Name on ballot:
Maui county council – West Maui
Sales & Community Relations Manager
Previous job history:
No answer submitted
Previous elected office, if any:
No answer submitted
Please describe your qualifications to represent the voters of your county.
As a small business operations manager on Front Street for over 18 years, I understand the vital role that small business plays in building economic resilience for our community and strengthening our social fabric through sharing resources and time to help our schools, non-profit organizations and critical causes.
As President and Board Member of the LahainaTown Action Committee (LAC), I have spent nearly a decade working to enhance the vitality of Lahaina through efforts including the Annual Lahainatown Clean Up, securing funding to help our homeless and hosting events throughout the year that directly benefit our keiki and kupuna.
I am also a Fellow of the Ka Ipu Kukui Leadership Program. As a fellow I learned firsthand about the challenges facing Maui Nui, as well as how we can build a more diversified and resilient economy, produce clean energy, take care of our community and be better stewards of our land and natural resources.
What will be your top priority if elected?
Economic Recovery and Diversification. This includes getting Maui County back to work as quickly as possible and strategically investing in economic sectors that bring meaningful, high wage, high skill jobs. It also means investing in education, training and infrastructure. Helping our current displaced workers transition to new careers with workforce development, training and certification efforts will help near-term. Longer-term we can invest in entrepreneurship, healthcare, agriculture, education, clean energy and IT. Many of these investments will also depend on adequate broadband investment.
As Hawaii faces the COVID-19 pandemic, what more should county government do to protect residents’ health?
I think CARES Act funding can be used to increase testing across our community and provide quarantine space for those who test positive but do not require medical assistance. With more testing and dedicated quarantine space we can help reduce the rate of community spread, which is critical to keeping our numbers low. Returning residents who have traveled to the mainland and abroad should be included in increased testing measures, rather than simply being asked to self quarantine. Funding can also go toward providing free masks to the public so there is a standard of quality, rather than using improvised masks or very thin materials.
What should county government do to help residents who have been economically affected by the pandemic?
Use CARES Act funding to provide social, meal and housing support services for our residents in need. CARES funding can also go toward workforce training/education/counseling initiatives to help our displaced workers transition to new opportunities and help diversify our economy.
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?
No, now is not time to limit our public workers, who provide critical assistance to our citizens.
What specific solutions do you propose to combat homelessness?
I think solutions based on a comprehensive understanding of the causes of homelessness will generate the long-term, positive impact we are seeking. We can look at community-based, housing first models, such as Oahu’s Kahauiki Village, to best serve our most vulnerable. Through providing shelter, mental health, medical health and access to employment/training in the facility or nearby, as well as space to grow food for the community, we can most effectively work toward rehabilitation and eventual transition of residents into larger society. I think such efforts could be done in both urban, micro-units and rural, larger units to offer a solution that works best for the specific community assets and needs of the resident. This can be done through public-private partnerships.
Do you support reforms to policing in Hawaii? If yes, please explain what reforms you support.
I think we should work to ensure our police force has the training, skills, tools and support to do their job. I think we must also look at the role our police plays in society and see if there are different opportunities to help our community. For example, the police are often first on the scene in a domestic dispute; perhaps it’s more beneficial to have a response team comprised of trained mental health and dispute resolution professionals with police serving an accessory role for additional support if needed.
Is there anything more that you would like voters to know about you?
I will work to include everyone’s voice in government and approach decision making from a balanced point of view. I will maintain an open door policy to listen to constituent concerns, work hard to understand the complexities facing county legislative matters and make informed decisions. I also believe in the importance of adaptability and thinking outside of the box to address some of Maui’s greatest challenges. This, in combination with my understanding of the importance of building strong working relationships, and a deep desire to serve my community and leave a lasting legacy for our children, drives me to get up everyday and do my part to create a vibrant tomorrow.
As a husband and father of three children born in Maui, I want to do my part to ensure that they and all of our keiki inherit a vibrant future.
Maui Nui faces many challenges during this time, but our beautiful islands also offer many opportunities to address these and create new possibilities for our community. I believe that by working together we can not only meet these challenges, but create something greater.
View more candidate questionnaires or see more 2020 Hawaii elections coverage.