How long you’ve lived in the district: I was born in Hawaii and have lived in East Honolulu my entire life. I currently reside in Hawaii Kai.
Background that qualifies you for the position: I worked as a Legislative Aide for Councilmember John Henry Felix for nearly a decade. During that time I worked tirelessly with the constituents helping to create a safe and healthier place to live. I sat on the Kal Highway Task Force for five years during the road widening project along Kalaniana’ole Highway. I worked with all departments and department heads within the City and interacted with state representatives on a daily basis. I attended the East Honolulu Neighborhood Board monthly meetings and spoke adamantly against building large projects in neighborhood valleys. During my tenure, we were able to award five million dollars to Hind Iuka area residents whose homes were slipping off their foundations and collapsing, due to the runoff from the Hawaii Loa Ridge construction project. I sat on boards for the Governor and attended both state and city meetings in support of the residents of East Honolulu.
What else have you run for? Have you been in public office before and if so, what position? I have never run for public office, but was encouraged by representatives I had the pleasure of working closely with in the past. I thoroughly enjoyed every rewarding moment I spent as a Legislative Aide in the City and County of Honolulu. I am looking forward to once again being able to work closely with the residents in East Honolulu in providing a safe, healthy and beautiful place to live.
What are the biggest issues in your district and your proposed solution? District 4 contains nine unique communities, each facing its own concerns including homelessness in area parks and streets; farmers being removed from their land; potential fatal dangers at the dilapidated Waikiki Natatorium; seaweed overgrowth at Maunalua Bay and naupaka and hau overgrowth in Kahala. All of these problems along with the ever increasing erosion concerns need immediate attention. I am currently working with several environmental agencies and when I am elected I will unite with State and Federal officials and work to find immediate solutions everyone can live with.
Please share how you voted on the rail question in the 2008 election and why? Will you vote to expand the rail line in the future? I cannot support the rail at this juncture until we address the island-wide infrastructure problems. We need to spend the money we have to repair our aging sewer pipes before there is a major threat to public health. Sustainable sewage treatment meeting EPA standards must be implemented immediately to provide residents a safe and healthy place to live.
Please share your position on Bed and Breakfasts in residential neighborhoods? All illegally operated Bed & Breakfasts must be identified and shut down immediately. Existing legalized B&B’s must be made to comply with mandated rules and regulations. Legislation needs to be introduced to deny further B&B permitting in residential areas such as Kahala and other close-knit communities to avoid unwanted traffic congestion, noise and potential drug trafficking and to insure residents a safe, secure place to live.
What are your solutions to Oahu’s trash problem? I will work closely with the Department of Environmental Service to provide O’ahu with an immediate solution. Waimanalo Gulch Landfill is authorized for use only until 2012. A long-term solution could be an on-island waste processing plant which could supply reusable materials to fund its operations.
There is more than 1 water main break on average per day on Oahu. What is your solution to fix this? As stated in a previous question the replacement of our island-wide aging sewer pipes would be a number one, high priority for me. These pipes should have been replaced years ago, not waiting for an island-wide crisis and a huge project to be undertaken all at once. Complying with Oahu’s sewage consent decree will cost city taxpayers $4 billion.
What are your plans to balance the city budget and pay this debt? I would address this immediately by utilizing the monies set aside for the rail project, which if and when it goes forward, could be addressed at another time. The health and safety of the people must come first and foremost. Furlough is not the answer to raise funds to balance the budget. By putting people out of work we are only adding to the economic crisis. I would call for an immediate audit of all departments within the city to uncover areas that would cut budgets and save the city money.
What is your position on taxes and fees? Are they high enough or should they continue to increase? O’ahu has seen tax collection rise 46% over the past four years. Sewer fees just went up 18% and are expected to increase 3 to 5% every year until 2035. We cannot afford to continue to raise taxes and other fees and be able remain living in Hawaii.
Would you sign a pledge not to raise taxes in the future by introducing legislation or supporting legislation that raises taxes? Absolutely!
What are your solutions for homelessness on Oahu? Should homeless be allowed to sleep in parks and at the beach where camping is not allowed, and if not, what are your plans? If so, what will be done to keep the parks clean and user friendly for taxpayers? I would work closely with federal agencies to introduce legislation to stop the arrival of “transient vacationers” and to provide those already here with a one-way return ticket home. We need to establish a permanent home-base for our local homeless to reside while receiving rehabilitation back into the workforce and society. We need legislation which will provide the seriously ill with mandatory hospitalization or other medical treatment. Our parks and beaches must remain clean and in prisine condition in order to insure Hawaii remain a beautiful tourist destination. Please share the most interesting thing about yourself. My passion lies in the magnificent culture and beautiful traditions of Hawai‘i and its people. I authored a book entitled “The Spirit of Hula,” featuring Hula Halau in Hawai’i and throughout the world. I have the honor of being the 2010 Princess of O‘ahu in the Aloha Week Parade on September 25th.
Endorsements? My website features endorsements including former Councilmember, John DeSoto. Former City Clerk, Genevieve Wong, Melveen Leed, Boyce Rodrigues and Ann McCormack Livermore.
Contact information Phone: (808)-979-5005 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Mail: 647 Kalanipu’u Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96825 Web site address: www.sharimakesadifference.com
Campaign Slogan or Theme (optional): We Can Make a Difference Now!