The following post authored by the candiate is reproduced in its entirety from a mailer sent to voters in State House District 17 in April 2020
Aloha Hawaii Kai House District 17 Resident:
I hope this communication finds you and your ‘ohana in good health as we navigate through the global coronavirus pandemic. We can all do our part to limit the spread of this virus by following the guidance of our healthcare professionals.
The threat to our health and safety from this virus has forced major adjustments to our way of life including for many dealing with the loss of a job and the threat to the continued existence of small businesses which are a major source of employment for our State economy. At the Federal level, Congress recently passed a massive economic relief package; the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act of 2020 (CARES Act) totaling over $2 trillion. At the State level, our elected officials will need to address the economic losses in the visitor industry, a major driver of our economy and the resulting impact to our broader economy. The costs to the State to provide for economic relief and recovery will depend on the nature and extent of the support provided by the CARES Act and may require several revisions to adjust for changing conditions over an unpredictable and prolonged recovery period.
Additionally, prior to its suspension, the Legislature was already dealing with important issues with potential significant costs to the State including teacher compensation, the costs to reduce the backlog of repair and maintenance projects to maintain our school infrastructure, the costs to deal with the effects of rising sea levels as a result of climate change, the costs to facilitate the development of an adequate inventory of affordable housing and the costs via proposed tax measures to mitigate the high cost of living in Hawaii. Finally, we must be cognizant of the State’s ongoing financial obligations for the retirement (pension) and health care benefits for our retired State employees.
I am running for the State House of Representatives for District 17 as I believe, based on my experience in financial matters, that I can contribute as a member of the Legislature towards ensuring that we deal with these significant financial challenges in a fiscally responsible manner to ensure as timely a recovery as possible from the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic while also addressing the issues that are critical to both sustaining and improving the quality of life. Such experience has included nearly 20 years as a practicing CPA with an international public accounting firm, 10 years with a locally owned financial services company serving as chief investment officer and as director of internal audit and most recently, over 3 years with the State serving as an audit administrator which also included a temporary assignment as acting public works administrator. These work experiences have provided me with the necessary background in financial planning, budgeting, management and other administrative experiences that I believe are relevant to address the financial challenges we face now and for the foreseeable future.
Mahalo and stay safe,