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Tuesday, April 23, 2024 79° Today's Paper


2022 Election: Garner M. Shimizu

Garner Shimizu
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Name on ballot:

Garner M. Shimizu

Running for:

State House – District 32

Political party:


Campaign website:


Current occupation:

Retired / Consultant



Previous job history:

Vice President Master Sheet Metal, Inc.;
Pacific Design Engineers;
ECS, Inc.

Previous elected office, if any:


Please describe your qualifications to represent the people of Hawaii.

Love of God, the land and people of Hawaii.
Concerned parent, grandparent, and neighbor, committed to help and protect our children,
grandchildren, and ‘aina.
Business owner and manager of up to 50 employees of a mechanical subcontractor in the
construction industry for 25+ years.
Mechanical engineering design consultant.
Mechanical Engineering graduate, University of Hawaii.
Lifelong Hawaii resident; grew up in Moanalua (House District 32).

What is the most pressing issue facing residents in your district and how would you address the problem?

Crime and drug abuse is largely a result of those struggling and stressed beyond their limits with the high cost of living, taking desperate actions to survive or cope. As your Representative my goal would be to accomplish the following.
• A major first step is to bring this situation into the light. Draw attention to and demonstrate the specific problems for everyone to see, be aware of, understand, acknowledge and recognize the seriousness of the situation.
• Enlist the district’s commitment to act and contribute to the solutions.
• This includes individuals, neighbors and communities, as well as HPD, social service agencies, State Representatives and Senators, Councilperson, and any other agency that has jurisdiction and can cooperate in a unified effort to fully address criminal activity.
• This involves education, communication, and enforcement at all levels, so we are all on the same page for unified efforts and solutions.
• Establishing and activating at the community and neighborhood level, such as Neighborhood Security Watch (NSW), Community Associations, Neighborhood Boards, and neighbors and friends helping one another.
• Help promote and encourage individuals to keep alert, documenting to create a record and make a case, communicating dangerous and suspicious activity or concerns to your NSW network, calling 911, and other similar actions.

On a larger, statewide scale, we are seeing more and more criminal charges being brought against government officials, and individuals working illegally with government officials. We see that the saying “absolute power corrupts absolutely” has never been more relevant and truer.

Rising inflation has significantly worsened Hawaii’s already high cost of living. What can be done at the state level to help Hawaii residents cope with high consumer prices?

Being in the middle of the Pacific, transportation costs add significantly to consumer costs.
We should work with and encourage our Congressional delegation to seek an exemption from the Jones Act, which would allow more ships and lower transportation costs.

I believe unwise government spending and inefficiency is at the core of high costs, causing high tax rates and constant increases. We need to identify areas of spending and inefficiency that need change, correction, or elimination.

Many of us are falling further and further behind, and for some it is practically “life or death,” used here as a figure of speech for emphasis. Therefore, we must look at our government spending and systems more seriously, meticulously, and vigilantly to identify, correct, and cleanup waste and corruption.

Hawaii’s rising gasoline prices are among the highest in the nation. Should Hawaii lower or temporarily suspend state taxes on gasoline to help ease the pain at the pump?

Yes, lowering or temporarily suspending state taxes on gasoline would help ease the pain at the pump.

However, this would be a temporary fix, and does not get to the real causes of the problem.
Inflation arguments presented above, apply here also.

Government reform is necessary to remove oppressive regulations, streamline procedures, identify and correct mismanagement and unwise spending, and expose and clean out corruption. This can in turn allow and promote more competition, productivity, and working together for the good of the people, and not special or self-interests.

Do you support or oppose efforts to slow or limit the number of tourists to Hawaii? Please explain.

I agree that our islands have a maximum capacity and reaching or going over this capacity has harmful consequences. So, I support the concept of slowing or limiting the number of tourists to Hawaii.

However, the concept is difficult to apply practically, without introducing more government control, and possibly unintended consequences.
• Instead of creating broad stroke policy to exert control, it is preferable to address particular areas of concern separately to create specific solutions for individual problems.
• The introduction of impact fees at Hanauma Bay, as well as implementing better procedures on tourist access, and even expanding restricted times as needed, are examples of specific solutions that help protect our treasured natural resources.
• Freedom versus control, unity and cooperation versus division, open the way for creative solutions.

Can Hawaii’s tourism-dependent economy be diversified, and, if so, what can state government do to support the effort?

Yes, without question Hawaii’s tourism dependent economy can and should be diversified.
• State government can develop, attract, and recruit viable alternate industries by offering incentives such as tax breaks, land and workforce development arrangements.
• High tech, healthcare, renewable energy and sports industries are clean, environment friendly, higher income producing businesses.
• Dedicated ag land needs to be protected for diversified agriculture: produce, coffee, flowers, macadamia nuts, and other viable crops.
• Livestock and aquaculture should also be promoted and developed; supplementing produce to increase our self-sufficiency.
• Emulate the shipping port success of Singapore by negotiating agreements to allow expanding our free trade zone capacity at Honolulu Harbor or possibly develop at Kalaeloa/Barbers Point; and secure the Jones Act exemption.

What is your plan to increase affordable housing in Hawaii, and to help the counties deal with homelessness?

HOME OWNERSHIP and the lack of AFFORDABLE HOUSING is the greatest cost factor component negatively impacting our families. It is literally an impossible dream and out of reach for many.
On a personal note, we help one of our daughters with housing, while another has moved out of state in order to afford a home!

We need to come together with all of the participants in the process:
1. Government, which controls all rules and regulations; as well as negotiates agreements.
2. Landowners.
3. Developers.
4. Construction industry – unions, contractors, suppliers.
We must:
1. Identify the key cost factors that contribute to the extremely high cost.
2. Improve and streamline the process.
3. Research new methods and materials (e.g., modular homes).
4. Generate other ideas that can make a significant difference and change the direction of escalating home costs.
HB 1837, a step in this direction to increase housing, would:
1. Establish a statewide working group on affordable housing to foster increased inter-agency coordination on housing and zoning issues.
2. Encourages counties to adopt zoning and regulatory policies that allow for greater housing opportunities for residents at all income levels.
3. Consider allowance of multifamily development in retail and commercial areas.
4. Consider conversion of office units and commercial space to apartments and multifamily uses.
5. Consider promotion of possible housing options in areas zoned for single family homes.
6. Streamlining the permit process and timelines.
7. Look into conversion of vacant or underutilized county land for affordable housing.
8. Tasks counties, the Hawaii housing finance and development corporation, and Hawaii public housing authority to present a timely regular report to the legislature, on efforts in reducing or removing applicable regulatory barriers.

Because this bill appropriates $100,000 to support this initiative, including one paid position, we need to make sure there is TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY TO PREVENT INSIDER SPECIAL INTEREST BENEFITTING. THIS IS WHERE NEW FRESH UNATTACHED LEGISLATORS LIKE MYSELF, ARE NEEDED TO HELP ACHIEVE THIS GOAL.

HOMELESSNESS is a growing problem that constantly reminds us of those who are falling through the cracks, and our failure as a society to take care of our people, and to help empower them to take care of themselves.
Homelessness is largely due to our high cost of living and housing, that is out of reach for many. So those who are unable or choose not to live according to our society’s norms, feel the need to make their own way to survive.
1. Invite, encourage, and challenge the faith-based community to get more involved, take action and be part of the solution. Feeding, housing, cleanups, befriending hurting people, and other aspects of involvement, to partner with government support would be welcome.
2. We need to establish clear boundaries and procedures to eliminate loopholes, confusion and the resulting inaction it creates. Yet there needs to be compassionate and careful handling of individuals, to maintain their dignity, respect and honor.
3. Creating dedicated safe zone areas with provisions for restrooms, showers, trash collection, and medical treatments would be provided for temporary shelters. These areas would establish accepted and allowed places where these communities are welcome. Special and specific needs can be identified, addressed, and monitored in an organized, reasonably thought-out, benevolent way.

This would be a significant change to the current under-defined policy situation, that allows random access to all areas, no consistent enforcement of prohibited occupancy, and massive evictions and cleanup.
4. Look at innovative, creative solutions, for example rezoning, and building code exceptions that allow simple dwelling options.
5. Identify existing successful models and projects done outside of Hawaii that might be utilized here.
6. We should hire and utilize as a labor resource, for civic projects such as cleanups, landscaping, or simple painting, as examples. Job training could also be incorporated.
7. There is no single solution, but many facets to get us to the desired result.
In the past, we have been guilty of turning a blind eye to this very important problem.
But with the median price of a single-family home at $1 million plus, we can presume that the homeless situation will only escalate.

What would you propose to help protect Hawaii residents’ health during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic?

The pandemic became an unexpected emergency situation and exposed the critical need for education and transparency.
• Transparency that allows access to relevant data, in addition to media presented numbers, to help the public accurately decide what is best for themselves. No censoring or stifling discussion and debate.
• Freedom to choose whether to:
1. Vaccinate or not. Not forced mandate or loss of employment.
2. Isolate or not, if one is healthy. Going to the beach or park instead of locked down at home.
3. Operate one’s business or not. Instead of shutdowns, work with and allow businesses to develop creative solutions.
• Unclear and changing standards and narratives contributed to the public’s confusion and uncertainty of what are best practices and requirements to address this illness.
• Additionally, more specific alternative preventative and treatment information and options, backed by science and the medical community, with simple direct instructions for the general public is needed.
• Immune strengthening supplements, vitamins, foods, and practices.
• Getting proper home equipment such as nebulizers, oximeters (measures oxygen levels in your blood).
• In combination, we need to promote and establish a major shift towards preventative health and wellness. This would transform lifestyles and our bodies away from unhealthy eating habits and obesity to healthy foods and active exercise. This would help reduce co-morbidities like diabetes and heart disease, and greatly improve our quality of life!
A critical shortage of doctors is also contributing to this problem.
• We need to promote policy to encourage more doctors to stay in practice and not retire or move out of state, encourage more doctors to move to our state, and also recruit the younger generation to enter this important medical field.
• One helpful step would be to establish some tort reform to protect doctors from unreasonable liability.
• Review with insurance companies the regulated doctor reimbursements and negotiate a just compensation.

Hawaii isn’t likely to see a repeat of this year’s $2 billion revenue surplus which allowed higher-than-normal spending on state programs and projects. If elected, what will your top spending priorities be?

It’s all about our people. Bottom line is the wellness of our people, their lives, their children, their families, our futures. We all have struggles that are common to all: paying the bills and making ends meet, monitoring our health – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually; having healthy loving relationships, and so forth. We are all challenged to live our lives to the fullest, but for whatever the reasons or circumstances, we often fall short and need help. I know I do! Investing in our people and their lives, children, and families is at the heart of our society.

Education is key and needed. Learning and growing in understanding, maturity and character. If we can bring new ideas, ways of thinking and awareness that affect our actions for spending and saving, eating and exercise, moral and character development, healthy conflict resolution and nurturing our relationships at the heart core, this has the power to transform our state.

Introducing these transformational truths and concepts beginning in our education system, and then to the rest of our working community, will result in lives and families being changed!

What, if anything, should state government do in response to the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe vs Wade?

The recent Supreme Court decision has transferred the authority to regulate abortions to the individual states. Hawaii was the first state to legalize abortion, and currently there is no affect to the law here.

We should respect and honor our elected officials; likewise it is important to respect our laws and institutions. As an elected official, I will always respect and honor the law of the land, as well as respect and honor those with different positions than mine. It is imperative to never tear down one another with our words but to instead be considerate, humble, and courteous to everyone in order to live aloha.

Personally, I honor the sanctity of life. Everyone is created in the image of God. I am Pro-Life.

What should state government do to support and improve public education in Hawaii?

Teachers /educators are at the heart of our public education system. They are some of the most important contributors to our society, with their role to help prepare our next generation. Yet they are one of the more undervalued and underappreciated professions. We need to better support them for this most difficult and challenging task.
1. They need to be paid according to their value to us. We cannot attract and retain qualified talent without a competitive credible income level.
2. We need to move away from the one-size-fits-all model. With a wide range of needs and proficiency, we need to identify each individual student’s needs and address them specifically and accordingly.
3. Critically important is the need to care for the emotional heart, and moral character development of each child, to nurture them into the fullness of who they were born to be. Introduce new fresh curriculum appropriate for that purpose.
4. Teach our children how to think critically to solve real life problems, and not just memorize and repeat facts.
5. Teach our children healthy conflict resolution.
6. Better handling of disruptive students so educators can specifically focus on their challenging goals.
7. Hire more teachers, teacher aides, and student teachers to improve the teacher-student ratio.
8. Hire more tutors to help supplement and fill in the gaps.
9. Promote charter schools, and vocational schools.
10. Partner with private industry to provide workforce development programs.

What reforms, if any, would you propose to make local government more transparent to the public?

GOVERNMENT REFORM is a top issue for me, because government (good or bad) touches and greatly affects every aspect of our lives. We need GOVERNMENT REFORM to decentralize control and transfer power from the few in position, especially career politicians, back to the people. Especially in the past couple of years, we have experienced a strong heavy-handed overreach of government control, and restrictions and even loss of our freedoms. We have also been seeing more cases and officials in the news, exposing hidden elements of corruption and illegal activity.

I propose the following changes and initiatives:
1. Term limits for the Legislature, to prevent the increased prevalence of special and self-interest relationships that result in the abuse of power, corruption and illegal activity. The Governor, Mayor, and City Council all have term limits.
2. More accountability and transparency through regular audits, to help identify and prevent fraud and mismanagement.
3. More accountability to identify conflicts of interest, and disqualify those officials from participating in the process.
4. Campaign spending limits, to put all candidates on an even playing field; greatly eliminating the influence of and entitlement of donors and money on future legislative decisions; and greatly reducing the significant advantage of long entrenched incumbents.
5. Prohibit legislators from soliciting campaign funds, holding fundraisers, or accepting campaign contributions during the legislative session.
6. Correct the legislative procedure that currently allows gut and replace manipulation of bills.
7. For every legislative session, identify the state’s top priorities and dedicate all bills to only address these top priorities, while also limiting the number of bills. This would focus legislative time and effort where it is most needed, allow more thorough research and deliberation, and reduce the number of nonessential bills being introduced. Note that there were almost 6,000 bills introduced in the 2022 session.
8. Require every new bill to have analysis to determine the cost ramification if passed.
9. Privatization where cost effective, eliminating unnecessary government handling and overreach.

Working collaboratively on valid ideas to achieve solutions, should take priority over the limitations of a first-term elected official. A practical realistic goal for my first term would be for me to be a connection to the people, keeping the public informed of the concerns that affect their lives and families. Of the people, by the people, and for the people!

Do you support or oppose the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on the Big Island and why?

• I was initially supportive of this project, mainly focused on the financial and scientific benefits.
• The protests have been a blessing in disguise, exposing things that cannot be overlooked or continue without properly addressing and correcting them. They have revealed some valid concerns that have caused me to pause and rethink my position.
• It is vital to be aware of all concerns and considerations of all the parties’ interests to arrive at and make the best decision.
• I’m sure there has been much careful planning to get to this point, but as new information and concerns have been exposed, it is necessary to properly address them to make the necessary corrections and adjustments, and not just move forward ignoring these justified concerns.
• One example, the University of Hawaii, the current responsible steward for Mauna Kea, has shown areas where important improvement is needed in order to better manage this ‘aina as intended.
• Below grade construction of underground tanks storing hazardous materials, also needs to be properly addressed to avoid any contamination resembling the Red Hill Fuel tanks situation on a reduced scale.
• Thus, although there are no doubt, great financial and scientific benefits, until these issues are properly addressed, we must not move forward without properly addressing these valid concerns. To do so would be to ignore and disrespect an important part of our community.

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

Over the course of my life, I have had many various opportunities to serve as a business, community and church leader. I have been very privileged and honored to hold elected positions as a Trustee for the Sheet Metal Union trust funds, and President of the Moanalua Valley Community Association and the Sheet Metal Union Contractors Association.

These positions have provided me the opportunity to gain valuable experience in leading people and being responsible to make decisions for their betterment and welfare as a whole.

Management, administration, supervision, directing, processing, problem solving, dealing with conflict, and helping people with thoughtfulness and consideration, are some of my many life lessons.

Life is our greatest teacher. My years and experiences have helped prepare and equip me with the ability and capability to serve my community and state well.

I am a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and son (my in-laws are 92 and 95).
These relationships have also been vital in shaping me into the person I am today.
Through the course of living life, I have better learned how to love, serve, sacrifice, work hard, and grow in humility to learn about myself and admit when I was wrong; to change towards becoming a better person for all relationships.

It takes time and time management, good sense and judgment, to balance career and family responsibilities while addressing the different needs of each involvement.

I believe in time-honored traditional, old-fashioned values, and am ultimately accountable to God. This moral compass is at the core of my heart.

If elected you can trust that I will do my utmost to serve you, the people of district 32 and our beloved State of Hawaii, with honesty and integrity.

View more candidate questionnaires or see more 2022 Hawaii elections coverage.
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