Editor’s note: For Hawaii’s Nov. 6 General Election, Civil Beat asked candidates to answer some questions about where they stand on various issues and what their priorities will be if elected.

The following came from Claire Kamalu Carroll, a candidate for Maui County Council (East Maui). The other candidate is Shane Sinenci.

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

Candidate for Maui County Council (East Maui)

Claire Kamalu Carroll
Party Nonpartisan
Age 48
Occupation Supervisor, Hana Ranch restaurant
Residence Hana

Website

Community organizations/prior offices held

Hana Community Association; Hana Advisory Committee; organizer, Hana Neighborhood Crime Watch.

1. Are changes needed in how the County Council is run, and if so what are they?

Council members are voted in to do a job with the intention to do work. Working together and not labeling which side a person is on. We are the employees for Maui County. This needs to be changed to work and not blame.

2. The Legislature has authorized Maui County to implement a 0.5 percent GET surcharge. Should the county do it, and if so, what should the additional revenue be spent on?

Some people may not like that I answer “yes” to this question. But again, I am a lifelong resident of this island and have seen the road conditions get worse throughout the years and the need for water.

Infrastructure would be the top priority and updating our water systems before we find ourselves in the same situation that Oahu does with a large amount of water main breaks and wasted water.

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?

We all agree there should be a balance. There is always a need to promote agriculture and without water there can be no agriculture or affordable homes that require water. We need to plan what areas would most benefit by addressing community plans that are long outdated.

4. What would you do, if anything, to strengthen police accountability?

This should be in the hands of the law. I support officers but on the other hand like any job they are the same as you and I. Everyone is accountable for their actions regardless if an officer or not. If there is a certain case then I would like to hear the incident and what the outcome was.

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

At this point it would be my duty to study in more detail and go from there 

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

I’m not sure what this is pertaining to. Most records are already available for public view through various resources. Fees should accrue due to time and resources that are put in to prepare records. If fees were eliminated, how would the cost be offset to pay for time and labor to prepare them?

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

I have always had an open door policy. Working with others is the key. To listen and keep an open mind. There are always two sides of the story. Also some complain because it is self-serving and for certain groups. Decisions are made on what would be the best for all. This requires open discussion on positive and negative and see where we can hold respectful discussions in order to seek compromise to benefit the most on issues that affect Maui County

8. What more should Maui County be doing to prepare for the effects of climate change, including sea level rise and threats to the reefs?

Programs/projects for developing for hands-on volunteer projects through the community.

Getting involved with developing watersheds on lower lands and thoughout the county.

This is a community effort on all parts that we address runoffs into the ocean. Which carries chemicals in the ocean that contributes to the death of our reefs. Global warming is already affecting our reefs so we need to do our part in keeping our land and ocean protected from further damage.

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

Addressing the high amount of tourists who travel the Hana Highway. There is a program called the Hana Highway regulation, which was adopted by the Hana Community Association, which I am in support of.

We need to do more to educate our visitors and also work with residents who travel the roads to Hana on a regular basis.

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