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NEWS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS

MANY MILESTONES OVER THE PAST TWO TERMS

Hawaii County Council
It has been an honor to serve on the Hawai‘i County Council since 2012. As I seek re-election, I wanted to share with you some of our accomplishments and milestones over the past two terms.

My focus remains on improving our parks, protecting open space, supporting our Veteran's, creating affordable housing, finding solutions for our homeless, helping small business and working to ensure infrastructure improvements are done concurrently with development.

I extend a sincere Mahalo to the Administration for supporting the West Hawai'i Civic Center, the Ane Keohokalole Highway, Ka’iminani Drive roadway reconstruction and drainage improvements, upgrades to the Kealakehe Waste Water Treatment Plant and for attention to our parks and roads. These efforts have made a huge difference in improving government services and quality of life in Kona.

Highlights:

  • Dedication of the Shoreline Park at Kohanaiki
  • Acquisition of 'O'oma with 2% Open Space Preservation Fund
  • Strengthening the County Code prohibiting alcohol in certain public places
  • Passage of Bill to require more transparency in Land Use Permitting process
  • Support for Veteran's Cemetery POW/MIA Memorial 
  • Finalize Water Improvement District request of the West Hawai'i Veterans Council.
  • Full Scale Organics Composting Facility
  • 1st mile of Queen’s Lei Multi-Modal Pathway

BILLS I INTRODUCED & COUNCIL APPROVED

I initiated the following Bills and Resolutions to help promote transparency in government, improve the quality of life in our community and to protect our natural and cultural resources.
Bill 266 amended the Subdivision Code requiring preliminary plat maps be prepared, stamped and signed by a professional surveyor, along with the written application for subdivision. This requirement now satisfies the “verification of accuracy” of the preliminary plat map prior to subdivision approval.
Bill 281 amended the permit application and approval process for Planning Unit Developments by requiring decisions to be rendered by the Planning Commission, rather than exclusively by the planning director. It now allows for a public hearing process, thus, a greater level of transparency. It also added the requirement that applications for PUD permits be compatible with the surrounding community and must conform to the applicable Community Development Plan. Increased development in Hawai‘i County necessitates this comprehensive review of “exceptions” or “permits”.
Bill 69 regarding intoxicating liquors - added public areas in which it is unlawful to drink intoxicating liquors, to include County owned public parking lots, facilities, parks, landscaping strips, stairwells, pedestrian passageways and other areas. This now adds clarity in the County Code.
Bill 90 added the Public Access, Open Space, Natural Resources Preservation Maintenance Fund to the County Code and gave duties to the PONC Commission to review, evaluate, and give recommendations to Director of Parks and Recreation regarding applications received by the County for stewardship grants, which comes from the maintenance fund.
Bills 91 and 92, and its corresponding Resolution, created a “Water System Improvement District”, also known as a “Public Water Distribution System.” This allowed the County to provide a loan and grant funds from USDA to provide County water for the Kona Ocean View properties Subdivision.
Bill 48 to officially name the “Kohanaiki Beach Park”.
Resolutions 129-13, D2 and 130-13 were adopted to accept a dedication of lots at Kohanaiki beach to the County of Hawai‘i for public park purposes and granted to the County a perpetual non-exclusive grant of easement for access to the park and access for water lines.
Resolution 271-14 to dedicate the lands of ‘O‘oma to the County. ‘O’oma was purchased with County 2% Public Access Open Space Fund to protect access to the shoreline in perpetuity.
Resolution 200-13 to officially named the access road to the West Hawai‘i Veterans Cemetery “Ke Ala Koa,” which name translates to “The Trail of Warriors”.
Resolutions 266-15 and 267-15 to directly urge Congress to make an amendment clarifying that corporations are not people (in support of a nation wide Move to Amend initiative), as well as a request to the State Legislature urging Hawaiʻi’s congressional delegation to pass an amendment clarifying that corporations are not people.
As Chair of the Finance Committee I had the privilege of introducing many other Bills and Resolutions that were initiated by the administration, including the proposal for a full scale composting facility that will be completed in 2018.

PROJECTS & PROGRAMS SUPPORTED WITH DISTRICT 8 CONTINGENCY FUNDS

  • Kohanaiki Beach Park
  • O‘oma Beach for Portable and ADA Restrooms
  • Veterans Treatment Court
  • West Hawai‘i Veterans Cemetery
  • Coqui Frog Eradication and Control
  • National Wreaths Across America Program
  • American Red Cross Disaster Relief Training
  • Hawai‘i Fire Department - Ocean Safety Division
  • West Hawai‘i Domestic Abuse Shelter
  • Prince Kūhiō Ho‘olaule‘a Annual Celebrations
  • Kealakehe High School Project Grad
  • Hawai‘i Island Women Leadership Forums
  • West Hawai‘i Community Beach Cleanups
  • Hawai‘i Island Humane Society - Animal Control Center
  • West Hawai‘i Community Health Center
  • Kailua Skate Park
  • Old Airport Park
  • The Food Basket
  • Hōkūpa‘a Youth Support Forums
  • Global Virtual Studio’s Transmedia Accelerator
  • West Hawai‘i Community Forums
  • Kupuna Excursions with Alu Like
  • Na Kahuā Hale O Ulu Wini Entranceway
  • Na Kahuā Hale O Ulu Wini Bus Shelter
  • Trees & Benches for 1st Mile of Queen’s Lei along Ane K.
  • Construction and Design of Sign at Makalei Fire Station to Honor the Sayre Foundation

SHORELINE AND OPEN SPACE

Hawaii County Council
COUNTY ACQUIRES 'O'OMA PROPERTY WITH 2% OPEN SPACE FUND

The County of Hawai‘i's latest acquisition with the Public Access, Open Space, and Natural Resource Preservation funds will protect 217 acres in Kona, between Kohanaiki and the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawai‘i.

'O'oma was the last privately-held open coastline area between Kailua town and the Kuki'o resort, and was the top-ranked property on the Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Preservation Commission's latest report.  The Mamalahoa Trail and the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail run through the property, and the preservation of 'O'oma also will help preserve the Class AA ocean water quality and contribute to a healthy reef ecosystem.
Hawaii County Council
The acquisition extends the pubic, county owned, shoreline park from Kohanaiki to 'O'oma and ensures all people will have access to the shoreline for fishing, surfing, subsistence gathering and recreation. 

The purchase of the 'O'oma property closed on December 31, 2013 for $6.2 million, slightly more than half the $12 million asking price.  Kohanaiki Shores, the neighboring development, assisted the County in the purchase with a $2 million donation.

Mahalo to Mayor Kenoi for realizing how important this area is to our community and who's "can-do" attitude pushed this forward at the opportune time. Mahalo to the Kona community and to those warriors who never gave up the dream of an open public shoreline.

This open space purchase is the culmination of over 25 years of efforts on the part of the Kona community, which held onto a vision of an open coastline at Kohanaiki and 'O'oma.  This is an awesome gift to our community and validates the power in a shared vision.

Hawaii County Council
KOHANAIKI SHORELINE PARK

Dedication of the Kohanaiki Shoreline Park to the County in June was a highlight of 2013. As many of you know, this park was the result of years of legal work, negotiations and grass roots efforts and sets forth a 3-way partnership with the Community, Kohanaiki Shores LLC and County of Hawai‘i Parks and Rec. The park includes vehicular shoreline access, preservation of the historic Ala Kahakai walking trails, showers, bathrooms, canoe and canoe halau, and the largest multi-use halau on the island for cultural/educational uses and programs.
Hawaii County Council
Mayor Kenoi, Angel Pilago, Joe Root take part in the blessing at Kohanaiki

SUPPORT FOR VETERANS

Hawaii County Council
I have committed to helping our Vets in any way that I can.

The West Hawai‘i Veterans Cemetery is one of only 3 in the nation that have earned “Shrine Status” granted by the United States Veterans Administration. Mahalo to the West Hawai‘i Veterans Cemetery Development and Expansion Association for all of their hard work.
Hawaii County Council
POW/MIA MEMORIAL

I was happy to provide $15,000 from District 8 Contingency Funds for a memorial garden at the West Hawai‘i Veterans Cemetery to honor the selfless men and women who have answered the call to service and paid the ultimate sacrifice in the pursuit of peace, and in defense of our freedom. Mahalo to Susan and Paul Graffe for spearheading this effort.
Hawaii County Council
KE ALA KOA – THE ROAD OF WARRIORS – I introduced a Resolution to give an official name to the road leading to the cemetery. This Resolution was approved by the Council in November.

VETERANS CENTER – I introduced a Resolution urging the State Legislature to appropriate funds for site selection and planning of the West Hawai‘i Veterans Center, $300,000, pursuant the House Bill 1468 re Capital Improvement Projects for the Seventh Representative District. This Resolution was approved by the Council and forwarded to the State Legislature on March 13, 2013.

OUT AND ABOUT IN THE COMMUNITY

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Hawaii County Council
SUPPORT FOR VOYAGING PROGRAMS WORLD WIDE VOYAGE


‘AI PONO WORKSHOP – Planning stages to involve School Garden Network in growing food and creating menus for provisioning Hokule'a and Makali'i on their worldwide voyage
Hawaii County Council
Attended the memorial ceremony for Senator Daniel Inouye
Hawaii County Council
Attended the tribute to Senator Dan Akaka
Hawaii County Council
Attended the NACO (National Association of Counties) Conference in Washington DC
Hawaii County Council
Met with U.S. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz, and U.S. Senator Maize Hirono
Hawaii County Council
Attended Student Government Day at WHCC
Hawaii County Council
Spoke at event honoring Mary Teshima
Hawaii County Council
Celebrated Filipino American Heritage Month at U H Hilo
Hawaii County Council
Presented Officer of the Year award
Hawaii County Council
Attended Older American lunch
Hawaii County Council
Hosted Teachers for America at Kohanaiki

RECOGNITION OF ACHIEVEMENTS IN OUR COMMUNITY

Hawaii County Council
Leahi Camacho - the youngest to swim from Molokai to Oahu, through the Kaiwi Channel.
Hawaii County Council
Certificate for Keahii Delovio
Hawaii County Council
HPA Scholars - Madison Inman scored in the top 1% in the nation on her SATs. Kristiana Van Pernis, Hannah Twiggsmith and Melia Cavedoni for scoring in the top 5% in the nation on their SAT’s. Lysha Matsunobu from Parker School not pictured
Hawaii County Council
Certificate of Presentation for Eagle Scouts, Aholelei, etc.
Hawaii County Council
CERTIFICATE PRESENTATION, Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (C.A.L.E.A.) for complying with nationally recognized standards in providing quality service to the Big Island Chief of Police Harry Kubojiri,
Hawaii County Council
KEALAKEHE KIDS – CERTIFICATE OF PRESENTATION. Kealakehe High School’s Applied Global Citizen Organization for promotion of better future leaders and awareness in the community.
Hawaii County Council
Kona Gold Senior Softball Team, State Champions