County Council District 2 Questionnaire: Shane Gali

What do you think are the most important issues for your district, and what would you do about them?

Roads in disrepair, we need to have the county roads division ramp up repairs

What do you think are the most important issues for the Island of Hawaii and what would you do about them?
If not covered above, what are your views on:

Cost of energy: we need safe expansion of renewable energy use (solar and geothermal).
Lack of competition in inter-island transportation, high cost for travel
Landfill

Energy
1. Do you believe the island should increase its use of geothermal energy?

Increase Geothermal yes, but not in populated areas, charge true cost, not tie price (of geothermal energy) to the cost of oil (what Helco is doing now)

2. If so, what can be done at the county level to address community concerns about geothermal safety?

The county can regulate the area of where geothermal is developed through zoning and can also set limits on the dev (size etc). There may also be a need to regulate the use of “Fracking” (technology) in geothermal development.

3. Do you believe that Big Island farmland should be used to produce biofuels for local power generation and/or transportation?

Currently idle land could be used for that purpose. I don’t think that land currently used for farming food should be converted to fuel crops.

4. Do you believe that Big Island farmland should be used to produce biofuels for off-island use?

Currently idle land could be used for that purpose. I don’t think that land currently used for farming food should be converted to fuel crops.

5. Do you believe an undersea power cable should be built to transport Big Island-generated energy to O`ahu? Why or why not?

The proposed undersea cable will cost 700 hundred million dollars (estimated, probably $1 billion). Why should we (rate payers) pay for it? Why should we (Big Island) send our power to Oahu? Will it bring our power costs down? Not likely, but I would like to hear the spin from the power company and the governor as to why we should send power to Oahu.

6. What can be done to allow the county and its population to use less energy?

Food

1. What can the county do to encourage more local food production for local markets?
2. Do you support the regulation, at the county level, of genetically modified crops? Why or why not?

Yes I support regulation for safety reasons. We need to monitor scientific experimentation and limit the chances for accidental/unintentional environmental exposure (to unproven GMO’s)

3. Do you support increased regulation, at the county level, of agricultural pesticides? Why or why not

Yes I support regulation for safety reasons. We need to protect our ground water (our drinking water source) and also the rest of the environment. These pesticides eventually end up in our water supply and in the ocean.

Housing, employment and homelessness
1. How can the county encourage the building of affordable housing?

We need to loosen up restrictions (building codes) on affordable housing. We need to give tax breaks (incentives) to affordable housing development.

2. For decades, economic debates have centered on creating jobs. But what is really needed are livings: means to support oneself and ones family. Livings can include not only jobs, self-employment and even subsistence fishing and farming. What can the county do to promote more livings on this island?

3. Historically, planning for housing and jobs on this island has not been conducted with energy sustainability in mind, as evidenced by the long commute between affordable housing in East Hawaii and jobs at the resort nodes in West Hawaii. What can the county do to put people and livings closer together?

4. How can the county do to get more homeless people into housing without taking their things or putting them in prison?

First off, there is/was a lot of vacant housing options available, but they are/were in need of repair (old Lanakila housing for example). I also like the idea of alternate housing, like temporary shelters/housing made of recycled materials like shipping containers.

Crime and prison reform
1. Would you favor the building of a privately-owned prison on the Big Island?
2. What can the county do to reduce domestic violence and promote domestic harmony on the island?
3. Do you favor the legalization of marijuana? Why or why not?

I favor decriminalization of MJ along the lines of the “Portugal model”. There is such a focus on the “war on drugs” (that we are losing) and spending all of our resources on interdiction. We need to shift focus to prevention and treatment. As a former law enforcement officer I can’t support drug use (legalization) but the punishment must fit the crime (civil penalties, and treatment, not jail time). We can’t afford to lock up everyone.

4. What else can the county do to reduce crime and/or lower the number of incarcerated island residents?

Transportation
1. What is the biggest transportation need in your district and what can be done to meet it?
2. How can the county reduce the amount of driving that its citizens must do?

Waste and recycling
1. Do you support Mayor Kenoi’s plan to build a waste-to-energy conversion plant in East Hawaii? Why or why not?

I want to support waste to energy to reduce our waste and increase our electrical production, but I am skeptical of the cost and need to research the environmental issues.

2. What can be done to reduce the amount of solid waste created in Hawaii County?

We should be using the recycling/sorting station that the county has built at the Hilo landfill (spent lots of $ building it so why not use it?)

Politics
1. Do you accept campaign contributions from outside your district?

I am not accepting any campaign contributions. I don’t want to be beholden to anyone seeking political favor. Money should not be the deciding factor in politics but unfortunately it often is.

A little off topic but: I am also against pay raises for elected officials and department heads. In fact, I am so against the recent pay raises, that if I am elected I will donate the raise to charitable organizations (or to Hilo Medical Center)

2. Do you support publicly funded elections?

I am definitely in support of publicly funded elections. It would give people a chance to seek office w/o contributions (w/o political favors)

And finally, is there any issue that you feel strongly about but which is not covered above? If so, tell us about it.

 

Thank you for the opportunity to voice some views and to share concerns!

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