Editor’s note: For Hawaii’s Aug. 9 primary, Civil Beat asked candidates to answer some questions.

The following came from Victoria Franks, one of two Republican candidates for state representative for District 16 in Kauai County. The other is Vince Flores. Democrats Daynette Morikawa and Thomas Kahawai are also running.

District 16 includes Waimea, Koloa, Niihau and Lehua.

Go to Civil Beat’s Elections Guide for general information, and check out other candidates on the Primary Election Ballot.

Name:  Victoria Franks

Office: State House of Representatives District 16

Party: Republican

Profession: Minister

Education: A.A. from Williams College; B.A. from Blue Mountain College

Age: 49

Community organizations:  Family Life Center, food pantry, homeless ministry

Victoria Franks, candidate for House District

Victoria Franks

1. Why are you running for the Hawaii Legislature?

I have lived in Hawaii over 20 years on four islands — Molokai, Maui, Oahu and Kauai — which gives me a great  understanding local needs.  I have a very good understanding of government and the impact a good leader can make.

2. Are you satisfied with the current plans to pay for the state’s unfunded liabilities? If not, how would you propose to meet pension and health obligations for public workers?

No.  “Unfunded” liabilities simply means we have spent the money somewhere we shouldn’t have. We need to take a hard look at expenditures and see where things have been improperly spent and redirect future expenditures.

3. Local officials and advocates have worked to address homelessness for years, yet the crisis is growing. What proposals do you have for this complicated issue?

It would be beneficial if private non-profit organizations were allowed to get involved in the homeless issue … providing avenues for private groups to help with renovating houses, establishing transitional housing.

4. Where do you stand on labeling genetically engineered food and pesticide regulation? Are these public safety issues, or are the dangers exaggerated?

I believe that our family farms would be hurt dramatically by some of these regulations. It would make more sense to find ways to encourage more people to farm. The cost of labeling will ultimately lead to a dramatic rise in food costs. Hawaii’s families cannot afford for our food costs to rise at all. This labeling will affect the affordability and availability of food items. It will also lead to job losses for workers involved in this industry. I believe that we need to protect jobs and food costs before anything else.  esticide regulation would require even the pesticides we use in our homes to be regulated as well.

5. Hawaii’s cost of living is the highest in the country by many indicators. What can really be done to make things like housing, food and transportation less expensive?

Finding and implementing alternative fuel sources will help with transportation and cost of utilities. Reducing energy costs will ultimately cause food costs to drop because transportation will cost less. Housing must be addressed in two areas: availability and development.

6. Would you support using liquified natural gas as part of the state’s energy sources? And how can we improve the electrical distribution system so more renewable energy can be utilized to bring costs down?

Yes.  We need to find every alternative fuel source that we can.

7. Hawaii’s public records law mandates that public records be made available whenever possible. Yet many citizens are unable to afford the costs that state and local government agencies impose. Would you support eliminating search and redaction charges and making records free to the  public except for basic copying costs?


8. Are you satisfied with the way Hawaii’s public school system is run? How can it be run better?

No.   The people know what is right for each island’s educational system. Having a centralized school board does not meet the needs of the neighbor islands. Bureaucracy doesn’t meet needs, it is designed to control monies.

9. There is a desire to grow the economy through new development yet also a need to protect our limited environmental resources. How would you balance these competing interests?

Two things can be done now: Redevelop areas that have been lost or no longer used and utilize “successful” recycling and management processes. In short, do what has worked successfully in other locations.

10. What other important issue would you like to discuss here?

I am very concerned that decisions are being made on behalf of Kauai that do not represent the concerns and opinions of the people.