Editor’s note: For Hawaii’s Aug. 13 primary election, Civil Beat asked candidates to answer some questions.

The following came from Hana Steel, a candidate for the Maui County Council’s Wailuku-Waihee-Waikapu District. There are four other candidates, Alika Atay, Joseph Blackburn, Dane Kane and Keith Regan.

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

Hana Steel
Hana Steel 

Name: ​Hana S. Steel​

Office seeking: Maui County Council, Wailuku-Waihee-Waikapu seat

Occupation: ​Maui County recycling coordinator

Community organizations/prior offices held: ​Chaplain emeritus, Unity Church of Maui; member, Halau​ Kealaokamaile, Papa Lei Hinahina, Wailuku

Age as of Aug. 13, 2016: 70​

Place of residence: Wailuku, Maui

Campaign website: vote4hanasteel.org

1. This year has seen an outsized influence from people who want big changes in how government is run. What would you do to change how the Council is run?

​I strongly support increasing government efficiency including but not limited to: the adoption of the county manager form of government; moving from the annual budget to a biannual budget; and holding meetings in the late afternoon or early evenings.​

2. Should your county implement a 0.5 percent GET surcharge? If so, for what purpose?


3. 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?

Good policy drafted and passed by the County Council can assist in making sure our limited resources are protected as we grow the economy. Attracting businesses with little effect on the environment would be good for Maui. Maui must learn from Oahu’s mess and immediately negotiate for a light rail corridor through the cane fields connecting our communities. This will take cars off the roads. By the time our grandchildren build the rail system, it will probably run on solar.

4. What would you do to strengthen police accountability?

​ I support body cameras.​

5. What specific steps would you take to strengthen Hawaii’s lax lobbying, ethics and financial disclosure laws?

I would recommend that the state model successful efforts​ of other state governments and nations and implement strict rules and regulations.

6. Would you support eliminating Hawaii’s high fees for access to public records when the request is in the public interest?

I don’t think Maui’s fees are unreasonable. I support transparency and more online state and county public records may be a good way to reduce costs.

7. Voters complain their elected officials don’t listen to them. What would you do to improve communication?

Listening is one thing, acting on voters’​ requests is another that would sometimes require buy-in from all Council members. I would return all inquiries within 48 hours and at the very least engage in dialog about the issue of concern. I support late afternoon or early evening meetings for more public access.

8. What do you see as the most pressing issue facing your district? What will you do about it?

Housing, the homeless and the silver tsunami. I fully support the current administration’s plans to address​ the homeless situation. I also fully support Planning Director Will Spence’s ideas to address affordable housing. By 2025, Maui will have 40,000 residents over age 65, the silver tsunami! We lack enough appropriate housing and care facilities for our aging population. My plan is to establish multi-sector focus groups, including developers, and envision humane, progressive care, affordable housing options and a fantastic lifestyle for our healthy, slightly incapacitated and infirm elders. Then build!