2010 MAYORAL CANDIDATE QUESTIONS
Budget philosophy: What is your budget philosophy? Do you foresee increases in revenue through tax hikes and fee increases or do you foresee cutting spending?
PP: Cut spending by attrition and streamlining. More collaboration with State on transportation. More PPP for utilities.
Taxes and fees: If you do plan to raise taxes and fees, which specific taxes or fees would you increase? Would you sign a pledge that says you will not raise taxes?
PP: Will not raise taxes and will sign a pledge for the next two years. I will encourage the Legislature to repeal the rail tax.
Rail: How would you pay for rail if not enough Federal Money comes in, and/or the ½ per cent GET is not enough to cover the cost of the construction or maintenance or do you see the need for a tax hike? Do you support expansion of the rail and if so, to which parts of the island?
PP: Do not intent to proceed with the planned 20 miles of elevated rail as a project that we neither need nor afford.
The Bus: “The Bus” is subsidized rather heavily by the City & County. Recently the budget of “The Bus” has been reduced to help cover costs of the rail project. Do you believe the budget of “The Bus” should be restored?
PP: TheBus budget should be completely restored and in a few years express lanes should be provided for it on freeway shoulders and other highways.
State of the roadways: What are your plans to fix Oahu’s roadways so they don’t deteriorate so quickly into potholes and broken pavement? How much needs to be invested and where would the money come from?
PP: Well over one billion dollars over the next 10 years needs to be spent on county roads to bring from poor to average condition. We can do this by stop the wasting of money already collected for pavements on other projects and use them to fix the roads – using updated and innovated methods for a better and quicker result.
Landfill: What is your plan for Oahu’s trash problem?
PP: It’s a multistep process, including the following. Re-use tires and glass into pavements. Convert flyash into pozolanic cement. Remanufacture plastics into benches, bump stops and other simple and useful parts. Incentivize a private biomass plant to generate electricity out of the voluminous routine green waste collection by the city. Export whatever trash cannot be burnt at H-Power. Keep landfill open only for flyash remnants (less than 5% of what we currently landfill).
Infrastructure: According to the Board of Water Supply, there is an average of 1 water main break on average per day on Oahu. With Oahu facing a dry summer, what is your solution to fix the breaks so water is not needlessly wasted?
PP: Along with sewers and roads we must proactively rehabilitate the infrastructure. one region at a time, one pass at a time, for good. It is an opportunity to involve innovative contracting and financing so that the projects are delivered on time and on budget. We can’t afford business as usual. New and rehabilitated sewers, sewage treatment, water mains and roads alone come up to about 15 billion dollars.
Sewer upgrade to secondary treatment at Sand Island: The settlement with the EPA will cost the city an estimated $7.2 billion. How much will taxes and fees need to be raised to pay off this debt and what other programs and do you foresee the need to cut services to pay this bill?
PP: To avoid bankruptcy, this should be done as a PPP for quick and high quality project delivery with reasonable fees over the next 50 years. Floating bonds and doing it as a government project will make sewer fees skyrocket from under $1,000 per year for a typical house today to over $2,500 per year in 15 years from now.
Economic Growth: What can the mayor do to promote long-term economic growth for the City and County?
PP: The economy rides on our infrastructure. If we do the infrastructure fixes in the right way then we’ll form a healthy foundation for vibrant civic life and a robust economy. If we do them the wrong way, then the cost may double and sink Oahu in red ink, resulting in partly finished projects and endless lane closures.
Homeless: How do you propose to mitigate the problem of homelessness?
PP: Progressively reduce the benefit package for habitual homeless who are of sound mental state, aggressively help those willing to work and be self sufficient, aggressively pursue a mitigation of the effects of the federal PACT with Micronesia that has flooded Oahu’s public housing.
Transparency in Government: How would you address the public concern about lack of accountability, transparency and ethics in the City and County? What would you do to make your administration more transparent?
PP: Transparency and accountability are lacking. A recent evaluation gave Honolulu a rating of 4 on a scale from 0 to 10 with 10 being best. We need to consult with experts to provide much improved transparency. Mayor and Council must be made accountable of the cost, benefits and other implications of actions they enact.
Bed and Breakfasts and Transit Vacation Rentals: What is your position on bed and breakfast operations in our community and would you support expanding those operations?
PP: After much debate a resolution was reached in November 2009. I will effect no change to it.
Maintaining agricultural land: What is your position on agriculture for O’ahu and what are your plans to support Hawaii’s farm operations?
PP: Preserve it. Ease restrictions on farm construction buildings. Provide sufficient water for irrigation. Clean streams so floods to not wash out crops and soils.
Crime: Oahu has heavy property crime. What is your solution to making Oahu a safer place to live, work and enjoy the outdoors. Would you support concealed carry or more freedom for law abiding firearms owners, do you feel the current laws should remain in place, or do you believe stricter gun laws should be in place?
PP: More neighborhood watch programs are needed. More recreation opportunities is needed for teenagers who tend to vandalize private and public property at much higher rates when school is not in session. I do not support more restrictions in gun laws (Where is the fire?)