Published in The Maui News, April 10, 2016
By MIKE WHITE, for The Maui News
Molokai and Lanai issues are often at the forefront of Maui County Council members’ work.
The council recognizes each island has unique issues and it’s particularly difficult for Lanai and Molokai residents to attend meetings at the Council Chambers in Wailuku. The council and its committees reach out by accepting public testimony from the islands’ district offices, providing regular updates on social media and regularly convening meetings on Molokai and Lanai.
Council members will be on Molokai Monday to receive testimony on the county’s proposed fiscal year 2017 budget. The Budget and Finance Committee meeting at Mitchell Pauole Center in Kaunakakai starts at 6:30 p.m., with Council Member Stacy Crivello welcoming and introducing her council colleagues to her fellow Friendly Isle residents.
On April 1, the council adopted Resolution 16-52, authorizing the administration to execute and file a grant application with the federal government under the Community Development Block Grant program. The county’s CDBG grant application seeks funding for two 25-passenger buses with wheelchair capacity to be operated by Maui Economic Opportunity on Molokai.
The council is considering an appropriation of $400,000 for the planning and design of the proposed Molokai Athletic Complex. The facility would include a gymnasium, football field, tennis courts and baseball field.
Council Member Riki Hokama chaired a budget meeting on his island on Friday night at the Lanai Senior Center. Earlier in the day, the council met at the same location to continue deliberations on the new Lanai Community Plan.
The council is investing time and effort to carefully review the community plan because it is such an important policy document for residents of Lanai and throughout Maui County. This is the island’s first new community plan since 1998 and the county’s first community plan in the General Plan 2030 update.
Budget meetings continue every day in the Council Chambers. The next district budget meetings are at the Mayor Hannibal Tavares Community Center in Pukalani on Wednesday and at the Haiku Community Center on Thursday, both starting at 6 p.m.
In other news, the Paia Youth & Cultural Center has renewed its partnership with the county via Resolution 16-58, granting the organization a 35-year lease. The University of Hawaii Maui College is repurposing structures along South Papa Avenue for its hospitality program, as authorized by Resolution 16-59.
The next regular council meeting is at 9 a.m. on Friday in the Council Chambers.
* Mike White is chair of the Maui County Council. He holds the council seat for the Paia-Haiku-Makawao residency area. “Chair’s 3 Minutes” is a weekly column to explain the latest news on county legislative matters. Go to mauicounty.us for more information.