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Stene: Kim’s run for mayor disappointing

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Harry Kim’s last minute entrance into the 2012 Hawaii County Mayor race was very disappointing. I wasn’t impressed by his eight year tenure as mayor from 2000 until 2008.

He dramatically increased the size of county government during this time. The county budget doubled over eight years. In addition, 442 additional employees were added.

Kim’s administration also tried execute poorly vetted proposals and directives.

The Department of Public Works’s public information officer attempted to enforce a directive, which would’ve blackballed me and two other people from directly communicating with public works employees.

I regularly e-mailed the Department of Public Works, so I could keep tabs on roadway projects. However, these individuals likely found my inquiries intrusive and irritating. They concocted this directive in response.

This directive was the tip of the iceberg. His administration also
advocated the construction of an ill-advised waste to energy plant in Hilo near DHHL homesteads during the latter half of his term.

The lack of managerial supervision also plagued certain departments, such as DPW during Kim’s administration. The HMP Inc. tack coat procurement scandal likely would’ve never happened if there was stronger oversight in place.

These frequent blunders marred his eight year term, so I strongly doubt Harry Kim is up to the task of leading Hawaii County for another four years.

Aaron Stene
Kailua-Kona

4 Responses to “Stene: Kim’s run for mayor disappointing”

  1. I am sorry that you find it disappointing that Mr. Kim has decided to seek a return to the office of mayor of the County of Hawai’i.

    I, for one, am not disappointed at all. Sure, he has made some mistakes in prior years but so have I. And I believe that all of us have from time to time.

    I do not think that having a ‘garbage to energy’ plant on the Big Island is ill-advised at all. Such a facility has been very successful a mere 250 miles away on the island of O’ahu. Another hard working mayor, the late Frank Fasi, had a big hand in bringing that to fruition back in the 1980s.

    And we must not overlook the dedication that Mr. Kim provided as the director of Civil Defense. Remember the Kalapana lava flows and what ‘Harry’ did to get residents out of their homes in time to avoid disaster? I sure do! I witnessed that event with my own eyes most nights as I was down there after work with my farm truck and made myself available for transport of anyone’s goods to a safe storage place if needed.

    If our government got larger I believe the ballooning of our resident population had something to do with that. If we were decreasing in population it would surely have been otherwise.

    It will be interesting to see how this election turns out. My guess is that those of us who have been around here for 50+ years (at least) will call the tune this time around.

  2. vet2640 says:

    Welcome back Harry!!, you definitely got my vote. My concern is that your entry into the Mayor’s race may split votes and we may end up with one of our worst nightmares.

    Best wishes Harry!!

    RETIRED DPW EMPLOYEE

  3. reality check808 says:

    I’ve worked in both administrations, though no longer work there, and trust me when I say this…you do NOT want Harry Kim back in office. If you want a backwards thinker that will bloat government again, then put him back in the office. Let’s just say this…county employees are voting for Harry because they all want “to go back to the time when our pockets were fat.”

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