Full Name: Matthew Bernabe
Name on Ballot: Matt Bernabe
District: Kauai County Council
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Run my own business; power-washing, tree removal and maintenance, and yard conditioning services
Place of birth: Hawaii
Campaign website: votemattbernabe.com
Job history past 10 years:
I have owned and operated my own business for over 10 years. Before that I was a cook/chef for my entire life. However I always trimmed trees as a second career
Ever run for public office? If so, when? Outcome? No
Other civic experience or community service?
My civic experience comes from all the community activities I participate in. I started testifying on public record about 14 years ago. At first I just attended a public meeting (i.e at a school or public library) pertaining to a specific issue like Kokee lease renewal or the horizontal well proposal, etc … About two years ago, I began regularly showing up every Wednesday to the County Council meetings. Immediately I went on record addressing significant agenda items.
Anything else you’d like voters to know about you?
I’m married with two daughters. Before starting my business, I went back to school to be a RN. I was hit by a delivery truck while leaving class, resulting in loss of right leg. I haven’t slowed down, I still enjoy hard work and extreme fun, Kauai Style.
What makes you qualified to be a Council member?
I am a qualified voter that has participated in many more than the two years required prior to this upcoming election. I’m educated on all the significant issues with a public position on record for all of them. I use critical thinking while truly caring about Kauai’s unique lifestyle.
What is your one big idea?
Hold all levels of county government more accountable to make the administration more cost efficient, and reverse the need to tax the public. We need to update our county charter and codes to reflect best practices. Using objective standards to measure job performance allows for better management, especially enforcing policies.
What steps can the Council take to reduce the county’s backlog of road repairs?
Roads has done some projects without following due process, also focuses on projects that are low priority while ignoring high priorities. I will hold them accountable. “Kauai multimodal transportation plan,” which at the core is a big backlog factor, needs to be looked at and reevaluated to reflect core needs.
The Kekaha Landfill has about 10 years of life left. What alternative waste disposal methods should the county take up?
Kauai County states: “Slightly more than 50 percent of daily tonnage collected, is green waste.” The county needs to encourage industry to fill that niche and exploit the demand for good potting soil on Oahu, as Maui County does. On top of that, we need to follow the current recycling policies.
What should the county do to help house the homeless on Kauai?
I believe if the our county operated with less potential for waste, fraud and abuse, we would free up resources crucial for assisting Kauai’s homeless and houseless citizens. Also we need to create an export economy once again, creating jobs, and diversifying our economy ensures long term sustainability.