Monday, February 20, 2017

2017 KIUC Board Election - Please Vote For Me

Last week the 2017 Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) board election ballots were mailed to members.  The deadline to submit your ballot by mail or electronically is by noon, Saturday, March 18, 2107.  Please vote for me - Mahalo, Mina

Why Am I Running For the KIUC Board?

I want to serve our Kauai community by using my past experience. For over 19 years, as a politician and regulator, I have held leadership roles in energy policy development and utility regulation. If given the privilege and honor to serve the cooperative, I will use this experience to work collaboratively with other board members and our community to strategically shape and sustain our cooperative to provide excellent electricity service and value for our Kauai community.

But while there is always ample coverage about renewable energy generation, it is only one part of the total energy system equation. To help to keep rates from increasing we must keep costs under control, increase productivity and efficiency, make wise investments and seek some growth. My primary objective is to advocate for accessibility, fairness and opportunity for all members to benefit from clean energy policies and programs to manage their electricity bills.  As the coop delves into modernizing the electric system, our community needs to understand the technical and economic challenges to do so, therefore, I view educating and engaging coop members to be an important responsibility of a board member and an important component to advance Kauai's clean energy transformation.

I also believe a well-round board which seeks experience, gender and geographic diversity will benefit our cooperative and its democratic principles.

A Little About Me

I was born and raised on Lanai, where my father was the game warden and my mother a pineapple field worker.  After graduating from Kamehameha, I attended the University of Hawaii briefly then moved to work in Washington, D.C. for U.S. Senator Hiram Fong.  When I returned to Hawaii, I was offered a job at Princeville.  I have called Hanalei Valley home since 1977 where my husband, Lance, raised our two daughters.  We now have four granddaughters (ages 11, 9, 9 and 3) and like all families worry about our children and grandchildren's future and ability to survive the high cost of living on Kauai.  

What I Can Contribute

As a State Representative, I authored and led the enactment of many of the state’s most significant laws that has shaped Hawaii’s energy landscape.  As a regulator (Chair of the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission), I had to learn and understand all parts of the electric utility business from financing, engineering to operations.  My practical experience and success in building consensus positions with my peers (legislators and fellow commissioners), the public, public utilities and other special interests throughout my political/public service career, I think, can be of benefit as a member of the board.

What I Will Commit To

As a regulator I embraced three objectives to help guide my decisions.  I believe the following objectives, which I will commit to, can also be applied to important decisions a KIUC board member must make on strategies to advance Kauai electric system to benefit its customers/members.  

#1 - Lower, more stable electric bills for all customers through a strategy of a diverse portfolio of resources and technologies by encouraging prudent timing for new investments to optimize all assets, whether utility or customer-based, to achieve efficiency, cost-effective benefits and value to Kauai’s electric system.

#2 – To balance the maximum use of cost-effective renewable energy resources while protecting the electrical system performance to maintain reliability in a rapidly changing system operating environment.

#3 – Advocate for accessibility, fairness and opportunity for all electricity customers/members to benefit from clean energy policies and programs to manage their electricity bills. 

Work Experience (partial)

Current                        Blog, Energy Dynamics
                                      Energy Consultant

Mar 2011-Jan 2015      Chairperson/Commissioner, Hawaii Public Utilities Commission

Nov 1996-Mar 2011     Hawaii State Representative, Hawaii State House of Representatives
                                        1999-2011 Chair, House Committee on Energy & Environmental Protection

1994-1997                     Business Manager, Kilauea Point Natural History Association

1990-1994                     Business Manager, Kong Lung Store/Kong Lung Center

Other Experience

Current                        Board Member, Hale Halawai O Hanalei (The Hanalei Community Center)
                                      Member, Hawaii Energy Policy Forum

1993-1996                     Commissioner, Kauai Police Commission

1990-1993                     Commissioner, Kauai Planning Commission


Co-Author - Clean Energy from the Earth, Wind and Sun:  Learning from Hawaii's Search for a Renewable Energy Strategy, William S. Pintz and Hermina Morita, published by Springer, December 2016. (

Contributor - Infrastructure Risk Management:  Assessing and Managing Dynamic
Exogenous Riskauthored a chapter entitled, “Designing Regulation Around Technological 
Innovation:  Experiences from Hawaii,” PEI Alternative Insights, June 2015.

Researcher, Interviewer, Photographer - Center for Oral History, Social Science Research Institute,
University of Hawaii at Manoa’s  project Lanai Ranch:  The People of Koele and Keomuku
published in July 1989.

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