Editor’s note: For Hawaii’s Aug. 13 Primary 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 Megeso-William Denis, candidate for Kauai County mayor. The other candidates are Derek Kawakami, Mitch McPeek and Michael Roven Poai.

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

Candidate for Kauai Mayor

Megeso-William Denis
Party Nonpartisan
Age 71
Occupation Retired
Residence Kapaa

Website

Community organizations/prior offices held

None provided.

1. What is the biggest issue facing Kauai County, and what would you do about it?

Global governance of our island and the poisoning of our natural resources.

As mayor, I will terminate all agreements with the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI). Return the decision-making process back to local county and control our own destiny for sustainable knowledge, food, shelter and medical sovereignty and sustainability. Remove all toxins from our minds, air, land and water.

2. In the last four years, Kauai’s north shore has endured two major weather events that have severed entire communities from jobs, schools, pharmacies, banks, doctors, and other essential services for many months. Should this change the county’s approach to disaster preparedness, and if so, how?

Yes, as mayor my administration team can create sustainable area disaster recovery zones, with onsite or offsite food storage and distribution centers; local medicinal plants and disaster-ready medical and support teams with pharmacy or naturopath technicians and doctors; transportation-ready teams by air, land or sea in the event of evacuations; hurricane- or flood-ready distribution centers housed with secure computers for personal banking and education.

3. There are nearly 14,000 cesspools on Kauai that must be removed by 2050. With an average cost of $15,000 to $30,000 to convert to septic, many homeowners say making the transition is not affordable. How can the county help to jump-start cesspool replacements? 

There are many conversion options that may be more economical on a case-by-case basis. Tax breaks, tax incentives, grants and additional research and development using new technologies to lessen homeowner cost, as it is a benefit to the county as a whole.

Currently, one can retrofit their system by utilizing part of it as a leach field and add a second tank.

4. Traffic is getting worse on the island of Kauai, and different regions face different challenges. What would be your approach to improve Kauai’s transportation problems?

Stop corporate sprawl; stop airport expansion and the plan to increase tourism by 1 million people per year. Create more walkways and bike paths as alternative local travel options. Increase county private vehicle transportation services and options for tourists in lieu of rental cars to get to local events.

5. Do you feel the governor and Legislature appreciate the issues of your county, or are they too focused on Honolulu and Oahu? 

No, and it doesn’t matter with strong local leadership. Kauai has all the resources, talents and ability to be a sustainable, self-sufficient, sovereign island and people without outside influence or interference. Kauai is the Garden Island of Paradise and has reached its capacity to serve the people of Kauai first. The governor and Legislature report to a foreign entity.

6. For more than a year the median price for a single-family home on Kauai has topped $1 million. What would you do to help address the deficit of low-income, affordable, and middle-class housing?

Stop corporate takeover of the land. Cap rents; develop plans and programs with county institutions for affordable home ownership; offer tax breaks, and tax incentives to private structural design companies to create affordable traditional and nontraditional housing to fill the needs of our houseless, low-income, and medium-income families; make available leased land for farm community housing that can contribute to maintaining Kauai County local food sustainability efforts; lease affordable housing, or rent to work trade programs, planting trees, shrubberies and gardens, as part of the county local food sustainability and beautification project.

7. Even as the Covid-19 pandemic winds down, local businesses are struggling to hire and retain workers, which has led to shortages of everything from grocery store cashiers and restaurant workers to teachers and school bus drivers. What, if anything, would you do to address this economic instability?

Establish a vocational learning center to teach skills and trades needed to support a small business workforce; create a win-win partnership with small business regarding internships, to enhance the skills of the current or new workforce to grow businesses and improve business productivity; remove the constant scrutiny and pressure from government or the global governance; work with the County Council and department heads on tax relief, tax incentives, tax cuts, and deregulation, without compromising safety.

8. Kauai’s landfill in Kekaha will soon run out of capacity and there’s still no timely plan in place to build a new one. What can the county council do to address what could become a garbage crisis for the island?

Generate engineering disposal facilities, with leachate controls and landfill gas recovery systems, add liquids that hasten the decomposition process and add more time to the life of the landfill.

Methods to consider are a variety of technologies. Reciprocating internal combustion engines, turbines, microturbines and fuel cells can be used to generate electricity for onsite use and/or sale to the grid. The reciprocating engine is the most commonly used conversion technology for LFG electricity applications because of its relatively low cost, high efficiency and size ranges that complement the gas output of many landfills.

Cogeneration, also known as combined heat and power (CHP), projects use LFG to generate both electricity and thermal energy, usually in the form of steam or hot water. Several cogeneration projects using engines or turbines have been installed at industrial, commercial and institutional operations, using engines or turbines.

The efficiency gains of capturing the thermal energy in addition to electricity generation can make this a job creation project. LFG can be upgraded to renewable natural gas (RNG), a high-Btu gas, through treatment processes by increasing its methane content and, conversely, reducing its CO2, nitrogen and oxygen contents. RNG can be used in place of fossil natural gas, as pipeline-quality gas, compressed natural gas or liquefied natural gas.

9. Overtourism can degrade the environment, threaten biodiversity, contribute to wear and tear on infrastructure, generate traffic and disrupt neighborhoods. What more can be done to better manage the island’s tourism sector?

Tourism sells itself, so I would significantly decrease the tourism budget. Stop airport expansion and the million more tourists per year plan, focus more on Kauaians first and offer business incentives and tax breaks to import less and export more. Kauai is a sustainable, sovereign and self-sufficient island that needs to turn its focus inside, not outside, and take care of all local needs first.

10. 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 Kauai County. Be innovative, but be specific.

Vote out all the lifelong politicians, who brought us to the point of forfeiting our sovereignty to globalism, and fire all the department heads who supported them. Revert back to a government of the people, by the people, and for the people and stop relying on global governance and outside influence.

We have the tools, talent, resources and people to be a self-contained, self-sufficient, sustainable and sovereign state, and island, that removes the toxins from our air, land and water and stops the corruption that has poisoned our minds and our image as paradise.

Plant more fruit-bearing and flowering trees and shrubberies, create more gardens, and be who we are by living in aloha, being pono, protecting our eco-systems, our ahupua’a systems, restoring the fishponds, and growing more food.

Vote in strong leaders who put the people first, as the “life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness.”

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