuild our economy.