comscore 2020 Election: Bob Fitzgerald | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Election

2020 Election: Bob Fitzgerald

Name on ballot:

Bob Fitzgerald

Running for:

Hawaii island mayor

Political party:

Democratic

Campaign website:

Bobfitzgeraldformayor.com

Current occupation:

Sales Manager

Age:

67

Previous job history:

D2014 – Present Sales Manager at Hilton Grand Vacations in Waikoloa
2008 – 2014 Director & Deputy Director of the Hawaii County Department of Parks & Recreations
2003 to 2006 Assisted in coaching football at Hawaii Prep Academy
2000-Present President of West Hawaii Youth Council for 20 years and advocate for senior services since 2008.
Board Member of West Hawaii Park Athletic Corporation (WHIPAC), a non-profit organization dedicated to expanding youth, senior and family recreation in West Hawaii. Includes: Makaeo Park, Old Airport, Kekekuaokalani Gym.
1998 – 2008 Worked for Adventures Resorts and Wyndham Resorts as sales manager
1978 – 2004 Owner/Operator of a flower farm in Captain Cook
1978 – 1998 Owner/Operator of Leslie’s Flowers in Kona (3 Stores/Outlets)
1982 Obtained my Hawaii Real Estate License currently in “Active Status”
1980 -1996 Special Education Teacher at Konawaena High School. Coached the school’s varsity football team. Was part of numerous Island Championships

Previous elected office, if any:

N/A

Please describe your qualifications to represent the people of Hawaii.

I have diversity, experiences, leadership skills,20, year retail flower shop owner,25 years farmer, DOE teacher, and 20 years of coaching high school football, sales manager with two giant corporations (Hilton and Whydham) and a department head , Director of the Parks and Recreation department for the County of Hawaii. I have run a large department for the county under difficult times before and was creative enough to increase our services while cutting our budget, I am not a politician, I am about lots of passion to help this beautiful Island we live on, trust me to bridge communities together with team building motivation skills.” One Island One heart’.

What will be your top priority if elected?

Recovery from C19 most likely will trump all right now so that recovery process first before we can move on. (cure, vaccination etc. then we can really move forward) . My mission is to bridge the gaps around our Island, have many community forums in every area. Listen, assign my crossover departments to a A- Team, jobs that we can get done in two days to six months, a B- Team to get those jobs done in my administration term, and a C -team of crossover departments that will leave issues and plans better for the next Mayor. First step besides our building permit process is revamp our bus and transportation system, it’s in total disarray. I have a full new innovated plan bringing private enterprise combined with all our county vehicles into a very unique people mover program.

As Hawaii faces the COVID-19 pandemic, what more should county government do to protect residents’ health?

We are in uncharted waters, we need leadership to think outside the box in all areas of government, this will take a leader to work with our community’s leaders, our experts in our private sector and a leader that can motivate our entire county government staff. We need to expand our medical capabilities,we can’t just rely on the University of Hawaii for all of our medical training . We need to partner with other outside collages and universities to increase the ability of our local Island students, job workforce, and other career changing local people to improve our nursing,med tech and other medical related fields. As I said I’m coach a master of getting the most of my players, I make a promise of getting this job done.

What should county government do to help residents who have been economically affected by the pandemic?

Besides using the State and Federal dollars to help our local small business owner directly,also help some of our workforce in tourism get retrained to other fields,
Let the local Island hopper come back, we sometimes forget we have 1.2 million people on Oahu who won’t be taking their families to the mainland. Let’s jump start this market. Our Island has a wide range of local families that love the big island experience. Secondly work with the committed absentee owner to come back to their second home, solid owners that care for this Island, we know they’ll do the necessary C19 testing and quarantine (if necessary) to come “home”. The timeshare owner who owns here on this Island (same reasons).
Diversify, obviously our farmers, a huge market 1.2 million people on Oahu, our Research and development team work closer with the marketing of our farm exports, and course maximize what we can produce locally too. Emphasis of diversify products that can be shipped or sold to foreign and mainland markets. We have many fresh ideas on products that can be wanted elsewhere, let my administration work with the Counties Research and Development team department to help them. Once established and successful, get out of the way and let them enjoy their success.

Do you support or oppose the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on the Big Island and what should the county government’s role be in the process?



I am in favor of astronomy and outside development coming to our Island, but I do not favor something that will tear our local island residents a part. The protesters were hula halau, auntie, uncles, tutu’s, keiki, Hawaiian emergent school kids and people from all over the world. I know that most of the protectors (protesters) were not at the public approval meetings in regards to the building of TMT in 2006 but they are here now. First, we need to sit down and listen. Make a commitment to get the non-working scopes down. Make a better financial arrangement for our youth. I also do-not support using our limited county property tax dollars especially with no State TAT tax going to our county. We cannot bail out the State of Hawaii, UH, DLNR and Hawaiian Homelands on the mismanagement of Mauna Kea summit. I have confidence in my leadership skills and will strongly ask to be present at all future meetings. As your mayor I will make the tough calls in order to make the right decisions.

Do you support reforms to policing in Hawaii? If yes, please explain what reforms you support.

I support reforms,but until we can focus beyond Covid-19 I dont want to get into all the challenges. WE need to listen to the growing concerns of our youth,our cultural movements ,our kupuna’s all want to be heard,with social media being so dominant, honesty, transparency,integrity, is where our policies from government need to be generated.

Is there anything more that you would like voters to know about you?

Most people call me “Coach” (many years coaching high school football)I feel local government (except Mayors Kenoi’s terms) were masters of saying NO, I have always seen local government, like a well-oiled slow defensive machine, getting the job done evidently. My plan is to add some offense put in special teams to get the job done now. Going into our communities, having an open community meeting, listening and reacting with a special team to expedite their requests. Be honest, have transparency, show my passion, complete with full integrity. My motto”One Island One Heart” let’s put this Island back together and we will all feel alright!!


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