2002-2006: Councilmember: Experienced, Visionary, Committed
Long Range Vision for Transportation
Introduced a resolution, passed unanimously by the County Council, setting forth an integrated land transportation policy that would give public transportation and bike and pedestrian ways equal treatment with roads and cars. Worked with the mayor and council to get bike racks installed on the Kaua‘i Bus, establish a bus stop at the airport and allow backpacks on the Kaua‘i Bus, making it more user-friendly and reducing the number of cars on the road.
Innovative Solutions for Kaua‘i’s Housing Crisis
With help from many individuals and groups, brought an experienced cooperative housing expert, David Thompson, to Kaua‘i to share his knowledge and experience. Cooperative housing would provide permanently affordable housing that would also give buyer-owners considerable federal and state tax savings annually.
Initiated a zoning requirement that the Kukui‘ula developer donate land in Po‘ipū for a 75-unit limited equity co-op housing pilot project that is close to a high employment area (thus reducing potential traffic).
Helped to institute a 90-year buy-back on turn-key employee housing as a way to ensure permanent affordability.
Is preparing a bill to require every zoning applicant to provide a certain percentage of any development for permanently affordable housing units.
Has been tireless advocate for affordable housing.
Proactive and Effective Drug Prevention Planning
Supported a council resolution calling for a war against drugs. Worked with members of the Kaua‘i Drug Prevention Coalition to develop a science-based approach to reduce the number of people (especially our youth) using drugs.
Real Property Tax Relief
Supported the interim circuit breaker law which, upon application by owner, caps real property taxes at 3% of a person’s adjusted gross income as long as it is not lower than 2001 taxes. Also supported the interim 6% per year cap on all owner-occupied property, and a law establishing a Real Property Tax Task Force to propose a permanent law and solution.
Preservation of Open Space and Public Access
Helped to shape a bill that establishes an Open Space/Public Access Commission that will recommend priority acquisitions to the mayor and council.
Introduced a bill, passed unanimously by the council, that exempts biodiesel fuel (fuel made from recycled cooking oil or oil crops) from the County’s fuel taxes as an incentive for use of renewable fuels.
A Sensible and Sustainable Solid Waste System
Helped to shape the resolution to the Administration asking for an update to the integrated solid waste management plan that was developed when Yukimura was mayor. Appropriated money for the update.
Proper Use of Hawaiian Language and Place Names
Introduced a resolution passed unanimously by the County Council which calls on everyone to use the proper spelling of Hawaiian words and proper use of Hawaiian place names.
JoAnn Yukimura was the first woman of Japanese-American ancestry to be elected mayor in the United States. Elected to a two-year term, she oversaw and managed 1,000 county employees and county capital and operating budgets totaling $60 million. Re-elected to a four-year term in 1990.
Successful Government Watchdog
Uncovered $1.2 million embezzlement of county funds begun under prior administration; responsible employee brought to full conviction.
Excellence in Government Standards
Revamped county’s financial accounting and fiscal management system which resulted in Kaua‘i County being awarded its first Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting for achieving the highest standards in government accounting and finance reporting.
Development of County Information Technology System
When Yukimura began her term, there were a handful of personal computers in the county (half of them owned by County employees), and one fax machine for the county in the mayor’s office. Yukimura formed a blue ribbon committee who worked with her Information Services Administrator and Finance Director to develop and implement a 5-year plan to computerize the county. This development contributed significantly to the County’s being awarded the Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting and helped to make county operations vastly more efficient.
Comprehensive Waste Management Program
Established and began to implement a 5-year Solid Waste Plan to save landfill space which served as the basis for the County’s nationally acclaimed post-hurricane debris management program. Started the County’s first recycling and composting projects.
Affordable Housing Surplus, 1994
Developed a county housing program that built or supported the construction of 1,000 affordable homes in 6 years, bringing Kaua‘i from a deficit to a surplus of affordable housing at that time.
Completion of Stalled Public Works Projects
Brought to completion important public works projects, some of which had been stalled for years by complications—e.g. Kapa‘a Town sewer interceptor, Līhu‘e Transfer Station.
Public-Private Tourism Marketing Milestone
Developed a cooperative tourism marketing program between government and industry which pooled and leveraged public and private monies according to a bold marketing plan that featured Kaua‘i’s unique assets and used innovative technology to reach and respond to markets.
New Film Commission, New Revenue for Kauai
Created a film commission which generated $3 to $6 million for the Kaua‘i economy annually, and helped attract films such as “Jurassic Park” to the island.
Public Transportation: The Kaua‘i Bus
Recognizing the need for a public bus system that would support economic development by enabling people to get to jobs, reduce traffic congestion, and provide transportation for those unable to drive or support a car (young people, the poor, the permanently and temporarily disabled, the elderly), Mayor Yukimura started the Kaua‘i Bus.
Improved County Facilities and Services
Renovated the old Līhu‘e Shopping Center into a well-planned and modern Civic Center which improved working conditions for county employees and delivery of services for taxpayers and citizens. Put a roof on the Kekaha Neighborhood Center patio, and built an addition to the Līhu‘e Neighborhood Center.
Establishment of the County’s 800 MHz Communication System
Kaua‘i was the first county outside of Honolulu to develop this system which effectively links Police, Fire, EMS, Civil Defense and other emergency response agencies and made Kaua‘i a leader among the counties.
Expansion of Po‘ipu Beach Park
Expanded the popular, but crowded, south shore park by over 50%.
As the head of Civil Defense at the County level, Mayor Yukimura oversaw the local response and rebuilding on Kaua‘i after Hurricane ‘Iniki which caused $1.6 billion in damages to the island.
Immediate, Stronger Building Code
Introduced and secured passage of a stronger building code two weeks after ‘Iniki, and set up an Emergency Permitting Center for building permits.
Nationally Acclaimed Disaster Debris Management
Developed a nationally recognized hurricane debris management program.
Emergency Bus System = Regular Public Transportation
Turned the fledgling public bus system into an island-wide emergency bus transportation system.
Follow Up Economic Redevelopment
Created a post-hurricane economic development and diversification program which included a Kaua‘i Products study, a fruit fly disinfestation plant and a the recycling center
Coastal Habitat Protected
Working with the Trust for Public Lands and the Kaua‘i community, added 130 acres of spectacular coastal habitat to Kīlauea National Wildlife Refuge.
Efficient Road Repaving System
Conceived and secured passage of a road re-paving program that saved the county money and kept county roads in better condition.
Self-Help Housing Program
Championed the establishment of the first self-help housing program on Kaua‘i which enabled home ownership for many who would otherwise never own a home.
First Sunshine Market
Established the first Sunshine Market, a producer-to-consumer market which has grown to 8 weekly markets island-wide serving residents and visitors.
First County Energy Management Plan
Initiated, and working with a group of citizen volunteers, completed the first energy self-sufficiency plan for the county.
Kauai‘s First Bike Path
Advocated and saw to completion the first bike path on the island (the Kapa‘a bike path).
Visionary Economic Leadership for Kauai’s Future
During a watershed time in Kaua’i’s history, gave leadership to a “slow growth/diversified economy” vision which set Kaua’i apart from other Hawaiian islands onto a moderate path of growth, protecting its cherished quality of life and leaving open options for the future.
Brought to you by JoAnn Yukimura’s Many Friends, P.O. Box 187, Lihue, HI 96766 +1 (808) 245-2841 or firstname.lastname@example.org