Friday | May 29, 2015
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Kenoi's report card


l Equity: More attention islandwide, less Hilo-centric government: Aided by the completion of the pre-approved West Hawaii Civic Center early in his tenure, Kenoi fulfilled his 2008 campaign promises to move county government out of a centralized Hilo location. In addition, half his cabinet is stationed in Kona, other agency chiefs make weekly road trips to Kona and “Cabinet in your community” events are hosted regularly around the island.

Somewhat successful:

l Bureaucracy: Streamlined and more transparent building permit process: Kenoi’s pledge in 2008 and again in 2012 to speed up building permits and create a transparent, online system to apply for and view permits got off to a promising start but recently was bogged down by software failures and taken offline. Still, some contractors said, it takes a little less time to get a permit than it used to.

l Parks and playgrounds: Kenoi opened seven new playgrounds since he took office in 2008. About 20 parks were renovated, began or planned. The administration has yet, however, to catch up on the $80 million backlog in park maintenance projects.

Less successful:

l Mass transit: Improvements have been made, but there’s a long way to go before there’s the federally supported comprehensive bus system on which Kenoi campaigned. Almost 10 routes have been added, 80 bus stops marked and 12 buses purchased, but riders complain about fares, buses breaking down and bus schedules inadequate to get to and from the airport, work or school.


l Ethics: No county employee getting government contracts: Kenoi’s 2008 pledge “People can choose to be either an employee of the county or a vendor of the county, but not both,” failed after the county Board of Ethics and the County Council bowed to pressure and refused to endorse it. Kenoi said Friday he will reintroduce the measure with the new council.


l Solid waste: Kenoi vowed in his 2012 campaign to get a waste-to-energy facility “on the ground” before he leaves office in 2016. So far, there’s been discussion by the Solid Waste Management Commission and the County Council, but no public plan has been detailed. Kenoi plans to get a request for information or request for proposals out in the first quarter of 2014.


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