On Tuesday, April 22, 2014, Councilmember White delivered opening remarks at the Council Meeting.
By having this Council meeting, it’s nice to have a little change in pace and a quick break from the numbers of the budget. I would like to thank my fellow members and the entire staff for all of your work thus far. Yet, the long-hours have only begun, as we will soon be making some tough decisions starting on Monday. Despite the hard work, we should all look forward to this process, as it will set the course for our County over the next year!
Putting the budget aside for a moment, I would like to wish everyone a Happy Earth Day! Celebrated yearly on April 22, this day started in 1970 to remind us to focus on the unique environmental challenges of our time and to continually make smart investments in sustainable technology, forward-thinking public policy, and to have an educated and active public.
Caring for our environment is especially important on islands like Maui, Molokai and Lanai. We have restricted space and limited resources, which emphasizes the need for each of us to do our part in being environmental stewards. I am proud to say that this Council has strongly supported many initiatives to support our environment, including increasing funding to protect our watersheds, funding the eradication of invasive species, and allowing energy saving solar panels to be installed throughout the County – just to name a few.
Although government plays a part in environmental sustainably, it is ultimately each of us, as individuals, to truly make the biggest difference. Simple changes in our daily lives can go a long way in contributing to our earth, such as walking more and driving less, planting a tree, using both sides of a paper, taking shorter showers, or using less electricity by turning off a light-switch. Every little effort helps in the long-run if we all chip-in.
We also must continue to be smart in our policy decisions and actions. The reality we face is that our clean and beautiful environment is our most important industry here in Maui County and it must be preserved. Visitors continue to select Maui as their destination of choice, not only for our aloha spirit, but also because of our natural beauty.
It is in our best interest to protect and preserve what we have for generations to come, as it is not only the right thing to do, but because our livelihood depends on it.
I encourage everyone to do your part and take a moment to help celebrate earth day as it is a great time to rededicate ourselves to preserving the beauty we are lucky enough to call our home.
After all, it takes each of us working together to keep Maui No Ka oi.
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