BY ERNIE MARTIN – Over the past 20 years, my wife and I have seen several changes in the district as we raised our children.
I have learned many things about government operations in the various positions I held for the last 23 years with the City & County of Honolulu.
These, along with discussions with residents throughout the district, have provided me with a unique understanding of the district and how to make it better for all of us.
District 2 is diverse with competing needs, but retaining its rural character and quality of life is important to everyone.
We need to focus on the pressing issues of today while build our future.
We need a balanced budget which can be achieved by reducing administrative costs (e.g., implementing energy efficient cost savings) while enhancing our revenues.
We need to support sensible development by redeveloping brown space instead of developing over our green space, which can create jobs without overtaxing our infrastructure; and, we need safe communities.
We need to provide safe neighborhoods so that future generations can thrive in our unique and rural district.
There are many pressing issues in our district: Economy, crime, traffic, inadequate public infrastructure and homelessness.
My hope is that we can address these issues by:
- Seeking funding on projects that will sensibly promote the natural and cultural assets of the district such as Waialua’s and Kahuku’s agricultural/ plantation-based legacy, and the North Shore’s identity as the surfing capital of the world;
- Securing funding for additional public safety officers for our district so that we are on par with any other community of Oahu;
- Re-prioritizating of existing funding resources to expand bus service (number of buses and expanded service hours) to rural communities;
- Dedicating funding, and additional state and federal grant funds and private investments, to complete infrastructure improvements to Haleiwa Town and other communities of the district; and,
- Securing partnerships with our communities, neighborhood boards and area-based service providers, to develop and initiate services and housing/shelter options that best serves our communities’ homeless population.
Perhaps the most pressing issue facing the North Shore is a number of proposed developments that if built as presently planned, will alter the character and viability of our communities.
I am not against sensible development, which is compatible with the needs of the community, is consistent with the Oahu General Plan and Sustainable Communities Plans and does not exceed the infrastructural capacities of the community (i.e., water, sewer, etc…)
But District 2 will need an impartial review to ensure that any development that is proposed for our district is both reasonable and acceptable for all those who work, live and play in our communities.
I purposely have not accepted any campaign contributions from any developer who has or may have an interest in our communities in District 2, so I can ensure this level of impartiality.
I personally am committed to working hard for our district and for our future.
I would love to hear about your issues, comments and concerns and how you think they should be addressed. Feel free to submit them to www.martin4citycouncil.com or call 808-621-7077.