Government Accountability

Nearly every modern business provides customers feedback opportunities.  Whether the customer purchased a part online or went to a local repair shop, customers are prompted to click on a link and fill out a short survey.

Customer FeedbackExample: Grainger customer feedback form.

This simple approach to getting customer input is critical to any company that interacts with the public.  It tells companies where they are doing well and where they need to improve.  Even companies that provide in-person services often provide a small kiosk to collect customer feedback.

Feedback Tablet

Hawaii County does none of this.  Whether submitting a permit application online, or getting a vehicle registration renewed, citizens are never given an opportunity to provide feedback.  More importantly, Hawaii County's leadership has no real data on where the county's customer service needs improvement.

Hawaii County's other major accountability problem is legislative.  Over the decades our elected leaders have passed bill after bill to address problems without providing resources and mandates to measure the outcome.  Hawaii County budgets funds for homeless services, but doesn't measure the effectiveness.  The county budgets for affordable housing, but doesn't track housing costs.  It is the same story for housing regulations, consumer protection measures, public safety initiatives and nearly everything else.

Politicians pass a bill, then never come back to see if the rules actually worked.  If the problem persists, they pass another bill.  The result is an ever growing regulatory state with rules that often times run counter to their original purpose.  

How Core '24 Addresses Government Accountability

Every citizen of Hawaii County is a customer of government services.  Hawaii's residents pay some of the highest tax rates in the nation and they deserve to receive quality services in return.

Under the leadership of the Core '24 team Hawaii County will implement a comprehensive customer feedback system that actively seeks out input from residents, businesses and visitors.  The goal is to identify where staff are doing well and where staff can improve.

Feedback mechanisms will include follow-up messages for planning, permitting and licensing, physical kiosks at key locations like the department of motor vehicles and QR code based feedback tags on public restrooms, park shelters and in parking areas.

We will also work with the Airport Authority to install kiosks in the departure gates so that visitors can share their experiences before they leave the island.  This will give the County better information on where we can improve the infrastructure that supports our tourism economy.

On the legislative accountability side, the Core '24 leadership team is committed to implementing measurable metrics wherever possible and including a sunset clause that terminates regulations if the rules have unintended consequences or don't achieve their objectives.

As an example, a key tenant of the Core 24' is expanding wastewater facilities and providing homeowners with cesspools an affordable path to convert to septic.  As part of the bill that establishes and funds the program, the Council will include target specific, measurable metrics - For example:1,000 conversions in two years, 2,000 in four, etc.  Public Works will be required to report the metrics back to the council and if, after 4 years, the program is not on track to achieve its goals, the bill will sunset and a future council will need to re-authorize it.

This approach creates real accountability for the County Government and ensures that problems with programs get addressed by future decisionmakers.  Without it, Government programs that aren't working continue to get funded.