Editor’s note: For Hawaii’s Nov. 3 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 Shirley Simbre-Medeiros, one of 14 candidates for seven positions on the Kauai County Council. Other candidates include Jade Battad, Addison Bulosan, Bernard Carvalho, Mason Chock, Felicia Cowden, Mike Dandurand, Billy DeCosta, Luke Evslin, Richard Fukushima, Ed Justus, Arryl Kaneshiro, KipuKai Kuali’i and Wally Nishimura.
1. Hawaii’s economy has been hard hit with the outbreak of the coronavirus and measures to prevent its spread, mainly because of the collapse of the tourism industry. Should we continue to rely largely on the visitor industry for economic vitality? What concrete steps would you take to bring tourism back? What else would you do to diversify the island’s economy?
No, we shouldn’t rely on tourism. Businesses got greedy, sold Hawaii so fast that with the virus, there’s nothing to uphold the State of Hawaii. They should have left it with agriculture instead of sending it to a foreign country for cheap labor.
I’m not saying that tourism is bad.
Working for a nonprofit in a department to serve seniors, we got invited to do hospitality greetings there at Nawiliwili for four years. Did it grow! Visitors came out of the ship like a herd of cattle.
The first years weren’t too bad but each year, more tourists and more businesses got involved. I say I and my kupuna did a fantastic job greeting, making people smile happy and have an unforgettable time.
2. As the economy struggles, the county may have to cut expenses and seek new revenue sources. What would you cut? And what is an area where you see potential new revenue?
Eliminate raises. Cut from the top — executives
3. What would you have done differently to handle the coronavirus crisis on Kauai?
Kauai has done wonders with the virus. There’s still some selfish knuckleheads that don’t comply but other than that it’s all good.
4. Homelessness remains a problem statewide, including on Kauai. What would you do to come to grips with this persistent problem?
Work with the people. Help them to help themselves. They need to trust the ones that want to help them, not those who make promises but don’t follow through.
5. Recent deaths of citizens at the hands of police are igniting protests and calls for reform across the country, primarily aimed at preventing discrimination against people of color. Do you see this issue as a problem in Kauai County? What should be done to improve policing and police accountability on Kauai? Should oversight of the police department be strengthened or reformed?
No I don’t see this as a problem in Kauai, but oversight of the police department should be strengthened.
6. Hawaii’s public records law mandates that public records be made available whenever possible. Gov. David Ige suspended the open government laws under an emergency order during the pandemic. Do you agree or disagree with his action? What would you do to ensure the public has access to open meetings and public records in a timely fashion?
7. What more should Kauai County be doing to prepare for the effects of climate change, including sea level rise and threats to the reefs?
The people should be paying more attention, especially the young, youth and millennials. For them its a joke. They got life too easy with high technology; don’t want to get down and dirty.
They create sunblock to protect the sun from sunburn, but yet it damages the reefs.
8. The coronavirus pandemic has exposed numerous flaws in Hawaii’s structure and systems, from outdated technology to economic disparity. If you could take this moment to reinvent Hawaii, to build on what we’ve learned and create a better state, a better way of doing things, what would you do? Please share One Big Idea you have for Hawaii. Be innovative, but be specific.
I wish it was like back in the early-1960s. People were happy for what they had. Good old plantation days!
9. What do you see as the most pressing issue facing your district? What will you do about it?
Drug use and homelessness.
Westside homes are priced lower than other places on Kauai. Kekaha is the last place that’s always forgotten.
I will represent the westside and make sure that we’re not forgotten.