Full name: Paul Bryant
Name on ballot: Paul “Amaury” Bryant
Office: Hawaii County mayor
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Current job: Retired volunteer
Place of birth: New York
Campaign website: bryant4mayor.info
Job history past 10 years:
Operated fine arts gallery on Big Island’s South Kohala Coast (16 years). Closed due to family health problems and Kaz’s death; I then concentrated on volunteer work with three nonprofits (two of which I now lead.)
Ever run for public office? If so, when? Outcome?
2000: Unsuccessfully ran for state Board of Education
Other civic experience or community service?
Been involved in efforts as diverse as fundraising for the American Heart Association and the Hawaii Island HIV/AIDS Foundation. I worked as a literacy teacher and volunteered at the Waimea Arts Council; the Friends of the Library Laupahoehoe and the newly established Self Discovery Through Art Board. I now lead both the WAC Board of Directors and FOL Laupahoehoe as president.
Anything else you’d like voters to know about you?
Journalist/art critic for Austral-Asia (30 years). Weekly cable interview show and radio personality at NHK (2 years). Organized first charity exhibition for Japan’s handicapped with Prince Tomohito, as my patron. Published countless articles and books while lecturing to such diverse places as the Brookings Institution in Washington and L’Ecole de Paris.
What makes you qualified to be mayor?
The diversity of my work and studies are far reaching and allows me to “think outside the box” when tackling any problem. I feel this sets me above those whose lives have been constricted by jobs spent solely in one format or place. Be the change you want to be!
What are your top five priorities for the county?
1. A living basic wage of $15 per hour, rising to $20 hour within four years.
2. Self-sufficient renewable energy within eight years.
3. Safe roads (county and state) countywide.
4. Stop use of agricultural land for housing outside of homesteading.
5. Make every county employee accountable from Day 1.
What is your one big idea?
Although many dismiss geothermal because of our shoddy Puna record, there are seven other locations that bear looking at. I intend to use updated technology Iceland uses to light and heat the entire nation. If just a significant portion can be utilized we’ll make tremendous gains toward self-sufficiency.
The Hilo landfill is nearing capacity. When it closes, should trash from East Hawaii be hauled to the Puuanahulu landfill, or not?
Absolutely not! Past administrations have used ostrich mentality in dealing with trash by refusing to implement strict recycling with smart leadership. Our current Hilo landfill should be mined/recycled then rebuilt to handle a reasonable yearly load. Green waste must be collected separately and used for compost and/or energy production.
The basic fare for the Hele-On bus system is $2, but the system still requires taxpayer subsidies to operate. The county has demonstrated that a lower fare can increase ridership. Should the fare be reduced, increased or left the same?
I believe a subsidized fare is the answer in tandem with each hotel or business (where the majority of Hele-On riders work) paying a similar fee per head. Seeing workers safely to and from their jobs is in our best interests and all need to assist making stable mass transit a reality
The gasoline tax in Hawaii County is now 8.8 cents per gallon, about half that of Kauai, Maui and Oahu. Do you support increasing the county gas tax to provide more funding for maintenance of county roads and the Hele-On bus system?
Pay-at-the-pump basic liability insurance is where I’d focus my efforts. There is no good reason to oppose this minor added fee when we consider how many uninsured drivers we have on our roads daily. Around 10 cents per gallon could fund a self-sustaining county-run program.