BY NORMAN SAKAMOTO – We all acknowledge that job creation and a strong economy are badly needed in Hawaii, but few political candidates will say much beyond that. So let me explain my plan, in general terms, and try to do it without resorting to ‘political-speak.’
We must proceed on projects – like mass transit – that are ready to go, and can immediately provide jobs. We need to think creatively about how mass transit can transform neighborhoods, create and enhance business areas and create even more job opportunities.
Hawaii isn’t a third world nation. We must fix the potholes on our freeways and main roads now.
We must rebuild the aging infrastructure at the University of Hawaii and the public schools. Better schools translates into better education for our children. And a better educated work force translates to more and better jobs.
We must prepare a Money Saving Infrastructure Package. These would include projects that will save us money if we build now. The savings from reduced operation and maintenance costs would more than pay for the cost to construct the project today. No brainer? Let’s proceed.
Release the money for projects that are funded. Create a spending plan to ramp up the list of shovel ready projects. We must build upon the infrastructure-planning work done by the Hawaii Institute of Public Affairs, and prioritize projects in a Statewide infrastructure plan. We then need to partner and fund infrastructure needs for all of Hawaii’s people. When the prices are favorable to taxpayers, these projects should be bid-out. Much planning has already been done. Let’s go. We need jobs now.
Let me remind you and emphasize, these are all opportunities that presently exist. Now we need to get going.
The third, and last, in this Job Creation series will arrive in tomorrow’s email.
Norman Sakamoto is a State Senator and Candidate for Lieutenant Governor.