***Commentary*** Former Councilman Gary Safarik’s Move To Hawaiian Paradise Park

Former Puna Councilman Gary Safarik and his wife, Deborah, have moved from Ainaloa Subdivision to Hawaiian Paradise Park in Puna. Safarik said is not going to try again in 2010 to reclaim the Council seat he lost in 2006 to Emily Naeole.

I’ve known former Hawaii County Councilman Gary Safarik since 2001 and, while I haven’t always agreed with his politics, I’ve always found him to be good-humored and entertaining.  Even when we have had moments of tension as reporter to politician, he and I have been able to exchange laughs with each other.  To his credit, Gary Safarik has the ability to laugh at himself and life itself.

There was no exception moments ago when I reached him to find out why a U-Haul was parked outside his Ainaloa home on Sunday.  Keep in mind that Gary used to be a cop in Honolulu.  First, I felt compelled to explain why I was even in his neighborhood on Sunday — My baby and I attended a birthday party.  I was driving around while the baby finished her nap in the car.  Second, I had to explain why I even knew where exactly he lived.  A few years back, I was driving around with my laptop looking for a wireless hot spot in Ainaloa and I found a wireless connection identifying him. 

Gary explained that he turned 60 this year and he and his wife, Deborah, recently pruchased the “kind of house (they) appreciate” in Hawaiian Paradise Park.  He told me the address “in case you want to stalk me,” he said, erupting laughter between us. I’m still laughing at what a perfect comeback that was after I called to inquire about the U-Haul. Needless to say, I got an invitation to the Safarik’s housewarming party. 

Seriously, Gary expressed appreciation that I cared enough to inquire about his well-being.  At one point he said he was going to run for County Council in 2010, and then before I could respond, he told me he was kidding me.  I was going to say, “You’re not going to try that again, are you?” He’s not. It will be interesting to see who will vie for the seat that Emily Naeole has held since defeating Gary Safarik in 2006.