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 Paul Robotti, nonpartisan for lieutenant governor. There are three other candidates, including Democrat Josh Green, Republican Marissa Kerns and Green Party candidate Renee Ing.
1. Homelessness continues to be a major problem in Hawaii. What specific proposals do you have to help reduce homelessness?
We would start off by providing a job fair specifically for homeless people without jobs, which would be free. We would help them learn a trade in return for a job. We would provide much more medical attention to homeless people that are in dire need of it. Laws have to be changed so that we can help the injured/emotionally impaired.
2. Do you support or oppose holding a state constitutional convention? Why or why not?
I think we should do it. It would just be another meeting of the minds.
3. Do you support or oppose allowing citizens to put issues directly on the statewide ballot through an initiative process? Why or why not?
Yes. Twice a year. We would let our neighborhood boards figure out the issues of the people that matter the most and poll them from there.
4. Hawaii’s public records law requires that records be made available whenever possible. Yet state agencies often resist release through delays and imposing excessive fees. What would you do to ensure the public has access to government records?
The government should be transparent. As a taxpayer this should be available to you. We would impose writing a law to make public records readily available.
5. Illegal vacation rentals have proliferated throughout Hawaii. The state is not collecting tax revenue on many of these properties and residents worry about overcrowded neighborhoods and other problems. Do you see this as a problem given Hawaii’s booming visitor industry, and what do you propose to do about it?
I’m against the idea of vacation rentals. But, knowing that this will continue, I think there should be only a certain amount of permits for owning a vacation rental given.
6. Is Hawaii managing its tourism industry properly? What should be handled differently?
I think the safety of our tourists is of paramount importance. And they’re trying their best to keep them as safe as possible right now.
7. Do you support amending the state Constitution to allow taxing investment properties to fund the public education system? How would you implement it if it passes?
Yes, I support anything that benefits the public education system.
8. Would you support using liquefied natural gas to generate electricity as the state transitions to renewable resources to supply power?
9. What should Hawaii be doing to prepare for the effects of climate change, including sea level rise and threats to coral reefs?
Just be more ecologically sound about things we build and where we build them. Knowing that we as humans have made a huge carbon footprint is key.
10. The office of lieutenant governor is often viewed as irrelevant. What would you do to make it more productive?
Surround myself with intelligent people (of all ages) that bring problems to my attention, so we can solve issues as a team.
11. What other important issue would you like to discuss here?
Legalize marijuana so the tax on it can pay public school teachers’ salaries. I think education is the only way we would be able to solve homelessness. And we in Hawaii deserve the best educators.
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