comscore 2022 Election: Timothy "TK" Wehrsig | Honolulu Star-Advertiser

2022 Election: Timothy “TK” Wehrsig

  • Timothy Wehrsig
Name on ballot:

Timothy “TK” Wehrsig

Running for:

Hawaii county council – District 2

Political party:

No answer submitted

Campaign website:

Current occupation:

Janitor II



Previous job history:

Retail, Manager of a Fitness and Martial Arts gym, Janitor II for the University of Hawaii, Ha Toa L.L.C.- Entertainment Promotions, youth dances, Big Island Thieves L.L.C.

Previous elected office, if any:

Not a politician. Just a member of the community who wants to be a part of the decision process.

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

I admin the largest community group with over 70k members on the Big Island. With the open posting and commentary, I help address the issues and topics that affect our community most.This gives me a direct connection through social media where a majority of the world communicates today. I have a history of helping people resolve issues from solving crimes to help educate the public with its questions or concerns. My non-political affiliations help to keep from political influence of taking sides on topics. I have proven to be a servant of my community as I do this all for no pay. This is not my career, this is my service. Not one candidate running against me can offer a better connection to the community. I donʻt rely on others statistics and reports, I get it straight from the source.
I did not accept any political endorsements, as my endorsements comes from people at the grass roots level. I am also the only candidate in my race that was born here, meaning I don’t need to learn our community and culture values. I was raised in them.

What is the most pressing need for the people you seek to represent, and what will you do to address that need?

The people I represent is the middle class. But I don’t just represent them. I am a part of them. Like many we suffered through COVID, but we had to do it with less assistance. Living now, in the shadow of the COVID shutdowns and the effects of the decisions sitting politicians made, I plan to help support local businesses to get them back running again, address the housing problem at the root and not just throw money at friends or push for changes so I can personally benefit. One topic, my main concern is public safety. So many of our communities problem can be addressed with just this topic. Itʻs such a dirty topic that none of my opposition has even dared to speak of it. Crime, homelessness, drugs and mental illness all fall under public safety. People should feel safe in their communities. I plan to push for accountability. Be it the law breakers, failing programs, or the court system that releases them to continue to victimize us. Someone will be held accountable. Iʻm not afraid to address anyone.

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

For the position I am running for, my opinion on this has little effect on the outcome. The lines have been blurred so much on this topic. I believe and support the passion of the people for astronomy and their right to that passion. I have heard and spoke with them. I think we share a lot of commonalities; however, we were told that astronomy would save our island but yet, 13 telescopes later… the Big Island is home to some of the poorest towns in the island chain. The battle is not about science vs culture or astronomy vs Hawaii, as it has been promoted. Itʻs about big money Corporations and poor management vs preservation of what makes Hawaii, Hawaii! There are loads of smaller TMTʻs happening. TMT was just one of the lines drawn in the Aina. I understand that the summit is State jurisdiction, but it is our county that it impacts the most. Therefore, my solution is a portion of monetary gains to come to Hawaii County to go towards the island, 40% of the lease of the land, rent of the facilities, and 40% ownership of of all discoveries. I know some supporters just read that like… “That’s crazy!” But hey! It’s about science, not about the money right? And this would be a gesture of that. Until developments benefits ALL of our community the way it has benefited a selected few (including political donations) … weʻll see you on the Mauna!

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?

I can’t wait to see the BS these politicians answer this question with. If it ain’t obvious already. Beyond the county, the government itself does not care about the middle class. How do I know? Because I am a part of it. Iʻm always applying for programs I later find out I don’t qualify for. I work 3 jobs just to afford to be broke. Most of these politicians find ways to benefit their elitist class friends and donors and then make programs for the poor to offset that guilt like they are good people.

If we really want to address the cost of living, we need to put caps on the elitist and foreign developments. A lot of these companies have Hawaiian names and mainland address and owners. Higher taxes on non-resident sales. Update the Jones act so we don’t carry the primary burden of it. We are between some of the most product producing counties and the mainland, yet we pay to ship to extra stops. We should be the main port not California! Adjust land taxes to length of residency and do the same for tax cuts. Breaks should be on on how long one has lived and contributed to Hawaii’s economy. Support the people who have supported Hawaiʻi. Support Local. Build Hawaii!

What specific solutions do you propose to combat homelessness and to make housing more affordable to residents?

Start of a Polokalamu Hui ʻOhana . The mainland is sending their homeless here. Lets not just give them a return ticket, but a return to where their family is located. Some off the plane, know how to work the system and in return are just draining our system. We have limited space and resources, we have endured enough of Americaʻs problems. We can not help the world until we help our home. This will open up more space, time and money to deal with our local homeless population. More space, time and money to deal with mental illness and drug addictions and other causes of homelessness.

As far as affordable housing, itʻs funny how people who make profit off rentals seem to state they have the answer. We need to stop both foreign and local crooked developers from bleeding the working class for profit. They don’t care if they skyrocket the housing market, it just means they get more rich. A handful of greedy people make profits while everyone else pays the tab and gets priced out. 98% of Lanai is owned by one person. Kauai has a private non-local landowner who owns more land than State of Hawaii and our politicians just sit there watch as Hawaii gets sold off. At this rate, soon Hawaii will be privately owned islands. Slowly local land owners are becoming renters or moving away. This needs to change, sadly most politicians bend a knee to large donators.

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

I think we have done all that can be done. They tried to shut down the world for two weeks. People could not stay home, and this was people of all classes. You cant force people to change what they believe. Were vaccinations made available for everyone who wanted it? Yes! Are they still available for people who want it? Yes! Can people take additional actions if they wish? Yes! Is testing available for people who want it? Yes! On the Big Island, we just had one of the most massive concerts in Kona, after the lock down. So many wanted to just dance and let loose. Thousands in attendance packed together. Dancing, singing, and enjoying themselves. Were our islands hospitals overrun as a result of that? No! Everything that could be done was done and more. They even went beyond by removing freedom of individuals choices making life difficult if they didn’t comply.

Want to know what we can do more? Remove the mask mandates at the schools. Its crazy the most resilient of the population is still under mandates. HIDOE probably did the worst. Teachers got pinned with unreal expectations to follow. A board of people who robbed kids of school events because they probably never attended it themselves.

COVID is a part of the world now. Lets accept that and move forward.

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

The government is not the savor of the people. They should maintain and malama the living conditions as a whole where everyone and not certain groups or individuals benefit. Support its small local business and make it easier to start a business here. Stop charging a whole state for a group of politicians egos (the fail rail). Stop creating glass ceilings in our work places where there once, was steps. Education will never equal experience. Want to save money? Stop foolish political spending and hooking up friends and donators. Stop selling away Hawaii. Stop lying to the people. And above all… hold everyone accountable to their actions. More so for people in elected positions where trust is violated.

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

Random audits of elected officials would help. Updating the HRS on notifying the public to the 21st century would help. Information is released on the government sites where they direct you to check non-free access like newspaper. So we need to pay for the information. Limiting the option to introduce bills, ordinances, resolutions and laws that you have taken donations for. Thatʻs pretty much paying to play. A majority of these politicians in office do not own themselves. The phone rings and tells them what to file, pass and vote on. Quite often you can check a politicians donations to see whoʻs calling them. They stand before the public and make campaign promises, but never keep them to the public and only to their owners.

Do you think more needs to be done at the county level to manage tourism? If so, what would you propose?  

There needs to be better education of visiting Hawaii before tourist arrive on our aina. The shortest flight is about 5 hours? We can address it in this time. Yes, not everyone will pay attention, but they canʻt claim they didn’t know? We need better and swifter prosecution for violations. Every week our police post a section of the warrant list. You know how many out of state people are wanted here? The cost to extradite someone is often more than the possible fine. Tourist who violate our laws should get arrested, processed and sent to the next available hearing in a specified courtroom. Depending on the infraction, pay the fine or start the sentence. Aww, you got 10 days for a violation and you fly out in two? Sucks to be you! Should have respected Hawaii. Also we should not have low-income housing right next to the hotels, our hotel districts should be just that.

What would you propose to help diversify the island’s economy beyond tourism?

When COIVD-19 hit, there was a great war cry from the majority of the politicians about how we needed to find other sources of income and sustain Hawaiiʻs economy. What was the answer they came up with? A tourist Utopia! Locals were suppressed to gathering groups of 5 and loads of mandates, while tourists roamed freely throughout the islands. Beaches were closed, but loads of tourists still allowed to enjoyed it.

Like I said above, taking another look at the Jones act, this would help with everything. We could export so much more things. The Kalo plant in both loʻi kalo and māla could be exported. This plant has so many uses and is a part of Hawaii. Like Kona Coffee, Hawaii Kalo. There are so many products that have that unique Hawaii touch. But we will never be able to compete if we cant afford to compete with the world market when we pay more for import and exporting. Until we talk about what holds us back, our government will always bend a knee to the tourist.

What can county government do to mitigate the affects of sea-level rise?

Mama Honua always wins! On the Big Island we have a saying “Pele takes what she wants!” You may slow her, but if she wants something its hers. The same can be said for her sister Namakaokahai. When the sea comes, it takes what it wants. Like the people who build in lava zones, people who build in flood zones, the people who build next to the ocean knew the risk when they bought and built. Itʻs not the governments job to bail them out because the gamble didn’t pay off. Anyone who says they have a plan is reaching at straws or just trying to take our tax dollars to throw at friends and donators.

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

I am the only local running for this seat in my district. I am the only one whose roots run deep in this soil. I am the only one who has grown up here to see the changes both good and bad. I have no political ties or influence. My political party is community, my influence is its people. I have been a fighter for all my life, never afraid to say what needs to be said or speak louder for the ones who speak but are never heard. To have REAL solutions.. we need to have REAL discussions about the problems. We canʻt be touchy-feely or afraid of cancel culture or the “Iʻm offended” crowd. Hawaii, its land, its people, its culture is slipping away. The same is happening to the middle class. Let them do what they want in the states, but here in Hawaiʻi, our culture is to Malama. I fight the rise in crime on my island, I work daily to make things better for everyone here. I make no profit for what I do. I stand to make no financial benefit from any of my issues I am addressing. I hold people accountable no matter who they are or what opposition I may face and you should do the same. I canʻt promise anything as I will be one of nine on the Council, but I will put forth full effort and I will always keep it real with the people.

Itʻs not about Democrats or Republicans… itʻs about voting for who is really for the people over profits. If we held ALL politicians accountable for their words and promises, things would change a lot faster. Until we vote for people, not politicians, then even though itʻs the elitist that make the large donations, we the people, the culture, the middle class will always end up paying the tab in the end. #HULIthesystem #Wethepeople #yahisaidit #accountability

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