HILO, Hawaii – During his inauguration day speech, newly sworn-in Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim eventually found himself addressing the hot-button issue of Mauna Kea.
Kim, who is beginning his third terms as mayor of the Big Island, previously voiced support for the Thirty Meter Telescope on the mountain, but has tempered those remarks by sympathizing with the view of TMT opponents.
Kim’s dream for Mauna Kea?
“A Hawaii park. The whole mountain,” he told the crowd at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium in Hilo on Monday.
“Of all the studies done there, it is a quest for knowledge to make us better stewards of this land,” Kim explained. “You have a body of people, no matter what is developed up there, if they do not fall within the parameters of this quest to make us a better people – to recognize things in past are wrong, and to go from there.”
Kim envisions Hawaii’s people as a cosmopolitan people who “have no place in our hearts and our souls for your battles”.
“This is what I ask of us,” Kim said, to applause.