Mahalo to Civil Beat for publishing commentary on the contentious race between Tommy Waters and Trevor Ozawa.

NOTE: pick the correct link

Recently, Republican Charles Djou laid out his reasons for supporting Trevor Ozawa as did a former staff member of former GOP State Sen. Sam Slom.

Djou’s bottom line is that voters should choose Trevor to stop Mayor Kirk Caldwell, who beat Djou two years ago in the mayor’s race.

I say enough of the political back stabbing in this race. My vote in this race boils down to temperament and character. And I’m voting for Tommy Waters.

That came into sharp focus when I learned that Ozawa is taking shots at the Waters family.

Here’s the press statements regarding this:

In a March 27 statement Ozawa said: “My campaign has not complained about Mr. Waters continued false statements made in his flyers, such as his false claim that he is ‘from District 4’ when he in fact is from Kailua, or when he portrays his ‘in laws’ as his current in laws which they are not.”

City Council District IV seat. Tommy Waters celebrate in Honolulu, Hawaii. on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. (Photo by Ronen Zilberman

Tommy Waters on election night, Nov. 6.

Ronen Zilberman/Civil Beat

Waters responded the same day with this statement: “As for the repeated personal attacks against me and my family, I just don’t think our community stands for it. To take shots at my kids’ grandparents — that’s just off limits with how I was raised. We are both Native Hawaiian, our ancestors have been in this community for generations. I have made no secret of the fact that my family moved to Kahala when I was in high school at Kamehameha — so yes, I moved into the district in the 1970s but I’m not sure the implication here—is my opponent saying only those born in a neighborhood can serve that neighborhood?  I love this community and will continue to fight for it given an opportunity.”

In my book, stooping this low by going after family is unbecoming of a city leader. But it’s in line with the juvenile behavior Ozawa has demonstrated throughout this campaign.

On the residency issue, Waters is nearly 20 years older than Ozawa. Waters lived in Kahala when he attended Kamehameha School, so do the math. He was living in District 4 before Trevor Ozawa was born.

Checking Their Records

Waters did later move to Kailua and served that district in the Legislature for six years before leaving to raise his young children.

One of Waters’ votes while in the Legislature representing Windward Oahu should figure more prominently in the constant discussion of a who’s pro and anti-rail in this race. Waters’ record speaks for itself. On May 3, 2005 he voted against increasing the general excise tax to fund rail. The measure passed the 2005 Legislature and all Oahu residents, including those of us in District 4, have been paying that rail GET ever since.

Waters also said no to the key funding mechanism that brought us rail, while Ozawa on the other hand has a pro rail voting record while serving on the City Council. That includes a yes vote for GET increases in 2017.

Ozawa’s record includes a proviso he inserted (Bill 22, CD2, FD1) adding $44 million to HART’s budget using city revenues. This would mean using our property taxes. When Ozawa’s council colleagues objected, the proviso was removed.

The point is Ozawa tried to use property taxes to pay for rail. Now he claims Waters will do the same, which is not only wrong but hypocritical.

My vote in this race boils down to temperament and character.

Ozawa also falsely asserts Waters will support Mayor Caldwell’s proposed trash pickup fee. I have seen Waters say on numerous occasions that he will not support a separate garbage fee tax. And I take him at his word for that along with his call for a forensic investigation into rail.

Ozawa is hoping that we, the District 4 community members, will take his false claims at face value. My trust is in Waters, in his reputation, in his aloha and especially in his character.

There is a lot at stake this election on issues impacting our district. Crime remains a concern. Just this week a woman at a Kahala gas station had to fend off an armed gunman who was trying to steal her purse in broad daylight while she pumped gas.

The other district issues include homelessness, the proliferation of illegal vacation rentals, monster homes, traffic and the cost of living.

These problems have gone on too long and have worsened in the last four years under Trevor Ozawa’s watch. We need change and we need it now. I’m voting for Tommy Waters!

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