Editor’s note: For Hawaii’s Nov. 8 general election, Civil Beat asked candidates to answer some questions.
The following came from Robert Carroll, a candidate for the Maui County Council’s East Maui District. There is one other candidate, Shane Sinenci.
Name: Robert Carroll
Office seeking: Maui County Council, East Maui District
Occupation: County Council member
Community organizations/prior offices held: Maui County Council, member, 1996-1997, 2000-2001, 2011-present; Former Hana High and Elementary School Parent Community Network coordinator; Community Work Day – Maui, board chair; Maui Adult Day Care Center, board member; Juvenile Justice State Advisory Council, member; Volunteer Center of Maui County, member; Hana School PTSA, president; Maui County Planning Commission, chair and vice chair; Safe Communities of Maui County, member; Hana Pre-school, president and vice-president; Hana Community Health Center, vice president; Ke Au Hou State Integration Task Force, member; Hana Cultural Center and Museum, president; Hana Maui Trust Board, chair; Hana District Deputy Civil Defense, coordinator; Hana Community Association, president and vice president; U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, member; Hana Advisory Committee to the Maui Planning Commission, member; Hana School Advisory Council, president; Hana Fisherman’s Club and Co-op, president; 1972 – 1974 Hana Community Association Vice-President and President
Age as of Aug. 13, 2016: 72
Place of residence: Hana
Email address: email@example.com
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?
The Council is functioning as a deliberating, transparent elected body. We vet all issues thoroughly and competently. What is really needed for a more cohesive and involved public. We constantly implore our island residents to come out and provide testimony.
2. Should your county implement a 0.5 percent GET surcharge? If so, for what purpose?
I do not support any tax increase or increased surcharge.
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?
There is no doubt that we must protect our precious natural environment. We must look at aqua culture, fish farms and eco-tourism enhancement of a Hawaiian cultural experience that people from all over the world travel to see.
4. What would you do to strengthen police accountability?
I believe that our police force should be outfitted with body cameras. This will go a long way in improving police response and crime prevention.
5. What specific steps would you take to strengthen Hawaii’s lax lobbying, ethics and financial disclosure laws?
Lobbying efforts need to be monitored by a independent citizen body. Working with our state Legislature, we can regulate lobbying much more effectively. Again, more public involvement is needed regarding ethics and honesty in disclosure laws.
6. Would you support eliminating Hawaii’s high fees for access to public records when the request is in the public interest?
Yes, access to public records must be affordable for any and all inquiries.
7. Voters complain their elected officials don’t listen to them. What would you do to improve communication?
All elected officials must be accessible. I can be reached at my office, (808) 270-7246, my residence in Hana at (808) 248-8269 (I am in the book) and via email. All my constituents know that I am available to speak to them 24/7.
8. What do you see as the most pressing issue facing your district? What will you do about it?
The most pressing concern in my district is housing. There are so many families who, after getting their education or retiring from their careers, would love to return to East Maui. Unfortunately, there are very little housing opportunities, my priority has always been to attract potential builders to build affordable housing. There have been a few successes but the need is incredibly large. Still, I won’t give up on making sure that East Maui families have a place to call home.