Name on ballot:
Keone F Simon
Honolulu city council – District 8
No answer submitted
Previous job history:
27 years refining/manufacturing
Previous elected office, if any:
Please describe your qualifications to represent the people of Oahu.
I was Born and raised in the district. I care deeply for the people of this community. Worked in the private sector for 27 years and I understand the struggle of living and raising a family here in Hawai’i.
What is the most pressing need for the people you seek to represent, and what will you do to address that need?
There are many things that are hurting our state and communities such as crime, homelessness, the lack of affordable housing, political corruption and soaring inflation. The biggest issue we are facing is Cost of Living. Hawai’i is already one of the hardest places to make a living and among the highest cost of living in the US. This is making it harder for the working people of Hawai’i to make ends meet. On the county level we can minimize taxes(not raising them), look at where all our tax dollars are going to see if it can be better utilized to benefit the community. I believe that if the state and the county can work together to not raise taxes on individuals and businesses as our economy recovers from this pandemic. We need to be mindful of how we spend our taxpayer dollars and be transparent so we can help alleviate some of the burdens that are hurting the families of our state.
Rising inflation has significantly worsened Hawaii’s already high cost of living. What can be done at the county level to help Oahu residents cope with high consumer prices?
On the county level we can minimize taxes(not raising them), look at where all our tax dollars are going to see if it can be better utilized to benefit the community. We need to be mindful of how we spend our taxpayer dollars and be transparent so we can help alleviate some of the burdens that are hurting the families of our state.
What specific solutions do you propose to combat homelessness and to make housing more affordable to residents?
The homelessness issue needs to be taken seriously by State and the City. We need to work together to find a solution. First, we need to stop other states from sending their homeless here. Secondly, we need to provide more housing and care for those who want to be helped. Thirdly, mental illness has been plaguing the homeless for years, we need to provide them the help they need. I envision a facility that has shelter, food, and medical care all in one place similar to Punawai Reststop.
Affordable housing is one of my top priorities. I believe we need to find ways to
help the people of Hawai’i by working with developers/landowners and
affordable housing experts to find ways in a win/win scenario. The city has a
portfolio of properties that it needs to manage better and convert into workforce
housing. I would definitely do everything within my power to make this happen.
The city even has an affordable housing fund that was created for housing and
is still not currently being used with millions of unspent dollars. The council
even vote to take a small percentage of the property tax to put into the
affordable housing fund which will balloon that account that is not being spent
down. We can do better. The people of Hawai’i deserve to have someone who
will look after their best interest not their own.I propose that we find funds to purchase land and develop a low-income/affordable housing. We need to look at how we can reduce some of these regulations that are stifling our economy and businesses. We also need to fix the permitting process so that it doesn’t continue to slow economic growth. Too many businesses and developers are waiting on permits to start their projects.
What reforms, if any, would you propose to make local government more transparent to the public?
We need term limits period! We have politicians in office way too long and have forgotten who they represent.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, what should city government do to help protect residents’ health?
The government needs to be truthful. Over the past 2 years we have seen government put aside all sound judgement and side with Corporations and Big Pharma. The lies and deceit from government and media has caused loss of confidence in our government and Politicians as they have taken away our freedoms and liberties! From the loss of many businesses by government over-reach and the imposing of these unjust mandates on our Ohana and Keiki we have witnessed what not to do to your people. We need to elect people that put the people and their health first.
What should city government do to help residents who have been economically affected by the pandemic?
One thing that may help is not to raise taxes on businesses and the working class during this recovery period after the pandemic.
Government needs to stop over regulating and over taxing businesses as it hurts the business, employees and the consumer. When you have so many regulations (need some of course) this causes the business to spend more money, so in turn passes this cost down to the consumer. I have seen this first hand in the Refining Industry. The company I work for is over regulated and over taxed and this passes the cost down to the consumer which adds to the cost of living. We need to find creative ways to alleviate the cost of living burdens on the people of Hawaii.
Do you support or oppose the current plan to stop construction of the rail project in Kakaako instead of near Ala Moana Center? Please explain.
I believe the rail should be completed all the way to Ala Moana, but without raising taxes on the people of Hawai’i. The Rail was started and with all the trouble and failures it would be a travesty to go through all of this and not have it finished to plan.
Do you support or oppose using new city funds to cover any shortfall in HART’s construction or operating costs? Please explain.
I do not believe in raising taxes on the people of Hawai’i. We need to find other ways to finish this project.
Do you support or oppose the plan to dismantle the Stairway to Heaven? Please explain.
I do not support dismantling the Stairway to Heaven. We need to manage this properly by putting aside funding to put in a parking lot and access. Proper management would solve this problem.
Is there anything more that you would like voters to know about you?
I love our home. This is the best place in the world to grow up and raise a family. We need to have new ideas and new people in political office that actually care. We are in this mess because of politicians who have forgotten their constituents. We the people, for the people and by the people. I would love to represent my hometown community as their Councilman.
Aloha & Mahalo
Do you support or oppose the newly revised city law to combat vacation rentals that violate zoning regulations, and do you think it can be effectively enforced?
Not enough information, right now as I have time restraints to complete this survey.
Do you think more needs to be done at the city level to manage tourism? If so, what would you propose?
First and foremost I believe we need to help keep our city and state safe for our residents and for the tourist that come here to visit and spend billions each year for our economy. Therefore the city can help by supporting our Police Department(HPD). How are the residents and tourists supposed to be safe when are short 320 police officers? This is unacceptable. Any crimes against tourist here in Hawai’i would have a negative impact on tourism. Protect the people of Hawai’i and the visitors that come here and put their trust in our government /city to keep them safe. Prosecutors also need to prosecute. We need consequences for criminals, yes jail time.
What can city government do to mitigate the affects of sea-level rise on Oahu?
Look at the science, tides rise and fall for millions of years. We can’t continue to tax the people on something that man cannot control. I do not support putting more of a burden on the people of Hawai’i by taxing them on sea level rising. Around the world billions of dollars are being spent on luxury developments on beachfront properties and bank/investors are lending money for these developments and they are not at all concerned about rising sea-levels. Our former president bought 2 beachfront properties without worrying about sea level rising, so I also will not be concerned.
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