comscore 2020 Election: Carol Lee Kamekona | Honolulu Star-Advertiser

2020 Election: Carol Lee Kamekona

  • Carol-Lee-Kamekona
Name on ballot:

Carol Lee Kamekona

Running for:

Maui county council – Kahului

Political party:

Non Partisan

Campaign website:

Current occupation:




Previous job history:

Administrative Assistant for Bradley Pacific Aviation, Maui
Transportation Security Administration Officer, Maui
American Airlines Passenger Services, Florida
Trans World Airlines Passenger Services, Orlando, Fl and San Francisco, CA
United States Navy and Naval Reserves

Previous elected office, if any:


Please describe your qualifications to represent the voters of your county.

As a retired veteran of the US Navy and Naval Reserves of 22 years, my values
of loyalty, discipline, integrity, honesty and leadership prove most valuable as
a county council member. I am willing to listen and make hard decisions when
necessary. My civic engagement spans many spectrums from membership in
a Royal Society and several other groups supporting cultural, traditional and
resource protection. To serving on Department of Hawaiian Homelands boards
and associations advocating for the issuance of lots to homestead beneficiaries.
I’ve organized and volunteered with several food drives for those in need
statewide. I’m informed with many issues affecting Maui that have me
testifying before County Council, Land Use Commission, Planning Commission,
Urban Review Board, Maui/Lanai Island Burial Council and the Office of
Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees.

What will be your top priority if elected?

First and foremost, I would like to see Maui transition to a more sustainable
economy – that being one of agriculture. Growing fruits and vegetables locally
reduces cost of importation. Provides more stable job opportunities. Reforestation of trees and plants that could be used as building materials for
affordable housing. Cultural and natural resource protection from sea level
rise, soil erosion, better management of wastewater treatment. Bottom line,
a better quality of life for our Maui residents.

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

If the State won’t implement a mandatory testing on arrival, with a central
quarantine site until results are returned, then the County should. There should
be no accommodation or car rental reservations until after being cleared from
quarantine. This should apply to all visitors and returning residents on Trans
Pacific flights. There needs to be more oversight on persons who are considered
“essential workers”. That exemption does not apply to off work hours as many
of those workers believe.

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

Our Maui County Council has done well in allocating funding via microgrants
to our farmers. However, County should do more. Maybe partner with
financial institutions to offer no interest emergency loans with long range
repayment plans or possible loan forgiveness. Or engage with non
profits or foundations that offer assistance in job retraining, educational
assistance or meal program assistance for kids as the state looks to reopening
schools. Working with health care providers in private practice to offer
wellness exams and dental check ups with possible compensation.

Should public worker furloughs, pay cuts or downsizing be used to help the county deal with lower tax revenues and higher expenses during the pandemic? Why or why not?

I believe public workers should be treated as any employee of any other business.
A CEO or small business owner would need to assess their individual situation
and determine what is best overall for their company’s survival. The County
should be no different.

What specific solutions do you propose to combat homelessness?

To combat homelessness, I would support current programs which offer
assistance through social services: mental health, drug or alcohol addiction,
job training, relocation, reuniting with family. I would look to repurposing
or rezoning the empty storefronts and office spaces into temporary
homeless shelters. With a longterm goal of incorporating rent-to-own or
lease-to-own apartments.

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

For any off island officers transferring to our islands especially, I would
incorporate a cultural sensitivity training course. Then an annual sensitivity
training and self assessment requirement for all personnel to ensure job
performance is not hampered by any prejudice or personal issues. Annual
anger management training would also be required. I would not have any
officer under investigation for any reason be kept on payroll. Should they be
exonerated from said investigation, all benefits and pay will be retroactive.

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

Making hard decisions is not an easy feat. An accomplishment that is acquired
through life’s experiences and good leadership. My military service has made
this achievement possible. I believe my values of dignity, accountability and
transparency gives me the passion to not want to return to PRE-COVID days.
I will do my utmost to protect our cultural, historical and natural resources. With
the help of experts and through community input, I will work to reshape
tourism, expand vocational and higher education, support local small businesses
and diversify agriculture by promoting development of locally grown and
economically sound aquaculture, forest products, etc.

View more candidate questionnaires or see more 2020 Hawaii elections coverage.
Comments (0)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up