CANDIDATE SPOTLIGHT: Tamara Paltin – Candidate Maui Mayor
By Maui Now Staff
Tamara Paltin is a candidate for the office of Mayor in Maui County. Paltin is among a list of 6 individuals identified as candidates in the race on the 2014 ballot.
The complete list of candidates (in alphabetical order) includes: Alan M Arakawa; Beau E Hawkes; Alana Kay; Orion “Ori” Kopelman; Tamara “Tam” Paltin; and Nelson Nahinu Waikiki Jr.
Full Name: Tamara Maile Akiko Paltin
Date and location of Birth: September 28, 1977; Kapiolani Hospital, Oahu
Current residence: Napili, Maui
Occupation: Ocean Safety Officer, County of Maui
Elected offices held: Save Honolua Coalition Secretary 2007, Vice President 2008, President 2009-present; HGEA Unit 14 Secretary and Treasurer 2014
Education: Hilo High School Magna Cum Laude 1995; Northern Arizona University Cum Laude BS Mathematics/Education 1998; Kapiolani Community College First Responder (now called Emergency Medical Responder) 1999; Drive Safe Hawaii Emergency Vehicle Response 2003; University of Hawaii Maui College Ka Ipu Kukui Leadership Fellow 2009; Emergency Management Institute FEMA ICS training 2008; County of Maui Rescue Craft Technician 2013
Community Involvement: Maui Nui Marine Resource Council, American Red Cross Lifeguard/First Aid/CPR volunteer instructor, Member of E Alu Pu communities learning network, Kahana Canoe Club, Save Honolua Coalition, HGEA union member and steward, Hawaiian Lifeguard Association
Family Status: Married with children (3 stepchildren, 2 biological)
Maui Mayoral Candidate Questionnaire:
1. What is the number one issue facing Maui County? Why do you feel it warrants special attention and how do you propose to resolve this issue? If you have more than one item, please elaborate.
Answer: The top issue facing Maui County is a declining quality of life. Cost of living is increasing faster than wages/social security, affordable homes are out of reach for most people, there aren’t enough good jobs and county government is ineffective and disconnected from the hearts of our people.
I am running for mayor of Maui County because I believe we can do much better. I would start by putting the right people in the right positions, hardworking qualified leaders who value stewardship over self interest and are committed to finding solutions. There is no silver bullet solution to all of these complex problems that contribute to our declining quality of life, however listening to our entire community is the first step. Focusing on solutions with an equal interest in present and future is the next. I care about jobs and about the world our keiki will inherit. I understand the realities of today and dream of a better tomorrow.
With the technology available in the 21st century, mass collaboration is possible, practical and pervasive. In this day and age no one person is smarter than all of us put together and so we need to open the lines of communication within our communities, with experts, our council and public servants from the front lines to the executive offices and aggregate and leverage our collective intelligence to solve these quality of life issues for the people of Maui County. I would direct county government to invest in economic development that is community based, community driven and community inspired. Currently local businesses are shutting down and mainland franchises are moving in sending profits out of the county and our government is bending over backwards to help them. We need to invest in local innovation that will help maintain Maui County’s cherished quality of life for generations to come by using local resources in a way that enhances economic opportunities while improving social conditions in a sustainable way.
2. What areas can be trimmed to make for a more efficient government; and what areas can afford additional funding to facilitate long-term benefits for the County?
Answer: I believe the mayor’s executive staff should be trimmed. One of the major complaints about the past administration was the size of the executive staff and yet new positions at the executive level have been created during this administration with no increase in efficiency. During the past four years, too much of your taxpayer monies and time have been wasted on lawyer fees fighting against community wishes and with the council. I would like to facilitate increased communication and have various issues get settled before going to court, and if we must go to court, it should only be for issues the County is sure to win. I would also cut leave with pay for appointed positions under investigation and work with the new county auditor, council and communities to look for more areas to be trimmed.
I would like to invest more in Community Based Economic Development (CBED). Simply put, CBED brings it all back home so you and your community are part of the decision-making when it comes to how Maui is governed.
I would like to put some funding towards leveraging the power of social networks that have a vested interest in seeing our residents thrive. For example, I think we need to facilitate the start up of networks to help our communities learn how to write grants (not just to the County of Maui); learn about home ownership and different options for affordable housing and simple steps for how to live a more island appropriate lifestyle (reduce, re-use, recycle – home composting, rain barreling, rain gardens, etc).
My administration will work with you to create economic prosperity without sacrificing the beauty and Aloha spirit we all love.
***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.
***Note: The name of voided Maui mayoral candidate Neldon E “ADZ” Mamuad will still appear on the primary election ballot, but votes for him will not be counted toward the end result.