Eileen Ohara and Madie Greene Differ on Core Issues
Hawaii County Council District 4 Puna Candidates Eileen Ohara and Madie Greene differ on environment, roads, campaign contributions, and experience.
The most recent campaign contributions report was due Oct. 31st. Contributions to candidate Eileen Ohara and Madie Greene indicate how the different candidates will govern Puna. Greene received 93% of her contributions in large donations averaging over $500 each. These contributions came from corporate donors, land use planners and attorneys, and unions. On the other hand, Ohara received 57% of her contributions from small individual donations in amounts of $100 or less, with the rest coming from the candidate, family, friends, and a partial public funding match only eligible to a grassroots type of campaign.
Greene received funding from W. H. Shipman which controls part of the easement on the Railroad right of way that could be used to create an alternative route into Lower Puna. Shipman has been very vocal in opposing the project. Ms. Greene has stated publicly in the Na Leo political forum that she is opposed to pursuing an alternative access road for Lower Puna. Further, at the Malama O Puna forum she stated that roads in Puna would not be a top priority. With HWY 130 serving as the only access into Lower Puna, plus a burgeoning population anticipated to increase by 50% in the next 25 years, Ohara feels we cannot wait any longer to address what is becoming a health and safety issue for our district. “Shipman has demonstrated that their priority is not in alignment with the needs of the community. It is time for that to change,” Ohara said.
In this campaign contribution report, Ms. Greene also received a sizable donation from the parent company (Ormat) of Puna Geothermal Ventures (PGV) demonstrating her alliance with those entities. She publicly stated that she supports geothermal development in Puna. Ohara has concerns about future geothermal development in Puna. “We need to address current operational deficiencies at PGV related to air and underground water quality monitoring, and consider additional provisions to ensure the safety of human and environmental health is not adversely affected by this industrial operation.” Ohara said.
Ohara and Greene differ on other environmental issues as well. Ohara supported the Styrofoam ban (Bill 140) that came before the County Council this year. The legislation would have eliminated the use of Styrofoam take-out containers in the County. In her interview with the Hawaii Tribune Herald published Sunday, Oct. 23rd, Greene states she opposed the ban. In that same interview, Greene came out against the Sunshine Law which applies to County Council members’ interactions outside of a formal meeting. Her lack of understanding of the importance of proper protocols in setting public policy reflects her lack of experience working in the government sector. Ohara has considerable experience working in government and teaches public policy at the college level.
Polls are open for walk-in voting from now until Saturday, November 5 at the Aupuni Center next to the Department of Motor Vehicles across from Bank of Hawaii in Hilo. Please vote for Eileen Ohara.