Editor’s note:For Hawaii’s Aug. 9 primary, Civil Beat asked candidates to answer some questions.
The following came from Carl Strouble, one of four candidates for the Honolulu City Council District 4 seat, which is nonpartisan. The others are Natalie Iwasa, Trevor Ozawa and Tommy Waters.
District 4 includes Hawaii Kai, Kuliouou, Niu Valley, Aina Haina, Wailupe, Waialae-Iki, Kalani Valley, Kahala, Wilhemina Rise, Kaimuki, portions of Kapahulu, Diamond Head, Black Point, Waikiki, and Ala Moana Beach Park.
1. Why are you running for the Honolulu City Council?
I have been in Hawaii for 30 years, starting shortly after my enlistment in the U.S. Navy. I’ve seen friends struggle to make a living here, only to leave, for it has become increasingly hard to do. Those friends were born and raised here, they now only have hopes to return. I’ve chosen to run for City Council to make a difference, by working on solutions immediately. This City Council needs to do more for its people in fulfilling its role as public servant. To keep the focus and thoughts about the people, before themselves.
2. A recent survey found that homelessness has increased by 30 percent on Oahu in the past five years. How would you tackle the problem?
We need to work closer with the nonprofits that are working with the homeless now. We need to eliminate delays, dealing with financing. Sort out where the increase is from, i.e. illness, loss of job, mental health or transient. Work with nonprofits which have better personal relations, as in one-on-one.
3. Oahu has one of the most expensive housing markets in the country. Do you think the City Council should play a role in trying to make housing more affordable?
Yes, I do think any and all options need to be explored. This to help ease the pressure that has made the housing market so expensive.
4. Honolulu has some of the worst traffic congestion in the nation. Some see rail as part of the solution. What other strategies should the city employ to alleviate congestion?
Work at home programs need to be expanded with government positions. Exploring what if any improvements can be done with our current bus system. Continuing to explore land development to reduce commuting.
5. The mayor unsuccessfully sought to create additional sources of revenue for the city this year, including charging residents for trash pick-up and placing ads on the outside of buses. Do you think the city needs to boost its revenue? If so, what types of proposals would you support?
I think the city needs to do some internal cleaning, focusing on waste and abuse. Revenue has been coming in, poor spending habits have to stop. I think our government needs to update, so it can be more efficient and less time-consuming.
6. The City Council often has to sign off on important development decisions. Where do you stand on the development of Kakaako, transit-oriented development and the Envision Laie plan?
I stand in favor due to the possibility these projects will ease the expensive housing market.
7. Local officials have become increasingly concerned that a long history of leaks at the Navy’s Red Hill Underground Fuel Storage Facility, mauka of Pearl Harbor, could contaminate drinking water supplies. What steps do you think Navy and government officials should be taking to address the issue?
I currently have very little knowledge on this matter. Also, I am not aware of what solutions may or may not be on the table. It is, however, the job and duty of all City Council members to protect the safety and health of the communities.
8. What do you think of Mayor Kirk Caldwell? Is he doing a good job?
I would say he needs more help. We need to work more together than apart. As a public servant, our communities have a primary need. That is for us not only to work hard and smart, but together!
9. Do you think details about police officer misconduct should be made public? If so, why?
Yes, our police force is strong and very professional. Misconduct should be made public to maintain the integrity of trust. I also believe mistakes can be made. We need to be careful on ruling a mistake as misconduct. Our officers have a lot of ways to make mistakes, given the mountain of rules they must follow.
10. What other important issue would you like to discuss here?
Most of the important issues for me I will only touch on. The cost of living, employment, taxes, housing and homeless, government waste and road conditions. All of which can be worked on by the City Council.
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