Working together for the best community solutionsPosted on Jun 22, 2019 in Capitol Connection, Featured, Main
Moving forward together — ‘Oni Like Kākou — is more than a convenient catchphrase. It’s Governor Ige’s basic belief for how we can make progress as a community — whether it’s restoring Hā‘ena on Kaua‘i after devastating floods, finishing a new airport facility on Maui or building more affordable rentals for working families. This issue describes some of those efforts made possible with the help of many hands: state, county and private sector partners, legislators and community leaders.
Q. What can we learn from the Hā‘ena State Park Master Plan on Kaua‘i and managing tourism in vulnerable areas?
A. The Hā‘ena master plan is the result of the hard work of many people and the first plan that envisioned reducing the number of visitors in an area. It’s a new system designed to protect the environment and community interests while supporting the visitor industry. Clearly, too many people in a spot as beautiful as Hā‘ena is just not good for the environment and residents and visitors alike. The solutions aren’t easy, but the changes represent a chance to manage tourism more effectively (See Page 3 story).
Q. What were some important outcomes from your meetings with the Western Governors’ Association and in Washington, D.C.?
A. As the WGA chair, I’ve made biosecurity a priority because the Western governors agree it’s a huge issue — especially when you have rivers crossing several states that become a conduit for invasive pests. Right now, there’s no agency in the federal government that has responsibility for biosecurity. In Washington, I took part in a bi-partisan session with President Trump because the subject was workforce development — an area everyone agrees is important. I’m on a mission to maximize federal support, especially to create more jobs in Hawai‘i. It was also a chance to thank the White House for the federal disaster relief. (See Page 3 story)