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2016 APPLICANT FOR MAYOR, Hawai‘i County, Island of Hawai‘i
This information flyer addresses questions regarding who I am and the accomplishments of my 2000-08 mayoral administration in West Hawai‘i
Who I Am
Education: Southern Oregon State University: Bachelor of Science, Education & Sociology; Master of Science, Economics
Military: U.S. Army veteran, medic
Teacher: Public high school; college
County of Hawai‘i: Law Enforcement Assistance Agency Director, 1972-1976; Civil Defense Administrator, 1976-2000; Mayor, two terms, 2000-2008
Private Business: Operated Kea‘au Kim Chee (with mother) for 25+ years Family: Married to Roberta (Bobbie) Keefe for 40+ years; two sons, Garrett (Hilo) and Mark (Oregon); two grandchildren (Garrett has a daughter & Mark has a son)
Professional Activities: Served as an international advisor on natural disaster response systems: Indonesia, Thailand, Germany, Honduras; selected by National Academy of Sciences to review the volcanic hazards program of the U.S. Geological Survey; selected by UNESCO and UNDRO to be a contributor in the development of an emergency management handbook for volcanic events distributed by United Nations (Paris; Geneva)
Budgeting Through the Hard Times & Good Times
Prioritized core services
Hard times from 2000-2003 due to a weak economy and the 9/11 (2001) tragedy.
- 2001: Mid-year budget cuts with input from departments
- 2002: Supported a tax rate increase to balance the budget
Reduced impact of property value increases
- 2004: Property values started increasing, so relief sought for homeowners: • 3% cap on increase in value per year
• Higher exemption based on % of value
• Improved Homeowner Dedication program
- 2007: Reduced the tax rates when economy improved
Instead of spending, prepared for future hard times and long-term obligations:
- 2004: Supported and annually funded Disaster & Emergency Fund
- 2006: Recognized need, created, and annually funded “Rainy Day” (Budget Stabilization) funding reserves 2007-2008: Recognized unpaid liability of post-retirement benefits (GASB 45); budgeted $12M in 2007 and $14.95M in 2008
Kona Community Development Plan (CDP)
Initiated the General Plan’s intent of community development plans that provide a forum for community input into managing growth and coordinating delivery of government services.
2005: Kona selected as the first of seven geographic districts to begin the process of creating a CDP. The pro- cess involved hundreds of meetings and thousands of individuals.
2008: Kona CDP adopted by ordinance, and the work of the Action Committee continues.
West Hawai‘i Civic Center
Identified the need to bring County services together in one place and prioritized the construction of a new West Hawai‘i civic center. Extensive community input guided the design of the facility as a “gathering place”, resulting in an inviting and energy-efficient civic center that received LEED Silver certification.
2002: Site selected; land acquired from State by E.O. 3952
2005: Contract awarded for design and community input
2008: $50.5M of County funds committed for design/build contract; groundbreaking in October
2011: Construction completed
The following projects were initiated by the Kim Administration and were in various stages of completion by the end of 2008:
Keāhole to Hōnaunau Regional Circulation Plan: Completed in 2003, this plan comprehensively analyzed options to address the growing commuter traffic from Ka’u and South Kona traveling through North Kona. The recommendations were incorporated into the Kona CDP and is the foundation for Kona road projects.
Ane Keohokalole Highway: The Keāhole to Kailua Development Plan introduced the concept of a Mid-Level Road in 1991. In 2007 started engineering and an environmental assessment. In 2008 the Kona CDP officially recognized this road as a priority. These actions positioned this project to qualify for federal stimulus funding.
Keanalehu-Manawalea Connector Road: This road connects the Villages of La‘i ‘Ōpua, Kealakehe Elementary School, Kealakehe Intermediate School, Kealakehe High School, and the Kealakehe houselots to reduce the travel times for school children. In 2007 secured funding and started construction.
Kuakini Highway Improvements: This project widened Kuakini Highway from two to four lanes from Palani Road to Hualālai Street. Weekly meetings were held among the contractor, Public Works staff, and the community. Completed in 2006.
Palani Road Safety Improvements at Kealaka‘a Street: This project realigns Kealaka‘a Street to intersect with Palani Road and Palihiolo Street with a traffic light. In 2006 funds secured and construction started.
La‘aloa Avenue: This project improves mauka-makai connectivity between Ali‘i Drive and Kuakini Highway for traffic flow and emergency evacuation purposes. In 2004 secured funds for engineering, environmental assessment, and land acquisition. In 2008 final environmental assessment culminated months of meetings with the community; funding secured for construction.
Māmalahoa Bypass: Negotiated with the Hokuli‘a developer to grant an easement to the County for the use of the Māmalahoa Bypass on a limited basis for southbound afternoon traffic. Introduced amendments to the rezoning ordinance and traffic code to allow use of Haleki‘i Street as a connector prior to the opening of entire bypass to Nāpō‘opo‘o, and specify improvements to Ali‘i Drive and Haleki‘i Street to accommodate the increased traffic.
Traffic Flow Improvements: Completed a number of smaller projects to improve traffic flow on existing streets — Hina Lani/Queen Ka‘ahumanu Highway, right turn lane; Hina Lani/Māmalahoa Highway, traffic signal; Kaiminani/ Queen Ka‘ahumanu and Kaiminani/Māmalahoa Highway, right turn lanes; various improvements to Māmalahoa Highway, Honalo to Captain Cook.
Housing, Water, & Public Safety Projects
“A Friendly Place” for Homeless
When previous attempts to locate a homeless service center and shelter faced community resistance, the Administration relocated a County baseyard in the Kailua Industrial area to build a homeless intake and service center. The structure was donated by developer Stanford Carr.
Emergency Housing for Homeless
The Administration initiated a homeless shelter on the Friendly Place site. In 2008 a partnership between the County, State and HUD allowed construction to go forward.
Kaloko Housing Program
This project provided decent, safe and sanitary housing and support services to qualified homeless families with children. This was an urgent need due to the pending closure of the Kawaihae transitional housing. In 2006 secured the site by working with the private developer of the Kaloko Industrial Park, TSA Corporation, to acquire eight acres of land along Hina Lani Street.
Kona Coastview/Wonderview Water System Improvement District
Responded to a community’s outcry for assistance through an innovative partnering of County and federal resources. This project constructed a County dedicable water system serving 437 Kona households to replace aging private water systems and leakage-prone “spaghetti lines”.
Mākālei Fire Station
Upon determining a previous site as too costly and not suitable, in 2007 secured a site donated by a landowner with assistance of Mr. Yamamoto and Mr. Lynch. In 2008 Final EA published.