Full Name: Peter S. Hoffmann
Name on Ballot: Pete Hoffmann
District / office: Mayor – Hawaii County
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Current Job: Retired
Place of birth: Jersey City, N.J.
Campaign website: friendsofpetehoffmann.com
Job history past 10 years:
>> 2004-2012 County Councilman, Kohala District, County of Hawaii
>> Substitute Teacher, Waikoloa Middle School
>> Various community activities and boards of directors
Ever run for public office? If so, when? Outcome?
Yes, four consecutive two-year terms as county councilman. Successful in the 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010 elections.
Other civic experience or community service?
Seven years on board, West Hawaii Community Health Center; four years on board, Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra; former University of Hawaii regent; founded the Waikoloa Senior Center, nine years as president; served on two statewide commissions for the Catholic Diocese of Honolulu; plus other community groups.
Anything else you’d like voters to know about you?
U.S. Army combat veteran 28-plus years active duty, retired as a colonel defense attache in Vienna, Austria. Worked for an international peace-keeping organization headquartered in Austria for 3 1/2 years. Defense Department budget experience in Pentagon and with congressional committees.
What makes you qualified to be mayor?
My leadership experience, knowledge of county affairs, ability to work with individuals of varied cultural and ethnic backgrounds, commitment to open government and unquestioned integrity.
What are your top five priorities for the county?
Reduce the level of poverty; greatly expand our agricultural sector; increase affordable housing opportunities — particularly for rental housing; resolve several neglected wastewater projects; continue to address infrastructure shortfalls.
What is your one big idea?
We can feed ourselves today and, in the long-term, we could be the breadbasket for the state. We must establish a functioning agricultural office in the county, significantly increase grants to this sector, work with UH to craft educational courses for careers and develop more community gardens.
The Hilo landfill is nearing capacity. When it closes, should trash from East Hawaii be hauled to the Puuanahulu landfill, or not?
If alternatives are not found and the landfill closes, trash will be trucked across island. I believe we do have alternatives, both in reuse/recycle of our waste products, and reducing significant amounts of trash and green waste that are thrown in the landfill. Smarter leadership and initiatives are required.
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 was the original advocate for free bus transportation islandwide. I believe free service is an economic driver not an economic burden. Subsidies must continue and bus service must be expanded, but a reduced fare is necessary to assist workers and families in living in difficult economic conditions.
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?
Its hard to advocate for tax increases when so many individuals live at/below federal poverty guidelines. As mayor I will seek federal grants for our Hele-On system as a better alternative and I will reallocate existing funds for road maintenance. Tax increases are a non-starter for me.