Categorized | Elections, News

Wille to run for District 9 County Council seat

Hawaii 24/7 Staff

Attorney and blogger Margaret Wille has announced she will run for the District 9 County Council seat. That seat currently is held by Pete Hoffmann, who cannot run again due to term limits.

Wille has issued the following statement:

A number of months ago, Councilman Pete Hoffmann called and asked me to stop to discuss some proposed ordinance he was drafting. As the conversation about the ordinance was coming to a close, Pete turned to me and said – I think you should run for my seat on the County Council next year.

Before that I had not considered running for this legislative office. I told him I would give him my answer by the end of the month. And my answer was yes.

Thereafter, the more I thought about being part of the council and working in the area of legislation and policy, the more excited I became.

County Council District 9 as now configured– which basically includes North and South Kohala — is a place of extraordinary potential with extraordinary people. We are a place of great resourcefulness among ourselves.

Here is what I have drafted so far about my candidacy:

District 9 County Council: Seeking office for the benefit of our communities: Hawi, Kapaau, Kawaihae, Mauna Kea and Mauna Lani, Puako, Waikoloa, Waimea, and Waikii

Employment: Attorney practicing land-use law in Waimea (previous employment included part-time teaching at Parker School, consultant for a state Department of Agriculture, and administrator of a statewide volunteer program for the American Bar Association to assist institutionalized adult and youth offenders re-entering society)

Educational background: J.D. Law; Masters Education; B.A. Anthropology

Core values: Pono – balance and rightness; Ike loa – wisdom and knowledge; Aloha Aina – love of the land; and Hoomau – perseverance

Focus as a councilperson will be:

Availability of good jobs and educational opportunities for District 9 residents; need-based and entrepreneurial solutions to crime and social problems; agricultural sufficiency and resiliency; implementation of a 511 traffic alert system; completion of the Kawaihae to Waimea bypass; opportunities for recreation and health; restoration of Pelekane Bay; low cost renewable energy; promote the wisdom and glory of the Hawaiian people and culture.

Vision: Community First! Let me help you make a difference.

Efforts and Accomplishments as an active member of our community:

* Margaret’s proposed redistricting plan (Plan 40) was selected as the final base Plan for the Hawaii County Council Districts. (Margaret drafted this Plan 40 in consultation with community members around the County to challenge the Commission’s previously preferred Plan that was lop-sided in favor of Hilo.)

* Margaret submitted various amendments to the County Charter Commission, which as adopted by the Charter Commission, were approved by the voters in 2008. (The amendments she submitted included the original draft of the voter approved “public trust” Charter amendment. The objective of the “public trust” Charter provision is to protect and preserve Hawaiian cultural sites and practices and environmental natural resources. The Charter Commission also adopted suggestions she made to provide internet notification about government meetings.)

* In a pro bono legal action, Margaret successfully represented Waimea community members to force the County of Hawaii to require Parker Ranch to carry out its obligation to construct the Parker Ranch Connector Road as had been promised in the 1990s. As the result of these legal actions, the Parker Ranch Connector Road (2 phases) was completed in 2008.

* In another pro bono legal action, while co-chair of the Waimea Planning and Design Committee, Margaret in collaboration with Parker School reached a settlement with the County and Parker School in the context of the school’s planned expansion. The additional permit conditions, as now being implemented, provide for increased pedestrian safety, and mitigation of traffic congestion in Waimea in the area of Lindsey and Kapiolani Roads.

* As a member of the South Kohala Traffic Safety Committee, Margaret recently suggested the construction of a regional transit hub on Lindsey Road extension adjacent to the Waimea Post Office to provide for a multi-modal transit hub and information facility. With the support of Councilman Pete Hoffmann, in December 2011, the County Council unanimously voted in favor of placing this project on the County’s Capital Improvement Project List.

* While participating in a meeting concerning traffic safety at the Waimea public schools, Margaret proposed the original idea of an intra-Waimea shuttle bus service from Lakeland to Kamuela View Estates, which with the help of Parker School representatives, the South Kohala Traffic Safety Committee, and Councilmember Pete Hoffmann, this bus service is now a part of our island-wide hele-on service.

* As part of the Parker Ranch Connector Road settlement, with the help of the Trails and Greenways Committee and members of the Kenoi administration, Margaret negotiated for additional easement land to be given by Parker Ranch to the County at no cost for the Waimea Trails and Greenways project –so that the trail would not be fenced up against residential lots.

* While a director on the Waimea Community Association Board of Directors, with the help of innumerable participants from federal, state and county agencies as well as many non-government entities and individuals, Margaret facilitated a community meeting on Emergency Preparedness and Resiliency.

* As co-chair of the Conservation Subcommittee of the Community Development Plan Committee, Margaret, along with Bob Hunter and other Waimea residents, successfully lead the effort to remove the one-acre zoning across the face of Waimea’s Hokuula puu.

* While participating in a community meeting addressing issues relating to the proposed County agricultural plan, Margaret organized the participants in an effort to draft and lobby in support of county legislation to address the frightening problem of the little red ant invasive species spreading across the island. With the help of Councilman Pete Hoffmann, the resulting County Council resolution passed 9-0.

* As a member of the South Kohala Community Development Plan Steering Committee, Margaret drafted many provisions that are now part of that Plan enacted into law in 2008, such as on issues relating to increasing higher education opportunities in South Kohala and increasing the authority of the SKCDP action committee.

* Over the past decade, Margaret has testified many times at County and State legislative and board hearings on issues affecting the welfare of our communities and has often informed affected community constituencies about important issues so that others could participate and make an impact on the government decision-making process.

Contact information:

Phone: 887-1419
Address: Friends to Elect Margaret Wille
P.O. Box 528
Kamuela, HI 96743

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