Next Week: Mayoral Candidate Questionnaire Results
With primary elections scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 13, 2016, time is running out to choose which of the 13 candidates will get your vote.
To help you make that important decision, Big Island Now will provide an issue-focused, online forum based on a questionnaire sent to each candidate.
Each candidate’s answer will begin with a brief biography.
“Mayoral Candidate Questionnaire Results” will be published online on Wednesday, Aug. 3, at BigIslandNow.com.
The following are the questions posed to each candidate.
1. PUBLIC FUNDS: What concrete steps would you take as mayor to ensure that future administrations, including your own, do not violate ethics rules pertaining to use of public funds?
2. TRANSPARENT SPENDING: What would you do to increase transparency of administration spending, so that the public can readily see how their dollars are being used by their chief executive?
3. BUILDING PERMIT PROCESS: Contractors and homeowners are reporting wait times of three to six months for building permits. With construction forming such a large component of the Big Island’s economy, what solutions would you propose to streamline the permit process and what sources of funding would be used?
4. THIRTY METER TELESCOPE: Explain your viewpoint regarding the construction of the TMT. Will it be a net positive or net negative for the Big Island community?
5. HOMELESSNESS: What are actionable steps that can be taken to help resolve the islandwide homeless crisis; include funding sources for your solutions.
6. TAX REVENUES: An increase in the general excise tax was proposed by the current mayor. Where do you stand on introducing new tax revenue sources during the next administration? If you plan on targeting the state’s share of the Transient Accommodations Tax, how would you increase Hawai‘i County’s share of that revenue source?
7. SERVICES and SPENDING: How do you feel about our current level of services vs. spending? If we were to face a funding shortfall during the next administration, would you raise taxes or cut programs, and if so, what and how?
8. NEXTERA MERGER: What is your opinion regarding the proposed NextEra merger with Hawai‘i Electric Company? Do you support efforts to halt that process in favor of a public-owned (co-op) utility model?
9. DOCTOR SHORTAGE: How can the county government help to resolve this pervasive problem?
10. HILO LANDFILL: The Hilo landfill is at or approaching safe capacity levels and could face closure during the next administration if changes are not made. Various solutions have been proposed, including rerouting waste to West Hawai‘i and the construction of a waste-to-energy plant. What direction would pursue as mayor?