REPORT FROM KAUAI COUNTY – Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Jr. provided testimony today during a hearing of the Senate Ways and Means Committee and also at a hearing of the House Finance Committee.
The mayor opened his remarks with “As I have often said, we may be separated by an ocean, but we are connected by families and business, and we must always remember that it is our responsibility to work together toward our shared goals.”
Noting that since taking office in 2008, the mayor said that he has seen amazing results from the partnerships the county has shared with the state, and that he would like to continue to find more opportunities to do so.
He said, “As a team, we can accomplish so much more than as separate entities.”
Although the mayor did not request funding for special projects this year, he did ask the legislators to take a close look at the county’s legislative package, which includes measures relating to: affordable housing credits; the sunset date on tort liability legislation; a new bargaining unit for water and ocean safety officers; and a resolution urging the preservation of the counties’ current share of the transient accommodations tax (TAT).
He also acknowledged the state Legislature for working closely with the county in tackling the difficult financial situation over the last four years, noting that with their continuing dialogue, they will find solutions and effectively serve the people of Hawai’i.
The mayor expressed his thanks to the Kaua’i delegation – Senate Vice President Ron Kouchi, along with reps. Derek Kawakami, Dee Morikawa, and Jimmy Tokioka – for their hard work and for keeping Kaua’i residents apprised of issues being discussed at the state Capitol throughout the year.
A discussion on the recent events where state and county emergency responders worked side by side was also part of the mayor’s testimony, including: a multi-agency response to a large Koke‘e brushfire that resulted in no injuries and minimal property damage; and a similar response to a manhunt for a suspect believed to be hiding in Kalalau Valley, which made it possible for a comprehensive search to be conducted.
Please see attached for the complete text of the mayor’s testimony.