Why we wrote this blog post
The reason why we wrote this article is to inspire the awareness of the 2018 election.
We didn’t write it to criticize someone or to insist our opinion pigheadedly.
Since the last Presidential Election, many of us felt disappointed and became indifferent with politics. But, this mayoral election is the part of our life rather than politics. And it needs our attention and awareness at this moment.
Our Current Issues
The housing issues are getting worse, especially since the flood which devastated the North Shore in April (a related article from The Garden Island). We personally know that hard-working people are forced to live on the beach just to survive.
Also, traffic and road conditions seriously affect our everyday life and economy.
Who we are – we are Kekaha residents.
First of all, just to be clear, we don’t have any personal connection with JoAnn Yukimura.
We are small business owners living on the west side of Kauai. (about us)
It is a critical time for Kauai, so we decided to share our opinion as Kauai residents.
We have seen JoAnn at a community meeting regarding North Korea held at the Kauai Community College last year. She cares about our community and gets engaged with the issues.
4 Websites and 3 Facebook Pages
Seven candidates are racing for the office of Kauai Mayor 2018. We checked their websites/Facebook pages to find out what they want to accomplish as mayor and how they want to serve Kauai.
Here are our references (when you click the link, the page will open in a new tab):
✽ Kawakami, Derek – Campaign Website
✽ Kekaualua, Debra – Facebook Page
✽ Mo Des, Ana – Facebook Page
✽ Rapozo, Lenny – Campaign Website
✽ Rapozo, Mel – Campaign Website
✽ Yago, Clint – Facebook Page
✽ Yukimura, JoAnn – Campaign Website
* Listed in alphabetical order
3 REASONS WHY WE SUPPORT JOANN YUKIMURA FOR MAYOR OF KAUAI 2018
Reason 1. JoAnn Yukimura has brought in REAL CHANGES on Kauai.
JoAnn served as a mayor (1988 – 1994) and has been serving as a Kauai Council Member since 2002 until now. And, during the time, she has brought in REAL CHANGES on Kauai.
THE CHANGES she has brought
- started Farmer’s Sunshine Market all over the island
- started Kauai Bus
- helped to start KIUC (the Kauai Island Utility Corporation)
- established a housing policy and implementation resulting in the building of over 1500 affordable homes on Kauai over the last 25 years,
to name a few. (read more)
At this point, who do we need? A mayor who has fresh ideas or a mayor who can bring in REAL RESULTS?
Our answer is that we want a candidate who can implement the practical plans and create REAL CHANGES. And, JoAnn proved that she is the candidate we want.
Reason 2. JoAnn Yukimura has a clear vision for Kauai and we agree with her.
We believe that each island has its own special role including Kauai. It’s the residents’ duty to discover the role and live the purpose of the (is)land.
JoAnn Yukimura shared her vision for how Kauai will look in 20 years. She envisions Kauai as a model for the world in 2035. (read “Kaua`i: Sustainable, Prosperous* and Living Aloha”)
For a leader, a vision can be the root of a tree and a plan can be the trunk. If a palm tree has deep roots, the trunk can be flexible and hold the ground even in a hurricane. Yet, if it has shallow roots, it will be pulled out as it faces strong winds.
We want a leader who has a clear vision and who is willing to share it with us.
And, that’s our second reason why we support JoAnn Yukimura for Mayor of Kauai.
Reason 3. JoAnn Yukimura has ample experiences and suggests realistic plans for solving problems.
When we get a new job, it takes three to six months to learn the tasks and to produce results. As Gary Hooser mentioned in the article of The Garden Island, the role of a mayor requires a lot of administrative work to run the office. Obviously, it will not be easy for the new mayor to move forward to implement new projects, even if he/she has good ideas.
Running a government sounds like it requires proficiency and lots of experiences in order to avoid mistakes.
Fixing our roads is still on hold
In her website, JoAnn explains what happened in the city council recently. In order to fix our roads, the County Public Works Roads Division estimated the cost and made a plan. It will cost $10 million per year for road and bridge repair.
Unfortunately, her proposal to produce the $10 million per year was voted down twice (reference). This issue is still on hold. At the end of the article, she added, “Either we pay to fix our roads or we pay to fix our cars and the problem grows.”
Some people may say, “Why do we pay for fixing the roads? Tourists use the roads more than we do. Let them pay.”
So, to find answers to the problem, we researched a little bit. We should think about this issue from a long-term perspective. What is certain is when something is broken and we don’t fix it, it will cost much more eventually.
Let us share some research about how Arizona State funds their road maintenance.
How Arizona funds their roads
Why Arizona? We used to live in Arizona and pay state taxes, so we know this state well. Also, one of the main industries in Arizona is tourism much like Hawaii.
2017 tax revenue from tourism in Arizona was $3.37 billion and it’s 35% of total revenue, while 2017 tax revenue from tourism in Hawaii was $1.96 billion and it’s about 28%* of total revenue.
*We couldn’t find 2017 Tax Revenue Report of Hawaii, so we compared with 2016’s revenue. Considering the increase of 2017 tourism income of Hawaii, it should be lower than 28%.
**References: Tourism of Arizona, Revenue of Arizona, Tourism of Hawaii, Revenue of Hawaii
Grand Canyon, Sedona and Lake Powell attract people from all over the world. So, they maintain their freeways in the best condition, especially on the 200 mile-route between the airport and the Grand Canyon. If you’re curious about their freeway system, you can google “direction from Phoenix Airport to Grand Canyon Visitor Center”. It will say that it takes 3h 38m to travel 232.6 miles. Their freeway system allows tourists to drive at the average speed of 64 MPH.
They are able to do this by collecting revenue from taxes of motor fuels and a variety of fees and charges relating to the registration and operation of motor vehicles of the state (reference). As much as Arizona collects the fund from motor fuels and vehicle registration, they pay back to taxpayers. Their tax revenue from tourism brings an annual tax savings of $1,293 for every Arizona household (reference).
Another Income Source
For our traffic issues, we agree with several plans of Mel Rapozo. He says, “We need to work with the State to allow our County to implement fees to visitors, including tolls to Ke’e Beach, Waimea Canyon and Koke’e to maintain infrastructure on our island.” (reference)
In Sedona where we used to live, people purchase a pass to enter Red Rock parks. Each park has a vending machine which accepts cash and credit cards. Once or twice a day, park rangers patrol and issue citations. (Believe us, you don’t want to pay the fine. Certainly, it’s more expensive than an annual pass.) Residents can purchase an annual pass which is affordable for everyone. (resource: Red Rock Pass Program)
About 15 years ago, Sedona didn’t charge fees except for a few places. But, as the number of tourists increases, they had no other choice but to charge fees in order to maintain the good condition of facilities such as clean bathrooms and picnic areas. Likewise, we can think of possible income sources on Kauai as our circumstances demand.
Maintaining our roads and facilities in a good condition will not only give positive impressions to visitors but also contribute to the quality of our life, economy, and jobs.
As we read her website, we could feel that JoAnn Yukimura has a dedication to solving problems for the people on Kauai. And, her proficiency and experiences in government create realistic solutions and her dedication pursues them tirelessly.
Her experiences, proficiency, and dedication are our last but not least reason.
In Derek Kawakami’s platform, we support: to increase housing density in the Lihue Planning District; to provide a variety of multi- and single-family housing options prioritizing affordability; to increase emphasis on studio and one-bedroom units to expand opportunities for our young adults and kupuna. (resource)
We also support Mel Rapozo’s Comprehensive Traffic Plan – KEEP KAUAI MOVING. It’s very detailed and actionable. (resource)
Mahalo for reading
Again, we hope this article brings more awareness of our current issues.
We show our sincere respect to all of the candidates who are willing to dedicate themselves to make this island a better place.
Mahalo for reading.
– Kekaha Residents and Taxpayers, Mary & Shawn, Martha & Robert –