Full name: Gary L. Hooser
Name on ballot: Gary L. Hooser
District: Kauai County
Email Address: Gary@garyhooser.com
Member, Kauai County Council
Place of birth: San Diego
Campaign website: www.garyhooser.com
Job history past 10 years:
Gary Hooser presently serves on the Kauai County Council and is chairman of the Public Safety Committee. He served in the state Senate representing the islands of Kauai and Niihau from 2002-2010 and held the position of majority leader in the Senate from 2006-2010. Hooser also served as the director of the Office of Environmental Quality Control of the state of Hawaii. He was appointed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie and confirmed by the state Senate in early 2011 and served until mid-2012 when he left the position to run for election to the Kauai County Council.
Ever run for public office? If so, when? Outcome?
Yes. See above.
Other civic experience or community service?
In addition to serving in the state Senate and as director of the Office of Environmental Quality Control, I have served on various nonprofit boards and am currently president of the board for the Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action.
Anything else you’d like voters to know about you?
Graduate of Kauai Community College and UH West Oahu, formerly owned and operated various small businesses and have lived on Kauai since 1980.
What makes you qualified to be a Council member?
My experience and proven track record in business and in government at both the state and the county level.
What is your one big idea?
County government should utilize its ability to borrow funds at very low rates and its legal authority to change land-use designations and increase density to aggressively develop new affordable housing within or adjacent to existing urban areas.
What steps can the Council take to reduce the county’s backlog of road repairs?
The County of Kauai needs to manage its money better and make road repairs a priority. The county also needs to work aggressively with the state government to ensure that the state highways (where the congestion occurs) are expanded and managed properly.
The Kekaha Landfill has about 10 years of life left. What alternative waste disposal methods should the county take up?
The county has a comprehensive solid-waste plan which should be followed. Unfortunately, the county seems to be seeking a “silver bullet” such as waste to energy as the one answer. Waste to energy may eventually be a part of the solution, but strong reduction/diversion strategies are needed now.
What should the county do to help house the homeless on Kauai?
Housing First is the answer. The county must aggressively expand the affordable and middle-income housing inventory.