LIHUE – Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho, Jr. said he will seek re-election in 2014.
The incumbent announced his decision Saturday evening during a fundraiser at Kilohana. It would be Carvalho’s second full term to the four-year seat.
“It would be such an honor to continue to serve the people of Kauai and Niihau through 2018,” Carvalho stated in a press release about the decision. “There’s so much still to accomplish, and we’ve shown that if we work as a team with partners throughout the state and beyond, we can truly make things happen.”
A nearly 30- year veteran of county government, Carvalho was first elected mayor in 2008 following the death of Mayor Bryan Baptiste.
After serving a two-year term, Carvalho was re-elected for his first full term in 2010. If re-elected, Carvalho would be the first mayor to serve 10 years in Kauai’s top executive office, according to the press release.
“It’s been such a rewarding experience so far, and I’m blessed to be surrounded by an amazing team, great supporters throughout the community, and of course my entire ohana,” he said.
The press release was issued by Friends of Bernard Carvalho for Mayor. It said that the incumbent made his announcement in front of 1,500 supporters Saturday.
In the press release, Carvalho pointed to successful initiatives during his time as mayor, such as completing additional portions of Ke Ala Hele Makalae (coastal path), successfully moving forward on siting a new landfill, executing the island’s first cultural stewardship agreement for Kaneiolouma Heiau, establishing islandwide park-and-ride sites and acquiring land for the expansion of Hanalei Beach Park.
The mayor vowed to continue to “put the emotional side of the issue first,” the release said.
On Sunday, he elaborated on his priorities for the county.
Some of those initiatives, Carvalho said, is furthering affordable housing around the island, providing covered shelters for all Kauai Bus stops and expanding feeder routes and continuing the county’s efforts to create a resource recovery park. He also said working to close the current landfill and relocate resources to a new one is a top goal.
“I want to ensure that our island is sustainable and that we can really take care of ourselves,” he told The Garden Island. “All of that ties into agriculture, what is our food source, how do we grow responsibly, how do we manage ourselves and how do we do business?”
Carvalho, who is running under the campaign slogan “Action with Aloha,” said he also wants to continue the county’s Complete Streets program, which is designed to create more walkable and bikeable communities, and to continue his Holo Holo 2020 vision by working on the foundation laid out for the 16-mile Ke Ala Hele Makalae or “The Path that Goes by the Coast,” which spans from Lydgate Park to Ahihi Point.
The filing period for candidates seeking office is Feb. 3 to June 3, 2014, according to the elections division website.
The mayor’s position is budgeted to earn $114,490 in the fiscal year 2014 county budget.
• Staff writer Darin Moriki contributed to this report