VIDEO: Lisa Gapero, Wailuku Council, Candidate Profile, Decision 2010 MauiNOW.com

September 10, 2010, 10:34 PM HST · Updated December 23, 11:32 AM
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Lisa Gapero, 2010 candidate for Wailuku Council, Transcript:

Introduction: Aloha, my name is Lisa Gapero, and I’m running for County Council in the Wailuku, Waihee, Waikapu seat.  Some of the issues that I’d like to address, and things that have been bothering me and got me off the couch actually to run against the incumbent, Mike Victorino–is that our government is running in slow mode.  We need to get things picked up a little bit for people–especially permits for businesses.  And I’m a very, very strong proponent for small business and government getting out of the way. 

Wailuku Council candidate Lisa Gapero. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Kanaha Professional Plaza: A six-story medical plaza building is planned for development near the Kanaha Pond Wildlife Sanctuary in Kahului.  While discussion at this point has been deferred, do you support or oppose the project.  Answer: Right now, since it has been deferred, I did a study of that, because my background comes from cultural anthropology–so, the site itself is zoned heavy industrial, and it is in a highly-abused area, you might say.  The Kanaha Professional Medical building would bring some very, very important environmental touches to their building, which is not currently in the surrounding area in terms of other businesses on the Hana Highway.  I like the way they have designed the grass on the roof, and the availability to go and observe the Kanaha Pond.  They’re building little canals around it, I believe.  In terms of the Kanaha Pond, it’s been so abused over the years. I consider it one of Maui’s sacred places.  It also–I have observed maps of it in the past.  It’s so abused now, that it went all the way to Christ the King Church at one time.  I ‘d be interested to see how that’s going to evolve through planning, in terms of the flood area that it tends to get every once in a while.

Residency requirements: Since candidates have residency requirements in place in order to represent a community, should votes for those candidates be restricted to the area they represent?  Answer: Really good question. Thanks for asking.  When I observed the county council with this vote–and I know there’s a lot of press out there about the at-large voting versus the district voting.  I would say, if I had been on the council at that time, I would have voted for district, and simply because–by the way that they voted it down, to be put on the ballot, automatically makes the public assume that they want their jobs.  They are incumbents and they’re entrenched, and they’re vested in what they’re doing.  I think a vote to clearly have the public participate would have been a much more transparent government approach.

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Budget: What is your experience and understanding of the county budget; and your priorities for funding?  Answer: I’ve read through like all four hundred and some pages of it.  I think there’s a lot of things we could change.  You know today, you and I, are doing just as much if not more for less money.  And I think that needs to be a principle that is put in place in 2010 when a new administration comes in, and new council members (come in).  The government itself needs to be doing much, much more for less money.  I think one of things that we can instrument is more volunteerism.  They talk about maintenance on the parks, or other things that we could incorporate the prisoners to do things like this.  But, I’m against cutting the budget for public safety.  Public safety in this depressed economy is of utmost importance, if not the most important thing–because along with joblessness comes crime.  So, I think that’s a very important issue to support.

Closing thoughts: I’m out and about.  I’m a low-budget operation right now.  And I’ve never done this before–I’ve never run for office.  I’m educated; I will do a good job for Maui, and I will return the Wailuku seat to the people, and I will be the voice.  This is not a power game for me.  I’m not going on to be mayor or anything like that.  I want to give this seat back to you.  I want to empower small business to create the jobs that preserve our personal and individual liberties here on Maui.

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