VIDEO: Jonathon Olson, Mayoral Candidate Profile, Decision 2010 MauiNOW.com
Johnathon Olson, 2010 candidate for Maui Mayor, Transcript:
Introduction: Aloha Maui. I’m Jonathon Olson, a mayoral candidate for the County of Maui. I’ve lived on the island for 24 years. I’m a certified public accountant and a real estate broker. I was Chief Financial Officer at Maui Memorial Hospital. I lived on Lanai and we built the Manele Golf Course when I worked for Lanai Company and Dole Foods. I worked for C. Brewer Homes and some of the major developers here, some consulting for Maui Lani. I’m running for mayor because I care about Maui County. I want to help Maui County. I think we need to get leadership in there that cares about the people, has the financial background
that I do to make necessary cuts or reallocation of resources. I’m not going in there to eliminate peoples’ jobs. I’m going in there to find ways to make us more efficient and do good for the county. We’re not going to help our economy out by laying people off and making their lives more difficult.
Development: What are your thoughts on smart growth and what will you do to prevent urban sprawl? Answer: I’ve worked for most of the major developers on the island–I’ve audited them–The Westin Maui, the Lanai Company with the developments over there, C. Brewer Homes with homes along the West Maui Mountains, Bill Mills with Maui Lani and the island’s gated developments. I’m concerned about the island of Maui and I think we need to protect this resource because it’s our most valuable resource to the world. We’re the best place on Earth. We need to protect this for the people living here, for the tourists that are going to come here–we need to have smart growth, save our small towns and also create jobs while doing this.
Permitting: What are your thoughts on the county’s permitting process for B&Bs? Should the approval for B&B’s rest in the hands of council members or the mayor’s appointed planning director? Answer: I think the people should decide that. They are the ones that are going to be most affected by all of this. The council and mayor, are up there to help facilitate the businesses–the big businesses, the small businesses–make a living on Maui. I don’t think it should be–we should be handed the rules and follow those rules and implement them the way people want them.
Fireworks Ban: Are you in support of or against it? Answer: I used to be on the board of directors at Hospice Maui–and one of the best times in my life was when we coordinated the fireworks show at the War Memorial Stadium. As with anything, I think we need to regulate it better for safety purposes, for fire purposes. (We need to) set up specific areas where people can view fireworks and specific areas maybe where people can set them off and not cause potential hazards–where they are supervised and they’re not going to be getting injured in trucks or starting fires. There are many things that start fires–cigarettes going on the road–so I think we just need to be careful. And we need to keep property owners responsible for their properties that they are letting get overgrown like the recent Kea Lani fires and the Happy Valley fire.
Transient accommodations tax: If elected to serve, what would you do to ensure that Maui keeps its share of the Transient Accommodations Tax? Answer: Part of it is–alot of people have said I’m not that–but you need to schmooze and you need to schmooze with the legislative branch and all the state people. I was CFO at Maui Memorial and we were one of the money-makers of the hospital system and they funneled money off from the hospital to the various areas. We all need money. I think what we need to do is smart growth, keep our islands pristine. That’s going to generate more money, and then we can all share in the wealth, the property taxes, the transient accommodations taxes, and maybe, hopefully have a little bit of disposable income left over after.
Water: What are your plans to improve wastewater treatment on Maui and your thoughts about injection wells? Answer: I used to audit the Water Department and the Public Works Department, as an auditor for the County of Maui. I think that we need to move the Kahului plant, and utilize that as a tourist area. I believe injection wells should be eliminated. I read about LaJolla, and just to be a little funny, they drink their own pee, and we may get to that someday, but it’s purer than anything else on the water.
Closing thoughts: Get you pencils ready. On Akaku, I pulled out my thousand dollars–that’s my campaign spending limit because I’m not going for big donations from the big developers and big unions, or the small people that don’t have money, because I’m going to help all of you. I’m not going to favor any group. I think we can all do this together, and I’ve worked with all of you in various points of my life, so I think that we can do this all together. My resume (and contact information) is at http://www.jonathonolson.com/. You can call me 24/7. I’ll try to respond back to you–I need a little bit of sleep, and I need to walk my dog, but I will do my best. I’m here to help. I’m not doing this for the pleasure of public speaking. Amen.
(Note: Due to audio difficulties, we were unable to bring you the entire video recorded with Jonothan Olson, however, the entire trasncript from the interview is included above. A portion of the video is provided by clicking on the image above. We appologize for the inconvenience.)