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Editor’s note:For Hawaii’s Nov. 8 general election, Civil Beat asked candidates to answer some questions.
The following came from Harry Ozols, a Libertarian candidate for state Senate District 13, which includes Liliha, Palama, Iwilei, Kalihi, Nuuanu, Pacific Heights, Pauoa, Lower Tantalus and downtown. There are two other candidates, Democrat Karl Rhoads and Republican Rod Tam.
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 Legislature is run?
Work hard to listen to residents and visitors to encourage voter participation. Work hard to encourage less government interference in business and personal choices.
2. Hawaii is the only Western state without a statewide citizen’s initiative process. Do you support such a process?
Yes, anything that encourages citizen participation and personal choice makes life better for all.
3. Hawaii has long been dominated by the Democratic Party establishment. Should this change, and if so, how?
Yes, progress and ideas get stale and politicians get comfortable with the status quo when they come from one viewpoint. New points of view from other parties need to participate in the decision making process. The Libertarian Party, for example, currently has the freshest ideas to move our society forward and improve our lives.
4. What specific steps would you take to strengthen Hawaii’s lax lobbying, ethics and financial disclosure laws?
It is time the state pension system is revised.
5. Would you support eliminating Hawaii’s high fees for access to public records when the request is in the public interest?
Yes, much more reasonable fees need to be implemented.
6. Voters complain their elected officials don’t listen to them. What would you do to improve communication?
Legislators need to be available full time year round to listen to constituents.
7. What do you see as the most pressing issue facing your district? What will you do about it?
Review of zoning codes to see which ones are creating more problems than solving them.
8. 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?
City urban zoning issues should not be the same as pristine areas.
9. What should the Legislature do to improve police accountability?
We should insist that the Police Commission includes personal freedoms in its reviews. Police body cameras would go a long way to insure citizen rights.
10. Hawaii is the fastest-aging state. What would you do to ensure we’re taking care of our kupuna?
Young workers are subsidizing our kupuna. The tax code needs to be more fair for all as young people are leaving. This further erodes the tax base and creates an ever-increasing burden on young workers. We should do all that is possible to create larger working groups and not chase away younger workers.
11. What would you do to improve Hawaii’s public education system?
Return much more control to our local experts — classroom teachers.
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