HAWAII ISLAND – Wally Lau announced his candidacy for Hawaii County Mayor on Thursday, resigning from his post as Hawaii County Managing Director.
Lau has played a big role in the day to day operations of Mayor Billy Kenoi’s administration over the last seven years, especially in West Hawaii, where he maintained a base of operations since Kenoi first took office in December 2008. Mayor Kenoi will term out by the end of this year, providing Lau with an opportunity to make the “next step forward in a career of caring for people and strengthening our island community”, according to a media release. But first, Lau will step down as managing director.
“I did not want any perception of a conflict of interest, or that 100 percent of my energies are not being invested in my job,” Lau said in a media release. “By resigning, I am able to focus on my campaign by meeting with people and sharing with them my values and my vision.”
Other candidates for the mayor’s office are former Kohala councilmember Pete Hoffmann, Wendell Kaehuaea, and Kawika Crowley.
Here is the official release from the Friends of Wally Lau for Mayor:
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii – Hawaii County Managing Director Wally Lau today resigned his position and announced he is running for mayor of Hawaii County.
Lau has helped manage the daily operations of the Hawaii County administration for the past seven years, as deputy managing director and managing director. His next step forward in a career of caring for people and strengthening our island community is to become mayor and leader of our Hawaii Island.
“I did not want any perception of a conflict of interest, or that 100 percent of my energies are not being invested in my job,” Lau said. “By resigning, I am able to focus on my campaign by meeting with people and sharing with them my values and my vision.”
Lau’s humility, honesty and fairness have earned him the respect of many in the community and as well as his co-workers. “I listen and respond,” Lau said. “I always seek for what is fair and pono.
“When presented with challenging decisions, I always ask – will it be in the best interest of the public? Is it good for the community?”
Lau said that principle will guide the county under his administration if elected, as he leads our island with aloha and a spirit of cooperation and collaboration with the community.
Lau’s vision is to meet the needs of the people, support and sustain a healthy economy, care for the environment and create a safer and better island community, where government is responsible, accountable and open.
“I have worked with many wonderful and hard-working county employees,” Lau said. “I look forward to continuing to work with them as we improve services to our island community.”
Lau said he will continue the current administration’s efforts of being accessible and responsive to the community. He will uphold a balanced administration that represents East and West Hawaii with a “how can” attitude and treating people with aloha.
Lau is prepared to address issues of public safety and disaster preparedness, homelessness, affordable housing, the need to improve our business climate, ensure efficiency of the county permitting process, improving maintenance of county facilities and properties, improving solid waste operations, exploring renewable energy projects that would provide lower rates for consumers without environmental tradeoffs, and diversified agriculture, all while preserving and protecting our environment.
Lau, 67, is married to Sandra Lau and they have a son, Kawika, and a daughter-in law, Lahela. He has two grandchildren and a great grandchild. Born on Oahu, he returned to the home of his ancestors where his grandparents are from – Naalehu and Keauhou. He graduated from Damien High School (1967) and has a Bachelor’s Degree in sociology by Central Washington State College (1971).
Lau’s work history of community dedication includes:
• Managing director, Hawaii County
• Deputy managing director, Hawaii County
• Executive Director, The Neighborhood Place of Kona (prevention of child abuse and neglect and family strengthening)
• Director of Alternative Education, Kamehameha Schools
• Program Director, E Ala Ike — Kapulena, therapeutic school for special needs students
• The Salvation Army Residential Treatment Center for Children
Lau’s participation in civic groups and services includes:
• Board member, Hawaii Island United Way
• Board member, Blueprint for Change (prevention of child abuse and neglect)
• Juvenile Justice State Advisory Council, Prevention and Accountability sub-committee member
• Board member, Ke Puka o Ke Ola (behavioral health care) Waimea
• Member Royal Order of Kamehameha I (Moku o Kona)
For additional information, visit wallylau.com. Join the campaign on his Facebook page and follow @wally_lau on Twitter and Instagram. For volunteer opportunities or to make a donation to support Lau’s candidacy, email email@example.com or call Friends of Wally Lau for Mayor at (808) 557-0213.