CANDIDATE SPOTLIGHT: James “Kimo” Apana – Candidate State House 9
By Maui Now Staff
James “Kimo” Apana is a candidate for the State House District 9 seat. Apana is running on the democratic ticket and faces fellow democrat, Justin Woodson for the seat. There are no other party challengers.
Full Name: James “Kimo” Apana
Date and location of Birth: July 15, 1962 Wailuku, Maui Hawaii
Current residence: 581 Waikala Street Kahului, Maui Hawaii
Elected offices held, if any: Maui County Councilmember, Mayor-County of Maui
Education: Lihikai Elementary, graduated The Kamehameha Schools, Maui Community College-Associates Degree, University of Hawaii-Manoa-Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts
Community Involvement: Current-Japanese Chamber of Commerce, Royal Order of Kamehameha and Filipino Chamber of Commerce
Family status: Married to Lisa Ann (Sakamoto) Apana
State Legislative Candidate Questionnaire:
1. What is the number one issue facing the district you plan to represent? Why do you feel it warrants special attention and how do you plan to resolve this issue? If you have more than one item, please elaborate.
Answer: House District 9 represents a wide diversity of our community, from the development in the 1950’s of the first “DreamCity” increments to the current gated communities of Maui Lani. Issues facing the district are also diverse ranging from updating aging infrastructure, providing for our rising senior population, traffic issues that insure the safety of residents in a growing community and providing for the needs of our young families (schools, affordable housing, parks and recreational centers). To help to resolve these and other issues I would meet with community groups to listen to their concerns, gather facts and information (personal surveys and assessments) and collaboratively seek solutions with the goal of improving the quality of living for our residents. As an elected official I have always valued the need to respond to the concerns of the community in a timely manner.
Being an island state we face unique problems. One of my initiatives calls for accelerated improvements to Maui Memorial Medical Center. Maui Memorial Medical Center currently is the only neighbor island hospital that can provide for comprehensive cardiovascular service. On a more personal level, my campaign co-chair recently experienced discomfort in his chest and within a few days he was diagnosed with blockage in his major artery and underwent a successful open heart procedure. All of this was done on Maui and his family was able to be with him during the entire process. Further expansion of facilities and services would provide our residents with quality medical care and services that our residents deserve.
2. The HTA is projecting visitor arrivals and expenditures to plateau in 2014. What are some revenue generating ideas you have to stimulate the island economy?
Answer: Hawaiʻi needs to continue promoting itself as a top tourist destination. Maui was recently voted, “Best Place to Visit in the US and to continue to achieve such high rankings our tourist attractions must provide visitors with a safe and memorable experience. Tax incentives for repair and maintenance of existing attractions and accommodation sites would be of assistance to those in the industry. Attracting other sources of visitors through the support of our film industry and global promotion of existing cultural and sporting events (Merrie Monarch, Maui Film Festival, Hawaiʻi Farm Fair, and Honolulu Marathon) would help to insure a long term growth in our tourist industry.
Promote Hawaiʻi as a destination for learning and higher education. Recruit nationally and internationally to attract students to come to Hawaiʻi to complete their education.
Create incentives so our small businesses can flourish. Small businesses as well as our residents should be able to take greater advantage of renewable energy to reduce the cost of living and doing business in Hawaiʻi. Government efficiency through modernization and the expediting of permit processes would provide for a business friendly environment so new companies can invest and establish new workforces.
***Candidate spotlight segments were compiled as a public service to further educate and inform Maui voters about the upcoming primary election on August 9, 2014, and the general election on November 4, 2014. The questionnaires were distributed via mail following the primary election candidate filing deadline for select races affecting Maui County. The responses do not reflect the opinion or position of Maui Now or Pacific Media Group.