Senator's aide named to House
By Derrick DePledge
Advertiser Government Writer
By Derrick DePledge
Anne Stevens, a legislative aide with experience in the Coast Guard and maritime industry, was appointed yesterday by Gov. Linda Lingle to serve Waikiki, Ala Moana and Kaka'ako in the state House of Representatives.
Stevens said she would concentrate on potential infrastructure improvements to piers and harbors and along the Ala Wai watershed. She said residents have also told her about their concerns over noise in Waikiki and the impact of new high-rise condominiums.
"I believe that needs to be looked at. We need to see if that's going to put stress on the infrastructure — our roads, water supply and so forth, especially in the Ala Moana area," Stevens said. "We're going to be infusing a lot of new residents in there and we just have to make sure our infrastructure can handle that."
Stevens, the office manager for state Sen. Gordon Trimble, R-12th (Waikiki, Ala Moana, Downtown), will replace Galen Fox in House District 23. Fox, a former Republican House leader, resigned last year after he was convicted of a federal misdemeanor for fondling a woman on a flight from Honolulu to Los Angeles in December 2004.
Stevens, a Republican, is scheduled to be sworn into office today by House Speaker Calvin Say, D-20th (St. Louis Heights, Palolo, Wilhelmina Rise). Her term expires in November.
"She understands the district's concerns and will be able to use her extensive background in the maritime industry as well as her familiarity with the legislative process to be an effective representative for the people of her district," Lingle said in a statement.
Stevens spent 12 years in the Coast Guard, was a district manager for a cruise agency, and was a shipping agent.
Walt Flood, a real-estate agent who is on the Waikiki Neighborhood Board, encouraged Stevens to listen to resident complaints about noise and crime.
"I would tell her to send out a survey and ask the residents of Waikiki about their concerns," he said.
Mary Simpson, who manages real estate and has a bikini shop, said she wants Stevens to pay attention to the spectrum of people who live in the district — including hotel workers, street performers and the homeless — instead of only the wealthy or most vocal.
"I want this little lady to take care of all of us," said Simpson, who is on the neighborhood board.
Tom Brower, the communications director for the Democratic Party of Hawai'i who serves on the neighborhood board, said he wishes Stevens well but believes other members of the neighborhood board who applied to replace Fox would have been better. He said Lingle's decision to appoint a Republican Senate aide was political patronage, and suggested he might run for the seat this year.
"I think that Anne is a nice person, though her appointment is primarily because of whom she knows not what she knows," Brower said. "Anne's primary qualification is that she worked for a state Republican's office and is a team player with the Lingle administration."
House Minority Leader Lynn Finnegan, R-32nd ('Aliamanu, Airport, Mapunapuna), was on the governor's screening panel for the appointment and said Stevens was a good pick.
"She comes with a good background of community service as well as being in the military — in the Coast Guard — and the other ways that she served," Finnegan said. "And she has experience here at the Capitol, so I think that it was a pretty good choice."
Reach Derrick DePledge at firstname.lastname@example.org.