Mayoral candidate interview: Ann Kobayashi

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Thursday morning we were proud to welcome the three leading candidates for Honolulu Mayor. Mayorla candidate, Ann Kobayashi sat down with Kristine Uyeno to answer some of Oahu's most pressing issues.

Kristine Uyeno: Good morning.

Ann Kobayashi: Good Morning. Aloha.

Kristine Ueno: Of course the big issue has been the rail. We have heard from Panos. He is against it. He has been against it from the beginning. The Mayor who we will talk to in just a minute wants steel on steel. You would like to see rubber on concrete.

Ann Kobayashi: Yes

Kristine Uyeno: Ok.

Ann Kobayashi: Well you know it is a matter of what kind of vehicle goes on that elevated guide way. Everything else is the same, with rubber tires on concrete. You do not need to insulate that elevated guide way. There is no track. You don't have to have the three foot noise barriers on the side. You don't have to have power stations every now and then because the rubber tire vehicle is a hybrid, so you could use gas or electric.

Kristine Uyeno:And the cost for the proposed system?

Ann Kobayashi: Yes, it is less than half the cost which is another good part of it.

Kristine Uyeno: Some other issues we have been talking about, infrastructures this morning also the local economy. What are some of your solutions?

Ann Kobayashi: Well that's why we should look at a system that is the least expensive. We don't want to burden our taxpayers anymore. Because if there is a shortfall in money for construction, if we don't have enough for...well we won't have enough for operating and maintenance because the half a percent of GET will sunset in fifteen years. So property tax will have to be imposed to cover the cost of operating and maintaining the rail system. So you know now with our economy so bad we shouldn't be having these large projects that will be such a burden on our taxpayer.

Kristine Uyeno: Ok.You think that might be a way to pump some new blood and energy into the economy?

Ann Kobayashi: It will because with the rubber tire on concrete you will have the same elevated guide way. You will have the same transit stations. Everything is the same except the vehicle is less costly.

Kristine Uyeno: Ok. Now some admire your approach to politics. They call it "no-nonsense."Do you think that's why voters support you?

Ann Kobayashi: Well you know I always like to bring people to the table, proponents, opponents, and we sit down and work out a solution. We find partnerships, we collaborate. I don't like to say, this is how it should be done.  We should always sit down and talk about it. Bring in the neighborhood board people. Bring in the federal people and the people from the state. I work very well with the Legislature. I served in the Legislature for fifteen years and I know the process. I know the people, and that is the way to work. It's to bring people to the table. Work things out together and get things done.

Krisitne Uyeno:Ok with two days to go until Hawaii's primary election some people remain undecided. Tell them why they should vote for you.

Ann Kobayashi:Well you know I promise four years of open, honest government. I am not using this as a stepping stone for higher office. I am not trying to leave a legacy. I just want to make Honolulu a great place to live.

Kristine Uyeno: Alright, thank you very much for joining us on this Thursday morning and good luck.

Ann Kobayashi: Thank you very much