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Oct 18

County services are essential and cannot afford a shutdown

Posted on October 18, 2013 at 12:00 AM by Office of Council Services


 

I offered some remarks at today’s Council meeting and expressed relief that Congress and the Administration have finally reached an agreement ending the two-week Federal government shutdown and raising the debt ceiling through early next year. Our national parks, such as Haleakala National Park, are finally open and visitors of the county will no longer be disappointed.

Counties cannot afford a shutdown

The National Association of Counties issued the following statement on Oct. 16 regarding passage of legislation to fund the Federal government:

“Despite the two-week federal government shutdown, counties remained open for business and continued to deliver services directly to residents, businesses and communities. Counties cannot afford to shut down because they are responsible for so many critical programs and services that citizens rely on—including public health and public safety. Counties support over 960 hospitals, provide public health services through 1,550 local health departments and 2,914 counties own jails. They also own and maintain 44 percent of America’s roads, 228,026 bridges and almost one third of the nation’s transit systems and airports.”

NACo also issued these statements on how the shutdown will affect the counties:

“Because of the unique federal, state and local partnership, a shutdown of the federal government and uncertainty in annual federal funding causes much disruption at the local level. The role of government is to create conditions for safe, healthy, vibrant and economically competitive communities. If we want to jumpstart and grow the economy, we need a more predictable policy environment from our federal partners for counties, businesses and the public to make informed decisions and move our country forward. 

“A shutdown of the federal government and the constant threat of a shutdown erodes the public’s faith in all levels of government.”

We are uncertain how the shutdown will affect Maui County moving forward, but I can assure that government leaders on the county level will continue to provide quality services that the community deserves.

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Councilmember G. Riki Hokama is currently the First Vice-President of NACo. 

NACo is the only national organization that represents county governments in the United States. Founded in 1935, NACo provides essential services to the nation’s 3,069 counties. NACo advances issues with a unified voice before the Federal government, improves the public’s understanding of county government, assists counties in finding and sharing innovative solutions through education and research, and provides value-added services to save counties and taxpayers money. For more information about NACo, visit www.naco.org.

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