Editor’s Note: In June 2012, Civil Beat sent 10 questions to each of the candidates registered to run for Honolulu City Council District 1. All five responded, including Hawaii Rep. Kymberly Pine. The questions and answers are reproduced below in full, and will serve as a resource both to voters deciding whom to vote for at the Aug. 11 primary but also to constituents so they can hold Pine to her words should she be elected. To see how Pine’s responses compare to those from her competitors, click here. Click on each topic listed below to read Civil Beat’s question and Pine’s response.
Preferred Candidate Name: Kymberly Marcos Pine
Date of Birth (MM/DD/YYYY): 9/8/1970
Place of Birth/Hometown: Honolulu/Ewa Beach
Current Profession/Employer: State of Hawaii, State House of Representatives
Education/Alma Mater(s): UC Berkeley-BA, MBA Candidate UH Manoa
1. Do you believe that Honolulu should proceed with the 20-mile elevated rail project from East Kapolei to Ala Moana Shopping Center? Why or why not?
Yes. The people of the Leeward Coast voted overwhelmingly in favor of this system. As a constitutionalist, I respect their decision. As a fiscal conservative and author of the $600 State Government Waste and Mismanagement Report I will make sure every dollar spent is scrutinized and every effort is made to lower the costs of the project and ensure that more Hawaii residents are employed by the project. ↩ back to top
2. Should the city continue to send municipal solid waste to Waimanalo Gulch Landfill until it reaches capacity, should it site a new landfill elsewhere as soon as possible, or should it pursue a different path? Why?
Pursue a new landfill elsewhere and pursue a new path. We must make recycling a top priority eliminating the need for landfills. Other governments have successfully done this and we can too. ↩ back to top
3. Has the sidewalk ban on stored property, in effect for six months, been a success? What should the city be doing to help Honolulu’s homeless population?
It has worked to ensure that all taxpayers are given the respect of using the sidewalks they pay for. While the City and State, thanks to the efforts of numerous homeless care providers, have done a better job to coordinate their services and reduce duplication of services, more funding needs to be provided for comprehensive plans for increasing job training, access to higher education, affordable housing, and mental illness services. Homelessness can be drastically reduced with proper funding. ↩ back to top
4. Should the city consider eliminating property tax exemptions for homeowners, nonprofits and other special interest groups if it means lowering rates? What other steps should the council take to improve Honolulu Hale’s financial picture?
Exemptions should be removed for those entities that show no benefit to the city taxpayer or to the mission of the City. Tax exemptions should be analyzed and given based on these benefits. Churches for example help to provide social services help to the poor and homeless, which complements City services. I would not take exceptions away from entities like this.
Politicians often pass legislation that adds more responsibilities to government workers yet they do not provide the proper resources to implement the legislation. This creates an inefficient government. We must stop overpromising what government can do and streamline government and make it more effective for the taxpayer and their pocket book. ↩ back to top
5. Relations between the mayor and the City Council have been at times contentious. How would you work to improve those relations?
There must be more interaction between the Mayor and Council members in the planning stage of the budget and vision for Oahu for government to effectively work. Respecting one another, recognizing that good can come out of compromise, plus stopping political posturing would be a good start toward effective leadership. ↩ back to top
6. Should the city wait until July 2015 for the recently approved plastic checkout bag ban to take effect, implement something sooner or go a different route? Why?
Yes. With the economy still in a fragile state, we must give businesses time to implement this new cost into their budgets and business plans. ↩ back to top
7. Do the Oahu General Plan and regional planning documents as currently written need to be overhauled to protect agricultural resources and manage growth or are they sufficient as is? What other steps should the city take to control or promote development?
There is a lot of growth being considered on the Leeward side, but very little growth considered on other parts of the island. This should be reevaluated for fairness.
Promote transit oriented development and smart growth development, including assisting famers in the best use of agricultural land on the Leeward Coast. ↩ back to top
8. What do you see as the largest long-term challenge facing the city — sewers, water, roads, traffic or something else? What immediate steps will you take to put Honolulu in a stronger position to deal with its largest long-term challenge?
Traffic. Since rail or another plan will take some time to implement, there needs to be better coordination with Leeward businesses to hire leeward residents. My Hire Leeward campaign will help to dramatically reduce traffic to downtown Honolulu. ↩ back to top
9. What would you want to be remembered for as a member of the City Council?
I would like to be as a leader who can work with all issues and all types of personalities with trust and respect, but also a leader who will fight to improve the quality of life, not just for the people of the Leeward Coast, but for all of Oahu as well. ↩ back to top
10. If you could change one city decision of the last two years, what would it be and why?
I would have ensured that all rail contracts require the use of local hires and local equipment and local parts to keep the majority of the rail funding in Hawaii, which will stimulate our economy. Right now at least a $Billion is leaving Hawaii. ↩ back to top