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Maui County Council Blog

The Maui County Council is a nine-member legislative body of officials who are elected on at-large basis (i.e., all County voters can cast votes for all nine seats), one each from nine residency areas. Each Council member is elected for a two-year term.

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Jul 25

Council members rave about attending NACo conference, puts Maui County on national leaderboard

Posted on July 25, 2013 at 12:00 AM by Office of Council Services

Council passes four bills on second and final reading, which advance to Mayor for signing

WAILUKU, MAUI, HAWAII – Four bills will advance for the Mayor’s signature after today’s Council meeting: 
  • Bill 52 (2013), renaming Waihee Ball Park to Richard “Pablo” Caldito Park
  • Bill 53 (2013), establishing crosswalks reflecting updated geographic references for Paia Elementary School and the Alfred “Flako” Botheilho, Sr. Gym;
  • Bill 54 (2013), amending Title 18, Maui County Code, relating to subdivisions, and 
  • Bill 55 (2013), approving a change in zoning from residential district to community business for property in Wailuku.
Council Chair Gladys Baisa congratulated Councilmember Riki Hokama at today’s Council meeting on being installed as the National Association of Counties’ First Vice President at the recently concluded NACo Annual Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

Hokama greeted Council Chair Baisa with a “Howdy!” at the start of the meeting. 

With a cowboy hat on his desk during the meeting, Hokama thanked the conference host, Tarrant County, for “bringing aloha to Southern, Texan hospitality” during the  event. He also noted the purple tie he wore at today’s meeting was to honor the official color of the conference’s host county. 

Mahalo Tarrant County says Hokama

“I wanted to show my support and appreciation for the outstanding event they put together at the NACo Conference,” said Hokama. “Everyone was very gracious, and the sessions were very educational.”

Hokama reported that there was a 20% increase in attendance this year. 

Councilmembers Mike White, Donald G. Couch, Jr. and Vice-Chair Robert Carroll also echoed Hokama’s appreciation. Couch noted the “benefits (of the trip) are enormous for the county.”

“It was a trip well-spent,” said White. “We made significant contacts and learned that other counties in the nation stand ready to help each other – whether it be in IT or other challenges.”

Councilmember Elle Cochran also attended the conference but was excused from today’s meeting. 

Photos of the conference are available at the Maui County Council Facebook page

At today’s meeting, the Council adopted Resolution 13-86 urging the President and Congress to preserve the current tax-exempt status of counties’ municipal bonds. Interest received by holders of municipal bonds is exempt from Federal income taxes. This significantly reduces borrowing costs for state and local governements.

Hokama added updated information from NACo that counties will have to generate an additional $8-10 billion to maintain a strong and moving economy if municipal bonds are taxed.

Council Chair Gladys Baisa wrote in detail about municipal bonds for Chair’s 3 Minutes in The Maui News.

Other counties in the nation are talking about municipal bonds by using hashtag #munibonds on Twitter and Facebook.

Hokama also introduced a matter to the Council relating to cyber-security, including its role and current practices in dealing with the issue. NACo’s immediate past President, Chris Rodgers, has identified cyber-security as a major issue and has appointed a task force to educate NACo-member counties about resources for solutions.

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

In other news, the Council adopted Resolution 13-85, authorizing a donation from Susan Moulton to the Maui County Police Department. Moulton donated weightlifting equipment valued at $5,000, for the use by the Molokai District Office. 

A bill was also introduced by the Department of Environmental Management to authorize the Mayor to enter into an intergovernmental agreement to finance the construction of the West Maui Recycled Water System Expansion, Phase 1B. The bill was referred to the Budget and Finance Committee.

A bill from Department of Housing and Human Concerns to increase the project cost for the Kulamalu Affordable Housing Project by $259,216 to cover the costs of design-review and sewer-assessment fees was referred to the Budget and Finance Committee Committee.

A communication from the Director of Finance reporting a total of 30 contracts and grants for May 2013 was transmitted and filed. Grants included economic-development events like the Annual Business Fest, Lanai Pineapple Festival, Maui Film Festival and the Ma Ka Hana Ka ‘Ike Building Program from Mahele Farms.

A proposed resolution authorizing the grant of a lease of County real property to Na Mamo O Mu’olea was referred to the Economic Development, Energy, Agriculture and Recreation Committee. The non-profit organization desires to obtain a lease of a property situated in Hana and has been pre-approved for a lease of $50 per year for 50 years. The Maui County Grants Review Committee application notes the organization aims to “restore and maintain the area’s natural, cultural, scenic, historic and marine resources for the benefit, education and enjoyment of our community and future generations.”

A trio of bills aimed to address tree protection was introduced by Council Vice-Chair Robert Carroll today. The focus of the first bill – which Carroll calls the Tree Protection Bill -  is to require a permit for the removal, relocation or replacement of specifically identified trees. The measure does not impact removal of existing trees from private residential property.

Chair’s 3 Minutes in The Maui News this Sunday will feature the Tree Protection Bill. This bill has been referred to the Economic Development, Energy, Agriculture and Recreation Committee. 

The other two bills – the Parking Lot Tree Bill and the Historic District Tree Bill, - were referred to the Planning Committee.  

As required by the Maui County Code, Councilmember Stacy Crivello requested a review of the Residential Workforce Housing Policy. This matter was referred to the committee she chairs – the Housing, Human Services and Transportation Committee.  An impact-assessment review is mandated every two years.

The Council passed a bill submitted by the Chief of Police repealing en entire section from the Maui County Code that prohibits the use of mobile electronic devices while driving. Act 74 (2013), the Statewide Distracted Driving bill, took effect July 1. The Chief of Police says the new law supersedes similar county laws.

A compliance report on the progress and compliance status of A&B Properties, Inc. with regards to the change in zoning of the Maui Business Park Phase II was referred to the Planning Committe.

Chair Baisa presented a request from the Aha Moku O Maui Inc., for an opportunity to introduce the organization and provide information about the Aha Moku Advisory Committee to the Maui County Council. This matter was referred to the Policy and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee.

Act 288 (2012) created the Aha Moku Advisory Committee to be placed within the State Department of Land and Natural Resources to advise the Legislature on issues related to land and natural resources management through the aha moku system, a system of best practices based upon the indigenous resources management practices of moku (regional) boundaries. 

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