Name on ballot:
Gregory Ah Yuk Lum Ho Jr
Hawaii county council – District 4
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No answer submitted
Airframe Technician Hawaii Army National Guard
Previous job history:
Head Coach Kea’au High School (currently)
Previous elected office, if any:
Please describe your qualifications to represent the voters of your county.
I’ve been a member of Hawaii National Guard for over 30 years. I’ve also been a head coach at Kea’au High School for 13 years. These years of selfless service, serving the nation and the student/athletes in this community made me realize I have a lot to give the community of lower Puna. I just feel this is my opportunity to give back to the community that has given me so much.
What is the most pressing need for the people you seek to represent, and what will you do to address that need?
Jobs and traffic out of lower Puna. Implement and/or create jobs that aren’t so dependent on tourism. Traffic…try and get Railroad open to alleviate traffic in and out of Puna. The infrastructure is already there we just need to open it up.
Do you support or oppose the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope and why?
I totally support the Thirty Meter Telescope. Jobs created by the construction and eventual running of the Telescope would help the economy for generations to come. I respect both sides, I think its time for each side to respect each other’s views. The future is upon us. We can still respect our cultural beliefs and look ahead. Our future generations depend on it.
Rising inflation has significantly worsened Hawaii’s already high cost of living. What can be done at the county level to help residents cope with high consumer prices?
Supply and demand is real. Prices for everything is going up. At the County level, I’m not sure much can be done. As I stated before, and will continue to stress, job creation, and better paying jobs are key. Entry level jobs that provide a future for both employers and employees would help both sides. But the high cost of living will always be an issue when you live in paradise.
What specific solutions do you propose to combat homelessness and to make housing more affordable to residents?
I think we need to stop tying affordable housing with homelessness. We already have programs to help the homeless but unless they take advantage of these programs, its near impossible to combat the problem. Some even choose that lifestyle. As far as affordable housing, first we have to define what affordable is. We must make housing available to the working class, people working multiple jobs just to make ends meet. If the state and/or county has build these homes for families to move into, and provide a means for them to save money to buy their own house I believe that would help immensely. My plan is definitely thinking outside the box and too much to state here. But it is a plan. Don’t complain about something without trying to come up with a solution.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, what more should the county government do to protect residents’ health?
Each county should come up with their own rules, mandates, and guidelines. Each county has their own specific issues and what works for one might not work for the other. We need to continue to follow the science. People with a lot of knowledge on the subject shouldn’t be questioned by hearsay.
What should county government do to help residents who have been economically affected by the pandemic?
Again it comes down to job creation and jobs that aren’t dependent on tourism.
What reforms, if any, would you propose to make local government more transparent to the public?
As far as I know, government is pretty transparent. Lots of websites, social media pages, and bloggers who will let the public know what’s going on in local government.
Do you think more needs to be done at the county level to manage tourism? If so, what would you propose?
Manage tourism? Tourism is the driving force of our economy. We need to respect the people who save for years to visit the place we call home. In return, we can only hope they respect our unique culture here. If we offer more local types of tourist attractions instead of the so called “Hollywood Luaus” and such. Advertise and promote local tourism businesses around our county, so maybe the tourist can understand the struggles our local people go through and have a better understanding of our cultural beliefs and traditions.
What would you propose to help diversify the island’s economy beyond tourism?
Promote local farmers and ranchers, even fishermen. Pay them for the true value of what they are raising or catching to help keep the money local. So much of what they sell, are at such a low price, where the brokers who eventually sell their hard work off island are making big dollars off of their hard work. Also keep promoting “buy local” and somehow reward the people or businesses that do just that.
What can county government do to mitigate the affects of sea-level rise?
The county government can stress the importance of green energy as an alternate source of energy. Climate change is real. We can all do better to leave a smaller carbon footprint. We can never be totally free of fossil fuel, that’s not gonna happen, but we can all do a little to make big changes.
Is there anything more that you would like voters to know about you?
All of these questionnaires ask my views of certain situations or policies. But these are my views. The important thing I feel is to represent the people in District 4 and Hawaii County, not myself. If their views or ideas on how to make Lower Puna better differs from mine, I must communicate with the constituents and work together with the community to make the district I hope to represent better. Obviously, if elected this will be a major learning curve, but I’m willing to accept the responsibility.
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