BY BRAD COATES – Like many others, I have recently been taking a much more serious look at the “dark horse” mayoral candidacy of Dr. Panos Prevedouros.
Ironically, I am much closer on a personal level to former Prosecutor Peter Carlisle since we were both contemporaries at UCLA Law School and have been friends for nearly three decades. I am very appreciative of the fact that Mr. Carlisle is an independent “non-politician” who is not beholden to any one special interest faction and I think he will make a fine mayor, if elected. I do however, wish that he would take a stronger stance on curtailing the pro-rail and rampant pro-growth factions, and their outsized power and influence peddling, here on Oahu.
As a concerned fiscally conscious and socially responsible Oahu resident, I have become increasingly alarmed about the approximately $12 billion debt load which must now be assumed by our fair city just to cover the impending (and unavoidable) costs of fixing the sewers, parks, roads, water mains and building secondary treatment plants. This does not yet even include the $5.5 billion cost of the new (and not necessarily improved) rail project which would bring the (not so) grand total to almost $18 billion.
As I extrapolate what the debt service costs will be on this $18 billion and how that will inevitably translate into higher property and other taxes, user fees, utility bills, etc. (experts have estimated that this will average out to $19,000.00 in extra taxes for each and every resident of Oahu), I find myself ever more inclined to look “outside the box” for some admittedly unorthodox solutions.
Panos is definitely not your standard political candidate. As a civil engineer and technocrat rather than a politician and a bureaucrat he may just be what Oahu needs now as we face the worst economic recession/depression in over 70 years. He certainly represents the last best chance to stop the costly and ill conceived elevated and fixed train system which is being “railroaded” through and which may well bankrupt our city. “De-Railing” the train is by no means Panos’ only issue however.
I have now also had extensive discussions with him on a wide range of other topical issues as well…and he has fresh, frugal, creative and innovative ideas across the board. He is especially prescient with regard to seeking “slow, smart and sustainable” growth, as versus the rampant uncontrolled style of over development which is so popular with conventional politicians and their special interest union and developer endorsements and corresponding campaign donations.
BRAD COATES IS AN ATTORNEY IN HAWAII