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Margaret WILLE

Candidate for Hawaii Council, District 9


Phone number: (808) 854-6931
Email address: margaretwille@mac.com
Website: electmargaretwille.com/


Hawaii Council, 9 Candidates (2)

Response to Kanu's Candidate Questionnaire


What do you think is the single most important issue facing County government today?

Single Most Important: Adequate Emergency Preparedness and Resilience Planning - including focus on agriculture - food self sufficiency and sustainability. With respect to quality of life there are many important issues: 1)increasing educational opportunities to provide training for meaningful jobs - start with specialized high school in South Kohala; 2)standing up to HELCO and reduce cost of electricity;3) improve pubic transportation; 4) Environment - quality of coastal waters and island habitat for endangered species 5)Establish a County priority for cultural/historical preservation efforts - and promote tourism that is consistent with preserving the beauty of our island and promotes health and fitness; 6) Home rule concerns (County level and Community Level, including empowering the Community Development Plan Action Committees; Address trash/waste including tsunami trash issues.

What policies would you pursue to address the growing problem of homelessness in Hawaii?

Provide more transitional housing and address food shortages. BUT combine these with training resource programs and transitional job programs, so that folks who are dependent are weaned from the need for assistance. All food distribution programs should be combined with job and health programs. However I do not support taxpayer support for single family homes -- rather focus on multi-unit transitional housing -- until all have shelter. Again, all subsidized housing should be merged with educational and employment readiness programs.

What steps, if any, do you think Hawaii must take to manage traffic and make reliable, timely transportation available to all?

Here on the island of Hawaii, we need to upgrade the bus system to provide for a higher level of regular dependable bus services - including the need for a Regional Transit Hub and Tourist Information Center in Waimea, and the need for an intra North Kohala shuttle bus service. I worked on Waimea Traffic over the past six+ years -- including bringing a legal action that forced Parker Ranch to put in the Parker Ranch connector Road and I also initiated the proposal to start an intra-Waimea shuttle bus service. I am now working on getting the 511 system here on this island and building a Regional Traffic Hub and information center. I regularly attend the South Kohala Traffic Safety Committee meetings. I am also a big proponent of pedestrian and bike management plans and have included requiring those when I was head of the Waimea Design Review Board.

What policies would you pursue to address our islands' overflowing landfills?

If elected I will commit to work with the Mayor on this issue based on current technologies. We need to consider all available options, including the new composting technology -- that maximizes making mulch and use the high level sort technology to pull metal, there are also various other "waste to energy" technologies we need to consider. Most importantly we need to maximize recycling and promote "green waste" collection.

What steps, if any, would you take to limit the influence of money and special interests on politics and policy?

Promote publicly funded elections -- based on a fair distribution of funds collected (instead of such discrepancy between the Districts). Maintain the vitality of the Sunshine Law. Increase access to the legislative processes on the neighborhood islands -- through on-demand video programing of Oahu held state hearings. Reduce the amount that may be spent on gifts to council persons and legislators from $100. to $10 or at most $25. Generally maximize transparency.

Do you make an effort to "eat local", and if so do you have any suggestions for others on where to get locally grown food?

Yes I do and I promote the philosophy that it is by engaging in local-nomics that we can promote ag resilience. North Kohala has a booklet available of the farms to restaurants that use locally grown foods.We need one of these in Waimea. I go to the farmers market for food and encourage others to do so. I also encourage the markets to increase their marketing of locally grown foods. I have stressed this theme at the various candidate forums.

What actions, if any, have you taken at home or at work to cut down on waste?

I maximize recycling and reuse of items... also I advocate for better recycling -- including use of ceramic cups and I reuse my bottles for bottled water. I reuse the back sides of paper and refrain from printing off documents whenever possible.

Do you think Hawaii should use its agricultural land for housing, or keep it for farming?

keep it for farming

Do you support or oppose publicly funded elections as a way to reduce the influence of big campaign donors on policy?

Support

Do you support or oppose requiring bike- and pedestrian-friendly design in community plans?

Support

Would you like to offer any clarifying remarks on the above support/oppose questions?

I promote a problem solving approach rather than an adversarial one side versus another approach. The point is that you can be pro ag and pro adequate infrastructure and at times competing legitimate concerns come into conflict. If you take a black and white approach the likelihood is that the issue that is in disagreement with be shelved or ignored. Best to get all facts on the table and work head on to solve the problem. MY strength is the ability to bring diverse positions together into multifaceted solutions - not just consensus lowest common denominator approaches.

Anything else you would like to add:

My background is in anthropology, education (I have a Masters in Education), and law. I have worked as a lawyer for over 30 years, mostly in the area of land use development. Thank you for the opportunity to share my views.

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